Daily Check-In 06/11/2018

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.

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[6] — 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.

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.

 

 

IMMIGRATION

 

G7

 

COLD WAR 2.0

The husband and wife team produced and showed a documentary about Sergei Magnitsky, putting them in Putin’s crosshairs.

 

COHEN

 

OTHER CRIMES COMMITTED BY TRUMP

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

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.

 

VOTER PURGE

 

#NEVERAGAIN

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

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

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

 

GOP

 

ELECTION 2018

 

#METOO

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

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

 

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