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Monday, February 20, 2017

Trump, Arif, Sater, Milo, Epstein...and pedophilia

Milo Yiannopoulos -- Alt Right leader, influential Trump supporter, close associate of Steve Bannon, and keynote speaker at the CPAC conference, is on video appearing to advocate the legalization of sex between boys and older men.
“But you know what? I’m grateful for Father Michael. I wouldn’t give nearly such good head if it wasn’t for him,” Yiannopoulos replied, using a euphemism for male oral sex.
Milo angrily denies that he favors pedophilia, and his words deserve your respectful attention. He says that he has exposed pedophiles -- who happen to be linked to enemies of the Alt Right. This behavior seems motivated not by morality but by vengeance. The closing section of his denial is...strange.
I did say that there are relationships between younger men and older men that can help a young gay man escape from a lack of support or understanding at home. That's perfectly true and every gay man knows it. But I was not talking about anything illegal and I was not referring to pre-pubescent boys.
A 13 or 14 year-old boy is not pre-pubescent, but he is underaged. Like it or not, a sexual relationship between an older male and an underaged male is, by definition, illegal -- and every gay man knows that.

Trump and Epstein. Coincidentally, this brouhaha erupted just a short while after we learned that Trump's pick for labor secretary, Alexander Acosta, was the slimeball who made that inexcusable deal that let childfucker billionaire (and longtime Trump pal) Jeffrey Epstein off the hook, without informing Epstein's victims. Most people have forgotten that Trump was served with a subpoena in the Epstein case, even though Donnie later denied it. In fact, there is evidence which strongly suggests (but does not prove) that Epstein met his underaged lover Virginia Roberts via Donald Trump.

(I can guess what some of you are about to say: "But Bill Clinton...!" No. You've fallen for a widely-circulated fake news story, as I detail at length in this earlier post.)

Of course, we all recall how Trump liked to pop into the dressing rooms of pageant contestants, some of whom were as young as 15.

But that's not all. This incredibly important piece on Trump's Russian connections describes Trump's links to the shadowy Bayrock group. And yes, this investigative trail does lead back to allegations of pedophilia. Follow along:
Carelessness about due diligence with respect to potential partners and associates is one of Donald Trump’s more predictable qualities. Acting on the seat of the pants, he had hooked up with Bayrock rather quickly in 2005, becoming an 18 percent minority equity partner in the Trump SoHo, and agreeing to license his brand and manage the building.

Exhibit A in the panoply of former Trump business partners is Bayrock’s former Chairman, Tevfik Arif (aka Arifov), an émigré from Kazakhstan who reportedly took up residence in Brooklyn in the 1990s. Trump also had extensive contacts with another key Bayrock Russian-American from Brooklyn, Felix Sater (aka Satter), discussed below. Trump has lately had some difficulty recalling very much about either Arif or Sater. But this is hardly surprising, given what we now know about them.
A little bird tells me that Sater will figure very heavily is some news stories which will appear very soon -- perhaps tomorrow. Right now, though, I want to draw your attention to Arif:
As for Arif, his most recent visible brush with the law came in 2010, when he and other members of Bayrock’s Eurasian Trio were arrested together in Turkey during a police raid on a suspected prostitution ring, according to the Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot.

At the time, Turkish investigators reportedly asserted that Arif might be the head of a criminal organization that was trafficking in Russian and Ukrainian escorts, allegedly including some as young as 13. According to these assertions, big-ticket clients were making their selections by way of a modeling agency website, with Arif allegedly handling the logistics.
Emphasis added. For more on Trump's strong and undeniable links to Arif, see here.

Until now, nobody has suggested in print that the claimed Arif "escort" ring may link up with the Epstein case. Before you scoff at the idea, consider the following four points:

1. Many of the underaged girls in Epstein's "stable" came from eastern Europe. (See here and here.)

2. According to Virginia Roberts, Epstein used those women to obtain "kompromat" on politicians.

3. Tevfik Arif, Trump's business partner, has been accused not only of trafficking in underaged eastern European women, but of using them to "entertain" politicians and powerful businessmen. Again: Kompromat. 

4. Trump associated with both Arif and Epstein. The evidence linking Epstein to Trump is, in fact, far more copious than most people realize.

Bringing it all together. It seems as though Trump is guilty of every accusation he lobbed against Hillary Clinton in 2016. He called her a racist, he said that she was rigging the election, he assailed her for lack of transparency, he said that her foundation was crooked, he accused her of communicating in an insecure fashion, and he even called her a puppet of Vladimir Putin. Each of those claims turned out to be applicable to Trump himself.

Pizzagate may have been a similar exercise in mirror imaging. Although Pizzagate was a massive falsehood, a real pedophile scandal demands investigation. While we cannot (yet) tie this scandal directly to Trump himself, the trail leads to his associates. Not to Democrats, not to liberals, not the imaginary Evil Clinton Conspiracy: To Trump's associates.

Let's get back to Milo: How the hell can he justify working with someone like Steve Bannon, whose history on gay issues is pretty damned awful? How the hell can he rationalize his working relationship with the followers of Russian fascist Alexander Dugin (profiled glowingly by Infowars here), a man who thinks that America's tolerance of gay marriage proves that the U.S. is the kingdom of the Antichrist? Do you think that we all will soon be entertained by the spectacle of Milo defending Dugin on the topic of gay marriage while simultaneously defending "February/December" romances between boys and men?

There are neo-Nazis who hate Milo because he's gay. There are also Alt Rightists who refuse to concede that he is homosexual. I can't pretend to comprehend everything that goes in that world; all I know is that the Alt Right is one seriously screwed-up subculture -- and I wish to hell it had stayed sub.

Let's get back to Felix Sater. Just a few hours ago, Jake Tapper (in an apparent hint of things to come) counseled us to read up on Sater. All right: Let's do that. Start with David Corn, here.

If Josh Marshall has read the tea leaves correctly, Sater may soon become a household name. Sater, Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and the Putin government have been hammering out a Ukraine peace plan, which Sater gave to General Flynn just before his resignation. Why is this shocking? Because -- as indicated above -- Sater is a shady, sleazy character, and Trump has been trying to pretend that he has no real links to the guy.
Having spent some time studying the matter, the biggest red flags about Donald Trump's ties to Russia and businessmen around Vladimir Putin have always been tied to the Trump SoHo building project in Lower Manhattan, from the first decade of this century. I base my knowledge of this on this rather cursory but still quite good April 2016 article from the Times and my own limited snooping around the Outer Boroughs Russian and Ukrainian emigre press. (I summarized the most salient details of the earlier Times article in Item #3 of this post.) This was a key project, perhaps the key project in the post-bankruptcy era in which Trump appeared heavily reliant on Russian funds to finance his projects. Sater was at the center of that project. The details only came to light after the project got bogged down in a complicated series of lawsuits.

After the lawyers got involved, Trump said he barely knew who Sater was. But there is voluminous evidence that Sater, a Russian emigrant, was key to channeling Russian capital to Trump for years. Sater is also a multiple felon and at least a one-time FBI informant. Bayrock Capital, where he worked was located in Trump Tower and he himself worked as a special advisor to Trump. Again, read the Times article to get a flavor of his ties to Trump, the Trump SoHo project and Russia. For my money there's no better place to start to understand the Trump/Russia issue.

On its own, Trump's relationship with Sater might be written off (albeit not terribly plausibly) as simply a sleazy relationship Trump entered into to get access to capital he needed to finance his projects. Whatever shadowy ties Sater might have and whatever his criminal background, Trump has long since washed his hands of him. (Again, we're talking about most generous reads here.)

But now we learn that Sater is still very much in the Trump orbit and acting as a go-between linking Trump and a pro-Putin Ukrainian parliamentarian pitching 'peace plans' for settling the dispute between Russia and Ukraine.
Just how shady is Sater? This Miami Herald piece form 2012 is a must-read:
Now with the collapse of the posh Trump resort, lawyers are fighting to expose the background of the 46-year-old man who they allege stole millions from investors while he was given sweeping protections by prosecutors.

Sater is accused in a civil racketeering case of helping to hide millions from the failed Fort Lauderdale project — while paying $1.5 million to a former Mafia associate for his role in the deal.
Sater has dodged the legal repercussions of his acts by functioning as an informant for both the FBI and CIA.
While the court reels over the leaks, burned investors are angry about another issue: the judge’s decision to seal the racketeering charge — including Sater’s sentence.

Altschul, the lawyer for dozens of Trump tower buyers, said investors were deprived of knowing a key member of the development team had been steeped in financial crime with the mob.

“Do you honestly think they are going to invest in a project when you tell them that one of the people happens to have been involved with the mob? That’s insane,” he said.
Let's return to this piece.
Whatever Felix Sater has been up to recently, the key point is that by 2002, at the latest,19 Tevfik Arif decided to hire him as Bayrock’s COO and managing director. This was despite the fact that by then Felix had already compiled an astonishing track record as a professional criminal, with multiple felony pleas and convictions, extensive connections to organized crime, and—the ultimate prize—a virtual “get out of jail free card,” based on an informant relationship with the FBI and the CIA that is vaguely reminiscent of Whitey Bulger.
By then [2000] young Felix Sater was already well on his way to a career as a prototypical Russian-American mobster. In 1991 he stabbed a commodity trader in the face with a margarita glass stem in a Manhattan bar, severing a nerve. He was convicted of a felony and sent to prison. As Trump tells it, Sater simply “got into a barroom fight, which a lot of people do.” The sentence for this felony conviction could not have been very long, because, by 1993, 27-year-old Felix was already a trader in a brand new Brooklyn-based commodity firm called “White Rock Partners,” an innovative joint venture among four New York crime families and the Russian mob aimed at bringing state-of-the art financial fraud to Wall Street.

Five years later, in 1998, Felix Sater pled guilty to stock racketeering, as one of 19 U.S.-and Russian mob-connected traders who participated in a $40 million “pump and dump” securities fraud scheme. Facing twenty years in Federal prison, Sater and Gennady Klotsman, a fellow Russian-American who’d been with him on the night of the Manhattan bar fight, turned “snitch” and helped the Department of Justice prosecute their co-conspirators.22 Reportedly, so did Salvatore Lauria, another “trader” involved in the scheme. According to the Jody Kriss lawsuit, Lauria later joined Bayrock as an off-the-books paid “consultant.” Initially their cooperation, which lasted from 1998 until at least late 2001, was kept secret, until it was inadvertently revealed in a March 2000 press release by U.S. Attorney Lynch.

Unfortunately for Sater, about the same time the NYPD also reportedly discovered that he had been running a money-laundering scheme and illicit gun sales out of a Manhattan storage locker. He and Klotsman fled to Russia. However, according to the New York Times, which cited Klotsman and Lauria, soon after the events of September 11, 2001, the ever-creative Sater succeeded in brokering information about the black market for Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to the CIA and the FBI. According to Klotsman, this strategy “bought Felix his freedom,” allowing him to return to Brooklyn. It is still not clear precisely what information Sater actually provided, but in 2015 U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch publicly commended him for sharing information that she described as “crucial to national security.”
A short while ago, Maxine Waters got on MSNBC and announced that Trump is saying "stupid" things about the media "because of info about to come out on Russia." She also advised people to follow the money.


Remember, the Orbis dossier said that election shennanigans were being covertly funded by Russia via a network of Russian emigres in New York. Sater and Arif are Russian emigres.
I reread the Trump "dossier" last night. Per it, Trump had little involvement in corrupt (presumably dangled) business deals in Russia but accepted a flow of money for his campaign. That's rather hard to believe given what we know about Trump's Soho project etc. The dossier notes. however, that Trump was happy to use Russia as a cover for where the real crimes lay, bribery and corruption involving China and associates. Sometimes one has to exclaim, "You mean there's MORE?"
Talk about your criminal immigrants! Projecting again. We all knew it when he charged Hillary with not having the "temperament" to be president.

"Maxine Waters got on MSNBC and announced that Trump is saying 'stupid' things about the media 'because of info about to come out on Russia.' She also advised people to follow the money." Wow.

Can't wait for this next shitstorm. It's everyone's dream that der Donald gets taken down quickly.
I'm not comfortable criticising Milo for being a rape victim, or for joking about same. In that same recording he says he thinks the age on consent laws are right as they are now.

That recording is from 2015. Why is it coming up now?

Well, it's coming from the Reagan Battalion. Which is run by Evan McMullin, a few months ago a candidate for president, and described on his Twitter bio as a CIA operative.

Things keep getting weirder.
It seems as though Trump is guilty of every accusation he lobbed against Hillary Clinton in 2016.

This, 100%.

He is everything he--and, to a great extent, the far Left--claimed Hillary was.

Someday, I wish that the media would offer up an apology to Hillary, like David Brock did in the late 1990s after he turned against the GOP and their smears of both Clintons. But I doubt that the media would ever do such a thing.
I think Josh Marshall must read your blog:
More dossier investigation/supporting info, this on the money flow from the Kremlin via RU diplomats.

Trump Soho did rely on criminal cash, huge unexplained flows via Icelandic banks into Bayrock. All in public domain, try the NY Times story about the lawsuit settlement removing a criminal case.

I'm pretty sure Evan McMullin does NOT run the Reagan Battalion.
Milo Yiannopolous calls the very idea of consent "arbitary and oppressive". He clearly advocates sex between older men and children who have reached puberty, "cross-generational" sex as he agrees to call it. He says the men help the children "find out who they are" - meaning presumably that they turn their victims gay. In a table-thumping tone, he says that this shit particularly applies in the "homosexual world", i.e. to men with boys, not men with girls. What a disgusting fucker. Isn't there some law he can be locked up under?

I repeat: he calls the very idea of consent "arbitary and oppressive". Well without an idea of consent, there can be no concept or crime of rape, or of the age of consent.
b, it's pretty clear now that Milo wishes he had said something else. He's playing the "Here's what I MEANT to say" game -- and it's not going well.

I think that the "mentor" myth means a lot to some homosexuals. That myth explains why Gore Vidal was always so fascinated by the relationship between Billy the Kid and John Tunstall. And if you re-read Oscar Wilde's "love that dare not speak its name" speech, he seems to be talking about this kind of relationship, not about homosexuality per se.

As long as all parties are of age, I don't suppose any harm is done. Still, it's a little difficult for those outside of that subculture to understand the appeal of this imagery. Heterosexual men don't try to "mentor" the women in their lives, even when the women are younger.
By the way, it is cute to see Milo saying "Who ya gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?" This is a man who once embraced the idea that we now live in a post-fact culture. Why should we believe him when he says "I'm telling the truth NOW"?
Some more Trump cronyism links (including Jared Kushner) -- 1 2 3

Emptywheel also has a great post out on Stephen Miller and his call to the DOJ. Roll on police state.
Hahahaha haven't read something so ridiculous in a long time....looks like you know Hillary and all the others are about to go down huh?
Seems like Felix Sater was moved to respond to Adam Khan (who has documented in detail Trump's ties to Russia):

You don't have to subscribe to Twitter to see tweets, but here is text of Sater's message:

"I have been reading your tweets. You are completely wrong about the things you write about me. And if you even remotely scratch below the surface you will see that for your self. Either way. Wish you a Happy, Healthy and Joyous 2017 to you and yours."

Khan's timeline is worth checking out.

I find Sater's "good wishes" chilling. Thanks, Kathleen: Will check it out.
Milo actually seems to be playing a game of "here's what I ACTUALLY SAID", while his critics are relying on no-one actually checking, for example his explicit support for current age of consent laws.
Yes, Stephen. Just like Nixon, who said "But it would be wrong" when he suddenly remembered that the mics were hot.
Hard to figure the twisted moral calculus that Milo uses to rationalize his attitudes. Michael Hughes' assessment of him as a "Catholic guilt evangelist" is intriguing with regard to his homosexuality:

Also you might want to take a look at the strangely personal and emotional defense of Milo currently being mounted by University of Chicago professor Rachel Fulton Brown. Basically, she's comparing him to Jesus.

So Dump has multiple connections to underage sex trafficking... Likes to peep in on Teen Miss USA when they are dropping their panties. Hangs out with Jeffrey Epstein who trafficks in underage girls.... one of them apparently from his own Mar a Lago. Brags about liking girls on the young side like his pal Epstein. Travels to Russia in 2013 after saying all this shit. Wins U.S. presidency with Russian help and a cabinet full of fucks with Russian ties. Gets in office and immediately puts in place cabinet members who want to dismantle and destroy USA agencies and infrastructure they are put in charge of. LOL
Well, when you put it like that, Anonymous, it looks like Trump was right. He could shot someone dead in Times Square and no one would care.
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