Tag Archives: Trump & Russia

Flop Sweat

Annnnnnd the gloves come off:

FBI agents raided the home in Alexandria, Va., of President Trump’s former campaign chairman, arriving in the pre-dawn hours late last month and seizing documents and other materials related to the special counsel investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

The raid, which occurred without warning on July 26, signaled an aggressive new approach by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and his team in dealing with a key figure in the Russia inquiry. Manafort has been under increasing pressure as the Mueller team looked into his personal finances and his professional career as a highly paid foreign political consultant.

Using a search warrant, agents appeared the day Manafort was scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee and a day after he met voluntarily with Senate Intelligence Committee staff members.

The search warrant requested documents related to tax, banking and other matters. People familiar with the search said agents departed the Manafort residence with a trove of material, including binders prepared ahead of Manafort’s congressional testimony.

Investigators in the Russia inquiry have previously sought documents with subpoenas, which are less intrusive and confrontational than a search warrant. With a warrant, agents can inspect a physical location and seize any useful information. To get a judge to sign off on a search warrant, prosecutors must show that there is probable cause that a crime has been committed.

How much flop sweat do you think that caused OMP? Bet it adds a few strokes to his game today.

Flop Sweat

The Reichstag Fire

reichstag fire“When Archie Cox, the Watergate special prosecutor, was finally fired at the end of the Saturday Night Massacre and they were filing out of his office, a reporter asked his spokesman, whose name if I recollect it was James Neal, “Jim what are you going to do now?” Neal said, “I’m going to go home and read about the Reichstag Fire.” To impede Bobby Mueller at this point, six months into his administration, Donald Trump would have to create the American equivalent of the Reichstag Fire. Got that?”

The Reichstag Fire

16 Things

16 things you must believe to buy the ‘Witch Hunt’ Russia narrative:

  1. That Donald Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner did nothing wrong by meeting with a Kremlin-connected Russian offering dirt on Clinton. The emails requesting the meeting specifically mentioned a “Russian government attorney” and added that the requested meeting concerned “very high level and sensitive information” that “is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” That doesn’t prove a willingness to collude
  2. That concern about Paul Manafort’s extensive links with Putin’s former puppet in Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, including at least $12.7 million in payments, is, to quote Manafort’s words, “silly and nonsensical.”
  3. That Donald Trump’s stubborn refusal ever to breathe a critical word about Vladimir Putin, even as he has freely criticized U.S. allies, or acknowledge Russian meddling in our election, is not strange.
  4. That Donald Trump’s stubborn refusal ever to breathe a critical word about Vladimir Putin, even as he has freely criticized U.S. allies, or acknowledge Russian meddling in our election, is not strange…

New Rift

On Christopher Wray

Obscured by lil’ Donnie Junior’s slow-motion, phantasmagoric self immolation 1 2 is Christopher Wray, lil’ Donnie Senior’s nominee to the FBI.

Wray, unlike James Comey, falls more in line with other OMP‘s nominees; he was part of Shrub’s DoJ and redacted documents strongly suggest Wray was involved in implementing the use of torture in pursuit of The Dark Lord’s false Global War on Terror.

In my book that would be more than enough to disqualify him, but there’s more: Wray’s response to reports of inmate abuse at Abu Ghraib Prison also suggests he is a willing lapdog of the powerful instead of a rule of law adherent. 3

Add to this his defense of Christie’s Bridgegate shenanigans: Is there any doubt Wray would protect/rule for the neo-kleptocrats stuffed into this WH administration rather than resign?

We think not. The DEMs need to send Wray home, jobless.

On Christopher Wray

Show 3 footnotes

  1. Once again, for the record: There is no such thing as an ‘ex’ GRU/FSB agent, much as there is no such thing as an ‘ex’ CIA agent, an ‘ex’ los costra nostra or even an ‘ex’ Jarhead; some memberships are for life.
  2. I remember those long lost days when all we worried about was the president being ignorant of his own ignorance with certain fondness; it turns out the people he relies on are even more ignorant of their own stupidity.
  3. Much like lil’ Jeffy Sessions, who earlier in the week once again cock-blocked another avenue into the Russian 2016 election meddling.

Boris and Natasha

Previously on WNBTv

“The law enforcement investigation into possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign has identified a current White House official as a significant person of interest, showing that the probe is reaching into the highest levels of government.”

It’s apparent the freaking WaPo isn’t going to name names, so let’s tease it out for ourselves, shall we?

Of course…sometimes the correct explanation is the simplest one. 1

Boris and Natasha

Show 1 footnote

  1. Which may explain why Pence just formed a PAC, the Great America Committee; perhaps there’s a very quiet palace coup in the works?

Putin: World Class Troll

Overshadowed by the appointment yesterday of a Department of Justice special counsel 1 2 to look into the 2016 Trump presidential campaign’s (putative) ties to Russia was the following bit of world class trolling by Putin:

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday he would be willing to provide the U.S. Congress a record of President Trump’s meeting with top Russian envoys, bringing scoffs on Capitol Hill that the Kremlin could help shed light on the disclosures of reportedly highly classified intelligence.

The provocative offer for the Kremlin to share evidence with U.S. oversight committees about the Oval Office meeting came with the caveat that the request for the transcript would have to come from the Trump administration.

Presenting a transcript is the Kremlin’s latest gambit in denying that Trump shared classified secrets last week with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russia’s ambassador to the United States during an Oval Office meeting.

But the tactic may have more to do with attempts to sow further chaos in Washington than assuage suspicions about the talks.

Say what you will about Putin, but the only way he could have slagged OMP any harder would been have to have tweeted the offer…

Putin: World Class Troll

Show 2 footnotes

  1. Seriously overdue, but…I’d feel better with an independent counsel; the Deputy AG may be in the acting-AG position because he is beholden to Trump. Yeah, right – go figure! And ultimately the acting-AG is the one that will receive Mueller’s final report, and then make recommendations about consequences…if any. Moreover, we, the public, may never learn of the special counsel’s findings – there’s no law that says the report must be made public. I hate to be so cynical as to suggest this appointment is merely window dressing, but look at what has happened since OMP took office; to my mind, I’m not being cynical enough.
  2. In fact! There is a deeply dark cynicism still at work, niggling at a portion of my brain, whispering “The whole election was a set-up!; none of the standard GOP candidates, much less Mike Pence, had anywhere near a shot at beating Clinton. So the ReThugs concocted this scheme to get the most conservative GOPer into the White House on OMP‘s coattails. The only thing wrong with their plan was the fact that it is taking longer than expected for OMP to step on his dick so bad he has to be removed from office. Genius!!!! And now And now And now!!!! We’ll have an ‘investigation” that turns up some ‘suspicious’ deaths (Ailes!!! Ailes!!!!), with a few minor players sent off to Federal Kiddie Camps and perhaps, just perhaps, the Big Cheese suffering a “heart attack” in office. Yep, I AM that cynical.

Impeach Him

It’s as though a tiny portion of OMP‘s brain is acutely aware he’s drowning in the White House, and occasionally sends out SOSes (in the form of totally inappropriate behavior) in the vain belief the GOP will man up and impeach him. Won’t happen of course; there’s not a single man in the GOP caucus with the balls to do what’s right. 1 2

It never stops. It. Never. Stops. In the latest installment of the daily scandal machine that is the Trump administration, the Washington Post dropped a stunning story late Monday reporting that President Trump disclosed highly classified information to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during their visit to the Oval Office last week.

The story was confirmed later in the evening by Reuters and the New York Times.

And it wasn’t just any classified information. This was what is known as “code-word information,” one of the highest classification levels used by American spy agencies. The information the president reportedly passed on about a plot being hatched by the Islamic State was shared with Washington by an ally who did not authorize its distribution to anyone but a small circle in Washington. Or as one administration official said, Trump “revealed more information to the Russian ambassador than we have shared with our own allies.”

Pushback. Top administration is denying the reports. Or at least is denying something. National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster delivered a quick statement Monday saying, “I was in the room — it didn’t happen.” He added, “at no time — at no time — were intelligence sources or methods discussed, and the president did not disclose any military operations that were not already publicly known.” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson issued a similar statement. Problem is, none of the stories claimed that sources and methods were exposed.

And then on Tuesday morning, Trump dive-bombed McMaster’s statement that “it didn’t happen,” when he took to Twitter to confirm that in fact he did share classified information with the Russians via Twitter. Trump said he has the “absolute right” to share with top Russian officials information about an Islamic State threat. McMaster is slated to brief the press in the White House Briefing Room this afternoon.

Impeach Him

Show 2 footnotes

  1. Totes unsure about GOP women; they may or may not have the balls.
  2. They have to be congratulating themselves in the White House, saying stuff like “Who knew we could get away with so much? If you told me we could so totally FUBAR the presidency last fall I’d have told you you’re crazy; SOMEONE would have stood up and started impeachment hearings. This is just so off the hook!”

A Trump & Russia Primer

Yet the jaw-dropping revelations were just beginning. Two days after the House hearing, on March 22, The Associated Press revealed that in 2005, Paul Manafort, Trump’s erstwhile campaign manager, had signed a $10 million-a-year contract with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska to “influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and former Soviet republics to benefit President Vladimir Putin’s government.” This comes on top of Manafort’s already disclosed work on behalf of Viktor Yanukovych, the deposed Ukrainian leader who is a close Kremlin ally. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s clumsy attempts to distance the president from Manafort — he claimed that Trump’s former campaign manager played only a “very limited role for a very limited amount of time” — simply served to signal how serious this revelation actually is.

And, of course, Manafort is hardly the only current or former Trump associate with suspiciously close ties to Moscow. We have only recently learned that Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security advisor, made $68,000 while serving as a consultant to Russian firms in 2015. Campaign foreign-policy advisor Carter Page maintained close ties with the Kremlin and its state-owned oil companies. Longtime Trump advisor Roger Stone has admitted to communicating with “Guccifer 2.0,” the moniker used by Russian intelligence to leak damaging information about Hillary Clinton, and with Julian Assange, the head of WikiLeaks, another Russian front organization. “Trust me, it will soon [be] the Podesta’s time in the barrel,” Stone tweeted on Aug. 21, 2016, weeks before WikiLeaks began leaking emails stolen from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

Even Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, it now emerges, met before the inauguration not just with Russia’s ambassador to Washington but also with Sergey Gorkov, who is close to Putin, was trained by Russian intelligence, and runs a state-owned bank that has been placed on a U.S. sanctions list. No one knows what they discussed, but it’s possible that Kushner, whose family real estate firm is desperate for foreign financing, was hoping to get an investment from this Russian bank to supplement the hundreds of millions of dollars it has sought from Chinese companies closely connected to the leadership in Beijing. (One wonders how Kushner has time to not only deal with Russia policy — but also to broker peace in the Middle East; advise on relations with China, Mexico, and Canada; and reorganize the whole U.S. government. Clearly Ivanka Trump married a man of prodigious and hitherto unsuspected talents.)

A Trump & Russia Primer