Russia Monitor: Much Bigger & Way, Way Uglier Than We Imagined


“Donald Trump Delivers a Wet Fart Oval Office Address”

Daily Beast headline from author and Never-Trumper Rick Wilson (1/8/19)


By Dan Peak
The Commoner Call (1/11/19)

Dear Fellow Readers,

The most important Wall for Trump is his scramble to protect himself from Trump-Russia corruption news and special counsel Robert Mueller’s report. Trump’s latest attempt at deflection needed an ‘A’ game address to change the political dynamics. Without the free-flowing lies of his high-energy rally venues he failed miserably.

The point being, there is growing proof of Trump-Russia collusion. Trump is trying to politically run ahead of this and failing. More about this below.

Trump is losing. His one-note political hammer for any nail – his ever-embellished, self-created and growing humanitarian crisis” is failing him. Trump is like Joey from Friends, his “how you doin?” pickup line is no longer working. Sadly he and his enablers like Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstin Nielsen are creating their own tragic humanitarian crisis with their willingness to use sanctuary seekers as political hostages and collateral damage.

Trump’s Wall is not a solution to his invention of a border crisis. As we reported in the last edition, the Wall started out as a campaign memory device to make sure he focused on immigration as a threat to society as we know it at every campaign rally.

In true authoritarian form, Trump invented a Yuge problem that only he could solve, a supposed crisis of armies of brown people rushing across our border and wreaking havoc everywhere. If that wasn’t enough, he peppered his message of fear with terrorists and everything short of an ebola plague to fuel the Pavlovian anger of his base.

He became president based on his invention, he was punished in the mid-terms because fewer people believe his lies and he’s galloped into a box canyon thinking he can defend the pending assault based on Trump-Russian corruption news and an eventual report from special counsel Robert Mueller.


Moving the goal posts

David Frum tweeted this latest movement of the goal posts down the field on Wednesday:“NO COLLUSION!” is about to morph into “Donald Trump was not personally aware at the time of his campaign manager’s confessed collusion”

Here’s a few revelations and a prediction to support Frum’s case: Manafort Accused Of Sharing Trump Polling Data With Russian Associate.

This latest revelation comes by way of convicted former Trump campaign manager Manafort’s lawyer filing a improperly redacted court document that exposed the redacted portions.

“As a top official in President Trump’s campaign, Paul Manafort shared political polling data with a business associate tied to Russian intelligence, according to a court filing unsealed on Tuesday. The document provided the clearest evidence to date that the Trump campaign may have tried to coordinate with Russians during the 2016 presidential race.”

Both Manafort and convicted Trump campaign deputy manager Rick Gates passed information to associate Konstantin Kilimnik intended for Putin ally and Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. This same shadowy channel was the source of an early Trump campaign effort to float a Ukraine peace initiative in conjunction with softening Republican platform language holding Putin accountable for annexing parts of Ukraine.

Before we jump past this, New York Times journalist Maggie Haberman tweeted that long after Manafort left the campaign he was “advising Trump to focus on WI and MI (“detail that got cut from…our story”). Given no public polling data to warrant this, why? Think Manafort, Gates, Kilimnik, Deripaska, Russian influence.

To make the point more clear: 1) Kilimnik is a Russian spy, and; 2) Deripaska is still the subject of wrestling over Trump’s intent to undo U.S. sanctions against Deripaska’s companies.

Mueller’s conclusion of Kilimnik as a Russian spy can be reviewed here: He Says He’s an Innocent Victim. Robert Mueller Says He’s a Spy.

The latest on Deripaska is here: House Democrats Demand Treasury Explain Rollback Of Sanctions On Russia Oligarch.

The Trump administration is moving to relax sanctions against Deripaska. The sanctions were enacted in April 2018 in retaliation for Russian interference in the US election.

“The Democratic leaders of seven House panels are demanding Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin delay implementing a planned easing of sanctions on businesses tied to a prominent Russian oligarch until the Treasury Department briefs committee members on the matter.”

Lost behind the Wall smokescreen, Trump works again to curry favor with Putin.


So could it be collusion after all…

Kilimnik and Deripaska weren’t the only Russians highlighted in a story tightening around Trump-Russia corruption: Veselnitskaya, Russian in Trump Tower Meeting, Is Charged in Case That Shows Kremlin Ties.

More confirmation of Trump-Putin collusion:

“Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who in 2016 met with Trump campaign officials in Trump Tower, was charged on Tuesday in a separate case that showed her close ties to the Kremlin.”

The ‘separate case’ is broadly part of the Trump-Putin story, it’s a Putin motivation to relax onerous sanctions against Russia. “Not merely a private lawyer”, Veselnitskaya by federal prosecutors…”with seeking to thwart an earlier investigation into money laundering that involved an influential Russian businessman and his investment firm.” She went on to become the intermediary to Trump’s campaign through Donnie Jr.

And finally a mystery federal case that is becoming more clear: Supreme Court Rules Against Mystery Corporation From ‘Country A’ Fighting Subpoena In Mueller Investigation.

A foreign government owned corporation has been fighting a grand jury subpoena that is part of Mueller’s investigation for a few months.

““The grand jury seeks information from a corporation owned by Country A,” the three-page opinion stated. The company had sought to quash the subpoena by arguing it is protected from such demands under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act and that complying with the subpoena would cause the company to violate its own domestic laws, according to the opinion.”

The case went all the way to the Supreme Court with the result that a lower-court order stands.

“Corporation” from “Country A” — is a foreign financial institution that was issued a subpoena by a grand jury hearing evidence in the special counsel investigationthere is a reasonable probability the information sought through the subpoena here concerns a commercial activity that caused a direct effect in the United States.”

A first test of Mueller’s work before the Supreme Court and he wins. We now know the company is a foreign government owned financial institution being investigated for “commercial activity that caused a direct effect in the United States” and given Mueller’s charter we are likely talking about a U.S. bank with sufficient presence in the U.S. (note: there is a key statement in the court document that says “the “considerable business” of a U.S. office of the Corporation).


Much bigger and uglier than we thought

Here is one of the best columns by Will Bunch from, one of the best columnists around, bringing things together: The Crazy New Evidence That Trump’s Russia Problem Is Far Worse Than We All Thought.

Bunch opens by clarifying the rarity of a publisher Rupert Murdoch-owned ‘broadsheet’ — especially the Wall Street Journal — criticizing a Republican president. After commenting on all the missed opportunities given Trump’s presidency there is this:

“The editorial bashed Trump for asserting that Leonid Brezhnev’s USSR was justified in 1979 when it invaded Afghanistan, a move that was so vehemently opposed by the U.S. government that Jimmy Carter imposed an Olympic boycott and reinstituted draft registration for 18-year-olds. That, the Journal argued, was “ridiculous, adding: “The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was a defining event in the Cold War, making clear to all serious people the reality of the communist Kremlin’s threat.””

But the real payoff is here:

“But now here’s where it gets much, much weirder — and much more disturbing. Because it turns out there is one prominent set of voices who — just in the last few months — started making the argument that the USSR was right to send those troops into Afghanistan, an action that even Russian higher-ups have conceded even before the USSR’s 1991 collapse was a horrible mistake, politically and morally.

“That would be Vladimir Putin and his allies in the Russian government.”

He offers many more examples of Trump’s complicity with Putin propaganda.

He offers a parallel to the Nixon tale ‘All The President’s Men’:

“There’s a famous scene in All the President’s Men where Robert Redford as Bob Woodward says: “If you go to bed at night and there is no snow on the ground, when you wake up there is snow on the ground, you can say it snowed during the night although you didn’t see it, right?” When it comes to U.S. policy toward Russia under Trump, we are waking up to find 6-foot snow drifts outside. Beyond the bizarre echoes of Belarus, Montenegro and Afghanistan, we’ve watched the White House kowtow to Team Putin every chance it gets, from leaving Syria to dropping sanctions on Paul Manafort’s favorite Russian oligarch.”


Donald’s dangerous pleasure

Trump is in waaay over his head. His reliable old ‘pickup line’ is failing him. Even his supporters see through the lies. Most of us are ill prepared to understand his psychosis or why his behavior has worked so well for him to date. The Financial Times published an analysis by psychoanalyst and author Stephen Grosz titled, “The Real Reason Trump Lies”, sadly it is behind a pay wall but we’ll offer his conclusion.

Trump’s lying is unique – he lies because “he’d rather be infamous than forgotten”. Trump’s lies are easily debunked. We’re witnessing Trump’s flavor of masculinity as rightfully highlighted by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, but the fact is, it’s been working for Trump. As the author says:

“Outrage at Trump’s duplicitousness is a dangerous pleasure, in a Trump-like way, self-satisfying — what Philip Roth called “the ecstasy of sanctimony”.While it is comforting that journalists are fact-checking Trump, this exercise too may be worse than pointless. If my analysis is correct, outrage and fact-checking will certainly not stop his dishonesty. These acts may even help Trump to have what he wants — forever, to be in our minds.”

If you research the meaning of Philip Roth’s statement, you’ll find one with a prediction of Trump’s likely outcomethose who live by the sword shall die by the sword.”

Nixon is remembered for his own words, “I am not a crook”. Trump will be remembered similarly, “no collusion”.

For both of them, the truth hides in plain sight wrapped in the denial.

P.S. We may be losing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, we’ll keep an eye on this.