Thursday, July 27, 2017

Russia

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Jared Kushner
Is it just me, or do Kushner and Ivanka have a Rasputin-like relationship with Trump?

President Trump’s son-in-law has released an eleven page statement arguing that he did not collude with the Russia and that he has very limited connections with them. “I did not collude, nor know of anyone else in the campaign who colluded, with any foreign government,” Kushner stated.

“I had no improper contacts. I have not relied on Russian funds to finance my business activities in the private sector. I have tried to be fully transparent with regard to the filing of my SF-86 form, above and beyond what is required. Hopefully, this puts these matters to rest,” Kushner further insisted.

Although Kushner was in attendance at the meeting between Russia and Trump Jr., Krushner noted, “In June 2016, my brother-in-law, Donald Trump Jr. asked if I was free to stop by a meeting on 9 June at 3pm. The campaign was headquartered in the same building as his office in Trump Tower, and it was common for each of us to swing by the other’s meetings when requested. He eventually sent me his own email changing the time of the meeting to 4pm. That email was on top of a long back and forth that I did not read at the time. As I did with most emails when I was working remotely, I quickly reviewed on my iPhone the relevant message that the meeting would occur at 4pm at his office. Documents confirm my memory that this was calendared as ‘Meeting: Don Jr | Jared Kushner.’”

Kushner recollects that the meeting seemed very uninteresting and that he had to call his assistant during the meeting to help him get out of it.

“[I]n looking for a polite way to leave and get back to my work,” he admitted, “I actually emailed an assistant from the meeting after I had been there for ten or so minutes and wrote ‘Can u pls call me on my cell? Need excuse to get out of meeting.’ I had not met the attorney before the meeting nor spoken with her since. I thought nothing more of this short meeting until it came to my attention recently.”

He added that the part of the meeting he attended didn’t talk much about the Trump campaign. “No part of the meeting I attended included anything about the campaign,” Kushner stated. “There was no follow up to the meeting that I am aware of, I do not recall how many people were there (or their names), and I have no knowledge of any documents being offered or accepted.”

Kushner also denied that during the meeting with a Russian ambassador and Michael Flynn, he did not ask for opening a “secret back channel” to the Russian government.

“I believed developing a thoughtful approach on Syria was a very high priority given the ongoing humanitarian crisis,” he argued. “And I asked if they had an existing communications channel at his embassy we could use where they would be comfortable transmitting the information they wanted to relay to General Flynn, “he added.

“I did not raise the possibility of using the embassy or any other Russian facility for any purpose other than this one possible conversation in the transition period,” he stated. “We did not discuss sanctions.”

Moreover he mentioned that he did not have any previous interactions with Russia and highlighted that the only contact was probably through an email he had received back in 2016.”There was one more possible contact that I will note. On October 30, 2016, I received a random email from the screenname ‘Guccifer400.’ This email, which I interpreted as a hoax, was an extortion attempt and threatened to reveal candidate Trump’s tax returns and demanded that we send him 52 bitcoins in exchange for not publishing that information. I brought the email to the attention of a U.S. Secret Service agent on the plane we were all travelling on and asked what he thought. He advised me to ignore it and not to reply — which is what I did. The sender never contacted me again.”

Kushner argued that he tries to focus on important issues rather than indulging in leaking information to the media. “It has been my practice not to appear in the media or leak information in my own defense and that, “I have tried to focus on the important work at hand and serve this President and this country to the best of my abilities.”

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Russian Operative
"Comrade, all I see is a big nothing-burger. What should we do?"

According to the latest revelations in the Russian investigation, Justice Department and court interviews and documents, Natalya Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who successfully infiltrated President Donald Trump’s inner circle, was originally allowed to enter the US by the DOJ under “extraordinary circumstances.”

Evidence shows that following her entry into the US in 2015, she initiated a lobbying campaign that seems to have entangled Donald Trump Jr., State Department officials, members of the Congress and the media.

This disclosure clearly shows that it was the Obama administration Justice Department that allowed Veselnitskaya, the newest figure in the long-running Russia-Trump collusion story, to enter the US without a visa.

In June last year, a series of emails between Rob Goldstone, a music publicist and alleged intermediary for members of the Trump campaign and the Russian lawyer, ultimately ensnared the president’s eldest son into the controversy.

Newly disclosed video footage shows that only five days after meeting with Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner at the Trump Tower, Veselnitskaya attended the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Russia policy. Veselnitskaya can be clearly seen sitting in the front row in the video footage.

The Moscow lawyer was also actively involved in a lobbying campaign for Russia. She watched a movie at the Newseum in DC, where pro-Russia activists watched a movie that defied the foundations of US human rights law called the Magnitysky Act, which imposed sanctions on Russia for alleged violation of several human rights laws.

While Putin’s response to the law was to disallow American from adopting Russian children, a complaint under the Foreign Agent Registration Act filed with the DOJ shows that State Department officials and at least five other congressional staffers also attended the event at the Newseum.

Records show that Veselnitskaya also met with Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (Cali.), chairman of the House subcommittee in charge of Russia policy, and 20 other guests at a diner often visited by Republicans.

When asked about the meeting in a recent interview, Rohrabacher said, “There was a dinner at the Capitol Hill Club here with about 20 people. I think I was the only congressman there. They were talking about the Magnitysky case. But that wasn’t just the topic. There was a lot of other things going on. So I think she was there but I don’t remember any type of conversation with her between us. But I understand she was at the table.”

According to Rohrabacher, the Russian lawyer and her American colleagues, including Ronald Dellums, former Democratic Congressman, she believed they were lobbying to somehow reverse the Magnitysky Act.

“I don’t think this was very heavily lobbied at all compared with the other issues we deal with,” he said.

While both Veselnitskaya and Dellums did not respond to queries for a comment, in an interview earlier this with NBC News, the Moscow-based lawyer admitted to having been in touch with Trump Jr. and others in Washington to lobby and show congressmen “the real circumstances behind the Magnitsky Act.”

However, federal court documents show that lobbying for the reversal of the Magnitysky Act was not the reason the US government had allowed Veselnitskaya to enter the country back in 2015.

Initially, her visa application to enter the US had been rejected. However, she was later given a special immigration parole by former Attorney General Loretta Lynch only to help defend Russian businessman Denis Katsyv’s company against an asset forfeiture case by the DOJ in New York City.

Then, in January 2016, as Veselnitskaya’s special permission to stay in the US was nearing its end, federal prosecutors detailed how unusual it was to grant parole immigration as she asked for an extension in her permission to stay in the country.

“In October the government bypassed the normal visa process and gave a type of extraordinary 
permission to enter the country called immigration parole,” Assistant US Attorney Paul Monteleoni explained to the judge back on Jan. 6, 2016.

“That’s a discretionary act that the statute allows the Attorney General to do in extraordinary circumstances. In this case, we did that so that Mr. Katsyv could testify. And we made the further accommodation of allowing his Russian lawyer into the 
country to assist,” he added.

Prosecution lawyers also said Justice was willing to let the Moscow-based lawyer enter the country once again so she could prepare for court proceedings as the trial date loomed closer.

Recently disclosed court records indicate that the judge asked the DOJ to allow Veselnitskaya to stay another week till he decides the motions in the case. However, there are no other court records that show how that request was responded to or how Veselnitskaya magically appeared in the US again later that year.

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In October of 2016, James O’Keefe and his group, Project Veritas, changed the narrative of the election during a critical week when he exposed that Democratic operatives were behind the violence at Trump rallies.

Follow that success, O’Keefe vowed to target and expose the corporate media.

At 2 am this morning, O’Keefe delivered.

In Project Veritas’ latest video release, embedded above, an undercover reporter for PV is on camera with a senior producer for CNN discussing “Russia” and CNN President Jeff Zucker’s marching orders to keep the fake news story alive despite no evidence to support any truth in the story.

CNN and Zucker are acting “for the ratings” according to the producer who was caught on hidden camera.

CNN may have been tipped off to O’Keefe’s latest investigation as they preempted the story over the weekend by firing two producers over Russian fake news released by the cable news network.

O’Keefe is vowing to release more damaging files from within the walls of CNN, an organization that was formerly “the most trusted name in news.”

Watch the video above and comment below.

The case against Kushner is sheikey.

MSNBC terrorism analyst, and retired US Navy Officer Malcom Nance, made a very serious charge against Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, all depending on how true a new Washington Post report is. He made the accusations last Friday on MSNBC to Chris L. Hayes.

“You also said that you thought under the Espionage Act,” Hayes asked, referring to the previous panelist saying it sounded like Kushner committed a felony, “what do you mean by that, Malcolm?”

“Right now there’s just take it from the perspective of every intelligence watch officer in the world who is watching the program right now,” he responded. “There are thousands of people who are out there who are on duty who are watching this, who have top secret SCI, special access program clearance, knowing that in one instance, even a fraction of this, would lose their clearances, will have to ask themselves the question they would have to ask in any counter-intelligence environment and that is simply this: Why?”

“What is the motivational device that Jared Kushner,” he said forcefully, “should this story be true, because we don’t know if it’s entirely true. We don’t even know what the source of this was. The Russians themselves could have leaked this story to create chaos.”

“But why would he want to hide, covert,” he continued, “his communications from the U.S. government, believing that he would want to be able to use a facility, obviously that would have more secure communications to create a back channel that U.S. cryptologic collection couldn’t get.”

“That right there along is covert communications,” Nance said.

“That is indicative of espionage activity of an American citizen that is working in league with a hostile government,” he concluded. “And right now there is no FBI counterintelligence officer in the world right now that does not believe that if this story is true.”

The Washington Post reported on Friday that Kushner originally floated the idea of initiating a back channel of communications between the Russian government and the Trump transition team to escape any monitoring by US investigation authorities. The anonymous source also revealed that Kushner made this offer to Sergei Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the US, in December, during their meeting at the Trump Tower.

The White House has declined to comment on the story.

This guy is still around?

Paying tribute to GQ’s “Resistance” movement, in a video posted on Wednesday, Keith Olbermann called for the “immediate arrest of Jared Kushner.” He further said that there was enough evidence to make a strong case against him.

Suggesting that enough evidence regarding Kushner’s implication existed regarded Russian collusion, Olbermann called Kushner out on several “charges.” Jared Kushner is President Trump’s top aide and son-in-law.

“I call for the immediate arrest of Jared Kushner,” Olbermann began. “If he should not be suspected of money laundering, racketeering and influence peddling, then he should be suspected of obstruction of justice and espionage and possibly worse.”

He also noted that anything other than Kushner’s arrest will not be a feasible option.

“There is no other option that can be reasonably entertained,” he added.

The former MSNBC host’s tirade comes as the mainstream media highlights reports that Kushner wanted a back channel communication links between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

The Washington Post also reported last week that Kushner had asked for a back channel line of communication between the Trump transition team and Moscow.

The report alleged that US intelligence officials had intercepted discussions of Russian agents telling their superiors that Kushner had asked if a private communication channel could be set up. Kushner had allegedly expressed his desire for secret communication at a meeting held in December at Trump Tower.

“Kushner, his wife, Trump, General Allen, General McMaster, General Flynn, the others, are in their souls if not under the law traitors to this country,” Olbermann concluded in his video.

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Radical Islamist

Now that Robert Mueller has been appointed special counsel to investigate if Russia influenced the 2016 presidential election it’s worth reiterating his misguided handiwork and collaboration with radical Islamist organizations as FBI director. Judicial Watch exclusively obtained droves of records back in 2013 documenting how, under Mueller’s leadership, the FBI purged all anti-terrorism training material deemed “offensive” to Muslims after secret meetings between Islamic organizations and the FBI chief. Judicial Watch had to sue to get the records and published an in-depth report on the scandal in 2013 and a lengthier, updated follow-up in 2015.

As FBI director, Mueller bent over backwards to please radical Islamist groups and caved into their demands. The agency eliminated the valuable anti-terrorism training material and curricula after Mueller met with various Islamist organizations, including those with documented ties too terrorism. Among them were two organizations— Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR)—named by the U.S. government as unindicted co-conspirators in the 2007 Holy Land Foundation terrorist financing case.

CAIR is a terrorist front group with extensive links to foreign and domestic Islamists. It was founded in 1994 by three Middle Eastern extremists (Omar Ahmad, Nihad Awad and Rafeeq Jaber) who ran the American propaganda wing of Hamas, known then as the Islamic Association for Palestine.

The records obtained as part of Judicial Watch’s lawsuit show that Mueller, who served 12 years as FBI chief, met with the Islamist organizations on February 8, 2012 to hear their demands. Shortly later the director assured the Muslim groups that he had ordered the removal of presentations and curricula on Islam from FBI offices nationwide.

The purge was part of a broader Islamist operation designed to influence the opinions and actions of persons, institutions, governments and the public at-large. The records obtained by Judicial Watch also show similar incidents of Islamic influence operations at the Departments of Justice and State, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Obama White House.

Here are some of the reasons provided by Mueller’s FBI for getting rid of “offensive” training documents: “Article is highly inflammatory and inaccurately argues the Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organization.” It’s crucial to note that Mueller himself had previously described the Muslim Brotherhood as a group that supports terrorism in the U.S. and overseas when his agency provided this ludicrous explanation. Here’s more training material that offended the terrorist groups, according to the FBI files provided to Judicial Watch: An article claiming Al Qaeda is “clearly linked” to the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing; The Qur’an is not the teachings of the Prophet, but the revealed word of God; Sweeping generality of ‘Those who fit the terrorist profile best (for the present at least) are young male immigrants of Middle Eastern appearance;’ conflating Islamic Militancy with terrorism. The list goes on and on.

Mueller’s actions have had a widespread effect because many local law enforcement agencies followed the FBI’s lead in allowing Islamic groups like CAIR to dictate what anti-terrorism material could be used to train officers. Among them are police departments in three Illinois cities— Lombard, Elmhurst and Highland Park—as well as the New York Police Department (NYPD).

In the case of the Lombard Police Department, CAIR asserted that the instructor of a training course called “Islamic Awareness as a Counter-Terrorist Strategy” was anti-Muslim though there was no evidence to support it. Like the FBI, Lombard officials got rid of the “offensive” course. The NYPD purged a highly-acclaimed report that’s proven to be a critical tool in terrorism investigations after three New York Muslims, two mosques and an Islamic nonprofit filed a lawsuit.

Considering Mueller’s role in much of this, it makes him a bizarre choice to lead the heated Russia investigation. The goal, apparently, is to determine of Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election and if President Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russian officials. In the Justice Department announcement, Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein describes Mueller as person who qualifies to lead the probe because he exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command. “Special Counsel Mueller will have all appropriate resources to conduct a thorough and complete investigation, and I am confident that he will follow the facts, apply the law and reach a just result,” according to Rosenstein.

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What's wrong with this picture?

Republican Representative Jason Chaffetz (Utah), chairman of the US House Oversight Committee, claimed on Sunday, that he has planned a private talk with James Comey, former FBI Director. According to Chaffetz, he plans on discussing several issues with Comey, including the recent claim made by one of Comey’s associates to the New York Times, that President Trump asked Comey to drop the investigation into former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

Chaffetz spoke about his plans on ABC’s “This Week,” with George Stephanopoulos.

“It’s important to remember nobody’s actually seen these documents,” Chaffetz said on “This Week” in reference to the notes Comey reportedly kept of his conversations with Trump. “There’s been an awful lot written and said about it, but I don’t even know that the Department of Justice has them. Maybe Director Comey has them. I don’t know where they reside. I don’t know if there are documents. But we’re certainly pursuing them.”

Comey, who was recently dismissed by Trump, has agreed to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee. According to Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.), the committee’s chairman, Comey’s testimony will be heard after Memorial Day.

Since Comey’s dismissal on May 09, the Trump administration has faced a barrage of criticism and never-ending questions regarding the decision and whether it was made in any relation to slow down or completely halt the FBI’s investigation into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

As of now, absolutely no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and any Russian operatives has been found. However, numerous scandals related to the decision have now surfaced; the most recent one being a claim by the New York Times on Friday, which suggested that Trump told Sergey Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister and Sergey Kislyak, Russian Ambassador to the US, that Comey is crazy, a real nut job.” Trump also reportedly told both the Russians that firing Comey had “taken off” “great pressure.”

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Tip 1: Never let Pence take your picture.

Conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer gave President Trump some important tips to kick start his agenda that has now been “immobilized,” by his alleged scandal.

Fox News’ Tucker Carlson characterized President Trump’s agenda as “immobilized” by the rise of scandals and obstacles surrounding him. Carlson asked conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer how the president could right the wrongs.

Krauthammer explained the five things that the president can do.

“Well I think you take your playbook from Bill Clinton,” he explained. “He’s caught up in the Lewinsky scandal. And in his case he knows he’s lying from the very beginning. Keeps on lying, but he was able to keep a straight face. Tried to keep his nose to the business he wanted to carry out. The famous statement, ‘I did not have sexual relations’ end with ‘and now I gotta go back to work.’ So he just pretended as if this thing was on the side, it was a distraction, he went back to work.”

“So what Trump needs to do is spend less effort and time and emotional energy on this,” he added. “Starting with, you make an unimpeachable FBI director appointment. Right now he needs to calm the craziness. I think he actually was helped by the appointment of this special counsel. Even though in the long run it means the White House loses control of this.”

“In the short run,” he explained, “people say, ‘well look there’s an investigation, let’s talk about health care, and let’s talk about tax reform. That’ll take care – it’s a way to deflect. If you make a good appointment for the FBI – by ‘good’ I mean politically astute. Which means somebody unimpeachable. On Special Report I said, what you need is an Elliot Ness.”

Krauthammer continued on to his third point, which was “stop tweeting.”

“Now that’s never gonna happen. Because I think he’s hard-wired like neurologically attached to his tweeting machine. But it would help because when you tweet you say what you really believe and that’s not always, that’s not usually the smartest thing in politics. You know, I tell the truth because it’s easier to memorize, but I’m not the president or a politician.”

“Number four, go on the foreign trip,” he added, “and thereby, number four, change the narrative. He’s got a real opportunity. It’s going to be a big deal what happens in Saudi Arabia. There’s gonna be 50 Sunni Arab countries there. There’s gonna be an announcement to the world of the total reversal of the Obama-Iran appeasement policy, where we chose a radical Shiite jihadist regime. We chose their favor over the Sunni Arabs who want to support us, and over Israel, which will be stop number two. That’ll be a big deal, it’ll allow him to announce and really exemplify a huge change in foreign policy.”

“The last thing,” he concluded, “is daily sessions with Dr. Krauthammer. I’m still licensed, board certified, and he’s the only one who can afford my rates.” After finishing his jokes, he explained, “He doesn’t easily compartmentalize. He doesn’t have that kinda of, almost psychopathic ability to make distinctions as Clinton did. I think he gets sort of into everything and it takes him over. So I don’t think he can, but that’s why he needs to see me, probably for an hour a day for several years.”

The past few weeks have been tough on the Trump administration with the constant supply of fresh leaks and criticisms from all fours.

Tucker asked if Krauthammer believes Trump could actually follow the tips. “He doesn’t easily compartmentalize. He doesn’t have that almost kind of psychopathic ability to make distinctions, as Clinton did. I think he gets sort of into everything, and it takes him over,” Krauthammer said. “So, I don’t think he can. But that’s why he needs to see me, probably for an hour a day for several years.”

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Thirsty for Power. Photo by DonkeyHotey

Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) addressed President Trump’s tweet on Thursday, regarding him being the subject of a “witch hunt” after the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the alleged interference of Russia in the 2016 US presidential election.

“The president is entitled to his opinion, but we’re a nation of laws,” Rubio told reporters. “That’s not a criticism of the president. That is a reality that our institutions work. The acting attorney general has the authority to appoint a special counsel and has done so.”

On Wednesday, Robert Mueller, former FBI Director was appointed as special counsel to investigate allegations that Russia had meddled with the US presidential elections last year.

Rubio called Mueller a “person of high esteem” and admitted that he was fully confident in Mueller’s abilities to “conduct and independent, thorough and fair investigation.”

Referring to the appointment of Robert Mueller as special investigator in the ongoing investigation, President Trump tweeted on Thursday, “This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!”

He further added, “With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special counsel appointed.”

Ex-CIA official Phillip Mudd, in a show Wednesday night on CNN with Wolf Blitzer, was full of praise for Mueller.

“For four and a half years of sitting down the hall from [Mueller] I saw one two three times a day threaten meetings, personnel meetings, meetings with three attorneys general,” Mudd told Blitzer about Mueller’s stern and fair principles.

“I can tell you, every American who thinks that this is a moment of turmoil, whether they like the president or not, should breathe easy tonight,” he said. “Robert Mueller is solid ground. I saw presidents, kings, prime ministers, secretaries of state, CIA directors, the former U.S. Attorney in New York said he’s one of the best.”

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Are cracks forming in our relationship?

Speaking to the press outside the White House on Monday, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster denied the shocking allegations from a Washington Post article that said President Donald Trump had shared sensitive intelligence with the Russians in the meeting last week.

“A brief statement for the record,” McMaster began. “There’s nothing that the president takes more seriously than the security of the American people.”

“The story that came out tonight as reported, is false,” he said rather flatly.

“The president and the foreign minister reviewed a range of common threats to our two countries including threats to civil aviation. At no time, at no time,” he emphasized, “were intelligence sources or methods discussed. And the president did not disclose any military operations that were not already publicly known.”

“Two other senior officials who were present, including the secretary of state,” he continued, “remember the meeting the same way and have said so. Their on-the-record account should outweigh those of anonymous sources.”

“And I was in the room, it didn’t happen,” he concluded. “Thanks everybody.”

Even though it is usually criticized and frowned upon by the Trump administration, the Washington Post report mentioned information from anonymous sources. However, sources later confirmed the legitimacy of the information to the New York Post, Buzzfeed, and Reuters.

Several journalists called McMaster’s statement to be an incomplete denial of the story. MSNBC’s Katy Tur tweeted, “McMaster saying “sources and methods” is a red herring. Article doesnt say Trump revealed sources and methods to Russians.”

Washington Post’s National Security Correspondent, Greg Miller, said that McMaster was “playing word games,” referring to the denial, as the report did not mention anything about President Trump revealing intelligence methods or sources. Miller further said that the administration was trying hard to “blunt the impact of the story.”

“Nor do any of these White House officials who are denouncing this story,” he added, “nor have any of them offered any explanation why if this was all so above board and not problematic in any way, why did the National Security Council coming out of this meeting feel it was necessary to contact the CIA director and the director of the National Security Agency to give them a heads up on what Trump had just told the Russians?”

According to Miller, the Washington Post ‘absolutely’ supports their reporting.

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