Trump Jr.’s Meeting with Russian Spies

Over the course of the last week, we’ve learned about a meeting between Russian spies and Trump Jr., which took place during the presidential campaign and in Trump Tower.  On Sunday, we learned there was an unreported meeting between Donald Trump Jr., and potential Russian foreign agents.  On Monday, we learned that the meeting was arranged by a Russian.  on Tuesday, we learned that the meting was with Russian foreign agents and about Russian sanctions.  On Wednesday, we learned that the meeting was specifically about the Russian government helping Trump with the “Hillary problem.”  On Thursday, we learned that a second Russian agent was at the meeting, and that the person is a known former counter intelligence spy and Russian lobbyist.  Yesterday, Friday, we learned that there were actually twice as many people at the meeting than was originally reported.

There are many angles to this meeting, but probably the most significant is the fact that Russian lawyer, with deep ties to Putin (and therefore a likely government agent), Natalia Veselnitskaya, was present.  Veselnitskaya represented Russian company Prevezon, which was indicted in the U.S. for money laundering.  After Trump took office, however, the case was abruptly dismissed.

The timeline is interesting.   On September 10, 2013, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara indicted Prevezon for money laundering in New York.  Prevezon then hired Veselnitskaya to represent it in the case.  Three years into the representation, on June 9, 2016, Veselnitskaya contacted the Trump team and promised to give them dirt on Hillary Clinton.  Trump Jr., was excited, claiming he’d “love” to get dirt on his political opponent from a foreign agent (which is a crime).

On November 9, 2016, Trump wins the election.  Then on March 11, 2017, two months into his presidency, Trump fired Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney that indicted Prevezon.  Two months after that, Trump’s DOJ, which is led by Jeff Sessions, a man that also had contacts with Russian foreign agents during the campaign that he lied about, settles the $230 million money laundering case against Prevezon for $6 million.

Was such a low settlement reasonable?  The Russians claimed that it was so low it proved that the U.S. was basically apologizing for filing the suit.  So either it was a bad, dead end lawsuit–which is unlikely since the U.S. Attorney’s office is filled with absolute top-notch lawyers–or it was settled for other reasons:

The settlement was so meager that one of Prevezon’s US attorneys said it was “almost an admission that they shouldn’t have brought the case.” Veselnitskaya herself crowed that it was “almost an apology from the government.”

It is important to also noted that some in the U.S. viewed the $6 million settlement as a victory since the key witness was thrown out of a window in Russia and all the U.S. could ultimately prove was money laundering of about $1.9 million.  Even the fired Preet Bharara seemed to think the resolution was a good one.

In any event, at the end of the day, Veselnitskaya got exactly what she wanted.

 

 

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Russians Target Donald Trump Jr.

There have been a lot of development since I last posted, that have significantly changed the landscape of the Trump-Russian conspiracy.  But this latest development is significant.  In fact, George W. Bush’s own ethics chief is flat out calling the latest news “treason” or “very close to treason.”  Click here to watch the video.

So what is this treason?  If you missed it, the New York Times is reporting that Donald Trump Jr., met with an agent of the Russian government to discuss receiving Hillary’s e-mails in order to damage her campaign.  Furthermore, that the meeting was confirmed to Donald Jr., in writing, before hand.  This means that prosecutors can now prove that Donald Jr., was knowingly attempting to work with a foreign agent/government to disrupt the election, and directly connects the dots between the Trump campaign and Russian agents who stole Hillary’s e-mails.

Beyond making a direct connection between Don’s campaign and the Russian government, the article is interesting because it reports that the source of the information which led to the article was the Russian government itself.  A few days ago, Trump met with Putin and by all accounts was very friendly to Putin and kissed the Russian dictator’s ass.  Just a few days later, however, it appears that Putin has put the knife in the back of Don Jr., releasing information that directly, and in writing, ties the Trump campaign to the Russian government hackers.

It seems like little Donny Jr., is going down, and it’s the Russian government that put him there.  Perhaps Russia is disappointed that they did not get the results they wanted from Donny after he got elected.  Or perhaps Russia was just meddling in our elections to disrupt our country, which obviously it has.  But now that the election is over and they got what they wanted, Russia has no use for Trump and will slowly destroy his presidency to inflict maximum damage to our political infrastructure.  Or Maybe Donny forgot to make his loan payment to the Russian mobsters who finance his operations, and this was a reminder that he is a Russian bitch and nothing more.  Who knows.

We’ll see what happens next.

Trump’s Russian Oil Money

Inside the Steele Dossier, a document with a big list of claims about Trump (including one that he had hookers piss on him in bed in Moscow), there was one interesting claim about one of Trump’s key advisers and Russian oil money.  It went like this:

Igor Sechin, the CEO of Russia’s state oil company, offered former Trump ally Carter Page and his associates the brokerage of a 19% stake in the company in exchange for the lifting of US sanctions on Russia.

The sale eventually went through (with or without Page, we don’t know).  And while Trump’s stooge Page could deny that he received the 19% stake in the oil company, we know that Russia sold stake in Rosneft, with 19.5% going to someone.  But we don’t know who supplied the financing for the deal or who the purchasers were, and those facts are untraceable.  So was Carter Page one of the ultimate money-makers from the deal?  Was Trump?  Was a different Trump stooge?  Who knows.

More than a month after Russia announced one of its biggest privatizations since the 1990s, selling a 19.5 percent stake in its giant oil company Rosneft, it still isn’t possible to determine from public records the full identities of those who bought it.

What we do know is that Rex Tillerson, the former CEO of Exxon, is now secretary of state.  Something Carter Page was very excited about.  Tillerson’s Exxon also had a huge deal with Rosneft, probably worth hundreds of billions of dollars, but paused due to all the sanctions the U.S. slapped on Russia.   How long will those sanctions last?  Will they be lifted so Tillerson and/or Page can directly benefit?

Meanwhile, the Russians are rounding up and/or killing people that were associated with the Steele dossier:

Oleg Erovinkin, a former general in the KGB and its successor the FSB, was found dead in the back of his car in Moscow on Boxing Day in mysterious circumstances.

Erovinkin was a key aide to Igor Sechin, a former deputy prime minister and now head of Rosneft, the state-owned oil company, who is repeatedly named in the dossier.

As for that 19.5% stake in Rosneft, it was sold in December to a trading company called Glencore Plc and Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, and likely split 50/50 between both.  Strangely, Glencore only contributed 300 million euro for its portion, and a Cayman Island firm, with unknown owners, is the owner of an unknown percentage of Glencore’s stake.

It’s as if the Russians are doing business with people who really don’t want the world to know who they are.

Trump the Turncoat

Trump showed up at the CIA with a crew of fake supporters to cheer every time he talked.  At the CIA he decided to talk about how tough he was in his “war” with the media.  He decided to make his tough talk right in front of the wall commemorating CIA operatives who died in the fight to protect this country.  But the clapping and laughing you hear during his speech is nothing but an act:

The clapping and laughing you hear in both instances are Trump’s own people. They are sycophants who he brings to cheer him on and make it seem like what he’s saying is being well-received. And it’s working.

And it’s not just domestic spy agencies that are freaking out.  The whole western world is afraid that Trump is a traitor who is more committed to pleasing Putin than protecting his own country:

Unfortunately, newly-inaugurated President Donald Trump is threatening the whole Western intelligence system with his brusque comments about our spies and worrisome ties to Moscow. For the first time, an American president is causing our allies and partners to wonder if Washington can still be trusted.

Meanwhile, US intelligence agencies continue to investigate Trump’s national security adviser Michael Flynn for his ties to Russia:

U.S. counterintelligence agents have investigated communications that President Donald Trump’s national security adviser had with Russian officials, according to people familiar with the matter.

 

Tanks for Inauguration Day

Trump wants tanks for Inauguration

Best way to show strength of mother land, da tovarish?

a member of Trump’s transition team floated the idea of including tanks and missile launchers in the inaugural parade, a source involved in inaugural planning told The Huffington Post. “They were legit thinking Red Square/North Korea-style parade,” the source said…

Donald Trump’s Wall Street Scam

The Associated Press ran a story recently about Teena Colebrook.  Ms. Colebrook owned a triplex in Los Angeles before the crash in 2008.  When the crash hit she lost two of her renters and she got behind on her mortgage.  Then her home was foreclosed on by the company owned by Donald Trump’s new treasury secretary, Steve Mnunchin.

Ms. Colebrook is now upset because she voted for Mr. Trump thinking he would “drain the swamp” of Washington DC, full of Wall Street hustlers like Mr. Mnunchin, who is himself a Goldman-Sachs, George Soros elitist billionaire.  Ms. Colebrook feels betrayed.  After all, Mr. Mnunchin didn’t just foreclose on her home.  When Ms. Colebrook tried to save her home through a loan modification program, Mr. Mnunchin’s company used shady scam artist tactics to make sure she had no chance:

“Over five years, she tried unsuccessfully to adjust her loan with OneWest through the Treasury Department’s Home Affordable Modification Program. But she said that One West Bank lost paperwork, provided conflicting statements about ownership of the loan and fees and submitted charges that were unverified and caused her loan balance to balloon. By the time she lost her home in foreclosure in April 2015, the payoff balance totaled $517,662.”

Ms. Colebrook, for her part, seems shocked and says she lost her “faith” in government even though she admits she voted for a blowhard billionaire (who literally has a building on Wall Street) thinking he would get rid of “moneyed elites.”  Ms. Colebrook’s fantasies–or should we say delusions–are crashing down all around her.

But Ms. Colebrook’s delusions are no worse than all the other Americans who were conned by Mr. Trump.  Go around the poorest counties in the U.S. and you will see dozens of  beat up trucks driven by people who are obviously poor.  The trucks are covered in stickers declaring that they want to “Make America Great Again” and that they took the first step in doing this by voting for someone whose entire identity is based on “look at how rich I am.”  Of course, that’s just yet another delusion–Mr. Trump is not as rich as he pretends to be.

What Donald Trump’s Lies Really Mean

In 2014, the online controversy known as “Gamergate” erupted.  It started when a scorned ex boyfriend of a female gaming company executive wanted to exact revenge on his former significant other.  In order to whip up a frenzy, he made up a bunch of fake outrages about “political correctness” and poor journalist ethics in the video game industry with his ex being his target.  The controversy grew quickly from a group of loosely associated people using the Twitter hashtag #gamergate.

Eventually, the real intentions behind the controversy became clear as it turned into a harassment campaign against women video game executives, including the ex girlfriend.  The harassment culminated in death threats, rape threats, disclosing personal information on the internet, and false claims about the women trading sex for favorable articles in gamer news outlets.  In sum, it was a made up campaign of fantasies that attracted angry supporters from the internet, fueled by hate, in order to achieve a hidden agenda that would not have upset or outraged people enough on its own.

Sounds like the Donald Trump campaign?  Maybe that’s because Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, helped to fuel the #gamergate controversy through the website he ran before joining the Trump campaign.  He saw how powerful fake made up outrages could be to achieve an unrelated goal, especially when disaffected white men were empowered and told to blame a scapegoat for their own failures–women, Mexicans, blacks, Muslims, etc.

The larger story here is not Mr. Bannon’s ability to whip people into a frenzy and play on their instincts or feelings of being “taken advantage of” by the “system” and “minorities.”  It is instead the reality that some people are more than willing to completely disregard the truth if it helps them to express their anger and inner hatred of other people in a “safe” or “acceptable” way.

More intellectual or educated or less angry people can see through the scam when facts or evidence are presented.  But their reaction, to challenge how the angry mob was seduced by fake bullshit, completely misses the mark.  The truth has absolutely nothing to do with what Mr. Trump is really trying to do.  The real problem is this: Mr. Trump and his supporters are not making fact assertions, instead they are telling themselves what they need to hear to excuse what they are going to do next.

When they tell us that 3 million people voted illegally in the election without any proof, what they are really saying is that they are looking for an excuse to prevent legitimate voters from voting in the future.  When they tell us “bad people” are coming from Muslim countries, what they are really saying is they want to get rid of Muslims.  When Mr. Trump says Terrorism brought down an Egyptian airliner, a claim that is now proven to be false, what he is really saying is “look at these Muslim animals, we need to put them in their place.”

History gives us many examples of this type of totalitarian scapegoating.  But we need to look no further than 1930 Germany.  Hannah Arendt, in her book The Origin of Totalitarianism provides a helpful guide for interpreting the propaganda strategy of totalitarians. It goes like this:
  1. “Sane people” in 1930s Germany would “fact check” the Nazis’ bizarre claims about Jews as if the claims were meant to be factual.
  2. What the sane people failed to understand was that the Nazi Jew hating machine was not trying to make statements of fact, but was instead making a declaration of intent.
  3. For example, a Nazi would blame the Jews for Germany’s defeat in WW1, and the sane people would counter by saying “there’s no evidence of that.”
  4. That the Jews were responsible for this or that betrayal of the “real” Germans, however, really wasn’t the point.  Instead, the claims were only what was “required” to be true for the Nazis to justify what they were going to do next.

This explains Mr. Trump’s wild made up claims.  Did 3 million “illegals” cast votes in this election, as he asserted without any evidence?  There is no evidence of that.  But fact checking this lie is just a way of playing along with his game and ignoring the real message.  It is a distraction.

What Mr. Trump is really saying is not that 3 million illegals voted, but that he is going to need to take away the voting rights of millions of Americans. He just can’t come out and say that last part directly–not yet, anyway.  So he will instead make up lies, like the 3 million whopper, until people are so angry that they will decide that voting rights need to go in order to prevent elections from being  “unfair” or “rigged” in the future.

Anything that relies on facts is utterly useless to Mr. Trump because the “truth” really isn’t the point.  It’s really the ends, or the goal, we should be trying to figure out and combat, not the means Mr. Trump will use to get there.  So stop trying to combat his lies with facts and instead figure out what he is really trying to do and fight against it.

Nobody is listening otherwise.