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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Putin doesn't know us very well, does he?

The Daily Beast reveals that Putin has exercised control over Congressman Dana Rohrabacher in order to push a propaganda film directed against William Browder, the American businessman and Putin opponent whose efforts gave us the Magnitsky Act, which places sanctions on Russian oligarchs.

I've not seen the film. Judging from the descriptions, it argues that Magnitsky was an evil SOB who deserved to be murdered in custody.
Members of the team of Russians who secured a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner also attempted to stage a show trial of anti-Putin campaigner Bill Browder on Capitol Hill.

The trial, which would have come in the form of a congressional hearing, was scheduled for mid-June 2016 by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), a long-standing Russia ally who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe. During the hearing, Rohrabacher had planned to confront Browder with a feature-length pro-Kremlin propaganda movie that viciously attacks him—as well as at least two witnesses linked to the Russian authorities, including lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.

Ultimately, the hearing was canceled when senior Republicans intervened and agreed to allow a hearing on Russia at the full committee level with a Moscow-sympathetic witness, according to multiple congressional aides.
Good Lord. Back in the day, did any American congressman show this level of fealty to Stalin?

Savor the irony: Heretofore, most Americans were unaware of William Browder. There are many interviews of the man available on YouTube, but the views number in the thousands, not the tens of thousands. Those interviews have gained much more exposure in recent days; I've certainly done my part to get the word out.

In America, until recently, Browder was still a fairly obscure figure as far as the general public was concerned, though the name was certainly well-known to the cogniscenti. Putin is inadvertently transforming the man into an American hero.

Putin doesn't know us very well, does he? Traditionally, Russians have always favored a heavy-handed approach to propaganda. That approach works elsewhere, and it also works here -- but only up to a certain point. Past that point, a backlash reaction sets in.

As for Rohrabacher, "Putin's favorite congressman": I don't think he's going to hold onto his seat for much longer. He hails from a pro-Hillary district, winning re-election through name recognition and voter laziness. But Orange County is no longer a conservative bastion -- and few there have any reason to feel love for Vladimir Putin.

We all know about that Kevin McCarthy and Paul Ryan were recorded "joking" that Rohrabacher takes money from Putin. The transcript does not convey the impression that the two men were being comic.
Comments:
Joe, This brings to mind House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's comments re: Rohrabacher and Putin's American business emissary, Russian fertilizer magnate Dmitry Rybolovlev, whose plane (MKATE) and yacht (Anna) show up near Trump and Mercer planes, yachts, and Trump campaign/family members too often for the identical itineraries to be a coincidence.

You gotta love Republican unforced errors, including this 2016 error on Rohrabacher's back: "In a private meeting with Republican colleagues last year, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy commented that then-presidential candidate Donald Trump and California congressional colleague Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) were being paid by Russian President Vladimir Putin."

“There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump,” McCarthy said in the recording of a June 15 exchange obtained and published by the Washington Post. At that point, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) cut off the conversation and swore those present to secrecy."

The Post also provided a full transcript of the tape." https://www.washingtonpost.com/apps/g/page/national/read-the-transcript-of-the-conversation-among-gop-leaders-obtained-by-the-post/2209/

Excerpted from http://www.latimes.com/politics/essential/la-pol-ca-essential-politics-updates-year-old-mccarthy-comment-that-trump-1495063901-htmlstory.html

Indeed, Rohrabacher has a long history of sympathy for Russian political and business interests (https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/07/russian-anti-sanctions-campaign-turned-to-california-congressman/534102/).

dataflo @punditcrawler.com
 
Dmitry Rybolovlev, Putin's American business proxy, has plane and yacht itineraries that invite investigation. While Rybolovlev's trail of real estate money laundering transactions w/ President Trump and others should keep investigators busy for years, his plane and yacht itineraries are stand outs for the proximity they give him to the Trump campaign staff and supporters (http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/why-did-russian-oligarch-pay-so-much-for-mansion-owned-by-trump/2316032; http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2076017/Ekaterina-Rybolovleva-22-buys-88m-New-York-apartment.html).

Money laundering is a RICO crime, but the recency and frequency of Rybolovlev planes and yachts in unusual proximity to the Trump campaign plane on several occasions (including Las Vegas and Charlotte NC) or Trump supporters/family members doesn't pass the smell test.

Why is Rybolovlev's 220' yacht, Anna, popping up next to Trump supporter, Robert Mercer's yacht, anchored in the British Virgin Islands in March 2017. The yacht was also anchored in Croatia, where Trump family members vacationed in mid-August 2016, on David Geffen's $200 million yacht. There's a telling the photo of Ivanka standing beside divorcee Wendi Deng Murdoch, who is widely credited with introducing Ivanka to Jared and who was reported to be dating Putin at that time (http://newscdn.newsrep.net/h5/nrshare.html?r=3&lan=en_US&pid=14&id=v0ae25190l1_us&app_lan=&mcc=&declared_lan=en_us&pubaccount=ocms_0&showall=1) Ms. Deng Murdoch is widely credited for introducing Ivanka to her future husband (http://thehill.com/blogs/in-the-know/in-the-know/291465-ivanka-trump-vacationing-with-putins-rumored-girlfriend).

When Rybolovlev and Mercer yachts were photographed at anchor within a few 100 feet in the British Virgin Islands in March, 2017 (http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com/news/national-govt--politics/yachts-trump-financial-backer-russian-oligarch-seen-close-together/gI074W3JLqvEYrQ0hm9zlN/), was Mercer, a reclusive poker player and computer savant, there to gamble, call in bets, or pay a debt? (http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/politics-government/article137881768.html).

Robert Mercer, with his Renaissance Technologies computer and hedge fund megabucks and daughter, Rebekah, who runs PAC's and other entities providing financial, strategic, data, and logistical support for her family's political interests, invested heavily in Computer Analytica data to support first Cruz, then Trump. (http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/03/27/the-reclusive-hedge-fund-tycoon-behind-the-trump-presidency)

How much Russian-American political party-ing and de-nationalized business can Rybolovlev conduct for Putin over a local area network just by sidling up to the Trump campaign plane or Geffen's or Mercer's yachts? How could a reclusive Robert Mercer more easily conduct difficult to trace private networked data exchanges, conferencing, and strategic planning, or move info & assets without detection in coordination with Rybolovlev?

Mercer and his yacht are unlikely to be in the market for trafficked underage Eastern Europeans, as another Trump business associate's yacht is known to provide in the Mediterranean (http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/trump-pal-busted-allegedly-running-hooker-ring-yacht-article-1.191136). Can it continue to be a coincidence that Rybalovlev's jets or ship are so often parked/anchored within yelling distance of a Trump plane or key family member or supporter? Was it mere coincidence that Wendi Deng Murdoch, rumored to be dating Putin, spends a day in Dubrovnich with her friends, the Kushner's, just as Paul Manafort steps down from the campaign over some Ukraine legal and financial trouble while Rybolovlev's yacht Anna is moored nearby? Where was Ms. Deng Murdoch staying on her European vacation?

Dataflo @punditcrawler.com
 
Funny you mention Rybolovlev, Dataflo. While all of this political intrigue was going on, he also made an extraordinary purchase: He bought a painting by Leonardo Da Vinci. To be specific, he purchased what was, until recently, known as the Cook version of the Salvator Mundi, a painting only recently ascribed to Leonardo. (For many years, the original had been obscured by clumsy overpainting.)

My ladyfriend, who has a degree in Art History, and I have made a study of the Salvator Mundi. She even presented our findings at a conference held in one of the UC schools in 2010. The Renaissance expert in attendance described her presentation as "inarguable."

We believe that the Cook version -- the one in red -- may well have originated in Leonardo's studio, and may even contain passages of the Master's handiwork. The upraised hand is probably by Leonardo. However, we believe that TRUE original work was the version in red previously owned by the De Ganay family. (It is now in a museum in South America.) Before the Cook was restored, the De Ganay was considered by some scholars (including Ludwig Heydenreich) to be authentic. (Both paintings derive from the same cartoon, although the face is flipped -- a fact which nobody else seems to have noticed.) I think that Heydenreich was right, and that a restoration of the De Ganay -- which has ALSO been clumsily overpainted -- will reveal more of Leonardo's handiwork.

We've even put together a short film on the topic. Well, the film is only 2/3 complete, and it has a temporary narration. (I find it easier to edit to a "robot" voice, since this practice allows the narration to be easily changed at any stage.)

I really should finish that movie. If it is seen by the right people, and if our argument carries the day, the value of Rybolovlev's investment might be adversely affected. And that would be just awful.
 
Joseph, very interesting about that painting. Hope you finish your video. But you seem to be busy these days.

Dataflo, most useful speculation. Maybe those mysterious MKATE plane appearances are Mercer-related, using Trump's plane as data mule. Say you had data you needed to move but wanted kept out of the hands of the NSA. The internet's of no use to you. Jets-and-yachts-net.

Also just another link between Trump and Russia.
 
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