10:44 AM 11/21/2017 – “Merkel caput!”: All this Kafkaesque – Bulgakovian “The Dance of the Kapitalist Demons” acquires the contours more of the Grand Leftist Plot rather than the Rightist one, implied in its Putinistic origins – By Michael Novakhov 

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Merkel caput!

All this Kafkaesque – Bulgakovian “The Dance of the Kapitalist Demons” acquires the contours more of the Grand Leftist Plot rather than the Rightist one, implied in its Putinistic origins – By Michael Novakhov

The coming Great World Revolution of 2018 (“1917 + 100” version): The Ruling Kapitalists: Trump, Merkel, Putin – caput! China smiles, and the European left too. Putin wears the mask of the Byzantine saint but looks more and more like the Tatar, of the questionable Ryazan origins. Trump tries hard to be a good boy and to act “Presidential”, whatever it is: maybe they will allow him some chocolate in prison as a reward for the good behavior. Merkel, more mysterious than ever, looks like she wants to scratch her long-suffering Germanic ass, but cannot do this because it would be non-World-Chancellarian. 

All this Kafkaesque – Bulgakovian phantasmagoric “The Dance of the Kapitalist Demons” acquires the contours more of the Grand Leftist Plot rather than, or “masquerading” as the Rightist one, which is implied in its Putinistic origins theory. Some would also call it “Trump – The Obama Operation, Part 2”. 

But it is always hard to know, and the affair might be mixed too, in accordance with our decadent promiscuous mores and the rotten age. You have to blame something. Or someone, at least. Then everything becomes so cogent, logical, and clear, and easy to understand, publish, print, distribute, produce, and most importantly, to sell. Then it “re-a-h-l-ly” starts making some rotten sense. Just like in our collective psycho-sexual desires, taboos, complexes, and the televised obsessions. 

Michael Novakhov 

10:44 AM 11/21/2017 

Story image for merkel trump europe putin from Financial Times

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
merkel trump europe putin – Google Search
In Crisis, Angela Merkel Prefers Elections to Minority Rule
merkel trump europe – Google Search
20 Families Got Jobs in Trump Administration
trump nepotism – Google Search
giuliani son trump – Google Search
giuliani ukraine – Google Search
giuliani – Google Search
Here’s An Exclusive Look At ‘The President Show’ Christmas Special
Trump campaign adviser Carter Page held high-level meetings with Hungarian officials in Budapest – ABC News
There is something truly historic about Trump – Washington Post
Mueller counterintelligence investigation – Google Search
Trump Russia as counterintelligence investigation – Google Search
A ‘Sea Of Black Masks’: Prosecutors Open Felony Trial Of Inauguration Protesters
Mike Flynn – Google News: How Much Did Trump Know?: Why Mike Flynn Could Be the Key to … – Vanity Fair
Trump Administration To End Immigration Protections For Haitians
Sorry, Trumpers, Your President Is Definitely Under Investigation By The Special Counsel – The Daily Banter
Donald Trump Is Shutting Down His Charitable Foundation
Trump Russia scandal – Google Search
Seth Meyers: ‘Wanna-Be Dictator’ Trump Gets Into The Feud We’ve Been Waiting For
The Early Edition: November 21, 2017
trump baku money laundering – Google Search
trump baku mafia – Google Search
Trump Family Made A Fortune Through Drug Cartels And Money Laundering
Trump Family Made A Fortune Through Drug Cartels And Money Laundering – Carbonated.tv (blog)

 

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
merkel trump europe putin – Google Search
 

mikenova shared this story from merkel trump europe putin – Google News.

Story image for merkel trump europe putin from CNN

Macron, Trump and Putin would all like to see Merkel go

CNN18 hours ago
Merkel has long been reckoned by some to be Europe’s Putin … It was hoped she could provide a similar function for Donald Trump, but that …

Story image for merkel trump europe putin from Financial Times

A wobbly Merkel means a weaker Europe

Financial Times21 hours ago
Under President Putin, Russia has lost friends, was sucked into wars and … for Ms Merkel is likely to embrace the populist agenda of Mr Trump, …
The Beginning of the End of Angela Merkel as Chancellor
InternationalHandelsblatt Global EditionNov 20, 2017

Story image for merkel trump europe putin from Newsweek

Trump’s Approval Rating Three Times Lower Than Putin’s Among …

NewsweekNov 7, 2017
“Across Europe and North America, foreign policy experts express little … President Donald Trump (R) and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin speaks … Merkel, who has criticized Trump and Putin’s leadership styles in the past.

Story image for merkel trump europe putin from Newsweek

Trump’s Iran Nuke Deal Stance is Driving Europeans into Putin’s Arms

NewsweekOct 23, 2017
GettyImages-615646084 Russian President Vladimir Putin waves walks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Chancellery on October …
In Crisis, Angela Merkel Prefers Elections to Minority Rule
 

mikenova shared this story .

The collapse of talks reflected the deep reluctance of Ms. Merkel’s conservative bloc and prospective coalition partners — the ecologist-minded Greens and pro-business Free Democrats — to compromise over key positions. The Free Democrats quit the talks late Sunday, citing what they called an atmosphere of insincerity and mistrust.

“There is no coalition of the willing to form a government,” said Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff, director of the Berlin office of the German Marshall Fund. “This is uncharted territory since 1949. We’re facing a protracted period of political immobility. Not only is this not going to go away soon, there is no clear path out.”

Calling new elections is not a straightforward procedure in Germany. Written with the unstable governments of the 1920s and 1930s and collapse of the Weimar Republic in mind, the German Constitution includes several procedural hurdles that would ensure a prolonged and difficult process.

Some were quick to link Germany’s disorder to a broader crisis of democracy in the West. “The unthinkable has happened,” said Christiane Hoffmann, deputy head of the Berlin bureau of Der Spiegel, a German magazine. In that sense, she said, “This is Germany’s Brexit moment, its Trump moment.”

Others said Germany’s troubles were in many ways just a sign that the country was becoming more normal, not less. Having had only four chancellors since 1982, the country has known only a string of centrist governments that governed by consensus.

The crisis erupted seven weeks after the last election, which brought the right-wing Alternative for Germany, or AfD, into Parliament, and in some ways represented the return of politics to a country long deprived of debate and policy disagreements.

“It’s just another step in the long learning of democracy of Germany since World War II, going from a very stable proportional system to something more messy,” said Henrik Enderlein, dean of the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin.

The bigger question, he said, was whether Ms. Merkel’s pragmatic governing style had reached its limit in an era where people crave the clash of a wider spectrum of policies. “Her über-pragmatism is reaching its end,” he said. “It’s hard to see a scenario where she returns to her previous position of power.”

Ms. Merkel met in private on Monday with President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who as head of state is charged with trying to break the deadlock in coalition talks. He could appoint a chancellor to lead a minority government or, failing that, set in motion the process for new elections.

The potential for instability in Germany would be a major blow to the European Union. Ms. Merkel has been the region’s dominant political figure of the past decade, credited with guiding the bloc through the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and, more recently, providing a powerful counterpoint to populists across the Continent and beyond.

Financial markets reacted calmly to the turmoil in Berlin, calculating that the German economy could power through the uncertainty. After opening lower, the DAX index of major stocks closed the day higher. The euro fell slightly.

But some economists warned that the longer-term effects could be more severe. A weak government might be unable to agree on needed improvements to infrastructure and the education system, for example.

“The economic situation is very good,” Christoph M. Schmidt, chairman of the German Council of Economic Experts, said in a statement. “But over the mid and long term there are big challenges, especially the demographic shift, digitalization, sensible development of the European Union, and climate change.”

The political instability stems from the elections in Germany on Sept. 24, when Ms. Merkel’s Christian Democrats finished first. But their share of the overall vote dropped significantly, while the far-rightAlternative for Germany scored a record vote, entering Parliament for the first time as the third-biggest grouping.

Even so, political analysts had expected Ms. Merkel to form a new coalition government that would have allowed her to remain as chancellor. That may still happen, but it will be harder now, and it is unlikely to happen soon, experts say.

Elsewhere in Europe, the possibility of a weakened Ms. Merkel and of an inward-looking Germany alarmed some leaders. The chancellor canceled a meeting in Berlin with Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands. In Paris, President Emmanuel Macron of France said that Ms. Merkel’s difficulties were a serious hurdle to the partnership between their two countries.

France has “no interest in a worsening of the situation” in Germany, Mr. Macron said in a statement on Monday. “Our wish is that our main partner, for the sake of Germany and Europe, remains strong and stable, so that we can move forward together,” he added.

Even if Ms. Merkel’s problems leave Mr. Macron as Europe’s de facto strongest leader — with weak domestic opposition in France, a strengthening economy, and a good record so far on driving through economic overhauls — the French president had been counting on Ms. Merkel as an ally in his push to make changes to the European Union.

Mr. Macron will be aware that his agenda for the bloc, which includes a common defense force, a strengthened euro, and a joint finance minister, stands no chance without German backing.

Ms. Merkel had originally set Friday as the deadline for reaching an agreement with the Free Democrats, the Greens, and the Christian Social Union, which forms a conservative bloc with the chancellor’s Christian Democrats. From the outset, all of those parties had differed markedly on key issues, notably migration and climate policies, resulting in strained talks that led to open sniping.

After they agreed to take talks into overtime, negotiators and party leaders failed to produce any breakthroughs over the weekend, and the Free Democrats quit the talks.

Ms. Merkel could try to approach the Social Democrats about forming another grand coalition. But the center-left party has served as the junior coalition partner to the Christian Democrats since 2013 and on Monday, the party’s leader, Martin Schulz, said his group had no interest in another round.

As for new elections, the president can set the process in motion by proposing Ms. Merkel as chancellor, which would be put to a vote in Parliament.

If Ms. Merkel were to win a majority in the first round of voting, the president could then name her as chancellor. If not, lawmakers would vote again, within 14 days.

If Ms. Merkel failed to win a majority in a second vote, then lawmakers would vote a third time and the candidate with the most votes would win. At that point, the president could name that person chancellor or simply dissolve the Parliament and order new elections, which would take place within 60 days.

But there is no guarantee that elections would improve the situation: Recent opinion polls predict that a new vote would bring little change, compared to the result in September. A Forsa poll released last week showed Ms. Merkel’s conservatives at 32 percent, the Social Democrats on 20 percent, the Free Democrats at 12 percent, the Greens 10 percent and the AfD 12 percent.

Some worry that the AfD could benefit from the current chaos and increase its share of the vote. But even if it did, that share remains far below that of populist movements in other countries.

“Germany is not leaving the E.U. and it did not elect Donald Trump,” said Mr. Kleine-Brockhoff. “It was unable to form a government on its first attempt. That’s bad. It causes instability. But it’s not the end of the world.”

Correction: November 20, 2017An earlier version of this article misstated the name of the right-wing party that won seats in the September parliamentary elections. It is Alternative for Germany, not Alliance for Democracy.

Continue reading the main story

merkel trump europe – Google Search
 

mikenova shared this story from merkel trump europe – Google News.

Story image for merkel trump europe from Vanity Fair

Angela’s Ashes: Will the Collapse of Merkel’s Germany Leave …

Vanity Fair15 hours ago
The collective sigh of relief across Europe after the conclusions of the … With the election of Donald Trump, the joke has been that Merkel, not …
A wobbly Merkel means a weaker Europe
Financial Times21 hours ago
The Beginning of the End of Angela Merkel as Chancellor
InternationalHandelsblatt Global EditionNov 20, 2017
Germany’s Political Crisis Is No Tragedy
OpinionBloombergNov 20, 2017
In Crisis, Angela Merkel Prefers Elections to Minority Rule
In-DepthNew York Times17 hours ago
Merkel battles turmoil as German coalition talks collapse
InternationalThe Local GermanyNov 20, 2017

Media image for merkel trump europe from Financial Times

Financial Times

Media image for merkel trump europe from New York Times

New York Times

Media image for merkel trump europe from Newsweek

Newsweek

Media image for merkel trump europe from New York Magazine

New York Magazine

Media image for merkel trump europe from Washington Post

Washington Post

Media image for merkel trump europe from PBS NewsHour

PBS NewsHour

Story image for merkel trump europe from Washington Examiner

Europe’s Merkel, Macron, May less popular than Trump

Washington ExaminerNov 19, 2017
President Trump’s approval ratings, often mocked by Democrats and the media, top those of Europe’sbiggest three leaders, German …
20 Families Got Jobs in Trump Administration
 

mikenova shared this story .

Most people have heard of Ivanka and Jared, but the first family is far from the only group of relatives staffing the Trump administration.

A Daily Beast examination of public records reveals that there are at least 20 families, joined by either blood or marriage, in which multiple members hold some federal post or appointment. They include the families of some of Trump’s most prominent campaign supporters and agency officials, including one cabinet officer. The posts range from senior White House staff to more ceremonial and advisory positions.

A few of the most prominent cases came to the fore in recent weeks with the hiring of Eric Trump’s brother-in-law to be chief of staff at the Department of Energy and the nomination of Brett Talley to a federal judgeship in Alabama. In paperwork filed with the Senate Judiciary Committee, Talley failed to disclose that his wife is the chief of staff to the White House senior counsel Don McGahn—presenting a potential conflict of interest if the administration ever argues a case in Talley’s court.

But McGahn too has a direct relation in the administration. His wife, Shannon McGahn, was hired in May as a policy adviser to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. In March, Trump tapped former Ford Motor Company lawyer Jim Carroll to join McGahn’s team. Carroll has since moved over to the Office of Management and Budget, where he serves as general counsel. But before he did, the White House hired his son, James Carroll III—whose previous professional experience consisted of a stint as the sports editor of his college newspaper—as a staff assistant.

Such staffing choices aren’t necessarily novel for this administration. From John Adams to John Kennedy, U.S. presidents and their teams have drawn on families for high-level staffing. A lack of comprehensive records for previous administrations makes it difficult to gauge whether the Trump administration is staffed by more families than his predecessors’.

But Trump’s administration is, more than any since perhaps Kennedy’s, defined by blood relations, with daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner occupying senior posts and other members of the family, including sons Don Jr. and Eric and daughter-in-law Lara Trump, serving as prominent public faces of the president’s political and business arms. And the degree to which other families supply the administration with top talent only further illustrates the insularity of the current group controlling the levers of power in Washington, D.C.

Though not technically a federal employee, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani serves as an informal adviser to the president. In March, his son Andrew joined the White House Office of Public Liaison as associate director after his professional golfing career petered out. The younger Giuliani’s LinkedIn page listed him as a former sales intern at investment firm CapRok.

As secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos is one of the administration’s most senior officials. But her family has also provided tremendous financial support for the president and the Republican Party, shelling out more than $200 million in Republican campaign contributions. Donors are frequently rewarded with administration posts and the DeVos’ were no different. In September, Dick Devos Jr., Betsy’s husband, was appointed to the Federal Aviation Administration’s Management Advisory Council. The next month, Pamella DeVos, Betsy’s sister-in-law, landed a spot on the advisory board for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. DeVos’ brother, Erik Prince, the founder of notorious military contractor Blackwater, was also said to be informally advising Trump’s incoming administration after last year’s election.

Other intra-family administration posts have been more prominent and filled more direct policy-making roles. Often, these appointments have illustrated another ongoing trend in the Trump administration: the tasking of high-level officials to regulate or oversee industries in which they formerly worked.

Former House Financial Services Committee Oversight Counsel, Uttah Dhillon, was appointed as a senior assistant to the president in January. In June, his wife Janet Dhillon was tapped to be an Equal Employment Opportunity commissioner, which puts her on a body that previously took enforcement actions against at least two of her former employers, United Airlines (PDF) and JCPenny, for allegedly discriminatory action that took place while she served in legal roles for the companies.

Pamela Patenaude, Trump’s deputy secretary of Housing and Urban Development, didn’t work in industry. But she led the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation, which promotes U.S. housing policy reforms. When she was nominated in April, her daughter Meghan was already a deputy assistant for scheduling to Vice President Mike Pence. By the time she was confirmed to the HUD post in September, another of her daughters, Caitlin Patenaude, had been hired as a policy adviser at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Other Trump administration families appear to have followed their principals into the federal government. Sisters Millan and Sydney Hupp both worked on Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt’s campaign for Oklahoma attorney general. Sydney Hupp is now Pruitt’s executive scheduler, and her sister is EPA’s director of scheduling and advance.

Thank You!

You are now subscribed to the Daily Digest and Cheat Sheet. We will not share your email with anyone for any reason.

Jennifer Pavlik likewise followed her former boss into the administration. She was Pence’s chief of staff in the Indiana governor’s mansion, and now serves as the vice president’s deputy chief of staff. She joined the administration in January, and a few months later her husband followed. Brian Pavlik, a former concessions program manager for the Indiana State Parks system, was hired as a special assistant to the National Parks Service.

At least one familial Trump official is no longer in the job. A few months after former White House adviser Sebastian Gorka joined the administration, his wife, Katharine Gorka, landed a job at the Department of Homeland Security. She remains in that post, but her husband was unceremoniously ousted in August.

As she continues advising high-level government officials, Sebastian Gorka has been relegated to an advisory position at a group run by “Pizzagate” conspiracy theorists. He was recently pictured parking his car on a sidewalk in Virginia.

trump nepotism – Google Search
 

mikenova shared this story from trump nepotism – Google News.

Story image for trump nepotism from Daily Beast

Make Nepotism Great Again: 20 Families Got Jobs in Trump …

Daily BeastNov 20, 2017
Rudy Giuliani’s son, Seb Gorka’s wife, Eric Trump’s brother-in-law. Multiple members of the same families hold positions of power.

Story image for trump nepotism from HuffPost

Trump’s Foreign Policy, One Year In

HuffPost22 hours ago
The bigger question: what are the core principles of Trump’s foreign policy? … The president’s nepotism, contempt for the political process and …

Story image for trump nepotism from New York Daily News

Eric Trump’s brother-in-law tapped as Energy Department policy …

New York Daily NewsNov 10, 2017
Yunaska is the brother of Lara Trump, the wife of Eric Trump. Here, Yunaska … Eric Trump once said that nepotism is a beautiful thing. Now his …

Story image for trump nepotism from Carroll County Times

Culleton: Sex, politics and nepotism in Washington

Carroll County TimesNov 19, 2017
A lawyer who has never tried a case or even filed a motion has been nominated by President Trump for a lifetime appointment as a federal …
giuliani son trump – Google Search
 

mikenova shared this story from giuliani son trump – Google News.

Story image for giuliani son trump from Daily Beast

Make Nepotism Great Again: 20 Families Got Jobs in Trump …

Daily BeastNov 20, 2017
Rudy Giuliani’s son, Seb Gorka’s wife, Eric Trump’s brother-in-law. Multiple members of the same families hold positions of power.

Story image for giuliani son trump from The National Memo (blog)

Is The Trump Administration The Most Nepotistic In Modern …

The National Memo (blog)6 hours ago
He never made it, but Andrew Giuliani, his son, landed a plum position as the associate director of the White House Office of Public Liaison.

Story image for giuliani son trump from Newsweek

Trump’s High-Paying Private Club Members Land Government Jobs

NewsweekNov 3, 2017
Members of Donald Trump’s private clubs fork over hundreds of … Andrew Giuliani, in March was appointed as a White House public liaison assistant. He is the son of Trump supporter and former New York City mayor, Rudy …

Story image for giuliani son trump from NBCNews.com

Mueller Probing Possible Deal Between Turks, Flynn During …

<a href=”http://NBCNews.com” rel=”nofollow”>NBCNews.com</a>Nov 10, 2017
Investigators also are looking into what possible role Flynn’s son, … Rudy Giuliani, who was a top Trumpcampaign surrogate alongside Flynn, …
giuliani ukraine – Google Search
 

mikenova shared this story from giuliani ukraine – Google News.

Story image for giuliani ukraine from Raw Story

Rudy Giuliani turns up in Ukraine with pro-Russia official linked to …

Raw Story19 hours ago
Former Trump campaign surrogate Rudy Giuliani was seen this week in the Ukraine with a pro-Russia official who is linked to Ukrainian …

Story image for giuliani ukraine from Kyiv Post

Avakov to present his book about Lenin in Washington

Kyiv PostNov 20, 2017
KHARKIV – Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov presented his book … Giuliani asked how the minister had an idea to write such a book.

Story image for giuliani ukraine from Vox

This op-ed in the Wall Street Journal shows the conservative case …

VoxOct 30, 2017
… policy advisory team to former presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, … regarding their work for the government of Ukraine and a Ukrainian …

Story image for giuliani ukraine from Kyiv Post

Rudolph Giuliani: Liberation of Ukraine from Russia’s occupation is …

Kyiv PostJun 18, 2017
US President Donald Trump and Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly (R) listen while Rudy Giulianispeaks a meeting on cyber security …
giuliani – Google Search
 

mikenova shared this story from giuliani – Google News.

Story image for giuliani from Raw Story

Rudy Giuliani turns up in Ukraine with pro-Russia official linked to …

Raw Story19 hours ago
Former Trump campaign surrogate Rudy Giuliani was seen this week in the Ukraine with a pro-Russia official who is linked to Ukrainian …

Story image for giuliani from Bloomberg

Bloomberg

The Latest: Jury selection postponed in Iran sanctions case

The San Luis Obispo Tribune22 hours ago
Earlier this year, he hired former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey to try and broker a …

Story image for giuliani from TMZ.com

Rudy Giuliani ‘Shocked & Disappointed’ … at Yanks Firing Girardi

<a href=”http://TMZ.com” rel=”nofollow”>TMZ.com</a>Oct 26, 2017
There’s no way in hell Joe Girardi should’ve been canned by the Yankees — so says ex-NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani, who was “shocked” and …

Story image for giuliani from CFO

Giuliani: Trump Has Long Way to Go on Cyber Risk

CFOOct 31, 2017
Rudolph Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s informal cybersecurity adviser, told a cyber risk conference in New York City last week that the …
Here’s An Exclusive Look At ‘The President Show’ Christmas Special
 

mikenova shared this story from Donald Trump.

It’s the most wonderful, tremendous, luxurious time of the year.

Trump campaign adviser Carter Page held high-level meetings with Hungarian officials in Budapest – ABC News
 

mikenova shared this story from Trump and Russia – Google News.

Trump campaign adviser Carter Page held high-level meetings with Hungarian officials in Budapest
ABC News
Travels by Trump campaign adviser Carter Page to meet with senior officials in Hungary during the 2016 presidential election are being closely examined by congressional investigators, given the increasingly close ties between Hungary and Russia and the …and more »
There is something truly historic about Trump – Washington Post
 

mikenova shared this story from Trump – Google News.


Washington Post
There is something truly historic about Trump
Washington Post
President Trump is making history at a historic level. He tells us this himself. Good morning, he said at the start of his Cabinet meeting Monday. We just returned from a historic, 12-day trip to Asia. We knew the trip would be historic because the and more »
Mueller counterintelligence investigation – Google Search
 

mikenova shared this story from Mueller counterintelligence investigation – Google News.

Story image for Mueller counterintelligence investigation from TIME

How Robert Mueller Works a Case

TIMENov 9, 2017
I worked for Bob Mueller for 12 years while he was the FBI director, running counterintelligence, espionage and cybercrime investigations.

Story image for Mueller counterintelligence investigation from NBC 7 San Diego

Former Trump Adviser Page Tells Panel About 2016 Russia Trip

NBC 7 San DiegoNov 6, 2017
A special counsel is overseeing the federal investigation into Russian … its counterintelligence investigation into the Russian meddling in the summer of 2016, … Page wouldn’t answer questions about his contact with Mueller.

Story image for Mueller counterintelligence investigation from Los Angeles Times

Indictment expected from Mueller’s probe into Trump campaign aides

Los Angeles TimesOct 29, 2017
He has been a target of an FBI counterintelligence investigation since at least 2014, two years before he joined Trump’s campaign, although he …

Story image for Mueller counterintelligence investigation from Foreign Policy (blog)

Mike Pompeo Could Stop Robert Mueller in His Tracks

Foreign Policy (blog)Oct 27, 2017
The director of the CIA has extraordinary influence over all counterintelligence investigations — and there are reasons to distrust his intentions.
Trump Russia as counterintelligence investigation – Google Search
 

mikenova shared this story from Trump Russia as counterintelligence investigation – Google News.

Story image for Trump Russia as counterintelligence investigation from Washington Examiner

Byron York: Did dossier trigger the TrumpRussia probe?

Washington ExaminerNov 12, 2017
The FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation into the TrumpRussia affair shortly after receiving the first installment of an anti-Trump …

Story image for Trump Russia as counterintelligence investigation from Chicago Tribune

What more evidence of TrumpRussia collusion do you need?

Chicago TribuneNov 14, 2017
Donald Trump Jr. is shown arriving at Trump Tower for meetings with … a counterintelligence investigationinto whether Russian operatives had …

Story image for Trump Russia as counterintelligence investigation from Fortune

Every Major Event in the TrumpRussia Investigation So Far

FortuneOct 31, 2017
“The FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential …
The Russia investigation timeline
CBS NewsOct 31, 2017
Your Guide to Mueller’s Russia Investigation
In-DepthBloombergOct 31, 2017
A ‘Sea Of Black Masks’: Prosecutors Open Felony Trial Of Inauguration Protesters
 

mikenova shared this story from Donald Trump.

The U.S. government plans to seek felony convictions for nearly 200 inauguration protesters. The first trial is now underway.

Mike Flynn – Google News: How Much Did Trump Know?: Why Mike Flynn Could Be the Key to … – Vanity Fair
 

mikenova shared this story from 1. Trump Investigation – Mike Flynn from mikenova (9 sites).


Vanity Fair
How Much Did Trump Know?: Why Mike Flynn Could Be the Key to …
Vanity Fair
The Turkish government, the Clinton e-mails, a gold trader, the suicide of a potential witness: Regarding Michael Flynn, Robert Mueller has a lot to investigate, …
Politico: Filing Against Manafort Could Shed Light on Flynn CaseNewsmaxall 3 news articles »

 Mike Flynn – Google News

Trump Administration To End Immigration Protections For Haitians
 

mikenova shared this story from Donald Trump.

The U.S. will end the special status in July 2019.

Sorry, Trumpers, Your President Is Definitely Under Investigation By The Special Counsel – The Daily Banter
 

mikenova shared this story from trump investigated by the fbi – Google News.


The Daily Banter
Sorry, Trumpers, Your President Is Definitely Under Investigation By The Special Counsel
The Daily Banter
The move by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to investigate Trump’s conduct marks a major turning point in the nearly year-old FBI investigation […] Trump had received private assurances from then-FBI Director James B. Comey starting in January and more »
Donald Trump Is Shutting Down His Charitable Foundation
 

mikenova shared this story from Donald Trump.

Trump had been accused of using it as a political slush fund.

Trump Russia scandal – Google Search
 

mikenova shared this story from Trump Russia scandal – Google News.

Story image for Trump Russia scandal from RollingStone.com

A Timeline of the TrumpRussia Scandal

<a href=”http://RollingStone.com” rel=”nofollow”>RollingStone.com</a>Nov 6, 2017
“The new joke in town is that Russia leaked the disastrous DNC e-mails, which should never have been written (stupid), because Putin likes me …
Trump and the Russia investigation: What to know
In-DepthFox NewsMay 19, 2017

Media image for Trump Russia scandal from MSNBC

MSNBC

Media image for Trump Russia scandal from Vox

Vox

Media image for Trump Russia scandal from Fox News

Fox News

Story image for Trump Russia scandal from Los Angeles Times

Jeffrey Toobin is writing a book about TrumpRussia scandal

Los Angeles TimesNov 15, 2017
Jeffrey Toobin, the CNN legal analyst and New Yorker reporter, will publish a new book about the Russia scandal that has clouded the first year …

Story image for Trump Russia scandal from MSNBC

Poll shows Americans taking the TrumpRussia scandal seriously

MSNBCNov 9, 2017
“U.S. intelligence agencies have said that they believe the Russian government attempted to influence the outcome of the U.S. presidential …
Culture of scandal is the new normal
OpinionNewsdayNov 10, 2017

Story image for Trump Russia scandal from Chicago Tribune

Is Mike Pence involved in the Russia scandal?

Chicago TribuneNov 15, 2017
Vice President Mike Pence is hip-deep in the Russia scandal, his … concerning President Donald Trump’scampaign and Russia, nearly as …

Story image for Trump Russia scandal from Vox

The newest developments in the TrumpRussia scandal, explained

VoxOct 27, 2017
The Russia sanctions story, by contrast, is arguably being underplayed. It’s a clear indication of the stakes of the TrumpRussia scandal: the …

Story image for Trump Russia scandal from MSNBC

Mueller’s latest request suggests trouble for Trump’s White House

MSNBCNov 20, 2017
For months, Donald Trump has responded to questions about his Russia scandal by insisting, with great vigor, that he isn’t personally under …
Seth Meyers: ‘Wanna-Be Dictator’ Trump Gets Into The Feud We’ve Been Waiting For
 

mikenova shared this story from Donald Trump.

The Early Edition: November 21, 2017
 

mikenova shared this story from Just Security.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 1.1K
  •  
  •  

10:07 AM 11/21/2017 – Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks: 20 Families Got Jobs in Trump Administration

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
trump nepotism – Google Search
giuliani son trump – Google Search
giuliani ukraine – Google Search
giuliani – Google Search
Here’s An Exclusive Look At ‘The President Show’ Christmas Special
Trump campaign adviser Carter Page held high-level meetings with Hungarian officials in Budapest – ABC News
There is something truly historic about Trump – Washington Post
Mueller counterintelligence investigation – Google Search
Trump Russia as counterintelligence investigation – Google Search
A ‘Sea Of Black Masks’: Prosecutors Open Felony Trial Of Inauguration Protesters
Mike Flynn – Google News: How Much Did Trump Know?: Why Mike Flynn Could Be the Key to … – Vanity Fair
Trump Administration To End Immigration Protections For Haitians
Sorry, Trumpers, Your President Is Definitely Under Investigation By The Special Counsel – The Daily Banter
Donald Trump Is Shutting Down His Charitable Foundation
Trump Russia scandal – Google Search
Seth Meyers: ‘Wanna-Be Dictator’ Trump Gets Into The Feud We’ve Been Waiting For
The Early Edition: November 21, 2017
trump baku money laundering – Google Search
trump baku mafia – Google Search
Trump Family Made A Fortune Through Drug Cartels And Money Laundering
Trump Family Made A Fortune Through Drug Cartels And Money Laundering – Carbonated.tv (blog)
Trump urged to sell $50 million in lethal weapons to Ukraine
How the Mafia Fueled Richard Nixon’s Political Career – VICE
Macron, Trump and Putin would all like to see Merkel go – CNN

 

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
20 Families Got Jobs in Trump Administration

mikenova shared this story .

Most people have heard of Ivanka and Jared, but the first family is far from the only group of relatives staffing the Trump administration.

A Daily Beast examination of public records reveals that there are at least 20 families, joined by either blood or marriage, in which multiple members hold some federal post or appointment. They include the families of some of Trump’s most prominent campaign supporters and agency officials, including one cabinet officer. The posts range from senior White House staff to more ceremonial and advisory positions.

A few of the most prominent cases came to the fore in recent weeks with the hiring of Eric Trump’s brother-in-law to be chief of staff at the Department of Energy and the nomination of Brett Talley to a federal judgeship in Alabama. In paperwork filed with the Senate Judiciary Committee, Talley failed to disclose that his wife is the chief of staff to the White House senior counsel Don McGahn—presenting a potential conflict of interest if the administration ever argues a case in Talley’s court.

But McGahn too has a direct relation in the administration. His wife, Shannon McGahn, was hired in May as a policy adviser to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. In March, Trump tapped former Ford Motor Company lawyer Jim Carroll to join McGahn’s team. Carroll has since moved over to the Office of Management and Budget, where he serves as general counsel. But before he did, the White House hired his son, James Carroll III—whose previous professional experience consisted of a stint as the sports editor of his college newspaper—as a staff assistant.

Such staffing choices aren’t necessarily novel for this administration. From John Adams to John Kennedy, U.S. presidents and their teams have drawn on families for high-level staffing. A lack of comprehensive records for previous administrations makes it difficult to gauge whether the Trump administration is staffed by more families than his predecessors’.

But Trump’s administration is, more than any since perhaps Kennedy’s, defined by blood relations, with daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner occupying senior posts and other members of the family, including sons Don Jr. and Eric and daughter-in-law Lara Trump, serving as prominent public faces of the president’s political and business arms. And the degree to which other families supply the administration with top talent only further illustrates the insularity of the current group controlling the levers of power in Washington, D.C.

Though not technically a federal employee, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani serves as an informal adviser to the president. In March, his son Andrew joined the White House Office of Public Liaison as associate director after his professional golfing career petered out. The younger Giuliani’s LinkedIn page listed him as a former sales intern at investment firm CapRok.

As secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos is one of the administration’s most senior officials. But her family has also provided tremendous financial support for the president and the Republican Party, shelling out more than $200 million in Republican campaign contributions. Donors are frequently rewarded with administration posts and the DeVos’ were no different. In September, Dick Devos Jr., Betsy’s husband, was appointed to the Federal Aviation Administration’s Management Advisory Council. The next month, Pamella DeVos, Betsy’s sister-in-law, landed a spot on the advisory board for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. DeVos’ brother, Erik Prince, the founder of notorious military contractor Blackwater, was also said to be informally advising Trump’s incoming administration after last year’s election.

Other intra-family administration posts have been more prominent and filled more direct policy-making roles. Often, these appointments have illustrated another ongoing trend in the Trump administration: the tasking of high-level officials to regulate or oversee industries in which they formerly worked.

Former House Financial Services Committee Oversight Counsel, Uttah Dhillon, was appointed as a senior assistant to the president in January. In June, his wife Janet Dhillon was tapped to be an Equal Employment Opportunity commissioner, which puts her on a body that previously took enforcement actions against at least two of her former employers, United Airlines (PDF) and JCPenny, for allegedly discriminatory action that took place while she served in legal roles for the companies.

Pamela Patenaude, Trump’s deputy secretary of Housing and Urban Development, didn’t work in industry. But she led the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation, which promotes U.S. housing policy reforms. When she was nominated in April, her daughter Meghan was already a deputy assistant for scheduling to Vice President Mike Pence. By the time she was confirmed to the HUD post in September, another of her daughters, Caitlin Patenaude, had been hired as a policy adviser at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Other Trump administration families appear to have followed their principals into the federal government. Sisters Millan and Sydney Hupp both worked on Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt’s campaign for Oklahoma attorney general. Sydney Hupp is now Pruitt’s executive scheduler, and her sister is EPA’s director of scheduling and advance.

Thank You!

You are now subscribed to the Daily Digest and Cheat Sheet. We will not share your email with anyone for any reason.

Jennifer Pavlik likewise followed her former boss into the administration. She was Pence’s chief of staff in the Indiana governor’s mansion, and now serves as the vice president’s deputy chief of staff. She joined the administration in January, and a few months later her husband followed. Brian Pavlik, a former concessions program manager for the Indiana State Parks system, was hired as a special assistant to the National Parks Service.

At least one familial Trump official is no longer in the job. A few months after former White House adviser Sebastian Gorka joined the administration, his wife, Katharine Gorka, landed a job at the Department of Homeland Security. She remains in that post, but her husband was unceremoniously ousted in August.

As she continues advising high-level government officials, Sebastian Gorka has been relegated to an advisory position at a group run by “Pizzagate” conspiracy theorists. He was recently pictured parking his car on a sidewalk in Virginia.

trump nepotism – Google Search

mikenova shared this story from trump nepotism – Google News.

Story image for trump nepotism from Daily Beast

Make Nepotism Great Again: 20 Families Got Jobs in Trump …

Daily BeastNov 20, 2017
Rudy Giuliani’s son, Seb Gorka’s wife, Eric Trump’s brother-in-law. Multiple members of the same families hold positions of power.
Story image for trump nepotism from HuffPost

Trump’s Foreign Policy, One Year In

HuffPost22 hours ago
The bigger question: what are the core principles of Trump’s foreign policy? … The president’s nepotism, contempt for the political process and …
Story image for trump nepotism from New York Daily News

Eric Trump’s brother-in-law tapped as Energy Department policy …

New York Daily NewsNov 10, 2017
Yunaska is the brother of Lara Trump, the wife of Eric Trump. Here, Yunaska … Eric Trump once said that nepotism is a beautiful thing. Now his …
Story image for trump nepotism from Carroll County Times

Culleton: Sex, politics and nepotism in Washington

Carroll County TimesNov 19, 2017
A lawyer who has never tried a case or even filed a motion has been nominated by President Trump for a lifetime appointment as a federal …
giuliani son trump – Google Search

mikenova shared this story from giuliani son trump – Google News.

Story image for giuliani son trump from Daily Beast

Make Nepotism Great Again: 20 Families Got Jobs in Trump …

Daily BeastNov 20, 2017
Rudy Giuliani’s son, Seb Gorka’s wife, Eric Trump’s brother-in-law. Multiple members of the same families hold positions of power.
Story image for giuliani son trump from The National Memo (blog)

Is The Trump Administration The Most Nepotistic In Modern …

The National Memo (blog)6 hours ago
He never made it, but Andrew Giuliani, his son, landed a plum position as the associate director of the White House Office of Public Liaison.
Story image for giuliani son trump from Newsweek

Trump’s High-Paying Private Club Members Land Government Jobs

NewsweekNov 3, 2017
Members of Donald Trump’s private clubs fork over hundreds of … Andrew Giuliani, in March was appointed as a White House public liaison assistant. He is the son of Trump supporter and former New York City mayor, Rudy …
Story image for giuliani son trump from NBCNews.com

Mueller Probing Possible Deal Between Turks, Flynn During …

<a href=”http://NBCNews.com” rel=”nofollow”>NBCNews.com</a>Nov 10, 2017
Investigators also are looking into what possible role Flynn’s son, … Rudy Giuliani, who was a top Trumpcampaign surrogate alongside Flynn, …
giuliani ukraine – Google Search

mikenova shared this story from giuliani ukraine – Google News.

Story image for giuliani ukraine from Raw Story

Rudy Giuliani turns up in Ukraine with pro-Russia official linked to …

Raw Story19 hours ago
Former Trump campaign surrogate Rudy Giuliani was seen this week in the Ukraine with a pro-Russia official who is linked to Ukrainian …
Story image for giuliani ukraine from Kyiv Post

Avakov to present his book about Lenin in Washington

Kyiv PostNov 20, 2017
KHARKIV – Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov presented his book … Giuliani asked how the minister had an idea to write such a book.
Story image for giuliani ukraine from Vox

This op-ed in the Wall Street Journal shows the conservative case …

VoxOct 30, 2017
… policy advisory team to former presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, … regarding their work for the government of Ukraine and a Ukrainian …
Story image for giuliani ukraine from Kyiv Post

Rudolph Giuliani: Liberation of Ukraine from Russia’s occupation is …

Kyiv PostJun 18, 2017
US President Donald Trump and Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly (R) listen while Rudy Giulianispeaks a meeting on cyber security …
giuliani – Google Search

mikenova shared this story from giuliani – Google News.

Story image for giuliani from Raw Story

Rudy Giuliani turns up in Ukraine with pro-Russia official linked to …

Raw Story19 hours ago
Former Trump campaign surrogate Rudy Giuliani was seen this week in the Ukraine with a pro-Russia official who is linked to Ukrainian …
Story image for giuliani from Bloomberg

Bloomberg

The Latest: Jury selection postponed in Iran sanctions case

The San Luis Obispo Tribune22 hours ago
Earlier this year, he hired former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey to try and broker a …
Story image for giuliani from TMZ.com

Rudy Giuliani ‘Shocked & Disappointed’ … at Yanks Firing Girardi

<a href=”http://TMZ.com” rel=”nofollow”>TMZ.com</a>Oct 26, 2017
There’s no way in hell Joe Girardi should’ve been canned by the Yankees — so says ex-NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani, who was “shocked” and …
Story image for giuliani from CFO

Giuliani: Trump Has Long Way to Go on Cyber Risk

CFOOct 31, 2017
Rudolph Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s informal cybersecurity adviser, told a cyber risk conference in New York City last week that the …
Here’s An Exclusive Look At ‘The President Show’ Christmas Special

mikenova shared this story from Donald Trump.

It’s the most wonderful, tremendous, luxurious time of the year.

Trump campaign adviser Carter Page held high-level meetings with Hungarian officials in Budapest – ABC News

mikenova shared this story from Trump and Russia – Google News.

Trump campaign adviser Carter Page held high-level meetings with Hungarian officials in Budapest
ABC News
Travels by Trump campaign adviser Carter Page to meet with senior officials in Hungary during the 2016 presidential election are being closely examined by congressional investigators, given the increasingly close ties between Hungary and Russia and the …

and more »

There is something truly historic about Trump – Washington Post

mikenova shared this story from Trump – Google News.


Washington Post
There is something truly historic about Trump
Washington Post
President Trump is making history at a historic level. He tells us this himself. Good morning, he said at the start of his Cabinet meeting Monday. We just returned from a historic, 12-day trip to Asia. We knew the trip would be historic because the 

and more »

Mueller counterintelligence investigation – Google Search

mikenova shared this story from Mueller counterintelligence investigation – Google News.

Story image for Mueller counterintelligence investigation from TIME

How Robert Mueller Works a Case

TIMENov 9, 2017
I worked for Bob Mueller for 12 years while he was the FBI director, running counterintelligence, espionage and cybercrime investigations.
Story image for Mueller counterintelligence investigation from NBC 7 San Diego

Former Trump Adviser Page Tells Panel About 2016 Russia Trip

NBC 7 San DiegoNov 6, 2017
A special counsel is overseeing the federal investigation into Russian … its counterintelligence investigation into the Russian meddling in the summer of 2016, … Page wouldn’t answer questions about his contact with Mueller.
Story image for Mueller counterintelligence investigation from Los Angeles Times

Indictment expected from Mueller’s probe into Trump campaign aides

Los Angeles TimesOct 29, 2017
He has been a target of an FBI counterintelligence investigation since at least 2014, two years before he joined Trump’s campaign, although he …
Story image for Mueller counterintelligence investigation from Foreign Policy (blog)

Mike Pompeo Could Stop Robert Mueller in His Tracks

Foreign Policy (blog)Oct 27, 2017
The director of the CIA has extraordinary influence over all counterintelligence investigations — and there are reasons to distrust his intentions.
Trump Russia as counterintelligence investigation – Google Search

mikenova shared this story from Trump Russia as counterintelligence investigation – Google News.

Story image for Trump Russia as counterintelligence investigation from Washington Examiner

Byron York: Did dossier trigger the TrumpRussia probe?

Washington ExaminerNov 12, 2017
The FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation into the TrumpRussia affair shortly after receiving the first installment of an anti-Trump …
Story image for Trump Russia as counterintelligence investigation from Chicago Tribune

What more evidence of TrumpRussia collusion do you need?

Chicago TribuneNov 14, 2017
Donald Trump Jr. is shown arriving at Trump Tower for meetings with … a counterintelligence investigationinto whether Russian operatives had …
Story image for Trump Russia as counterintelligence investigation from Fortune

Every Major Event in the TrumpRussia Investigation So Far

FortuneOct 31, 2017
“The FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential …
The Russia investigation timeline
CBS NewsOct 31, 2017
Your Guide to Mueller’s Russia Investigation
In-DepthBloombergOct 31, 2017
A ‘Sea Of Black Masks’: Prosecutors Open Felony Trial Of Inauguration Protesters

mikenova shared this story from Donald Trump.

The U.S. government plans to seek felony convictions for nearly 200 inauguration protesters. The first trial is now underway.

Mike Flynn – Google News: How Much Did Trump Know?: Why Mike Flynn Could Be the Key to … – Vanity Fair

mikenova shared this story from 1. Trump Investigation – Mike Flynn from mikenova (9 sites).


Vanity Fair
How Much Did Trump Know?: Why Mike Flynn Could Be the Key to …
Vanity Fair
The Turkish government, the Clinton e-mails, a gold trader, the suicide of a potential witness: Regarding Michael Flynn, Robert Mueller has a lot to investigate, …
Politico: Filing Against Manafort Could Shed Light on Flynn CaseNewsmax

all 3 news articles »

 Mike Flynn – Google News

Trump Administration To End Immigration Protections For Haitians

mikenova shared this story from Donald Trump.

The U.S. will end the special status in July 2019.

Sorry, Trumpers, Your President Is Definitely Under Investigation By The Special Counsel – The Daily Banter

mikenova shared this story from trump investigated by the fbi – Google News.


The Daily Banter
Sorry, Trumpers, Your President Is Definitely Under Investigation By The Special Counsel
The Daily Banter
The move by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to investigate Trump’s conduct marks a major turning point in the nearly year-old FBI investigation […] Trump had received private assurances from then-FBI Director James B. Comey starting in January 

and more »

Donald Trump Is Shutting Down His Charitable Foundation

mikenova shared this story from Donald Trump.

Trump had been accused of using it as a political slush fund.

Trump Russia scandal – Google Search

mikenova shared this story from Trump Russia scandal – Google News.

Story image for Trump Russia scandal from RollingStone.com

A Timeline of the TrumpRussia Scandal

<a href=”http://RollingStone.com” rel=”nofollow”>RollingStone.com</a>Nov 6, 2017
“The new joke in town is that Russia leaked the disastrous DNC e-mails, which should never have been written (stupid), because Putin likes me …
Trump and the Russia investigation: What to know
In-DepthFox NewsMay 19, 2017
Media image for Trump Russia scandal from MSNBC

MSNBC

Media image for Trump Russia scandal from Vox

Vox

Media image for Trump Russia scandal from Fox News

Fox News
Story image for Trump Russia scandal from Los Angeles Times

Jeffrey Toobin is writing a book about TrumpRussia scandal

Los Angeles TimesNov 15, 2017
Jeffrey Toobin, the CNN legal analyst and New Yorker reporter, will publish a new book about the Russia scandal that has clouded the first year …
Story image for Trump Russia scandal from MSNBC

Poll shows Americans taking the TrumpRussia scandal seriously

MSNBCNov 9, 2017
“U.S. intelligence agencies have said that they believe the Russian government attempted to influence the outcome of the U.S. presidential …
Culture of scandal is the new normal
OpinionNewsdayNov 10, 2017

Story image for Trump Russia scandal from Chicago Tribune

Is Mike Pence involved in the Russia scandal?

Chicago TribuneNov 15, 2017
Vice President Mike Pence is hip-deep in the Russia scandal, his … concerning President Donald Trump’scampaign and Russia, nearly as …
Story image for Trump Russia scandal from Vox

The newest developments in the TrumpRussia scandal, explained

VoxOct 27, 2017
The Russia sanctions story, by contrast, is arguably being underplayed. It’s a clear indication of the stakes of the TrumpRussia scandal: the …
Story image for Trump Russia scandal from MSNBC

Mueller’s latest request suggests trouble for Trump’s White House

MSNBCNov 20, 2017
For months, Donald Trump has responded to questions about his Russia scandal by insisting, with great vigor, that he isn’t personally under …
Seth Meyers: ‘Wanna-Be Dictator’ Trump Gets Into The Feud We’ve Been Waiting For

mikenova shared this story from Donald Trump.

The Early Edition: November 21, 2017

mikenova shared this story from Just Security.

Before the start of business, Just Security provides a curated summary of up-to-the-minute developments at home and abroad. Heres todays news.

SYRIA

The Iranian President Hassan Rouhani declared the end of the Islamic State today in a television broadcast, saying that with Gods guidance and the resistance of people in the region we can say that this evil has either been lifted or has been reduced, making the announcement after pro-Syrian government forces captured the Syrian town of Albu Kamal at the weekend and the Iraqi army captured the border town of Rawa on Friday, signaling the collapse of the Islamic States so-called caliphate. Babak Dehghanpisheh reports at Reuters.

Russia is scheduled to host the leaders of Turkey and Iran tomorrow for a summit on the future of Syria, giving Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Rouhani and Turkish President Reçep Tayyip Erdoğan the opportunity to strategize for the post-conflict scenario, U.S. officials separately have urged Russia to consider ways to stabilize the country once the Islamic State group has been defeated. Nathan Hodge reports at the Wall Street Journal.

The Russian President Vladimir Putin held unannounced talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the Russian city of Sochi yesterday, ahead of the summit in Russia and a new round of Syria peace talks scheduled to be held in Geneva this month. Nataliya Vasilyeva and Bassem Mroue report at the AP.

The military operation is indeed wrapping up, Putin said in his meeting with Assad, adding that we still have a long way to go before we achieve a complete victory over terrorists, the BBC reports.

Putin said he would follow up his meeting with Assad with calls to Trump and Middle Eastern leaders, and Assad said in talks with Putin that we count on the support of Russia to ensure the non-interference of outside players in the political process. Patrick Wintour reports at the Guardian.

Putin discussed the situation in Syria with Qatars Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani in a phone call yesterday and raised the prospects of a political solution, according to the Kremlin, Reuters reports.

The head of the main armed and political opposition to the Assad regime resigned yesterday, the head of the High Negotiations Committee (H.N.C.) Riyad Hijab did not give reasons for his decision and resigned ahead of a conference of Syrian opposition groups scheduled to be held in Saudi Arabia tomorrow. Zena Tahhan reports at Al Jazeera.

The TRAVEL BAN

The Justice Department yesterday asked the Supreme Court to fully reinstate the latest travel ban which was issued in September and the Trump administration contends was formulated following careful deliberation, the Justice Departments request comes after the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco allowed part of the latest ban to go into effect earlier this month. Jess Bravin reports at the Wall Street Journal.

The latest travel ban placed a variety of restrictions on foreign nationals from eight countries and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling allowed the ban to go into effect except for foreign nationals who have a bona fide relationship with people or entities in the U.S., Ariane de Vogue reports at CNN 

An official watchdog of the Department of Homeland Security (D.H.S.) has accused the D.H.S. of delaying the release of a report on Trumps first travel ban and the confusion among senior managers at Customs and Border Protection in implementing the executive order, with the D.H.S. Inspector General John Roth saying in a letter sent to Congress yesterday that he was very troubled by the fact that officials had declined to authorize the reports release over the past six weeks. Josh Gerstein, Ted Hesson and Seung Min Kim report at POLITICO.

The confusion over the first travel ban led to federal agents violating court orders, according to Roths letter to Congress, saying that immigration agents were unsure how to enforce the ban and passengers were unclear whether they could enter the U.S.. Devlin Barrett and Carol D. Leonnig report at the Washington Post.

NORTH KOREA

Trump plans to reinstate North Koreas designation as a state sponsor of terrorism, the president said yesterday a week after his 12-day tour of Asian nations, with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson saying that the practical effects may be limited, but hopefully were closing off a few loopholes with this. Felicia Schwartz and Jonathan Cheng report at the Wall Street Journal.

Tillerson said that the designation was to hold Pyongyang accountable for recent actions including assassinations outside of their country and using banned chemical weapons, in comments to reporters at a White House briefing, adding that the listing would be very symbolic. The BBC reports.

The Philippine President Rodrigo Dutertes belated statement on behalf of 18 world leaders at the (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) A.S.E.A.N. summit today said that only some leader condemned the threat posed by North Korea, despite Trumps lobbying on Pyongyangs nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles program during his recent Asia trip. Jim Gomez reports at the AP.

North Koreas Rodong Sinmun newspaper called Trump an old lunatic, mean trickster and human reject in response to his speech about Pyongyang delivered to South Koreas National Assembly during his Asia trip, which marked North Koreas most hyperbolic tirade to date, Anna Fifield observes at the Washington Post  

North Korea has been designated as a state sponsor of terrorism before, Adam Taylor explains the history of the Pyongyang regimes designation and removal over the decades at the Washington Post.

The decision to redesignate North Korea is welcome as diplomatic truth in advertising, the Wall Street Journal editorial board writes, saying that Trumps decision corrects the approach of previous administrations.

AFGHANISTAN

U.S. and Afghan forces have launched an air campaign targeting several opium-production plants in southern Afghanistan in an attempt to undermine the Talibans revenue sources, the top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan Gen. John W. Nicholson Jr. said yesterday, Ellen Mitchell reporting at the Hill.

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (I.C.C.) Fatou Bensouda filed a request for permission from the court to investigate war crimes in Afghanistan yesterday, including the possibility of war crimes committed by Americans, signaling the possibility of the I.C.C. prosecuting Americans for the first time. Rick Gladstone and Marlise Simons reports at the New York Times.

Alleged war crimes by members of the United States armed forces and secret detention facilities used by the C.I.A. justify the courts investigation, Bensouda said in a statement, the targets of the investigation would also include the Taliban, the Haqqani network and the Afghan National Security Forces. James McAuley reports at the Washington Post.

The I.C.C. constitutes a direct assault on the concept of national sovereignty, the former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton writes at the Wall Street Journal, arguing that the Trump administration should be resolute in its rejection of the I.C.C.s jurisdiction.

The U.S. efforts to recruit Afghan women to join the Afghan police carries great risks, especially as they are often not provided adequate protection and support, Sophia Jones writes at the New York Times.

IRAN

The U.S. Treasury has imposed large-scale sanctions on an Iranian counterfeiting ring affiliated to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (I.R.G.C.), the Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin saying yesterday that the scheme exposes the deep levels of deception the I.R.G.C.-Quds Force is willing to employ against companies in Europe, governments in the Gulf, and the rest of the world to support its destabilizing activities. Ian Talley reports at the Wall Street Journal.

The Arab League is old, worn-out, exhausted and ineffective, Irans President Hassan Rouhani said today, criticizing the organization for its support for the Saudi-led coalitions role in the war in Yemen, and making the comments after the foreign ministers of the Arab League nations accused Iran and its Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah ally of destabilizing the region. The AP reports.

LEBANON

The Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri is scheduled to meet with the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi today amid speculation over Hariris status since he resigned on Nov. 4 from Saudi Arabias capital of Riyadh, and cited the role of Iran and its Lebanese Shiite militant and political ally Hezbollah as the reason behind his decision. Reuters reports.

Israeli targeting still continues and it is the right of the Lebanese to resist it, the Lebanese President Michel Aoun was quoted as saying yesterday, appearing to defend Hezbollahs role in Lebanon after an Arab League gathering on Sunday accused the group of terrorism. Reuters reports.

Lebanons army chief today called on his soldiers to be fully ready at the southern border to face the threats of the Israeli army and its violations, according to comments quoted on the armys Twitter account. Reuters reports.

We have not sent any ballistic missiles or advanced weapons not even guns not to Yemen, not to Bahrain, not to Kuwait, not to Iraq or any Arab country, Hezbollahs leader Hassan Nasrallah said yesterday, rejecting the accusations of foreign ministers at the Arab League gathering, saying that Hezbollah had only sent weapons to Palestine and Syria. Al Jazeera reports.

IRAQ

Iraqs Supreme Court ruled that the Iraqi Kurdistan independence referendum held in September was unconstitutional, saying in a statement that it has annulled all the consequences of the referendum in which 92% of Iraqi Kurds voted in favor of independence. The BBC reports.

We feel we are under a huge threat, the head of foreign relations for the Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government (K.R.G.) Falah Mustafa Bakir said yesterday, saying that the international community has to engage to address the tensions between Baghdad and the K.R.G. which have escalated since the controversial independence referendum. Ben Kesling reports at the Wall Street Journal.

The K.R.G. called on the international community to help lift sanctions imposed by Baghdad on the region, saying in a statement yesterday that measures are in violation of Iraqs obligations and responsibilities under international and humanitarian law. Reuters reports.

An exposé of the violence and killing of detainees following the liberation of the Iraqi city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is provided by Ghaith Abdul-Ahad at the Guardian.

U.S.-led airstrikes continue. U.S. and coalition forces carried out three airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria on November 18. Separately, partner forces conducted five strikes against targets in Iraq. [Central Command]

TRUMP-RUSSIA

The former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page met with Hungarian officials during the 2016 election campaign, the meetings have drawn scrutiny due to the increasingly close ties between Hungary and Russia. Matthew Mosk reports at ABC News.

The court filing against the former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort may provide clues for special counsel Robert Muellers approach to former national security adviser Michael Flynn, including possible charges relating to registration as a foreign agent and lobbying for a foreign government, or more sensational charges that may involve kidnapping due to Flynns alleged role in a plan to deliver the U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gülen to the Turkish government. Josh Gerstein explains at POLITICO.

TRUMP ADMINSITRATION FOREIGN POLICY

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson discussed regional security and ways to combat terrorism with the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman yesterday, according to Saudis state S.P.A. news agency, Reuters reports.

It is possible that commentators have been unfair in their assessment of Tillerson: there have been many poor Secretaries of State, Tillerson has the difficult task of serving under a president who is genuinely clueless about foreign policy, and his efforts to reorganize the State Department have been long overdue. Stephen M. Walt writes at Foreign Policy, arguing that Tillersons ineffectiveness also reflect consistency with trends that have been underway for some time.

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS

A suicide bomber killed at least 50 people at a mosque in northern Nigeria today, marking the biggest mass killing this year in an area of the country that has been blighted by an insurgency led by the Islamist Boko Haram militant group, there has not yet been a claim of responsibility for the attack. Percy Dabang and Ardo Hazzad report at Reuters.

Regional players are acting irresponsibly, taking a political gamble with the lives of other nations citizens with no exit strategy, the Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said yesterday, warning of the dark ages in the Middle East and making the comments amid the Saudi-led blockade of Qatar which began in June. Al Jazeera reports.

The Turkish businessman Reza Zarrab was indicted for his role in evading U.S. sanctions on Iran, however his whereabouts have become unknown and the mysterious circumstances surrounding his case have raised questions about a possible deal between the Turkish government and the U.S. to secure his release amid a recent deterioration in U.S.-Turkey relations. Elias Groll observes at Foreign Policy.

F.B.I. informant William Campbell gathered extensive evidence on the Uranium One deal while he was undercover for six years, according to documents reviewed by the Hill, which contradict statements made by Justice Department officials that Campbells evidence would not offer useful information. John Solomon reports at the Hill.

Islamist militants in Nigers border village of Tongo Tongo have been established for some time, having entrenched themselves in the local community where the four U.S. Special Forces members were killed on Oct. 4. Sudarsan Raghavan explains at the Washington Post.

Read on Just Security »

trump baku money laundering – Google Search

mikenova shared this story from trump baku money laundering – Google News.

Story image for trump baku money laundering from Carbonated.tv (blog)

Trump Family Made A Fortune Through Drug Cartels And Money …

Carbonated.tv (blog)5 hours ago
Trump Family Made A Fortune Through Drug Cartels And Money Laundering … The Trump International Hotel & Tower in Panama and the Trump Tower Baku …
Story image for trump baku money laundering from ThinkProgress

Ivanka’s signature real estate deals were disasters linked to drug …

ThinkProgressNov 18, 2017
Meanwhile, the development of Trump Tower Baku was so poorly … of the corruption and money laundering drenching Ivanka’s pet projects.
Story image for trump baku money laundering from The New Yorker

Donald Trump’s Worst Deal

The New YorkerMar 6, 2017
Donald Trump’s Worst Deal … The Trump Tower Baku never opened. …. in the Baku deal, actively participated in bribery, money laundering, …
Story image for trump baku money laundering from HuffPost

Bribery, Corruption, Money Laundering: The Many Investigations …

HuffPostJun 29, 2017
There were concerns about corruption and money laundering in the … the future Trump Tower in Baku, Azerbaijan before canceling the deal in …
Story image for trump baku money laundering from The New Yorker

Trump’s Business of Corruption

The New YorkerAug 14, 2017
Trump’s Business of Corruption … described to me as “red flags” for bank fraud and money laundering; moreover, it intertwined ….. license his name to, and provide oversight of, a luxury hotel in Baku, Azerbaijan, a deal that I …
Story image for trump baku money laundering from The Mercury News

Ivanka Trump played key role in her father’s failed — and potentially …

The Mercury NewsMar 10, 2017
The 33-story luxury Trump International Hotel and Tower Baku, which … Corrupt Practices Act and may have enabled moneylaundering and …
Story image for trump baku money laundering from Vox

Don’t miss Trump’s incredibly telling non-answer on financial ties to …

VoxMay 12, 2017
According to Adam Davidson, investment in Trump Tower Baku was … political corruption in Azerbaijan and even money laundering by the …
Story image for trump baku money laundering from The Guardian

UK at centre of secret $3bn Azerbaijani money laundering and …

The GuardianSep 4, 2017
Danske Bank said “money laundering and other illegal practices” had …. in a project to build a luxury Trump Tower in Baku also appear in the …
Story image for trump baku money laundering from New Republic

The Donald Trump Jr. Email Scandal Goes Well Beyond Russia

New RepublicJul 14, 2017
Now, following the release of Donald Trump Jr.’s staggering … Not only has the government in Bakunever overseen a free or fair election, but it even … is known as one of the world’s leading practitioners of money laundering.
Story image for trump baku money laundering from Columbia Journalism Review

The queen of spin

Columbia Journalism ReviewOct 6, 2017
She may well have been involved in a money laundering operation,” Davidson says. “From what … The Trumps pulled out of Trump Tower Baku in 2016. And as …
trump baku mafia – Google Search

mikenova shared this story from trump baku mafia – Google News.

Story image for trump baku mafia from Carbonated.tv (blog)

Trump Family Made A Fortune Through Drug Cartels And Money …

Carbonated.tv (blog)5 hours ago
Trump Family Made A Fortune Through Drug Cartels And Money Laundering … The Trump International Hotel & Tower in Panama and the Trump Tower Baku … all thanks to drug cartels, the Russian mafia and international criminals.
Story image for trump baku mafia from The New Yorker

Donald Trump’s Worst Deal

The New YorkerMar 6, 2017
For an expensive hotel, the Trump Tower Baku is in an oddly unglamorous location: the underdeveloped eastern end of downtown, which is …
Story image for trump baku mafia from New Republic

The Donald Trump Jr. Email Scandal Goes Well Beyond Russia

New RepublicJul 14, 2017
Baku has been described as a “mafia state.” Foreign Policy has referred to the Aliyevs as the “Corleones of the Caspian.” An American …
Story image for trump baku mafia from The Mercury News

Ivanka Trump played key role in her father’s failed — and potentially …

The Mercury NewsMar 10, 2017
A lengthy new investigative story in the New Yorker reveals that Donald Trump and his TrumpOrganization helped build a hotel in Baku, the …
Story image for trump baku mafia from Washington Post

Trump’s foreign network

Washington PostJan 13, 2017
Donald Trump will enter the White House with a network of unorthodox foreign contacts — some of them high-living risk-takers, some with past …
Story image for trump baku mafia from Huffington Post

Here Are The Four Basic Questions About Trump And Russia We …

Huffington PostMar 20, 2017
Trump’s praise of Vladimir Putin and allegations of Russian hacking of the …. pleaded guilty in a Mafiastock manipulation scheme, and worked as a U.S. … Soviet bloc countries, including Ziya Mammadov in Baku, Azerbaijan.
One Trump Adviser Really Does Know All About Putin
In-DepthDaily BeastMar 20, 2017
Story image for trump baku mafia from PBS NewsHour

Trump OK’d business partner with alleged Iran laundering ties

PBS NewsHourJun 4, 2016
Trump’s choice of partners in Baku was Anar Mammadov, the son of the … in 2007 that Satter was Sater and had historical ties to the Mafia.
Story image for trump baku mafia from Washington Post

For a President Trump, global real estate deals present …

Washington PostMay 30, 2016
BAKU, Azerbaijan — In the center of downtown, an unfinished five-star …. with the Corleones, the Mafiafamily from the “Godfather” movies.
Story image for trump baku mafia from NOLA.com

Trump link to alleged money launderer reveals diligence concerns

<a href=”http://NOLA.com” rel=”nofollow”>NOLA.com</a>Jun 6, 2016
But Trump had not researched the allegations against the Baku … with a real estate whose executives included a former Mafia stock fraud …
Story image for trump baku mafia from The Guardian

Bank that lent $300m to Trump linked to Russian money laundering …

The GuardianMar 21, 2017
The German bank that loaned $300m (£260m) to Donald Trump played a prominent role in a money laundering scandal run by Russian …
Trump Family Made A Fortune Through Drug Cartels And Money Laundering

mikenova shared this story .

The Trump International Hotel & Tower in Panama and the Trump Tower Baku reportedly had deep ties to international criminals and drug cartels.

Reuters, Kevin Lamarque

President Donald Trump’s eldest daughter and favorite child, Ivanka Trump, was exceptionally involved in two international projects tied to her father’s name before the business mogul ran for the highest office in the United States.

As the Think Progress reported, the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Panama was supposed to be Ivanka’s “baby” while she personally oversaw and “approved everything” at the Trump Tower Baku in Azerbaijan.

Neither of these international business ventures worked out for the Trump Organization, as the luxury resort in Panama City later dismissed Trump’s management company over reported budget misuse and the hotel in Baku never opened due to budget overruns and construction oversights.

However, that does not mean the Trump family did not profit from these endeavors.

As a couple of recent investigative reports have revealed, the Trump family earned millions in revenue from these seemingly failed projects – all thanks to drug cartels, the Russian mafia and international criminals.

“Since he became President of the United States, numerous investigations and articles have probed Trump’s business dealings and his alleged links to criminals and other shadowy characters,” anti-corruption group Global Witness wrote in its recent report. “It is understood that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation under the Department of Justice will also examine his real estate business. This is important because it seems likely that, following his various bankruptcies, at least a part of Trump’s business empire has been built on untraceable funds, some apparently linked to Russian criminal networks.”

A joint investigation by the NBC News and Reuters also found some investors and customers of the Trump Ocean Club in Panama City had deep ties to crime and drug trafficking. For instance, David Murcia Guzmán, a Colombian business executive with financial ties to terrorist organization FARC who is currently detained in the U.S. for laundering money on behalf of drug cartels, had bought several units in the project.

Other buyers included Arkady Vodovozov, who was convicted of kidnapping in Israel according to Reuters; Stanislav Kavalenka a Russian national charged for “compelling” and “procuring” women into prostitution in Canada; Igor Anapolskiy, convicted for forging travel documents in Ukraine in 2014; and Louis Pargiolas, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to import cocaine in Miami back in 2009.

Read More

A former Brazilian car salesman, Alexandre Ventura Nogueira, who reportedly collaborated with the Trumps to sell the condo units and met Ivanka several times, claimed the U.S. president and his family were unaware of the investors’ businesses or buyers’ criminal background – but they never asked any questions either.

“I had some customers with questionable backgrounds,” Nogueira, who is currently a fugitive from law for real estate fraud, told NBC under disguise from an undisclosed European city. “Nobody ever asked me. Banks never asked. Developer didn’t ask and (the) Trump Organization didn’t ask. Nobody ask, ‘Who are the customers, where did the money come from?’ No, nobody ask.”

He also said he met the president and his sons at least once, and attended the 2008 celebratory event at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida after his firm, Homes Real Estate Investment & Services, fulfilled its promise of quickly selling units at high prices and sold about $100m worth of property, according to the Reuters and NBC.

Meanwhile, the project in Azerbaijan was a site for illegal activities as well. According to the reports, the Azeri dictatorship and those close to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard allegedly used the Baku hotel to launder money.

If it was not clear already, Trump did not own these properties. Instead, he leased his name out to the project in order to boost sales while his company, or his daughter in this case, oversaw the project. While it does not appear the president or his children knew of the criminals investing and buying the property, they did profit from whatever alleged shady business was going on there.

“Licensing his brand to the luxurious Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower in Panama aligned Trump’s financial interests with those of crooks looking to launder ill-gotten gains,” the Global Witness report continued. “Trump seems to have done little to nothing to prevent this. What is clear is that proceeds from Colombian cartels’ narcotics trafficking were laundered through the Trump Ocean Club and that Donald Trump was one of the beneficiaries.”

To put things into perspective, Trump had made nearly $74.2 million through his association with the Panama hotel by 2010. He earned another $13.0 million between 2014 and 2017.

However, the Trump organization has since attempted to distance itself from the controversy.

“The Trump Organization was not the owner, developer or seller of the Trump Ocean Club Panama project,” the statement said. “Because of its limited role, the company was not responsible for the financing of the project and had no involvement in the sale of units or the retention of any real estate brokers.”

Well, playing down the organization’s role in the project doesn’t really justify the fortune Trumps earned through them, does it?

Read More

Thumbnail / Banner : Reuters, Yuri Gripas

Trump Family Made A Fortune Through Drug Cartels And Money Laundering – Carbonated.tv (blog)

mikenova shared this story from Russian – International “Mafia” – organized crime – Google News.


Carbonated.tv (blog)
Trump Family Made A Fortune Through Drug Cartels And Money Laundering
Carbonated.tv (blog)
Neither of these international business ventures worked out for the Trump Organization, as the luxury resort in Panama City later dismissed Trump’s management company over reported budget misuse and the hotel in Baku never opened due to budget overruns 

and more »

Trump urged to sell $50 million in lethal weapons to Ukraine

mikenova shared this story .

National security officials are urging President Trump to approve the sale of nearly $50 million worth of U.S. weapons to Ukraine, which has confronted what it sees as military aggression from Russia and pro-Russian separatists for years.

It was unclear whether Trump, who has been reluctant to challenge Russian President Vladimir Putin, will approve the plan.

Congressional and State Department officials said Monday the weapons proposal had gained traction in the National Security Council. The officials asked not to be named discussing internal deliberations.

At the urging of Trump’s then-campaign manager, Paul Manafort, the GOP platform was watered down at the Republican National Convention in 2016 to remove a call to sell lethal weapons to Ukraine — a position long favored by the Republican establishment and ultimately by the Obama administration.

It was later revealed that Manafort had worked for pro-Russian Ukrainian leaders opposed to U.S. support for the government in Kiev. Manafort was indicted last month on charges of failing to register as a foreign agent, money laundering and conspiracy. He has pleaded not guilty.

The weapons sale under discussion would likely include Javelin anti-tank missiles and other high-tech weapons that go beyond defensive arms, a State Department official said. Some details of the package were first reported by ABC News.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has repeatedly urged the Trump administration to supply Ukraine with weapons. Doing so would garner bipartisan support on Capitol Hill.

“It is long past time for the United States to provide Ukraine the defensive lethal assistance it needs to deter and defend against further Russian aggression,” McCain said in a statement. “As long as the status quo remains, Russia has no reason to change its behavior, and we should only expect more violence and more death.”

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), another member of the Armed Services Committee, wrote Trump last week to urge stronger support for Ukraine.

“The military land-grab Russia has launched in Ukraine is unprecedented in modern European history,” he wrote. “Our response should include lethal military hardware as part of a broader effort to help Ukrainians defend themselves and deter future aggression.”

Congress has already approved up to $500 million in assistance for Ukraine and its defense, though not specifically for lethal weapons.

Ukraine’s pro-West government has been battling pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine since forces loyal to Putin annexed Crimea in 2014.

tracy.wilkinson@latimes.com

Twitter: @TracyKWilkinson

ALSO

Trump re-designates North Korea as a ‘state sponsor of terrorism’

White House says Trump spoke rhetorically on Twitter; does not regret helping UCLA players come home

Tillerson disputes reports of low morale in State Department

Democratic donor Tom Steyer will run Trump impeachment ads in Times Square

How the Mafia Fueled Richard Nixon’s Political Career – VICE

mikenova shared this story from Trump and the Mob – Google News.


VICE
How the Mafia Fueled Richard Nixon’s Political Career
VICE
With corruption rampant and looking increasingly unstoppable in today’s political landscape, it’s worth reflecting on the storied tradition of American politicians galavanting with the mob. Thanks in part to the … got tied up with the mob. VICE 

Macron, Trump and Putin would all like to see Merkel go – CNN

mikenova shared this story from Saved Stories – 1. Trump.


CNN
Macron, Trump and Putin would all like to see Merkel go
CNN
David A. Andelman, a contributor to CNN and columnist for USA Today, is the author of “A Shattered Peace: Versailles 1919 and the Price We Pay Today.” He formerly served as a foreign correspondent for The New York Times in Asia and Europe and Paris …

and more »


  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 1.1K
  •  
  •  

9:28 AM 11/21/2017 – A ‘Sea Of Black Masks’: Prosecutors Open Felony Trial Of Inauguration Protesters

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Saved Stories

Saved Stories – None
A ‘Sea Of Black Masks’: Prosecutors Open Felony Trial Of Inauguration Protesters
Trump Campaign to Stop Paying Donald Jr.’s Legal Bills – Bloomberg
“How Much Did Trump Know?: Why Mike Flynn Could Be the Key to the Obstruction Case – Vanity Fair
President Trump’s charitable foundation is being shut down – ABC News
Trump Administration To End Immigration Protections For Haitians
Sorry, Trumpers, Your President Is Definitely Under Investigation By The Special Counsel – The Daily Banter
Donald Trump Is Shutting Down His Charitable Foundation
Justice Department Sues To Block AT&T’s Merger With Time Warner
Trump Administration Ends Temporary Protection for Haitians – New York Times
White House: Trump didn’t mean what he said about leaving UCLA players in Chinese jail – Washington Post
The Nationalist’s Delusion – The Atlantic
Donald Trump Is Shutting Down His Charitable Foundation – HuffPost
Google To Downgrade News From Russian-Owned Outlets, Says Parent Company CEO – The Daily Caller
Congress Should Impose A Moratorium On Judicial Appointments Until The Special Counsels Investigation Is Completed
Judge: Trump voter fraud commission on ice till next year – Politico
Pitts: The diversionary tactics of a child president – Peoria Journal Star
Robert Mueller shows just how hardcore he is
The Real Winner in America’s Russia Crisis Is China – The National Interest Online
Palmer Report fully vindicated for its earlier reporting on Hungarys role in the Trump-Russia scandal
Mueller to interview top-level White House officials as part of Russia probe – CBS News
Donald Trump Jr suddenly has a huge Russian mafia problem
Donald Trump shuts down his fake charity as investigators close in
Donald Trump Shuts Down His Million-Dollar Charitable Foundation That He Never Gave Money To – Newsweek
National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster caught calling Donald Trump an idiot
#RichPeopleNeedTaxCuts: The Republican Tax Plan

 

Saved Stories – None
A ‘Sea Of Black Masks’: Prosecutors Open Felony Trial Of Inauguration Protesters

The U.S. government plans to seek felony convictions for nearly 200 inauguration protesters. The first trial is now underway.

Trump Campaign to Stop Paying Donald Jr.’s Legal Bills – Bloomberg


Bloomberg
Trump Campaign to Stop Paying Donald Jr.’s Legal Bills
Bloomberg
That arrangement could exclude some high-profile figures who were never paid, including former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who was charged with money laundering, and former campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, who pleaded …
Special counsel sends wide-ranging request for documents to Justice DepartmentABC News
Some WH aides anxious over Russia probe despite reassurances from Trump lawyer: reportThe Hill
Mueller is gearing up to interview Hope Hicks in the Russia investigationBusiness Insider UK
The Mercury News
all 76 news articles »
“How Much Did Trump Know?: Why Mike Flynn Could Be the Key to the Obstruction Case – Vanity Fair


Vanity Fair
How Much Did Trump Know?: Why Mike Flynn Could Be the Key to the Obstruction Case
Vanity Fair
Michael Flynn has been in serious legal jeopardy since March, when it emerged that Donald Trump’s choice for national security adviser had failed to disclose payments from a Russian business. And for weeks now there’s been an accelerating drumbeat of …

and more »

President Trump’s charitable foundation is being shut down – ABC News


ABC News
President Trump’s charitable foundation is being shut down
ABC News
In a statement Monday evening, the New York Attorney General’s Office said: “Our investigation into the Donald J. TrumpFoundation remains ongoing. Its fundraising activities remain suspended following the AG’s notice of violation last year. As the
Donald Trump Shutting Down Charitable FoundationBreitbart News

all 41 Shuts Down His Million-Dollar Charitable Foundation That He Never Gave Money ToNewsweek

all 33 news articles »

Trump Administration To End Immigration Protections For Haitians

The U.S. will end the special status in July 2019.

Sorry, Trumpers, Your President Is Definitely Under Investigation By The Special Counsel – The Daily Banter


The Daily Banter
Sorry, Trumpers, Your President Is Definitely Under Investigation By The Special Counsel
The Daily Banter
The move by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to investigate Trump’s conduct marks a major turning point in the nearly year-old FBI investigation […] Trump had received private assurances from then-FBI Director James B. Comey starting in January 

and more »

Donald Trump Is Shutting Down His Charitable Foundation

Trump had been accused of using it as a political slush fund.

Justice Department Sues To Block AT&T’s Merger With Time Warner

Their union would create one of the largest media monopolies in U.S. history.

Trump Administration Ends Temporary Protection for Haitians – New York Times


New York Times
Trump Administration Ends Temporary Protection for Haitians
New York Times
The Trump administration is ending a humanitarian program that has allowed some 59,000 Haitians to live and work in the United States since an earthquake ravaged their country in 2010, Homeland Security officials said on Monday. Haitians with what is …
59000 Haitians living in US must leave within 18 months, Trump administration saysLos Angeles Times
Trump administration to end provisional residency protection for 50000 HaitiansWashington Post
Trump administration to send Haiti earthquake victims home in 2019USA TODAY

all 68 news articles »

White House: Trump didn’t mean what he said about leaving UCLA players in Chinese jail – Washington Post


Washington Post
White House: Trump didn’t mean what he said about leaving UCLA players in Chinese jail
Washington Post
At a briefing Monday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said President Trump was merely making a rhetorical response to a criticism by LaVar Ball when he tweeted of Ball’s son LiAngelo and two UCLA teammates that he should have … 
LaVar Ball on why he refuses to thank President TrumpABC News
LaVar Ball responds to Trump, wishes him a ‘great Thanksgiving’CNN

Trump’s Odd Feud With LaVar BallThe Atlantic 
NBCNews.comThe RootNew York Daily NewsESPN
all 638 
Trump tweets about UCLA players were ‘rhetorical,’ White House saysNBCNews.com
Trump didn’t mean his tweets about UCLA players: White HouseNew York Post
ABC NewsUSA TODAYMSNBC
all 534
 news articles »
The Nationalist’s Delusion – The Atlantic

The Nationalist’s Delusion
The Atlantic
They accused Obama of genuflecting before Russian President Vladimir PutinTrump has refused to even criticize Putinpublicly. They attacked Obama for his ties to Tony Rezko, the crooked realtor; Trump’s ties to organized crime are too numerous to name.

Donald Trump Is Shutting Down His Charitable Foundation – HuffPost


HuffPost
Donald Trump Is Shutting Down His Charitable Foundation
HuffPost
Since that time, it has received millions of dollars from others, such as Laura Perlmutter, wife of Marvel Entertainment Chairman Isaac Perlmutter, who gave $1 million; Ivanka Trump, who donated $100,000 in 2016; and billionaire casino mogul and Trump
Donald Trump Shuts Down His Million-Dollar Charitable Foundation That He Never Gave Money ToNewsweek
President Trump’s charitable foundation is being shut downABC News
Donald Trump Shutting Down Charitable FoundationBreitbart News

all 42 news articles »

Google To Downgrade News From Russian-Owned Outlets, Says Parent Company CEO – The Daily Caller


PCMag

The Hill
Google To Downgrade News From Russian-Owned Outlets, Says Parent Company CEO
The Daily Caller
It is clear that the obstruction of the Russian media, including through the arsenal of intelligence services, shows a flagrant violation by the United States of America of both international and domestic legislation guaranteeing freedom of expression 
The feds need to be held accountable for role in Russia scandalThe Hill

all 9 news articles »

Congress Should Impose A Moratorium On Judicial Appointments Until The Special Counsels Investigation Is Completed

Political parties seem to care less about civility, shared values and placing country above party.

Judge: Trump voter fraud commission on ice till next year – Politico


Politico
Judge: Trump voter fraud commission on ice till next year
Politico
A commission that President Donald Trump tasked with investigating his own unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud won’t meet again this year, according to court records, fueling more questions about the panel’s future and its viability. In an order 

and more »

Pitts: The diversionary tactics of a child president – Peoria Journal Star

Pitts: The diversionary tactics of a child president
Peoria Journal Star
It is a form of reasoning that could not be more puerile, infantile, juvenile. So it very much appeals to Donald Trump. You got an example in last year’s final presidential debate, when Hillary Clinton called him a puppet of Russian president 

and more »

Robert Mueller shows just how hardcore he is

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has said nothing during his investigation into Donald Trump’s Russia scandal, and he’s even tried to keep his actions out of the public eye as much as possible. However, from time to time, Mueller’s actions necessarily end up playing out in public. In those instances, he’s consistently demonstrated just how aggressively he’s conducting himself. Now we’re seeing yet another reminder of that.

Three weeks ago, Robert Mueller arrested Donald Trump’s campaign chairman Paul Manafort and another Trump campaign adviser Rick Gates. Now Mueller is essentially trying to get Gates’ attorney fired, as he’s making the legal argument that the attorney in question has a conflict of interest, according to a new Bloomberg report (link). The attorney represents both Gates and a business partner of Gates who is separately accused of financial crimes.

This serves as a reminder that Mueller is exploiting every possible legal avenue for pursuing his prosecution as aggressively as he can. This matters greatly because it means that if Mueller is taking this aggressive of an approach toward a relative small fish like Gates, it means he’s taking the same approach toward Donald Trump behind the scenes.

We’ve also seen Robert Mueller arrest Trump adviser George Papadopoulos for lying to the FBI. This strongly suggests that Mueller will also prosecute the likes of Jeff Sessions for lying under oath to the Senate, and Jared Kushner for lying on his White House security clearance forms. Meanwhile, Mueller’s most potent weapon may be that he’s been able to keep so much of his work under the radar, leaving Donald Trump and his team guessing and keeping them off guard as he plows forward.

The post Robert Mueller shows just how hardcore he is appeared first on Palmer Report.

The Real Winner in America’s Russia Crisis Is China – The National Interest Online


The National Interest Online
The Real Winner in America’s Russia Crisis Is China
The National Interest Online
Or is it possible that the balding Putin, resenting the hairy Dmitry Medvedev, not to mention those American presidents with their incredible full heads of hair, decided to do something about that? Isn’t that what you would expect from the … But then  

and more » 
Latest US-Russian Effort on Syria: Good for Preventing Accidents, So-So for Everything ElseRussia Matters
Israel May Demand Iran Leave Syria, but Russia Sets the Rules of the GameHaaretz

all 142 news articles »

Palmer Report fully vindicated for its earlier reporting on Hungarys role in the Trump-Russia scandal

Seven months ago, Hungarian political dissident Dr. András Göllner laid out a sweeping evidence-based argument that the epicenter of the Trump-Russia scandal was in Budapest, Hungary. Palmer Report sought to bring immediate attention to Dr. Göllner’s premise, but most of the mainstream media completely ignored him, and a few within the mainstream media seized the opportunity to falsely accuse Palmer Report of being “fake news” for even touching the Hungary storyline. Now the Hungary connections are being fully vindicated by the mainstream media itself.

ABC News is reporting that Donald Trump campaign adviser Carter Page held “high-level foreign policy meetings with Hungarian officials before the 2016 presidential election” and presented himself as representing the Trump campaign during these meetings (link). Further, ABC News says that Congress is investigating these meetings between Page and Hungarian officials. These meetings took place in Budapest. In other words, András Göllner was correct back in April, and Palmer Report was fully justified in trying to bring attention to it. More importantly, let’s take a look at what Göllner’s research can tell us about what else the Budapest connection means for the Trump-Russia scandal.

Göllner pointed to the six trips which Donald Trump campaign adviser J.D. Gordon took to Budapest (sourceadditional source), where he publicly took positions on Ukraine that were in line with the Kremlin. Gordon has already publicly admitted that he was part of the Trump campaign team who met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at the Republican National Convention (source), which resulted in the Republican Party platform being changed to reflect the Kremlins position on Ukraine.

Göllner also pointed to current Donald Trump White House adviser Sebastian Gorka, who had documented close ties to far-right extremist groups when he lived in Hungary. But the core of his premise is that the Trump-Russia collusion all had Arthur Finkelstein as the centerpiece, with Finkelsteins client Orbán having given free reign to Putin to use Budapest as a de facto headquarters for his collusion with the Trump Campaign. Although it’s received little U.S. media attention, the government of Hungary has become essentially an arm of the Kremlin. You can read Dr. Göllener’s research here. No word on when the mainstream media will catch up with the rest of the Budapest connection.

The post Palmer Report fully vindicated for its earlier reporting on Hungary’s role in the Trump-Russia scandal appeared first on Palmer Report.

Mueller to interview top-level White House officials as part of Russia probe – CBS News


CBS News
Mueller to interview top-level White House officials as part of Russia probe
CBS News
Alexander Torshin is a Kremlin insider. As a deputy head of Russia’s Central Bank, he has ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin and reportedly has links to organized crime, which is why his meeting in May 2016 with Donald Trump Jr. during the height 

and more »

Donald Trump Jr suddenly has a huge Russian mafia problem

Last week it was revealed that an alleged Russian mobster reached out to the Donald Trump campaign in the hope of setting up a meeting, and that while Jared Kushner turned down that offer, he tried to cover up the entire thing by omitting the interaction from his White House security clearance forms. As big of a legal problem as that may end up being for Kushner, it turns out his brother in law Donald Trump Jr didn’t even have the sense to avoid that same alleged mobster.

Donald Trump Jr met with alleged Russian mafia figure Alexander Torshin during the 2016 election while they were both at an NRA event, according to a new CBS News report (link). The story for now is that the meeting only lasted “two or three minutes” and that the only thing they discussed was gun rights. The trouble here for Junior is that he has a terrible track record of getting caught having met with Russians, and then initially lying about the reason, before then being caught in that lie.

For instance, after the media revealed that Donald Trump Jr met with a Russian government lawyer at Trump Tower during the election, he initially claimed that the meeting was focused on “adoption.” The media then subsequently revealed that Junior took the meeting because the Kremlin had promised him dirt on Hillary Clinton if she attended. Then, as time went on, it turned out far more Russians attended the meeting than had been claimed, including a Russian money laundering figure.

So now that we know Donald Trump Jr met with an alleged Russian mobster during the election, we have every reason to be skeptical of the claim that the meeting was brief and only involved gun rights. That would be as preposterous as believing that Junior’s meeting with a Kremlin lawyer was merely about adoption.

The post Donald Trump Jr suddenly has a huge Russian mafia problem appeared first on Palmer Report.

Donald Trump shuts down his fake charity as investigators close in

During the 2016 election, Donald Trump’s charitable “Donald J. Trump Foundation” was gradually exposed by the media as having been a fake charity that hasn’t been functional since around 2009, and had dissolved into little more than an illegal personal piggybank for Trump to pilfer from. The Attorney General of New York launched a far reaching investigation into the fake charity. That story disappeared from the headlines, but the investigation has continued and now Trump is getting nervous.

The Donald J. Trump Foundation has announced that it’s shutting down entirely, according to an ABC News report (link). As a practical matter, this doesn’t change much. The foundation already barely existed, and the New York AG had ordered it to freeze all operations last year. But the timing of this move, which is essentially a formality, seems to suggest that Trump believes the State of New York is about to get to the bottom of his years-long charity scam.

There is only one reason for Donald Trump to suddenly want to officially shut down a fake charity that had already been unofficially shut down a long time ago: he wants to be able to say that the “Donald J. Trump Foundation” doesn’t even exist when investigators announce they’re moving forward with legal action against him over the foundation.

In other words, keep an eye on this storyline. Now that it’s being officially shut down, the mainstream media will pay no further attention to the Donald Trump Foundation until the day investigators drop the hammer. The timing suggests that the day in question is coming fairly soon.

The post Donald Trump shuts down his fake charity as investigators close in appeared first on Palmer Report.

Donald Trump Shuts Down His Million-Dollar Charitable Foundation That He Never Gave Money To – Newsweek


Newsweek
Donald Trump Shuts Down His Million-Dollar Charitable Foundation That He Never Gave Money To
Newsweek
President Donald Trump’s charitable foundation, which he never donated to, is finally in the process of being shut down. In a statement received by NBC News, a spokesperson for the Trump Foundation confirmed that it is being shuttered. “The foundation …
President Trump’s charitable foundation is being shut downABC News
Donald Trump Shutting Down Charitable FoundationBreitbart News

all 42 news articles »

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster caught calling Donald Trump an idiot

Update: McMasters own people are now trying to minimize the damage by claiming this never happened, and implying that it was made up by Steve Bannon. However, this makes no sense. If Bannon had made up this story, he would have floated it back when McMaster was trying to get him fired several months ago instead of waiting until now. We stand by this article. Of course McMasters camp is denying something so embarrassing; that denial carries zero editorial weight. Original article: Donald Trump seems to be in denial about just how little mainstream Americans think of him, even as polls reveal that hes the most unpopular first-year U.S. President in the history of polling. It turns out Trump also has a popularity and respect problem much closer to home. Earlier this year it was revealed that Trumps handpicked Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had called him a fing moron behind his back. Now it turns out another cabinet-level adviser shares a similar opinion of Trump.

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster called Donald Trump an idiot and a dope and a kindergartner during a private dinner, according to a Vanity Fair report (link). As a general rule, if one of your own top underlings is running around calling you these kinds of names behind your back, it means you have a rogue employee but if multiple top underlings are saying the same kinds of things about you, it means youre the problem. So now what?

Trump never did fire Rex Tillerson for Moron-gate, though that may have had something to do with Tillersons status as a close friend and associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has consistently called the shots in the Trump administration. McMaster may be a different matter. Earlier scattered reports suggested that Trump found McMaster annoying, and that he was only reluctant to get rid of him due to the previous difficulty in trying to keep the National Security Adviser position staffed.

So even as Donald Trump now tries to decide whether or not to fire H.R. McMaster for idiot-gate, its worth keeping in mind that Trump had to fire McMasters predecessor Michael Flynn for his numerous secret and illicit connections to foreign governments. Its also worth watching how many more of Trumps senior-most advisers end up getting caught insulting his intelligence. At this point its clear theyre all thinking the same thing about it.

The post National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster caught calling Donald Trump an idiot appeared first on Palmer Report.

#RichPeopleNeedTaxCuts: The Republican Tax Plan

Its hard to see the rationale here.

for the Republican tax cut plan.


  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 1.1K
  •  
  •  

8:26 AM 11/21/2017 – TRUMP-RUSSIA

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

TRUMP-RUSSIA

The former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page met with Hungarian officials during the 2016 election campaign, the meetings have drawn scrutiny due to the increasingly close ties between Hungary and Russia. Matthew Mosk reports at ABC News.

The court filing against the former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort may “provide clues” for special counsel Robert Mueller’s approach to former national security adviser Michael Flynn, including possible charges relating to registration as a foreign agent and lobbying for a foreign government, or more “sensational” charges that may involve kidnapping due to Flynn’s alleged role in a plan to deliver the U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gülen to the Turkish government. Josh Gerstein explains at POLITICO.

TRUMP ADMINSITRATION FOREIGN POLICY

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson discussed regional security and “ways to combat terrorism” with the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman yesterday, according to Saudi’s state S.P.A. news agency, Reuters reports.

It is possible that commentators have been unfair in their assessment of Tillerson: there have been many poor Secretaries of State, Tillerson has the difficult task of serving under a president who is “genuinely clueless about foreign policy,” and his efforts to reorganize the State Department have been long overdue. Stephen M. Walt writes at Foreign Policy, arguing that Tillerson’s ineffectiveness also reflect consistency “with trends that have been underway for some time.”

The Early Edition: November 21, 2017 Pouneh Ahari

The Early Edition: November 21, 2017

Shared by 1 person

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 1.1K
  •  
  •  

8:10 AM 11/21/2017 – Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks: trump baku money laundering – Google Search |  trump baku mafia – Google Search |  Trump Family Made A Fortune Through Drug Cartels And Money Laundering

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks: 
Trump Family Made A Fortune Through Drug Cartels And Money Laundering – Carbonated.tv (blog)
Trump urged to sell $50 million in lethal weapons to Ukraine
How the Mafia Fueled Richard Nixon’s Political Career – VICE
Rudy Giuliani – Google News: Rudy Giuliani turns up in Ukraine with pro-Russia official linked to Paul Manafort’s clients – Raw Story
Trump Ocean Club
As the FBI Closes In, Trump’s Lawyers Are Scrambling to Keep Him Calm – Vanity Fair
Where the Trump campaign and Russian actors overlapped – Washington Post
James Clapper on Donald Trump, Russia, and the First Line of His Obituary
James Clapper on Donald Trump, Russia, and the First Line of His Obituary – GQ Magazine
Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner face new scrutiny in Russia investigation – ABC News
Confirmed: Robert Mueller has far more Trump-Russia evidence than previously known
Confirmed: Robert Mueller knows about even more Trump-Russia meetings than the public does
Insider: Donald Trumps staff panicking as Robert Mueller chews through them like Pac-Man
Insider: Donald Trumps staff panicking as Robert Mueller chews through them “like Pac-Man”
Donald Trumps ticking clock may expire after Thanksgiving
Report: Mueller’s Russia Probe Seeks Justice Department Emails on Comey Firing – Daily Beast
Robert Mueller is going after the Department of Justice to take down Donald Trump
Should The FBI Be Abolished?
Should The FBI Be Abolished? – American Spectator
Russias Gay Demons | by Robert Cottrell
John Raines, 84; was accomplice in 1971 burglary that revealed FBI abuses – The Boston Globe

 

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
trump baku money laundering – Google Search
 

mikenova shared this story from trump baku money laundering – Google News.

Story image for trump baku money laundering from Carbonated.tv (blog)

Trump Family Made A Fortune Through Drug Cartels And Money …

Carbonated.tv (blog)5 hours ago
Trump Family Made A Fortune Through Drug Cartels And Money Laundering … The Trump International Hotel & Tower in Panama and the Trump Tower Baku …

Story image for trump baku money laundering from ThinkProgress

Ivanka’s signature real estate deals were disasters linked to drug …

ThinkProgressNov 18, 2017
Meanwhile, the development of Trump Tower Baku was so poorly … of the corruption and money laundering drenching Ivanka’s pet projects.

Story image for trump baku money laundering from The New Yorker

Donald Trump’s Worst Deal

The New YorkerMar 6, 2017
Donald Trump’s Worst Deal … The Trump Tower Baku never opened. …. in the Baku deal, actively participated in bribery, money laundering, …

Story image for trump baku money laundering from HuffPost

Bribery, Corruption, Money Laundering: The Many Investigations …

HuffPostJun 29, 2017
There were concerns about corruption and money laundering in the … the future Trump Tower in Baku, Azerbaijan before canceling the deal in …

Story image for trump baku money laundering from The New Yorker

Trump’s Business of Corruption

The New YorkerAug 14, 2017
Trump’s Business of Corruption … described to me as “red flags” for bank fraud and money laundering; moreover, it intertwined ….. license his name to, and provide oversight of, a luxury hotel in Baku, Azerbaijan, a deal that I …

Story image for trump baku money laundering from The Mercury News

Ivanka Trump played key role in her father’s failed — and potentially …

The Mercury NewsMar 10, 2017
The 33-story luxury Trump International Hotel and Tower Baku, which … Corrupt Practices Act and may have enabled moneylaundering and …

Story image for trump baku money laundering from Vox

Don’t miss Trump’s incredibly telling non-answer on financial ties to …

VoxMay 12, 2017
According to Adam Davidson, investment in Trump Tower Baku was … political corruption in Azerbaijan and even money laundering by the …

Story image for trump baku money laundering from The Guardian

UK at centre of secret $3bn Azerbaijani money laundering and …

The GuardianSep 4, 2017
Danske Bank said “money laundering and other illegal practices” had …. in a project to build a luxury Trump Tower in Baku also appear in the …

Story image for trump baku money laundering from New Republic

The Donald Trump Jr. Email Scandal Goes Well Beyond Russia

New RepublicJul 14, 2017
Now, following the release of Donald Trump Jr.’s staggering … Not only has the government in Bakunever overseen a free or fair election, but it even … is known as one of the world’s leading practitioners of money laundering.

Story image for trump baku money laundering from Columbia Journalism Review

The queen of spin

Columbia Journalism ReviewOct 6, 2017
She may well have been involved in a money laundering operation,” Davidson says. “From what … The Trumps pulled out of Trump Tower Baku in 2016. And as …
trump baku mafia – Google Search
 

mikenova shared this story from trump baku mafia – Google News.

Story image for trump baku mafia from Carbonated.tv (blog)

Trump Family Made A Fortune Through Drug Cartels And Money …

Carbonated.tv (blog)5 hours ago
Trump Family Made A Fortune Through Drug Cartels And Money Laundering … The Trump International Hotel & Tower in Panama and the Trump Tower Baku … all thanks to drug cartels, the Russian mafia and international criminals.

Story image for trump baku mafia from The New Yorker

Donald Trump’s Worst Deal

The New YorkerMar 6, 2017
For an expensive hotel, the Trump Tower Baku is in an oddly unglamorous location: the underdeveloped eastern end of downtown, which is …

Story image for trump baku mafia from New Republic

The Donald Trump Jr. Email Scandal Goes Well Beyond Russia

New RepublicJul 14, 2017
Baku has been described as a “mafia state.” Foreign Policy has referred to the Aliyevs as the “Corleones of the Caspian.” An American …

Story image for trump baku mafia from The Mercury News

Ivanka Trump played key role in her father’s failed — and potentially …

The Mercury NewsMar 10, 2017
A lengthy new investigative story in the New Yorker reveals that Donald Trump and his TrumpOrganization helped build a hotel in Baku, the …

Story image for trump baku mafia from Washington Post

Trump’s foreign network

Washington PostJan 13, 2017
Donald Trump will enter the White House with a network of unorthodox foreign contacts — some of them high-living risk-takers, some with past …

Story image for trump baku mafia from Huffington Post

Here Are The Four Basic Questions About Trump And Russia We …

Huffington PostMar 20, 2017
Trump’s praise of Vladimir Putin and allegations of Russian hacking of the …. pleaded guilty in a Mafiastock manipulation scheme, and worked as a U.S. … Soviet bloc countries, including Ziya Mammadov in Baku, Azerbaijan.
One Trump Adviser Really Does Know All About Putin
In-DepthDaily BeastMar 20, 2017

Story image for trump baku mafia from PBS NewsHour

Trump OK’d business partner with alleged Iran laundering ties

PBS NewsHourJun 4, 2016
Trump’s choice of partners in Baku was Anar Mammadov, the son of the … in 2007 that Satter was Sater and had historical ties to the Mafia.

Story image for trump baku mafia from Washington Post

For a President Trump, global real estate deals present …

Washington PostMay 30, 2016
BAKU, Azerbaijan — In the center of downtown, an unfinished five-star …. with the Corleones, the Mafiafamily from the “Godfather” movies.

Story image for trump baku mafia from NOLA.com

Trump link to alleged money launderer reveals diligence concerns

<a href=”http://NOLA.com” rel=”nofollow”>NOLA.com</a>Jun 6, 2016
But Trump had not researched the allegations against the Baku … with a real estate whose executives included a former Mafia stock fraud …

Story image for trump baku mafia from The Guardian

Bank that lent $300m to Trump linked to Russian money laundering …

The GuardianMar 21, 2017
The German bank that loaned $300m (£260m) to Donald Trump played a prominent role in a money laundering scandal run by Russian …
Trump Family Made A Fortune Through Drug Cartels And Money Laundering
 

mikenova shared this story .

The Trump International Hotel & Tower in Panama and the Trump Tower Baku reportedly had deep ties to international criminals and drug cartels.

Reuters, Kevin Lamarque

President Donald Trump’s eldest daughter and favorite child, Ivanka Trump, was exceptionally involved in two international projects tied to her father’s name before the business mogul ran for the highest office in the United States.

As the Think Progress reported, the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Panama was supposed to be Ivanka’s “baby” while she personally oversaw and “approved everything” at the Trump Tower Baku in Azerbaijan.

Neither of these international business ventures worked out for the Trump Organization, as the luxury resort in Panama City later dismissed Trump’s management company over reported budget misuse and the hotel in Baku never opened due to budget overruns and construction oversights.

However, that does not mean the Trump family did not profit from these endeavors.

As a couple of recent investigative reports have revealed, the Trump family earned millions in revenue from these seemingly failed projects – all thanks to drug cartels, the Russian mafia and international criminals.

“Since he became President of the United States, numerous investigations and articles have probed Trump’s business dealings and his alleged links to criminals and other shadowy characters,” anti-corruption group Global Witness wrote in its recent report. “It is understood that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation under the Department of Justice will also examine his real estate business. This is important because it seems likely that, following his various bankruptcies, at least a part of Trump’s business empire has been built on untraceable funds, some apparently linked to Russian criminal networks.”

A joint investigation by the NBC News and Reuters also found some investors and customers of the Trump Ocean Club in Panama City had deep ties to crime and drug trafficking. For instance, David Murcia Guzmán, a Colombian business executive with financial ties to terrorist organization FARC who is currently detained in the U.S. for laundering money on behalf of drug cartels, had bought several units in the project.

Other buyers included Arkady Vodovozov, who was convicted of kidnapping in Israel according to Reuters; Stanislav Kavalenka a Russian national charged for “compelling” and “procuring” women into prostitution in Canada; Igor Anapolskiy, convicted for forging travel documents in Ukraine in 2014; and Louis Pargiolas, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to import cocaine in Miami back in 2009.

Read More

A former Brazilian car salesman, Alexandre Ventura Nogueira, who reportedly collaborated with the Trumps to sell the condo units and met Ivanka several times, claimed the U.S. president and his family were unaware of the investors’ businesses or buyers’ criminal background – but they never asked any questions either.

“I had some customers with questionable backgrounds,” Nogueira, who is currently a fugitive from law for real estate fraud, told NBC under disguise from an undisclosed European city. “Nobody ever asked me. Banks never asked. Developer didn’t ask and (the) Trump Organization didn’t ask. Nobody ask, ‘Who are the customers, where did the money come from?’ No, nobody ask.”

He also said he met the president and his sons at least once, and attended the 2008 celebratory event at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida after his firm, Homes Real Estate Investment & Services, fulfilled its promise of quickly selling units at high prices and sold about $100m worth of property, according to the Reuters and NBC.

Meanwhile, the project in Azerbaijan was a site for illegal activities as well. According to the reports, the Azeri dictatorship and those close to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard allegedly used the Baku hotel to launder money.

If it was not clear already, Trump did not own these properties. Instead, he leased his name out to the project in order to boost sales while his company, or his daughter in this case, oversaw the project. While it does not appear the president or his children knew of the criminals investing and buying the property, they did profit from whatever alleged shady business was going on there.

“Licensing his brand to the luxurious Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower in Panama aligned Trump’s financial interests with those of crooks looking to launder ill-gotten gains,” the Global Witness report continued. “Trump seems to have done little to nothing to prevent this. What is clear is that proceeds from Colombian cartels’ narcotics trafficking were laundered through the Trump Ocean Club and that Donald Trump was one of the beneficiaries.”

To put things into perspective, Trump had made nearly $74.2 million through his association with the Panama hotel by 2010. He earned another $13.0 million between 2014 and 2017.

However, the Trump organization has since attempted to distance itself from the controversy.

“The Trump Organization was not the owner, developer or seller of the Trump Ocean Club Panama project,” the statement said. “Because of its limited role, the company was not responsible for the financing of the project and had no involvement in the sale of units or the retention of any real estate brokers.”

Well, playing down the organization’s role in the project doesn’t really justify the fortune Trumps earned through them, does it?

Read More

Thumbnail / Banner : Reuters, Yuri Gripas

Trump Family Made A Fortune Through Drug Cartels And Money Laundering – Carbonated.tv (blog)
 

mikenova shared this story from Russian – International “Mafia” – organized crime – Google News.


Carbonated.tv (blog)
Trump Family Made A Fortune Through Drug Cartels And Money Laundering
Carbonated.tv (blog)
Neither of these international business ventures worked out for the Trump Organization, as the luxury resort in Panama City later dismissed Trump’s management company over reported budget misuse and the hotel in Baku never opened due to budget overruns and more »
Trump urged to sell $50 million in lethal weapons to Ukraine
 

mikenova shared this story .

National security officials are urging President Trump to approve the sale of nearly $50 million worth of U.S. weapons to Ukraine, which has confronted what it sees as military aggression from Russia and pro-Russian separatists for years.

It was unclear whether Trump, who has been reluctant to challenge Russian President Vladimir Putin, will approve the plan.

Congressional and State Department officials said Monday the weapons proposal had gained traction in the National Security Council. The officials asked not to be named discussing internal deliberations.

At the urging of Trump’s then-campaign manager, Paul Manafort, the GOP platform was watered down at the Republican National Convention in 2016 to remove a call to sell lethal weapons to Ukraine — a position long favored by the Republican establishment and ultimately by the Obama administration.

It was later revealed that Manafort had worked for pro-Russian Ukrainian leaders opposed to U.S. support for the government in Kiev. Manafort was indicted last month on charges of failing to register as a foreign agent, money laundering and conspiracy. He has pleaded not guilty.

The weapons sale under discussion would likely include Javelin anti-tank missiles and other high-tech weapons that go beyond defensive arms, a State Department official said. Some details of the package were first reported by ABC News.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has repeatedly urged the Trump administration to supply Ukraine with weapons. Doing so would garner bipartisan support on Capitol Hill.

“It is long past time for the United States to provide Ukraine the defensive lethal assistance it needs to deter and defend against further Russian aggression,” McCain said in a statement. “As long as the status quo remains, Russia has no reason to change its behavior, and we should only expect more violence and more death.”

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), another member of the Armed Services Committee, wrote Trump last week to urge stronger support for Ukraine.

“The military land-grab Russia has launched in Ukraine is unprecedented in modern European history,” he wrote. “Our response should include lethal military hardware as part of a broader effort to help Ukrainians defend themselves and deter future aggression.”

Congress has already approved up to $500 million in assistance for Ukraine and its defense, though not specifically for lethal weapons.

Ukraine’s pro-West government has been battling pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine since forces loyal to Putin annexed Crimea in 2014.

tracy.wilkinson@latimes.com

Twitter: @TracyKWilkinson

ALSO

Trump re-designates North Korea as a ‘state sponsor of terrorism’

White House says Trump spoke rhetorically on Twitter; does not regret helping UCLA players come home

Tillerson disputes reports of low morale in State Department

Democratic donor Tom Steyer will run Trump impeachment ads in Times Square

How the Mafia Fueled Richard Nixon’s Political Career – VICE
 

mikenova shared this story from Trump and the Mob – Google News.


VICE
How the Mafia Fueled Richard Nixon’s Political Career
VICE
With corruption rampant and looking increasingly unstoppable in today’s political landscape, it’s worth reflecting on the storied tradition of American politicians galavanting with the mob. Thanks in part to the … got tied up with the mob. VICE 
Macron, Trump and Putin would all like to see Merkel go – CNN
 

mikenova shared this story from Saved Stories – 1. Trump.


CNN
Macron, Trump and Putin would all like to see Merkel go
CNN
David A. Andelman, a contributor to CNN and columnist for USA Today, is the author of “A Shattered Peace: Versailles 1919 and the Price We Pay Today.” He formerly served as a foreign correspondent for The New York Times in Asia and Europe and Paris …and more »
Rudy Giuliani – Google News: Rudy Giuliani turns up in Ukraine with pro-Russia official linked to Paul Manafort’s clients – Raw Story
 

mikenova shared this story from 1. Trump Circles: Elections from mikenova (16 sites).


Raw Story
Rudy Giuliani turns up in Ukraine with pro-Russia official linked to Paul Manafort’s clients
Raw Story
Former Trump campaign surrogate Rudy Giuliani was seen this week in the Ukraine with a pro-Russia official who is linked to Ukrainian political clients of former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort. The Palmer Report was first to note on Monday that a

 Rudy Giuliani – Google News

Trump Ocean Club
 

mikenova shared this story from TrumP Россия.

My friend Ken Silverstein has a great new story out via Global Witness about Trump’s tower in Panama.

Put simply, it’s is the most revealing look we’ve had into how Russians were recruited for Trump’s towers.

Part of the business strategy at Trump Ocean Club was luring wealthy and “secretive” Russians — who didn’t want any questions asked about where their money came from.

The money quote in this story for me comes from a broker involved with the project named Alexandre Henrique Ventura Nogueira. Half of Nogueria’s customers were Russian.

I had some customers with some, you know, questionable backgrounds. He also said that he found out later that some customers were part of the Russian Mafia.

Another real estate broker who worked in Panama during the TOC pre-construction sales period told Global Witness that Eastern European and Russian investors at the TOC were very secretive, especially when setting up shell corporations, so you dont know their names and didnt know where their money came from.

Rich Russians whom he called the whales were prized clients because brokers could earn substantial commissions working with them. These were exactly the kind of purchasers needed by Trump and others to secure early sales, and therefore the financing through Bear Stearns to develop the project.

Ventura Nogueira was asked point blank about this: Did the Trump Organization know there were some Russians there with strange backgrounds involved in buying? I dont know.

There are a lot of things to like about this story. (Story is the wrong word. It’s a 28-page report.) Not only does it reveal the corruption that built the Trump Ocean Club, but it goes a step further. Ken’s story offers solutions — a rarity in journalism — to eliminate the pervasive money laundering in real estate that built not only Trump’s tower in Panama, but his tower Manhattan’s Soho neighborhood, Azerbaijan, and other places.

The story calls the Trump Ocean Club one of Trump’s most lucrative deals. How lucrative? We don’t know.

But what was in it for Trump? There is little transparency around Trumps financial agreement with Newland, a company that filed for bankruptcy in 2013. In fact, according to Univision News reporting of a New York courts hearing on the bankruptcy, Newland refused to turn over the agreement with Trump to license his name. This prompted the judge to say to Newlands attorney: Go to Panama. If you want to do your deals in secret, go and do it in Panama. Dont do it in my court.

You should also check out Ken’s popular blog, Washington Babylon.

 

 

Filed under: Donald TrumpRussiaRussian mafia Tagged: Trump Ocean Club

As the FBI Closes In, Trump’s Lawyers Are Scrambling to Keep Him Calm – Vanity Fair
 

mikenova shared this story from Trump – Google News.


Vanity Fair
As the FBI Closes In, Trump’s Lawyers Are Scrambling to Keep Him Calm
Vanity Fair
With Donald Trump predisposed to self-sabotage in what may ultimately become an obstruction of justice case, the president’s lawyers have assured him that he has nothing to fear from Robert Mueller. It’s a tricky balancing act, given Trump’s past 
Trump Hasn’t Fired Mueller Yet Because His Lawyer Is Blowing SunshineNew York Magazine
Mueller’s latest request suggests trouble for Trump’s White HouseMSNBC
President* Trump Hears Mueller KnockingEsquire.com
Newsweek –The Hill –CNN
all 52 news articles »
Where the Trump campaign and Russian actors overlapped – Washington Post
 

mikenova shared this story from Putin Trump – Google News.


Washington Post
Where the Trump campaign and Russian actors overlapped
Washington Post
May: Alexander Torshin, a senior official in the Russian central bank, expresses his desire for a TrumpPutin meeting by asking a friend to contact the campaign. The emailed offer is titled, Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite, and includes
Trump Jr. spoke briefly last year with Russian banker with Putin tiesThe Hill
Jared Kushner Failed to Tell Investigators About Outreach from Putin-Linked BankerBreitbart Newsall 14 news articles »
James Clapper on Donald Trump, Russia, and the First Line of His Obituary
 

mikenova shared this story .

“I’ve been a political appointee in both Democratic and Republican administrations,” he said, his voice a phlegmy rumble. “Support the commander in chief. That was the first order of business. But this one, you know…” He reached for his coffee, leaned back, took a sip. “It’s hard. This is a unique situation. We’ve never had a president like this before.”


The Clappers live in a well-to-do suburb outside Washington, in a brick house with heavy shutters. Clapper’s wife, Susan, a retired NSA administrator, answered the door. Her husband, she said, was at work in the basement. I followed her down a carpeted staircase past some paintings of bald eagles. We found James Clapper sitting at a small round table. He was dressed casually, in sandals, a polo shirt, and board shorts.

He seemed to be transitioning smoothly into the life of an ex-official, what D.C. types call a “former.” He now socializes with some of the capital’s more august senators, meeting them for lunch and bumping into them with the grandkids behind home plate at Nationals games. He had sworn off his trademark martinis, hit the gym, and lost 20 pounds. He would soon buy a Chevy Camaro. A friend told him that he was having a midlife crisis at age 76.

“Well, this is my man cave,” he said, gesturing at a meticulously arranged trophy room with a rolltop desk and two couches. Two glass cases contained a glittering array of polished medals from his time in the Air Force, which he joined in 1963. The far wall had built-in shelves showing off a dim series of objects. Clapper dismissed my interest with a wave of his hand, calling it “various other junk from across the course of my career.”

Clapper was one of the first hundred Air Force intelligence officers to go to Vietnam. “I hated the war,” Clapper said. “What we were doing to the country—our own country—was bad.” For a time, he worked alongside his father, who was the NSA’s deputy country chief. Susan gave birth to a daughter while he was overseas. She was 7 months old the first time he saw her.

He stuck with the Air Force after his tours, was promoted “below the zone”—before almost all of his contemporaries—and went on to a career in military intelligence, eventually leading the Defense Intelligence Agency and the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency. In the years after the September 11 attacks, he clashed with Donald Rumsfeld over how to re-organize the country’s spying apparatus, which today consumes roughly $70 billion a year. Rumsfeld won the argument and fired Clapper, but it wasn’t long before he himself was out of a job. Clapper’s willingness to stand his ground impressed Rumsfeld’s replacement, Bob Gates, who recommended him to Obama as director of national intelligence in 2010.

Clapper forged close ties with Obama, whom he often briefed personally. He could be brutally frank; he had no qualms about bringing the president bad news. When the time came to make policy recommendations, Clapper would stick to intelligence and remain silent. Obama staffers would sometimes wonder if he was secretly a Republican.

The worst day of Clapper’s career came on March 12, 2013, when he was called to testify before an open hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Ron Wyden, the senior senator from Oregon, asked Clapper whether the NSA collects “any type of data at all on millions, or hundreds of millions, of Americans.”

“It does not?” asked Wyden. He looked surprised.

“Not wittingly,” said Clapper. The corners of his mouth bent down into his Grumpy Cat face. “There are cases where they could inadvertently, perhaps, collect, but not wittingly.”

Wyden believed, and still believes, that Clapper was being intentionally deceptive. Clapper told me that he made a mistake and misunderstood the question. Wyden holds a grudge to this day. “There’s no other way to describe this than he lied to Congress. He lied to the American people,” Wyden told me. “And that, in my judgment, is unacceptable.”

James Clapper on Donald Trump, Russia, and the First Line of His Obituary – GQ Magazine
 

mikenova shared this story from Donald Trump – Google News.


GQ Magazine
James Clapper on Donald Trump, Russia, and the First Line of His Obituary
GQ Magazine
As director of national intelligence, James Clapper was charged with protecting America’s secrets. But now he’s unwilling to keep silentspeaking out about Russia’s role in our politics and about Donald Trump, whom he calls downright scary and and more »
Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner face new scrutiny in Russia investigation – ABC News
 

mikenova shared this story from Donald Trump – Google News.


ABC News
Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner face new scrutiny in Russia investigation
ABC News
Next to the growing investigation into Russian meddling in the trump campaign. As the president’s son-in-law faces new questions about wikileaks. David Wright is at the white house tonight with the latest. Reporter: Tonight, the president’s son and son 
British publicist who arranged Donald Trump Jr’s meeting with Russian lawyer breaks silence on collusion claimsThe Independent
Rob Goldstone comes clean over Donald Trump and dirt on Hillary ClintonThe Timesall 17 news articles »
Confirmed: Robert Mueller has far more Trump-Russia evidence than previously known
 

mikenova shared this story from FB-RSS feed for Palmer Report.

Confirmed: Robert Mueller has far more Trump-Russia evidence than previously known

Confirmed: Robert Mueller has far more Trump-Russia evidence than previously known

Robert Mueller is WAY out ahead of the rest of us

Confirmed: Robert Mueller knows about even more Trump-Russia meetings than the public does
 

mikenova shared this story from Palmer Report.

All along, it’s appeared that Special Counsel Robert Mueller knows far more about Donald Trump’s Russia scandal than Congress, the media, or the public knows. Although Mueller keeps his cards close to the vest, his actions periodically suggest that he’s several steps ahead of the game. Now comes confirmation that Mueller knows about a whole new set of Trump-Russia meetings that are not yet public.

Buried all the way down in the fifteenth paragraph of a new Washington Post article, you’ll find this key revelation: “Witnesses questioned by Muellers team warn that investigators are asking about other foreign contacts and meetings that have not yet become public, and to expect a series of new revelations.” (link). In other words, this week the media managed to expose Donald Trump Jr’s contacts with WikiLeaks and Jared Kushner’s contacts with a suspected Russian mobster, and yet those are stillfar from the last of the Trump-Russia contacts that Mueller already knows about.

So just what are we looking at here? The WaPo article hints that many of the secret meetings involved Donald Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who is reportedly on the verge of being arrested on a variety of charges which may include conspiracy to commit kidnapping (Flynn denies the charges). So even as the media has been recently exposing Trump-Russia meetings involving members of Donald Trump’s family, Robert Mueller is focused on Trump-Russia meetings of an entirely different nature.

Another remarkable part of the WaPo article in question is the revelation that Donald Trump and his attorney Ty Cobb are both insisting Robert Mueller’s investigation will be completed soon, and that Trump will be exonerated. That’s nothing short of delusional. Mueller is just getting started, and has only arrested three of the dozens of Trump-Russia players he’s targeting. Moreover, Mueller’s entire gameplan is based around getting these targets to flip on Trump himself. Trump isn’t just a target of the investigation; he’s the target.

The post Confirmed: Robert Mueller knows about even more Trump-Russia meetings than the public does appeared first on Palmer Report.

Insider: Donald Trumps staff panicking as Robert Mueller chews through them like Pac-Man
 

mikenova shared this story from Palmer Report.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has finally managed to breach Donald Trump’s inner circle. It was revealed last week that he interviewed White House senior adviser Stephen Miller about his role in the Trump-Russia scandal. Now it turns out Mueller is aggressively working his way through Trump’s top people as we speak, and it’s clearly making them nervous. In fact one insider says they’re panicking as Mueller kicks into high gear.

A Trump White House insider claims that Mueller is chewing through Trump’s senior staff “like Pac-Man” and that they’re all panicked about how deep the investigation is running, summing it up by saying that “its going to be a long winter,” according to a new Washington Post report (link). That same article points to Hope Hicks and Don McGahn as being Mueller’s next two targets, which offers some hints about what Mueller is specifically pursuing.

Hope Hicks is essentially the gatekeeper for Donald Trump himself, filtering his emails and deciding what to loop him in on. This week it was revealed that Hicks was aware of Donald Trump Jr’s ongoing coordination with WikiLeaks, which means almost for certain that Donald Trump knew. Hicks will have to decide whether to admit to Mueller that Trump knew, or commit obstruction of justice by refusing to truthfully answer the question. White House counsel Don McGahn nixed a letter that Trump and Miller wrote justifying the firing of FBI Director James Comey. McGahn will have to decide whether to risk incriminating Trump, or risk incriminating himself. He does not share attorney-client privilege with Trump.

It’s important to keep in mind that Robert Mueller has consistently been several steps ahead of the media and the public when it comes to these matters. For instance it was widely reported by the media that Mueller’s first White House senior staff target would be Hope Hicks. Then it was later revealed that Mueller had already interviewed Stephen Miller instead. The “Pac-Man” reference strongly suggests that Mueller has already interviewed far more of Trump’s inner circle than is publicly known.

The post Insider: Donald Trump’s staff panicking as Robert Mueller chews through them “like Pac-Man” appeared first on Palmer Report.

Insider: Donald Trumps staff panicking as Robert Mueller chews through them “like Pac-Man”
 

mikenova shared this story from FB-RSS feed for Palmer Report.

Insider: Donald Trumps staff panicking as Robert Mueller chews through them “like Pac-Man”

Insider: Donald Trumps staff panicking as Robert Mueller chews through them “like Pac-Man”

Robert Mueller is far ahead of what was previously known

Donald Trumps ticking clock may expire after Thanksgiving
 

mikenova shared this story from Palmer Report.

Since the start of Donald Trump’s illegitimate and toxically unpopular presidency, the public has asked the same question every day: why hasn’t he been ousted yet? The simple answer is that because his approval rating hasn’t yet dropped into the twenties, the Republican-controlled Congress doesn’t feel like it has to oust him. But the main reason they’ve been keeping him around may be about to expire.

The Republican Congress is still trying to find a way to pass its tax scam legislation for the wealthy. But up to this point, every major piece of legislation it’s attempted has failed, partly due to Trump’s instability and unpopularity. The real reason the GOP wants Trump to remain in place: it’s been allowing the party to ram through the appointment of several conservative federal judges. However, according to Axios (link), that streak may be about to end after Thanksgiving.

In fact Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been ramming through the confirmations of these judges as quickly as he can. Trump’s instability means that he could self destruct on his own at any minute and once he does, the focus will be on his demise and ouster, making Senate confirmations more difficult. But even if Trump doesn’t self destruct, the Republicans in Congress are increasingly uneasy about the idea of leaving him in power as they head into the midterms. They just got wiped out across the nation in the November 2017 elections, as a direct result of Trump’s unpopularity.

Once the Republican Congress finishes ramming through its judges after Thanksgiving, it’ll be in position to strategically throw Donald Trump overboard. Once he’s out the door, Trump’s crimes in the Russia scandal will no longer directly be the party’s problem. The GOP’s haste with confirmations, a process which now appears to be reaching its conclusion, suggests that it may be ready to oust Trump soon. Tick tock.

The post Donald Trump’s ticking clock may expire after Thanksgiving appeared first on Palmer Report.

Report: Mueller’s Russia Probe Seeks Justice Department Emails on Comey Firing – Daily Beast
 

mikenova shared this story from Comey – Google News.


Daily Beast
Report: Mueller’s Russia Probe Seeks Justice Department Emails on Comey Firing
Daily Beast
Investigators in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia election collusion probe have directed the Justice Department to hand over communications on former FBI Director James Comey’s firing, ABC News reports. Citing a source familiar with the matter
Mueller requested DOJ hand over documents related to Comey firing: reportThe Hill
Mueller Wants to Know More About the Justice Department’s Role in Comey’s FiringNew York Magazine
Mueller asks Justice Department to hand over documents about Comey’s firing: reportNew York Daily News
Business Insider –ABC News –The Independent
all 14 news articles »
Robert Mueller is going after the Department of Justice to take down Donald Trump
 

mikenova shared this story from Palmer Report.

A few days ago, it was revealed that Special Counsel Robert Mueller subpoenaed the Donald Trump campaign a month ago. It served as a reminder that Mueller is always several steps ahead of the media and the public. It also demonstrates that Mueller is going directly after Trump himself, and not merely settling for taking down Trump’s underlings. Now another new development points to how Mueller plans to get to Trump.

Mueller has requested a treasure trove of documents from the Department of Justice which relate to Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the Trump-Russia investigation, according to an ABC News report (link). This means Mueller is targeting Trump for obstruction of justice. It also suggests that Mueller may be targeting Sessions for some criminal charge related to the reason he had to recuse himself.

The article in question makes no reference to subpoenas, which means that as of yet, the DOJ hasn’t said no to anything Mueller is requesting. Ironically, because Sessions has recused himself, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will make any decisions on what evidence to turn over, meaning Sessions can’t prevent incriminating evidence against himself from being turned over. Rosenstein can be counted on to cooperate with Mueller, as it was Rosenstein who appointed Mueller to begin with.

Although Robert Mueller can be counted on to pursue every possible criminal charge against Donald Trump, ranging from conspiracy against the United States to money laundering on down, proving obstruction of justice will likely be his quickest and most efficient path for establishing Trump’s criminal nature. Now we know that Mueller is going after the Department of Justice to not only prove Trump guilty of obstruction of justice, but likely to take down Jeff Sessions as well.

The post Robert Mueller is going after the Department of Justice to take down Donald Trump appeared first on Palmer Report.

Should The FBI Be Abolished?
 

mikenova shared this story .

For the last few years, the media has been dominated by a number of sensational stories: that Trump colluded with Russia to influence the presidential election; that the Trump team was wiretapped by Obama intelligence officials; that Hillary used a private email server to transmit classified information; that Hillary and the DNC colluded with Russian sources to compile a dossier on Trump, and finally, that Russia acquired 20% of America’s uranium supply during the same time period $145 million miraculously appeared in the Clinton Foundation’s bank account. It all stinks to high heaven but it’s created a confusing array of facts that has bewildered most Americans. They all know something is seriously wrong with their country even if they can’t pinpoint exactly what the problem is.

But there is a common denominator in all these scandals or alleged scandals, and that would be the FBI and the actions they took or didn’t take. Indeed, it’s hard to not conclude that the agency’s actions in these events were improper if not illegal. If so, this validates the warnings by constitutionalists in the early 1900s that a federal police force would someday be used to prop up the ruling elites and attack those who dare challenge the establishment.

Under FBI Director James Comey, Hillary was allowed to escape prosecution, even though he presented compelling evidence that she committed numerous felonies by transmitting classified documents using her private email server. Comey also leaked classified information to a friend to be disseminated to the media, another felony, and his FBI was the recipient of a dossier full of sensational but false allegations traced to Putin-connected individuals. Instead of investigating the dossier’s sources, Comey used the phony intel as the basis for his allegation that the Russians intervened in our election, a charge later proven to be without factual basis. It also appears that Comey likely used the dossier’s claims to convince a FISA court to authorize a phone tap on various Trump aides and possibly even Trump himself.

Lastly, Comey refused to demand that the DNC hand over the computer servers they claimed were hacked by Russia, but nevertheless, he announced that the Russians had hacked into the DNC, thereby helping to create the phony Trump/Russia collusion narrative. But a group of cyber experts led by former high-ranking NSA cyber expert Bill Binney have concluded that the hack simply could not have occurred for technical reasons and that the leaked DNC emails had to come from an inside source. Regardless, for Comey to create a phony “Russia hacked the DNC” narrative without his agency ever analyzing the DNC server calls into question his honesty and his integrity.

On top of all that, former FBI director Robert Mueller — now Special Counsel — is investigating Trump for collusion with Russia when the evidence is now revealing that the only party that colluded with the Russians to influence the 2016 campaign was the Democratic Party. But Mueller doesn’t have the integrity to widen his investigation to cover the Clinton/GPS Fusion/Russian dossier scandal but instead is spending millions on investigating alleged crimes by former Trump campaign workers that occurred years ago and had nothing to do with Trump, Russian collusion, or the 2016 election.

Lastly, when Mueller was FBI Director, he served on the board of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), the agency that approved the sale of uranium to Russia by the Uranium One company only a short time after his own agency had arrested a Russian official attempting to bribe American uranium officials. But there is no record of Mueller warning his fellow CFIUS members about the illegal Russian efforts. It likewise begs logic to believe that Mueller knew nothing about the $145 million the Clinton Foundation received from Putin-connected sources shortly after the CFIUS vote. It is also inconceivable that Mueller, as FBI Director from 2001-2013, was not aware that the Clintons were using their foundation and Hillary’s Secretary of State position to operate a massive pay-to-play scam that went far beyond the Uranium One scandal.

It has become abundantly clear that Mueller is a partisan, as is Comey. Both of them have jeopardized national security in order to protect the Democratic Party. This is an unprecedented situation and both men should be investigated. Moreover, Mueller should be removed as the Special Counsel. The foxes are guarding the hen house.

Mueller and Comey have turned the FBI into a partisan force that ignores crimes by the left and fabricates crimes on the right such as the Trump/Russian collusion theory. Again, such corruption of the FBI was predicted by constitutionalists at the time the agency was formed. That time has arrived.

Within most conservative circles today it would be considered sacrilegious to argue in favor of abolishing the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Indeed, older Americans still think of the FBI as an agency full of incorruptible, efficient, clean cut guys in suits tracking down mobsters and exposing communist subversion. Younger Americans are influenced by popular shows such as television’s Criminal Minds, which, again, portray the G-Men as squeaky clean heroes.

However, it has become increasingly clear in recent years that this agency has become so politicized, so corrupt, and so large and bureaucratic that it may no longer be an effective agency. The time has come to discuss its abolition.

The FBI was started in 1935, although its predecessor — the Bureau of Investigation — was founded in 1908. In the early 1900s, crime was becoming more nationalized with multi-state mob crime families and the creation of large prostitution smuggling rings that crossed state lines. As a result, advocates of a federalized police force argued that a federal law enforcement agency was necessary in order to keep up with the criminals. The main argument was that the local police forces didn’t have the resources or the flexibility to investigate complex criminal cases or to chase mobsters from state to state.

But note that the FBI did not come into existence until 132 years after the country declared its independence. This was because the founders never envisioned a federal role for law enforcement. It is not one of the “enumerated” duties of the federal government listed in the constitution.

There were reasons for that. Our founders were skeptical of a large federal government and, indeed, not even the “federalist” faction argued for a federal law enforcement role. The Constitution’s authors all assumed that most of the country’s governing would be carried out by state and local governments; the Federal government was created simply to take care of things that states were not well suited to do, such as maintaining a military, minting currency, and negotiating trade treaties. Indeed, for most of America’s first century, the highest law enforcement officer was the county sheriff.

Except for treason, the idea of federal crimes was not even mentioned in the Constitution. Our founders had a healthy fear of America turning into a tyrannical government such as those which existed all over the world at the time. They wanted to maximize freedom; hence the Bill of Rights. They assumed the creation of a federalized police force would make it far easier for the federal government to abuse the rights of its citizens. This is why neither the Constitution, the ratification debates, nor the Federalistpapers ever mention anything about a federal law enforcement role. Nada. Nothing. Indeed, in FederalistNo. 45, James Madison specifically singles out “internal order” as an “unenumerated power” that must “remain in the state governments.”

In the last few decades, Congress has created over 3,000 federal crimes, thereby undermining the authority of local law enforcement and ultimately making the federal government more powerful and more prone to corruption and tyranny. As the late Washington Times columnist Sam Francis wrote, “Over the last 30 years or so, the creeping federal incursion into law enforcement has yielded some 140 agencies at the federal level that have such a role… but everyone knows the federal engulfment of law enforcement has failed miserably to control crime and make the country safe. That’s because, by its very nature, effective law enforcement is local.”

And there’s no doubt that national police forces in other countries have been used to transition a country to a dictatorship. Historian William L. Shirer wrote in his famous history of Nazi Germany, The Rise and Fall of the Third Rich, “On June 16, 1936, for the first time in German history, a unified police as established for the whole of the Reich — previously the police had been organized separately by each of the states …the Third Reich, as is inevitable in the development of all totalitarian dictatorships, had become a police state.”

But the FBI has never seemed concerned about its growing powers. Indeed, in the aftermath of WWII, the FBI was so impressed with Hitler’s police state, they secretly hired hundreds of Nazis as spies and informants. As Rutherford Institute president and conservative civil rights lawyer John Whitehead writes, the FBI “then carried out a massive cover-up campaign to ensure that their true identities and ties to Hitler’s holocaust machine would remain unknown. Moreover, anyone who dared to blow the whistle on the FBI’s illicit Nazi ties found himself spied upon, intimidated, harassed and labeled a threat to national security.”

But long before the rise of Hitler, America’s founders understood that the more locally controlled law enforcement is, the more accountable they are, whereas, a federal police force tends to be abused by a central government and is largely unaccountable to local and state governments. Indeed, it is unsettling to review the long list of incidents in which the FBI abused the rights of Americans and was clearly used by one political faction or another to carry out police state-like tactics. Let’s take a trip down memory lane:

Prosecuting Opponents of World War 1. President Woodrow Wilson used the FBI’s predecessor to illegally harass and prosecute thousands of peaceful opponents of World War 1, a war most conservatives would argue America had no business entering.

COINTELPRO. This was the FBI’s covert internal security program in the 1950s and ’60s, created to “disrupt, misdirect, discredit, and neutralize” groups and individuals the government deemed to be enemies. It was carried out under the direction of J. Edgar Hoover with the consent of Attorney General Robert Kennedy. Congressional hearings found that “Many of the techniques used would be intolerable in a democratic society even if all of the targets had been involved in violent activity, but COINTELPRO went far beyond that … the Bureau conducted a sophisticated vigilante operation aimed squarely at preventing the exercise of First Amendment rights of speech and association…” Many conservatives of the day cheered on COINTELPRO since it targeted Marxists and antiwar groups, but that cheering ended when the FBI set its sights on the right.

FBI Preparations for Martial Law. MuckRock, a group that exposes governmental corruption, obtained a 1956 FBI document via a FOIA request that described the FBI’s plans to implement martial law and round up dissidents in the event of nuclear war. The document, titled “Plan C,” states that ‘”as of April 17, 1956, 12,949 individuals were scheduled for apprehension in an emergency.” The FBI’s secretive list of “anti-government” citizens they felt needed to be rounded up has never been revealed but it’s clear the FBI was keeping files on anti-government individuals.

The Ruby Ridge Murders. In 1992, a BATF informant convinced former Green Beret Randy Weaver to sell him two shotguns which had barrels shortened illegally, thus creating the pretext for the FBI to launch a military-style assault on Weaver’s remote Idaho cabin, eventually killing his wife and fatally shooting his son in the back. The FBI agents violated numerous rules of engagement and an Idaho jury found Weaver innocent of almost all charges. According to author James Bovard, “Judge Lodge issued a lengthy list detailing the Justice Departments misconduct, fabrication of evidence and refusal to obey court orders.” No one was held accountable; indeed the agent in charge, Larry Potts, was promoted to FBI Deputy Director.

The Waco Massacre. In 1993, 76 citizens — including 26 children — were burned to death when the FBI laid siege to a Branch Davidian compound in Waco on the grounds they believed cult leader David Koresh possessed unauthorized weapons. However, there was no reason for the FBI to use police state tactics. Koresh visited town almost every week and could have easily been arrested during these excursions. Six years later the FBI admitted during the course of a civil lawsuit that the tear gas it fired into the compound was, in fact, pyrotechnic tear gas, which, probably caused the fire that killed most of the people. The shells were even stamped with a fire warning. Moreover, a law enforcement infrared video revealed muzzle flashes from the FBI’s positions, so contrary to the FBI’s testimony that they did not fire “a single shot,” it appears its snipers were shooting people as they tried to escape the compound. Indeed, a Policy Analysis report by the Heritage Foundation stated that “numerous crimes by government agents were never seriously investigated or prosecuted” and therefore, “the people serving in our federal police agencies may well come to the conclusion that it is permissible to recklessly endanger the lives of innocent people, lie to newspapers, obstruct congressional subpoenas, and give misleading testimony in our courtrooms.”

Helping Bill Clinton Collect Dirt on his Enemies. Often referred to as “Filegate,” in 1993-94, the FBI willingly turned over as many as 900 background check files on Republicans to the Clinton White House. Nothing came of the investigation into this as the Clintons claimed it was all a big mistake. Right.

Project Megiddo. This was another shady FBI project, launched in 1999, created for the purpose of monitoring groups on the right, such as constitutionalists, devout Christians, anti-tax activists, anti-UN and pro-gun groups and individuals, all considered by the FBI to be budding terrorists. Such descriptions cover just about everyone on the right. It is not known if Project Megiddo violated the rights of individuals as the FBI did with previous similar programs, such as COINTELPRO, but it’s likely. Not surprisingly, much of the info used by Project Megiddo was fed to them by hysterical leftist groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), as even the FBI has publicly acknowledged. Shameful.

Use of Criminals as Undercover Agents. Rutherford Institute President John Whitehead writes, “FBI agents are also among the nation’s most notorious lawbreakers. In fact, in addition to creating certain crimes in order to then ‘solve’ them, the FBI also gives certain informants permission to break the law… USA Today estimates that agents have authorized criminals to engage in as many as 15 crimes a day. Some of these informants are getting paid astronomical sums.”

Operation Vigilant Eagle. This FBI program initiated in 2009 targeted anti-government activists such as Tea Party activists and, alarmingly, veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars who are, as one FBI document states, “disgruntled, disillusioned or suffering for the psychological effects of war.” The purpose of this program was allegedly to counter terrorism, but there’s not a shred of evidence veterans are more prone to terrorism than any other citizen. Nonetheless, the FBI actually claimed that veterans who challenge the government are suffering from “Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD).” One of the program’s first targets was 26-year-old decorated Marine veteran Brandon Raub. Due to posting anti-government statements on his Facebook page, the FBI arrested Raub with no warning, labeled him mentally ill and placed him in a psych ward against his will. Thankfully, Rutherford Institute attorney John Whitehead intervened and secured his release. Whitehead writes that he “may have helped prevent Raub from being successfully ‘disappeared’ by the government.” And this has happened to other veterans. If the FBI paid as much attention to jihadists as it does to military veterans, it would have stopped every domestic terror plot!

Targeting Pro-Lifers. In 2010, The FBI held a joint training session on terrorism with Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Federation. The main message of the seminar was that all pro-lifers are potential terrorists, an outrageous allegation. Indeed, material passed out by the pro-aborts at the seminar listed three pages of “anti-abortion web sites,” including those of National Right to Life, Concerned Women for America, the American Center for Law and Justice, and Human Life International. None of those groups advocate violence. This is another example of how the FBI allows itself to be used by the left to go after its enemies. Similarly, during Bill Clinton’s presidency, the FBI created a project called VAAPCON to create files on pro-life religious leaders such as Rev. Jerry Falwell. Indeed, Judicial Watch, representing Falwell, sued the Clinton White House, seeking info on the project, but all the files mysteriously disappeared, Clinton style.

The IRS Scandal. The government watchdog group, Judicial Watch, obtained documents revealing that the FBI was involved with the illegal IRS effort to investigate — and thus silence— around 500 conservative and Tea Party groups during Obama’s 2012 reelection. Perhaps the worst use of the IRS in American history, this was about manipulating the 2012 presidential election and the FBI was complicit in this abuse of governmental power. As JWs Tom Fitton writes, “Both the FBI and Justice Department collaborated with Lois Lerner and the IRS to try to persecute and jail Barack Obama’s political opponents.”

FBI Worked With the SPLC. For much of the Obama era, the FBI listed the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) on its website as part of its effort to combat “hate crimes.” However, many of the groups identified by the SPLC as “hate groups” are not. One example is the Family Research Council, a mainstream pro-family organization. As a result of the FBI’s promotion of SPLC’s phony hate group list, a shooter entered FRC’s headquarters in 2012, wounding the front desk security guard and attempted to slaughter all the FRC employees. He was subdued by the wounded guard. Indeed, the SPLC believes all Christian groups that oppose the gay agenda or abortion are “hate groups,” a bizarre notion that has never been condemned by the FBI even though it did, in 2014, quietly drop the SPLC from its website.

Data Mining Innocent Americans. In 2013, Bloomberg exposed the FBI’s data mining project carried out on hundreds of thousands of Americans, most of whom were not guilty of any crimes.

Raids on Homes of Anti-Government Activists. Repeatedly, the FBI has raided homes on the flimsiest of evidence. In 2014, it raided the home of prepper Martin Winters, claiming he was some kind of domestic terrorist. But nothing was found aside from food stocks and other survivalist gear. Then there’s Terry Porter, also a prepper, whose house the FBI raided in 2012 using twice as many agents as in the Branch Davidian raid. Again, nothing alarming found there. Since when did anti-government preppers become terrorists? The FBI raids group meetings as well, such as when it raided a Republic of Texas secessionist movement meeting in 2015. No one was arrested because no one did anything illegal. But once again, the FBI treated a handful of elderly men discussing constitutional issues as a terrorist plot.

Fraudulent Forensics. Special Agent and whistleblower Frederic Whitehurst revealed in 2015 that FBI crime lab technicians routinely testified falsely about crime lab samples throughout the 1980s and 1990s. As former Judge Andrew Napolitano writes, “its agents and lab technicians who examine hair samples testified falsely in 257 of 268 cases that resulted in convictions. Of the convictions, 18 persons were sentenced to death, and of those, 12 have been executed.” Yes, innocent people died, thanks to the FBI.

FBI High School Informer Network. In 2016, the FBI launched an effort to enlist the help of high school students to ostensibly identify terrorists, but the FBI documents in question reveal they were also urging students to report on anti-government groups such as libertarian and constitutional groups. This effort is shockingly similar to the informant networks set up by the KGB in the USSR and the Stasi in East Germany.

The FBI Record on Fighting Terrorism.
Many Americans assume, however, that at least in the area of Islamic terrorism, the FBI has kept Americans largely safe. Not so fast. The record doesn’t quite show that. In fact, the agency has blundered many terrorism investigations and thus jeopardized the security of Americans. Examples:

  • In 2009, Islamist Nidal Hasan fatally shot 13 people at the Fort Hood Military Base, but his radical associations and open support for jihad were previously known by the FBI. It even had emails in which Hasan stated he wanted to kill his fellow soldiers. Indeed, records show that not only was there reluctance by officials to drum Hasan out of the military — for political reasons — but he was promoted at every opportunity.
  • In 2013, local officials caught seven foreign Muslims trespassing after midnight onto Quabbin Reservoir, a critical Northwest drinking reservoir. The FBI took over the case but let the trespassers go because they believe them to be just “tourists.” Yes, just midnight tourists. Only a few months earlier, another terrorist had been arrested for planning to poison a different reservoir.
  • In 2013, the Tsarnaev brothers bombed the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring hundreds more. Russian intelligence warned the FBI about Tamerlan Tsarnaev and the agency even interviewed him, but it appears the FBI determined that Russia’s intelligence was not accurate. Until the bombs went off.
  • In 2015, when the government watchdog group Judicial Watch obtained documents confirming that ISIS terrorists were crossing the Mexican/Texas border, concerned FBI agents held meetings at the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez with Mexican officials. But not to figure out a plan to deal with such crossings, but rather to deny these allegations and to determine who leaked the info to JW. Forget the message and attack the messenger. What a great counter-terrorism strategy.
  • In 2015, the FBI failed to prevent the San Bernardino terror attack by an Islamic couple from Pakistan connected to an Islamic terrorist group whose files were among those purged earlier by the FBI, thereby making it nearly impossible for the agency to detect this pair.
  • In 2015, two Islamic terrorists attacked a Muhammad art expo in Garland, Texas, but the FBI actually had an informant at the scene with the terrorists, but it never bothered to warn the expo’s organizers of the impending attack. Apparently, the agency didn’t want to blow the informant’s cover! Fortunately, security guard Bruce Joiner shot and killed both shooters before they could get inside the exhibition hall. Joiner wonders why the FBI would allow this attack to transpire, stating “That’s not the kind of thing we do in the United States with our citizens.”
  • In 2016, Islamist Omar Mateen slaughtered 49 people at an Orlando nightclub. While the FBI did investigate him for 10 months it closed his file because it believed he was “being marginalized because of his Muslim faith.” Seriously.
  • The FBI has flat out denied that Las Vegas shooter Steven Paddock has any Islamic terror connections, but the reality is it really doesn’t know enough about him to make such a claim. Indeed, ISIS never takes credit for attacks that are not its own and on three occasions, it has announced Paddock was connected to ISIS. It even revealed Paddock’s Islamic name: Abu Abdul Barr al-Amriki. Also, Paddock made trips to the Middle East. Given the FBI’s record, ISIS’s statements may be more credible than the FBI’s denials.
  • The latest terrorist incident in New York City was also bungled. Months before Sayfullo Saipov mowed down over 20 people, the FBI interviewed him because it knew he was connected to two men with terrorist connections. As such, his visa should have been revoked and he should have been deported, but the agency didn’t even open up a file on him.
  • Finally, the 9/11 terrorist attack itself could have been prevented by the FBI. It had enough intel to connect the dots but didn’t. Many of its pre-9/11 reports on al Qaeda were lost or not shared with the proper people. One was a memo by Phoenix FBI Agent Ken Williams, describing suspected al Qaeda members training at U.S. flight schools. How could that not result in a full scale investigation? And Special Agent Mark Rossini sent a message to FBI headquarters warning that 9/11 hijacker Khalid al-Mihdhar had a multi-entry visa to enter the U.S. before 9/11. But that cable went “missing” when Congress held hearings on how our intelligence agencies manage to completely miss so many obvious clues.

And there are many other examples that can’t be cited here due to lack of space, but it’s difficult to find a domestic terrorist investigation that the FBI hasn’t screwed up. The above incidents alone cost the lives of almost 3,200 Americans. One would think that in the aftermath of 9/11, the FBI would make an effort to become more efficient when it comes to counter-terrorism, but with the 2008 election of Barack Obama, the FBI not only remained overly bureaucratic but became hyper politically correct.

Incredible as it may seem, in 2011, Obama’s FBI Director, Robert Mueller, met with a coalition of radical Islamic groups and agreed to purge thousands of files “offensive” to Muslims. Judicial Watch said the “purge is part of a broader Islamic ‘influence operation’ aimed at our government and constitution.”

In other words, the FBI caved in to groups that do not have our best interests at heart. Indeed, two of the groups Mueller met with, ISNA and CAIR, were unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation terror funding case. Many terror experts believe this purge crippled the FBI’s abilities to detect some of the terror plots that occurred during the Obama years. Due to its desire not to offend Muslims, the FBI jeopardized the lives of many Americans.

Conservatives Should Quit Defending the FBI
The FBI has a long history of being used by various administrations to harass certain groups and individuals, or, conversely, to allow certain groups and individuals to commit crimes without fear of prosecution. The FBI is supposed to uphold the Constitution but instead has repeatedly violated the constitutional rights of Americans. This politicization has cost many Americans their lives and their freedoms. The abuse listed here is not comprehensive but it’s enough, one would think, to make conservatives think twice about defending this agency’s police state tactics.

Indeed, the Wall Street Journal has reported that “nearly one out of every three American adults are on file in the FBI’s master criminal database,” even though most of them have not been convicted of a crime. Does anyone really believe our founding fathers would be fine with such sweeping federal law enforcement powers?

The aforementioned conservative civil rights attorney, John Whitehead, summarizes today’s FBI: “In additions to procedural misconduct, trespassing, enabling criminal activity, and damaging private property, the FBI’s laundry list of crimes against the American people includes surveillance, disinformation, blackmail, entrapment, intimidation tactics, and harassment.” President Harry Truman once said, “We want no Gestapo or secret police. The FBI is trending in that direction.” And that was 72 years ago.

It’s Time to Turn Over FBI Investigations to the States
If the FBI was abolished and its workload turned over to the states, it would not be as difficult as some would portray it. Indeed, what most Americans don’t realize is that almost every state already has a state version of the FBI. New Mexico has the New Mexico State Police, the Golden State has the California Bureau of Investigation, Texas has both the Texas Rangers and the Texas Department of Public Safety, and Georgia has the Georgia Bureau of investigation. (One can view the list here.)

Moreover, all these agencies are equipped with crime labs and the latest forensic tools. At one time, such tools were prohibitively expensive for state police agencies to acquire, but technological advances have brought the cost of such equipment down, resulting in most states having the latest forensics equipment that at one time was monopolized by the FBI. For example, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is famous for its forensic work: “The Division of Forensic Sciences envisions a future in which we continue to build and develop an internationally recognized forensic laboratory system that partners with governmental and private entities….”

Today, much of the FBI’s work entails the investigation of federal crimes committed within one state. There is no reason why the states can’t handle these investigations and if the case does happen to cross over into other states, then the states simply coordinate. Those days in which a criminal would escape the law by crossing a state line are long gone. Indeed, that practice was one of the reasons why the FBI was created, but with today’s advances in communication technology, that simply doesn’t happen anymore. All states today have the technology to easily track criminals as they cross state lines and it’s not difficult for two states or more to work together in the apprehension of a criminal. Already, states today cooperate on a wide array of governmental actions; there is no reason why they can’t coordinate on a police investigation or criminal apprehension.

Some of the FBI’s workload involves complex white collar cases such as tax evasion, money laundering, bank fraud, and commodities fraud, but if a state police agency feels it doesn’t have the expertise to investigate such crimes, it can enlist the assistance of existing agencies that already investigate such crimes. The IRS, Securities Exchange Commission, Treasury Department and the Secret Service all have investigative branches that handle different aspects of financial crimes.

Then, of course, there are the federal crime data bases largely maintained by the FBI, including the National Crime Information Center database, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, the Integrated Fingerprint Identification System, and the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). These databases should be turned over to the Department of Justice, which, in part, already play a role in maintaining them. More importantly, the state police agencies will need to be given ready access to these databases if they are to take on cases formerly handled by the FBI.

State law enforcement agencies are not perfect but it is far more difficult for the federal government to politicize the actions of a state agency. Moreover, it is much easier to hold state agencies accountable for any abuses they commit, just by virtue of being closer to the people.

Indeed, with access to federal crime data bases, most state police agencies have the capability to handle cases the FBI now handles, including domestic terrorist investigations. It’s a good bet that, given the FBI’s record on terrorism, the states will do a better job at stopping and preventing terrorism.

America’s founders were wise men and they knew not to make law enforcement a federal responsibility. They foresaw how the federal government could use a national police agency to play favorites, wreck havoc on our democratic institutions, and ultimately move us closer to a police state. The only question that remains is whether any politician will have the guts to initiate discussion on abolishing the FBI.

Should The FBI Be Abolished? – American Spectator
 

mikenova shared this story from former FBI agents power influence – Google News.


American Spectator
Should The FBI Be Abolished?
American Spectator
On top of all that, former FBI director Robert Mueller now Special Counsel is investigating Trump for collusion with Russia when the evidence is now revealing that the only party that colluded with the Russians to influence the 2016 campaign was and more »
Russias Gay Demons | by Robert Cottrell
 

mikenova shared this story from The New York Review of Books.

by Masha Gessen

Riverhead, 515 pp., $28.00

Early in Vladimir Putin’s first presidency I spoke to a Moscow banker, with reason to care on this point, who said he detected no trace of anti-Semitism in Putin personally, but that Putin would encourage popular anti-Semitism in a second if he thought that doing so would serve his interests. So far, Putin has not felt the need to demonize Russia’s Jews. He has instead identified the enemy within as Russia’s homosexuals, whose persecution is one of the main themes of The Future Is History, Masha Gessen’s remarkable group portrait of seven Soviet-born Russians whose changing lives embody the changing fortunes and character of their country as it passed from the end of Communist dictatorship under Mikhail Gorbachev to improvised liberalism under Boris Yeltsin and then back to what Gessen sees as renewed totalitarianism under Putin.

Two of Gessen’s central characters, Masha* and Lyosha, were born into the educated middle class of the 1980s. Two more characters of the same generation have lives touched by great privilege: Seryozha is the grandson of Alexander Yakovlev, who was Gorbachev’s close adviser and a longtime member of the Central Committee; Zhanna is the daughter of Boris Nemtsov, a minister under Yeltsin and a dissident murdered under Putin. All four are encountered first in childhood and referred to throughout by their childhood names. Three characters appear first as adults, with private and public lives. Alexander Dugin is a philosopher who develops an ideology of Russian exceptionalism that wins him fame and favor under Putin. Lev Gudkov is a sociologist who seeks to model the emerging new Russia. Marina Arutyunyan is a psychologist who reestablishes the practice of psychoanalysis in Russia after its disappearance under communism.

Gessen’s deft blending of these stories gives us a fresh view of recent Russian history from within, as it was experienced at the time by its people. It is a welcome perspective. In turbulent periods, anything seems possible. Only with hindsight does causality creep in, and with it the illusion of inevitability. The infinite possibilities of the moment are lost. Through the eyes of her characters, Gessen manages to restore those possibilities, to convey how it felt to imagine that life in the new Russia could go in any direction.

The tension between experience and hindsight is there within Gessen’s writing. She alternately zooms in on the lives of her characters and zooms out to give more general accounts of the major events of the time—the putsch against Gorbachev in 1991, Yeltsin’s shelling of the Russian White House in 1993, the reelection of Yeltsin as president in 1996, the handover of power to Putin in 2000, and so on. How familiar these events appear when Gessen arranges them in their historical order, and how unfamiliar they appear when we see them as fragments of experience. On one side is the historian explaining the rise of Putin as a logical reaction to the failings of Yeltsin. On the other is Masha’s mother, wondering how on earth that dull man she met while selling insurance in St. Petersburg a few years back is now the prime minister.

Gessen was born in Moscow, emigrated to America with her family as a teenager in 1981, and returned to Russia ten years later to pursue a distinguished career as a journalist and LGBT activist. She came back to America in 2013, fearing that if she stayed in Russia, official hostility toward homosexuals could result in her children being seized by the state. Russia’s persecution of homosexuals is the strand of Gessen’s book that shows Putin at his cruelest. She arranges this narrative around Lyosha, who was born near Perm in 1985, and who was fifteen, on holiday in Crimea, when he recognized himself as gay:

When he saw other boys, teenagers like himself or young men, dressed, like he was, in only a pair of small black bathing trunks, he felt heat shoot excruciatingly through his body and a thrilling invisible shiver set in. It happened every day after that first time…. I am a pervert, he thought. I am sick. I am the only person in the world who feels this way.

The early post-Soviet period was not the very worst of times to be gay in Russia. Between 1989 and 1994, according to surveys conducted by the Russian sociologist Yuri Levada, support for “liquidating deviants” fell from 31 percent to 23 percent. It fell again to 15 percent in 1999, shortly before Lyosha had his realization. Homosexuality was no longer illegal. Teachers and doctors could talk about it if they wanted to. Lyosha did not much want to talk, but after a horrible beating from a local thug who was tipped off by a suspicious classmate, he opened up to a school counselor and discovered the liberating power of a sympathetic ear. He returned energized to his studies, graduated with distinction, and came out.

Lyosha built an academic career as a pioneer of gender and LGBT studies at Perm University, but when government-sanctioned hate campaigns made his work impossible and put his life in danger, he left the country. The sadistic murder in 2013 of a young gay man in Volgograd made a deep impression on him, and Gessen’s account of it will make a deep impression on you too. Whatever Putin’s legacy, it includes—among other results of his state-approved homophobia—three bloody beer bottles and one dead boy.

Demonizing homosexuality is, most obviously, a way for Putin to assert Russia’s superiority over the West. The West’s acceptance of homosexuality is given as proof of its moral and social collapse. Putin also sees, correctly, that the equality of all sexual orientations is widely proclaimed in the West but not uniformly accepted, allowing Russia to pose as a beacon of hope for Western reactionaries. To make homosexuality seem truly evil even to Russians who had ceased to think of it as such, Putin conflated it with pedophilia. If, in the age-old anti-Semitic narrative, “they” were conspiring to steal the nation’s money, in Putin’s anti-gay narrative “they” are conspiring to steal the nation’s children.

As Gessen recounts, Putin encountered few obstacles in selling this notion to the public. Politicians competed to imagine new crimes with which LGBT people could be charged and new punishments for them. Even to contest the conflation of homosexuality with pedophilia marked the objector as a friend of the pedophile conspiracy. The crudeness and viciousness of views expressed in parliament and the media verged on the medieval. According to Dmitry Kiselev, a host on state-owned television: “If [gays] should die in a car accident, we need to bury their hearts underground or burn them; they are unsuitable for the aiding of anyone’s life.”

I suppose it is worth pointing out that just as my banker friend did not think Putin to be personally anti-Semitic, so I doubt that Putin hungers to murder homosexuals with his own bare hands. He might even enjoy the company of a gay grandson. When Oliver Stone asked him a question about gay rights in a recent series of interviews, Putin responded much as a middle-aged Western male might have responded forty years ago, jocularly and gingerly:

Putin: Sometimes I visit events where people publicly declare that they’re homosexuals, these events are attended by such people and we communicate and have good relations.

Stone: Is that true in the military as well?

Putin: There’s no restriction.

Stone: No restriction in the military? I mean, if you’re taking a shower in a submarine and you know he’s gay, do they have a problem with that?

Putin: [laughs] Well, I prefer not to go to the shower with him. Why provoke him?

At such moments, thinking of a young man on a park bench in Volgograd with three beer bottles up his rectum, you have to wonder about the mixture in Putin’s character of the stupid, the brilliant, the evil, and the naive.

While Lyosha very wisely gets out of Russia, Seryozha gets by there, Zhanna gets on, and Masha gets involved with the 2011 protest movement organized by Boris Nemtsov—Zhanna’s father—and by Alexei Navalny, a younger dissident. It is an uneasy alliance. Navalny is a nationalist, whereas Nemtsov is the last and best survivor of Yeltsin-era liberalism, perhaps the last true liberal to have held any meaningful political power in Russia. When Nemtsov is murdered within sight of the Kremlin in 2015, apparently for his opposition to Russia’s war in Ukraine, Zhanna blames the killing squarely on Putin. Others report that Putin is both surprised and angered by Nemtsov’s murder, less because he has any affection for Nemtsov than because a high-profile assassination in the center of Moscow is a direct challenge to his own monopoly on violence.

The outlier among Gessen’s seven is Alexander Dugin, the only one to favor repression, to reject freedom, to want more and better Putinism. He is too big and too strange to fit easily into the story, and instead haunts its margins. Dugin has always seemed to me a bogus thinker, a fantasist, an opportunist. But others take him seriously, and he emerges from Gessen’s account as a prodigious consumer and manipulator of philosophy and political science.

Dugin was expelled from college and has been deeply influenced by Heidegger and Hitler. He’s allegedly capable of learning a new European language in two weeks merely from reading books in that language. He appropriates the arguments of the Russian Eurasianists, including the émigré linguist Nikolai Trubetskoy and the Soviet ethnographer Lev Gumilev, to the effect that Russia’s geographical sprawl between Europe and Asia gives the nation a unique, non-Western character. Russia is not a country, but a civilization. The Russian identity belongs not to the Russian Federation but to the “Russian World,” and the West is the natural enemy of the Russian World.

Dugin had his wilderness years in the 1990s, but with the arrival of Putin his influence rocketed. His Eurasian Youth Union marched through Moscow. He was given a teaching job at Moscow State University. When, after Russia’s annexation of Crimea, Putin referred on television to “a Russian person, or, to speak more broadly, a person of the Russian World,” Dugin’s happiness was complete. He was putting words into Putin’s mouth that articulated in a suitably lofty manner their common vision of ethnic, cultural, and religious Russian supremacy. Dugin wants his Russian World to be totalitarian, which is to say, a world in which the state polices everybody’s thoughts as well as everybody’s actions. He opposes universal human rights and the rule of law as alien ideas from the hostile West.

Gessen claims in her title that Russia is already totalitarian. I imagine that Dugin would disagree. And from a different perspective, so would I. Take, for example, Gessen’s account of a moment after Masha has been arrested as a political protester in 2012. Under prolonged police investigation, she goes to stay in her mother-in-law’s dacha outside Moscow. The neighboring dacha belongs to a senior police officer called Natalia. The two fall into conversation:

“Hey, you are part of the Bolotnoye case, aren’t you,” she asked when they were having a cigarette Masha’s first night at the dacha. It was cool and quiet and you could see the stars.

“Yeah,” said Masha.

“Who is your investigator?”

“Grachev.”

“Ah, Timokha!” Natalia’s voice sang with the joy of recognition. “He is one of mine. I had to send three people. It’s a big case. He doing his job?”

“Oh, he is doing his job, all right.”

“Good. Say hi to him there.”

That is not my idea of how life proceeds in a totalitarian society. I sense in this brief exchange humanity and sincerity on both sides. I do not want to generalize too much from this. Many horrible things happen in Russian police stations. But totalitarianism ought surely to be total, if only among the police.

The idea of categorizing dictatorships as either authoritarian or totalitarian is a twentieth-century one. Totalitarianism took as its examples Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia. The distinction was of practical significance during the cold war, when there was a political need in the West to distinguish between cruel regimes that the US supported (Pinochet’s Chile, the Shah’s Iran) and cruel regimes that the US opposed (China, the USSR). The former were deemed authoritarian, the latter totalitarian. Totalitarian regimes were beyond hope of improvement; authoritarian regimes were not.

If we accept the distinction between an authoritarian desire to control behavior and a totalitarian desire to control thought, then, as Gessen shows, Russia crossed that line some time ago under Putin. But what if you set Russia alongside North Korea? Putin wants all Russians to think like him, whereas Kim Jong-un would rather his subjects not think at all. That is not a very encouraging distinction, but at the darker end of government, it is surely one worth maintaining.

One problem with trying to understand totalitarianism is that, to the extent it succeeds, it is impenetrable to outsiders. Everything that is said and thought is the product of propaganda. Lev Gudkov, the sociologist in Gessen’s book, has a lucid account of this problem that merits quoting at some length, in Gessen’s paraphrase:

Looking from the outside in, one cannot see, for example, whether people attend a parade because they are forced to do so or because they so desire. Researchers generally assumed one or the other: either that people were passive victims or that they were fervent believers. But on the inside, both assumptions were wrong, for all the people at the parade…and for each one of them individually. They did not feel like helpless victims, but they did not feel like fanatics either. They felt normal. They were members of a society. The parades and various other forms of collective life gave them a sense of belonging that humans generally need…. They would not be lying if they said that they wanted to be part of the parade, or the collective in general—and that if they exerted pressure on others to be a part of a collective too, they did so willingly.

Another problem with trying to arrive at an account of totalitarianism—at least from a Western point of view—is that totalitarian societies are by definition the enemy, so we are not terribly interested in what their better points might be. “After the fall of the Soviet Union made it easier to study the country that had been,” Gessen writes, referring to the work of Sheila Fitzpatrick and others, “academics began noting how much richer private life had been in the USSR than they had once thought, how inconsistent and how widely disregarded the ideology, and how comparatively mild police enforcement became after Stalin’s death.”

This seems to be borne out by the lives of Gessen’s older characters. Even in the 1960s and 1970s, long before Gorbachev cracked open the old certainties, Arutyunyan the psychologist and Gudkov the sociologist were finding that Soviet academia allowed them a fair amount of room to maneuver, as long as this was exercised discreetly and deniably. For example, although you could not study the problems of Soviet society (Soviet society had only solutions), you could still study sociology so long as you pretended to be denouncing Western sociological theories, or if you called it something else. Gudkov’s mentor, Yuri Levada, was allowed to set up a department within the Academy of Sciences called the Institute for Concrete Social Studies. I also admire Gessen’s line that “the Soviet system offered not a vision of the future but the ability to know one’s future, much as tradesmen did in feudal times, and to make very small-scale, manageable decisions about the future.” If this was totalitarianism, you start to see why so many Russians wanted Putin to turn the clock back.

Gudkov argues that, in fact, the clock never moved. It was always striking thirteen. Institutions and systems designed for a totalitarian Soviet Union survived with little or no change into the new Russian state, encouraging totalitarian behavior to return through them. Elections became public displays of support for the regime, just like parades. Public protest was more frequent in Putin’s Russia than it had been in the Soviet Union, but only because the regime had reached a new understanding that street demonstrations changed nothing—on the contrary, they helped to maintain the existing order. Dissidents revealed themselves and were arrested. The rest of society was reassured by the regime’s show of power in shutting the demonstrations down.

Gudkov fears that the Soviet system has reshaped the Russian national character to such an extent that Russians can willingly recreate a totalitarian society among themselves even without compulsion from the state to do so. A corollary of that argument is that Russia can have a totalitarian society even without a totalitarian state—a useful formulation if one takes the view that the ultimate aim of the Putin regime is the accumulation of wealth even more than the accumulation of power. Thus Gessen, when she discusses the ideas of the Hungarian political scientist Bálint Magyar, can speak of Russia as a “mafia state ruling over a totalitarian society.”

With all due respect to Gessen and to Gudkov, the term “totalitarian” is being used loosely here. It may be useful to invoke the prospect of totalitarianism as a rhetorical way of alerting Russians to the fact that their government is a danger to themselves and to others. But to claim that Russia is already totalitarian is to absolve Russians in general from what is done in their name by proposing that they have been indoctrinated into acquiescence. One risks imagining a Russian nation which, freed from thought control, reveals itself to be liberal and freedom-loving. This is exactly the mistake that Westerners made when Soviet communism was on its last legs thirty years ago—and when, as Gessen so poignantly shows, what was revealed was the appetite for a newer and better dictator.

My own view of Putin is that he came to power fully intending to be an authoritarian leader but also to allow some small degree of pluralism in politics and some larger degree of liberalism in private life and business, on the purely pragmatic grounds that he knew from Soviet times the weakness of totalitarianism. He would rather be Lee Kuan Yew than Robert Mugabe. But he found it personally intolerable to be criticized, let alone thwarted, so freedom to oppose him politically soon disappeared. Economics was a closed book to Putin when he took power, but he came to understand that a thriving market economy required a well-functioning rule of law capable of constraining even government—and that was the death knell for the market economy. Freedom in private life lasted rather longer, but was eventually curtailed, most obviously in the sexual domain, when the stagnating regime needed new ways to mobilize popular support.

The theater and film director Andrei Konchalovsky, quoted by Christian Neef in Der Spiegel, sees roughly the same trajectory in Putin’s career, but attributes it to pressure from below:

Putin initially thought like a Westerner, but ultimately realized why every Russian ruler struggles to lead this nation: Because its inhabitants, in accordance with an unshakable tradition, freely delegate all their power to a single person, and then wait for that power to take care of them, without doing anything themselves.

We are close here to the dilemma of Bertolt Brecht’s poem “The Solution,” about the anti-Communist uprising in East Germany in 1953, and a thought that must have struck every observer of Russia at some time or other:

Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?

John Raines, 84; was accomplice in 1971 burglary that revealed FBI abuses – The Boston Globe
 

mikenova shared this story from fbi – Google News.

John Raines, 84; was accomplice in 1971 burglary that revealed FBI abuses
The Boston Globe
The cache of documents they stole revealed a sweeping campaign of intimidation by the FBI, then led by J. Edgar Hoover, against civil rights and antiwar activists, communists, and other dissenters. One now-infamous document told agents to ramp up …and more »

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 1.1K
  •  
  •  

8:07 AM 11/21/2017 – Trump Ocean Club, and other Selected Articles

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Saved Stories

Saved Stories – None
Trump Ocean Club
Trump Family Made A Fortune Through Drug Cartels And Money Laundering – Carbonated.tv (blog)
North Korea’s latest tirade: Trump is a ‘mean trickster and human reject’ – Washington Post
Putin to Speak to Trump on Syria After Surprise Assad Visit – Bloomberg
Foreign Ministry again requires permit for medical examination of Pavlo Hryb – Ukrinform. Ukraine and world news
Assad meets Putin in surprise visit to Russia – Ynetnews
Vladimir Putin Will Call Donald Trump After Syria’s Assad Visits Russia – Newsweek
Is The Trump Administration The Most Nepotistic In Modern American History? – The National Memo (blog)
Donald Trumps Pricey New Christmas Hat Gets Exactly The Reception Youd Expect
Marc Thiessen: Yes, the Clintons should be investigated – Fox News
One and a half years before the election: Is Ukraine dreaming of Belarus? – New Eastern Europe
Elizabeth Warren: Donald Trump’s ‘Racist Slurs’ Won’t Shut Me Up
Assad tells Putin: Ready to move with political process in Syria – The BRICS Post
Donald Trump’s science office is a ghost town – CBS News
Britain needs to spell out how it hopes to achieve post-Brexit security soon – Telegraph.co.uk
It’s time to investigate the sexual assault charges against Donald Trump – Salon
Putin, Trump to discuss issues they consider necessary Kremlin spokesman – TASS
Trump Jr. Second Meeting With Russian Official Investigated – CBS Miami
Note to Robert Mueller: Hope Hicks Was Part of the Cover-Up – Mother Jones
The Trump administration is suing AT&T to stop its purchase of Time Warner – Recode
How the Mafia Fueled Richard Nixon’s Political Career – VICE
Donald Jr. Met With Russian Ex-Banker Accused Of Money Laundering – TPM
Trump urged to sell $50 million in lethal weapons to Ukraine – Los Angeles Times
Justice department aims to block AT&T’s $85bn takeover of Time Warner
Carter Page held high-level meetings with pro-Putin Hungarian government: report – The Hill

 

Saved Stories – None
Trump Ocean Club

My friend Ken Silverstein has a great new story out via Global Witness about Trump’s tower in Panama.

Put simply, it’s is the most revealing look we’ve had into how Russians were recruited for Trump’s towers.

Part of the business strategy at Trump Ocean Club was luring wealthy and “secretive” Russians — who didn’t want any questions asked about where their money came from.

The money quote in this story for me comes from a broker involved with the project named Alexandre Henrique Ventura Nogueira. Half of Nogueria’s customers were Russian.

I had some customers with some, you know, questionable backgrounds. He also said that he found out later that some customers were part of the Russian Mafia.

Another real estate broker who worked in Panama during the TOC pre-construction sales period told Global Witness that Eastern European and Russian investors at the TOC were very secretive, especially when setting up shell corporations, so you dont know their names and didnt know where their money came from.

Rich Russians whom he called the whales were prized clients because brokers could earn substantial commissions working with them. These were exactly the kind of purchasers needed by Trump and others to secure early sales, and therefore the financing through Bear Stearns to develop the project.

Ventura Nogueira was asked point blank about this: Did the Trump Organization know there were some Russians there with strange backgrounds involved in buying? I dont know.

There are a lot of things to like about this story. (Story is the wrong word. It’s a 28-page report.) Not only does it reveal the corruption that built the Trump Ocean Club, but it goes a step further. Ken’s story offers solutions — a rarity in journalism — to eliminate the pervasive money laundering in real estate that built not only Trump’s tower in Panama, but his tower Manhattan’s Soho neighborhood, Azerbaijan, and other places.

The story calls the Trump Ocean Club one of Trump’s most lucrative deals. How lucrative? We don’t know.

But what was in it for Trump? There is little transparency around Trumps financial agreement with Newland, a company that filed for bankruptcy in 2013. In fact, according to Univision News reporting of a New York courts hearing on the bankruptcy, Newland refused to turn over the agreement with Trump to license his name. This prompted the judge to say to Newlands attorney: Go to Panama. If you want to do your deals in secret, go and do it in Panama. Dont do it in my court.

You should also check out Ken’s popular blog, Washington Babylon.

 

 

Filed under: Donald TrumpRussiaRussian mafia Tagged: Trump Ocean Club

Trump Family Made A Fortune Through Drug Cartels And Money Laundering – Carbonated.tv (blog)


Carbonated.tv (blog)
Trump Family Made A Fortune Through Drug Cartels And Money Laundering
Carbonated.tv (blog)
Neither of these international business ventures worked out for the Trump Organization, as the luxury resort in Panama City later dismissed Trump’s management company over reported budget misuse and the hotel in Baku never opened due to budget overruns 

and more »

North Korea’s latest tirade: Trump is a ‘mean trickster and human reject’ – Washington Post


Washington Post
North Korea’s latest tirade: Trump is a ‘mean trickster and human reject’
Washington Post
TOKYO North Korea on Tuesday criticized Donald Trump in the way that only North Korean propagandists can, calling the American president an old lunatic, mean trickster and human reject over a speech he made in South Korea earlier this month. 
Despite Trump lobby, only ‘some’ leaders condemn PyongyangFox News

Trump names North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism – CNNPolitics CNN
Trump Says US Will Label North Korea a State Sponsor of TerrorBloomberg 
Trump puts North Korea back on list of ‘state sponsors of terrorism’Los Angeles Times

New York Times NPRPolitico
all 856 CNBCNPR
all 897
 
news articles »
Putin to Speak to Trump on Syria After Surprise Assad Visit – Bloomberg


Bloomberg
Putin to Speak to Trump on Syria After Surprise Assad Visit
Bloomberg
Russian President Vladimir Putin held a surprise meeting with his Syrian counterpart, Bashar al-Assad, kicking off a diplomatic drive this week to outline the terms of an end to the Middle Eastern country’s bloody civil war. Putin will speak by phone 
TrumpPutin to talk over phone on Tuesday after Assad’s visit to Russia: IfxReuters
Putin to Speak With Trump After Hosting Syria’s Assad in SochiDaily Beast
Dan Hannan: The Republicans’ astonishing, Orwellian change of heart on PutinWashington Examiner
Times LIVE –The Moscow Times –Haaretz
all 151 news articles »
Foreign Ministry again requires permit for medical examination of Pavlo Hryb – Ukrinform. Ukraine and world news


Ukrinform. Ukraine and world news
Foreign Ministry again requires permit for medical examination of Pavlo Hryb
Ukrinform. Ukraine and world news
As reported, a 19-year-old son of the State Border Service officer, Pavlo Hryb, disappeared in Belarus on August 24. Later it became known that he was kidnapped by Russian intelligence services and transferred to the Krasnodar detention facility (Russia).

and more »

Assad meets Putin in surprise visit to Russia – Ynetnews


Ynetnews
Assad meets Putin in surprise visit to Russia
Ynetnews
Syrian president leaves his country for first time in 2 years to meet with Russian patron; Putin congratulates Assad on ‘accomplishments’ in war on terror, says Syria nearing completion of mission; Assad says now is time to move forward to reach

Vladimir Putin Will Call Donald Trump After Syria’s Assad Visits Russia – Newsweek


Newsweek
Vladimir Putin Will Call Donald Trump After Syria’s Assad Visits Russia
Newsweek
Russian President Vladimir Putin will speak to President Donald Trump after a surprise meeting with Moscow ally Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. During Assad’s visit to the city of Sochi, Putin said he would shortly phone the White House and a handful 
Putin to Talk to Trump on Syria After Surprise Assad VisitBloomberg
TrumpPutin to talk over phone on Tuesday after Assad’s visit to Russia: IfxReuters
Putin to speak with Trump after AssadGood4Utah
Daily Beast –TASS
all 173 news articles »
Is The Trump Administration The Most Nepotistic In Modern American History? – The National Memo (blog)


The National Memo (blog)
Is The Trump Administration The Most Nepotistic In Modern American History?
The National Memo (blog)
Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York City, was once rumored to be among Trump’s picks for attorney general. He never made it, but Andrew Giuliani, his son, landed a plum position as the associate director of the White House Office of Public Liaison.

Donald Trumps Pricey New Christmas Hat Gets Exactly The Reception Youd Expect

GOP claims this hat will “make Christmas great again.”

Marc Thiessen: Yes, the Clintons should be investigated – Fox News


Fox News
Marc Thiessen: Yes, the Clintons should be investigated
Fox News
None of this absolves the Trump campaign or calls into question the intelligence community’s conclusion that Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help . . . Trump’s election chances. But it does underscore that the Russians were smart in what 

and more »

One and a half years before the election: Is Ukraine dreaming of Belarus? – New Eastern Europe


New Eastern Europe
One and a half years before the election: Is Ukraine dreaming of Belarus?
New Eastern Europe
Launching the meeting of the Central European Initiative in the summer Lukashenko lauded Minsk’s multi-vector foreign policy, avoiding an artificial choice between the East and the West and stressed that Belarus shall play a more active role in 

Elizabeth Warren: Donald Trump’s ‘Racist Slurs’ Won’t Shut Me Up

“Give it up.”

Assad tells Putin: Ready to move with political process in Syria – The BRICS Post

Assad tells Putin: Ready to move with political process in Syria
The BRICS Post
SANA said that Al Assad informed Putin that he was ready to move forward with a political process which will put an end to the Syrian civil war. We believe that the situation we now have on the ground and in the political sense permits us to expect 

Donald Trump’s science office is a ghost town – CBS News


CBS News
Donald Trump’s science office is a ghost town
CBS News
In its 41-year-old history as the White House hub of innovation, the Office of Science and Technology Policy has never gone this long without a leader or official mandate. The science office, which takes up half of the fourth floor of the Eisenhower 

Britain needs to spell out how it hopes to achieve post-Brexit security soon – Telegraph.co.uk

Britain needs to spell out how it hopes to achieve post-Brexit security soon
Telegraph.co.uk
The European Union plays an active role in most aspects of security related to criminal activity, terrorism and organized crime. And, as we argue in a detailed new report published today, if disruption to ongoing cooperation between the UK and the EU 

It’s time to investigate the sexual assault charges against Donald Trump – Salon


Salon
It’s time to investigate the sexual assault charges against Donald Trump
Salon
The allegations of sexual misconduct deserve a separate investigation. Ideally, the Justice Department would hire a prosecutor who has experience in dealing with sex crimes, much in the way that Mueller has experience dealing with criminalcorruption …

and more »

Putin, Trump to discuss issues they consider necessary Kremlin spokesman – TASS

Putin, Trump to discuss issues they consider necessary Kremlin spokesman
TASS
SOCHI, November 21. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Donald Trump will discuss issues they consider necessary during their upcoming telephone conversation, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. “They [the …

and more »

Trump Jr. Second Meeting With Russian Official Investigated – CBS Miami


CBS Miami
Trump Jr. Second Meeting With Russian Official Investigated
CBS Miami
As a deputy head of Russia’s Central Bank, he has ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin and reportedly has links toorganized crime which is why his meeting with Donald Trump Jr. in May 2016, at the height of the presidential campaign, has gotten 

and more »

Note to Robert Mueller: Hope Hicks Was Part of the Cover-Up – Mother Jones


Mother Jones
Note to Robert Mueller: Hope Hicks Was Part of the Cover-Up
Mother Jones
Though the US intelligence community, a month before the election, released an assessment stating that Russia was trying to subvert the presidential contest, Trump and his lieutenants constantly claimed there was no evidence of Moscow involvement.

and more »

The Trump administration is suing AT&T to stop its purchase of Time Warner – Recode


Recode
The Trump administration is suing AT&T to stop its purchase of Time Warner
Recode
That includes Time Warner-owned properties like HBO, TBS, TNT and CNN, the latter of which Trump has criticized. For its part, AT&T sharply rejected the U.S. … We are confident that the Court will reject the Government’s claims and permit this merger 

and more »

How the Mafia Fueled Richard Nixon’s Political Career – VICE


VICE
How the Mafia Fueled Richard Nixon’s Political Career
VICE
With corruption rampant and looking increasingly unstoppable in today’s political landscape, it’s worth reflecting on the storied tradition of American politicians galavanting with the mob. Thanks in part to the … got tied up with the mob. VICE 

Donald Jr. Met With Russian Ex-Banker Accused Of Money Laundering – TPM


TPM
Donald Jr. Met With Russian Ex-Banker Accused Of Money Laundering
TPM
The younger Donald met with Torshin for only a few minutes at an NRA event in 2016, according to the network’s anonymous source. Torshin had proposed meeting with the senior Donald Trump during an event scheduled to take place during the NRA’s …

and more »

Trump urged to sell $50 million in lethal weapons to Ukraine – Los Angeles Times


Los Angeles Times
Trump urged to sell $50 million in lethal weapons to Ukraine
Los Angeles Times
It was later revealed that Manafort had worked for pro-Russian Ukrainian leaders opposed to U.S. support for the government in Kiev. Manafort was indicted last month on charges of failing to register as a foreign agent, money laundering and conspiracy.

and more »

Justice department aims to block AT&T’s $85bn takeover of Time Warner

AT&T has already signaled it will go to court if the deal is blocked, potentially setting up one of the biggest legal battles over a corporate merger in decades

The US Department of Justice on Monday moved to block AT&Ts $85bn takeover of Time Warner, one of the largest media deals ever announced.

Related: Trump administration uses CNN as bargaining chip in Time Warner-AT&T deal

While in the Philippines I was forced to watch @CNN, which I have not done in months, and again realized how bad, and FAKE, it is. Loser!

Continue reading…

Carter Page held high-level meetings with pro-Putin Hungarian government: report – The Hill


The Hill
Carter Page held high-level meetings with pro-Putin Hungarian government: report
The Hill
… with pro-Russia Hungarian officials leading up to the 2016 election, ABC News reported on Monday. Page reportedly met in September 2016 in Budapest with Jeno Megyesy, a close adviser to the Hungarian prime minister who focuses on U.S.relations, …
Trump campaign adviser Carter Page held high-level meetings with Hungarian officials in BudapestABC News

all 3 news articles »


  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 1.1K
  •  
  •  

7:32 AM 11/21/2017 – Trump Family Made A Fortune Through Drug Cartels And Money Laundering

  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks

Trump Family Made A Fortune Through Drug Cartels And Money Laundering

Trump Family Made A Fortune Through Drug Cartels And Money Laundering – Carbonated.tv (blog)
Trump urged to sell $50 million in lethal weapons to Ukraine
How the Mafia Fueled Richard Nixon’s Political Career – VICE
Macron, Trump and Putin would all like to see Merkel go – CNN
Rudy Giuliani – Google News: Rudy Giuliani turns up in Ukraine with pro-Russia official linked to Paul Manafort’s clients – Raw Story
Trump Ocean Club
As the FBI Closes In, Trump’s Lawyers Are Scrambling to Keep Him Calm – Vanity Fair
Where the Trump campaign and Russian actors overlapped – Washington Post
James Clapper on Donald Trump, Russia, and the First Line of His Obituary
James Clapper on Donald Trump, Russia, and the First Line of His Obituary – GQ Magazine
Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner face new scrutiny in Russia investigation – ABC News
Confirmed: Robert Mueller has far more Trump-Russia evidence than previously known
Confirmed: Robert Mueller knows about even more Trump-Russia meetings than the public does
Insider: Donald Trumps staff panicking as Robert Mueller chews through them like Pac-Man
Insider: Donald Trumps staff panicking as Robert Mueller chews through them “like Pac-Man”
Donald Trumps ticking clock may expire after Thanksgiving
Report: Mueller’s Russia Probe Seeks Justice Department Emails on Comey Firing – Daily Beast
Robert Mueller is going after the Department of Justice to take down Donald Trump
Should The FBI Be Abolished?
Should The FBI Be Abolished? – American Spectator
Russias Gay Demons | by Robert Cottrell
John Raines, 84; was accomplice in 1971 burglary that revealed FBI abuses – The Boston Globe
Rumors Fly About The ‘Last Year Of Putin’
Scaffolding Collapses in SoHo, Reports of Injuries – NBC New York

Trump Family Made A Fortune Through Drug Cartels And Money Laundering

Tuesday November 21st, 2017 at 7:07 AM

1 Share

The Trump International Hotel & Tower in Panama and the Trump Tower Baku reportedly had deep ties to international criminals and drug cartels.

Reuters, Kevin Lamarque

President Donald Trump’s eldest daughter and favorite child, Ivanka Trump, was exceptionally involved in two international projects tied to her father’s name before the business mogul ran for the highest office in the United States.

As the Think Progress reported, the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Panama was supposed to be Ivanka’s “baby” while she personally oversaw and “approved everything” at the Trump Tower Baku in Azerbaijan.

Neither of these international business ventures worked out for the Trump Organization, as the luxury resort in Panama City later dismissed Trump’s management company over reported budget misuse and the hotel in Baku never opened due to budget overruns and construction oversights.

However, that does not mean the Trump family did not profit from these endeavors.

As a couple of recent investigative reports have revealed, the Trump family earned millions in revenue from these seemingly failed projects – all thanks to drug cartels, the Russian mafia and international criminals.

“Since he became President of the United States, numerous investigations and articles have probed Trump’s business dealings and his alleged links to criminals and other shadowy characters,” anti-corruption group Global Witness wrote in its recent report. “It is understood that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation under the Department of Justice will also examine his real estate business. This is important because it seems likely that, following his various bankruptcies, at least a part of Trump’s business empire has been built on untraceable funds, some apparently linked to Russian criminal networks.”

A joint investigation by the NBC News and Reuters also found some investors and customers of the Trump Ocean Club in Panama City had deep ties to crime and drug trafficking. For instance, David Murcia Guzmán, a Colombian business executive with financial ties to terrorist organization FARC who is currently detained in the U.S. for laundering money on behalf of drug cartels, had bought several units in the project.

Other buyers included Arkady Vodovozov, who was convicted of kidnapping in Israel according to Reuters; Stanislav Kavalenka a Russian national charged for “compelling” and “procuring” women into prostitution in Canada; Igor Anapolskiy, convicted for forging travel documents in Ukraine in 2014; and Louis Pargiolas, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to import cocaine in Miami back in 2009.

Read More

A former Brazilian car salesman, Alexandre Ventura Nogueira, who reportedly collaborated with the Trumps to sell the condo units and met Ivanka several times, claimed the U.S. president and his family were unaware of the investors’ businesses or buyers’ criminal background – but they never asked any questions either.

“I had some customers with questionable backgrounds,” Nogueira, who is currently a fugitive from law for real estate fraud, told NBC under disguise from an undisclosed European city. “Nobody ever asked me. Banks never asked. Developer didn’t ask and (the) Trump Organization didn’t ask. Nobody ask, ‘Who are the customers, where did the money come from?’ No, nobody ask.”

He also said he met the president and his sons at least once, and attended the 2008 celebratory event at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida after his firm, Homes Real Estate Investment & Services, fulfilled its promise of quickly selling units at high prices and sold about $100m worth of property, according to the Reuters and NBC.

Meanwhile, the project in Azerbaijan was a site for illegal activities as well. According to the reports, the Azeri dictatorship and those close to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard allegedly used the Baku hotel to launder money.

If it was not clear already, Trump did not own these properties. Instead, he leased his name out to the project in order to boost sales while his company, or his daughter in this case, oversaw the project. While it does not appear the president or his children knew of the criminals investing and buying the property, they did profit from whatever alleged shady business was going on there.

“Licensing his brand to the luxurious Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower in Panama aligned Trump’s financial interests with those of crooks looking to launder ill-gotten gains,” the Global Witness report continued. “Trump seems to have done little to nothing to prevent this. What is clear is that proceeds from Colombian cartels’ narcotics trafficking were laundered through the Trump Ocean Club and that Donald Trump was one of the beneficiaries.”

To put things into perspective, Trump had made nearly $74.2 million through his association with the Panama hotel by 2010. He earned another $13.0 million between 2014 and 2017.

However, the Trump organization has since attempted to distance itself from the controversy.

“The Trump Organization was not the owner, developer or seller of the Trump Ocean Club Panama project,” the statement said. “Because of its limited role, the company was not responsible for the financing of the project and had no involvement in the sale of units or the retention of any real estate brokers.”

Well, playing down the organization’s role in the project doesn’t really justify the fortune Trumps earned through them, does it?

Read More

Thumbnail / Banner : Reuters, Yuri Gripas

Read the whole story

  • · · · · ·

Trump Family Made A Fortune Through Drug Cartels And Money Laundering – Carbonated.tv (blog)

Tuesday November 21st, 2017 at 7:07 AM

Russian – International “Mafia” – Organized Crime – Google News

1 Share


Carbonated.tv (blog)

Trump Family Made A Fortune Through Drug Cartels And Money Laundering
Carbonated.tv (blog)
Neither of these international business ventures worked out for the Trump Organization, as the luxury resort in Panama City later dismissed Trump’s management company over reported budget misuse and the hotel in Baku never opened due to budget overruns 

and more »

Trump urged to sell $50 million in lethal weapons to Ukraine

Monday November 20th, 2017 at 6:16 PM

1 Share

National security officials are urging President Trump to approve the sale of nearly $50 million worth of U.S. weapons to Ukraine, which has confronted what it sees as military aggression from Russia and pro-Russian separatists for years.

It was unclear whether Trump, who has been reluctant to challenge Russian President Vladimir Putin, will approve the plan.

Congressional and State Department officials said Monday the weapons proposal had gained traction in the National Security Council. The officials asked not to be named discussing internal deliberations.

At the urging of Trump’s then-campaign manager, Paul Manafort, the GOP platform was watered down at the Republican National Convention in 2016 to remove a call to sell lethal weapons to Ukraine — a position long favored by the Republican establishment and ultimately by the Obama administration.

It was later revealed that Manafort had worked for pro-Russian Ukrainian leaders opposed to U.S. support for the government in Kiev. Manafort was indicted last month on charges of failing to register as a foreign agent, money laundering and conspiracy. He has pleaded not guilty.

The weapons sale under discussion would likely include Javelin anti-tank missiles and other high-tech weapons that go beyond defensive arms, a State Department official said. Some details of the package were first reported by ABC News.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has repeatedly urged the Trump administration to supply Ukraine with weapons. Doing so would garner bipartisan support on Capitol Hill.

“It is long past time for the United States to provide Ukraine the defensive lethal assistance it needs to deter and defend against further Russian aggression,” McCain said in a statement. “As long as the status quo remains, Russia has no reason to change its behavior, and we should only expect more violence and more death.”

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), another member of the Armed Services Committee, wrote Trump last week to urge stronger support for Ukraine.

“The military land-grab Russia has launched in Ukraine is unprecedented in modern European history,” he wrote. “Our response should include lethal military hardware as part of a broader effort to help Ukrainians defend themselves and deter future aggression.”

Congress has already approved up to $500 million in assistance for Ukraine and its defense, though not specifically for lethal weapons.

Ukraine’s pro-West government has been battling pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine since forces loyal to Putin annexed Crimea in 2014.

tracy.wilkinson@latimes.com

Twitter: @TracyKWilkinson

ALSO

Trump re-designates North Korea as a ‘state sponsor of terrorism’

White House says Trump spoke rhetorically on Twitter; does not regret helping UCLA players come home

Tillerson disputes reports of low morale in State Department

Democratic donor Tom Steyer will run Trump impeachment ads in Times Square

Read the whole story

  • ·

How the Mafia Fueled Richard Nixon’s Political Career – VICE

Monday November 20th, 2017 at 5:57 PM

Trump And The Mob – Google News

1 Share


VICE

How the Mafia Fueled Richard Nixon’s Political Career
VICE
With corruption rampant and looking increasingly unstoppable in today’s political landscape, it’s worth reflecting on the storied tradition of American politicians galavanting with the mob. Thanks in part to the … got tied up with the mob. VICE 

Macron, Trump and Putin would all like to see Merkel go – CNN

Monday November 20th, 2017 at 5:00 PM

Saved Stories – 1. Trump

1 Share


CNN

Macron, Trump and Putin would all like to see Merkel go
CNN
David A. Andelman, a contributor to CNN and columnist for USA Today, is the author of “A Shattered Peace: Versailles 1919 and the Price We Pay Today.” He formerly served as a foreign correspondent for The New York Times in Asia and Europe and Paris …

and more »

Rudy Giuliani – Google News: Rudy Giuliani turns up in Ukraine with pro-Russia official linked to Paul Manafort’s clients – Raw Story

Monday November 20th, 2017 at 4:15 PM

  1. Trump Circles: Elections From Mikenova (16 Sites)

1 Share


Raw Story

Rudy Giuliani turns up in Ukraine with pro-Russia official linked to Paul Manafort’s clients
Raw Story
Former Trump campaign surrogate Rudy Giuliani was seen this week in the Ukraine with a pro-Russia official who is linked to Ukrainian political clients of former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort. The Palmer Report was first to note on Monday that a 

Rudy Giuliani – Google News

Next Page of Stories

Loading…

Page 2

Trump Ocean Club by Seth Hettena

Monday November 20th, 2017 at 4:14 PM

TrumP Россия

1 Share

My friend Ken Silverstein has a great new story out via Global Witness about Trump’s tower in Panama.

Put simply, it’s is the most revealing look we’ve had into how Russians were recruited for Trump’s towers.

Part of the business strategy at Trump Ocean Club was luring wealthy and “secretive” Russians — who didn’t want any questions asked about where their money came from.

The money quote in this story for me comes from a broker involved with the project named Alexandre Henrique Ventura Nogueira. Half of Nogueria’s customers were Russian.

“I had some customers with some, you know, questionable backgrounds.” He also said that he found out later that some customers were part of the Russian Mafia.

Another real estate broker who worked in Panama during the TOC pre-construction sales period told Global Witness that Eastern European and Russian investors at the TOC were “very secretive”, especially when setting up shell corporations, so you “don’t know their names” and “didn’t know where their money came from.”

Rich Russians – whom he called “the whales” – were prized clients because brokers could earn substantial commissions working with them. These were exactly the kind of purchasers needed by Trump and others to secure early sales, and therefore the financing through Bear Stearns to develop the project.

Ventura Nogueira was asked point blank about this: “Did the Trump Organization know there were some Russians there with strange backgrounds involved in buying? I don’t know.”

There are a lot of things to like about this story. (Story is the wrong word. It’s a 28-page report.) Not only does it reveal the corruption that built the Trump Ocean Club, but it goes a step further. Ken’s story offers solutions — a rarity in journalism — to eliminate the pervasive money laundering in real estate that built not only Trump’s tower in Panama, but his tower Manhattan’s Soho neighborhood, Azerbaijan, and other places.

The story calls the Trump Ocean Club one of Trump’s most lucrative deals. How lucrative? We don’t know.

But what was in it for Trump? There is little transparency around Trump’s financial agreement with Newland, a company that filed for bankruptcy in 2013. In fact, according to Univision News’ reporting of a New York court’s hearing on the bankruptcy, Newland refused to turn over the agreement with Trump to license his name. This prompted the judge to say to Newland’s attorney: “Go to Panama. If you want to do your deals in secret, go and do it in Panama. Don’t do it in my court.”

You should also check out Ken’s popular blog, Washington Babylon.

Filed under: Donald TrumpRussiaRussian mafia Tagged: Trump Ocean Club

Read the whole story

  • · ·

As the FBI Closes In, Trump’s Lawyers Are Scrambling to Keep Him Calm – Vanity Fair

Monday November 20th, 2017 at 4:01 PM

Trump – Google News

1 Share


Vanity Fair

As the FBI Closes In, Trump’s Lawyers Are Scrambling to Keep Him Calm
Vanity Fair
With Donald Trump predisposed to self-sabotage in what may ultimately become an obstruction of justice case, the president’s lawyers have assured him that he has nothing to fear from Robert Mueller. It’s a tricky balancing act, given Trump’s past 
Trump Hasn’t Fired Mueller Yet Because His Lawyer Is Blowing SunshineNew York Magazine
Mueller’s latest request suggests trouble for Trump’s White HouseMSNBC
President* Trump Hears Mueller KnockingEsquire.com
Newsweek –The Hill –CNN
all 52 news articles »

Where the Trump campaign and Russian actors overlapped – Washington Post

Monday November 20th, 2017 at 4:00 PM

Putin Trump – Google News

1 Share


Washington Post

Where the Trump campaign and Russian actors overlapped
Washington Post
May: Alexander Torshin, a senior official in the Russian central bank, expresses his desire for aTrumpPutin meeting by asking a friend to contact the campaign. The emailed offer is titled, “Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite,” and includes 
Trump Jr. spoke briefly last year with Russian banker with Putin tiesThe Hill
Jared Kushner Failed to Tell Investigators About Outreach from Putin-Linked BankerBreitbart News

all 14 news articles »

James Clapper on Donald Trump, Russia, and the First Line of His Obituary

Monday November 20th, 2017 at 9:03 AM

1 Share

“I’ve been a political appointee in both Democratic and Republican administrations,” he said, his voice a phlegmy rumble. “Support the commander in chief. That was the first order of business. But this one, you know…” He reached for his coffee, leaned back, took a sip. “It’s hard. This is a unique situation. We’ve never had a president like this before.”

The Clappers live in a well-to-do suburb outside Washington, in a brick house with heavy shutters. Clapper’s wife, Susan, a retired NSA administrator, answered the door. Her husband, she said, was at work in the basement. I followed her down a carpeted staircase past some paintings of bald eagles. We found James Clapper sitting at a small round table. He was dressed casually, in sandals, a polo shirt, and board shorts.

He seemed to be transitioning smoothly into the life of an ex-official, what D.C. types call a “former.” He now socializes with some of the capital’s more august senators, meeting them for lunch and bumping into them with the grandkids behind home plate at Nationals games. He had sworn off his trademark martinis, hit the gym, and lost 20 pounds. He would soon buy a Chevy Camaro. A friend told him that he was having a midlife crisis at age 76.

“Well, this is my man cave,” he said, gesturing at a meticulously arranged trophy room with a rolltop desk and two couches. Two glass cases contained a glittering array of polished medals from his time in the Air Force, which he joined in 1963. The far wall had built-in shelves showing off a dim series of objects. Clapper dismissed my interest with a wave of his hand, calling it “various other junk from across the course of my career.”

Clapper was one of the first hundred Air Force intelligence officers to go to Vietnam. “I hated the war,” Clapper said. “What we were doing to the country—our own country—was bad.” For a time, he worked alongside his father, who was the NSA’s deputy country chief. Susan gave birth to a daughter while he was overseas. She was 7 months old the first time he saw her.

He stuck with the Air Force after his tours, was promoted “below the zone”—before almost all of his contemporaries—and went on to a career in military intelligence, eventually leading the Defense Intelligence Agency and the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency. In the years after the September 11 attacks, he clashed with Donald Rumsfeld over how to re-organize the country’s spying apparatus, which today consumes roughly $70 billion a year. Rumsfeld won the argument and fired Clapper, but it wasn’t long before he himself was out of a job. Clapper’s willingness to stand his ground impressed Rumsfeld’s replacement, Bob Gates, who recommended him to Obama as director of national intelligence in 2010.

Clapper forged close ties with Obama, whom he often briefed personally. He could be brutally frank; he had no qualms about bringing the president bad news. When the time came to make policy recommendations, Clapper would stick to intelligence and remain silent. Obama staffers would sometimes wonder if he was secretly a Republican.

The worst day of Clapper’s career came on March 12, 2013, when he was called to testify before an open hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Ron Wyden, the senior senator from Oregon, asked Clapper whether the NSA collects “any type of data at all on millions, or hundreds of millions, of Americans.”

“It does not?” asked Wyden. He looked surprised.

“Not wittingly,” said Clapper. The corners of his mouth bent down into his Grumpy Cat face. “There are cases where they could inadvertently, perhaps, collect, but not wittingly.”

Wyden believed, and still believes, that Clapper was being intentionally deceptive. Clapper told me that he made a mistake and misunderstood the question. Wyden holds a grudge to this day. “There’s no other way to describe this than he lied to Congress. He lied to the American people,” Wyden told me. “And that, in my judgment, is unacceptable.”

Read the whole story

  • · ·

James Clapper on Donald Trump, Russia, and the First Line of His Obituary – GQ Magazine

Monday November 20th, 2017 at 9:03 AM

Donald Trump – Google News

1 Share


GQ Magazine

James Clapper on Donald Trump, Russia, and the First Line of His Obituary
GQ Magazine
As director of national intelligence, James Clapper was charged with protecting America’s secrets. But now he’s unwilling to keep silent—speaking out about Russia’s role in our politics and about Donald Trump, whom he calls “downright scary and 

and more »

Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner face new scrutiny in Russia investigation – ABC News

Monday November 20th, 2017 at 8:11 AM

Donald Trump – Google News

1 Share


ABC News

Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner face new scrutiny in Russia investigation
ABC News
Next to the growing investigation into Russian meddling in the trump campaign. As the president’s son-in-law faces new questions about wikileaks. David Wright is at the white house tonight with the latest. Reporter: Tonight, the president’s son and son 
British publicist who arranged Donald Trump Jr’s meeting with Russian lawyer breaks silence on collusion claimsThe Independent
Rob Goldstone comes clean over Donald Trump and dirt on Hillary ClintonThe Times

all 17 news articles »

Next Page of Stories

Loading…

Page 3

Confirmed: Robert Mueller has far more Trump-Russia evidence than previously known by FBRSS.com

Monday November 20th, 2017 at 8:11 AM

FB-RSS Feed For Palmer Report

1 Share

Confirmed: Robert Mueller has far more Trump-Russia evidence than previously known

Confirmed: Robert Mueller has far more Trump-Russia evidence than previously known

Robert Mueller is WAY out ahead of the rest of us

Confirmed: Robert Mueller knows about even more Trump-Russia meetings than the public does by Bill Palmer

Monday November 20th, 2017 at 8:08 AM

Palmer Report

1 Share

All along, it’s appeared that Special Counsel Robert Mueller knows far more about Donald Trump’s Russia scandal than Congress, the media, or the public knows. Although Mueller keeps his cards close to the vest, his actions periodically suggest that he’s several steps ahead of the game. Now comes confirmation that Mueller knows about a whole new set of Trump-Russia meetings that are not yet public.

Buried all the way down in the fifteenth paragraph of a new Washington Post article, you’ll find this key revelation: “Witnesses questioned by Mueller’s team warn that investigators are asking about other foreign contacts and meetings that have not yet become public, and to expect a series of new revelations.” (link). In other words, this week the media managed to expose Donald Trump Jr’s contacts with WikiLeaks and Jared Kushner’s contacts with a suspected Russian mobster, and yet those are stillfar from the last of the Trump-Russia contacts that Mueller already knows about.

So just what are we looking at here? The WaPo article hints that many of the secret meetings involved Donald Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who is reportedly on the verge of being arrested on a variety of charges which may include conspiracy to commit kidnapping (Flynn denies the charges). So even as the media has been recently exposing Trump-Russia meetings involving members of Donald Trump’s family, Robert Mueller is focused on Trump-Russia meetings of an entirely different nature.

Another remarkable part of the WaPo article in question is the revelation that Donald Trump and his attorney Ty Cobb are both insisting Robert Mueller’s investigation will be completed soon, and that Trump will be exonerated. That’s nothing short of delusional. Mueller is just getting started, and has only arrested three of the dozens of Trump-Russia players he’s targeting. Moreover, Mueller’s entire gameplan is based around getting these targets to flip on Trump himself. Trump isn’t just a target of the investigation; he’s the target.

The post Confirmed: Robert Mueller knows about even more Trump-Russia meetings than the public does appeared first on Palmer Report.

Insider: Donald Trump’s staff panicking as Robert Mueller chews through them “like Pac-Man” by Bill Palmer

Monday November 20th, 2017 at 8:07 AM

Palmer Report

1 Share

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has finally managed to breach Donald Trump’s inner circle. It was revealed last week that he interviewed White House senior adviser Stephen Miller about his role in the Trump-Russia scandal. Now it turns out Mueller is aggressively working his way through Trump’s top people as we speak, and it’s clearly making them nervous. In fact one insider says they’re panicking as Mueller kicks into high gear.

A Trump White House insider claims that Mueller is chewing through Trump’s senior staff “like Pac-Man” and that they’re all panicked about how deep the investigation is running, summing it up by saying that “it’s going to be a long winter,” according to a new Washington Post report (link). That same article points to Hope Hicks and Don McGahn as being Mueller’s next two targets, which offers some hints about what Mueller is specifically pursuing.

Hope Hicks is essentially the gatekeeper for Donald Trump himself, filtering his emails and deciding what to loop him in on. This week it was revealed that Hicks was aware of Donald Trump Jr’s ongoing coordination with WikiLeaks, which means almost for certain that Donald Trump knew. Hicks will have to decide whether to admit to Mueller that Trump knew, or commit obstruction of justice by refusing to truthfully answer the question. White House counsel Don McGahn nixed a letter that Trump and Miller wrote justifying the firing of FBI Director James Comey. McGahn will have to decide whether to risk incriminating Trump, or risk incriminating himself. He does not share attorney-client privilege with Trump.

It’s important to keep in mind that Robert Mueller has consistently been several steps ahead of the media and the public when it comes to these matters. For instance it was widely reported by the media that Mueller’s first White House senior staff target would be Hope Hicks. Then it was later revealed that Mueller had already interviewed Stephen Miller instead. The “Pac-Man” reference strongly suggests that Mueller has already interviewed far more of Trump’s inner circle than is publicly known.

The post Insider: Donald Trump’s staff panicking as Robert Mueller chews through them “like Pac-Man”appeared first on Palmer Report.

Insider: Donald Trump’s staff panicking as Robert Mueller chews through them “like Pac-Man” by FBRSS.com

Monday November 20th, 2017 at 8:04 AM

FB-RSS Feed For Palmer Report

1 Share

Insider: Donald Trump’s staff panicking as Robert Mueller chews through them “like Pac-Man”

Insider: Donald Trump’s staff panicking as Robert Mueller chews through them “like Pac-Man”

Robert Mueller is far ahead of what was previously known

Donald Trump’s ticking clock may expire after Thanksgivingby Bill Palmer

Monday November 20th, 2017 at 8:03 AM

Palmer Report

1 Share

Since the start of Donald Trump’s illegitimate and toxically unpopular presidency, the public has asked the same question every day: why hasn’t he been ousted yet? The simple answer is that because his approval rating hasn’t yet dropped into the twenties, the Republican-controlled Congress doesn’t feel like it has to oust him. But the main reason they’ve been keeping him around may be about to expire.

The Republican Congress is still trying to find a way to pass its tax scam legislation for the wealthy. But up to this point, every major piece of legislation it’s attempted has failed, partly due to Trump’s instability and unpopularity. The real reason the GOP wants Trump to remain in place: it’s been allowing the party to ram through the appointment of several conservative federal judges. However, according to Axios (link), that streak may be about to end after Thanksgiving.

In fact Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been ramming through the confirmations of these judges as quickly as he can. Trump’s instability means that he could self destruct on his own at any minute – and once he does, the focus will be on his demise and ouster, making Senate confirmations more difficult. But even if Trump doesn’t self destruct, the Republicans in Congress are increasingly uneasy about the idea of leaving him in power as they head into the midterms. They just got wiped out across the nation in the November 2017 elections, as a direct result of Trump’s unpopularity.

Once the Republican Congress finishes ramming through its judges after Thanksgiving, it’ll be in position to strategically throw Donald Trump overboard. Once he’s out the door, Trump’s crimes in the Russia scandal will no longer directly be the party’s problem. The GOP’s haste with confirmations, a process which now appears to be reaching its conclusion, suggests that it may be ready to oust Trump soon. Tick tock.

The post Donald Trump’s ticking clock may expire after Thanksgiving appeared first on Palmer Report.

Report: Mueller’s Russia Probe Seeks Justice Department Emails on Comey Firing – Daily Beast

Monday November 20th, 2017 at 8:01 AM

Comey – Google News

1 Share


Daily Beast

Report: Mueller’s Russia Probe Seeks Justice Department Emails on Comey Firing
Daily Beast
Investigators in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia election collusion probe have directed the Justice Department to hand over communications on former FBI Director James Comey’sfiring, ABC News reports. Citing a source familiar with the matter 
Mueller requested DOJ hand over documents related to Comey firing: reportThe Hill
Mueller Wants to Know More About the Justice Department’s Role in Comey’s FiringNew York Magazine
Mueller asks Justice Department to hand over documents about Comey’s firing: reportNew York Daily News
Business Insider –ABC News –The Independent
all 14 news articles »

Next Page of Stories

Loading…

Page 4

Robert Mueller is going after the Department of Justice to take down Donald Trump by Bill Palmer

Monday November 20th, 2017 at 8:01 AM

Palmer Report

1 Share

A few days ago, it was revealed that Special Counsel Robert Mueller subpoenaed the Donald Trump campaign a month ago. It served as a reminder that Mueller is always several steps ahead of the media and the public. It also demonstrates that Mueller is going directly after Trump himself, and not merely settling for taking down Trump’s underlings. Now another new development points to how Mueller plans to get to Trump.

Mueller has requested a treasure trove of documents from the Department of Justice which relate to Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the Trump-Russia investigation, according to an ABC News report (link). This means Mueller is targeting Trump for obstruction of justice. It also suggests that Mueller may be targeting Sessions for some criminal charge related to the reason he had to recuse himself.

The article in question makes no reference to subpoenas, which means that as of yet, the DOJ hasn’t said no to anything Mueller is requesting. Ironically, because Sessions has recused himself, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will make any decisions on what evidence to turn over, meaning Sessions can’t prevent incriminating evidence against himself from being turned over. Rosenstein can be counted on to cooperate with Mueller, as it was Rosenstein who appointed Mueller to begin with.

Although Robert Mueller can be counted on to pursue every possible criminal charge against Donald Trump, ranging from conspiracy against the United States to money laundering on down, proving obstruction of justice will likely be his quickest and most efficient path for establishing Trump’s criminal nature. Now we know that Mueller is going after the Department of Justice to not only prove Trump guilty of obstruction of justice, but likely to take down Jeff Sessions as well.

The post Robert Mueller is going after the Department of Justice to take down Donald Trump appeared first on Palmer Report.

Should The FBI Be Abolished?

Monday November 20th, 2017 at 6:34 AM

1 Share

For the last few years, the media has been dominated by a number of sensational stories: that Trump colluded with Russia to influence the presidential election; that the Trump team was wiretapped by Obama intelligence officials; that Hillary used a private email server to transmit classified information; that Hillary and the DNC colluded with Russian sources to compile a dossier on Trump, and finally, that Russia acquired 20% of America’s uranium supply during the same time period $145 million miraculously appeared in the Clinton Foundation’s bank account. It all stinks to high heaven but it’s created a confusing array of facts that has bewildered most Americans. They all know something is seriously wrong with their country even if they can’t pinpoint exactly what the problem is.

But there is a common denominator in all these scandals or alleged scandals, and that would be the FBI and the actions they took or didn’t take. Indeed, it’s hard to not conclude that the agency’s actions in these events were improper if not illegal. If so, this validates the warnings by constitutionalists in the early 1900s that a federal police force would someday be used to prop up the ruling elites and attack those who dare challenge the establishment.

Under FBI Director James Comey, Hillary was allowed to escape prosecution, even though he presented compelling evidence that she committed numerous felonies by transmitting classified documents using her private email server. Comey also leaked classified information to a friend to be disseminated to the media, another felony, and his FBI was the recipient of a dossier full of sensational but false allegations traced to Putin-connected individuals. Instead of investigating the dossier’s sources, Comey used the phony intel as the basis for his allegation that the Russians intervened in our election, a charge later proven to be without factual basis. It also appears that Comey likely used the dossier’s claims to convince a FISA court to authorize a phone tap on various Trump aides and possibly even Trump himself.

Lastly, Comey refused to demand that the DNC hand over the computer servers they claimed were hacked by Russia, but nevertheless, he announced that the Russians had hacked into the DNC, thereby helping to create the phony Trump/Russia collusion narrative. But a group of cyber experts led by former high-ranking NSA cyber expert Bill Binney have concluded that the hack simply could not have occurred for technical reasons and that the leaked DNC emails had to come from an inside source. Regardless, for Comey to create a phony “Russia hacked the DNC” narrative without his agency ever analyzing the DNC server calls into question his honesty and his integrity.

On top of all that, former FBI director Robert Mueller — now Special Counsel — is investigating Trump for collusion with Russia when the evidence is now revealing that the only party that colluded with the Russians to influence the 2016 campaign was the Democratic Party. But Mueller doesn’t have the integrity to widen his investigation to cover the Clinton/GPS Fusion/Russian dossier scandal but instead is spending millions on investigating alleged crimes by former Trump campaign workers that occurred years ago and had nothing to do with Trump, Russian collusion, or the 2016 election.

Lastly, when Mueller was FBI Director, he served on the board of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), the agency that approved the sale of uranium to Russia by the Uranium One company only a short time after his own agency had arrested a Russian official attempting to bribe American uranium officials. But there is no record of Mueller warning his fellow CFIUS members about the illegal Russian efforts. It likewise begs logic to believe that Mueller knew nothing about the $145 million the Clinton Foundation received from Putin-connected sources shortly after the CFIUS vote. It is also inconceivable that Mueller, as FBI Director from 2001-2013, was not aware that the Clintons were using their foundation and Hillary’s Secretary of State position to operate a massive pay-to-play scam that went far beyond the Uranium One scandal.

It has become abundantly clear that Mueller is a partisan, as is Comey. Both of them have jeopardized national security in order to protect the Democratic Party. This is an unprecedented situation and both men should be investigated. Moreover, Mueller should be removed as the Special Counsel. The foxes are guarding the hen house.

Mueller and Comey have turned the FBI into a partisan force that ignores crimes by the left and fabricates crimes on the right such as the Trump/Russian collusion theory. Again, such corruption of the FBI was predicted by constitutionalists at the time the agency was formed. That time has arrived.

Within most conservative circles today it would be considered sacrilegious to argue in favor of abolishing the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Indeed, older Americans still think of the FBI as an agency full of incorruptible, efficient, clean cut guys in suits tracking down mobsters and exposing communist subversion. Younger Americans are influenced by popular shows such as television’s Criminal Minds, which, again, portray the G-Men as squeaky clean heroes.

However, it has become increasingly clear in recent years that this agency has become so politicized, so corrupt, and so large and bureaucratic that it may no longer be an effective agency. The time has come to discuss its abolition.

The FBI was started in 1935, although its predecessor — the Bureau of Investigation — was founded in 1908. In the early 1900s, crime was becoming more nationalized with multi-state mob crime families and the creation of large prostitution smuggling rings that crossed state lines. As a result, advocates of a federalized police force argued that a federal law enforcement agency was necessary in order to keep up with the criminals. The main argument was that the local police forces didn’t have the resources or the flexibility to investigate complex criminal cases or to chase mobsters from state to state.

But note that the FBI did not come into existence until 132 years after the country declared its independence. This was because the founders never envisioned a federal role for law enforcement. It is not one of the “enumerated” duties of the federal government listed in the constitution.

There were reasons for that. Our founders were skeptical of a large federal government and, indeed, not even the “federalist” faction argued for a federal law enforcement role. The Constitution’s authors all assumed that most of the country’s governing would be carried out by state and local governments; the Federal government was created simply to take care of things that states were not well suited to do, such as maintaining a military, minting currency, and negotiating trade treaties. Indeed, for most of America’s first century, the highest law enforcement officer was the county sheriff.

Except for treason, the idea of federal crimes was not even mentioned in the Constitution. Our founders had a healthy fear of America turning into a tyrannical government such as those which existed all over the world at the time. They wanted to maximize freedom; hence the Bill of Rights. They assumed the creation of a federalized police force would make it far easier for the federal government to abuse the rights of its citizens. This is why neither the Constitution, the ratification debates, nor the Federalistpapers ever mention anything about a federal law enforcement role. Nada. Nothing. Indeed, in Federalist No. 45, James Madison specifically singles out “internal order” as an “unenumerated power” that must “remain in the state governments.”

In the last few decades, Congress has created over 3,000 federal crimes, thereby undermining the authority of local law enforcement and ultimately making the federal government more powerful and more prone to corruption and tyranny. As the late Washington Times columnist Sam Francis wrote, “Over the last 30 years or so, the creeping federal incursion into law enforcement has yielded some 140 agencies at the federal level that have such a role… but everyone knows the federal engulfment of law enforcement has failed miserably to control crime and make the country safe. That’s because, by its very nature, effective law enforcement is local.”

And there’s no doubt that national police forces in other countries have been used to transition a country to a dictatorship. Historian William L. Shirer wrote in his famous history of Nazi Germany, The Rise and Fall of the Third Rich, “On June 16, 1936, for the first time in German history, a unified police as established for the whole of the Reich — previously the police had been organized separately by each of the states …the Third Reich, as is inevitable in the development of all totalitarian dictatorships, had become a police state.”

But the FBI has never seemed concerned about its growing powers. Indeed, in the aftermath of WWII, the FBI was so impressed with Hitler’s police state, they secretly hired hundreds of Nazis as spies and informants. As Rutherford Institute president and conservative civil rights lawyer John Whitehead writes, the FBI “then carried out a massive cover-up campaign to ensure that their true identities and ties to Hitler’s holocaust machine would remain unknown. Moreover, anyone who dared to blow the whistle on the FBI’s illicit Nazi ties found himself spied upon, intimidated, harassed and labeled a threat to national security.”

But long before the rise of Hitler, America’s founders understood that the more locally controlled law enforcement is, the more accountable they are, whereas, a federal police force tends to be abused by a central government and is largely unaccountable to local and state governments. Indeed, it is unsettling to review the long list of incidents in which the FBI abused the rights of Americans and was clearly used by one political faction or another to carry out police state-like tactics. Let’s take a trip down memory lane:

Prosecuting Opponents of World War 1. President Woodrow Wilson used the FBI’s predecessor to illegally harass and prosecute thousands of peaceful opponents of World War 1, a war most conservatives would argue America had no business entering.

COINTELPRO. This was the FBI’s covert internal security program in the 1950s and ’60s, created to “disrupt, misdirect, discredit, and neutralize” groups and individuals the government deemed to be enemies. It was carried out under the direction of J. Edgar Hoover with the consent of Attorney General Robert Kennedy. Congressional hearings found that “Many of the techniques used would be intolerable in a democratic society even if all of the targets had been involved in violent activity, but COINTELPRO went far beyond that … the Bureau conducted a sophisticated vigilante operation aimed squarely at preventing the exercise of First Amendment rights of speech and association…” Many conservatives of the day cheered on COINTELPRO since it targeted Marxists and antiwar groups, but that cheering ended when the FBI set its sights on the right.

FBI Preparations for Martial Law. MuckRock, a group that exposes governmental corruption, obtained a 1956 FBI document via a FOIA request that described the FBI’s plans to implement martial law and round up dissidents in the event of nuclear war. The document, titled “Plan C,” states that ‘”as of April 17, 1956, 12,949 individuals were scheduled for apprehension in an emergency.” The FBI’s secretive list of “anti-government” citizens they felt needed to be rounded up has never been revealed but it’s clear the FBI was keeping files on anti-government individuals.

The Ruby Ridge Murders. In 1992, a BATF informant convinced former Green Beret Randy Weaver to sell him two shotguns which had barrels shortened illegally, thus creating the pretext for the FBI to launch a military-style assault on Weaver’s remote Idaho cabin, eventually killing his wife and fatally shooting his son in the back. The FBI agents violated numerous rules of engagement and an Idaho jury found Weaver innocent of almost all charges. According to author James Bovard, “Judge Lodge issued a lengthy list detailing the Justice Departments misconduct, fabrication of evidence and refusal to obey court orders.” No one was held accountable; indeed the agent in charge, Larry Potts, was promoted to FBI Deputy Director.

The Waco Massacre. In 1993, 76 citizens — including 26 children — were burned to death when the FBI laid siege to a Branch Davidian compound in Waco on the grounds they believed cult leader David Koresh possessed unauthorized weapons. However, there was no reason for the FBI to use police state tactics. Koresh visited town almost every week and could have easily been arrested during these excursions. Six years later the FBI admitted during the course of a civil lawsuit that the tear gas it fired into the compound was, in fact, pyrotechnic tear gas, which, probably caused the fire that killed most of the people. The shells were even stamped with a fire warning. Moreover, a law enforcement infrared video revealed muzzle flashes from the FBI’s positions, so contrary to the FBI’s testimony that they did not fire “a single shot,” it appears its snipers were shooting people as they tried to escape the compound. Indeed, a Policy Analysis report by the Heritage Foundation stated that “numerous crimes by government agents were never seriously investigated or prosecuted” and therefore, “the people serving in our federal police agencies may well come to the conclusion that it is permissible to recklessly endanger the lives of innocent people, lie to newspapers, obstruct congressional subpoenas, and give misleading testimony in our courtrooms.”

Helping Bill Clinton Collect Dirt on his Enemies. Often referred to as “Filegate,” in 1993-94, the FBI willingly turned over as many as 900 background check files on Republicans to the Clinton White House. Nothing came of the investigation into this as the Clintons claimed it was all a big mistake. Right.

Project Megiddo. This was another shady FBI project, launched in 1999, created for the purpose of monitoring groups on the right, such as constitutionalists, devout Christians, anti-tax activists, anti-UN and pro-gun groups and individuals, all considered by the FBI to be budding terrorists. Such descriptions cover just about everyone on the right. It is not known if Project Megiddo violated the rights of individuals as the FBI did with previous similar programs, such as COINTELPRO, but it’s likely. Not surprisingly, much of the info used by Project Megiddo was fed to them by hysterical leftist groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), as even the FBI has publicly acknowledged. Shameful.

Use of Criminals as Undercover Agents. Rutherford Institute President John Whitehead writes, “FBI agents are also among the nation’s most notorious lawbreakers. In fact, in addition to creating certain crimes in order to then ‘solve’ them, the FBI also gives certain informants permission to break the law… USA Today estimates that agents have authorized criminals to engage in as many as 15 crimes a day. Some of these informants are getting paid astronomical sums.”

Operation Vigilant Eagle. This FBI program initiated in 2009 targeted anti-government activists such as Tea Party activists and, alarmingly, veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars who are, as one FBI document states, “disgruntled, disillusioned or suffering for the psychological effects of war.” The purpose of this program was allegedly to counter terrorism, but there’s not a shred of evidence veterans are more prone to terrorism than any other citizen. Nonetheless, the FBI actually claimed that veterans who challenge the government are suffering from “Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD).” One of the program’s first targets was 26-year-old decorated Marine veteran Brandon Raub. Due to posting anti-government statements on his Facebook page, the FBI arrested Raub with no warning, labeled him mentally ill and placed him in a psych ward against his will. Thankfully, Rutherford Institute attorney John Whitehead intervened and secured his release. Whitehead writes that he “may have helped prevent Raub from being successfully ‘disappeared’ by the government.” And this has happened to other veterans. If the FBI paid as much attention to jihadists as it does to military veterans, it would have stopped every domestic terror plot!

Targeting Pro-Lifers. In 2010, The FBI held a joint training session on terrorism with Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Federation. The main message of the seminar was that all pro-lifers are potential terrorists, an outrageous allegation. Indeed, material passed out by the pro-aborts at the seminar listed three pages of “anti-abortion web sites,” including those of National Right to Life, Concerned Women for America, the American Center for Law and Justice, and Human Life International. None of those groups advocate violence. This is another example of how the FBI allows itself to be used by the left to go after its enemies. Similarly, during Bill Clinton’s presidency, the FBI created a project called VAAPCON to create files on pro-life religious leaders such as Rev. Jerry Falwell. Indeed, Judicial Watch, representing Falwell, sued the Clinton White House, seeking info on the project, but all the files mysteriously disappeared, Clinton style.

The IRS Scandal. The government watchdog group, Judicial Watch, obtained documents revealing that the FBI was involved with the illegal IRS effort to investigate — and thus silence— around 500 conservative and Tea Party groups during Obama’s 2012 reelection. Perhaps the worst use of the IRS in American history, this was about manipulating the 2012 presidential election and the FBI was complicit in this abuse of governmental power. As JWs Tom Fitton writes, “Both the FBI and Justice Department collaborated with Lois Lerner and the IRS to try to persecute and jail Barack Obama’s political opponents.”

FBI Worked With the SPLC. For much of the Obama era, the FBI listed the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) on its website as part of its effort to combat “hate crimes.” However, many of the groups identified by the SPLC as “hate groups” are not. One example is the Family Research Council, a mainstream pro-family organization. As a result of the FBI’s promotion of SPLC’s phony hate group list, a shooter entered FRC’s headquarters in 2012, wounding the front desk security guard and attempted to slaughter all the FRC employees. He was subdued by the wounded guard. Indeed, the SPLC believes all Christian groups that oppose the gay agenda or abortion are “hate groups,” a bizarre notion that has never been condemned by the FBI even though it did, in 2014, quietly drop the SPLC from its website.

Data Mining Innocent Americans. In 2013, Bloomberg exposed the FBI’s data mining project carried out on hundreds of thousands of Americans, most of whom were not guilty of any crimes.

Raids on Homes of Anti-Government Activists. Repeatedly, the FBI has raided homes on the flimsiest of evidence. In 2014, it raided the home of prepper Martin Winters, claiming he was some kind of domestic terrorist. But nothing was found aside from food stocks and other survivalist gear. Then there’s Terry Porter, also a prepper, whose house the FBI raided in 2012 using twice as many agents as in the Branch Davidian raid. Again, nothing alarming found there. Since when did anti-government preppers become terrorists? The FBI raids group meetings as well, such as when it raided a Republic of Texas secessionist movement meeting in 2015. No one was arrested because no one did anything illegal. But once again, the FBI treated a handful of elderly men discussing constitutional issues as a terrorist plot.

Fraudulent Forensics. Special Agent and whistleblower Frederic Whitehurst revealed in 2015 that FBI crime lab technicians routinely testified falsely about crime lab samples throughout the 1980s and 1990s. As former Judge Andrew Napolitano writes, “its agents and lab technicians who examine hair samples testified falsely in 257 of 268 cases that resulted in convictions. Of the convictions, 18 persons were sentenced to death, and of those, 12 have been executed.” Yes, innocent people died, thanks to the FBI.

FBI High School Informer Network. In 2016, the FBI launched an effort to enlist the help of high school students to ostensibly identify terrorists, but the FBI documents in question reveal they were also urging students to report on anti-government groups such as libertarian and constitutional groups. This effort is shockingly similar to the informant networks set up by the KGB in the USSR and the Stasi in East Germany.

The FBI Record on Fighting Terrorism.
Many Americans assume, however, that at least in the area of Islamic terrorism, the FBI has kept Americans largely safe. Not so fast. The record doesn’t quite show that. In fact, the agency has blundered many terrorism investigations and thus jeopardized the security of Americans. Examples:

  • In 2009, Islamist Nidal Hasan fatally shot 13 people at the Fort Hood Military Base, but his radical associations and open support for jihad were previously known by the FBI. It even had emails in which Hasan stated he wanted to kill his fellow soldiers. Indeed, records show that not only was there reluctance by officials to drum Hasan out of the military — for political reasons — but he was promoted at every opportunity.
  • In 2013, local officials caught seven foreign Muslims trespassing after midnight onto Quabbin Reservoir, a critical Northwest drinking reservoir. The FBI took over the case but let the trespassers go because they believe them to be just “tourists.” Yes, just midnight tourists. Only a few months earlier, another terrorist had been arrested for planning to poison a different reservoir.
  • In 2013, the Tsarnaev brothers bombed the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring hundreds more. Russian intelligence warned the FBI about Tamerlan Tsarnaev and the agency even interviewed him, but it appears the FBI determined that Russia’s intelligence was not accurate. Until the bombs went off.
  • In 2015, when the government watchdog group Judicial Watch obtained documents confirming that ISIS terrorists were crossing the Mexican/Texas border, concerned FBI agents held meetings at the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez with Mexican officials. But not to figure out a plan to deal with such crossings, but rather to deny these allegations and to determine who leaked the info to JW. Forget the message and attack the messenger. What a great counter-terrorism strategy.
  • In 2015, the FBI failed to prevent the San Bernardino terror attack by an Islamic couple from Pakistan connected to an Islamic terrorist group whose files were among those purged earlier by the FBI, thereby making it nearly impossible for the agency to detect this pair.
  • In 2015, two Islamic terrorists attacked a Muhammad art expo in Garland, Texas, but the FBI actually had an informant at the scene with the terrorists, but it never bothered to warn the expo’s organizers of the impending attack. Apparently, the agency didn’t want to blow the informant’s cover! Fortunately, security guard Bruce Joiner shot and killed both shooters before they could get inside the exhibition hall. Joiner wonders why the FBI would allow this attack to transpire, stating “That’s not the kind of thing we do in the United States with our citizens.”
  • In 2016, Islamist Omar Mateen slaughtered 49 people at an Orlando nightclub. While the FBI did investigate him for 10 months it closed his file because it believed he was “being marginalized because of his Muslim faith.” Seriously.
  • The FBI has flat out denied that Las Vegas shooter Steven Paddock has any Islamic terror connections, but the reality is it really doesn’t know enough about him to make such a claim. Indeed, ISIS never takes credit for attacks that are not its own and on three occasions, it has announced Paddock was connected to ISIS. It even revealed Paddock’s Islamic name: Abu Abdul Barr al-Amriki. Also, Paddock made trips to the Middle East. Given the FBI’s record, ISIS’s statements may be more credible than the FBI’s denials.
  • The latest terrorist incident in New York City was also bungled. Months before Sayfullo Saipov mowed down over 20 people, the FBI interviewed him because it knew he was connected to two men with terrorist connections. As such, his visa should have been revoked and he should have been deported, but the agency didn’t even open up a file on him.
  • Finally, the 9/11 terrorist attack itself could have been prevented by the FBI. It had enough intel to connect the dots but didn’t. Many of its pre-9/11 reports on al Qaeda were lost or not shared with the proper people. One was a memo by Phoenix FBI Agent Ken Williams, describing suspected al Qaeda members training at U.S. flight schools. How could that not result in a full scale investigation? And Special Agent Mark Rossini sent a message to FBI headquarters warning that 9/11 hijacker Khalid al-Mihdhar had a multi-entry visa to enter the U.S. before 9/11. But that cable went “missing” when Congress held hearings on how our intelligence agencies manage to completely miss so many obvious clues.

And there are many other examples that can’t be cited here due to lack of space, but it’s difficult to find a domestic terrorist investigation that the FBI hasn’t screwed up. The above incidents alone cost the lives of almost 3,200 Americans. One would think that in the aftermath of 9/11, the FBI would make an effort to become more efficient when it comes to counter-terrorism, but with the 2008 election of Barack Obama, the FBI not only remained overly bureaucratic but became hyper politically correct.

Incredible as it may seem, in 2011, Obama’s FBI Director, Robert Mueller, met with a coalition of radical Islamic groups and agreed to purge thousands of files “offensive” to Muslims. Judicial Watch said the “purge is part of a broader Islamic ‘influence operation’ aimed at our government and constitution.”

In other words, the FBI caved in to groups that do not have our best interests at heart. Indeed, two of the groups Mueller met with, ISNA and CAIR, were unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation terror funding case. Many terror experts believe this purge crippled the FBI’s abilities to detect some of the terror plots that occurred during the Obama years. Due to its desire not to offend Muslims, the FBI jeopardized the lives of many Americans.

Conservatives Should Quit Defending the FBI
The FBI has a long history of being used by various administrations to harass certain groups and individuals, or, conversely, to allow certain groups and individuals to commit crimes without fear of prosecution. The FBI is supposed to uphold the Constitution but instead has repeatedly violated the constitutional rights of Americans. This politicization has cost many Americans their lives and their freedoms. The abuse listed here is not comprehensive but it’s enough, one would think, to make conservatives think twice about defending this agency’s police state tactics.

Indeed, the Wall Street Journal has reported that “nearly one out of every three American adults are on file in the FBI’s master criminal database,” even though most of them have not been convicted of a crime. Does anyone really believe our founding fathers would be fine with such sweeping federal law enforcement powers?

The aforementioned conservative civil rights attorney, John Whitehead, summarizes today’s FBI: “In additions to procedural misconduct, trespassing, enabling criminal activity, and damaging private property, the FBI’s laundry list of crimes against the American people includes surveillance, disinformation, blackmail, entrapment, intimidation tactics, and harassment.” President Harry Truman once said, “We want no Gestapo or secret police. The FBI is trending in that direction.” And that was 72 years ago.

It’s Time to Turn Over FBI Investigations to the States
If the FBI was abolished and its workload turned over to the states, it would not be as difficult as some would portray it. Indeed, what most Americans don’t realize is that almost every state already has a state version of the FBI. New Mexico has the New Mexico State Police, the Golden State has the California Bureau of Investigation, Texas has both the Texas Rangers and the Texas Department of Public Safety, and Georgia has the Georgia Bureau of investigation. (One can view the list here.)

Moreover, all these agencies are equipped with crime labs and the latest forensic tools. At one time, such tools were prohibitively expensive for state police agencies to acquire, but technological advances have brought the cost of such equipment down, resulting in most states having the latest forensics equipment that at one time was monopolized by the FBI. For example, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is famous for its forensic work: “The Division of Forensic Sciences envisions a future in which we continue to build and develop an internationally recognized forensic laboratory system that partners with governmental and private entities….”

Today, much of the FBI’s work entails the investigation of federal crimes committed within one state. There is no reason why the states can’t handle these investigations and if the case does happen to cross over into other states, then the states simply coordinate. Those days in which a criminal would escape the law by crossing a state line are long gone. Indeed, that practice was one of the reasons why the FBI was created, but with today’s advances in communication technology, that simply doesn’t happen anymore. All states today have the technology to easily track criminals as they cross state lines and it’s not difficult for two states or more to work together in the apprehension of a criminal. Already, states today cooperate on a wide array of governmental actions; there is no reason why they can’t coordinate on a police investigation or criminal apprehension.

Some of the FBI’s workload involves complex white collar cases such as tax evasion, money laundering, bank fraud, and commodities fraud, but if a state police agency feels it doesn’t have the expertise to investigate such crimes, it can enlist the assistance of existing agencies that already investigate such crimes. The IRS, Securities Exchange Commission, Treasury Department and the Secret Service all have investigative branches that handle different aspects of financial crimes.

Then, of course, there are the federal crime data bases largely maintained by the FBI, including the National Crime Information Center database, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, the Integrated Fingerprint Identification System, and the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). These databases should be turned over to the Department of Justice, which, in part, already play a role in maintaining them. More importantly, the state police agencies will need to be given ready access to these databases if they are to take on cases formerly handled by the FBI.

State law enforcement agencies are not perfect but it is far more difficult for the federal government to politicize the actions of a state agency. Moreover, it is much easier to hold state agencies accountable for any abuses they commit, just by virtue of being closer to the people.

Indeed, with access to federal crime data bases, most state police agencies have the capability to handle cases the FBI now handles, including domestic terrorist investigations. It’s a good bet that, given the FBI’s record on terrorism, the states will do a better job at stopping and preventing terrorism.

America’s founders were wise men and they knew not to make law enforcement a federal responsibility. They foresaw how the federal government could use a national police agency to play favorites, wreck havoc on our democratic institutions, and ultimately move us closer to a police state. The only question that remains is whether any politician will have the guts to initiate discussion on abolishing the FBI.

Read the whole story

  • · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · ·

Should The FBI Be Abolished? – American Spectator

Monday November 20th, 2017 at 6:34 AM

Former FBI Agents Power Influence – Google News

1 Share


American Spectator

Should The FBI Be Abolished?
American Spectator
On top of all that, former FBI director Robert Mueller — now Special Counsel — is investigating Trump for collusion with Russia when the evidence is now revealing that the only party that colluded with the Russians to influence the 2016 campaign was 

and more »

Russia’s Gay Demons | by Robert Cottrell

Sunday November 19th, 2017 at 6:36 PM

The New York Review Of Books

1 Share

by Masha Gessen

Riverhead, 515 pp., $28.00

Early in Vladimir Putin’s first presidency I spoke to a Moscow banker, with reason to care on this point, who said he detected no trace of anti-Semitism in Putin personally, but that Putin would encourage popular anti-Semitism in a second if he thought that doing so would serve his interests. So far, Putin has not felt the need to demonize Russia’s Jews. He has instead identified the enemy within as Russia’s homosexuals, whose persecution is one of the main themes of The Future Is History, Masha Gessen’s remarkable group portrait of seven Soviet-born Russians whose changing lives embody the changing fortunes and character of their country as it passed from the end of Communist dictatorship under Mikhail Gorbachev to improvised liberalism under Boris Yeltsin and then back to what Gessen sees as renewed totalitarianism under Putin.

Two of Gessen’s central characters, Masha* and Lyosha, were born into the educated middle class of the 1980s. Two more characters of the same generation have lives touched by great privilege: Seryozha is the grandson of Alexander Yakovlev, who was Gorbachev’s close adviser and a longtime member of the Central Committee; Zhanna is the daughter of Boris Nemtsov, a minister under Yeltsin and a dissident murdered under Putin. All four are encountered first in childhood and referred to throughout by their childhood names. Three characters appear first as adults, with private and public lives. Alexander Dugin is a philosopher who develops an ideology of Russian exceptionalism that wins him fame and favor under Putin. Lev Gudkov is a sociologist who seeks to model the emerging new Russia. Marina Arutyunyan is a psychologist who reestablishes the practice of psychoanalysis in Russia after its disappearance under communism.

Gessen’s deft blending of these stories gives us a fresh view of recent Russian history from within, as it was experienced at the time by its people. It is a welcome perspective. In turbulent periods, anything seems possible. Only with hindsight does causality creep in, and with it the illusion of inevitability. The infinite possibilities of the moment are lost. Through the eyes of her characters, Gessen manages to restore those possibilities, to convey how it felt to imagine that life in the new Russia could go in any direction.

The tension between experience and hindsight is there within Gessen’s writing. She alternately zooms in on the lives of her characters and zooms out to give more general accounts of the major events of the time—the putsch against Gorbachev in 1991, Yeltsin’s shelling of the Russian White House in 1993, the reelection of Yeltsin as president in 1996, the handover of power to Putin in 2000, and so on. How familiar these events appear when Gessen arranges them in their historical order, and how unfamiliar they appear when we see them as fragments of experience. On one side is the historian explaining the rise of Putin as a logical reaction to the failings of Yeltsin. On the other is Masha’s mother, wondering how on earth that dull man she met while selling insurance in St. Petersburg a few years back is now the prime minister.

Gessen was born in Moscow, emigrated to America with her family as a teenager in 1981, and returned to Russia ten years later to pursue a distinguished career as a journalist and LGBT activist. She came back to America in 2013, fearing that if she stayed in Russia, official hostility toward homosexuals could result in her children being seized by the state. Russia’s persecution of homosexuals is the strand of Gessen’s book that shows Putin at his cruelest. She arranges this narrative around Lyosha, who was born near Perm in 1985, and who was fifteen, on holiday in Crimea, when he recognized himself as gay:

When he saw other boys, teenagers like himself or young men, dressed, like he was, in only a pair of small black bathing trunks, he felt heat shoot excruciatingly through his body and a thrilling invisible shiver set in. It happened every day after that first time…. I am a pervert, he thought. I am sick. I am the only person in the world who feels this way.

The early post-Soviet period was not the very worst of times to be gay in Russia. Between 1989 and 1994, according to surveys conducted by the Russian sociologist Yuri Levada, support for “liquidating deviants” fell from 31 percent to 23 percent. It fell again to 15 percent in 1999, shortly before Lyosha had his realization. Homosexuality was no longer illegal. Teachers and doctors could talk about it if they wanted to. Lyosha did not much want to talk, but after a horrible beating from a local thug who was tipped off by a suspicious classmate, he opened up to a school counselor and discovered the liberating power of a sympathetic ear. He returned energized to his studies, graduated with distinction, and came out.

Lyosha built an academic career as a pioneer of gender and LGBT studies at Perm University, but when government-sanctioned hate campaigns made his work impossible and put his life in danger, he left the country. The sadistic murder in 2013 of a young gay man in Volgograd made a deep impression on him, and Gessen’s account of it will make a deep impression on you too. Whatever Putin’s legacy, it includes—among other results of his state-approved homophobia—three bloody beer bottles and one dead boy.

Demonizing homosexuality is, most obviously, a way for Putin to assert Russia’s superiority over the West. The West’s acceptance of homosexuality is given as proof of its moral and social collapse. Putin also sees, correctly, that the equality of all sexual orientations is widely proclaimed in the West but not uniformly accepted, allowing Russia to pose as a beacon of hope for Western reactionaries. To make homosexuality seem truly evil even to Russians who had ceased to think of it as such, Putin conflated it with pedophilia. If, in the age-old anti-Semitic narrative, “they” were conspiring to steal the nation’s money, in Putin’s anti-gay narrative “they” are conspiring to steal the nation’s children.

As Gessen recounts, Putin encountered few obstacles in selling this notion to the public. Politicians competed to imagine new crimes with which LGBT people could be charged and new punishments for them. Even to contest the conflation of homosexuality with pedophilia marked the objector as a friend of the pedophile conspiracy. The crudeness and viciousness of views expressed in parliament and the media verged on the medieval. According to Dmitry Kiselev, a host on state-owned television: “If [gays] should die in a car accident, we need to bury their hearts underground or burn them; they are unsuitable for the aiding of anyone’s life.”

I suppose it is worth pointing out that just as my banker friend did not think Putin to be personally anti-Semitic, so I doubt that Putin hungers to murder homosexuals with his own bare hands. He might even enjoy the company of a gay grandson. When Oliver Stone asked him a question about gay rights in a recent series of interviews, Putin responded much as a middle-aged Western male might have responded forty years ago, jocularly and gingerly:

Putin: Sometimes I visit events where people publicly declare that they’re homosexuals, these events are attended by such people and we communicate and have good relations.

Stone: Is that true in the military as well?

Putin: There’s no restriction.

Stone: No restriction in the military? I mean, if you’re taking a shower in a submarine and you know he’s gay, do they have a problem with that?

Putin: [laughs] Well, I prefer not to go to the shower with him. Why provoke him?

At such moments, thinking of a young man on a park bench in Volgograd with three beer bottles up his rectum, you have to wonder about the mixture in Putin’s character of the stupid, the brilliant, the evil, and the naive.

While Lyosha very wisely gets out of Russia, Seryozha gets by there, Zhanna gets on, and Masha gets involved with the 2011 protest movement organized by Boris Nemtsov—Zhanna’s father—and by Alexei Navalny, a younger dissident. It is an uneasy alliance. Navalny is a nationalist, whereas Nemtsov is the last and best survivor of Yeltsin-era liberalism, perhaps the last true liberal to have held any meaningful political power in Russia. When Nemtsov is murdered within sight of the Kremlin in 2015, apparently for his opposition to Russia’s war in Ukraine, Zhanna blames the killing squarely on Putin. Others report that Putin is both surprised and angered by Nemtsov’s murder, less because he has any affection for Nemtsov than because a high-profile assassination in the center of Moscow is a direct challenge to his own monopoly on violence.

The outlier among Gessen’s seven is Alexander Dugin, the only one to favor repression, to reject freedom, to want more and better Putinism. He is too big and too strange to fit easily into the story, and instead haunts its margins. Dugin has always seemed to me a bogus thinker, a fantasist, an opportunist. But others take him seriously, and he emerges from Gessen’s account as a prodigious consumer and manipulator of philosophy and political science.

Dugin was expelled from college and has been deeply influenced by Heidegger and Hitler. He’s allegedly capable of learning a new European language in two weeks merely from reading books in that language. He appropriates the arguments of the Russian Eurasianists, including the émigré linguist Nikolai Trubetskoy and the Soviet ethnographer Lev Gumilev, to the effect that Russia’s geographical sprawl between Europe and Asia gives the nation a unique, non-Western character. Russia is not a country, but a civilization. The Russian identity belongs not to the Russian Federation but to the “Russian World,” and the West is the natural enemy of the Russian World.

Dugin had his wilderness years in the 1990s, but with the arrival of Putin his influence rocketed. His Eurasian Youth Union marched through Moscow. He was given a teaching job at Moscow State University. When, after Russia’s annexation of Crimea, Putin referred on television to “a Russian person, or, to speak more broadly, a person of the Russian World,” Dugin’s happiness was complete. He was putting words into Putin’s mouth that articulated in a suitably lofty manner their common vision of ethnic, cultural, and religious Russian supremacy. Dugin wants his Russian World to be totalitarian, which is to say, a world in which the state polices everybody’s thoughts as well as everybody’s actions. He opposes universal human rights and the rule of law as alien ideas from the hostile West.

Gessen claims in her title that Russia is already totalitarian. I imagine that Dugin would disagree. And from a different perspective, so would I. Take, for example, Gessen’s account of a moment after Masha has been arrested as a political protester in 2012. Under prolonged police investigation, she goes to stay in her mother-in-law’s dacha outside Moscow. The neighboring dacha belongs to a senior police officer called Natalia. The two fall into conversation:

“Hey, you are part of the Bolotnoye case, aren’t you,” she asked when they were having a cigarette Masha’s first night at the dacha. It was cool and quiet and you could see the stars.

“Yeah,” said Masha.

“Who is your investigator?”

“Grachev.”

“Ah, Timokha!” Natalia’s voice sang with the joy of recognition. “He is one of mine. I had to send three people. It’s a big case. He doing his job?”

“Oh, he is doing his job, all right.”

“Good. Say hi to him there.”

That is not my idea of how life proceeds in a totalitarian society. I sense in this brief exchange humanity and sincerity on both sides. I do not want to generalize too much from this. Many horrible things happen in Russian police stations. But totalitarianism ought surely to be total, if only among the police.

The idea of categorizing dictatorships as either authoritarian or totalitarian is a twentieth-century one. Totalitarianism took as its examples Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia. The distinction was of practical significance during the cold war, when there was a political need in the West to distinguish between cruel regimes that the US supported (Pinochet’s Chile, the Shah’s Iran) and cruel regimes that the US opposed (China, the USSR). The former were deemed authoritarian, the latter totalitarian. Totalitarian regimes were beyond hope of improvement; authoritarian regimes were not.

If we accept the distinction between an authoritarian desire to control behavior and a totalitarian desire to control thought, then, as Gessen shows, Russia crossed that line some time ago under Putin. But what if you set Russia alongside North Korea? Putin wants all Russians to think like him, whereas Kim Jong-un would rather his subjects not think at all. That is not a very encouraging distinction, but at the darker end of government, it is surely one worth maintaining.

One problem with trying to understand totalitarianism is that, to the extent it succeeds, it is impenetrable to outsiders. Everything that is said and thought is the product of propaganda. Lev Gudkov, the sociologist in Gessen’s book, has a lucid account of this problem that merits quoting at some length, in Gessen’s paraphrase:

Looking from the outside in, one cannot see, for example, whether people attend a parade because they are forced to do so or because they so desire. Researchers generally assumed one or the other: either that people were passive victims or that they were fervent believers. But on the inside, both assumptions were wrong, for all the people at the parade…and for each one of them individually. They did not feel like helpless victims, but they did not feel like fanatics either. They felt normal. They were members of a society. The parades and various other forms of collective life gave them a sense of belonging that humans generally need…. They would not be lying if they said that they wanted to be part of the parade, or the collective in general—and that if they exerted pressure on others to be a part of a collective too, they did so willingly.

Another problem with trying to arrive at an account of totalitarianism—at least from a Western point of view—is that totalitarian societies are by definition the enemy, so we are not terribly interested in what their better points might be. “After the fall of the Soviet Union made it easier to study the country that had been,” Gessen writes, referring to the work of Sheila Fitzpatrick and others, “academics began noting how much richer private life had been in the USSR than they had once thought, how inconsistent and how widely disregarded the ideology, and how comparatively mild police enforcement became after Stalin’s death.”

This seems to be borne out by the lives of Gessen’s older characters. Even in the 1960s and 1970s, long before Gorbachev cracked open the old certainties, Arutyunyan the psychologist and Gudkov the sociologist were finding that Soviet academia allowed them a fair amount of room to maneuver, as long as this was exercised discreetly and deniably. For example, although you could not study the problems of Soviet society (Soviet society had only solutions), you could still study sociology so long as you pretended to be denouncing Western sociological theories, or if you called it something else. Gudkov’s mentor, Yuri Levada, was allowed to set up a department within the Academy of Sciences called the Institute for Concrete Social Studies. I also admire Gessen’s line that “the Soviet system offered not a vision of the future but the ability to know one’s future, much as tradesmen did in feudal times, and to make very small-scale, manageable decisions about the future.” If this was totalitarianism, you start to see why so many Russians wanted Putin to turn the clock back.

Gudkov argues that, in fact, the clock never moved. It was always striking thirteen. Institutions and systems designed for a totalitarian Soviet Union survived with little or no change into the new Russian state, encouraging totalitarian behavior to return through them. Elections became public displays of support for the regime, just like parades. Public protest was more frequent in Putin’s Russia than it had been in the Soviet Union, but only because the regime had reached a new understanding that street demonstrations changed nothing—on the contrary, they helped to maintain the existing order. Dissidents revealed themselves and were arrested. The rest of society was reassured by the regime’s show of power in shutting the demonstrations down.

Gudkov fears that the Soviet system has reshaped the Russian national character to such an extent that Russians can willingly recreate a totalitarian society among themselves even without compulsion from the state to do so. A corollary of that argument is that Russia can have a totalitarian society even without a totalitarian state—a useful formulation if one takes the view that the ultimate aim of the Putin regime is the accumulation of wealth even more than the accumulation of power. Thus Gessen, when she discusses the ideas of the Hungarian political scientist Bálint Magyar, can speak of Russia as a “mafia state ruling over a totalitarian society.”

With all due respect to Gessen and to Gudkov, the term “totalitarian” is being used loosely here. It may be useful to invoke the prospect of totalitarianism as a rhetorical way of alerting Russians to the fact that their government is a danger to themselves and to others. But to claim that Russia is already totalitarian is to absolve Russians in general from what is done in their name by proposing that they have been indoctrinated into acquiescence. One risks imagining a Russian nation which, freed from thought control, reveals itself to be liberal and freedom-loving. This is exactly the mistake that Westerners made when Soviet communism was on its last legs thirty years ago—and when, as Gessen so poignantly shows, what was revealed was the appetite for a newer and better dictator.

My own view of Putin is that he came to power fully intending to be an authoritarian leader but also to allow some small degree of pluralism in politics and some larger degree of liberalism in private life and business, on the purely pragmatic grounds that he knew from Soviet times the weakness of totalitarianism. He would rather be Lee Kuan Yew than Robert Mugabe. But he found it personally intolerable to be criticized, let alone thwarted, so freedom to oppose him politically soon disappeared. Economics was a closed book to Putin when he took power, but he came to understand that a thriving market economy required a well-functioning rule of law capable of constraining even government—and that was the death knell for the market economy. Freedom in private life lasted rather longer, but was eventually curtailed, most obviously in the sexual domain, when the stagnating regime needed new ways to mobilize popular support.

The theater and film director Andrei Konchalovsky, quoted by Christian Neef in Der Spiegel, sees roughly the same trajectory in Putin’s career, but attributes it to pressure from below:

Putin initially thought like a Westerner, but ultimately realized why every Russian ruler struggles to lead this nation: Because its inhabitants, in accordance with an unshakable tradition, freely delegate all their power to a single person, and then wait for that power to take care of them, without doing anything themselves.

We are close here to the dilemma of Bertolt Brecht’s poem “The Solution,” about the anti-Communist uprising in East Germany in 1953, and a thought that must have struck every observer of Russia at some time or other:

Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?

Read the whole story

  • · · · · · · · · · · · ·

John Raines, 84; was accomplice in 1971 burglary that revealed FBI abuses – The Boston Globe

Sunday November 19th, 2017 at 6:33 PM

Fbi – Google News

1 Share

John Raines, 84; was accomplice in 1971 burglary that revealed FBI abuses
The Boston Globe
The cache of documents they stole revealed a sweeping campaign of intimidation by the FBI, then led by J. Edgar Hoover, against civil rights and antiwar activists, communists, and other dissenters. One now-infamous document told agents to ramp up …

and more »

Rumors Fly About The ‘Last Year Of Putin’

Sunday November 19th, 2017 at 5:06 PM

1 Share

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin attends the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, part of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders’ summit in the central Vietnamese city of Danang on November 11, 2017. Media rumors of his desire to retire from politics went public over the weekend with an article by The Independent. (Photo by JORGE SILVA/AFP/Getty Images)

For the last three months, rumors within Russia media circles have been circulating that Vladimir Putin might not run for president next year. He has yet to make an announcement of his candidacy. And now the Independent newspaper out of London has taken those rumors live.  The cat is now out of the bag.

The takeaway: no matter if Putin wins, this is his last turn as President. In six years, at the latest, Russia will be without their longest running president since the days of the Soviet Union.

Gleb Pavlovsky, a former Kremlin advisor and head of the Effective Politics Foundation, told The Independent’s Oliver Carroll that the Putin era has entered a “terminal” phase. “Whichever way you play it, this campaign is about transitioning to a post-Putin Russia,” he told the paper.

Like all things politics, Carroll had to rely on Wall Street’s version of the “whisper numbers” regarding Putin’s desire to run again. The article may ultimately get an answer from Team Putin as to his 2018 election plans. If he runs, everybody knows he is a shoo-in. There is no effective opposition. Even Western darling Alexei Navalny barely polls at 10% and has almost no support in the Rusian parliament. His Progress Party has precisely zero seats.

One of the only real challengers to the United Russia party of Putin are the communists and the ultra-nationalist, ironically named Liberal Democrats, run by Vladimir Zhirinovsky. He would make Putin look like George W. Bush to those who have no love for Donald Trump.

The Communist Party is run by Gennady Andreyevich Zyugano. He garnered 17% of the vote in 2012, the only contender to Putin. Some argue that he is the only contender allowed to run. Others believe that even if Navalny was allowed to run for the presidency despite having no political presence in either house of Congress, that the anti-Russia rhetoric coming from the U.S. would persist. In other words, a Putin exit is by no means a white flag waving high above the Kremlin for Washington to see.

Gennady Zuganov, Russia’sn communist party leader. He came in second against Putin in 2012. Some say United Russia always puts Putin up against weak candidates. Still, Putin’s approval rating is at least 60%. (Photo by MAXIM MALINOVSKY/AFP/Getty Images)

Read the whole story

  • · · ·

Next Page of Stories

Loading…

Page 5

Scaffolding Collapses in SoHo, Reports of Injuries – NBC New York

Sunday November 19th, 2017 at 4:07 PM

Top Stories – Google News

1 Share


NBC New York

Scaffolding Collapses in SoHo, Reports of Injuries
NBC New York
A bystander shot this video of firefighters responding to a scaffolding collapse in SoHo. Credit: @eringoscratch/Instagram (Published 19 minutes ago). A large scaffolding collapsed in SoHo, scattering debris across the street, photos and video from the 
Wooden planks everywhere as scaffolding collapses into the street in Lower ManhattanWABC-TV
Breaking: Scaffolding collapse causes injuries in NYC amid gusty windsAccuWeather.com
Several Injured After Scaffold Crashes Onto SoHo StreetCBS New York

all 11 news articles »

8:57 PM 11/18/2017 – John Raines, accomplice in 1971 burglary that revealed FBI abuses, died at 84 on Nov. 12 by mikenova

Sunday November 19th, 2017 at 4:00 PM

FBI News Review

1 Share

John Raines – Google Search Saturday November 18th, 2017 at 9:02 PM 1 Share John Raines – Google Search Saturday November 18th, 2017 at 9:01 PM John Raines – Google News 1 Share John Raines, accomplice in 1971 burglary that revealed FBI abuses … The Boston Globe–2 hours ago WASHINGTON — For 43 years, John Raines, a Temple University religion … Continue reading “8:57 PM 11/18/2017 – John Raines, accomplice in 1971 burglary that revealed FBI abuses, died at 84 on Nov. 12”

fbi – Google News: EXCLUSIVE: Was DB Cooper’s escape COVERED UP by the FBI? A letter that spent 46 years buried in the feds … – Daily Mail

Sunday November 19th, 2017 at 3:59 PM

  1. FBI From Mikenova (15 Sites)

1 Share


Daily Mail

EXCLUSIVE: Was DB Cooper’s escape COVERED UP by the FBI? A letter that spent 46 years buried in the feds …
Daily Mail
A letter newly released from the FBI’s archives may prove that DB Cooper – the 1971 hijacker last seen leaping out of a plane with a fortune in cash – survived his apparent death. The letter, which was sent 17 days after the hijacking appears to 
Investigators: DB Cooper letter confirms suspect, FBI cover-upseattlepi.com

all 2 news articles »

fbi – Google News

fbi – Google News: Investigators: DB Cooper letter confirms suspect, FBI cover-up – seattlepi.com

Sunday November 19th, 2017 at 3:59 PM

  1. FBI From Mikenova (15 Sites)

1 Share


seattlepi.com

Investigators: DB Cooper letter confirms suspect, FBI cover-up
seattlepi.com
Investigators: D.B. Cooper letter confirms suspect, FBI cover-up. A fifth Cooper letter obtained through FOIA, allegedly from the real hijacker, team says, FBI not interested in revisiting case. By Daniel DeMay, SeattlePI …
EXCLUSIVE: Was DB Cooper’s escape COVERED UP by the FBI? A letter that spent 46 years buried in the feds …Daily Mail

all 2 news articles »

fbi – Google News

The Hidden History of Trump’s First Trip to Moscow

Sunday November 19th, 2017 at 3:15 PM

2 Shares

It was 1984 and General Vladimir Alexandrovich Kryuchkov had a problem. The general occupied one of the KGB’s most exalted posts. He was head of the First Chief Directorate, the prestigious KGB arm responsible for gathering foreign intelligence.

Kryuchkov had begun his career with five years at the Soviet mission in Budapest under Ambassador Yuri Andropov. In 1967 Andropov became KGB chairman. Kryuchkov went to Moscow, took up a number of sensitive posts, and established a reputation as a devoted and hardworking officer. By 1984, Kryuchkov’s directorate in Moscow was bigger than ever before—12,000 officers, up from about 3,000 in the 1960s. His headquarters at Yasenevo, on the wooded southern outskirts of the city, was expanding: Workmen were busy constructing a 22-story annex and a new 11-story building.

Story Continued Below

In politics, change was in the air. Soon a new man would arrive in the Kremlin, Mikhail Gorbachev. Gorbachev’s policy of detente with the West—a refreshing contrast to the global confrontation of previous general secretaries—meant the directorate’s work abroad was more important than ever.

Kryuchkov faced several challenges. First, a hawkish president, Ronald Reagan, was in power in Washington. The KGB regarded his two predecessors, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, as weak. By contrast Reagan was seen as a potent adversary. The directorate was increasingly preoccupied with what it believed—wrongly—was an American plot to conduct a preemptive nuclear strike against the USSR.

It was around this time that Donald Trump appears to have attracted the attention of Soviet intelligence. How that happened, and where that relationship began, is an answer hidden somewhere in the KGB’s secret archives. Assuming, that is, that the documents still exist.

Trump’s first visit to Soviet Moscow in 1987 looks, with hindsight, to be part of a pattern. The dossier by the former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele asserts that the Kremlin had been cultivating Trump for “at least five years” before his stunning victory in the 2016 US presidential election. This would take us back to around 2011 or 2012.

In fact, the Soviet Union was interested in him too, three decades earlier. The top level of the Soviet diplomatic service arranged his 1987 Moscow visit. With assistance from the KGB. It took place while Kryuchkov was seeking to improve the KGB’s operational techniques in one particular and sensitive area. The spy chief wanted KGB staff abroad to recruit more Americans.

In addition to shifting politics in Moscow, Kryuchkov’s difficulty had to do with intelligence gathering. The results from KGB officers abroad had been disappointing. Too often they would pretend to have obtained information from secret sources. In reality, they had recycled material from newspapers or picked up gossip over lunch with a journalist. Too many residencies had “paper agents” on their books: targets for recruitment who had nothing to do with real intelligence.

Kryuchkov sent out a series of classified memos to KGB heads of station. Oleg Gordievsky—formerly based in Denmark and then in Great Britain—copied them and passed them to British intelligence. He later co-published them with the historian Christopher Andrew under the title Comrade Kryuchkov’s Instructions: Top Secret Files on KGB Foreign Operations 1975–1985.

In January 1984 Kryuchkov addressed the problem during a biannual review held in Moscow, and at a special conference six months later. The urgent subject: how to improve agent recruitment. The general urged his officers to be more “creative.” Previously they had relied on identifying candidates who showed ideological sympathy toward the USSR: leftists, trade unionists and so on. By the mid-1980s these were not so many. So KGB officers should “make bolder use of material incentives”: money. And use flattery, an important tool.

The Center, as KGB headquarters was known, was especially concerned about its lack of success in recruiting US citizens, according to Andrew and Gordievsky. The PR Line—that is, the Political Intelligence Department stationed in KGB residencies abroad—was given explicit instructions to find “U.S. targets to cultivate or, at the very least, official contacts.” “The main effort must be concentrated on acquiring valuable agents,” Kryuchkov said.

The memo—dated February 1, 1984—was to be destroyed as soon as its contents had been read. It said that despite improvements in “information gathering,” the KGB “has not had great success in operation against the main adversary [America].”

One solution was to make wider use of “the facilities of friendly intelligence services”—for example, Czechoslovakian or East German spy networks.

And: “Further improvement in operational work with agents calls for fuller and wider utilisation of confidential and special unofficial contacts. These should be acquired chiefly among prominent figures in politics and society, and important representatives of business and science.” These should not only “supply valuable information” but also “actively influence” a country’s foreign policy “in a direction of advantage to the USSR.”

There were, of course, different stages of recruitment. Typically, a case officer would invite a target to lunch. The target would be classified as an “official contact.” If the target appeared responsive, he (it was rarely she) would be promoted to a “subject of deep study,” an obyekt razrabotki. The officer would build up a file, supplemented by official and covert material. That might include readouts from conversations obtained through bugging by the KGB’s technical team.

The KGB also distributed a secret personality questionnaire, advising case officers what to look for in a successful recruitment operation. In April 1985 this was updated for “prominent figures in the West.” The directorate’s aim was to draw the target “into some form of collaboration with us.” This could be “as an agent, or confidential or special or unofficial contact.”

Story Continued Below

The form demanded basic details—name, profession, family situation, and material circumstances. There were other questions, too: what was the likelihood that the “subject could come to power (occupy the post of president or prime minister)”? And an assessment of personality. For example: “Are pride, arrogance, egoism, ambition or vanity among subject’s natural characteristics?”

The most revealing section concerned kompromat. The document asked for: “Compromising information about subject, including illegal acts in financial and commercial affairs, intrigues, speculation, bribes, graft … and exploitation of his position to enrich himself.” Plus “any other information” that would compromise the subject before “the country’s authorities and the general public.” Naturally the KGB could exploit this by threatening “disclosure.”

Finally, “his attitude towards women is also of interest.” The document wanted to know: “Is he in the habit of having affairs with women on the side?”

When did the KGB open a file on Donald Trump? We don’t know, but Eastern Bloc security service records suggest this may have been as early as 1977. That was the year when Trump married Ivana Zelnickova, a twenty-eight-year-old model from Czechoslovakia. Zelnickova was a citizen of a communist country. She was therefore of interest both to the Czech intelligence service, the StB, and to the FBI and CIA.

During the Cold War, Czech spies were known for their professionalism. Czech and Hungarian officers were typically used in espionage actions abroad, especially in the United States and Latin America. They were less obvious than Soviet operatives sent by Moscow.

Zelnickova was born in Zlin, an aircraft manufacturing town in Moravia. Her first marriage was to an Austrian real estate agent. In the early 1970s she moved to Canada, first to Toronto and then to Montreal, to be with a ski instructor boyfriend. Exiting Czechoslovakia during this period was, the files said, “incredibly difficult.” Zelnickova moved to New York. In April 1977 she married Trump.

According to files in Prague, declassified in 2016, Czech spies kept a close eye on the couple in Manhattan. (The agents who undertook this task were code-named Al Jarza and Lubos.) They opened letters sent home by Ivana to her father, Milos, an engineer. Milos was never an agent or asset. But he had a functional relationship with the Czech secret police, who would ask him how his daughter was doing abroad and in return permit her visits home. There was periodic surveillance of the Trump family in the United States. And when Ivana and Donald Trump, Jr., visited Milos in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, further spying, or “cover.”

Like with other Eastern Bloc agencies, the Czechs would have shared their intelligence product with their counterparts in Moscow, the KGB. Trump may have been of interest for several reasons. One, his wife came from Eastern Europe. Two—at a time after 1984 when the Kremlin was experimenting with perestroika, or Communist Party reform—Trump had a prominent profile as a real estate developer and tycoon. According to the Czech files, Ivana mentioned her husband’s growing interest in politics. Might Trump at some stage consider a political career?

The KGB wouldn’t invite someone to Moscow out of altruism. Dignitaries flown to the USSR on expenses-paid trips were typically left-leaning writers or cultural figures. The state would expend hard currency; the visitor would say some nice things about Soviet life; the press would report these remarks, seeing in them a stamp of approval.

Despite Gorbachev’s policy of engagement, he was still a Soviet leader. The KGB continued to view the West with deep suspicion. It carried on with efforts to subvert Western institutions and acquire secret sources, with NATO its No. 1 strategic intelligence target.

At this point it is unclear how the KGB regarded Trump. To become a full KGB agent, a foreigner had to agree to two things. (An “agent” in a Russian or British context was a secret intelligence source.) One was “conspiratorial collaboration.” The other was willingness to take KGB instruction.

According to Andrew and Gordievsky’s book Comrade Kryuchkov’s Instructions, targets who failed to meet these criteria were classified as “confidential contacts.” The Russian word was doveritelnaya svyaz. The aspiration was to turn trusted contacts into full-blown agents, an upper rung of the ladder.

As Kryuchkov explained, KGB residents were urged to abandon “stereotyped methods” of recruitment and use more flexible strategies—if necessary getting their wives or other family members to help.

Story Continued Below

As Trump tells it, the idea for his first trip to Moscow came after he found himself seated next to the Soviet ambassador Yuri Dubinin. This was in autumn 1986; the event was a luncheon held by Leonard Lauder, the businessman son of Estée Lauder. Dubinin’s daughter Natalia “had read about Trump Tower and knew all about it,” Trump said in his 1987 bestseller, The Art of the Deal.

Trump continued: “One thing led to another, and now I’m talking about building a large luxury hotel, across the street from the Kremlin, in partnership with the Soviet government.”

Trump’s chatty version of events is incomplete. According to Natalia Dubinina, the actual story involved a more determined effort by the Soviet government to seek out Trump. In February 1985 Kryuchkov complained again about “the lack of appreciable results of recruitment against the Americans in most Residencies.” The ambassador arrived in New York in March 1986. His original job was Soviet ambassador to the U.N.; his daughter Dubinina was already living in the city with her family, and she was part of the Soviet U.N. delegation.

Dubinin wouldn’t have answered to the KGB. And his role wasn’t formally an intelligence one. But he would have had close contacts with the power apparatus in Moscow. He enjoyed greater trust than other, lesser ambassadors.

Dubinina said she picked up her father at the airport. It was his first time in New York City. She took him on a tour. The first building they saw was Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, she told Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper. Dubinin was so excited he decided to go inside to meet the building’s owner. They got into the elevator. At the top, Dubinina said, they met Trump.

The ambassador—“fluent in English and a brilliant master of negotiations”—charmed the busy Trump, telling him: “The first thing I saw in the city is your tower!”

Dubinina said: “Trump melted at once. He is an emotional person, somewhat impulsive. He needs recognition. And, of course, when he gets it he likes it. My father’s visit worked on him [Trump] like honey to a bee.”

This encounter happened six months before the Estée Lauder lunch. In Dubinina’s account she admits her father was trying to hook Trump. The man from Moscow wasn’t a wide-eyed rube but a veteran diplomat who served in France and Spain, and translated for Nikita Khrushchev when he met with Charles de Gaulle at the Elysée Palace in Paris. He had seen plenty of impressive buildings. Weeks after his first Trump meeting, Dubinin was named Soviet ambassador to Washington.

Dubinina’s own role is interesting. According to a foreign intelligence archive smuggled to the West, the Soviet mission to the U.N. was a haven for the KGB and GRU (Soviet military intelligence). Many of the 300 Soviet nationals employed at the U.N. secretariat were Soviet intelligence officers working undercover, including as personal assistants to secretary-generals. The Soviet U.N. delegation had greater success in finding agents and gaining political intelligence than the KGB’s New York residency.

Dubinin’s other daughter, Irina, said that her late father—he died in 2013—was on a mission as ambassador. This was, she said, to make contact with America’s business elite. For sure, Gorbachev’s Politburo was interested in understanding capitalism. But Dubinin’s invitation to Trump to visit Moscow looks like a classic cultivation exercise, which would have had the KGB’s full support and approval.

In The Art of the Deal, Trump writes: “In January 1987, I got a letter from Yuri Dubinin, the Soviet ambassador to the United States, that began: ‘It is a pleasure for me to relay some good news from Moscow.’ It went on to say that the leading Soviet state agency for international tourism, Goscomintourist, had expressed interest in pursuing a joint venture to construct and manage a hotel in Moscow.”

There were many ambitious real estate developers in the United States—why had Moscow picked Trump?

According to Viktor Suvorov—a former GRU military spy—and others, the KGB ran Intourist, the agency to which Trump referred. It functioned as a subsidiary KGB branch. Initiated in 1929 by Stalin, Intourist was the Soviet Union’s official state travel agency. Its job was to vet and monitor all foreigners coming into the Soviet Union. “In my time it was KGB,” Suvorov said. “They gave permission for people to visit.” The KGB’s first and second directorates routinely received lists of prospective visitors to the country based on their visa applications.

As a GRU operative, Suvorov was personally involved in recruitment, albeit for a rival service to the KGB. Soviet spy agencies were always interested in cultivating “young ambitious people,” he said—an upwardly mobile businessman, a scientist, a “guy with a future.”

Story Continued Below

Once in Moscow, they would receive lavish hospitality. “Everything is free. There are good parties with nice girls. It could be a sauna and girls and who knows what else.” The hotel rooms or villa were under “24-hour control,” with “security cameras and so on,” Suvorov said. “The interest is only one. To collect some information and keep that information about him for the future.”

These dirty-tricks operations were all about the long term, Suvorov said. The KGB would expend effort on visiting students from the developing world, not least Africa. After 10 or 20 years, some of them would be “nobody.” But others would have risen to positions of influence in their own countries.

Suvorov explained: “It’s at this point you say: ‘Knock, knock! Do you remember the marvelous time in Moscow? It was a wonderful evening. You were so drunk. You don’t remember? We just show you something for your good memory.’”

Over in the communist German Democratic Republic, one of Kryuchkov’s 34-year-old officers—one Vladimir Putin—was busy trying to recruit students from Latin America. Putin arrived in Dresden in August 1985, together with his pregnant wife, Lyudmila, and one-year-old daughter, Maria. They lived in a KGB apartment block.

According to the writer Masha Gessen, one of Putin’s tasks was to try to befriend foreigners studying at the Dresden University of Technology. The hope was that, if recruited, the Latin Americans might work in the United States as undercover agents, reporting back to the Center. Putin set about this together with two KGB colleagues and a retired Dresden policeman.

Precisely what Putin did while working for the KGB’s First Directorate in Dresden is unknown. It may have included trying to recruit Westerners visiting Dresden on business and East Germans with relatives in the West. Putin’s efforts, Gessen suggests, were mostly a failure. He did manage to recruit a Colombian student. Overall his operational results were modest.

By January 1987, Trump was closer to the “prominent person” status of Kryuchkov’s note. Dubinin deemed Trump interesting enough to arrange his trip to Moscow. Another thirtysomething U.S.-based Soviet diplomat, Vitaly Churkin—the future U.N. ambassador—helped put it together. On July 4, 1987, Trump flew to Moscow for the first time, together with Ivana and Lisa Calandra, Ivana’s Italian-American assistant.

Moscow was, Trump wrote, “an extraordinary experience.” The Trumps stayed in Lenin’s suite at the National Hotel, at the bottom of Tverskaya Street, near Red Square. Seventy years earlier, in October 1917, Lenin and his wife, Nadezhda Krupskaya, had spent a week in room 107. The hotel was linked to the glass-and-concrete Intourist complex next door and was— in effect—under KGB control. The Lenin suite would have been bugged.

Meanwhile, the mausoleum containing the Bolshevik leader’s embalmed corpse was a short walk away. Other Soviet leaders were interred beneath the Kremlin’s wall in a communist pantheon: Stalin, Brezhnev, Andropov—Kryuchkov’s old mentor—and Dzerzhinsky.

According to The Art of the Deal, Trump toured “a half dozen potential sites for a hotel, including several near Red Square.” “I was impressed with the ambition of Soviet officials to make a deal,” he writes. He also visited Leningrad, later St. Petersburg. A photo shows Donald and Ivana standing in Palace Square—he in a suit, she in a red polka dot blouse with a string of pearls. Behind them are the Winter Palace and the state Hermitage museum.

That July the Soviet press wrote enthusiastically about the visit of a foreign celebrity. This was Gabriel García Márquez, the Nobel Prize–winning novelist and journalist. Pravda featured a long conversation between the Colombian guest and Gorbachev. García Márquez spoke of how South Americans, himself included, sympathized with socialism and the USSR. Moscow brought García Márquez over for a film festival.

Trump’s visit appears to have attracted less attention. There is no mention of him in Moscow’s Russian State Library newspaper archive. (Either his visit went unreported or any articles featuring it have been quietly removed.) Press clippings do record a visit by a West German official and an Indian cultural festival.

The KGB’s private dossier on Trump, by contrast, would have gotten larger. The agency’s multipage profile would have been enriched with fresh material, including anything gleaned via eavesdropping.

Nothing came of the trip—at least nothing in terms of business opportunities inside Russia. This pattern of failure would be repeated in Trump’s subsequent trips to Moscow. But Trump flew back to New York with a new sense of strategic direction. For the first time he gave serious indications that he was considering a career in politics. Not as mayor or governor or senator.

Trump was thinking about running for president.

Read the whole story

  • · · · · · · · · · · · ·

The Hidden History of Trump’s First Trip to Moscow – POLITICO Magazine

Sunday November 19th, 2017 at 3:14 PM

Former FBI Agents Power Influence – Google News

1 Share


POLITICO Magazine

The Hidden History of Trump’s First Trip to Moscow
POLITICO Magazine
The dossier by the former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele asserts that the Kremlin had been cultivating Trump for “at least five years” before his stunning victory in the 2016 US presidential election. This would take … Too many 

and more »

Next Page of Stories

Loading…

Page 6

35 Years with the CIA: Enemies, adversaries and threats to freedom

Sunday November 19th, 2017 at 3:09 PM

1 Share

By Craig Osth, opinion contributor — 11/19/17 10:00 AM EST

The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of The Hill

13

inShare

The Hill 1625 K Street, NW Suite 900 Washington DC 20006 | 202-628-8500 tel | 202-628-8503 fax

The contents of this site are ©2017 Capitol Hill Publishing Corp., a subsidiary of News Communications, Inc.

Scroll down for next story

x

Signed in as mikenova

Share this story on NewsBlur

Shared stories are on their way…