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Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Isn't it nice to see a father help his son with his homework?

Yesterday, The WP published a story claiming that Donald Trump the elder personally dictated the false statement issued by his son concerning that now-infamous meeting in Trump Tower. At first I questioned the Post's report, on the grounds that the statement contained no major errors in grammar.

Today, the White House has confirmed the Post's story. Savor this headline: "Sanders: Trump Worked On Jr.’s Russia Statement ‘As Any Father Would"

Suggested title for a new children's book: "Daddy and Me -- My First Cover-Up."

Perhaps the most misleading aspect of the original statement was the claim that those Russians came Trump Tower just to talk about adoptions, even though nobody in Trump's team cared about that topic and few in Russia are in favor of Americans adopting Russian children. When Russians say "adoptions," they are really referring to the Magnitsky Act. It's code.

William Browder's bombshell testimony to Congress, embedded above, makes this point quite clear. I know that the embedded video is long, but the story Browder tells is gripping. Surprisingly, the congressfolk don't waste too much time with grandstanding. (Yes, I should have embedded this video a while back, but you know how it is. Each new day brings new cray.)

If you can't watch the entire video, fast-forward to the bit toward the end, when Browder and his interrogators discuss the use of the term "adoptions" as coded language. Browder is adamant that Veselnitskaya and her comrades came to Trump Tower to discuss the end of sanctions -- and even the Republicans seem to agree with him.

Believe it or not, the right-wingers are using a small chunk of Browder's testimony to "prove" that Hillary Clinton is Evil Incarnate. Apparently, we're supposed to ignore the part where Browder says that Putin has dirt on Trump.

Incidentally, the Russian government's propaganda campaign against Browder has a certain familiar ring. They're calling him "Crooked William Browder." They're also accusing him of being CIA.

Here is a very relevant portion of Browder's testimony:
Pyotr Katsyv, father to Denis Katsyv, is a senior Russian government official and well-placed member of the Putin regime; Denis Katsyv was caught by U.S. law enforcement using proceeds from the crime that Sergei Magnitsky uncovered to purchase high-end Manhattan real estate (the case recently settled with the Katsyv’s paying $6 million to the U.S. government). Natalia Veselnitskaya was their lawyer.

In addition to working on the Katsyv’ s money laundering defense, Ms. Veselnitskaya also headed the aforementioned lobbying campaign to repeal the Magnitsky Act. She hired a number of lobbyists, public relations executives, lawyers, and investigators to assist her in this task.

Her first step was to set up a fake NGO that would ostensibly promote Russian adoptions, although it quickly became clear that the NGO’s sole purpose was to repeal the Magnitsky Act. This NGO was called the Human Rights Accountability Global Initiative Foundation (HRAGI). It was registered as a corporation in Delaware with two employees on February 18, 2016. HRAGI was used to pay Washington lobbyists and other agents for the anti-Magnitsky campaign. (HRAGI now seems to be defunct, with taxes due.)

Through HRAGI, Rinat Akhmetshin, a former Soviet intelligence officer naturalised as an American citizen, was hired to lead the Magnitsky repeal effort. Mr. Akhmetshin has been involved in a number of similar campaigns where he’s been accused of various unethical and potentially illegal actions like computer hacking.
Cheer up, Joseph. Lying on an SF-86 is perjury. So is giving false sworn testimony before Congress...and suborning perjury is almost certainly impeachable.
Yeah, a lot of this has a familiar ring. And a familiar stench.

I second your motion/suggestion on the video. I watched the testimony on Cspan3 though I'd read of the account earlier. The mention of the 'former Soviet intelligence officer now naturalized American Citizen' sent a chill. Makes you wonder how many of these former Russian Intel hybrids are walking around American cities and towns. The Russians are veterans of the long-game. We have a lot of catching up to do, methinks. For many Americans the Cold War ended. And we won. That's certainly not Putin's perspective. It's been reported he believes the collapse of the Soviet Union was the greatest disaster in Russian history. If so, this is payback and Trump is the plague he helped concoct.

Love the adoption angle, btw. Because we all know how charitable the Trump family has been over the years. As long as any 'help' winds up in their own pockets. They're trying to use this as a free Get Out of Jail card--but, but . . . the adoptions, it was all about adopting poor little children.

For crying out loud! They have no shame.

The spin on the latest lie about Donny Jr's meeting is typical Trump. Never ever tell the truth about anything because in most cases involving the Don, the truth could put you behind bars. And I hope it does.

Prop, just occurred to me: If Trump likes to dictate these messages, doesn't that make him a dictator?

Peggysue, I think there is a great deal of merit to the assertion that Putin's aid to Trump is payback for our installation of Yeltsin and the oligarchs. America's mishandling of the fall of the USSR will one day be recognized as the greatest blunder in history. The people of Russia had made clear in polls conducted in the early 1990s that they wanted to live in a Swedish-style democratic-socialist state. We insisted on "educating" them in the ways of Milton Friedman. The results were beyond disastrous. I freely admit that both George Bush and Bill Clinton share the blame, although in Clinton's case, he had little choice.

Hahahaha! You nailed it, Joe. A dictator it is. Or at least a wannabe dictator.

Your first instinct to question whether Trump could've been the one to help his son may be dead on, Joseph. Talking Points Memo put together a time-line that suggests Putin actually put that excuse together:

It's not that Trump would not have cared about adoptions, so it's a hard sell that he pretends it's of interest to him: it's that he simply would not have even been able to invent that concern. The time-line not only puts that second "meeting" of Putin and Trump at the perfect time, but Trump blathers on about how they discussed...Russian adoptions. It hurts one's head to read the actual words President Puny Paws tosses around in his salad: "We talked about Russian adoption. Yeah. I always found that interesting. Because, you know, he ended that years ago. And I actually talked about Russian adoption with him, which is interesting because it was a part of the conversation that Don had in that meeting."

It gets worse from there, sheer jumble, but what "interesting" to Trump has nothing to do with actual adoption, and what's "interesting" to us is that it's such a tell. He can't help it. He probably ...thinks... he's being clever and ...helping... with the cover-up.

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