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Posts Tagged ‘Vladimir Putin’

Last Thursday, I mentioned the new administration’s tactic of choice, diversion.  This week, thanks to George Lakoff, we have a handy diagram for the analysis of tweets from Trump.

So it comes as no surprise that while Trump lobbed a grenade at Nordstrom’s and while we were all attending to the ninth circuit court of appeals which upheld the stay on the immigration ban and the endless confirmation hearings,  the explosions were happening elsewhere.

Last night and today, massive immigration raids were taking place in at least six states.

U.S. immigration authorities made a series of arrests in at least half a dozen states across the country on Thursday and Friday, sweeping up an unknown number of undocumented immigrants, immigration lawyers and advocates said.

The raids, which appeared to target scores of people, including those without criminal records, mark the first largescale episode of immigration enforcement inside the United States since President Trump’s Jan. 26 order to crack down on the estimated 11 million immigrants living here illegally. Immigration lawyers and advocates said some of the enforcement efforts included traffic stops and checkpoints, though Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials disputed those accounts, saying the agency does not use checkpoints while engaging in targeted enforcement operations.

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These followed the very high profile deportation of an Arizona woman who had reported as required of her to a local ICE office.

Typically, while we attend to all of this, we are supposed to be distracted from the Russia story, but that one grew extra legs just this evening. It appears that U.S. investigators have been able to corroborate portions of the dossier we referred to last week as the Christopher Steele Memos.

US investigators corroborate some aspects of the Russia dossier

Coupled with that one was this.

 National security adviser Flynn discussed sanctions with Russian ambassador, despite denials, officials say

National security adviser Michael Flynn privately discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador to the United States during the month before President Trump took office, contrary to public assertions by Trump officials, current and former U.S. officials said.

Flynn’s communications with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak were interpreted by some senior U.S. officials as an inappropriate and potentially illegal signal to the Kremlin that it could expect a reprieve from sanctions that were being imposed by the Obama administration in late December to punish Russia for its alleged interference in the 2016 election.

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This story, of course, is the elephant in the room. The Russian connection to the Trump campaign and White House impugns the integrity of the election and the intentions of the administration with regard to Russian sanctions, not only for alleged election hanky-panky but also those imposed over Russian incursions in Ukraine. It lends credence to the idea that Putin’s antipathy to Hillary Clinton’s candidacy was based on a lot more than a personality conflict and his idée-fixe that she somehow orchestrated mass demonstrations following the Russian parliamentary elections in 2011.

Deep Throat told Bob Woodward to follow the money. It is not hard to imagine that transactions involving Donald Trump might revolve around money. Alex Mohajer, late of Bros4Hillary, has constructed bulletin board worthy of Carrie Mathison from a series of interlocking documents. It is not complete, but is the best job of connecting the dots so far.

THE ROSNEFT RECEIPTS

Alex Mohajer @alexmohajer This morning

In light of Wash Post’s explosive article revealing Trump’s NSA Flynn contacted Russian officials BEFORE inauguration to discuss lifting sanctions, it’s getting harder to ignore growing evidence that Trump was involved with Russian oil deal.

See the documents >>>>

From this, we can see what entities acquired those mysterious Rosneft shares even if principals behind it remain shrouded.  it’s great detective work!  We can be relatively sure Alex will not let this opus rest here, so we can be reasonably sure that he will elaborate as he finds additional evidence. We look forward to that.

As for Hillary, she has steered clear of the Russian story which she tried to expose at the October 19 presidential debate. She did, however, register a reaction to the court decision on Thursday. Touted as ultimate shade, her tweet was concise.

Feb 9

 3-0

Ha!

09-26-16-z-24

The thing never to ignore is that Trump and the Republicans are working as a team. Wherever the fireworks go off, look elsewhere.  And watch this space.

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We should know by now, two weeks in, what the new administration’s tactic is. Like a shell game con artist, they employ a certain sleight of hand. They throw a fireball out that dazzles, enrages, and engages attention. While we are attending to this distraction, even more serious shady doings are going on somewhere else that we somehow miss. An example.

Yesterday, Trump’s meandering, inept introduction of Black History Month so astonished (and, frankly, amused to the point of Twitter parodies) that while we were all attending to 199-year-0ld Frederick Douglass “who has done a terrific job that is being recognized by more and more people,” the Senate confirmed Rex Tillerson for secretary of state while Congress removed an anti-graft section of Dodd-Frank that will permit petroleum companies (among others) to conceal payments to foreign governments.  Actually, according to one source, all of these things happened.

Today, at the National Prayer Breakfast, there was this:

“And I want to just pray for Arnold if we can, for those ratings” Trump says after boasting Apprentice “went down the tubes” once he left”

The media and the social nets went nuts!  Meanwhile, back at the ranch:

The US Treasury just amended Obama’s sanctions order to ‘authorize certain transactions’ with Russia’s FSB

Who’s going to notice this after Trump prayed for Arnold’s pitiful ratings?

Of course back on September 24, Hillary Clinton’s campaign issued this statement.

Hillary for America Statement on Bombshell Report About Trump Aide’s Chilling Ties To Kremlin

Friday, HFA senior national spokesperson Glen Caplin released the following statement in response to the new bombshell report that Trump’s foreign policy adviser is being probed for suspected meetings with senior Russian officials:

“It’s chilling to learn that U.S. intelligence officials are conducting a probe into suspected meetings between Trump’s foreign policy adviser Carter Page and members of Putin’s inner circle while in Moscow. You have to ask why he would meet with Igor Diveykin, who is believed by U.S. officials ‘to have responsibility for intelligence collected by Russian agencies about the U.S. election.’ This comes as Russian hackers continue their attempts to influence the outcome of our elections, something Trump openly invited. This is serious business and voters deserve the facts before election day.

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During the October 19 presidential debate, this.

WALLACE: Secretary Clinton, I want to clear up your position on this issue, because in a speech you gave to a Brazilian bank, for which you were paid $225,000, we’ve learned from the WikiLeaks, that you said this, and I want to quote. “My dream is a hemispheric common market with open trade and open borders.” So that’s the question…

TRUMP: Thank you.

WALLACE: That’s the question. Please quiet, everybody. Is that your dream, open borders? CLINTON: Well, if you went on to read the rest of the sentence, I was talking about energy. You know, we trade more energy with our neighbors than we trade with the rest of the world combined. And I do want us to have an electric grid, an energy system that crosses borders. I think that would be a great benefit to us.

But you are very clearly quoting from WikiLeaks. And what’s really important about WikiLeaks is that the Russian government has engaged in espionage against Americans. They have hacked American websites, American accounts of private people, of institutions. Then they have given that information to WikiLeaks for the purpose of putting it on the Internet.

This has come from the highest levels of the Russian government, clearly, from Putin himself, in an effort, as 17 of our intelligence agencies have confirmed, to influence our election.

So I actually think the most important question of this evening, Chris, is, finally, will Donald Trump admit and condemn that the Russians are doing this and make it clear that he will not have the help of Putin in in this election, that he rejects Russian espionage against Americans, which he actually encouraged in the past? Those are the questions we need answered. We’ve never had anything like this happen in any of our elections before.

WALLACE: Well?

TRUMP: That was a great pivot off the fact that she wants open borders, OK? How did we get on to Putin?

WALLACE: Hold on — hold on, wait. Hold on, folks. Because we — this is going to end up getting out of control. Let’s try to keep it quiet so — for the candidates and for the American people.

TRUMP: So just to finish on the borders…

WALLACE: Yes?

TRUMP: She wants open borders. People are going to pour into our country. People are going to come in from Syria. She wants 550 percent more people than Barack Obama, and he has thousands and thousands of people. They have no idea where they come from.

And you see, we are going to stop radical Islamic terrorism in this country. She won’t even mention the words, and neither will President Obama. So I just want to tell you, she wants open borders.

Now we can talk about Putin. I don’t know Putin. He said nice things about me. If we got along well, that would be good. If Russia and the United States got along well and went after ISIS, that would be good.

He has no respect for her. He has no respect for our president. And I’ll tell you what: We’re in very serious trouble, because we have a country with tremendous numbers of nuclear warheads — 1,800, by the way — where they expanded and we didn’t, 1,800 nuclear warheads. And she’s playing chicken. Look, Putin…

WALLACE: Wait, but…

TRUMP: … from everything I see, has no respect for this person.

CLINTON: Well, that’s because he’d rather have a puppet as president of the United States.

TRUMP: No puppet. No puppet.

CLINTON: And it’s pretty clear…

TRUMP: You’re the puppet!

CLINTON: It’s pretty clear you won’t admit…

TRUMP: No, you’re the puppet.

CLINTON: … that the Russians have engaged in cyberattacks against the United States of America, that you encouraged espionage against our people, that you are willing to spout the Putin line, sign up for his wish list, break up NATO, do whatever he wants to do, and that you continue to get help from him, because he has a very clear favorite in this race.

So I think that this is such an unprecedented situation. We’ve never had a foreign government trying to interfere in our election. We have 17 — 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military, who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyberattacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin and they are designed to influence our election. I find that deeply disturbing.

WALLACE: Secretary Clinton…

CLINTON: And I think it’s time you take a stand…

TRUMP: She has no idea whether it’s Russia, China, or anybody else.

CLINTON: I am not quoting myself.

TRUMP: She has no idea.

CLINTON: I am quoting 17…

TRUMP: Hillary, you have no idea.

CLINTON: … 17 intelligence — do you doubt 17 military and civilian…

TRUMP: And our country has no idea.

CLINTON: … agencies.

TRUMP: Yeah, I doubt it. I doubt it.

CLINTON: Well, he’d rather believe Vladimir Putin than the military and civilian intelligence professionals who are sworn to protect us. I find that just absolutely…

We were warned by Hillary even though no government agency stepped up to clarify the situation.  Some of what we heard back then appears, more specifically, in what have come to be known as the Christopher Steele Memos.

There we learned, not only of Kremlin quid pro quos for the lifting of sanctions, as cited below, but also of potential ‘kompromat’ on Trump. (see p.9) Unfortunately, the media focused heavily on the ‘kompromat’ which involved some hanky-panky with prostitutes rather than on the bigger picture which included influencing U.S. voting blocs in order to get Trump elected so that sanctions could be lifted. The implication of that ‘kompromat’ is, of course, that Trump can be blackmailed to do anything the Kremlin wants.

Memos: CEO of Russia’s state oil company offered Trump associate, allies a stake if sanctions were lifted

While it remains true that these memos have not been verified, it is awfully spooky that these sanctions are being lifted.  Can we expect the Ukraine sanctions to fall next?

Oh, and by the way, subsequent to all of that there was this in October! No one knows who bought those shares.

The deal on the sale of a 19.5 percent stake in Russia’s largest oil producer Rosneft will bring Moscow some $11.1 billion in revenues, the company announced Saturday.

Hillary Clinton and her team tried to warn us. But, you know, emails, wikileaks, ‘flawed,’ ‘ill,’ and ‘shrill.’ Not the perfect (female) candidate – which is the enemy of not just the good, but of the best yet.

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The next time the ‘central committee’ sends up a flare, look in the other direction. That is where the damage will be occurring – in the shadows.  Watch this space!

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This is very personal for me, and I rarely get this personal.  I have been struggling to find a positive article to share here about Hillary’s donor thank-you event at the Plaza in NYC on Thursday night.  I have failed. There are articles out there, not the kind I would ever attach here, articles referring to her as glum, angry, dodgy, shifty, scapegoaty. I do not believe these articles reflect Hillary’s true “personal status” at this event, i.e. I believe they are more of the same bad press she has received throughout the 2016 campaign season.

Hillary wore Suffragette White (Before you beat me down – that is what it is called.  It is not called Suffragist White. So don’t start with me. My fuse is pretty short right now. My great-grand aunt was one, and she called herself a Suffragette. So just don’t. We can do without revisionist history right about now.) To thank her largest donors, she took to the podium to explain what she thought happened in this election.

The purpose of an event like this is accountability. When people have made an investment and the investment fails, they deserve an accounting of why and how that failure happened.  That, I believe, was the motivation behind this event. These were people who hosted fundraisers for Hillary and brought a great deal of funds into the campaign coffers. She felt she owed them an explanation.

Apparently Hillary delivered remarks in which she cited James Comey’s letter to Republican members of Congress, just 11 days prior to Election Day, as well as Russian hacking into various Democratic Party sites, including her campaign’s emails, as contributing factors. (So, wow! Seems the only safe server was Hillary’s own server about which the Republicans complained so vociferously.) Not to mention that Hillary pointed out this Russian factor at the final presidential debate which, unfortunately, I guess I entitled prophetically here. (So maybe I should just shut up.)

The night before Election Day, in Independence Hall Square, Hillary appeared to be the overwhelming winner in this contest.  For her to have to face her most powerful supporters and explain her loss was not humiliating. It was and remains confusing, shocking, and beyond reason considering that she won the popular vote by a 2.1% margin and more popular votes than any white male candidate has ever accumulated.

This loss was not Hillary’s loss. It was a loss for our diverse nation. It was a loss for Democrats. It was a loss for women as well as for little girls and boys whom she inspired. Most importantly, it was a loss for Americans, most of whom voted for Hillary, and was engineered by an adversarial state with a grudge to bear against Hillary as she plainly told her donors Thursday night. It was Putin’s revenge.

Was she glum? Was she angry? Was she casting blame? Why the hell shouldn’t she? We wuz robbed!

Please do not attach the negative articles about this event here. I have not found a single one  – and I have looked – that was positive.  So if you find a positive one, I welcome the discovery.

All you reporters out there who rode on her plane and now describe her with ugly adjectives, you should know better. You heard her issues, agenda, and plans. You should know better.

I am a pretty mad bitch right about now.  Stay clear. I bite.

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The Express is reporting that the Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election was likely prompted by Hillary’s charges of rigging in that country’s parliamentary elections in 2011.  At the time, Putin accused Hillary of  stirring up the protests that broke out in the wake of the elections.

Did Putin want REVENGE on Clinton for THIS? Ex-envoy says leader wanted Hillary reprisal

VLADIMIR Putin’s anger with Hillary Clinton could have been the cause of Russia’s alleged release of damaging Democratic party emails, according to a former ambassador to Russia.

PUBLISHED Mon, Dec 12, 2016

Vladimir Putin and Hillary Clinton

Getty

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) welcomes US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Both the CIA and the FBI indicated that Russia could have tried to influence the outcome of the recent presidential election in the USA.A government source told The New York Times: “We now have high confidence that they hacked the DNC [Democratic National Committee] and the RNC [Republican National Committee], and conspicuously released no documents [from the Republican party].”SNIPNow former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul has said that the release of the emails could have been sparked by Mr Putin’s desire for revenge over her criticism of the 2011 election that elected the 64-year-old.Read more >>>>

Some readers will remember this.

Hillary Clinton’s ‘Hard Choices’ Retrospective Part Four Chapter 11 Russia: Reset and Regression

August 25, 2014
If anyone tries to tell you she accomplished nothing or that the reset did not work,  show them this page.  She worked very hard to get this treaty and to get it ratified.  We are lucky.  This protects us all.

But as 2011 began with this extraordinary bi-national victory,  the tone shifted with the year drawing to a close.  As Hillary recounts, Russian parliamentary elections in December were marred by fraud reports,  and Putin announced his intention to run for the presidency again.

Hillary expressed concern about these reports, and when folks in Russia hit the streets to demonstrate their disapproval, Putin blamed her for the unrest.

At this OSCE conference Hillary quotes herself.

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at the OSCE

December 6, 2011

“The Russian people, like people everywhere, deserve the right to have their voices heard and their votes counted. And that means they deserve fair, free, transparent elections and leaders who are accountable to them.”

Although she argued to Putin that it was unlikely that people woke up and went into the streets because they thought she wanted them to, she does not completely reject the idea that she might have inspired some courage to protest.

Read more >>>>

So, yes, the voters, the electors, and the candidate and her enormous campaign team of staffers and volunteers do deserve the facts on the Russian incursion into our election.


Want to encourage your state electors and elected officials to sign on?  Here are some contact links.

Contact Your Elected Officials

Contact the Electors


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If you thought Paul Manafort’s ouster from the Trump campaign signaled a pivot away from Trump’s outreach to Putin, think again. Robby Mook has a message for you.   Manafort’s Russian/Ukranian ties were just a bump in the Trump road to the Kremlin.

Statement from Robby Mook on Manafort’s Resignation

Friday, Hillary For American Campaign Manager Robby Mook issued the following statement on the resignation of Trump’s Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort:

“Paul Manafort’s resignation is a clear admission that the disturbing connections between Donald Trump’s team and pro-Kremlin elements in Russia and Ukraine are untenable.  But this is not the end of the story.  It’s just the beginning.  You can get rid of Manafort, but that doesn’t end the odd bromance Trump has with Putin. Trump still has to answer serious questions hovering over his campaign given his propensity to parrot Putin’s talking points, the roster of advisers like Carter Page and Mike Flynn with deep ties to Russia, the recent Russian government hacking and disclosure of Democratic Party records, and reports that Breitbart published articles advocating pro-Kremlin positions on Ukraine.  It’s also time for Donald Trump to come clean on his own business dealings with Russian interests, given recent news reports about his web of deep financial connections to business groups with Kremlin ties.”

HFA also released a new video on Donald Trump’s tendency to echo Vladimir Putin’s talking points:


Read more for background >>>>

Also, if you think Trump is the only one conducting a purge, check this out.

Russia

Putin shakes things up in the Kremlin

On the 25th anniversary of the 1991 coup, Fiona Clark takes a look at what might be prompting Russian President Vladimir Putin’s shuffling of positions within the Kremlin walls.

Over the past few months Putin has been shaking things up a bit inside the Kremlin walls. But the question is, why? The most recent and high profile movement is the demotion of his long-time friend and ally, Sergei Ivanov, from his position as chief of Putin’s administration.

Ivanov has been at the president’s side since their days in the KGB in the 1970’s. When Putin was running the KGB’s successor, the FSB, Ivanov was his deputy and he took over from Putin when he moved into politics. He soon followed his leader to the Kremlin when Putin appointed him as defense minister and later deputy prime minister, and just over four years ago he stepped in to head up the administration. In terms of Kremlin hierarchy, he was said to be number 3. Now, as he moves to take up the role of “special presidential representative for environmental protection, ecology and transport” you’d be lucky to find a ticket with enough numbers on it to describe where he sits in the power pyramid.

This demotion may well an act of kindness by the president: Giving a man bereft with grief over the death of his son in 2014 a bit of space in a less high-profile position to recover. After all he has kept his position on the country’s Security Council. But it can equally be seen as one more demotion, firing, removal or sideways push as the president restructures departments and shuffles the deck chairs around.

Heads may roll

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Birds of a feather. Trump is Putin’s foot in the door of this election.  No matter what the UK and Irish bookies are saying about the U.S. election, Putin’s rubles are on Trump. How this can possibly sit well with the “America First” crowd defies logic and patriotism.

STAND

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We knew this was coming, of course.

Statement from Robby Mook on Trump Campaign Chair Pro-Kremlin Ties

After more reports of Donald Trump’s campaign chair’s ties to pro-Kremlin elements in Ukraine, Hillary for America Campaign Manager Robby Mook released the following statement:

“On the eve of what the Trump campaign has billed as a major foreign policy speech, we have learned of more troubling connections between Donald Trump’s team and pro-Kremlin elements in Ukraine.  Given the pro-Putin policy stances adopted by Donald Trump and the recent Russian government hacking and disclosure of Democratic Party records, Donald Trump has a responsibility to disclose campaign chair Paul Manafort’s and all other campaign employees’ and advisers’ ties to Russian or pro-Kremlin entities, including whether any of Trump’s employees or advisers are currently representing and or being paid by them.”

statement-fact-sheet-2

STAND

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From The Briefing

 

Trump and Putin admire each other:

Putin on Trump: “He is a bright and talented person without any doubt…an outstanding and talented personality…the absolute leader of the presidential race.”

Trump on Putin: “I think Putin’s been a very strong leader for Russia, I think he has been a lot stronger than our leader, that I can tell you.”

Trump’s inner circle has deep Russian ties. For example:

  • Campaign manager Paul Manafort worked closely to help elect pro-Putin Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who supported and enabled Putin’s intervention.
  • Advisor Carter Page has deep ties to Russian energy conglomerate Gazprom (and traveled to Russia shortly before the GOP platform was made more Russia-friendly)
  • Advisor Michael Flynn appears regularly on Russian government TV and is an honored guest at Kremlin functions
  • Advisor Michael Caputo once held a contract with Soviet media to improve Putin’s image in the U.S.

Russian officials and media openly prefer a Trump presidency:

In an interview, Trump was indifferent to the fact that Putin has had opponents jailed and journalists killed, saying, “At least he’s a leader.”Russian government TV networks are aligned with and devote extensive positive coverage to Trump (a tactic Putin has used to prop up other politicians). In this week’s New Yorker, David Remnick reports that “in Moscow, officials around Putin [believe] that Trump’s election would be welcome and would bring about better, less stressful, relations with the United States.” He also quotes a Moscow activist and broadcaster, whose words I’d like you to read directly:

“Putin wants the United States to be taken up with its own problems, and forget about things like Ukraine and Crimea,” Sergei Parkhomenko, an activist and broadcaster for Echo of Moscow, told me. “It seems to him that, if the United States elects Trump, all of America will be taken up for at least a year trying to ‘digest’ him.

“But there is a second reason,” Parkhomenko continued. “Putin is convinced that absolutely everything in this world is done for money. He is a religious fanatic, and money is his god. With money, it is possible to solve any problem, buy any interlocutor. He bought the Olympic Games, he bought the World Cup. It will be easy to deal with Trump. He won’t need to use words in negotiations, only figures. When they don’t agree, it will only be necessary to find the right price.”

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