“The Wall Street Journal is reporting that President Trump pressed the president of Ukraine eight times to work with Rudy Giuliani to investigate Joe Biden’s son,” Raddatz said. “What do you know about those conversations?”
“So, you just gave me a report about a I.C. whistleblower complaint, none of which I’ve seen,” Pompeo replied.
— Trump Sec. of State Mike Pompeo with ABC’s Martha Raddatz (9/22/19)
“I was on the phone call.”
— Trump Sec. of State Mike Pompeo confirms to Wall Street Journal he was in on the Trump-Zelensky call (10/2/19)
“This country has to find out who that person was, because that person is a spy in my opinion.”
— Trump Oval Office remarks (10/2/19)
By Dan Peak
The Commoner Call (10/3/19)
The Trumpster pattern – smash convention, ignore the law, lie about everything, project blame on the opposition. Those that appease Trump prosper; those that don’t play well with Trump go away. Washington Post journalist Philip Bump headlines his report of Pompeo’s “I was on the phone call” admission, “master class in misleading”.
Don’t forget the cruelty, always the cruelty. These Trumpsters didn’t arrive at the White House door in innocence, they earned their way and earn their position daily. Most seem second-rate but Pompeo came into the White House after graduating West Point and Harvard Law School. And remember, before running Trump’s CIA Pompeo was a congressman from Kansas; or as Charles Koch would say, ‘bought and paid for’. It was former Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) that got the GOP Benghazi hearings headlines, Pompeo also won his partisan chops during that process. After all the kerfuffle, hours and months of hearing they found … nothing; which is not to say they were unsuccessful since the goal was to embarrass former Sec. State Hillary Clinton ahead of a presidential run.
By the way, Pompeo is considering a Senate run this fall.
While the initial focus on Trump’s call with Ukraine President Zelensky focused on Trump’s willingness to put national security second to his own personal political ambition the net of complicity is expanding to Pompeo and Trump’s personal attorney and attorney general William Barr, personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and even Sec. Energy Rick Perry (remember him?).
While we didn’t know about Trump’s July 25th call until September, this has been months in the making. While I will get to the big ‘payoff’, let’s consider the actions of other Trumpsters against the timeline.
Barr refuses to recuse himself even after he nixed an FBI investigation and downgraded the urgency of the Whistleblower’s complaint.
Barr is personally investigating what ‘really’ happened with foreign influence during the 2016 election asking foreign nations to investigate the actions of his own FBI and the CIA.
“ is that he has been holding private and undisclosed meetings overseas with foreign intelligence officials seeking their help in a Justice Department inquiry that Trump hopes will discredit U.S. intelligence agencies’ examination of possible connections between Russia and members of the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.”
And for Trump, it’s not just Ukraine leader Zelensky that was meant to ‘get’ Barr’s help.
Barr even went to Rome to hear a tape of Russian asset Professor Joseph Mifsud who worked at opening doors with the Trump campaign through convicted former Trump adviser George Papadopoulos.
Before we go past Barr, note that his Department of Justice has joined a suit brought by Trump against Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.’s efforts to gain access to Trump taxes. Yes, that’s right; Barr has brought the U.S. into a personal legal dispute to help defend Trump who is fighting against releasing his taxes.
Anyone still question Barr’s loyalties of Trump over nation?
The New York Times reports House Subpoenas Giuliani, Trump’s Lawyer, for Ukraine Records.
Let’s just say the guy trying to convict former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter in the court of public opinion is up to his crazy eyeballs in Ukraine muck. (for anyone that wants a balanced review of Hunter Biden’s activities from 2015 Democracy Now! has Intercept reporter James Risen who extensively reported at the time as well as the current spin.)
At the head of the article Giuliani is pictured in a restaurant with his Ukrainian associate Lev Parnas, under investigation for Federal Election Commission violations for six-figure donations to a Trump super PAC. Giuliani’s Ukraine work goes back to 2008.
Another Giuliani client is “real estate and energy tycoon Pavel Fuks” who says “he hosted Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. in Moscow in 2006 when he was negotiating with their father about the possibility of licensing Trump branding for a development in Moscow”.
In addition to Giuliani “the husband and wife team of Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing”, frequent Fox News guests, are also digging for Biden dirt citing material linked to Ukraine oligarch and partner to convicted former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, Ukrainian billionaire “Dimtry Firtash”.
Bloomberg reports that diGenova and Toensing have been hired as part of Firtash’s legal team to fight extradition to the U.S. for “alleged bribery”. Firtash and Manafort also partnered with Russian oligarch and billionaire Oleg Deripaska on a “never consummated” $850 million business deal. And yes, the same Deripaska that is sanctioned by the U.S. and investing $200 million in a aluminum mill in Senate Leader ‘Moscow’ Mitch McConnell’s Kentucky.
The BIG Payoff: Putin Gets To Keep Parts of Ukraine
Trump rewards Putin … again.
Trump withheld military aid from Ukraine and of course Putin knew this. Trump also told Ukraine President Zelensky, “I really hope you and President Putin get together and can solve your problem”. This during a typical shockingly Trumpian meeting and joint press conference that had Trump once again blaming Obama for Russian annexation of Ukraine Crimea. It’s a must read to see the full extent of
The net result of Trump’s manipulations – Ukraine and Russia reach deal for elections in contested regions. (Note: For paywall reasons I tried to find this news beyond the Financial Times where it was reported without success.)
Anti Russian protests are taking place in Kiev while Zelensky has reached an agreement to allow “elections in Donetsk and Lugansk and to confer autonomy on these areas once the polls are certified as free and fair”. If this happens, Putin now annexes eastern Ukraine in addition to Crimea. Zelensky “insisted that Ukraine regain control of its border and that all militants are removed from the two eastern regions before the elections take place, suggesting Kiev is still demanding Russian concessions”.
Which is much like Sen. “Moscow” Mitch McConnell stating his support for a Senate impeachment trial while adding “How long you’re on it is a whole different matter”.
Trump-Ukraine is Trump-Russia redux but simpler.
This time he is armed with a more committed team, no ‘adults in the room’ to constrain him – Barr, Mulvaney, Pompeo, Giuliani and even Perry.
Putin gets a big payout, Trump has Ukrainians aiding and abetting including the same cast of billionaire oligarchs – Deripaska and Firtash.
And — shockingly — this time the information dam breaks because Trump released his own damning notes of his call with Zelensky.
Time to wrap up. An URGENT private meeting at the request of the State Department inspector general Steve Linick with Congress has now concluded. Nothing more is known about this at the moment.
So to end:
What now passes for humor in the Age of Trump…
An unlikely pairing, but here goes…
There is Putin’s ‘joke about the 2020 election’: “Of course we’re going to interfere.”
A second attempt, Politico reports “Trump hotel mystery: Giant reservations followed by empty rooms”. The idea here is as simple as you guessed, people and foreign governments are booking rooms that are never used “to curry favor with him”. One person saw this coming: check out this Doonesbury comic strip from Garry Trudeau for August 13, 2017.
Lastly, Trump suggested soldiers at the U.S. border “shoot migrants in the legs to slow them down” and construct a “water-filled trench, stocked with snakes and alligators”, wanting a “cost estimate”. But Trump denies this by tweeting about his “Moot”:
“Now the press is trying to sell the fact that I wanted a Moot stuffed with alligators and snakes, with an electrified fence and sharp spikes on top, at our Southern Border. I may be tough on Border Security, but not that tough. The press has gone Crazy. Fake News!”
Closest to real humor, a Finnish journalist asked the president of Finland (joint Trump press conference), “What kind of favors has Mr. Trump asked from you”? Trump’s face – priceless.
The MOOK tweets about his MOOT.