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Sunday, March 05, 2017

Trump is right

Trump is right: Immigrants can indeed be scumbags. For an excellent case study, please review this biography of an immigrant who fled his home country in order to escape military service. A career criminal, this foreigner became a pimp and a brothel-keeper, making a fortune through the exploitation of American women. His progeny turned out to be men of even lower character.

Tony Blair...working for Trump? File this one under "WTF": 
The former Prime Minister held talks with Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner on Wednesday with a view to becoming a Middle East peace envoy for Trump.

This newspaper has learned that Blair and Kushner have met three times in secret since September, including their three-hour summit in the West Wing last week.

If Trump gives Blair the new role, it would mark an astonishing international comeback for the man whose reputation was left in tatters after the Iraq War.
Remember when we were told that Donald Trump's election would represent a triumph against the forces of neo-conservatism? Remember how we kept hearing that bullshit even after Trump aligned himself with General Flynn, the partner of arch-neocon Michael Ledeen? Remember?

The Master Conspirator. Jon Favreau (former Obama speechwriter, not the director) offered a superb observation...
Barack Obama's master plan:
1) Wiretap the opposition
2) Gather damaging info
3) Say nothing
4) Let him win
5) Ride off into the sunset
I'd take things further: Obama was so cautious, so unwilling to be seen as "partisan," that he (arguably) became a Trump enabler. Not that Favreau would ever say anything like that.

Why aren't more people paying attention to Wilbur Ross? For more on this tributary of the great Russiagate river, go here. DCReport is the brainchild of David Cay Johnston.
These relationships between nominee Ross and the oligarchs involve ownership and management of a European bank with a reputation for laundering Russian money and making bad loans.

The study also compared flight records of Trump’s campaign plane and a plane used by one of the oligarchs. During the campaign, the two planes often were at the same airports at the same time.
Jeff Sessions had only a couple of meetings with the Russian ambassador. Ross deserves far greater scrutiny than he has heretofore received.
Ross and his team invested more than $1 billion in the troubled Bank of Cyprus. Ross became one of two vice chairman of the bank. Putin appointed the other.
The Bank of Cyprus became the place for Russian oligarchs to park their loot. Scott Dworkin, one of the key Russiagate investigators, has found Trump links to this same bank.
We found Trump Construction Co Ltd filed in Cyprus—2008
We found a 2nd company in Cyprus-the Russian tax haven-named: UA Trump International Investments Limited
Nota Bene: Trump doesn't need to name every one of his companies after himself. His pride will be his undoing.

Leaker-in-Chief. Christo Grozev tweeted an interesting observation:
In same week @realDonaldTrump accused "deep state" of illegal leaking, he issued either (a) a huge illegal leak or (b) an impeachable lie.
The "illegal leak" bit is a reference to the Obama "tapp" claim. The counterargument here would be that Trump has the authority to declassify anything he likes.

You know who else had the authority to declassify material (within her department)? Hillary Clinton. Thus, even if she had sent messages containing classified information -- which she did NOT, despite Mike Pence's recent repetition of that false claim -- so what? She had the authority to declassify.

Rabid Roger. Roger Stone went on a very weird Twitter rant on Saturday. One website refers to his tirade as "unhinged." Some have accused him of tipsy-tweeting, although I personally doubt that he made that error.

In one of his outbursts, which he apparently deleted, he said something about a "perfectly legal back channel to Assange." What the hell is all that about? Sure, we all know that Roger has made vague suggestions along these lines previously -- but what, specifically, is the story?

For more, see here:
One of a series of profanity-filled tweets Mr Stone sent during an argument on Twitter said: “you stupid stupid b***h – never denied perfectly legal back channel to Assange who indeed had the goods on #CrookedHillary [sic]”

In another tweet to the same person, he said: “bring it! Would enjoy crush u in court and forcing you to eat s**t – you stupid ignorant ugly b***h ! [sic]”

Mr Stone has called the FBI’s investigation into whether there was improper contact between the Trump campaign and Russian officials a “witch hunt.”

He suggested the FBI was monitoring his communications and told CBS News: Sure theyll get my grocery lists, they may get the emails between my wife and I, but heres what they wont get any contact with the Russians.”

He denied any connection to Russia and refuted allegations he knew WikiLeaks were going to publish emails stolen from Mr Podesta, adding: “It’s a witch hunt. I know it is.”

Two months before WikiLeaks began publishing new emails from Mr Podesta everyday, Mr Stone tweeted: “Trust me, it will soon the Podesta’s time in the barrel. #CrookedHillary”
Stone has also angrily denied the suggestion that he has had anything to do with the Russians. Of course, one of Stone's Rules is "Always use a cut-out" -- otherwise known as a "perfectly legal back channel."

Do honest reporters use cut-outs?And if Assange "had the goods" on Hillary, why didn't we see it? What we did see was a big yawn. The Orbis dossier reveals that even the Russians knew that they didn't have much of anything.

Also see this HuffPo piece and this piece in the Independent. Roger denies knowing that Wikileaks was going to publish stolen messages from the DNC, yet at the same time brags of his "perfectly legal back channel" to Wikileaks -- and never forget that Stone also tweeted a very clear "something's coming" message before Assange did his thing: "Trust me, it will soon the Podesta's time in the barrel."

Come to your own conclusions about this man's honesty and credibility.

Roger Stone also got into a pissing match with J.K. Rowling, of all people. I wonder if the InfoWars crowd will resurrect those ancient inanities about the Harry Potter books being secret instruction manuals for Satanism?

Hey Roger -- when are we going to see some proof for your highly questionable claim to have survived polonium poisoning?

Trump on the DNC hack. Trump tweeted:
Is it true the DNC would not allow the FBI access to check server or other equipment after learning it was hacked? Can that be possible?
You'd think that he'd be in a position to know.

Although this is an area in which stories are somewhat in conflict, the DNC has said that it never denied access to the FBI and that the FBI never sought access. The investigation of that server was conducted by a private firm called Crowdstrike.
“Crowdstrike is pretty good. There’s no reason to believe that anything that they have concluded is not accurate,” the intelligence official told BuzzFeed.
It seems pretty clear to me that if the FBI truly wanted access, they could have had it. After all, they're the FBI.
This goes back to Trump's wild Saturday morning tweet. I think I may have a little different take on chain of events that precipitated Trump's meltdown. Everyone points to Breitbart's stories as Trump's "cue". The counter to this is that rumors have been circulated since November of a FISA warrant. Could Trump be so clueless as to not be at least aware of this? Well he may have been aware of "rumors" but, no, I don't believe he put that much weight on this as real "news". But he may have had a much better source on taps.

Reports (from ABC, maybe elsewhere) are that Trump had a meltdown late Friday afternoon and collected his closest aids (including, apparently, Ivanka–we should be glad that there is no "First Dog" or he may be have been there as well). His ire was particularly focused on the White House Counsel. After ranting he left for Mar-a-Lago without his chief strategist Stephen Bannon and chief of staff Reince Priebus. Reportedly, he was chiefly upset about Sessions recusing himself from investigating Russian ties with Trump's campaign. Commentators have speculated that this meant Trump was "losing" control of the investigation. Doubtful as the current second in command is tied in more deeply with the Russians than Sessions (if that is possible.) On Thursday, though Sessions gave one of the most historically puzzling press conferences ever seen in American politics. Not only did he recuse himself from the Trump campaign's ties to Russia but he basically indicted himself. He stated he remembered a weird story he told the ambassador about a visit he made to the Soviet Union in 1991. Then he said he "didn't remember" if the topic of Trump's campaign came up. (How about "no"–it's a much better answer.) He VOLUNTEERED that they talked about the Ukraine. He claimed two retired colonels were there. (Why were they there? They were "retired." Were they US intelligence (doubtful) or Sessions Russian minders?) He claimed the Ambassador was "gossipy." What was going on?

The only explanation for the press conference was that Sessions found out somehow that there were transcripts. Now, nobody bugged his office but the ambassador's report of the conversation back to Moscow certainly was and is fair game. (Remember he's a "gossipy" guy.) Sessions knew what would be in those transcripts; he had to somehow get ahead of it. For some inexplicable reason (fear?) he does not seem to have told Trump until after the press conference. Trump calls him and asks what the hell is going on and Sessions says, "They have tapes." Suddenly those FISA warrants loom large in Trump's mind. He's not worried about Sessions; he's worried about himself.

Although Trump focused on the "tapp" on Trump Tower, don't forget that former Donald Trump presidential campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, (presumably at Trump's request) surfaced on Saturday accusing Obama of eavesdropping on conversations between current Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak while Sessions was still a senator. Probably Trump was a bit confused thinking the tap was of the senator (illegal) not the gossipy report back to Moscow (quite legal.) He's not stupid enough to buy a Breitbart tale but he's still pretty clueless.
Nota Bene: Trump doesn't need to name every one of his companies after himself. His pride will be his undoing.

Or maybe it's another effort at distraction. If enough investigators stop after getting hits on 'Trump'... .

It seems pretty clear to me that if the FBI truly wanted access, they could have had it. After all, they're the FBI.

As I can attest, they don't even have to knock.*
* Or, if they do knock, they don't have to wait for an answer.
Probably the sentence that surprised me the most was that Stone has a wife! I woulda never guessed!

I'd be willing to bet that foreign governments have collected much on Trump. Our IC mostly likely is receiving LOTS of info from them.
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