Posts Tagged ‘Russia’

Trump Tried to Buy Property in Russia While Running For President

August 29, 2017

Trump Tried to Buy Property in Russia While Running For President
“While Donald Trump was running for president in late 2015 and early 2016, his company was pursuing a plan to develop a massive Trump Tower in Moscow, according to several people familiar with the proposal and new records reviewed by Trump Organization lawyers.

” … the details of the deal … provide evidence that Trump’s business was actively pursuing significant commercial interests in Russia at the same time he was campaigning to be president — and in a position to determine U.S.-Russia relations. The new details from the emails, which are scheduled to be turned over to congressional investigators soon, also point to the likelihood of additional contacts between Russia-connected individuals and Trump associates during his presidential bid.”

“Trump denied having any business connections to Russia in July 2016, tweeting, ‘for the record, I have ZERO investments in Russia’ and then insisting at a news conference the following day, ‘I have nothing to do with Russia.’”

— “Trump’s business sought deal on a Trump Tower in Moscow while he ran for president,” Carol D. Leonnig, Tom Hamburger and Rosalind S. Helderman, Washington Post

“A top executive from Donald Trump’s real estate company emailed Russian President Vladi­mir Putin’s personal spokesman during the U.S. presidential campaign last year to ask for help advancing a stalled Trump Tower development project in Moscow, according to documents submitted to Congress on Monday.”

— “Top Trump Organization executive asked Putin aide for help on business deal,” Rosalind S. Helderman, Carol D. Leonnig and Tom Hamburger, Washington Post

(more…)

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Report: Sessions Talked Policy With Russian Diplomat

July 25, 2017

Report: Sessions Talked About Campaign With Russian Diplomat

The Russian ambassador to the U.S. told his superiors that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to Mr. Session’s public assertions and sworn testimony, reports the Washington Post:

“Ambassador Sergey Kislyak’s accounts of two conversations with Sessions — then a top foreign policy adviser to Republican candidate Donald Trump — were intercepted by U.S. spy agencies, which monitor the communications of senior Russian officials in the United States and in Russia. Sessions initially failed to disclose his contacts with Kislyak and then said that the meetings were not about the Trump campaign.

One U.S. official said that Sessions — who testified that he had no recollection of an April encounter — has provided ‘misleading’ statements that are ‘contradicted by other evidence.’ A former official said that the intelligence indicates that Sessions and Kislyak had ‘substantive’ discussions on matters including Trump’s positions on Russia-related issues and prospects for U.S.-Russia relations in a Trump administration.

Sessions has said repeatedly that he never discussed campaign-related issues with Russian officials and that it was only in his capacity as a U.S. senator that he met with Kislyak.

‘I never had meetings with Russian operatives or Russian intermediaries about the Trump campaign,’ Sessions said in March when he announced that he would recuse himself from matters relating to the FBI probe of Russian interference in the election and any connections to the Trump campaign.”

— “Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show,” Adam Entous, Ellen Nakashima and Greg Miller, Washington Post

President Trump is hinting that he will fire Mr. Sessions and attacking him, but not for campaign collusion or for lying about it. Mr. Trump is upset that Mr. Sessions recused himself on the Russia investigation and isn’t persecuting his former political opponent, like they do in, say, Russia.

More:

“Sessions Discussed Campaign Matters With Russian Ambassador,” Aria Bendix and Adam Serwer, The Atlantic

“Sessions hires his own lawyer,” Rebecca Savransky, The Hill

Related:

“Ex-Bush ethics lawyer: Trump calling for Clinton to be prosecuted is an ‘impeachable offense,'” Aida Chavez, The Hill

“Russian envoy, at heart of U.S. investigations, ends tenure in Washington,” David Shepardson, Reuters

“Kislyak Leaves His Post With Russiagate in His Wake,” Griffin Connolly, Roll Call

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Summer Intern Speaks Outside White House

July 24, 2017

New Jersey youngster Jared Kushner spoke to White House reporters Monday, claiming credit towards his Citizenship Merit Badge. He’s a good boy, say his counselors.

Every summer well-connected, rich white American youths who can afford to work without pay descend upon the Nation’s Capital. They serve a vital function, staffing federal government offices while our elected officials are playing golf at their private clubs. Inevitably, the inexperienced and unsupervised young folks get into trouble. Everybody just shrugs.

More:

“Kushner’s damning account: At the very least, he’s in over his head,” Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post

“Jared Kushner’s explanations on Russia reveal a man wholly unsuited to his job,” Ed Pilkington, The Guardian

“CNN analyst rips Kushner’s statement to shreds: He’s going to solve the Middle East but can’t fill out forms,” Eric W, Dolan, Raw Story

“Jared Kushner Blames Basically Everyone — Donny, His Assistant, His Tough Job — For the Russia Headache,” Emily Jane Fox, Vanity Fair

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Donald Trump Jr., Cover Boy

July 17, 2017

“How bad is it?” asks David Von Drehle in Time magazine, the new issue with Donald Trump Jr. on the cover. Maybe Trump Sr. will put this cover on the walls of his golf course clubhouses.

Donny Junior’s Russian meeting is certainly a front page story, and as more information emerges, it just gets worse. Possible federal election law violation, conspiracy,  and obstruction of justice. That means full employment for Washington’s lawyers for the foreseeable future.

More:

“How Donald Trump Jr.’s Emails Have Cranked Up the Heat on His Family,” David Von Drehle, TIME

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Donald Trump Jr.’s Cartoonish Campaign Conspiracy

July 13, 2017

Donald Trump Jr.'s Cartoonish Campaign Conspiracy
So this Ivy-League-educated New York millionaire frat boy gets an email from a British music promoter and professional fat guy he met at a Moscow beauty pageant, who tells him a Russian government attorney he knows through a Russian pop singer client has dirt on the political opponent of the millionaire’s daddy that she got from the Russian chief federal prosecutor. “I love it,” responds the millionaire New Yorker, and forwards the email to his brother-in-law and his poppa’s campaign manager, and they all meet with the Russian lawyer at Trump Tower, in violation of federal campaign law, and they don’t tell anyone until after they win the election. The Big Apple frat boy then incriminates himself via twitter and hires a trombone-playing mob lawyer to defend him.

Natasha Fatale: “What do you think?”
Boris Badenov: “I think he is as dumb as a sack of hammers.”

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Image (“Boris Badanov gets Donald Trump Jr.’s email” after Jay Ward and Alex Anderson), by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Donald Trump’s Favorite Russian Pop Star

July 11, 2017

“Good Love,” written and performed by Azerbaijan-born Emin Agalarov, the favorite Russ-Pop artist of the U.S. President and his son, Donnie Jr. Just like Don Jr., Emin is the son of a controversial billionaire. Their daddies even know each other.

Video directed by Alan Badoev.

EMIN official website.

Related:

“How a Pageant Led to a Trump Son’s Meeting With a Russian Lawyer,” By Megan Twohey and Steve Eder, New York Times

“How Trump’s ‘Miss Universe’ in Russia Became Ensnared in a Political Inquiry,” Katie Rogers, New York Times

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Donald Trump Jr. Met With a Russian to Get Dirt on Hillary Clinton

July 10, 2017

Donald Trump Jr. Met With a Russian to Get Dirt on Hillary Clinton

Donald Trump Jr., promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton, met with Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya during the 2016 campaign, reports the New York Times. Brother-in-law Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, then Trump campaign manager, also attended the Trump Tower meeting on June 9, 2016, soon after Donald Trump clinched the GOP presidential nomination.

Junior has replied that the meeting with Ms. Veselnitskaya was about something else. And besides, he added, her campaign dirt on Hillary wasn’t any good.

More:

“Trump’s Son Met With Russian Lawyer After Being Promised Damaging Information on Clinton,” Jo Becker, Matt Apuzzo, and Adam Goldman, New York Times

“Donald Trump Jr.’s Two Different Explanations for Russian Meeting,” Liam Stack, New York Times

“If There Was No Collusion, It Wasn’t for Lack of Trying,” David A. Graham, The Atlantic

“Donald Trump Jr.’s ‘Denials’ of Russian Collusion Are Actually Confessions,” Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

“Donald Trump Jr. is digging himself a deep legal hole” Zack Beauchamp, Vox

“Trump Jr. Hires Criminal Defense Attorney Alan Futerfas For Russia Probe,” Matt Shuman, TPM LiveWire

“Donald Trump Jr.’s lawyer is a Juilliard-trained trombonist who plays in a symphony and defends mobsters,” Derek Hawkins, Washington Post

 

Updates:

“Russian Dirt on Clinton? ‘I Love It,’ Donald Trump Jr. Said,” Jo Becker, Matt Apuzzo, and Adam Goldman, New York Times

“Read the Emails on Donald Trump Jr.’s Russia Meeting,” New York Times

“Was President at Trump Tower When Son Met Russian Lawyer?” John T. Bennett, Roll Call

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Comey Testifies

June 8, 2017

Comey Testifies
Former FBI director James Comey testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee  at 10:00 AM Eastern Time today, Thursday, June 8th. The Intelligence Committee is investigating links between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign. Mr. Trump told Lester Holt of NBC News that he fired Mr. Comey to end the FBI’s criminal investigation of the same matter

Yesterday the committee released Mr. Comey’s prepared introductory remarks (highlights here). Today’s Q & A will be streamed live on PBS and many other platforms.

More:

“The Back Story on the 15 Senators Questioning Comey,” David Hawkings, Roll Call

“West Wing aides fearful of directly attacking Comey,”  Matthew Nussbaum, Josh Dawsey, Darren Samuelsohn, and Tara Palmeri, Politico

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Comey to Testify on June 8th

June 1, 2017

Comey to Testify on June 8th

The Senate Intelligence Committee has scheduled public testimony by recently terminated FBI director James Comey for 10:00 AM Eastern Time on Thursday, June 8th. The session will be streamed live on PBS.

The Intelligence Committee is investigating links between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign. Mr. Trump told Lester Holt of NBC News that he fired Mr. Comey to end the FBI’s criminal investigation of the same matter.

More:

“Comey to testify publicly next week,” Morgan Chalfant, The Hill

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Trump’s Big Mouth Makes It Harder To Fight Terrorism

May 25, 2017

When Donald Trump blabbed highly classified intelligence information to the Russian Foreign Minister last week, he made it more difficult for the U.S. to fight foreign terrorist threats. Vox explains.

Update:

“Trump Tells Murderous Dictator Location of U.S. Nuclear Subs,” NotionsCapital

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