Anonymous leaks that have turned out to be true
Does anyone know of a curated list of anonymous leaks and reports from within this administration that were denounced by the redcaps as fake news because of their anonymity but that have, over time, turned out to be corroborated and true?
Would love to see the curated list but dude... The psychology at play here that makes it nigh impossible to convince these idiots of how stupid they are, is insanely complicated.
I couldn't even begin to start unraveling it.
First and most simple one is they can't and never will want to admit they are wrong.
Worth noting two things:
1) no one will admit you were right during the argument, but you can undermine their faith and let their rational mind start to chip away at their assumptions over time.
2) you aren't necessarily arguing with the person, but rather trying to convince the audience of your side. You can swing people who are on the fence or uninformed.
Anonymous sources aren’t anonymous to the reporters they are speaking to. Any credible news source (NYT, WaPo, vanity Fair etc) will have corroborated the story and usually has vetted the source previously. I am not implying to take everyone at their word. Sometimes people act like anonymous sources are literally a story emailed to them out of the blue from an unknown sender with wild claims from a supposed first person point of view.
No actually they shouldn't. There is a massive difference between a credible institution claiming a source and an untrustworthy stranger or propoganda.
And the goal of fake news is not to get you to trust the latter but to get you to distrust the former. And you're taking the bait. The NYT for example has an unimpeachable track record with sources. Disrupting that trust undermines the value it weaves into the social fabric. Treating them as the same thing when they aren't is eating away at authority and credibility. Trust no one and we won't have any institutions.
Manafort is not cooperating against one person in particular—he has agreed to say everything he knows, and in order to receive a deal, he had to already begin doing so. Prosecutors don’t give deals until after the defendant provides useful info.
Here’s why this deal is pardon proof:Mueller spent the hour and a half delay in arraignment doing … something. It’s possible Manafort even presented the key parts of testimony Mueller needs from him to the grand jury this morning. The forfeiture in this plea is both criminal and civil, meaning DOJ will be able to get Manafort’s $46 million even with a pardon. Some of the dismissed charges are financial ones that can be charged in various states.
Remember, back in January, Trump told friends and aides that Manafort could incriminate him (the implication was that only Manafort could). I believe Mueller needed Manafort to describe what happened in a June 7, 2016 meeting between the men, in advance of the June 9 meeting. I have long suspected there was another meeting at which Manafort may be the only other Trump aide attendee.
And Manafort has probably already provided evidence on whatever Mueller needed.
EDIT: Added January claim link.
Should probably be titled "is not cooperating against any one person in particular" not "is not cooperating against one person in particular."
Very different connotations.
Took it directly from the tweet by Renato Mariotti.
I agree with you though.
Also, reminder that he did not become campaign manager until 11 days after the Trump Tower meeting.
Kushner, and Trump Jr. are the next (and closest) inner circle after Cohen and Manafort. This is about to get legendary.
Oh yes, and Pence. Directly picked by Manafort. I can't wait to find out why.
Just days after taking over as Trump's campaign chairman, Manafort sent an email to the Russians he owed vast amounts of money to asking, "How do we use [this] to get whole?" Looks as if Manafort did Russian's dirty work and found ways to collude with Russia in order to help pay off his massive debts and perhaps save his own life.
Holy shit could Manafort have been... assigned to Trump's campaign?
Full "Active Measures documentary" available on YouTube
Don't know how long this will stay up, but it's grimly fascinating. .
I know we all love free stuff and to download all of our media and stream without paying, but in order to have more of these kind of films in the future, think about paying for it.
, and helping the documentary filmmakers out, who are always poorly financed, will be greatly appreciated by them.
I can't bring myself to watch it. I already have enough pent up rage over this situation that watching it will be bad for my mental health.
I'm just hoping that some true patriots in the intelligence communities of various Western nations are quietly working out a solution to the Putin/Russian mob problem. I'm betting that politics in America would dramatically improve without Russian interference.
Oh god. I'm about a half-hour in and it's like a gut punch.
How the hell does a country like the USA elect such a scummy monster who was so obviously tied to Russian organized crime?
I was thinking the same way, before watching it last night. It's a fantastic doc that focuses more on the entire situation (mostly with Russia) rather than solely focusing on Trump and his campaign. 100% recommend watching.
BuzzFeed News reports that law enforcement is investigating Aras Agalarov's unusual transactions shortly after the Trump Tower meeting and the election
The documents show Aras Agalarov, a billionaire real estate developer close to both Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, at the center of this vast network and how he used accounts overseas to filter money to himself, his son, and at least two people who attended the Trump Tower meeting. ...
Now, four federal law enforcement officials told BuzzFeed News, investigators are focused on two bursts of transactions that bank examiners deemed suspicious: one a short time after the meeting and another immediately after the November 2016 presidential election.
The first set came just 11 days after the June 9 meeting, when an offshore company controlled by Agalarov wired more than $19.5 million to his account at a bank in New York.
The second flurry began shortly after Trump was elected. The Agalarov family started sending what would amount to $1.2 million from their bank in Russia to an account in New Jersey controlled by the billionaire’s son, pop singer Emin Agalarov, and two of his friends. The account had been virtually dormant since the summer of 2015, according to records reviewed by BuzzFeed News, and bankers found it strange that activity in Emin Agalarov’s checking account surged after Trump’s victory.
After the election, that New Jersey account sent money to a company controlled by Irakly “Ike” Kaveladze, a longtime business associate of the Agalarovs and their representative at the Trump Tower meeting. Kaveladze’s company, meanwhile, had long funded a music business set up by the person who first proposed the meeting to the Trump camp, Emin Agalarov’s brash British publicist, Rob Goldstone.
The transactions came to light after law enforcement officials instructed financial institutions in mid-2017 to go back through their records to look for suspicious behavior by people connected to the broader Trump-Russia investigation. The bankers filed “suspicious activity reports” to the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, which in turn shared them with the FBI, the IRS, congressional committees investigating Russian interference, and members of special counsel Robert Mueller’s team.
The article goes on to much more detail about the transactions and about the opaque financial network used by Trump's associates.
Oh snap. I wonder if this is why r memes and dankmemes and other similar subreddits have been pushing anti BuzzFeed memes the last week or so.
No dude that's buzzfeed, buzzfeed news is a rock solid entity that were contenders for this year's pulitzer prize. Dank memes and the other places /sub/t_d idiots frequent were attacking both but specifically buzzfeed news. They were the news outlet that first dropped the Steele Dossier on us, bless them.
The morning the buzzfeed attacking started was the day after buzzfeed news announced a new expose on the Trump Russia scandal, it was clearly coordinated.
There are some pretty obvious examples of memes being used to spread disinfo out there, you just gotta pay attention to the trends.
They're so transparent - they telegraph every move.
You mistaken Buzzfeed with Buzzfeed News. The former is the parent company of the latter.BuzzFeed News received a 2016 National Magazine Award in the category of Public Interest. Other awards won by BuzzFeed journalists include a 2014 National Press Foundation award 2015 Sidney Award 2017 British Journalism Award and 2018 George Polk Award. In addition, journalist Chris Hamby was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting.
Mueller's team reportedly suspected Papadpoulos's wife was/is a Russian spy
I just want to draw everyone's attention to this because I believe most people have wondered what's going on with George Papadpoulos's wife, Simona Mangiante.
The couple told ABC that Mueller's team suspected Simona of being a Russian spy. They added even George's family worried she was a Russian asset.
She was responding to a question from ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos about her interactions with the special counsel’s team, asking, “You were questioned, as well, by Robert Mueller’s team and from the start, they suspected you were a Russian agent. How did that manifest itself?”
Mangiante Papadopoulos responded, “I come from a political background myself. I used to work as a diplomat at the European Parliament for a few years and this could be a red flag because many officials at European Union actually -- it’s a cover-up for spy jobs.”
George Papadopoulos married Simona Mangiante in Chicago, March 2, 2018. She added that she understands their concern about her role as it relates to her husband, but has denied that she has any ties to Russia.
“Of course this connection was highly suspicious. I respect the, I always said I respect Mueller’s interest in my profile because clearly it’s quite alarming, the fact that I marry George Papadopoulos in the middle of this storm,” Mangiante Papadopoulos said.
...Papadopoulos said even his family was concerned about his romantic relationship and suspected his wife was a Russian spy.
“I think everyone was a little paranoid throughout this past year," Papadopoulos said. “And yes, you know, I think they thought that she might have been some sort of Russian spy. Of course I never believed anything like that. She’s just, I don’t think every beautiful blonde person necessarily has to be a Russian agent. You know, there are many blonde Italians as well.”
Anyone want to add examples that made you wonder about her? I'm at work right now but one example I have in mind is her television appearances asking Trump for a pardon; if someone wants to post some clips that'd be helpful.
This guy is an idiot for a lot of reasons, but it says a lot about his ego that he has no questions about why this HOT ITALIAN BLONDE (who can speak Russian because that’s a totally in-demand language) is so in love with him even with his pending felony conviction and diminished career prospects.
A very suspicious fact is that they didn't even meet until March 2017, after the FBI interviewed Papadopoulos and Mifsud. And remember that Mifsud already tried to honeypot Papadopoulos with "Putin's niece". Draw your own conclusions. There's tons of discussion here: https://www.reddit.com/sub/politics/comments/98cewq/george_papadopoulos_wife_is_trying_to_scrap_her/
his fucking family thought she was a russian agent so
Let's look at the timeline, shall we?
Papadopoulos learns he will become a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, with a focus on improving the US relationship with Russia. Emphasis mine.
In Italy, Papadopoulos meets an unnamed professor, based in London, who he understands has “substantial connections to Russian government officials”. The professor is uninterested in Papadopoulos until he learns that Papadopoulos has joined the Trump campaign.
March 31, 2016
Papadopoulos attends a national security meeting with Trump and other campaign advisers. He tells them he has connections that could help arrange a meeting between Trump and Putin. Trump posts a picture of the meeting to Instagram.
Papadopoulos claims he noticed Simona Mangiante on LinkedIn.
Not impossible, but seriously... what are the odds that a guy sends a message to a random woman on LinkedIn saying, "Hey there foxy lady, I think you're groovy and real gone" and that turns into a romance?
Who was the mutual connection? Joseph Mifsud – the same guy who told Papadopoulos he had dirt on Hillary Clinton. What a coincidence!
She only spent three months working for Mifsud — from September through November of 2016 — at the London Centre of International Law Practice.
Think about that timeline: in March 2016 Mifsud meets Papadopoulos and finds out he's working for Trump and five months later Mangiante has a job with Mifsud in London, where Papadopoulos works.
If we believe Papadopoulos, a month after she starts working there he randomly notices her photo and decides to hit on her over LinkedIn. Why on Earth would anyone do that, when they could just call Mifsud and ask "What do you know about your employee Simona? She's pretty! Is she married? Got a boyfriend? Any chance we could all go out for a drink one day after work?"
Mangiante and Papadopoulos first meet in person in New York, about seven months after they first started chatting on LinkedIn.
Who spends seven months chatting on LinkedIn, especially when both people live and work in London? If this was a real flirtation, did it seriously never occur to them to go get coffee or a cocktail somewhere? They never met in seven months, not even attending the same business event, or running into each other on the street?
They then spend the summer traveling through Europe, Greece, and Italy. That's some expensive traveling for a "coffee boy". Where did they get the money for all that?
Papadopoulos pleads guilty.
March 6, 2018
Papadopoulos marries Mangiante.
I know truth is stranger than fiction, but this is a lot stranger than the typical boy-meets-girl story.
The 332 people connected to the Russia probes
Very nice page showing everyone evolved in the Russian investigation. Seems like they update it frequently
This is an extremely thorough list. I love it. Going to go through it and get more acquainted.
Question, why do they have Clapper & Brennan under "Democrats". Does anyone have sources for this, as I've never seen it substantiated.
Including link in the Mega-thread.
this is pretty grand
this is an amazing collection to navigate through.
We should see if all those suspected witches float.
Papadopoulos to be sentenced at 3pm today
This will be the 2nd sentencing resulting from the Mueller investigation. The first being Alex van der Zwaan.Total Special Counsel Actions by Type, and Total Special Counsel Charges Type Number Charge Type Amount Charges 218 ⇶ ⇶ ⇶ ⇶ Aggravated identity theft 118 Indictments 38 Assisting in the preparation of false tax returns 5 Subpoenas 5+ S Bank fraud 8 Grand Jury Subpoenas 18+ P Bank fraud conspiracy 10 Grand Jury Testimony 12 E Conspiracy against the United States 2 Private Interviews 40 C Conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States 13 Questioning by FBI 14 I Conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud 3 Search Warrants 9 A Conspiracy to defraud the United States 16 Arrests 3 L Conspiracy to launder money 12 Guilty Pleas 6 Conspiracy to obstruct justice 2 Guilty Verdicts 1 C Failure to report foreign bank and financial accounts 7 Sentences 2 O False and misleading FARA statements 1 Past Trials 1 U False statements 5 Current trials 0 N Filing a false amended return 1 Future trials 3 S Filing false tax returns 5 U.S. Nationals 5 E Identity fraud 1 Dutch Nationals 1 L Obstruction of justice 2 Russian Nationals 14 Subscribing to false tax returns 5 Russian Organizations 3 Unregistered agent of a foreign principal 2 GRU Officers 12 -
EDIT: Fixed up the chart for clarity
In Mueller's "statement of the offense," the special counsel wrote that Papadopoulos "made material false statements and material omissions during an interview with the [FBI]" on January 27, 2017.
It explained that Papadopoulos said his interactions with an overseas professor, who claimed to have "dirt" on then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and who the former adviser knew had "substantial connections" to Russian government officials, occurred before he joined Trump's campaign team.
"In truth and fact, however," Mueller wrote, "Papadopoulos learned he would be an advisor to the Campaign in early March and met the professor on or about March 14, 2016," adding that the professor had only taken interest in Papadopoulos "because of his status with the campaign."
Papadopoulos also claimed to have met a female Russian national before joining Trump's campaign, also in March. Despite claiming to have had limited interactions with the woman, the former adviser had "sought to use her Russian connections over a period of months in an effort to arrange a meeting between the campaign and Russian government officials," Mueller wrote.
"Through his false statements and omissions [Papadopoulos] impeded the FBI's ongoing investigation into the existence of any links or coordination between individuals associated with the campaign and the Russian government's efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election," according to the special counsel.
The sentencing of Papadopoulos, 31, will tie up one loose end in the special counsel’s sprawling investigation, and signals Papadopoulos's cooperation is no longer needed in the investigation.
Court filings told the curious story of a young aide who misled FBI agents during a January 2017 interview about his contacts with a professor, later identified as Joseph Mifsud, who claimed substantial connections to the Russian government and who told Papadopoulos that the Russians possessed “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails” — months before hacked Democratic emails began to leak on the web.
In their sentencing memo to the judge released last Friday, lawyers for Papadopoulos also claimed the future president "nodded with approval" when, at a March 2016 meeting that included then-campaign adviser Jeff Sessions, Papadopoulos offered to arrange a get-together with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
So, like, right now? I'm no president* or anything, but I think I understand time zones all right.
Wait, what?! Muller brought 218 charges against just Papadopoulos??
I think that is a synopsis of the entire investigation, not just Papa.
edit: I think the mods should add a title to it so it is more obvious what the information is
The New York Times published an anonymous op-ed written summarizing the chaos in the White House. It was written by a senior White House official.
I think this is a fairly important piece: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/05/opinion/trump-white-house-anonymous-resistance.html
It describes the chaos within the Administration and efforts undertaken to stymie Trump's insanity. The NYT claims the piece was written by a senior White House official and they very rarely publish anonymous op-eds.
There is no mention of the Mueller investigation. But, the person writing this is probably not allowed to discuss that matter and the consequences of doing so could be severe.
The White House's response to this should be entertaining and sad.
Edit: Naturally, I a word in the title.
My problem with it is that if they have these problems with him, they should invoke the 25th. The opposition isn’t hell bent on removing him because he’s R, it’s because he’s a danger to the country and it’s citizens. We don’t elect administration officials, we elect the President, and of he’s unfit it is their constitutional duty to remove him. An anon op ed is just utter bullshit and another smoke screen so they can continue to pursue their agenda and hope they can contain him. They are complicit in his actions and they know it. These aren’t adults in the room. They are fearful children protecting their political careers and damning us all in the process.
So basically, the WH staff have the same philosophy as the rest of the party: he's nuts and out of his depths, but as long as he supports tax cuts for corporations/billionaires, will help overturn Roe v. Wade, and will help destroy any environmental protections, we're all in. Great. Think we knew that already.
Enabling is a really useful concept from addiction recovery that applies here.
People try and “help” an addict by giving them money, or letting them live in their house. Things that protect the addict from the consequences of their action.
Like you have a son on drugs, and he says “I’m sorry. I need rent money or I’m going to get evicted.” And you don’t want him to be homeless so you pay his rent and he swears he’s learned his lesson.
Well the only lesson he’s learned is “I can get my rent paid if I need it, so I can spend that money on drugs.”
Consequences are how we learn. Touch a hot stove, get burned. When you protect an addict from consequences, you’re just setting them up to experience worse consequences later.
These staffers are enabling Trump. If Trump was actually treated like a real president and the government followed his orders, he’d have been impeached ten times over.
The problem with enabling someone is that when the fall comes, it’s a much worse shock, and the consequences are much much harsher.
Except in this case, it’s not just Trump who will feel the shock. It’s the whole world. At some point this administrative coup will fail and the effects will not be minor.
The person in this op-ed is admitting to a coup-d’état. This should be reassuring to no one. This is a dire warning of much worse to come.
In a way, I'm glad that it leaves out the Mueller Investigation. There's plenty of corruption and idiocy to keep track of outside of that investigation.
What We Learned in the Russia Probe: Week of Aug 26 - Sept 1
New Tl;dr section at the very end. I tried to strip the recap down to the most important points (it's subjective, because what I consider most important another person might now) - so if you need the main points in about 10 sentences, skip to the end. Constructive criticism always welcome!
Housekeeping:Shameless plug: My spreadsheet of all departures from the Trump administration (382 so far). I made a subreddit where I post updates to the spreadsheet, here. And a link to my twitter. There’s a mailing list for notifications when this review is posted plus a link. To be added, send me PM with your email address. If you signed up already, check the spam folder just in case If you’d like to donate a dollar a month, I’d appreciate it: patreon. Recaps will continue regardless.
On to the review...
Week of Aug 26 - Sept 1: What We Learned in the Russia Probe
Another foreign agent. Sam Patten, a former associate of Paul Manafort, pleaded guilty to failing to register in the U.S. as a foreign agent while lobbying on behalf of a pro-Russian Ukrainian political party. One of the charges Patten admitted to was funneling foreign money to Trump's inaugural committee.Patten's Ukrainian oligarch client wished to attend Trump's inauguration, but could not buy tickets with foreign money. To get around the restriction, Patten used a "straw" buyer to purchase the tickets. The case was referred to the U.S. attorney's office in DC by Mueller's office. As part of the plea deal, Patten agreed to cooperate as a witness in Mueller's investigation. Patten previously worked on microtargeting voters for Cambridge Analytica during the 2014 midterm elections. Patten also has close connections with Konstantin Kilimnik, Manafort’s longtime fixer in Ukraine suspected of having ties to Russian intelligence.
Suspicious transactions. Buzzfeed obtained more details on two of “dozens” of suspicious financial transactions by Russian diplomats made in 2016-2017. The first was a $120,000 payment to then-ambassador Sergey Kislyak 10 days after the 2016 election. The second was an attempt to withdraw $150,000 in cash just five days after Trump’s inauguration, which was ultimately blocked.The first transaction of $120,000 was marked “payroll” from the Russian embassy to Kislyak. He deposited the check into his Citibank account 10 days after the election and wired the money to his Russian account. While the check was described as Kislyak’s 2016 salary in a lump sum, alarms were raised because it was in fact “more than twice as large as any the embassy had given Kislyak in the past two years.” His 2014 and 2015 salary was around $50,000. The Russian embassy asked to withdraw $150,000 cash on January 25th, 2017, days after Trump’s inauguration. Typically, the embassy only took out $30,000 in cash each month. The Citibank manager was suspicious that they were asking for such a large amount. When asked, embassy officials said it “was going to be used to pay the salaries of employees who had been transferred out of America in December 2016.” Obama had recently expelled 35 Russian spies. The Citibank officer asked for names of the individuals who would be receiving the money and questioned why people in Russia needed cash taken out in America. Embassy officials never responded and the matter was eventually dropped. Buzzfeed’s previous reporting on the subject detailed other suspicious transactions involving the Russian embassy, “including a $29,000 wire transfer to the embassy's US bank account to “finance election campaign of 2016”; $325,000 in payments to the Russian Cultural Centre in Washington; and $2.4 million paid to small home-improvement companies controlled by a Russian immigrant living in Virginia.” Kislyak is all over the Trump-Russia investigations. “After failing to disclose during his confirmation hearings a meeting with Kislyak, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation. Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, discussed with Kislyak setting up a line of communication at the Russian Embassy. And Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser, pleaded guilty last year to lying to the FBI about multiple calls to Kislyak during the transition.” Kislyak was also in the Oval Office with Trump and Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov the day after Trump fired James Comey. Trump revealed classified Israeli intelligence and bragged about firing Comey, whom he called "crazy" and "a real nutjob."
Papadopoulos update. Former policy adviser George Papadopoulos decided to stick to his plea deal with Mueller after weeks of his wife casting doubt on the agreement. In his sentencing document, released later Friday, Papadopoulos admitted to lying to the FBI and asked for leniency. Additionally, his lawyers laid out significant accusations against Trump and Sessions: when George told campaign officials he could arrange a summit between Trump and Putin, “ Mr. Trump nodded with approval and deferred to Mr. Sessions who appeared to like the idea and stated that the campaign should look into it."Papadopoulos’ statement contradicts Sessions’ sworn testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, where the AG said that he “pushed back” on the prospect of a summit. Prosecutors are asking the judge to sentence Papadopoulos to up to six months in jail. Papadopoulos is requesting a year of probation, which he has already served - thus, he would be free. His sentencing is scheduled for September 7.
Manafort trial. Paul Manafort filed a motion to change the venue of his upcoming second trial from Washington D.C. to Roanoke, Virginia. The reason? His lawyers say he won't get a fair trial due to the "heightened pretrial publicity" and the political preferences of D.C. residents.As evidence, they cite the result of the 2016 election: In D.C., 90.9% of voters chose Clinton over Trump, whereas in Roanoke City 56.1% chose Clinton over Trump. When compared to the wider Roanoke County area, Trump's lead widened to 61.5 points to Clinton's 33.5. Manafort previously tried to move his first trial to Roanoke and was denied. The presiding judge in his second trial, Amy Berman Jackson, "said that the District Court in D.C. has heard cases that sparked national interest before, potentially implying that she may follow Ellis' lead and deny the request."
Manafort plea? The Wall Street Journal reported that Manafort had attempted to reach a plea deal on charges against him in his upcoming second trial, but negotiations broke down. The talks occurred when the jury in his first trial was deliberating. It is unclear exactly what issues led to the termination of discussions.
Giuliani's admission. Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, admitted his true goal is and has been to undermine Mueller’s investigation. In a profile by the New York Times, Giuliani stated “with evident satisfaction” that “Mueller is now slightly more distrusted than trusted, and Trump is a little ahead of the game...So I think we’ve done really well.”As Aaron Blake of WaPo sums up nicely: “Giuliani isn’t just saying that the investigation is illegitimate...He’s admitting that job No. 1 is to undermine the man in charge of it. It’s the end that justifies all the unholy means. It’s the thing that makes him a good lawyer for his client..”
Kavanaugh recusal. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will reportedly not commit to recuse himself from Trump or Mueller-related matters, “including a possible constitutional fight over a subpoena of the president.” His confirmation hearing is set to begin Tuesday, September 4.Furthermore, documents from Kavanaugh’s time as a lawyer in the Bush administration show he believes there are "constitutional problems" with limits on campaign contributions to political candidates.
McGahn exit. Trump tweeted that White House Counsel Don McGahn will be leaving his position this fall, “shortly after the confirmation (hopefully) of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court.” While the prospect of his exit has been discussed previously in the media, McGahn was reportedly unaware that Trump planned to tweet about it and “was surprised.”The announcement comes after Trump’s legal team learned that McGahn had spent 30 hours providing interviews for Mueller’s investigation. Trump and McGahn have often come to odds; McGahn opposed Trump pardoning Paul Manafort and threatened to resign when Trump asked him to fire Mueller last year. McGahn himself has stated he hopes Emmett Flood will succeed him, but the Washington Post reported on Friday that Trump is interviewing Pat Cipollone as a replacement. Cipollone is a former Justice Department attorney who practices commercial litigation in D.C. Surprisingly, the NYT reported that last year Trump “asked Rob Porter, then the staff secretary, several times last year if he would be willing to take over for Mr. McGahn.” Porter did not take the job and was eventually ousted over accusations of spousal abuse.
Confession? Thursday morning, Trump (accidentally?) admitted to trying to fire both Mueller and Jeff Sessions by tweeting: “I am very excited about the person who will be taking the place of Don McGahn as White House Counsel! I liked Don, but he was NOT responsible for me not firing Bob Mueller or Jeff Sessions. So much Fake Reporting and Fake News!” Trump has previously denied trying the fire Mueller, but there has been no reporting that McGahn, specifically, stopped Trump from firing Sessions, so it is not clear what report he is referring to there.
Holt accusation. Also Thursday morning, Trump tweeted an unfounded accusation against NBC’s Lester Holt, saying, “When Lester Holt got caught fudging my tape on Russia, they were hurt badly!” This refers to the interview where Trump admitted to firing Comey because of the Russia investigation. Trump provided no evidence to support his accusation.The Holt tape may likely be key to Mueller’s obstruction of justice probe. Trump said in the Holt interview, “regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey knowing there was no good time to do it And in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself — I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. It’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won.”
DOJ and FBI
Flipping Russians. The New York Times reported that the Justice Department and the FBI worked together between 2014-2016 to try to turn Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska into an informant. At first, they only hoped to get information on Russian organized crime. After Trump announced his candidacy and warning signs began to appear, the agents and lawyers wanted Deripaska to shed some light of possible Russian aid to Trump’s campaign.Involved in this effort were two men that have been the target of vicious attacks by Trump: Bruce Ohr and Christopher Steele. The two first met to discuss flipping Deripaska seven months before Trump announced his presidency, undermining any accusation that the two were conspiring against Trump. However, the two men knew each other since the mid-2000s, when Steele was in MI6. While Ohr was one of many representing the U.S. government, Steele was involved as an independent actor, “[serving] as an intermediary between the Americans and the Russian oligarchs they were seeking to cultivate.” Steele had built up a large amount of information and significant contacts after retiring and opening a business intelligence firm. FBI agents turned up announced at Deripaska’s New York home in September 2016 to question him about the Kremlin’s connections to Paul Manafort, who previously worked with Deripaska. Reportedly, Deripaska denied Manafort had links to high level Russian officials. Efforts to turn him into an informant were ultimately unsuccessful. Ohr and Steele met for breakfast in the summer of 2016, where Steele told Ohr about his work on the Trump-Russia dossier. Reminder: The investigation into Russian collusion was started by George Papadopoulos drunkenly chatting up an Australian diplomat, not by the dossier. Additionally, the FBI did not first receive the dossier from Ohr.
Bruce Ohr’s testimony. The AP reported during that breakfast between Steele and Ohr (see above) Steele told Ohr that Russian intelligence believed it had Donald Trump ‘over a barrel’. People familiar with the conversation also told the AP that Ohr learned Carter Page had met with higher-level Russian officials than Page previously acknowledged.Ohr testified before lawmakers in a closed-door interview this past week, where he detailed these events. Ohr stated that his communications with Steele were approved by former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, but he did not inform his direct supervisor at the time, Sally Yates. Jeff Sessions and Rod Rosenstein re-assigned him to a different position, but the DOJ would not comment on the situation. Bruce Ohr has “made a career of supporting and facilitating important cases that targeted Russian organized crime,” and is well-liked in the DOJ and FBI. Earlier last week, the NYT published a piece about his work that is worth a read.
Sessions update. Tuesday, we learned that Trump has privately rekindled discussions of firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions again with aides and lawyers. While the latter feel that Trump will hold off on firing Sessions for now, many are resigned to Sessions being fired following midterm - including congressional republicans, who have long portrayed Sessions’ firing as a red line not to be crossed.At a rally Thursday, Trump promised to "get involved" if the Justice Department and FBI don't start "doing their job and doing it right." Based on previous statements, doing their job “right” would seem to entail ending the Russia investigation that he refers to as a “rigged witch hunt.”
More Russian Connections
Disinformation fight. The Global Engagement Center, a State Department unit created two years ago to fight Russian disinformation campaigns, still has not received the funding dedicated by Congress in 2016. The Huffington Post explains, “even if some money comes through for the Global Engagement Center before the end of the fiscal year, it will now be just one-sixth of the amount originally directed to the center...Foreign policy experts suggest that the funding delay is a combination of previous disinterest at the State Department and current foot-dragging at the Defense Department.”
McCain. Russian lawmakers and media reacted to Sen. John McCain’s death, some with joy due to the late Senator’s hardline stance on Russia. The following are some quotes:Oleg Morozov, member of the Federation Council’s Foreign Affairs Committee: “The enemy is dead… May the Lord accept his dark soul and determine its future.” Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov: “He stood out among American politicians for his inexplicable and incomprehensible resentment of Russia.” Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the Federation Council’s Foreign Affairs Committee: “His only ideology was to ‘defend your own and attack others,’ where the only criterion was loyalty to America and American interests, and not the criteria of peace, good and justice.”
Must read. The Daily Beast published a great article providing insight into Russia's strategy when it comes to the U.S. It is too complex to adequately sum up here, so I encourage everyone to read it: The Real Reason Russia Is Rooting for Republicans in the Midterms. Here are a few choice quotes:"With respect to the sanctions, Russian experts see them as Trump’s “pre-election trump cards,” a set of measures designed to make him look “tough on Russia” in the run-up to midterms. Kremlin experts believe that most of these measures are being proposed just for show and will never materialize. Indeed, the Russians don’t perceive the Republicans as a viable threat." "The Kremlin is interested in having the U.S. withdraw from the world stage, giving up its role as the dominant superpower, retreating to domestic affairs and global commerce, including a radical 180-degree shift from sanctions to business dealings with Russia. 'With Americans, it’s all very clear,' said Russian state TV host Evgeny Popov. 'In Iowa or someplace in Montana, they’re more concerned with the price of corn or beef than Crimea'.” "Pro-Kremlin experts and propagandists have no doubt that the Republicans will fall in line with Trump’s agenda, unless they’re “suicidal” in terms of their political prospects. "
Voting problems. During Arizona’s primary on Tuesday, polling sites were plagued by computer issues that delayed openings in 95 precincts, affecting up to 270,000 voters. Arizona Central reports “voters at these locations were turned away or had to wait, in some cases, more than three hours to cast ballots.”Voters reported various issues including many computers at the polling sites not being set up, computers unable to print ballots, and machine readers unable to read printed ballots. The county recorder’s office blamed the problems on a contractor, but the contractor disputed the claim. Compounding the problem, the Maricopa County officials refused to extend hours at polling locations to make up for the hours-long delay in opening so many polling locations.
More Georgia shenanigans. Buzzfeed obtained an internal email sent June 16 indicating that Georgia is blocking all foreign traffic to its online voter registration site. As experts explain, the move that is meant to prevent foreign hackers from accessing the site actually does the opposite: “Georgians abroad who don’t know how to reroute their internet traffic with tools like virtual private networks (VPNs) or Tor will be prevented from registering to vote.”The president of the US Vote Foundation explains: “This won't really do anything to dissuade a hacker. It will only turn away real voters...A hacker, or even a determined voter, will just get onto a VPN and to a US IP address, and guess what? They’re in.” More: “Georgia’s election setup is one of the most criticized in the country. It’s one of the few states that both produces no paper trail in any county and conducts no statistically significant audits, a situation that the Department of Homeland Security has described as a national threat. Earlier this year, despite receiving some federal assistance money, the state legislature rejected a plan to replace its voting machines with ones that could be audited.”
New poll. A Washington Post-ABC News poll last week revealed 60% of Americans disapprove of Trump, while 49% think Congress should begin impeachment proceedings against him. 63% of Americans support Mueller's investigation and 53% believe Trump "tried to interfere with Mueller's investigation in a way that amounts to obstruction of justice."
Secret Russia expert. Fox News has been interviewing former Justice Department Official Robert Driscoll on matters related to Trump, Mueller, and the various investigations, without revealing a key piece of information: Their “Russia expert” Driscoll is representing accused Russian spy Maria Butina.Withholding this information from viewers is okay because, according to Driscoll, Butina is being prosecuted by a D.C. federal attorney, not Mueller. “Fox News' top programming executive tells NPR the network is now reminding producers of its aim to make all relevant disclosures.”
Giuliani lobby. Giuliani was paid by a global consulting firm to lobby the Romanian president. Last week, Giuliani sent a letter to Romanian President Klaus Iohannis criticizing the government's crackdown on high-level corruption. While the letter does not claim to be endorsed by Trump, it contradicts the official position of the U.S. government, which has been supportive of Romania's fight against corruption.
Too long; didn’t read section
Sam Patten, a former associate of Paul Manafort, pleaded guilty to failing to register in the U.S. as a foreign agent - he funneled money from Russia/Ukraine to Trump's inaugural committee. Feds are investigating suspicious transactions made from the Russian embassy to Russia diplomats days after Trump’s election & inauguration. George Papadopoulos sentencing document states Trump and Sessions were supportive of a Trump-Putin summit during the campaign, contradicting Sessions’ sworn testimony. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will reportedly not commit to recuse himself from Trump or Mueller-related matters.
The DOJ and the FBI worked together between 2014-2016 to try to turn Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska into an informant. Christopher Steele told Bruce Ohr that Russian intelligence believed it had Donald Trump ‘over a barrel’ and that Carter Page had met with higher-level Russian officials than previously acknowledged. A State Department unit created two years ago to fight Russian disinformation campaigns still has not received the funding dedicated by Congress in 2016. A new poll revealed 60% of Americans disapprove of Trump, while 63% of Americans support Mueller's investigation.
I don't know what's more absurd, that such egregious and shameless corruption is normalized in America, or that I've spoken to people who think this is all a fake news witch hunt.
I love the weekly summary. I ignore all other noise and wait for this. It provides perspective. Keep up the good work.
Thanks for reading!
Both are equally abhorrent
Kansas Supreme Court agrees a citizen initiated grand jury must be impaneled to investigate Kris Kobach
Kansas is one of six states that allows citizens to initiate grand juries. This decision is the latest in a year full of legal disappointments stemming from Kobach’s lack of candor, lobbying for unconstitutional laws and profiting from local government while taxpayers pay millions defending said unconstitutional laws, and overt racial bias.
Petition to summon a grand jury: http://www.kscourts.org/Cases-and-Opinions/opinions/CtApp/2018/20180608/118410.pdf
My guess is Kris KKKobach is not happy to have a grand jury investigation going on during campaign season. Not that that will matter. As an 18 year resident of Kansas I can tell you that it has some of the dumbest voters I have ever met. I'd say Kobach has about an 80% chance of being elected governor. Hope I'm wrong but at this point I don't give a fuck.
Yes, it always had legs. Albeit, the tiny, slow moving, caterpillar-like legs of the legal system.
Two Article III Judges determined he: -lacked candor -lacked truthfulness -violated his oath as an officer of the court https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.ksd.110435/gov.uscourts.ksd.110435.539.0.pdf
His voter ID law was struck down (and he was ordered to six hours continuing education) https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.ksd.110435/gov.uscourts.ksd.110435.542.0_1.pdf
How Kobach is still allowed to practice law is beyond me.
Pardon my ignorance. Does this have legs now? Is it going to happen or is this just signaling?
Yes Kansan Kris Kobach or kkk for short is a national embarrassment. He’s Brownback and trump combined with x2 hate multiplier. He went full President Camacho from idiocracy at old Shawnee days, in an American flag painted Jeep with a non functioning 50 cal mounted on the back in true yee-hawdi fashion. With any luck Laura Kelly will be our next governor, I really hope Orman doesn’t split the left and hand it to kkk.