NUMBER OF STORIES ABOUT NEWS THAT DOESN’T SUCK: 8
(denoted with a *)
—–ON THE AGENDA—–
PREVIEW QUISLING SUMMIT: LAVROV MEETS CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION
Reuters reports, “Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will meet with a delegation of U.S. Congressmen on Tuesday, [Russian state-run] Interfax news agency cited the Russian Foreign Ministry as saying on Monday.” Again, the announcement comes from the Russians not our own occupied government, which is always a negative sign that there will be aide and comfort and kowtowing provided to the enemy. Reuters notes, “Interfax did not say where the meeting would take place, or who exactly Lavrov would meet with.” Well TRUMPISTAN WATCH can tell you: the meeting will take place somewhere and involve quislings.
* TRUMP PERSONAL ATTORNEY MICHAEL COHEN BREAKS MEDIA SILENCE
ABC News reports, “Michael Cohen — President Donald Trump’s longtime personal attorney and a former executive vice president at the Trump Organization — has always insisted he would remain loyal to the president. He was the fix-it guy, the pit bull so fiercely protective of his boss that he’d once described himself as ‘the guy who would take a bullet’ for the president.” ABC News adds, “But in his first in-depth interview since the FBI raided his office and homes in April, Cohen strongly signaled his willingness to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller and federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York — even if that puts President Trump in jeopardy.” ABC News notes, “‘My wife, my daughter and my son have my first loyalty and always will,’ Cohen told me. ‘I put family and country first.’” So two things: Cohen’s “family” includes ties to the Russian mafia and one has reason to believe that nobody facing this level of legal peril this close to the fake Russian bullshit president Trump would talk to George Stephanopoulos, an old Clinton hand, before talking to the FBI. But picking Stephanopoulos, that is a real fuck you! TRUMPISTAN WATCH thinks it entirely possible, despite denials to the contrary, Cohen likely already sat for his “queen for a day” interview with the special counsel’s office. ABC News adds, “Cohen did not praise the president during our conversation — and pointedly disagreed with Trump’s criticism of the federal investigations. When I asked Cohen directly what he would do if prosecutors forced him to choose between protecting the president and protecting his family, he said his family is ‘my first priority.’” So as TRUMPISTAN WATCH has long maintained these regime cockroaches are, at the end of the day, total cowards in way over their heads.
From ABC News.
* COHEN’S INTERVIEW COMES AS FEDS GET ACCESS TO 1 MILLION DOCS
The New York Post reports, “The federal government on Monday received more than 1.3 million items in Michael Cohen’s files after they were reviewed by the Trump Organization. Another 22,633 items are being examined by the Trump Organization and must be turned over by Thursday, according to court documents.”
From The New York Post.
* MICHAEL COHEN SHREDS RATHER THAN BURNS
BuzzFeed reports, “When the Department of Justice announced this month that investigators had pieced together records found in a shredder belonging to the president’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, critics, legal experts, and journalists feverishly speculated about what they might contain.” BuzzFeed adds, “Now, BuzzFeed News has obtained documents reconstructed by the FBI. A close examination shows that the records are a combination of documents that prosecutors already had, handwritten notes about a taxi business, insurance papers, and correspondence from a woman described in court filings as a ‘vexatious litigant’ who claims she is under government surveillance.” BuzzFeed notes, “Rebuilt from thin strips of paper, the shredded records are sometimes difficult to comprehend. One page doesn’t include full words and is a jumble of numbers, letters, and bar codes. One document appears to be part of an envelope. There are fragments of handwritten notes. There is an invitation to a reception in Miami to meet with business representatives from Qatar. Several of the records seem to be insurance forms for an apartment.” BuzzFeed adds, “The clearest page documents a payment that has already been reported: a $62,500 wire transfer from March into a First Republic Bank account controlled by Cohen. This would fit with a series of payments reportedly from the Republican fundraiser, Elliott Broidy. He reportedly paid Cohen to negotiate a nondisclosure agreement with a former Playboy model with whom Broidy was romantically involved. A federal law enforcement source told BuzzFeed News that prosecutors already possessed some of the records dealing with Cohen’s financial transactions.” The “vexatious woman” appears to be “The writer, Karen Wickman, who claimed that she was harassed and blackmailed by President Donald Trump in the late 1980s, told BuzzFeed News that Cohen never responded to her letters. She has brought forward 42 ‘unmeritorious motions, pleadings, and other papers,’ according to a legal filing last year.” BuzzFeed cautions, “It remains to be seen whether any of the reconstructed documents are of use to federal prosecutors from the Southern District of New York in their ongoing probe into Cohen”.
PIVOT TO PAUL MANAFORT’S ANSWER TO COHEN: KONSTANTIN KILIMNIK
The AP reports, “During the special counsel’s Russia investigation, Konstantin Kilimnik has been described as a fixer, translator or office manager to President Donald Trump’s ex-campaign chairman Paul Manafort. But Kilimnik, an elusive figure now indicted alongside Manafort on witness tampering charges, was far more involved in formulating pro-Russia political strategy with Manafort than previously known, according to internal memos and other business records obtained by the AP.” The AP adds, “The records include a rare 2006 photograph of Kilimnik, a Ukrainian native, in an office setting with Manafort and other key players in Manafort’s consulting firm at the time. Some of the documents were later independently obtained by U.S. government investigators.” It’s a really fun office photo, you should check it out! The AP notes, “Manafort and Kilimnik pondered the risks to Russia if the country did not hone its efforts to influence global politics, the records show. ‘The West is just a little more skillful at playing the modern game, where perception by the world public opinion and the spin is more important than what is actually going on,’ Kilimnik wrote to Manafort in a December 2004 memo analyzing Russia’s bungled efforts to manipulate political events in former Soviet states. ‘Russia is ultimately going to lose if they do not learn how to play this game.’” The AP adds, “Even before the Orange Revolution had run its course, Kilimnik had begun secretly working with Manafort to undermine it, the records obtained by the AP show. By December 2004, he was already working for Manafort — not as a translator, as he told the New York Times earlier this year in a rare interview, but as a strategist,” noting, “Other documents from the period identified Manafort’s client as [Oleg] Deripaska, a Russian billionaire with business ties to the Kremlin.” The AP notes, “The records show that Kilimnik participated in an early Manafort plan to influence Western politicians and media outlets. Officially, the project — known as Eurasia21 — would offer news and expertise on former Soviet states.” The AP adds, “A website was launched with some initial funding from the investment bank Rothschild, a Deripaska ally, but the project fizzled and folded. The plan was a model for covert lobbying work later by Manafort, however. Those efforts included using the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine — an alleged front group used by Manafort to route millions of dollars for covert lobbying work in Washington — and the so-called Hapsburg Group, a stable of former European politicians secretly paid to espouse positions in keeping with Yanukovych’s government.”
From the AP.
* SENATE INTEL COMMITTEE IN CONTACT WITH STEELE’S LAWYERS
BuzzFeed News reports, “The head of the top congressional committee investigating Russian election interference [Senator Richard Burr] says that the panel has been in ‘weekly’ contact with lawyers for former British spy Christopher Steele, the author of a dossier alleging years of links between President Donald Trump and the Kremlin.” BuzzFeed adds, “Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the committee’s vice chair, said that he was unsure whether the committee was in weekly contact with Steele’s attorneys. ‘I know that we are in communications and we obviously would like to get that hearing,’ he told BuzzFeed News.”
From BuzzFeed News.
DARKNESS AT NUNES WANTS 10 OBAMA ERA OFFICIALS TO TESTIFY
Fox News reports, “The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee is calling for 10 government officials who served at the State Department or White House during the Obama administration to testify in Congress about the Russia probe as he investigates possible government surveillance abuse during the 2016 election. In a Monday letter to a pair of congressional committees, Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., asked the Oversight and Judiciary Committees to take steps to interview former State Department officials Elizabeth Dibble, Jonathan Finer, Kathleen Kavalec, Lewis Lukens, Victoria Nuland, Thomas Williams and Jonathan Winer, as well as former Obama White House officials Jake Sullivan, Colin Kahl and Shailagh Murray.” Fox News adds, “Dibble, the former deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in London, a city where other figures in the Russia investigation were operating. Winer, a former Obama State Department official, has acknowledged he had regular contact with ex-British spy Christopher Steele, the author of the controversial anti-Trump dossier.” Meanwhile DARKNESS AT NUNES will in no way answer questions about the Alpha Omega winery teen sex and cocaine yacht cruise. Seems fair and totally legit, right?
From Fox News.
* FBI AGENT STRZOK APOLOGIZED FOR ANTI-TRUMP TEXTS
NBC News reports, “The FBI agent who worked on separate investigations of Donald Trump’s campaign and Hillary Clinton’s use of private email said that he is sorry he sent inflammatory tests about Trump, according to two Democratic sources who heard last week’s closed-door House testimony by the agent.” NBC News adds, “They said he also said he was part of a large team and could not have steered any investigation out of bias even if he wanted to.” NBC News notes, “Strzok was prohibited by FBI lawyers from answering many of the substantive questions asked by members of the committees. They also said Republican members expressed interest in having Strzok back for a public hearing.” CNN adds, “The lawyer for embattled FBI agent Peter Strzok slammed House Republicans for selectively leaking portions of Strzok’s closed-door testimony last week and charged that the invitation for Strzok to return next week for a public grilling was a ‘trap.’ The attorney, Aitan Goelman, sent the House Judiciary Committee a blistering letter, obtained by CNN, that accused Republicans of forcing Strzok to testify behind closed doors when he wanted to testify publicly and then twisting his answers to the media.”
From NBC News.
FUCK YOU RUSSIA: KREMLIN THINKS IT SPEAKS FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE
CNN reports, “American ‘political will’ has shifted in a positive manner toward better US-Russian dialogue, Moscow said on Monday, while adding that it was ‘too early’ to speak of a thaw in relations.” Hey now memo to the Kremlin: you’re dealing with a bunch of quisling assholes you picked not the American people and since this is still a democracy in name, the American people have a message for the little Napoleon shit Vova in the Kremlin, who clearly blows goats: FUCK YOU RUSSIA. Dmitry Peskov, whose daughter Elizabeta lives in France was tasked with delivering this message about our political will instead of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, whose daughter Katya was educated at Columbia University. Le sigh, don’t believe so many of your own lies, assholes. Of course they do not, only the foolish fuck in the White House does and maybe his mustachioed loser advisor John Bolton, who PS in no way cancels out James Mattis, chain of command does not work that way, folks. Oh and one more fuck you Russia for good measure. Oh and another fuck you Russia just because TRUMPISTAN WATCH feels like it and you can do that in a democracy, you know.
* UKRAINE READY TO EXCHANGE PRISONERS OF WAR FOR HOSTAGES
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, “A senior Ukrainian lawmaker has named 23 Russian nationals she says Kyiv is prepared to exchange for Ukrainian citizens held by Russia in a potential prisoner swap. Iryna Herashchenko, a deputy speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, said on July 2 that the 23 have been convicted of plotting terrorist acts in the Odesa, Kharkiv, Kherson, and Ternopil regions or of fighting against government forces in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine.” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty adds, “At the top of the list announced by Herashchenko is Viktor Ageyev, who is serving a 10-year prison term after being convicted of terrorism and illegal weapons possession. Ageyev, who was sentenced in January, was captured by Ukrainian forces in the Luhansk region during a combat operation in which two Russia-backed separatists and a Russian military officer were killed, according to Ukrainian authorities.”
POLITICO reports, “A pair of legal filings suggesting that special counsel Robert Mueller’s office is almost-but-not-quite ready to set a sentencing date for former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn have prompted a federal judge to order Flynn and lawyers for both sides to make an unexpected trip to court next week. The hearing set for next Tuesday would be the first court appearance for Flynn since last December”.
* MASTERS OF WAR
The Washington Post reports, “A federal judge has approved a request to tightly control how evidence is shared with a Russian company accused of funding an Internet trolling operation to mislead American voters in the 2016 election. The dispute over how to protect sensitive materials from disclosure had threatened to stall prosecution of the sole defendant to appear in court to face charges in the indictment of Russian entities under special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.” The Washington Post adds, “U.S. District Judge Dabney L. Friedrich of the District of Columbia said Friday that federal prosecutors gave ‘ample good cause’ that identifying sources in the probe could tip off Russian intelligence and other foreign services to ongoing national security investigations and undermine efforts to protect future elections from similar interference. Friedrich barred the U.S.-based attorneys for Concord Management and Consulting, which was indicted in February along with 13 Russian individuals and two other companies from sharing sensitive case materials from any foreign national without court approval.” The Washington Post notes, “In a seven-page opinion, Friedrich ruled, ‘Concord’s right to prepare and present a full defense at trial does not depend on [Yevgeniy] Prigozhin having access to sensitive discovery materials, at least not at this early stage of the prosecution.’”
From The Washington Post.
—–CAMP IVANKA: FROM THE KIDDIE INTERNMENT CAMPS—–
* JUDGE ORDERS INDIVIDUALIZED DECISIONS ON ASYLUM CASES
POLITICO reports, “An order a federal judge issued Monday requiring individualized decisions on whether some asylum-seekers can be released into the U.S. poses a new legal threat to President Donald Trump’s effort to crack down on migrants crossing the border from Mexico.” This is likely to counter the mass trials we have seen taking place. POLITICO adds, “U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg said there is strong evidence that five offices of the Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement were ignoring a 2009 agency directive requiring case-by-case determinations on whether asylum seekers who passed the initial ‘credible fear’ screening could be released pending an immigration judge’s decision on their claim. Boasberg said lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union justified the injunction by showing that releases of such immigrants by some offices dropped dramatically after Trump took office last year. Between February and September of last year, 100 percent of parole applications at three ICE offices were denied, the judge said, while two other offices released eight percent or fewer of those requesting release.”
—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–
THE METEORIC RISE OF FASHY COCKROACH KIRSTJEN NIELSEN
POLITICO Magazine reports on the meteoric rise of fascist cockroach Kirstjen Nielsen who, prior to her role as the face of family separations as Trump’s Department of Homeland Insecurity chief, “had spent less than a decade, in total, working in government before she was tapped to oversee one of the nation’s largest federal departments. Her federal legacy was limited at best: She oversaw the development and eventual 2006 rollout of the 3-ounce-bottles-of-liquid rule for air travelers. The same year, she came under congressional criticism for her role in George W. Bush’s slow response to the 2005 Hurricane Katrina disaster in New Orleans. More recently, she had fashioned herself into a private consultant on cybersecurity and worked on a report for the organizers of the Davos conference with a moderately positive conclusion about refugees.” POLITICO Magazine notes, “Resigning would mean walking away from one of the biggest jobs in government—DHS has a $40 billion annual budget and employs 240,000 people. Nielsen secured that job after only 10 years total time spent in government service and never having run an organization in which she had more than 15 direct reports,” making her spectacularly under qualified for her current role. Of her Hurricane Katrina experience, “two separate 2006 congressional reports that looked into the federal government’s late and languid response to the disaster that killed nearly 2,000 people. The reports noted that Nielsen’s staff had collected ample information about the storm’s potential impact before it struck, and about what was happening in and around New Orleans after the storm made landfall—but then the administration repeatedly failed to effectively act on that information.” A tragedy that killed a large number of minorities would make her imminently qualified in Trump’s evil eyes. As for her own rise to current heights, POLITICO Magazine recalls, “While still running her own consulting firm in late 2016, Nielsen volunteered to advise the Trump transition team on homeland security policy. She met John Kelly during that time, and he tapped her to assist him—also as a volunteer—in his confirmation process for DHS secretary. After his confirmation, Kelly hired Nielsen as his chief of staff. Then, when Reince Priebus’ resignation as White House chief of staff rocked the White House and Kelly took over that role in 2017, Kelly made Nielsen his deputy. All of which, eventually, led to Nielsen’s nomination to take over at DHS.”
From POLITICO Magazine.
COLD WAR CIVIL RIGHTS
CNN reports, “In some chapters of American history, the commingling of Russian state action and American racial politics has unfolded in the open, with the consequences fully obvious for all to see. In an era before Black Lives Matter, communists at times provided the most full-throated and unequivocal defense of black humanity even if this defense was at times used in service of international propaganda against the United States.” CNN adds, “So contemporary Russian trolls who set up a phony Facebook account — complete with a planned demonstration — in the aftermath of Philando Castile’s 2016 death at the hands of a police officer in Saint Paul, Minnesota, entered this long and complex history. Where in the past the Soviet Union touted itself as a state free of racial discrimination [even though that was of course bullshit] and attracted tiny numbers of blacks like Paul Robeson to tour the country and at times live there, Russia’s post-Cold War state of ‘managed democracy’ offers no such illusions. Instead, the Russian project under President Vladimir Putin seeks to destabilize American democracy by turning the nation’s inner demons against itself.” Indeed TRUMPISTAN WATCH was shocked to learn of the depths of the Soviet Union’s involvement in the civil rights movement from the Editor-in-Chief of The Chicago Reporter last year, including the recruitment of so-called “brown babies” (children of black U.S. soldiers stationed in Europe and European mothers) as “cadets” and through the work of Mary Drodziak whose book title Cold War Civil Rights is being utilized for the subheading on this item. However, if you talk to activists in the Black community these days, in large measure due to the Russian state’s unequivocal support for Trump any residual good will from that era has been thoroughly squandered as Russia shows its true face not just to them but also to the world. Of course, as CNN notes, “Russian Communist officials, apparatchiks, and newspapers saw in America’s unfolding racial crisis an opportunity to shield the Soviet Union from criticism of its own human rights violations, creeping authoritarianism, and barely concealed imperial ambitions.” If you want to hear more about the horrors of what it actually was to be Black in the USSR, have a listen to Robert Robinson on BBC Witness.
TECH’S PROBLEMATIC DATA ISSUES GO WAY BEYOND FACEBOOK
The New York Times reports, “Over the past several months, there has been an onslaught of alarming news about Facebook’s collection and sharing of users’ personal data. The resulting public scrutiny of Facebook is well deserved. But as we scramble to understand the societal harms caused by one Silicon Valley behemoth, we mustn’t turn a blind eye to those instigated by the rest of the technology industry.” The New York Times adds, “the reality is that the digital wilderness stretches far beyond Facebook, to a much larger tech ecosystem that deserves holistic examination and, potentially, regulation in the days ahead.” The New York Times notes, “or instance, the industry’s widespread but largely nontransparent partnerships with data brokers — companies that are in the business of quietly collecting an enormous amount of sensitive personal data and selling it to whoever will pay for it. Facebook announced recently that it will shut down Partner Categories, the feature that allows data brokers to pipe sensitive information — like your personal interests and behaviors — into Facebook’s advertising management system.” The New York Times adds, “But the use of data provided by leading data brokers like Acxiom, Experian and Oracle — which typically disclose very little about what kinds of personal data they have and how they use it — is still commonplace across the internet, and most tech companies are willfully uncommunicative about the nature of their commercial partnerships with data brokers.” TRUMPISTAN WATCH has questions about Oracle’s use of data in particular given CEO Safra Catz’s role in the Trump transition and donations she and company founder/CEO Larry Ellison have made to DARKNESS AT NUNES. They are not stupid, they can see DARKNESS AT NUNES is running interference on the investigations into Trump’s ties to Russia, the question is why do they support him? Note: Oracle headquarters are not in DARKNESS AT NUNES’ district.
From The New York Times.
MEET BOB VAN RONKEL: CONNECTED PUTIN TO STEVEN SEAGAL
NPR reports, “For the past two decades, Bob Van Ronkel has been the Forrest Gump of U.S.-Russia relations. He helped introduce Steven Seagal to Vladimir Putin. He helped introduce Jim Carrey to Oleg Deripaska, the now-sanctioned aluminum tycoon,” who is very much integrated into Paul Manafort’s world. NPR adds, “Then there were Jack Nicholson, Sean Penn, Woody Harrelson, Lara Flynn Boyle and more, all making visits to Russia — Van Ronkel was even there when Donald Trump’s Miss Universe pageant visited Moscow. Van Ronkel runs Doors to Hollywood, a company that brings American celebrities to Russia and other parts of the former Soviet Union. If an actor or musician traveled to Russia to hobnob with Putin or wealthy Russian oligarchs such as Deripaska, chances are he was involved.” NPR notes, “Steve Hall, former head of Russian operations at the CIA, told NPR that even if Van Ronkel hasn’t been particularly political, he is part of a larger effort that the Russian government has encouraged.” NPR continues, “Van Ronkel also palled around with powerful Russians, linking them with Hollywood celebrities — which became a mark of true wealth in a country already dominated by the ultra-wealthy. His clients paid him to bring over people such as Mike Tyson, Sean Penn and Kanye West — all shuttled to Russia or former Soviet states.”
ITALIAN GOVERNMENT’S TIES TO FASCIST RUSSIA: A NEW FRONT LINE
BuzzFeed News reports, “European diplomats are concerned about the relationship between Italy’s new government and Russia”. BuzzFeed notes, “The two parties that formed a coalition government in Italy, the nationalist Lega and the populist anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S), have ‘personal relationships’ and contacts with officials in Moscow,” adding, “There is also clear overlap between the two Italian parties and what the diplomat called Russia’s ‘information warfare.’” BuzzFeed adds, “Officials from both M5S and Lega have long adopted Kremlin propaganda lines as their own on issues ranging from criticism of NATO to recognizing annexed Crimea as part of Russia. They have also echoed Russia’s position on Syria, painting its role in the country’s civil war as a lone fight against ISIS, and have relentlessly peddled the apocalyptic descriptions of immigration that often feature in Russian-backed media such as Sputnik and RT.” BuzzFeed notes, “Senior M5S members of parliament met with Russian officials on at least two occasions in 2016, including with individuals sanctioned by the EU and the US. One of those M5S MPs, Manlio Di Stefano, is now Italy’s undersecretary for foreign affairs. He has also authored a number of articles echoing pro-Kremlin lines.” BuzzFeed adds, “Lega’s relationship with Russia spans back even further. Since 2014, it has included contacts with officials and missions to Russia and annexed Crimea, as well as public events and lobbying to promote Kremlin-friendly policy and protest sanctions. The relationship was formalized in a partnership agreement between the party and Vladimir Putin’s United Russia signed last year by Lega leader Matteo Salvini, who is now Italy’s deputy prime minister, and Sergei Zheleznyak, deputy chairman of the Russian parliament.” BuzzFeed notes, “At a European Council meeting of EU leaders last week, Italy’s prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, joined the EU’s other 27 leaders in supporting the renewal of sanctions against Russia for another six months.” BuzzFeed adds however, “what puzzles diplomats about the new government is how removing sanctions on Russia seems to have become such a top priority for Lega and M5S while Italy faces other, more pressing issues.”
From BuzzFeed News.
TRUMP SIGNALS HIS APPROVAL OF KILLING JOURNALISTS
The Baltimore Sun reports the fake Russian bullshit “President Donald Trump has declined a request from Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley to lower American flags in honor of the fatal shooting of five employees of The Capital newspaper last week.” Not even a dog whistle, an outright signal that Trump approves and condones the slaughter of journalists to protect his criminal organization running operations out of the White House these days, for as long as they are permitted to squat there. Of course the fake Russian bullshit president “Trump has ordered flags lowered for previous mass shootings, including in May after the deaths of 10 people at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, and the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., in February that left 17 dead.” But killing journalists is different because the fake Russian bullshit president has attacked them endlessly as “fake news” and “enemies of the people”. This is his way of signaling open season. The cowards squatting in “The White House did not immediately respond Monday to a request for comment.”
From The Baltimore Sun.
NEWS MEDIA BEYOND COMPLICIT IN MANUFACTURING FASCISM
NBC News reports, “Since her husband took office Melania Trump has earned six figures from an unusual deal with a photo agency in which major media organizations have indirectly paid the Trump family despite a requirement that the photos be used only in positive coverage.” This means all who purchased the photos are beyond complicit in manufacturing fascist garbage for popular consumption. NBC News adds, “President Donald Trump’s most recent financial disclosure reveals that in 2017 the first lady earned at least $100,000 from Getty Images for the use of any of a series of 187 photos of the first family shot between 2010 and 2016 by Belgian photographer Regine Mahaux.” NBC News notes, “It’s not unheard of for celebrities to earn royalties from photos of themselves, but it’s very unusual for the wife of a currently serving elected official. More problematic for the many news organizations that have published or broadcast the images, however, is that Getty’s licensing agreement stipulates the pictures can be used in ‘positive stories only.’” NBC News adds, “According to the revenue statement in President Trump’s May financial disclosure, Melania Trump earned between $100,000 and $1,000,000 in photo royalties in 2017 from the Getty deal.” So who beyond Getty Images is complicit? NBC News notes, “Yahoo News, NBC News, Marie Claire, the Daily Mail, My San Antonio, Houston Chronicle, House Beautiful, and SF Gate, the website for The San Francisco Chronicle, are among those that have featured Mahaux’s highly stylized family portraits since Trump took office. The February 2017 issue of the Russian edition of the fashion magazine Elle included a gilded Mahaux portrait of the first family.” And, “The French edition of Vanity Fair put one of the pictures on the cover of its August 2016 issue. Fox News used the photos in a variety of news segments in 2016. Greta Van Susteren’s show ‘On the Record’ included two portraits of Melania Trump during an interview Van Susteren did with the future first lady. In November 2016, after Trump’s upset election win, the first episode of the Fox News show ‘OBJECTified,’ hosted by TMZ founder Harvey Levin, depicted the life and rise of Donald Trump. The episode included two of the images taken by Mahaux.” So everyone. This is how your propaganda sausage gets made. NBC News adds, “An NBC News spokesperson said NBC News did not agree or sign a statement that the image would be used for positive coverage, and was never informed that a portion of the royalties would go to the Trump family. Several news organizations removed the images from their websites after inquiries by NBC News.” Those organization include Yahoo, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Houston Chronicle and The San Antonio Express-News.
From NBC News.
MORE PROPAGANDA: THE NATION MAGAZINE + RUSSIAN STATE-RUN RT
Think Progress reports, “Early last year, the United States’ director of national intelligence described the outlet, formerly known as Russia Today, as Moscow’s “principal international propaganda outlet.” A few months ago, RT registered with the Department of Justice as a foreign agent. And now, RT has a new contributor: Stephen Cohen, a contributing editor with liberal magazine The Nation.” Think Progress notes, “A number of Cohen’s pieces from The Nation have been cross-posted on RT’s website since January. A note at the bottom of each of the articles alerts readers that the piece in question ‘was originally published by The Nation.’” Think Progress adds, “Many of the pieces fit within Cohen’s reputation as a vocal critic of the ongoing investigations into Russia’s interference efforts during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The articles Cohen has published on RT also happen to fit within Moscow’s denials of any interference efforts.” Just a reminder that “While it often presents itself as a news outlet, RT tends to push conspiracy theories as fact, and often invites fascists and white supremacists like Richard Spencer on as analysts.”
From Think Progress.
—–TOWARDS A PEACEFUL NUCLEAR EXCHANGE—–
POMPEO IS TANKING WHAT LITTLE REPUTATION HE HAS ON NORTH KOREA
Russian state-run Sputnik reports, “The White House announced Monday that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will be leaving for North Korea on July 5, marking his third visit to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” better known as that gulag shithole North Korea to the American people. Russian state-run Sputnik adds, “Pompeo previously visited North Korea in early April and then again for a second time in early May when he was returning to the US with three Americans who’d been held hostage in the country. The 54-year-old California native will also meet with both Japanese and South Korean officials from July 7 to 8 while in Tokyo.” He is writing his own obituary this one.
UNHAPPY FOURTH OF JULY! NEXT YEAR IN FREEDOM + SOVEREIGNTY!
FUCK YOU RUSSIA!
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