Nel's New Day

November 22, 2019

GOP, DDT Acting like Russian Assets

Impeachment testimony has concluded—perhaps. Republicans argue that Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) had to investigate “corruption” in Ukraine because they were responsible for meddling in the 2016 election. Testimony refuted this conspiracy theory, but Republicans cannot give up support for this falsehood that was created by the Russians

Today, the public discovered that Republicans have known that Russia has pushed the “fictional narrative” of Ukraine’s responsibility for meddling since early 2017—and that senators were briefed on the Russian security services’ disinformation campaign by Russian security services. Ukraine didn’t do the hacking during the 2016 election: Russia did. Russia’s aim was to increase discord among adversaries, and Russia succeeded. Russia’s intelligence officers told prominent Russians and Ukrainians, who then told U.S. political figures and journalists unaware of the origin. U.S. intelligence agencies told senator about this campaign, and the Republicans ignored the information. Reporters Julian E. Barnes and Matthew Rosenberg wrote:

“That muddy brew worked its way into American information ecosystems, sloshing around until parts of it reached Mr. Trump, who has also spoken with Mr. Putin about allegations of Ukrainian interference. Mr. Trump also brought up the assertions of Ukrainian meddling in his July 25 call with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, which is at the heart of the impeachment inquiry into whether he abused his power by asking for a public commitment to investigations he stood to gain from personally.”

Despite information that their conspiracy theories about Ukraine are false, GOP House members insisted on bringing it up in questioning with no evidence to support their false theories. In his call to Fox and Friends this morning, DDT again pushed the Russian propaganda. Even those ultra-conservative hosts looked and sounded dubious, one of them asking if DDT is sure of the debunked theory that the FBI gave a Democratic server to what DDT falsely called a Ukrainian-owned company. The hosts of Fox and Friends didn’t look pleased by their interaction with DDT. 

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry/fact-check-trump-s-false-claims-about-ukraine-dnc-server-n1089596   DDT falsely claimed, “[The FBI] gave the server to CrowdStrike … which is a company owned by a very wealthy Ukrainian.” CrowdStrike is the California-based cybersecurity firm hired by the DNC to investigate a breach. The investigation showed that it was a Russian hack to create chaos, discord, and disruption of the 2016 election. Publicly traded on the Nasdaq, Crowdstrike’s biggest shareholder is Warburg Pincus who has personal ties to DDT. One of CrowdStrike’s founders, Dmitri Alperovitch, is a Russian-born U.S. citizen, who often consults with the U.S. government on cybersecurity. Common practice in investigations is to digitally copy physical servers to preserve the information as evidence. The DNC has decommissioned 140 servers and rebuilt 11, related to 2016. The RNC also used CrowdStrike after it was hacked. This falsehood from DDT was one of many during his 53-minute commentary on Fox and Friends. 

During his colloquy, DDT admitted that he shook down Zelensky for the military aid:

“We’re looking for, why should we be giving hundreds of millions of dollars to countries when there’s this kind of corruption?”

Congress passed the law with the military aid, and DDT signed it. DDT admitted he wants to prove that Russia didn’t interfere in the 2016 election to help his reelection campaign. To help DDT’s re-election, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) appears to be initiating an investigation into Joe Biden.

During her testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, Fiona Hill, formerly a Russia expert from the National Security Council, spoke about the false GOP fringe notion:

“Based on questions and statements I have heard, some of you on this committee appear to believe that Russia and its security services did not conduct a campaign against our country—and that perhaps, somehow, for some reason, Ukraine did. This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves. I refuse to be part of an effort to legitimize an alternative narrative that the Ukrainian government is a U.S. adversary, and that Ukraine—not Russia—attacked us in 2016.”

With their refusal to accept the truth and their continued claim that Ukraine was the meddler in the U.S. election, Republicans are joining DDT as Russian assets, weakening Ukraine and the U.S. while strengthening Russia. The right wing tried to slime her because of her British accent—she’s a coalminer’ daughter. She told them that she comes from the same area as George Washington’s ancestors. Accused of being a “Never Trumper,” she nevertheless defended him whenever possible. Sondland described Hill as “emotional,” but her demeanor during the hours-long questioning debunked his attempt to destroy her testimony. The GOP lawyer Steve Castor ended up in a trap with more damning testimony against DDT when he accused her of just being upset. While GOP representatives became more enraged at her during her testimony, she calmly sat there waiting for them to finish. Tim Miller is right by calling her Queen Fiona for her testimony. His full account is well worth reading. 

Earlier in the week, Gordon Sondland, ambassador to the EU and one of the “three amigos” on DDT’s shadow policy team to circumvent official appointees for Ukraine, saved himself and testified against the concept of a “rogue diplomacy” with Ukraine. Fox’s Chris Wallace summarized Sondland’s testimony:

 “[Sondland] took out the bus, and he ran over President Trump, Vice President Pence, Mike Pompeo, John Bolton, Rudy Giuliani, Mick Mulvaney—he implicates all of them.”

Sondland said that he followed DDT’s orders when he talked to Ukraine about investigations, that there was a quid pro quo, and that “everyone was in the loop.” Pence tried to deny any knowledge, but Sondland testified that weeks before the July 25 phone call he specifically told Pence he “had concerns” about how the military aid to Ukraine “had become tied” to the investigations. Sondland also said that he had no choice but to work with DDT’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani. DDT spent the day denying Sondland’s testimony, repeating “I want nothing.” He even wrote a speech about it with his Sharpie in case he forgot the words. DDT then refused to take any questions from reporters. Pence’s office said Sondland lied. More details about Sondland’s testimony this week.

About Sondland, Hill testified, “He wasn’t coordinating with us because we weren’t doing the same thing that he was doing. He was being involved in a domestic political errand. And we were being involved in national security foreign policy.”

Pentagon Ukraine-Russia expert Laura Cooper testified that Ukraine met all of legal corruption elimination thresholds months before DDT froze the military aid and that the DOD had certified the funds before May. A claim is that DDT doesn’t want to send money to corrupt countries—at least those that don’t personally benefit him—but the military aid for Ukraine had built-in conditions to prove it has undertaken anti-corruption reforms.

The right also smeared Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the fired NSC specialist on Ukraine, after he testified that DDT’s July 25 call to Zelensky by DDT was inappropriate. Vindman heard the call. Republican attacks on Vindman are so severe that the Army is considering the need to protect Vindman and his family on a military base.

DDT complains about not having any witnesses, but two GOP witnesses testified this week. Tim Morrison, former NSC official, testified that he immediately went to NSC lawyer John Eisenberg after he heard the call and said the transcript should be restricted to hide it from the public. Morrison suggested that DDT’s July 25 call be restricted because of the “political” ramifications” if people knew about it. After White House lawyer John Eisenberg hid the transcript—which has not been completely released—in the highest classified system, Morrison said Eisenberg said that this placement was a “mistake … and administrative error.” Later Morrison said that Eisenberg told him “I gave no such direction.” Former special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, the other GOP witness, changed his earlier testimony to say that he now remembered Sondland had brought up the Burisma/2016 election investigations at the July 10 meeting in the White House with a Ukrainian delegation.

Takeaways from Week Two:

  1. President Trump was directly involved in directing the investigations into Ukraine.
  2. Contrary to what Mulvaney stated in the White House briefing room, it is virtually unheard of for the president’s political interests to have an effect on foreign aid.
  3. Interfering in aid to Ukraine may have put Ukrainian lives at risk and strengthened Russia’s hand in the region.
  4. Ukraine knew in May that DDT was pressuring them. 
  5. Pompeo refuses to defend the people who work for him in the State Department. 
  6. Leading federal GOP officials and lawmakers continue to act as assets for Russia to protect them despite their knowledge that Russia, not Ukraine, meddled in DDT’s election.
  7. Giuliani is still bragging about working on the same investigations in Ukraine. 
  8. Pompeo’s and Mulvaney’s refusal to testify make DDT look even guiltier.  

October 18, 2019

DDT: Week 143 – A World on Fire

Perhaps the best daily rundown of politics comes from Rantt Media, created two years ago. Today’s summary covers the damage of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) in Syria:

“President Trump has singlehandedly undone years of progress in Syria, enabled atrocities against our allies, and eroded America’s credibility in a matter of days. The situation in Syria was relatively stable until the self-proclaimed stable genius decided to launch a betrayal of historic proportions and throw the region into chaos.

“On October 6, Trump announced the spontaneous withdrawal of 50-100 troops from Northern Syria and the abandonment of Kurdish forces who helped us diminish ISIS. The announcement came after a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who wasted no time commencing his slaughter of the Kurds.

“Since last week, the Kurds have reported at least 218 civilians killed, including 18 children, and 650 injured. More than 160,000 people have been displaced. Over 700 ISIS supporters have fled prisons the Kurds were guarding. There have been reports of white phosphorous used against Kurdish civilians, which would constitute a war crime on the part of Turkey. After all of that, the Trump Administration then cut a deal with Turkey that puts a rubber stamp on all of their goals…

“Turkey’s objective is to push the Kurds out of Northern Syria. What Pence announced was actually that the US is now backing Turkey’s objective and that the Kurds must leave their homeland or be slaughtered. Meanwhile, Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and Russia are able to move into newly ceded land. The move was surrender. And before the day was complete, the idea that it was a ‘ceasefire’ at all quickly unraveled when reports of gunfire and shelling began to pour in…

“After the announcement, President Trump claimed this surrender was a victory.”

Rachel Maddow tweeted this summary:

  1. turkey wants to push the kurds out of that part of syria.
  2. trump gives ‘em the OK to invade.
  3. pence brokers a “deal” in which the kurds… must get out of that part of syria.
  4. the US agrees to un-sanction turkey.

After the Kurdish debacle, Budget Director and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney held a press conference and confirmed that he held up military aid to Ukraine to force the country to investigate DDT’s political rival. For months, Republicans, including DDT, claimed no quid pro quo despite evidence that DDT, his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, and DDT’s political appointees illegally tried to extort the Ukrainians into interfering in the 2020 election. Mulvaney justified the extortion with the assertion, “We do that all that time with foreign policy” and then told concerned people “Get over it.” Those close to DDT, including his lawyer Jay Sekulow, disavowed Mulvaney’s statement who then released a statement falsely saying that his words were “misconstrued.” Fox’s Laura Ingraham excused Mulvaney’s “mistake” because Mulvaney isn’t a lawyer. Mulvaney graduated from the law school at the University of North Carolina in 1992 and practiced law for five years.

Mulvaney also announced that DDT will host the 2020 G7 summit at his personally-owned Doral Miami Golf Club in a brazen violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Emolument Clause. The facility has such a bad reputation for cleanliness that the nickname for next year’s G7 meeting is Bedbug Summit. Even Fox journalist Chris Stirewalt was stunned by this announcement and recent events, saying, “The world is on fire.” In 2012, President Barack Obama held the summit at the government-owned retreat at Camp David in Maryland. Eric Trump promised that his father would not overcharge people; the government paid $546 per night for each staffer’s lodging at DDT’s Mar-a-Lago Club. A lawsuit against DDT illegally profiting from foreign and state governments will be heard before the entire 4th Circuit Court on December 12. DDT says that his court defeats are temporary because he’s appointing all the judges.

A detailed look at DDT tax documents with businesses appearing more profitable to lenders and less profitable to tax officials could be “versions of fraud,” according to a tax expert. Taken from DDT’s property tax appeal for nine years, the information comes from expenses, profits and occupancy figures for two Manhattan buildings with no explanation for multiple inconsistencies. Two former DDT associates, Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort, went to prison, in part for falsifying tax and bank records, some related to real estate.

When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) walked out of DDT’s Wednesday meeting, DDT accused her of having a meltdown. CNN correspondent Jamie Gangel, however, reported that Republicans were seriously alarmed about DDT’s behavior, describing them as “completely shaken,” “shell shocked,” and “sickened.” In public, Republicans defended DDT; in private, they said that he isn’t in control of himself. DDT’s frenetic frustration with the impeachment inquiry was demonstrated with a massive number of tweets—almost 50 of them five days after the impeachment inquiry started and many more since then. Hashtags started using the term “meltdown” after DDT’s erratic behavior during a press conference with the Finnish president, and comments about DDT’s mental fitness accelerated. Since that time, he’s played the martyr, heckler, autocrat, projectionist, conspiracist, and bully.  

Giuliani may have a connection to Dmitry Firtash’s attempt to avoid extradition to the U.S. Firtash’s associates worked to get dirt on Joe Biden in exchange for Giuliani’s help in Firtash’s legal case. Fox consultant Joe deGenova and his wife Victoria Toensing, both lawyers, billed Firtash $1 million that included costs for Lev Parnas, Giuliani’s associate who has been arrested for violating campaign-finance laws. Part of the “dirt” was a witness statement from Viktor Shokin, a former Ukrainian prosecutor-general, that helped Giuliani renew his conspiracy theory about Biden’s attempt to help his son in Ukraine. In June, diGenova and Toensing’s son, Brady Toensing, joined the DOJ as senior counsel in the Office of Legal Policy.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) plans to break up the team that assesses the environmental impacts of major projects on the nation’s public lands and spread them across seven states. The Department of Interior already announced it would move Grand Junction (CO) in a building shared by Chevron with 300 staffers moved across the West. Only 61 employees would stay in D.C. The strategy seems to be a dismantling of the agency and its ability to conduct energy development.

In his claim to “drain the swamp,” DDT has thus far appointed 1 lobbyist for each 14 political appointments—a total of 261.

DDT’s Miami resort, Doral, was the site of a conservative event featuring Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Donald Trump Jr. The “entertainment” included a video with DDT in a church setting, slaughtering church worshipers and representatives of CNN, NPR, MSNBC and Black Lives Matter as well as politicians such as the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), and Hillary Clinton in the “Church of Fake News.” DDT never responded.

Conference-goers also chanted, “War! War!” after Pastor Mark Burns told the crowd three times, “We’ve come to declare war!” A white radio host Wayne Allyn Root also bragged about beating up black students at his high school and saying “it was funny.” Root added, “To win in politics … you’ve got to be a natural-born killer.”

Red-meat lovers rejoiced at a study that eating red meat isn’t the health problem purported in the past. Seems that the study was done by a group partially funded by the beef industry. Sort of like studies that Monsanto and GMO foods aren’t dangerous being subsidized by Monsanto.

It’s pretty shady when your international business success is all about your father’s name, Donald Trump Jr. said. DDT said that it was wrong that Hunter Biden make money off his father’s name. That was the same day that DDT said that the 2020 G7 summit would be at his personal resort, making him millions of dollars and charging taxpayers more millions of dollars for permanent upgrades–all also benefiting the man who carries DDT’s name, Donald Trump, Jr.

DDT was up to 13,435 false claims in his first 995 days, an average of 22 per day since the last check on April 26, 2019 and a drastic increase from the 5 to 7 during his first year. Ukraine alone accounts for over 250 lies in the past few weeks. One of the most dangerous was his accusation that Kurds deliberately released ISIS prisoners to get the U.S. involved in the conflict. The Kurds have always been U.S. allies. 

The wife of a U.S. senior spy killed a 19-year-old motorcycle rider in Britain because she didn’t know which side of the road to drive on and then fled the country. DDT wants to introduce her to the dead man’s parents in front of a gaggle of reporters. DDT defended the wife by saying that drivers have to “be careful” when driving on “opposite roads.” In Virginia, the woman had been ticketed for failing to “pay full time and attention.”

DDT’s approval ratings averaged 40.7% during his 11th quarter in office, beginning on July 20 and ending on October 19 and a two-percent drop from the previous quarter.

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