The weekend to Monday, June 11th.
THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION
The Observer and Sunday Times of London obtained the some 40,000 emails sent by millionaire businessman Arron Banks, the chief financial backer of U.K. Independence Party leader Nigel Farage’s Leave.EU campaign, and Andy Wigmore, Leave.EU’s director of communications.
The emails show show that Banks had previously undisclosed meetings with Russia’s U.K. ambassador (which were set up by an alleged Russian spy), and had made a previously undisclosed visit to Moscow at the peak of the Brexit campaign. Banks and Wigmore were also offered, at one point, a business deal involving several Russian goldmines that could have been worth a fortune for the men, according to the documents. There is a Trump connection, as the Sunday Times reports that Banks admitted that, months after the Brexit referendum, “he handed over phone numbers for members of Trump’s transition team to Russian officials” — though it’s not yet clear whose info he handed over, or what became of it.
- Chris Wylie: Investigate LeaveEU
- Leave.EU donor Arron Banks ‘must explain Russia link’
- Everything you need to know about the bombshell report linking Russia to Brexit
WHY SHOULD MUELLER CARE?
Nigel Farage is already believed to be a “person of interest” to Mueller’s team, and his links to Banks could excite some interest in the businessman by the special counsel, especially the relationship with Yakovenko.
One of Banks’ meetings with Yakovenko took place on August 19, 201 — the day Steve Bannon became Trump’s campaign manager and just days before Banks, Wigmore and Farage traveled to Mississippi for a Trump rally, where Farage was introduced to the crowd as “Mr. Brexit.”
The fact that Banks was in Trump Tower with Wigmore and Farage just days after Trump’s surprise victory could also raise suspicion, especially given that Banks met with his Russian contacts on his return to the U.K. after that trip.
While a lot of attention has been given to Banks passing at least one phone number of the Trump transition team to the Russians, given that Mueller’s investigation is probing deep ties between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin it is unclear why Banks would have to pass on such small details.
Why would Banks pass on the transition teams digits to the Russians? Think of this from the Intelligence or Mafia perspective.
Every player has a specific job, with specific duties. The low-level guy doesn’t need to know what the boss knows. They don’t need to know what the other guy next to them is doing, they only need to know their part.
From the IC perspective, getting these numbers gives the Russians both another backchannel connection, as well as kompromat.
From the Mafioso point of view, this shows Trump’s team that Banks thinks the Russians are goodfellas. They’re people with a joint interest.
Several prominent Russians, some in President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle or high in the Russian Orthodox Church, now have been identified as having contact with National Rifle Association officials during the 2016 U.S. election campaign, according to photographs and an NRA source.
The contacts have emerged amid a deepening Justice Department investigation into whether Russian banker and lifetime NRA member Alexander Torshin illegally channeled money through the gun rights group to add financial firepower to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential bid.
Other influential Russians who met with NRA representatives during the campaign include Dmitry Rogozin, who until last month served as a deputy prime minister overseeing Russia’s defense industry, and Sergei Rudov, head of one of Russia’s largest philanthropies, the St. Basil the Great Charitable Foundation. The foundation was launched by an ultra-nationalist ally of Russian President Putin.
The Russians talked and dined with NRA representatives, mainly in Moscow, as U.S. presidential candidates vied for the White House. Now U.S. investigators want to know if relationships between the Russian leaders and the nation’s largest gun rights group went beyond vodka toasts and gun factory tours, evolving into another facet of the Kremlin’s broad election-interference operation.
Wow, even MORE Russian contacts by the NRA! Daily Check-In 01/18/2018 was where I mentioned one of these meetings in Moscow.
- U.S. sanctions Russian businesses, executives over cyberattacks
- US hits Russian firms with sanctions, citing cyberattacks
- Treasury Sanctions Russian Federal Security Service Enablers – Press Release
Designated Entities and Individuals
Today’s action includes the designation of five Russian entities and three Russian individuals pursuant to E.O. 13694, as amended, as well as a concurrent designation pursuant to Section 224 of CAATSA.
Digital Security was designated pursuant to E.O. 13694, as amended, for providing material and technological support to the FSB. As of 2015, Digital Security worked on a project that would increase Russia’s offensive cyber capabilities for the Russian Intelligence Services, to include the FSB.
ERPScan was designated pursuant to E.O. 13694, as amended, for being owned or controlled by Digital Security. As of August 2016, ERPScan was a subsidiary of Digital Security.
Embedi was designated pursuant to E.O. 13694, as amended. As of May 2017, Embedi was owned or controlled by Digital Security.
Kvant Scientific Research Institute (Kvant) was designated pursuant to E.O. 13694, as amended, and Section 224 of CAATSA for being owned or controlled by the FSB. In August 2010, the Russian government issued a decree that identified Kvant as a federal state unitary enterprise that would be supervised by the FSB.
Kvant was also designated pursuant to E.O. 13694, as amended, for providing material and technological support to the FSB. As of August 2015, Kvant was a research institute with extensive ties to the FSB. Furthermore, as of April 2017, Kvant was the prime contractor on a project for which the FSB was the end user.
Divetechnoservices was designated pursuant to E.O. 13694, as amended, for providing material and technological support to the FSB. Since 2007, Divetechnoservices has procured a variety of underwater equipment and diving systems for Russian government agencies, to include the FSB. Further, in 2011, Divetechnoservices was awarded a contract to procure a submersible craft valued at $1.5 million for the FSB.
Aleksandr Lvovich Tribun (Tribun) was designated pursuant to E.O. 13694, as amended, for acting for or on behalf of Divetechnoservices. As of December 2017, Tribun was Divetechnoservices’ General Director.
Oleg Sergeyevich Chirikov (Chirikov) was designated pursuant to E.O. 13694, as amended, for acting for or on behalf of Divetechnoservices. As of March 2018, Chirikov was Divetechnoservices’ Program Manager.
Vladimir Yakovlevich Kaganskiy (Kaganskiy) was designated pursuant to E.O. 13694, as amended, for acting for or on behalf of Divetechnoservices. As of December 2017, Kaganskiy was Divetechnoservices’ owner. Previously, Kaganskiy also served as Divetechnoservices’ General Director.
- Renato Mariotti: Manafort Arraignment scheduled for Friday 10AM EST
- Ex-Trump Campaign Aide Manafort to Be Arraigned on New Charges Friday
- There’s actually lots of evidence of Trump-Russia collusion
- More Than Just Russia — There’s a Strong Case for the Trump Team Colluding With Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the UAE
- Immigrant moms in SeaTac prison ‘could hear their children screaming’
- ‘Mothers could not stop crying’: Lawmaker blasts Trump policy after visiting detained immigrants
- ‘Never again’? ‘Again’ is happening right now on America’s border. What will you do?
- Down on the border, there’s a new trail of tears
- I Don’t Need to ‘Understand’ Anyone Who Still Supports This President* : Op-Ed
- A family was separated at the border, and this distraught father took his own life
- ‘They just took them?’ Frantic parents separated from their kids fill courts on the border
- Man detained by ICE after delivering pizza to Army base granted stay of removal – NBC News
- Sessions: Victims of domestic violence will not qualify for asylum
- Trump administration moves to block victims of gang violence, domestic abuse from claiming asylum
- Mikel Jollett: What will you do? What can you do?
- Families Belong Together
- Sessions: Victims of domestic, gang violence ‘generally’ won’t qualify for asylum
- Jeff Sessions’ Changes to Asylum Law Will Put Some Women in ‘Great Danger,’ Say Experts
- Trump to leave G7 early, tensions high after ‘rant’ over trade
- Trump delivers his most defiant trade threat yet to leaders at G-7, floats end to tariffs and penalties for those who don’t agree
- Canada’s Trudeau rips Trump over tariffs as G-7 meeting fails to calm tensions
- McCain to allies: ‘Americans stand with you, even if our president doesn’t’
- SenJohnMcCain: America stands with her allies, even if the President doesn’t
- Justin Trudeau trolls Trump with framed photo of his grandfather’s Canadian brothel
- Trudeau: Canadians will not be pushed around – CNN Video
- Trump bashes Trudeau as ‘very dishonest and weak’ as G7 agreement crumbles
- European leaders are outraged by Trump over G-7 statement. But they’re not surprised.
- Opinion | After Trump’s G-7 summit fiasco, be afraid: Op-Ed
- Trump Tries to Destroy the West
- Forget Russia. Maybe It’s the U.S. That Doesn’t Belong at the G-7
- Merkel: EU will retaliate against Trump tariffs
- Merkel: Trump’s G7 message withdrawal is “sobering” and “depressing”
- Scoop: Trump tells Macron the EU is “worse” than China
- Former Trudeau adviser: Trump is a ‘pathetic little man child’
- Trudeau takes his turn as Trump’s principal antagonist, and Canadians rally around him
- EU official mocks Trump with viral Merkel photo: ‘Just tell us what Vladimir has on you’
- Trump is a bully who thought Canada was weak. He was wrong about us
- Americans are saying #ThanksCanada in wake of Donald Trump’s attack on Justin Trudeau
- ‘Canadians stand together, President Trump stands alone’: MPs back PM in U.S. trade dispute
COLD WAR 2.0
- Trump, Kim shake hands, begin historic summit in Singapore
- Moscow Theater Rebels, Husband and Wife, Are Dead – The New York Times
The husband and wife team produced and showed a documentary about Sergei Magnitsky, putting them in Putin’s crosshairs.
- Chinese Theft of US Navy’s Secrets Reveals DoD’s Lackadaisical Security – Observer
- For Kim Jong Un, meeting Trump is about cementing power at home
- In Trump, some fear the end of the world order
- U.S. won’t bring up North Korea’s human rights issues at Singapore summit
- #TwoDictators lights up Twitter after Fox News host accidentally uses term for Trump and Kim
- Iran tells Kim: Don’t trust Trump
- Dennis Rodman arrives in Singapore for U.S.-North Korea summit
- Judge denies President’s request to confidentially contest seized Cohen documents
- Stormy Daniels Lawyer Michael Avenatti Wanted Evidence of Rudy Giuliani’s Porn Habits. Looks Like He Found It
- Michael Avenatti Says Melania Trump ‘Knows’ Stormy Daniels Affair Happened And She Deserves ‘Sympathy’
OTHER CRIMES COMMITTED BY TRUMP
- Maryland judge to hear ‘emoluments’ case against Trump
- Maryland judge will hear Trump emoluments case Monday
- Obscure no more, the emoluments clause is back again in a federal court
- Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump made at least $82 million in outside income last year while serving in the White House, filings show
- Trump routinely rips up papers that need to be preserved
- Trump ‘repeatedly tears up official documents’ that should be preserved, leaving staff to tape them back together
- From May 2016: Just What Were Donald Trump’s Ties to the Mob? – POLITICO Magazine
WHITE HOUSE CHAOS
- EPA staff say the Trump administration is changing their mission from protecting human health and the environment to protecting industry
- In Trump White House, science is unwelcome and so is advice
- John Kelly Reportedly Called the White House a “Miserable Place to Work”
- White House confirms its chief of staff was hacked
The weakest point in the White House, however, might be Trump himself. The president is reportedly refusing to upgrade his iPhones, issued by White House IT agencies to make them more secure, calling the process “too inconvenient.” As of last month, he hadn’t had them checked by security experts for at least five months. To make matters worse, lawmakers have concerns about fake cell towers around the White House that could eavesdrop on smartphone calls.
- On a party-line vote, Supreme Court approves Ohio voter purges
- Disenfranchising Voters Is Not Trumpism, It’s Republicanism
- Despite Supreme Court Ruling, Voting Is Still Not a ‘Use It or Lose It’ Right
- Web of elite Russians met with NRA execs during 2016 campaign
- Florida revoked 291 concealed weapons permits after an employee stopped reviewing background checks
- NRA Still Not Talking Amid New Reports Of Contacts With Putin Allies
- The ties between the NRA and Russian agents are looking fishier and fishier
- Credit service shuts down payments on all gun purchases
- Video Game Trade Group President Takes on NRA Over Gun Violence
As video game creators prepare for E3, the annual gaming trade show and public exhibition, the head of the industry’s trade group is squaring off against the National Rifle Association over that group’s continued suggestion that video game violence is a factor in recent real world school shootings.
“We know the NRA makes those arguments,” he said. “We also know they’re going to bear the burden of history. We will continue to be successful with policy makers as the industry continues to grow.”
THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE
- Inspired by North Korea, Trump assembles propaganda team for summit
- The realization has finally dawned that Donald Trump does not respond to reason
- Trump is a Russian Ambassador and Should be Impeached, ‘House of Cards’ Creator Says
- Robbie Williams ‘handing PR coup to Putin’ by singing at World Cup opening ceremony
- A senior White House aide is reportedly sharing fake stories with staffers to identify who’s leaking to the press
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
- Twitter Receives Subpoena For Info on Several Right-Leaning Accounts
- In charging Senate staffer and seizing reporter’s records, Justice Dept. ignites debate over leak crackdown
- 46 of 47 Arrested in Low-Level Marijuana Stings Were Black, So Minneapolis Police Put an End to the Operations
The 47 people who were arrested so far in 2018 were approached by undercover officers posing as buyers. They were all charged with felonies. Some were put in diversion programs, according to the news site, while some were convicted. At least one man went to prison. And the amount they were selling can only be described as minuscule at best.
“Almost all of those cases involve a sale of 1-2 grams of marijuana for a total of $10-$20,” Assistant County Public Defender Jess Braverman wrote in a May 31 court document.
SAY GOODBYE TO THE ECONOMY
- Trump’s 2019 Budget Underestimated New Debt by $2.3 Trillion, CBO Says
- Wisconsin reeling from tariffs coming from Mexico, Canada, Europe
- Trump Confesses Illegal Motive, Blows Up Legal Basis For His Trade War
- We Republicans must all speak out to protect the Mueller investigation
- Reagan’s attorney general comes out swinging in defense of Mueller
- These Republican senators could stop Trump — but instead they are just sending sad tweets
- Trump administration move could take away coverage for preexisting conditions
- GOP scolds Trump team for feud with Canada
- Trump’s Intel Chief Warns Of Upcoming Kremlin Election Interference | HuffPost
- Dem Senate super PAC reserves $80 million in fall TV ads
- Elizabeth Warren: Democrats Will Keep Losing Until the Entire Party Is ‘Willing to Take on the Billionaire Class’
- Bernie Sanders: It is ‘strange’ that Trump is more comfortable with authoritarians than democratic leaders
- African migrants are braving a new route to Europe. But old perils remain.
- This valedictorian began to talk about sexual misconduct at her graduation. Then her mic was cut.
- Donald Trump launches a systematic attack on access to birth control
FIXING THE INTERNET
- Washington State Is Now the Only Place in America with Net Neutrality
- Net neutrality repeal takes effect, but the fight is far from over
PROGRESS IS PROGRESS
- Pope warns energy bosses of global destruction without fuel shift | Article [AMP] | Reuters
- Mr. CrossFit vs. Big Soda: A profane fitness guru’s wonky war with the soda industry
- Robert De Niro said ‘f— Trump’ at the Tony Awards and got a standing ovation
- In the Army and the Klan, he hated Muslims. Now one was coming to Chris Buckley’s home.
IN OTHER NEWS…
- My family knew Mister Rogers. And yes, he was like that in real life.
- Celebrities aren’t the only ones who struggle to appear perfect — or who need help
RUMOR MILL: FOREIGN CORRESPONDENTS EDITION
This is part two of their series, where they interviewed Carter Page.Here’s the link to the Australian Documentary.
Carole, a reporter for The Guardian, live-tweeted a call-in show hosted by Nigel Farage. Nigel had Aaron Banks call in, who admitted to some “low-level collusion”. I can’t help but think of that Arrested Development clip.
After that, Carole calls in, and Nigel loses his cool. Apparently, the two of them have a history.
Louise was one of the first reporters to break the NRA accepting and laundering money for the Russians. This story is a week old, but I just saw it on Twitter.
That’s it for today. If I don’t see you tomorrow, it’s because I couldn’t focus after going to the vet. If I do, it’s because I needed to distract myself.
One of my cats is severely ill. She has a large, cancerous growth on her paw which has caused her pain, discomfort, and caused her to lose about 10 pounds. She was a REALLY fat cat before the cancer. A few months ago, we were given a prognosis of a few weeks to a month.
We decided to make her as comfortable as possible, but that’s no longer an option. As a last resort, we asked the vet for an estimate on amputating the paw. It was around $2,500. That’s a lot of money for a 12 year old cat that lost half her body weight in a few months.
Earlier today I scheduled an appointment to have her put to sleep Tuesday night.
Thank you, and have a good one.
“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”
– Katy Tur