Daily Check-In 01/22/2019

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

NRA

This is coming from CNN and it cites Sam Nunberg as the source, but it lines up with what we’ve been reporting since at least November 2017 (Daily Check-In 11/20/2017).  Special Counselor Robert Mueller’s investigative scope includes the Trump Campaign’s ties to the National Rifle Association and their role as a middleman for Russian influence and money.

Let’s cover this with a brief history lesson.  Back in the fall of 2012, the U.S. was in an election between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.  While this was going on, the Senate was debating the Magnitsky Act.  Putin really didn’t want this to go forward, so he would need to find a way to kill this if it became law.  The Russians realized that both parties could be influenced through their donor networks, but the Republicans were more susceptible than the Democrats.  Plus, Putin didn’t like Obama or anyone he surrounded himself with.  Russia sends Alexander Torshin to become best friends with the head of the NRA, and even gets invited to watch the election with the NRA leadership.  Over the next few years, Torshin and his protege Maria Butina wiggle their way into the NRA, and find out how to get direct influence over the Republican Party.

Money.  Lots and lots of money.

The NRA helps the Kremlin launder a lot of Russian money into the Republican Party by the use of it’s lobbying groups, PAC’s, and Super-PAC’s.  Especially the ones that aren’t required to disclose who donated to them.  The Russians gave money to stand-ins in the United States like Len Blavatnik, a Ukrainian-born American citizen, and those stand-ins take the money from Russia and donate it to the NRA.  The NRA then doles out that money, along with other funds they’ve accumulated to hide the source, out to Trump and other major GOP candidates in 2016.  This is done in coordination with the GOP leadership, like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell.

What’s interesting about this isn’t that Mueller is looking into the NRA, but we have confirmation that they’ve known for a while.  Sam Nunberg interviewed with the grand jury back on Daily Check-In 03/09/2018.  That’s almost a year ago.  Since then, Maria Butina was arrested for being a Russian spy and a whole lot of other insidious connections between the Russians and the GOP have come to light. (2018 Retrospective)  If they knew this 9 months ago, they’ve only learned more information since.

Personally, I look forward to the destruction of the NRA, at least in its current form.

 

Nine days after Donald Trump won the presidency, as scores of supporters clamored for meetings with his transition team, the Hollywood producer of “The Apprentice,” Mark Burnett, reached out to one of Trump’s closest advisers to see if he would sit down with a banker who has long held ties to Russia.

The banker, Robert Foresman, never got the role he was seeking with the fledgling Trump administration. But he has recently attracted the attention of congressional investigators as one more name on an expanding list of Americans with established ties inside the Kremlin who appears to have been seeking access to the newly elected president’s inner circle, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

Foresman, who is now vice chairman of the Swiss bank UBS’s investment arm, lived for years in Moscow, where he led a $3 billion Russian investment fund and was touted by his new company as someone who maintains connections to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle. Reached by phone, Foresman declined to comment. Attorneys he has hired, including one in Washington who was hired to deal with the congressional probe, also declined to discuss the matter.

Remember the name Robert Foresman.  I’ve got a feeling we’ll hear more about him in the future.  As well as Mark Burnett’s shenanigans.

 

What’s the BuzzFeed?

On Monday, his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said “the proposal was in the earliest stage,” and he went on to tell the New Yorker that “no plans were ever made. There were no drafts. Nothing in the file.”

However, hundreds of pages of business documents, emails, text messages, and architectural plans, obtained by BuzzFeed News over a year of reporting, tell a very different story. Trump Tower Moscow was a richly imagined vision of upscale splendor on the banks of the Moscow River.

I’m waiting for Colludy to say “We drew plans, but nothing else was done,” only for that statement to be followed with a BuzzFeed report that they obtained construction permits, financing, and started selling condos.

These aren’t just a few sketches done by the art department, these are full-on plans.  An architectural firm was hired, locations scouted, financing settled.  This wasn’t a spur of the moment event, this took time.

 

Colludy Giuliani’s Lubing The Truth Tour

 

 

 

Roger Stone says on Instagram that Jerome Corsi has told Mueller the following:

-Corsi told Stone that John Podesta’s emails were stolen -Stone knew about the Access Hollywood tape in advance and told Corsi to “do something about it”

-The memo that Corsi wrote about the Podesta’s business dealings in Russia was a cover up. -Corsi’s InfoWars job was a hush money agreement.

Of course this comes from Roger Stone so take it with a huge grain of salt – but he clearly believes that Corsi has flipped on him and is cooperating with Mueller.

This follows Stone going after and others who have cooperated with Mueller.

Take everything Roger says with a grain of salt.  The only reason it’s here and not in the Rumor Mill is that it’s being reported by Scott Stedman, who has broken a few major stories of his own.  Plus, I think there’s something to this, that Stone is using this as a signal to others on Team Trump.  If you can’t whisper a secret without being caught, scream it out so loud others ignore it.

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

 

SHUTDOWN & IMMIGRATION

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET A.K.A. INDIVIDUAL-1

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

RIGHT WING TERRORISM & WHITE NATIONALISM

Here’s my really hot take on these kids:

They’re assholes.  Racist, misogynistic, privileged assholes.  And most of them will almost certainly grow up to be bigger assholes.  A few of them might not become bigger assholes when they’re older, and for them, I have hope.

 

SCOTUS & COURTS

 

#METOO & WOMEN’S RIGHTS

 

COLD WAR 2.0

BREAKING: Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe approves Magnitsky Report 95-3 calling on all Council of Europe member states to pass Global Magnitsky Acts in their countries to sanction human rights abusers

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe report also calls on the EU to keep Sergei Magnitsky’s name on their EU Magnitsky Act initiative, and not appease Russia by deleting it as currently proposed by the Dutch government

The PACE report also chastises Russia for their persistent abuse of the Interpol Red Notice system targetting me and my campaign for justice for Sergei Magnitsky

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

 

STUDENT ISSUES

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

 

CONGRESS

 

ELECTIONS

 

THINKING AHEAD

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for Tuesday.  Expect the trickle of Trump-Russia news to continue from BuzzFeed over the next few days.  I have nothing to base this on, it’s just a hunch.  They got called out for being inaccurate, and will counter that by providing every receipt they have.

Also, I’m trying to track the Ming-Lindsey Graham stuff.  I have no clue who or what Ming is, but it has made it its mission over the next month to blow him out of the water.  I’ve talked about the rumors surrounding the Senator before, but if something arises from this, I’ll report on it here.

Quick spoiler for Wednesday: Everyone hates Trump.  New polling numbers are out, and even the generous ones show his popularity slipping.  It’s still in the 30’s, but sliding further each day.  If his support drops below 30%, expect the GOP Establishment to abandon him like they do a new black mother who they kept from getting an abortion.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 01/21/2019

Monday, January 21, 2019

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

What’s the BuzzFeed?

So far there’s nothing confirmed here, but it’s worth keeping an eye on.

 

Colludy Giuliani’s Lubing The Truth Tour

 

Oleg Deripaska

NEW: The TRUMP admin. claimed it forced painful concessions from OLEG DERIPASKA to lift sanctions on his companies. But a confidential document shows he & his allies will retain majority ownership, & he will settle huge debts likely at favorable rates.

The confidential document shows that the TRUMP admin. approved a deal allowing DERIPASKA to “divest” 21M shares of his main co. (EN+) to HIS OWN foundation (Volnoe Delo). The fndtn + Deripaska + his ex-wife + her father will own 57% of EN+ under the deal.

ALSO: deal lifts sanctions on DERIPASKA’s . It’s 22.5% owned by a firm tied to: —Viktor Vekselberg: 🇷🇺 oligarch who attended TRUMP inauguration & drew MUELLER interest. —Len Blavatnik: 🇺🇦-born US/UK citizen who gave $1M to inaugural.

 

Agalarov’s Tour Cancelled

Emin Agalarov, the son of Aras and the singer that performed at the Miss Universe 2013 in Moscow, cancelled his tour of the United States and Canada.  He arranged the June 9 meeting with Donnie Jr.

 

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

 

SHUTDOWN & IMMIGRATION

Walking through #ATL and separately 2 @TSA agents told me to “keep fighting.” I told them I’m sorry they’re going through this. One said, “Yeah. but we’re still working.” Just breaks my damn heart. It is sinful to make someone work without pay. #TrumpShutdown. Gets worse. At airport bar & young man next to me is carded. I told him to take it as a compliment (they didn’t card me). “Yeah, but you’re not on the business end of a government shutdown,” he said. He serves in Coast Guard & has a family w/ mortgage. He deserves so much better. This #TrumpShutdown is not only hurting the credit ratings of millions of Americans. It’s destroying the credit rating of the moral leader of the world, America. Who in the hell doesn’t pay people who are working?

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET A.K.A. INDIVIDUAL-1

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

RIGHT WING TERRORISM & WHITE NATIONALISM

 

SCOTUS & COURTS

 

#METOO & WOMEN’S RIGHTS

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

I don’t even know what that means, and at this point, I’m too afraid to ask.

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

PRIESTS & RELIGION

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

 

CONGRESS

 

ELECTIONS

 

THINKING AHEAD

Beto O’Rourke and Joe Biden have not made a choice yet.  Senator Corey Booker has also been rumored to run.

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

Fuck.

The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.”

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

 “I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.”

 “I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.”

 “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.”

 “I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification,” one day right there in Alabama…”

 “… little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today.”

 “I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.”

 “This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood”

 “With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.”

“This will be the day, this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning: “My country, ‘tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!””

 “And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.”

 “Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania. Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado. Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California. But not only that: Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.”

 “Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee. Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.”

And when this happen, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children…”

 “…black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old — spiritual: “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”” — Martin Luther King Jr.

 

RUMOR MILL

Angela Chen

Keep an eye out for the name Angela Chen.

 

That’s it for Monday.  This entry is short for a few reasons.  Mostly, I’m tired and the machine I’m typing on is about to go through a forced reboot.  If I don’t wrap up now, I’ll lose a lot of work.

I’d like to do a story about the various people that are running for POTUS in 2020.  I’ll try to do something with that in the next couple weeks.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 01/18/2019

Friday, January 18, 2019 and the weekend.  And this is my 400th post. Yay!

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

What’s The Buzz…Feed?

Following Thursday’s news (Daily Check-In 01/17/2019), there were two major developments.  I’ll address the bigger one first, even though it happened last.

After Friday Night

“BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the special counsel’s office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s congressional testimony are not accurate,” said Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller.

It’s pretty unusual for Peter Carr to say anything.  This is one of the few times that the Special Counselor’s Office has said anything about a story, so it is being over-analyzed like the sermon on the mount.

Twenty Eight words has sent the everyone into a tizzy.  Half the people are scream “Fake News”, half of them are trying to parse out any possible meaning, another half is acting like this is the Mueller team completely eviscerating the report, and another half can’t do fractions.

We’re left with a few questions.  How did this happen?  What is the difference between this and other responses from Peter Carr? Is the story wrong? What does this mean? Where do we go from here?  Has this happened before?

First, let’s start with how this happened.

When a BuzzFeed reporter first sought comment on the news outlet’s explosive report that President Trump had directed his lawyer to lie to Congress, the spokesman for special counsel Robert S. Mueller III treated the request as he would almost any other story.

The reporter informed Mueller’s spokesman, Peter Carr, that he and a colleague had “a story coming stating that Michael Cohen was directed by President Trump himself to lie to Congress about his negotiations related to the Trump Moscow project,” according to copies of their emails provided by a BuzzFeed spokesman. Importantly, the reporter made no reference to the special counsel’s office specifically or evidence that Mueller’s investigators had uncovered.

“We’ll decline to comment,” Carr responded, a familiar refrain for those in the media who cover Mueller’s work.

The innocuous exchange belied the chaos it would produce. When BuzzFeed published the story hours later, it far exceeded Carr’s initial impression, people familiar with the matter said, in that the reporting alleged that Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and self-described fixer, “told the special counsel that after the election, the president personally instructed him to lie,” and that Mueller’s office learned of the directive “through interviews with multiple witnesses from the Trump Organization and internal company emails, text messages, and a cache of other documents.”

The short version is that Cromier and Leopold of BuzzFeed News approached the Special Counselor’s Team with the crux of the story, and asked for a sign-off on it and a comment.  The SCO’s team signed off on the story, and even gave the reporters copies of the transcripts of Cohen’s plea deal.  It wasn’t until a day after the story dropped that they released the statement talking about something being inaccurate.

This threw everything into a tailspin.  I’ve had close to a dozen arguments over the definition of inaccurate, and also spent a long time listening to people all over the spectrum go completely apeshit over this.  I’ve seen some people claim that the reporters are plants for the Russians designed to spread disinformation.  I’ve also listened to relatively calm people freak out because they think that this means that everything they’ve heard is a lie.  In other instances, I’ve seen people claim that this was meant as a delaying tactic on Mueller’s side to slow down talk of impeachment.  I also had a troll contact me out of the blue celebrating this like it was a victory lap.  By the way, I have screenshots of the conversation if anything screwy happens.

BuzzFeed came out in defense of their reporters, and claim to have evidence of them.  Their opponents dragged up everything they could to attack the credibility of the reporters.  Anthony Cromier is pretty rock-solid, but Jason Leopold has an interesting past.  The funniest attack was an account that posted a pic of Leopold hanging out with a known figure of the Alt Right/Russian Propaganda Machine, which was an account run by someone who was previously friends with an even bigger voice of the Alt Right community.  The irony was lost.

Also, another beautiful side effect of this is that we get to listen to the Right Wing Media praise Robert Mueller for his integrity.  Remember this when the report drops.

What do I think happened?  I’m in agreement with PostimusMaximus, Emptywheel, and Angry White House Staffer.  The crux of the story is absolutely true.  Trump instructed Cohen to lie to Congress, and Cohen briefed the children on the progress of the Trump Moscow project.  Several other members of the campaign also told the same story.   However, there is likely some semantics of the way the story is written that makes it sound to the reader that Mueller’s team gave this info to the reporters.  That isn’t true.  Cromier and Leopold have all but confirmed that their sources are inside SDNY, and that it’s likely that SDNY gave the reporters info on what they knew was handed to Mueller.

What makes me think that it’s a semantics battle and not completely fabricated?  Jacob Wohl.  Remember when he tried to frame Robert Mueller for sexual harassment and botched it royally? (Daily Check-In 10/30/2018)  The Special Counselor’s Office made a statement highlighting how it was a false story and that the matter had been referred to the FBI.  If that was the case here, they would have likely said so.  Instead, we get the inaccurate comment.

This isn’t the first time that a story was called inaccurate, or the first time that BuzzFeed News has been under fire.  Hell, it’ll probably happen a few more times before it’s all said and done.

I can’t speak to Buzzfeed’s sourcing, but, for what it’s worth, I declined to run with parts of the narrative they conveyed based on a source central to the story repeatedly disputing the idea that Trump directly issued orders of that kind.

Note that the general thrust of Cohen lying to Congress “in accordance with” or “to support and advance” Trump’s agenda (per Cohen’s legal memo) is not in dispute. The source disputed the further, more specific idea that Trump issued—and memorialized—repeated direct instructions.

Probably an unwise thread, but here it goes anyway

One of the big problems with the current media landscape is that basically nobody understands what editors do, or the process behind the stories you see in the press

And that means that people think some amazing SCOOP by NYT or WaPo holds as much weight as some amazing SCOOP by some random person at TotesTrueFacts-dot-com

And the reason for that is because most people think the hard part of journalism is *getting scoops*, when in real life, the hard part of journalism is *verifying them*

What that means is that at bad outlets, they publish what anything they can get, and at good outlets they publish what they can stand behind.

This becomes really obvious if you ever have the (mis?)fortune to be someone journalists call to factcheck things that are good stories, but in your domain, not theirs

Because what happens is TotesTrueFacts-dot-com will publish some amazing but completely wrong story, but you saw it months ago when two dozen serious journalists called you about it, and you all decided it was bogus.

And what’s *also* interesting is you see the delta between what the journalists know and what the journalists actually publish. Because they often know a lot more than they write, because at good outlets, it’s know what they know, but what they can stand behind that goes to print

Folks are dunking a lot on BuzzFeed because it’s new, and because it has amusing listicles. But their news side is real news, and their news side journalists are as serious journalists as any you’ll find in the old broadsheet newspaper cos.

But here’s the thing. I’ve disagreed publicly with BuzzFeed a few times. Like I said then and I still believe now that publishing the Steele Dossier was a bad call. I know why they did it. But I think they were wrong.

But I’ve seen first hand their journalists publish a lot less than they know. And if their editors are standing behind their reporting, that’s not something you should take lightly. Anyway, that’s all I got.

 

Before Friday Night…

THREAD: What does recent news that Mueller has proof that Trump directed Cohen to lie to Congress tell us?

1/ Late last night, @BuzzFeedNewsreported that Trump personally instructed Michael Cohen to lie about about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. https://www.buzzfeednews.com/amphtml/jasonleopold/trump-russia-cohen-moscow-tower-mueller-investigation?__twitter_impression=true …

2/ @BuzzFeedNewsalso reported that Trump supported a plan, set up by Cohen, to visit Russia during the presidential campaign, in order to personally meet Putin and jump start the tower negotiations, even though he told the public he had no business deals with Russia.

3/ @BuzzFeedNewsalso reported that Trump, Ivanka, and Donald Trump Jr. received regular updates about the Trump Tower Moscow project during the campaign from Cohen.

4/ The revelation that Trump directed Cohen to lie to Congress is big news, because if true, that means Trump committed a federal felony crime. It is a crime to lie to Congress and anyone who knowingly directs someone to commit a federal crime is guilty of the same crime.

5/ This is important news. Even people with a very expansive view of presidential power, like Attorney General Bill Barr, concede that directing someone to lie when they testify is a crime.

6/ Directing witnesses to lie to Congress was also one of the grounds listed in the articles of impeachment drawn up against Richard Nixon.

7/ So why is this different from news that Trump directed Cohen to commit a campaign finance crime? For one thing, all we know in that case is that prosecutors could prove it by a 51% standard, not beyond a reasonable doubt, though there is reason to believe they have more.

9/ As to this crime, @BuzzFeedNewsclaims they Mueller learned about this through interviews of multiple Trump Organization witnesses, internal company emails, text messages, and other documents. We don’t know enough to evaluate this evidence but it could be overwhelming.

10/ It’s worth noting that there are no reports of Mueller interviewing Trump Organization witnesses. Perhaps New York federal prosecutors did that.

11/ There is also debate about whether a campaign finance crime is an impeachable defense. Some politicians are wary of suggesting that campaign finance violations (even egregious ones) should receive significant punishment. Whereas there is no serious debate here.

12/ It is worth noting that nothing turns legally on exactly what Cohen lied about as long as the lie was “material.” In other words, as long as the lie would have mattered to Congress. It’s not a crime to lie to Congress about trivial things (like your weight!).

13/ The reason I bring this point up is that all of the other evidence about Russia and the Trump Tower project is only relevant legally to show that Trump had an incentive to direct Cohen to lie. And it doesn’t matter legally *why* Trump directed him to lie.

14/ For example, there may be a debate about whether Trump directed Cohen to lie to avoid political embarrassment instead of to avoid legal liability. That doesn’t matter legally. You can’t direct someone to lie to Congress about a material matter for any reason whatsoever.

15/ In this way, the legal issue here is straightforward. Nonetheless, I’ll discuss the implications with former Acting Solicitor General @neal_katyalwhen we record a new episode of my #OnTopicpodcast today. Ask your questions below and @PattiVasquezCHIwill ask them. /end

I’ll have more about impeachment in the Coda.

 

Colludy Giuliani’s Lubing the Truth Tour 2019

In other words, there’s going to be a hell of a lot worse coming out about Trump, the Moscow project, and Trump instructing people to lie to Congress.

 

Rybka

 

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

 

SHUTDOWN & IMMIGRATION

 

An Offer They Can, Should, and Will Refuse

So, here’s Trump’s negotiating tactic…

He breaks into your house, demanding money.  When you pull a gun on him, he then grabs a picture off of the mantle and says he’ll give you the picture back if you give him money.  When the cops show up, he claims its actually his house and you broke in, and that picture he’s holding of your family is proof that it’s your house.  The cops, knowing he’s insane, take him to the local hospital where he’s immediately released and calls in to the an AM radio show claiming that he was the victim of police brutality.

Trump cancelled DACA, but the courts stopped him.  In an attempt to get his wall funding, he offered to DO WHAT THE COURTS TOLD HIM HE HAS TO DO IN THE FIRST PLACE!  So, in exchange for getting what he wants, he promises to do what he’s supposed to do.  Of course, this will piss off the White Nationalists which make up most of his base, but they really want that wall which isn’t a wall but a fence but isn’t a fence but is a barrier but isn’t a barrier as it’s more an expression of how jealous they are of people of color because they have bigger dicks than them.

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET A.K.A. INDIVIDUAL-1

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

March for “Life”

 

FIGHTING BACK

Typical with Putin’s Russia, a good domestic US example of why “both sides” demands often fail. When one side wants the crisis itself, good-faith negotiation are a waste of time.

Trump doesn’t want an immigration solution. He needs a crisis and if there isn’t one, he’ll invent it. As I’ve said about Putin for 10 years now, confrontation itself is the goal. There’s no negotiating with that, only winning or losing.

This is why “just give him what he wants” or “meet him halfway” is so stupid. What he wants is conflict. There’s no appeasing that, only losing over and over.

 

 

RIGHT WING TERRORISM & WHITE NATIONALISM

 

White Kids at the Native American March

 

SNOWFLAKES

 

KHASHOGGI & SAUDI ARABIA

 

SCOTUS & COURTS

 

#METOO & WOMEN’S RIGHTS

 

Women’s March

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

 

STUDENT ISSUES

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

PRIESTS & RELIGION

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

 

CONGRESS

 

ELECTIONS

 

THINKING AHEAD

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for the last few days.  I need a couple days off from the couple days off.  Watching everyone freak out can be a little stressful.

Speaking of stress, I want to talk about one theory floating around following the BuzzFeed News story, and that is this statement was meant as a way to pump the brakes on impeachment until after the Mueller report drops.  Or at least Cohen’s testimony.

Why?  The Steele Dossier.

Everyone and their mother by now knows what the Steele Dossier is.  I’ve lost count how many times I’ve covered it, and gone into details about it.  I’ve also lost count of how many times it’s been used as the whipping boy of the fevered Right Wing Fanbois screaming out how this is all a hoax because it was originally paid for by Democrats, and therefore everything we’ve learned is poisoned fruit because libz r evil, blah blah blah.  After a few seconds, they end up screaming about safe spaces and feelings, but bitch about coffee cups and razors.

I went a little off topic there, but the point is that even though Crossfire Hurricane (Daily Check-In 05/16/2018) started in August 2016, it’s roots began back in the springtime of that year, a couple months before the first draft of the Steele Dossier came out.  All Steele did was show that Trump was neck deep in Russia using his own sources, and those sources were different than what the FBI had.  It’s like having a cheating spouse, and after you’ve hired a private investigator to get the dirt, one of your old buddies comes out of the woodwork telling you that they’ve heard that the spouse is meeting with a few booty calls a week at a local motel.  Not only did the PI already know that, but they’re shocked at how easy it was to corroborate the story.

The problem with the Steele Dossier is that it made a good punching bag for the Right Wing Media.  They keep hammering home the non-existent point that everything came from this one document as though their lives depend on it.  Until the Mueller Report comes out disputing that, it’ll keep them going.  And they’ll attack anything that comes from it.

That’s the problem with starting an impeachment trial based off of a BuzzFeed News article.  The RWM will tie everything that comes from it to this article, the reporters, and everything they’ve ever done.  Forget the facts, forget that Trump lies constantly and is a traitor, but if investigations come from this article and the article isn’t 100% right, they’ll attack the whole exercise.  Forget that Cohen is scheduled to testify in a couple weeks, and we’re rumored to have at least part of Mueller’s report in the next month or two.  If we start impeachment off on the wrong foot, it’ll be damn hard to start it again.

Don’t get me wrong, I want the mother fucker impeached and removed as bad as anyone else, but we need to do it the right way.  I like how we’re finally getting serious people talking about impeachment, but we need to do it right.

We’ll get one shot at a serious impeachment movement.  And it needs to start from the most serious of investigations.  It takes too long to restart after a serious botch, and the evidence needs to be overwhelming.  If we have to wait a couple weeks for it to start after Cohen’s testimony or a couple more indictments to drop, so be it.  The multiple committees have begun their investigations, and it will be up to the Judiciary committee to determine whether or not there is ample cause to move forward.

That’s enough of that.  I shouldn’t write so much before lunch.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 01/17/2019

Thursday, January 17, 2019

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

President Donald Trump directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, according to two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter.

Trump also supported a plan, set up by Cohen, to visit Russia during the presidential campaign, in order to personally meet President Vladimir Putin and jump-start the tower negotiations. “Make it happen,” the sources said Trump told Cohen.

And even as Trump told the public he had no business deals with Russia, the sources said Trump and his children, Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr., received regular, detailed updates about the real estate development from Cohen, whom they put in charge of the project.

Cohen pleaded guilty in November to lying about the deal in testimony and in a two-page statement to the Senate and House intelligence committees. Special counsel Robert Mueller noted that Cohen’s false claim that the project ended in January 2016 was an attempt to “minimize links between the Moscow Project and Individual 1” — widely understood to be Trump — “in hopes of limiting the ongoing Russia investigations.”

Now the two sources have told BuzzFeed News that Cohen also told the special counsel that after the election, the president personally instructed him to lie — by claiming that negotiations ended months earlier than they actually did — in order to obscure Trump’s involvement.

The special counsel’s office learned about Trump’s directive for Cohen to lie to Congress through interviews with multiple witnesses from the Trump Organization and internal company emails, text messages, and a cache of other documents. Cohen then acknowledged those instructions during his interviews with that office.

This revelation is not the first evidence to suggest the president may have attempted to obstruct the FBI and special counsel investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

But Cohen’s testimony marks a significant new frontier: It is the first known example of Trump explicitly telling a subordinate to lie directly about his own dealings with Russia.

Donald Trump told Michael Cohen to lie before Congress while serving as President of the United States.  This is a lot worse than it sounds.

BuzzFeed News first reported last year that Cohen and an associate, Felix Sater, had continued working on Trump Tower Moscow through June 2016. Sater communicated with Russian bankers, developers, and officials connected to the Kremlin. That revelation was confirmed in Mueller’s filings against Cohen in court last November.

Attorneys close to the administration helped Cohen prepare his testimony and draft his statement to the Senate panel, the sources said. The sources did not say who the attorneys were or whether they were part of the White House counsel’s staff, and did not present evidence that the lawyers knew the statements would be false.

An attorney for Donald F. McGahn II, the former White House counsel who reportedly gave about 30 hours of testimony to the special counsel, told BuzzFeed News: “Don McGahn had no involvement with or knowledge of Michael Cohen’s testimony. Nor was he aware of anyone in the White House Counsel’s Office who did.”

“Attorneys close to the administration” sounds almost completely like Trump’s squad of personal lawyers and fixers, like Mark Kasowitz or Jay Sekulow.  I don’t necessarily believe Don McGahn here, but the office of White House counsel represents the Office of the President, not the President themselves.  I’m leaning toward the personal attorneys.

In his plea deal with Mueller’s team, Cohen acknowledged that the conversations he had about the project with Trump exceeded the three short briefings he testified that he gave the president and that he also held more extensive discussions about it with other members of the Trump family. The sources said Cohen gave Trump’s children “very detailed updates.”

Ivanka Trump was slated to manage a spa at the tower and personally recommended an architect. She also instructed Cohen to speak with a Russian athlete who offered “synergy on a government level” to get the Moscow project off the ground, in another aspect of the deal first revealed by BuzzFeed News that later was affirmed by the special counsel’s sentencing memo. Cohen rebuffed the athlete’s proposal, which angered Ivanka Trump, according to emails reviewed by BuzzFeed News.

It’s nice to see Kremlin Barbie caught up in this mess.  She’s as corrupt as anyone else named Trump, but doesn’t get her feet held to the fire because she’s a pretty blonde woman.

Donald Trump Jr., meanwhile, testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 7, 2017, that he was only “peripherally aware” of the plan to build a tower in Moscow. “Most of my knowledge has been gained since as it relates to hearing about it over the last few weeks.”

The two law enforcement sources disputed this characterization and said that he and Cohen had multiple, detailed conversations on this subject during the campaign.

Cohen will testify publicly before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on Feb. 7.

Wow.  So, is it just Cohen’s word against Trump’s?

The special counsel’s office learned about Trump’s directive for Cohen to lie to Congress through interviews with multiple witnesses from the Trump Organization and internal company emails, text messages, and a cache of other documents. Cohen then acknowledged those instructions during his interviews with that office.

Oh, shit.  It’s on like Donkey Kong.

 

This is the first evidence in the public sphere of Trump directly being involved in the cover-up while President. Any and all chance of plausible deniability just flew out the window.

Plus, this also implicates Donnie Jr. and Ivanka as well in the cover-up. Junior coordinated his story with the other witnesses, and several other staffers like Hope Hicks all testified to Congress the same stuff that Cohen testified to. If Cohen, who has a history of keeping all of his emails and recording all of his conversations, pointed the Special Counselor to it among the millions of documents the FBI seized from him, then everyone is going down for being part of the conspiracy.

Think of everyone who testified before Congress from the Trump Administration, Campaign, or Transition Team.  According to the Minority Report (Daily Check-In 04/27/2018), more than 30 people testified before the HPSCI, and they all had the same story that Trump didn’t know anything about working with Russia.  That includes Trump’s secretary Rhona Graff, Hope Hicks, Michael Caputo, Roger Stone, Rick Dearborn, Steve Bannon, Corey Lewandowski, Felix Sater, Sam Clovis, and Donnie Jr.  And that’s just the House investigation.  We still don’t have a complete accounting of everyone who testified before the Senate Intel Committee, but all of them organizing the same story to have it blown out of the water only means that a lot of people just woke up with a slight pain in their chests.

Also, if we’re getting this from Cromier and Leopold, then not only did it happen, but it’s far enough along that it can’t be stopped. Anthony Cromier won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for investigative journalism, and Jason Leopold is a finalist for 2018. They uncovered the details behind Paul Manafort’s money laundering, how the Russians hid payments, uncovered the screwiness at the Treasury where several people were potentially working with Russian spies, and they broke open the details of the Trump Tower Moscow deal last month. Also, Cromier worked on uncovering the Stormy Daniels payoff made by Michael Cohen. These dudes are ballers.

 

Colludy Giuliani’s Lubing the Truth Tour

So, now Rudy changes his story again from “No Collusion” “Maybe, but not my client.”

He’s lubing the truth for something truly spectacular.

 

Skadden

Skadden, the very same firm that Alex Van Der Zwaan worked for.

WASHINGTON — A global New York-based law firm has agreed to pay $4.6 million to settle a Justice Department investigation into whether its work for a Russia-aligned Ukrainian government violated lobbying laws.

The investigation stems from work that the firm, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, did with Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman. The case overlaps with the investigation of the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

As part of the settlement, the law firm agreed to register retroactively as a foreign agent for Ukraine in addition to paying the government $4.6 million, representing the money it earned from its work in Ukraine.

The settlement between the firm and the Justice Department, which was made public on Thursday, is the latest indication that Mr. Mueller’s inquiry and related investigations are fundamentally challenging the lucrative but shadowy foreign-lobbying industry that has thrived in Washington.

 

Deripaska Sanctions

 

 

Coming Up

The group and its origins sound innocuous enough. But the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) — a right-wing group founded 36 years ago — has deepened connections between America’s religious right and Russians even as the latter have been sanctioned by the United States, according to a ThinkProgress investigation.

By networking with Russians, the HSLDA — now America’s largest right-wing homeschooling association — has provided the Kremlin with a new avenue of influence over some of the most conservative organizations in the United States.

And while investigations by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, intelligence organizations, and congressional committees have focused on Russia’s efforts to influence U.S. elections, Russian ties to groups like the HSLDA demonstrate the Kremlin’s broader attempts to hold sway over American policies.

Other ties between sanctioned Russians and the American far-right are well documented. From Christian fundamentalists to white supremacists to secession movements to fascists in the so-called “alt-right,” the links are as diffuse as they are damning. Not only have these networks brought Russian agents into close contact with higher-ups in the Republican party, but they’ve presented some of the primary threads of the Kremlin’s efforts at upending and unwinding American democracy.

This will be worth keeping an eye on to see what happens.

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

Poll Rigging at Liberty University

Some time ago, I wrote one of the most important pieces of information in the Michael Cohen filings was the $50,000 given to him by the Trump Org as reimbursement for IT campaign expenses. Soon after, I heard, but could not confirm, this was connected to Jerry Falwell Jr. …

2…the WSJ confirmed it and has the story today that Cohen paid money to Falwell’s IT guy to rig online polling. So now that all the info is out there, time to discuss the significance. If you look at all of the pieces of information, the one hand you do not see involved is….

3….that of the Trump campaign itself. Cohen does the work, Trump Org pays the money, the payment of $13,000 in cash goes to Falwell’s guy, the other $37,000 is…somewhere. Start with, there is NEVER an instance where a campaign pays large sums of cash for a legal act…..

4…cash leaves no trail. That is why it was used to finance the Watergate burglars. The checks cut by the Trump Organization to Cohen on behalf of the campaign – was TO serving as the slush fund for the Trump Campaign? If so, LOTS of expenditures connected to the company….

5…should have been reported as campaign-share expenditures. But there is no reason anyone would do a direct payment like that – TO to Cohen. And there is no reason why anyone would do a 3-step payment – TO to Cohen (converted to cash) to Falwell’s guy. The way a lawful….

6…payment would have been done is check from campaign to Falwell’s guy (if it was a legitimate expense.) All the go-betweens are only used for concealment. This is standard, seen-it-a-million-times, clumsy white-collar money laundering to hide an illicit act. The act….

7…here was to rig online polls, according to Cohen. Falwell’s guy also engages in search engine optimization, so I have a feeling there will be more turning up about what was done here. Of course the big question now remaining is what happened to the other $37,000. What we do..

8…know is this: The Trump Organization gave Michael Cohen money to engage in illicit and possibly illegal behavior for campaign purposes. One of the checks was the Stormy Daniels payment. There are a few more suspicious elements of that payment (why would the total amount….

9…have been rounded up if this was not a knowingly illicit act? In other words, if there was to be a payment to Daniels, why not just have the Trump Org pay it rather than Trump Org to Cohen to Daniels, reimbursed as a campaign expense, then tens of thousands added to round…

10…up reimbursement for tax purposes, since Cohen would have to report on his taxes the reimbursement as not an expense reimbursement but as income). There is a LOT of conniving going on here, a LOT of the procedures of money transfer showing knowledge of guilt. People don’t…

11…work so hard to cover payments for a lawful act. So, Congress must ask – who told Cohen to pay cash to Falwell’s guy? Where is the other $37,000? What other monies was the Trump Org paying on behalf of campaign? And how do they explain disguising expense reimbursement…

12…as compensation to Cohen. Again, that one fact – upping the reimbursement of the Stormy Daniels payoff to account for taxes since Cohen was reporting reimbursement as income – is key to establishing guilty mind of everyone involved – potentially Trump himself. End

Up until 10 PM, I thought this was the biggest story of the week.  Here is evidence that Trump’s campaign rigged online polls, and that they used the Religious Right to do it.

Trump gave Michael Cohen $50,000 to rig a couple online polls so that he looked like he had a larger following than he did.  This was during the Primary season, when 17 people were running for the nomination and Trump was just the second or third craziest of them.  Cohen went to Jerry Falwell Jr.’s college in Virginia and had their CIO/IT guy set up bots to tweet on Trump’s behalf and vote on online polls.  Cohen then paid the IT guy $13,000 for the work.

I have a few questions that I hope get answered soon.

Why travel to Virginia to hire someone to make a bot army when they could find someone in their own backyard?  Why Jerry Falwell Jr. specifically, and not someone else?  Where did the rest of the money go?  Was it just the polls that Trump bragged about that were affected, or others as well?  How much did committing fraud help his nascent campaign?

 

SHUTDOWN & IMMIGRATION

After yesterday’s report of Nancy Pelosi uninviting Trump from delivering the State of the Union speech in the Capitol (Daily Check-In 01/16/2019), Trump decided to be even pettier and cancelled her trip to Afghanistan to meet with our NATO allies.

But not really.

He could only cancel her access to using a military jet for the travel.  She was still planning on flying commercial, right up until Trump told the world the details of the trip.  Nothing like creating a potential security risk.

After cancelling Nancy Pelosi’s access to a military jet, Trump authorized a military jet to fly his wife to their summer home in a country club in Palm Beach, Florida.  Meanwhile, her Secret Service detail is not getting paid for covering her, and their families are lining up at a food kitchen because Trump wants to build a wall that only became an emergency when it became apparent that the Democrats would control the House.

 

Mitch McConnell

Fuck Mitch McConnell with a glass covered strap-on.

Always remember, he is a traitor to the United States of America.  He had prior knowledge of Russia’s attempts to influence and attack the election of 2016.  He was in Cleveland in late July and met with the Russian Ambassador while there.  A couple weeks later, he threatened to attack Obama if Obama released a statement saying that the Russians had attacked the United States.

According to Dante, the lowest circle of Hell is reserved for traitors.  Mitch’s spot there is reserved.

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET A.K.A. INDIVIDUAL-1

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

FIGHTING BACK

The reason why it’s hard for the public to absorb the Russia conspiracy is that Trump is so obvious, explicit, and flagrant. We are experiencing cognitive dissonance in seeing a president repeatedly and openly conspire. It seems too crazy to be true. But it’s true.

For goodness sake, his Treasury department is trying to lift sanctions for the obvious benefit of Putin, Deripaska, VTB, Rusal, and Putin-enabler Glencore. Yesterday, 43 GOP Senators -just enough – voted yesterday to preserve this corrupt deal. The pay-offs are in broad daylight.

3/ Trump’s comments on Putin were so sycophantic and obsequious for so long, I think we forget how obvious it was during the 2016 campaign. When Clinton said he was Putin’s puppet, it wasn’t a random attack. It was an obvious observation. Let’s review…

4/ Where Western banks had seen a liability, Russia saw an _asset_. Pun intended. To those following Trump’s many financial disasters, the signs were clear: Russia had bailed out Trump financially when everyone else sensibly realized he was just a bankruptcy waiting to happen.

Jed Shugerman Retweeted Donald J. Trump

5/ The bizarre pro-Putin tweets go back to 2013. The charitable reading (pun not intended) was that Trump desparately relied on Russian investment for financial survival and he was kissing up to Putin for more:

Donald J. TrumpVerified account @realDonaldTrump

Do you think Putin will be going to The Miss Universe Pageant in November in Moscow – if so, will he become my new best friend?

6/ The above was June 2013. Here’s Oct 2013 on David Letterman: Trump says he’s done “a lot of business with the Russians,” calls them “smart” & “tough.” They don’t look “so dumb right now.” Putin is a “tough guy” & says that he “met him once.” h/t @CNN

7/ Damn, this @MaxBootpiece takes no prisoners. It laid out the case that Trump could be a Russian asset from evidence in plain sight. This article itself could be an article of impeachment.

8/ When @jonathanchaitwrote this piece in 2017, “What If Trump Has Been a Russian Asset Since 1987?” some people dismissed him. I thought it was a clear roadmap, consistent with @lukeharding1968‘s reporting. It is a must-read once again.

Jed Shugerman Retweeted Cristina Maza

9/ Today I spoke with @CrisLeeMaza @Newsweek about House vote to keep Russian sanctions and the shameful Senate vote by 43 GOP to lift. New vote is possible. We just need 3: @MittRomney @BernieSanders @SenatorBurr @LindseyGrahamSC @lisamurkowski

Cristina MazaVerified account @CrisLeeMaza

“Given the reality of corporate structures, anyone looking at this understands that he was left with enough control that he would benefit if sanctions were lifted,” @jedshugon the Treasury Department’s plans to lift sanctions on Oleg Deripaska’s companies https://www.newsweek.com/trump-putin-republicans-oligarch-deripaska-1296474 …

10/ @jonathanchait: “2003-2017, people from former USSR made 86 all-cash purchases—a red flag of potential laundering—of Trump properties, totaling $109 million. In 2010, DeutscheBank loaned him 100s of millions during the same period it was laundering billions in Russian money.”

11/ @DonaldJTrumpJrin 2008: “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets.” @EricTrump in 2014: “We don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.” Yep. And Russia gets all the leverage they need in return.

12/ Trump 2013: “I do have a relationship [w/ Putin] and I can tell you that he’s very interested in what we’re doing. He’s probably very interested in what you and I are saying today…I do have a relationship with him and I think it’s very interesting to see what’s happened.”

13/ Trump 2014: “When I went to Russis, (Putin) contacted me and was so nice. I mean, the Russian people were so fantastic to us. They’re outsmarting us at many turns. Their leaders are, whether you call them smarter or more cunning or whatever, but they’re outsmarting us.“ Yup.

14/ Trump 2014: “We just left Moscow. [Putin] could not have been nicer. He was so nice and so everything. But you have to give him credit that what he’s doing for that country in terms of their world prestige is very strong.” Trump praised Putin’s invasion of Crimea. @CNN

15/ INSANITY: Trump 2014: Endorses Putin’s invasion of Crimea, ”Well, he’s done an amazing job of taking the mantle. And so smart. When you see the riots in a country because they’re hurting the Russians, OK, ‘We’ll go and take it over.’ You have to give him a lot of credit.”

16/ Trump 2014: Endorses Putin’s advance into Ukraine again: Putin “absolutely having a great time. Russia is really hot stuff. You have people in the Ukraine — who knows, set up or not — but it can’t all be set up, I mean they’re marching in favor of joining Russia.”

 

SNOWFLAKES

No, I haven’t seen the aforementioned commercial yet.

 

SCOTUS & COURTS

 

#METOO & WOMEN’S RIGHTS

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

FIXING THE INTERNET

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

 

STUDENT ISSUES

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

PRIESTS & RELIGION

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

 

CONGRESS

 

ELECTIONS

 

THINKING AHEAD

 

PROGRESS IS PROGRESS

 

IN OTHER NEWS

Happy 97th Birthday, Betty White: The legendary Golden Girl’s life in photos

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for Thursday.  Fuck.  Not really sure what’s going to happen on Friday, but hopefully we’re now at the Serious Impeachment talk.

There’s always been some impeachment talk, but it’s been at the fringes of power.  It hasn’t come from party leadership, or in droves.  Sure, we had some waves here and there, but the calls for impeachment haven’t sustained for more than a week at a time.

This… this could be different.  Things are piling up.  A government shutdown that’s forcing chaos across the country and millions to suffer plus news of several acts of conspiring with a foreign power to fuck with the election plus repeated attempts at covering it all up including lying to Congress eventually adds up.

I might have some time to write a little bit more this weekend.  The East Coast is supposed to get hit with some snow, so I might be trapped indoors for a while.

Also, I’m rooting for anyone but the Patriots.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 01/16/2019

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

The day after the two meetings, as Mr. Trump was on Air Force One taking off from Germany heading back to Washington, he telephoned a Times reporter and argued that the Russians were falsely accused of election interference. While he insisted most of the conversation be off the record, he later repeated a few things in public in little-noticed asides.

Let’s think back to July 2017.  Trump meets with Putin at the G20 summit with Rex Tillerson and a translator.  Rex gives one description of the events.  Trump gives another to the reporters.  While this is going on, the New York Times prepares to launch the June 9th Meeting bombshell.  Trump finds out about this after his first meeting with Putin.  Later, during dinner, Trump moves over to Putin’s seat and they talk for 30 minutes with no Americans present.  Afterward, Putin says they talked about “adoptions.”

Adoptions are the code word for sanctions and the Magnitsky Act.  After the act was passed in the United States in December 2012, the Russians retaliated by preventing Americans from adopting Russian children.  However, the only children available for adoption at that time were critically ill or disabled.  So, all this did was prevent their most vulnerable children from being taken in by families.

Back to the events at hand.  The New York Times reaches out for comment on their upcoming story, and the press office says nothing.  Then, after dinner, Trump calls a reporter for the New York Times **cough**Maggie Haberman**cough** and tells her that the Russians are being falsely accused of attacking the United States, but it’s off the record.  Of course, Trump then repeats this shit over and over, so it’s not really off the record anymore.

Over the span of a couple days, everyone by Trump Jr. kept his mouth shut about the meeting.  That’s because Daddy wrote Jr.’s alibi and press statement.  This evolved over the next few days until Donnie Jr. released his email chain, implicating everyone involved.

 

For those still unclear THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION WORKED AT THE BEHEST OF A RUSSIAN AGENT THE WHOLE FIRST YEAR. Impeach.

Real simple: They were still taking cues from an admitted foreign agent who worked with and for Russian spies. These are foreign-backed traitors, and they must be removed at once.

They conspired – together as Americans, and with their Russian spy counterparts – to cover up their obligation to the foreigners who helped them get elected.

Manafort worked on behalf of hostile foreign powers, including transnational organized crime, to control the Executive Branch. He picked the VP. His plea deal, though heavily redacted, admits he’s been a foreign agent the whole time.

Republicans denied it, fake opposition Leftists said it was unimportant, media obscured it, regularly libeling the people trying to warn the world. But there it is in court documents. The worst case scenario. Foreign enemies seizing power.

There are no other convenient narratives. Take back your country from these criminals, or you’ll lose it. </>

 

 

 

Whenever I say “Peace Deal”, think “Selling out Ukraine to the Russians and trying to prop up Viktor Yanokovitch.”

 

Colludy Giuliani’s “Lubing the Truth” Tour

I’ve got $20 that says even more hard proof of the henchmen conspiring with Russia will be coming out in the next few weeks.  I’ve also got money riding on it snowing in this month, too.

 

Remember, The Justice League contains experts in everything from money laundering to cybercrime to terrorism to pulling tags off of mattresses and selling them on the black market.

In short, we’ve reached a point in the Mueller probe where there are only two scenarios left: Either the president is compromised by the Russian government and has been working covertly to cooperate with Vladimir Putin after Russia helped win him the 2016 election—or Trump will go down in history as the world’s most famous “useful idiot,” as communists used to call those who could be co-opted to the cause without realizing it.

We are now at the point where there is so much evidence of a conspiracy with the Russians that we’re left with only two conclusions.

  1. Trump is a witting Russian asset.
  2. Trump is the world’s biggest useful idiot.

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

Gee, what a surprise, someone screwed up and didn’t think that Trump would use his hotel to solicit bribes.

 

SHUTDOWN & IMMIGRATION

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET A.K.A. INDIVIDUAL-1

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

#METOO & WOMEN’S RIGHTS

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

 

STUDENT ISSUES

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

PRIESTS & RELIGION

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

 

CONGRESS

 

THINKING AHEAD

Whatever you think of Kirsten Gillibrand, she is not responsible for Al Franken’s behavior nor his resignation. Chuck Schumer reportedly told him privately to resign before Gillibrand said anything. She was the 1st to publicly call for his resignation – by a matter of minutes. 1/

Kirsten Gillibrand doesn’t have the power to force another senator to resign. Al Franken chose to resign; he was not forced out by one senator’s statement. Or maybe you don’t like the way the accusations were handled … but Gillibrand isn’t responsible for that, either. 2/

We live in a society that minimizes sexual violence and punishes both victims & those who stand with them. Men’s careers & reputations are assigned more value than women’s lives. Think about the message you’re sending by punishing Kirsten Gillibrand for Al Franken’s behavior. 3/

The message you’re sending, whether intentional or not, is that women who speak out against men who are credibly accused of sexual assault should expect to be vilified, disparaged, and used as an example to warn others to stay silent — or face the same consequences. 4/

Our culture doesn’t like powerful women (2016? anyone?), so when a woman like Kirsten Gillibrand dares to wield any power, her motives are called into question; her courage portrayed as “opportunism”; her strength framed as ruthlessness; her conviction cast as selfishness. 5/

And for many of those replying to this thread: Remember when Republicans attacked Christine Blasey Ford? Why, when it comes to our own, do you suddenly find it acceptable to shame the woman who spoke out about the problem? You’re not an ally if your support is conditional. 6/

Again, regardless of what you think of her candidacy, Gillibrand is a leading voice on sexual assault. Her call for Al Franken to resign was entirely consistent with her principles. You say you want principled leaders, but then you vilify Gillibrand for being too principled. 7/

And for those who don’t think the allegations against Al Franken (by 8 different women) were credible: Why are you lashing out at Kirsten Gillibrand? Why aren’t you angry at Al Franken for resigning before an investigation? Perhaps because you know he resigned for good reason. 8/

Gillibrand knew she was taking a risk when she spoke out about Al Franken. Our culture reserves a special type of rage for women who report sexual violence, & it extends to women who publicly stand with victims even when it means speaking hard truths to a colleague and friend. 9/

The true test of our principles is whether we apply them to our friends just as we do our adversaries. Kirsten Gillibrand could have saved herself a lot of trouble by staying quiet about Al Franken. But that would have impeded her efforts to help survivors. So she spoke up. 10/

I was devastated when the accusations against Al Franken came out. But I was more devastated when I realized that so many self-declared progressives were willing to overlook those accusations to save a man’s career — and to ruin a woman’s career for not overlooking them. 11/

Al Franken *admitted* to wrongdoing. He said his behavior “crossed a line.” Yet Kirsten Gillibrand is receiving more anger for saying his behavior was wrong than the man who said it himself. If you don’t see a problem with that, well, maybe that’s because you’re part of it. 12/

For those who like Al Franken and blame Kirsten Gillibrand for his resignation: Have you ever considered that Franken believed resigning was the right thing to do? That maybe he didn’t want the Democratic Party to lose all credibility on matters related to sexual assault? 13/

I just hope those of you who are channeling your anger over Al Franken’s resignation at Kirsten Gillibrand will consider the bigger picture. Do you think it’s acceptable to encourage women to stay silent to protect men? Because that’s what you’re doing. 14/

Here’s the thing: Al Franken resigned. He’s gone. Blaming Kirsten Gillibrand is not going to bring him back. But you know what it will do? Unnecessarily create a rift among Democratic voters & provide a perfect target for any bad actors looking to divide the left in 2020. 15/

 

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for Wednesday.  Thursday brings along a new revelation about Michael Cohen’s work for Trump, and ties together two questions.  How are the megachurches involved, and what did Cohen do with that $50,000 he spent on campaign IT work?

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 01/15/2019

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

Manafort & Kilimnik

This newest filing includes the evidence that Mueller has collected that proves that Manafort lied to them so often that they felt they had no choice bu to take that plea deal and throw it in the shredder.

The filing is 31 pages long with almost 200 pages of evidence.  A lot of the evidence came from his computers, where he used the password “bond007”.  He didn’t give them the password, the FBI guessed it on the first try.  They had the length, the hint was “Secret Agent”, and his wife’s maiden name is Bond.  Not exactly an IT expert.

Aside from the comedy, this filing lays out in detail how Manafort lied, how he committed his crimes, and how fucked he is.  At least, that’s what we assume is under the black bars.  There’s so many redactions the pages look like levels of Donkey Kong.

Barr

I’m not trusting this guy.  Everything about this guy screams cover-up puppet.

 

Deripaska

 

Gates

 

Corsi

 

Nunes

 

Kushner

 

Pooty Calls

 

Coming Up

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

 

SHUTDOWN & IMMIGRATION

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET A.K.A. INDIVIDUAL-1

 

TRAITOR TOTS

Lindsey Graham is a 63 year old “confirmed bachelor” who has never married and has no kids.  The rumor mill has it that his being gay is an open secret, even though he’s so far deep in the closet he found Narnia.  The thing is, no one really cares about him being gay in 2019, unless there were something else to that.

We’ve talked about before Daily Check-In 09/26/2018 and Daily Check-In 09/18/18 when Dr. Melissa Kester described what intel she had on Senator Graham:

Affair with a married man who plays straight, is a political operative and has young kids. That’s what they got. Have we not discussed this yet, Ellis? We need to.

I hate playing the speculation game when it comes to a person’s private life, but when that gets used against them and they turn on everything they once held close, to the point of almost crossing the line to treason, that’s when speculation becomes fair game.

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

RIGHT WING TERRORISM & WHITE NATIONALISM

 

KHASHOGGI & SAUDI ARABIA

 

SCOTUS & COURTS

 

#METOO & WOMEN’S RIGHTS

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

John Schinder: BAD TAKE ALERT: While I have praised @NRO for its even-handedness (and then some) regarding Trump, this anti-FBI screed from @RichLowry (FYI the NR EIC — who, let me say, I usually enjoy reading) needs to be called out. How, I ask you, is the FBI “trampling our political order” by conducting a counterintelligence investigation? Not a criminal investigation (you know, possible arrests), CI. That’s, ahem, the Bureau’s job. Is POTUS above scrutiny? That seems to be the point of this piece. /2 Says @RichLowry: “US presidents over the decades have made many foolhardy decisions that have undermined our security; never before have they been deemed a fit subject for an FBI investigation.” Yes, this is true; but it omits the key fact here…. /3 Namely that we’ve never before Trump had a POTUS who plausibly might be considered a pawn (witting or not) of a hostile foreign power. This is a big uncharted ocean for USG. Since @RichLowry thinks the FBI had no business conducting a CI inquiry into President Trump, ok…. /4 Either POTUS is inherently above investigation (mmmmmkay…neat authoritarian take there) or @RichLowry thinks it should not be done by the FBI — you know, USG’s lead CI agency. Maybe we should have the Nat’l Park Service do it? How about Dept of Agriculture counterspies? /5X CODA: Journalists and pundits (of all POVs) need to step back and consider that the FBI and IC know things about Trump and his Kremlin connections that are not, ahem, in the public eye yet. /6XX

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

 

STUDENT ISSUES

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

 

CONGRESS

 

THINKING AHEAD

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

RUMOR MILL

 

That’s it for Tuesday.  Once again, I ran short on time on this article.  I should be back to normal in the next couple days.

One spoiler for Wednesday: Nancy Pelosi has uninvited Trump from the Capitol for delivering the State of the Union address.  She told him he can either send over a written version, reopen the government, or wait until the government is reopen to deliver his speech.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur

Daily Check-In 01/14/2019

Monday, January 14, 2019

 

THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION

NATO

 

Nunes

The Special Counsel’s Office and federal prosecutors in Manhattan are scrutinizing a meeting involving former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, one-time National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, and dozens of foreign officials, according to three sources familiar with the investigations.

The breakfast event, which was first reported by The Daily Sabah, a pro-government Turkish paper, took place at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. at 8.30 a.m. on Jan. 18, 2017—two days before President Donald Trump’s inauguration. About 60 people were invited, including diplomats from governments around the world, according to those same sources.

The breakfast has come under scrutiny by federal prosecutors in Manhattan as part of their probe into whether the Trump inaugural committee misspent fundsand if donors tried to buy influence in the White House. The existence of that probe was first reported by The Wall Street Journal. The Special Counsel’s Office is also looking at the breakfast as part of its investigation into whether foreigners contributed money to the Trump inaugural fund and PAC by possibly using American intermediaries, as first reported by The New York Times. Robert Mueller’s team has asked Flynn about the event, according to two sources familiar with the Special Counsel’s Office questioning.

Pluvious Group, a consultancy that raised money for the Republican National Committee and the Trump campaign, helped with the event’s organization, according to two sources with knowledge of the breakfast. The group did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“If you’re a prosecutor, all of the right players are there,” said former federal prosecutor Paul Pelletier, referring to the breakfast. “In a lot of ways breakfasts like this are totally normal. It happens all the time in Washington. So, they wouldn’t be investigating it if they weren’t following the money. The big question would be who is paying for it? It’s got to be part of the broader scheme of who is trying to use money to influence the White House.”

It’s not surprising that Nunes and Flynn found themselves together in the days before the inauguration. Nunes’ links to Flynn are substantial. During the 24-day period when Flynn served as Trump’s national security adviser, Flynn brought one of Nunes’ senior aides, the former Defense Intelligence Agency analyst Derek Harvey, onto the staff of the National Security Council. Another former aide to Nunes’ committee, Michael Ellis, went to the White House counsel’s office. Ellis and a third Flynn aide, the NSC intelligence director Ezra Cohen-Watnick, reportedly fed Nunes information that Nunes presented as deriving from intelligence whistleblowers worried about inappropriate “unmasking” of Americans’ names from surveillance intercepts, such as Flynn’s. (Cohen-Watnick denies involvement.)

In February of 2017, as the possibility arose of Trump firing Flynn for misleading Vice President Mike Pence, Nunes told a reporter that he expected Flynn to keep his job. “It just seems like there’s a lot of nothing there,” Nunes told Bloomberg News.

Trump fired Flynn the next day. And Nunes became a rare voice defending the retired Army lieutenant general. “Washington, D.C. can be a rough town for honorable people, and Flynn—who has always been a soldier, not a politician—deserves America’s gratitude and respect for dedicating so much of his life to strengthening our national security,” Nunes said on Feb. 14, 2017. Flynn would plead guilty to lying to the FBI that December.

 

Trump’s Pooty Calls

THREAD: Has anyone noticed the very disturbing overlap between Trump’s insistence on preventing his own staff from learning about discussions with Putin at the Hamburg G20 meeting in July 2017 and how he handled initial revelations about the infamous Trump Tower meeting? 1/

Greg MillerVerified account @gregpmiller

NEW: After closed door mtg with Putin, Trump took his interpreter’s notes, told linguist not to reveal what had transpired to other administration officials. Pattern of concealing communications with Putin. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-has-concealed-details-of-his-face-to-face-encounters-with-putin-from-senior-officials-in-administration/2019/01/12/65f6686c-1434-11e9-b6ad-9cfd62dbb0a8_story.html?utm_term=.866a342cc660&wpisrc=al_post_exclusive__alert-exclusive–alert-national&wpmk=1 …

Consider the following timeline: on July 7–8, 2017,Trump attends the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany the site of his first face to face encounter with Putin. 2/

On the morning of July 7, 2017, the New York Times informs the White House–for the first time–that it has learned about the Trump Tower meeting between Don Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort and a Russian lawyer with Russian government connections, Natalya Veselnitskaya. 3/

The New York Times asks the White House to comment. 4/

On the afternoon of July 7, 2017, Trump and Putin, accompanied only by Rex Tillerson, Sergei Lavrov and their interpreters, meet for 2 and 1/2 hours. 5/

We now know from @gregpmiller that after the meeting Trump seizes the US interpreter’s notes and tells her not to brief senior NSC or State Department aides about the conversation with Putin. https://wapo.st/2Fyrqtt?tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.2dec17269030 … 6/

Later that evening on July 7, 2017, during the formal G20 summit dinner, Trump seeks out Putin for another conversation. Putin’s interpreter is the only other participant. 7/

The fact of this meeting is not publicly revealed until more than a week later after @ianbremmerhears about it from other G20 attendees. (The White House doesn’t officially confirm it until July 18, 2017.)http://reut.rs/2vfTTwi @steveholland18/

As Bremmer points out, Trump oddly doesn’t even inform his own staff afterwards that he’s had this second conversation with Putin. https://twitter.com/ianbremmer/status/1084583168152428545 …9/

On the AF1 flight back to Washington the next day on July 8, 2017, Trump dictates the text of the now infamous, misleading statement (for Don Jr. to release) about the Trump Tower meeting. http://wapo.st/2vh7dmA?tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.c483e459eca7 …@AshleyRParker@CarolLeonnig@PhilipRucker@thamburger 10/

Don Jr.’s statement to @nytimesemphasizes: “We primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children” at the meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya 11/

The @nytimes story about the Trump Tower meeting appears later that same day (July 8, 2017) https://nyti.ms/2uWPOMw @Jo_Becker@mattapuzzo@adamgoldmanNYT12/

On July 11, 2017 the same @nytimes team breaks the story that Don Jr was told in advance that Veselnitskaya intended to provide dirt on the Hillary Clinton campaign at the behest of the Russian government. Don Jr. replies: “I love it.” https://nyti.ms/2u4Ly0W 13/

On July 19, 2017 Trump repeats the false assertion that he talked to Putin about adoption in a conversation with @peterbakernyt,@nytmike and @maggieNYThttps://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/19/us/politics/trump-interview-transcript.html?module=inline … 14/

In the same interview, Trump also floats the idea that there was nothing inappropriate about his senior-most campaign officials meeting with foreign emissaries who wanted to help his campaign. “Who wouldn’t have taken a meeting like that?” 15/

All of this begs the question: What did Trump and Putin actually discuss at that impromptu one-on-one dinner meeting at the Hamburg G20 on July 7, 2017? 16/

Moreover, why did they huddle together by themselves within hours of the White House learning that the at-that-point-still-secret Trump Tower meeting between Trump, Jr. and the Russians was about to become public? 17/

Put another way, shortly after the New York Times reached out to the White House to ask about a secret meeting with the Russians, Trump himself sought a secret meeting with the Russians. 18/

h/t Former federal prosecutor who helped compile this timeline and series of as-yet unanswered questions END

 

 

Barr

 

Manafort

 

Trump’s “I am not a crook” Moment

 

 

 

COHEN, NEW YORK, AND THE OTHER LAWSUITS

 

SHUTDOWN & IMMIGRATION

 

TRUMP THE RUSSIAN ASSET A.K.A. INDIVIDUAL-1

 

TRAITOR TOTS

 

FIGHTING BACK

 

RIGHT WING TERRORISM & WHITE NATIONALISM

 

KHASHOGGI & SAUDI ARABIA

 

SCOTUS & COURTS

 

#METOO & WOMEN’S RIGHTS

 

COLD WAR 2.0

 

#NEVERAGAIN

 

THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE

 

WHITE HOUSE CHAOS

Clemson Dinner

 

TRADE WAR AND ECONOMY

 

STUDENT ISSUES

 

GOP: THE PARTY OF LINCOLN IS DEAD

 

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

 

PRIESTS & RELIGION

 

ENVIRONMENT & SCIENCE

 

CONGRESS

 

THINKING AHEAD

 

IN OTHER NEWS…

 

RUMOR MILL

In 1992, the Soviet Union broke up, melted down its Mob, spy services, and government and forged a single weapon. There was no historical precedent. It took us 25 years to catch up as they used Mob money to corrupt institutions at a lightning pace. But they’re busted.

Oh, and as climate change continued and clean energy tech advanced, Russia got extra help from Saudi, Qatar, Iran, Turkey, and its Cold War drug dealing partners in South America and Asia. It took a lot of effort to clean up.

Especially since NBC gave a TV show for ten years to a guy they knew was actually not a billionaire and gave him eight zillion dollars of free PR. Which then Russia took advantage of, since he laundered money for their Mob.

The US media was either incompetent or complicit, focused on a single email server from Hillary Clinton rather than all the Russian oligarch money EVERYWHERE and then the Mob front from Queens accidentally got elected. And then the media continued to massively screw up.

But 29 NATO intel agencies and global law enforcement had decades of files on the conspirators, and they were idiots who used consumer-grade electronics versus nation-states, giving prosecutors mountains of court-ready evidence. And now they go down. FIN.

 

 

That’s it for Monday.  It’s been a busy day, so I didn’t have as much time to go into all of the areas I wanted to. But, like I said in Daily Check-In 01/11/2019, we’re entering the “News for the Masses/Confirmation for the Junkies” phase.  Out of the three major stories that broke, we’ve seen on these pages before.

We’ve seen Trump’s threats to leave NATO multiple times, but we haven’t seen them in the same articles asking if he was a Russian spy.  We yelled from the rooftops that he was a Russian Agent when he did that before.  Now, it’s nice to see everyone else catching up and asking the same questions.

We’ve talked about Devin Nunes’s breakfast meeting with Michael Flynn and the Turks (2018 Retrospective), but it’s nice to see that Mueller’s looking into it.  If Mueller’s looking into it, then Dipshit Cowpoke is screwed.  Especially if Flynn flipped as hard as we suspect.

As far as Trump charging himself ridiculous prices, of course we saw this coming from a mile away.  We’ve talked about this a few times, and with as corrupt as he is, there wasn’t a chance that he wouldn’t take a chance at the largest potential pay day in his life.  He ordered his inauguration to book his hotel, then had his hotel charge above market rates for below market services.  His hotel would then pocket the difference.  It’s a classic corruption deal that Trump has pulled many times, and his evil crotchfruit engage in the same tricks.  They think it makes them smart.

 

Thank you, and have a good one.

 

“Without Journalists, it’s just propaganda.”

– Katy Tur