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Monday, January 22, 2018

MSNBC Journal, Jan 22

Mon Jan 22
So many new stories:
From Business Insider, Trump has been pressuring Jeff Sessions, who has been pressuring Christopher Wray to fire Andrew McCabe and even James Baker. Axios has also been reporting on this. Wray was so upset about the pressure that he threatened to resign. Sessions went to Don McGahn, and McGahn said that it’s not worth losing Wray over it. Plus, fellas, you know it would not look good if Wray decided to explain to the American people why he resigned. So McCabe indicated that the was going to resign in early 2018 anyway, but he’s only 49, so that makes you wonder why he is retiring so early. And what did happen to Jim Baker? Benjamin Wittes is a friend of his and is outraged by what is going on.
There is the mysterious 4 page Nunes memo outlining the corruption and scandal of the FBI. Omg…it’s so awful what the evil FBI has done. But they won’t release it, even to the FBI. There is a movement called #releasethememo which the Russian bots have piled onto by the thousands. The memo is supposed to be classified, but it’s just written by pro-Trump loyalists on the committees,,,using information gathered in the committee investigations, so maybe some of it may be classified. Who knows? The memo was created in secret with nary a Democrat on the cabal. The whole thing is beyond stupid and treacherous.
Also from Business Insider:
From the New Yorker:
“Shortly before the election, aides prepared a memo for Chris Christie, at that time the head of the transition team, concerning the sensitive matter of conversations with foreign powers. “Because the current President is still in office, calls made during the transition period should be high level, non-substantive, and consist largely of diplomatic pleasantries,” they wrote. Trump would be “inundated with requests for thousands of calls from around the world,” they warned, through “campaign staff, outside advisers, and other third parties.” He must not accept them. Requests must be “methodically returned” in “a sequence of calls that will not create any diplomatic incidents or negative press stories.” The President-elect must have a classified intelligence briefing before conversations with foreign leaders, and then conduct the meetings only when a note-taker and a national-security aide are present. The aides suggested that Trump make five “waves” of calls over a number of days, starting with the United Kingdom and ending with Pakistan.”
“Obviously, all that just got tossed aside,” a senior transition official recalled recently, because Trump was “excited that important people were calling him.” Jared met with officials from Russia, sometimes one on one, and did not disclose the meetings. He met with Cui Tiankai, the Chinese ambassador to the US. The intelligence community picked up Cui’s communications to China, which indicated that they discussed Jared’s business interests and US policy. Jared’s spox utterly denied the topics, but with no note taker there, and no China expert, who knows. The protocols are for the protection of the US official.
Jared was warned in December that he was a likely target for a Chinese influence operation, with Rupert Murdoch’s ex-wife being a possible manipulator. He and Ivanka were very friendly with her. The Trump administration was alerted that a member of Trump’s family was a target.
Jared from the beginning, going back to 2006, cared nothing for caution or rule of law. Against all advice skirted around it all [perhaps because during his almost 4 decades of life, he saw his father do the same and always get away with it]. He is still sitting in the daily briefings, along with 13 other people. During the Obama administration, after 8 years of being president, only 7 were allowed in. And some who used to be in Trump’s briefings are now no longer with the administration, and are under indictment.

Regarding the prophecy I wrote about two days ago, I wrote that there was a tiny hint that the prophetic experience didn’t come from the God of the Bible. The spirit that seemed to be impelling Mark Taylor gave him a shoulder massage when he was in a lot of pain. It also gave him a special name, shakina kami. Shakina most probably refers to the shekinah glory of the Presence of God. It’s usually a manifested glory like a glowing light, a cloud of light, or a roiling, dark cloud. Kami is a Japanese god, sometimes known as a wind god, depicted in fanciful art with wings. But more often it’s a term for concepts or it refers to spirits that try of effect events on earth through concrete things such as rivers, rocks, or animals. So a name reflecting “The Glory of Kami” isn’t one I would brag about, but Taylor’s spiritual adviser assured that it meant something glorious and Christian. 

Saturday, January 20, 2018

MSNBC Journal, Jan 20

Sat Jan 20
Ted and I went to see The Post, a fabulous movie that had me wiping tears from my eyes. I’ve learned a lot about the Vietnam War by watching documentaries about it. When it was actually happening, it didn’t impact my young adult world in any way, and I wasn’t one to march and wave signs. I only vaguely understood the important geopolitical events around me. The civil rights movement was just headlines in the paper to me, sad scenes of violence on TV which were hard to watch because it was so distressing. In my world, I had never experienced the kind of hatred I was watching on TV.
The Post ended with the Watergate break in being discovered by a security guard. That last scene was deliciously brilliant. That break in, which took place on June 17, 1972, didn’t seem so significant to me at the time, because I barely knew who Daniel Ellsberg was then, and I had no idea why I should care. I was only marginally plugged in to the news in the 70’s and 80’s. I never fully grasped the significance of the Pentagon Papers when they were being published. I didn’t like Nixon, but had no particular hostility to him. I supported the Vietnam War because I thought it was the patriotic thing to do, and I really bought the whole domino theory of fighting Communism. So, when I had a dream about President Nixon around March or April of 1971, I wrote it down and set it aside. When the Watergate era began, I had no idea it was the beginning of the end of the Nixon presidency. So here is the dream I had a year before Watergate:
I watched a bunch of recruits getting their first military haircuts. They were struggling against it because they didn’t like losing their hair. Suddenly there was a change of policy. In the dream, Nixon had decided that the recruits didn’t need that short military look. The barbers could leave more of their locks. Then I saw Nixon sitting on a tree stump in a place with a broad lawn. I said to him, “Mr. President, you didn’t get to where you are today by relaxing rules. You knew you had to do what had to be done when it had to be done.” He began to weep, still sitting on the stump. Then the scene changed. He was standing waist deep in the ocean. Wave after wave was coming after him, almost knocking him off his feet.
About a week or so after the dream, there was a recruitment ad in the local paper, showing the new haircut policy. Hair is in. The new military is cool. I just now went searching for an article about it and found this:  This article verifies for me that my date for the dream is accurate. Well, that got my attention, and affirmed that I should write the dream down and save it.
I have no idea why I said to Nixon what I did. I was the last one who should care about military haircuts, and there’s no way I could know why Nixon got to be President of the US. However, as an Old Testament devotee, I did recognize that a tree stump suggested a fallen ruler. That’s all I knew. It was a mystery to me why I had the dream. I knew that if it was from God it wasn’t good news for Nixon, but that was just too bizarre to consider, so I tried not to think about it. When his final days arrived in 1974, a headline in the news actually said, “Another wave rolls in.” That’s when I knew for sure that the dream was prophetic and that Nixon was in serious trouble.
It’s really important to understand why wars happen. So many young men died. Others came home without limbs, or they had PTSD before anyone knew that PTSD was a thing. Others were exposed to agent orange, and are suffering now. Others were broken by drugs or pain pills and are wandering homeless on our streets today. War is a big, freaking deal. I wish I had been more aware when I was young.

I’ve had two revelations (I hope they are genuine) that pertain to Trump. One was the dream about the screw, in which a creepy spider grabbed the little screw (the message I was trying hard to promote) and ran off with it under the bed (June 27). In other words, I lost that information battle. The other was when I awoke mumbling, “The rest will be eaten by the bear” (Sept 27). My husband had a dream twice in which an ecclesiastical type leader, wearing a white robe and supported by two loyal officials who also wore white robes, turned into the devil. Time will tell. Tomorrow I’ll share some other prophecies that others have had about Donald Trump.

Friday, January 19, 2018

MSNBC Journal, Jan 19

Fri Jan 19
Two things:  1) Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of Trump having been sworn in. In this blog there is abundant evidence of how he got elected and what kind of man he is. We are now at the point where two journalistic universes exist in America. They have opposite mindsets, opposite facts. They are accusing each other of treason, corruption, and scandal. Scandal…yes, Stormy Scandal, I mean Daniels, is surfacing, but now things have changed to where it’s no big deal. But I digress. I think, unless there is a great hue and cry, I will stop posting these daily blogs after tomorrow. I hope they have been helpful. If you are following along, and they’ve been helpful, there is a comment box at the bottom of each blog. I may post some of my own personal commentary on what proceeds from here. I’ll post if a major Mueller moment comes along or if I have a prophetic dream or if a major Evangelical prophecy comes along.
2)  All day long it’s been about the vote to save or shut down the government. Dan Rather said it best: “The day you wake up and realize your country is being run like a demolition derby.” I’m not going to blog about that. Have you ever heard of the Commander-in-Chief Prophecy? If not, fasten your seat belt, because here it is.

On April 28, 2011, a man named Mark Taylor was sitting in his living room watching Fox News. He was trying to recuperate from a debilitating illness, so he wasn’t fully focused on what he was watching. Donald Trump was apparently being interviewed. Taylor had seen him multiple times before. Suddenly, he became super alert. He felt that God whispered in his ear, “You are hearing the voice of a president.” Taylor went to the other room and wrote down the words that he felt the Holy Spirit gave him. He had the confidence to do that because he had already had a powerful experience some months before in which he felt God called him to a ministry of prophecy. After that experience, Taylor claims in his book, The Trump Prophecies, that he had many nights of dreams in which he conversed with angels or fought with demons. Once with Christ Himself conversed with him saying, “This is where the enemy and his legions are right now. We’re scrambling the enemy’s radar as we speak.”
I am not in a position to say that Mark Taylor is lying about these experiences. They are not beyond the pale for a person with a prophetic call, and I can’t sense anything in what he described that would suggest that they were demonic. There is only one tiny hint in the description that maybe would point to a grand deception. So I can see why people would be very taken with the prophecy written down on April 28. I was in awe and dread of it until I read it and compared it with what has gone on in this first year of Trumpworld.
Understand, I believe in prophecy. I’ve had a few myself, and I’ve been prophesied over, and those words came to pass. However, it was not for nothing that the New Testament writers warned us to test the spirits and see if they are true. When the Commander-in-Chief Prophecy was spread abroad in 2013, it had a huge effect in the Evangelical world. Kim Clement, Kathie Walters, and others began to prophesy that Donald Trump will one day be president of the US. Kim Clement declared in 2014, “Trump will be a trumpet!” As a result, the economy would boom, Roe vs Wade will be vanquished, RW, pro-life judges will fill the SCOTUS and hundreds of federal benches, the Constitution will be refreshed, the corruption of the dark Obama/Clinton cabal will be toppled, angels will rejoice, Christians will see prayer in the WH, and America will be safe, and Trump will be like king Cyrus in Isaiah 45. He will also be like David, God’s anointed for this hour. God’s enemies (meaning demon-driven Democrats) will be conquered at last.
By 2016, the Russian bots were doing their secret work, GOP gerrymandering was having a great effect, slanders against Obama and Clinton had people wondering if they were murderers, Muslims, traitors, evil agents of Satan, etc. Evangelical Christians were massively on board for Trump. He was pro-life, he listened to them, he let them pray for him, and he made many promises that they hungered for. And he kept those promises when he got into office. Evangelicals were over the moon for Trump. They now know that he is not a moral leader, but he is still promoting their causes, and they will stick by him to the end. My concern for them and us is the fact that when you make a deal with the devil to get what you want, it usually doesn’t work out well.
The Donald is a great speech maker. He’s a salesman, a con artist, a snake oil barker. He could sell refrigerators to the Eskimos. He has a silky voice, a narcissist’s confidence, a cunning ability to sense what people want to hear, and absolutely no conscience about telling them what it is he wants to convince them of. Whether it’s a promise he can’t keep, a sleazy, raging slander against an opponent, or a braggy willingness to assure the world no one is as great as he is or as smart or capable, Donald can ooze the oily words you want to hear. He doesn’t need facts or truth. He’s a spin star who can get the crowds cheering.
So here is what Mark Taylor wrote that night in 2011. I’m going to put it out there sentence by sentence and annotate it.

“The Spirit of God says, I have chosen this man, Donald Trump, for such a time as this. For as Benjamin Netanyahu is to Israel, so shall this man be to the United States of America.”
Many of my former Evangelical associates love Benjamin Netanyahu. They have an affectionate nickname for him. These Christians resented President Obama because he didn’t seem to give enough support to Israel. I’m no expert as to why, but I can guess that Netanyahu’s support for Israel’s expansion into Palestinian territory for building new Israeli communities was a point of contention. Netanyahu represents the Israeli Right Wing just as Trump is supported by the Right here in the US. When Trump announced that they would move the embassy to Jerusalem and would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, politicians were horrified, but conservative Christians and Jews were delirious with joy. Oddly, none of them gave any consideration about what this would do to the Palestinians or to prospects of peace between them and Jews. In all the rejoicing, I’ve never seen a comprehensive plan that any Palestinian could live with. Now the fact that Trump had often been on Fox News would indicate that if he became president, he and Netanyahu would be great buddies.
“For I will use this man to bring honor, respect, and restoration to America.”
Don’t tell the Evangelicals, who absolutely hated Barack Obama, that he had already brought respect and honor to America. The world leaders loved him. Well, maybe not a dictator here and there, but he had their respect. The economy had been recovering for 8 years. Obama inherited the worst depression since the crash of 1029, instigated by corruption in the banking industry, which was enabled by a lack of regulations. Wall Street had been running amok. Millions lost their jobs and homes. Slowly, the US recovered. There were no scandals in the Oval Office. No one had to “lawyer up.” For us Lefties, those were good times. But Fox and the Russians weren’t going to let that stand. They were out to crush everything on the Left, and they did a great job of it.
“America will be respected once again as the most powerful and prosperous nation on earth (other than Israel).”
As I write this, polls around the world are showing that the US has never had such low approval ratings. Trump has insulted our European allies, and they’ve basically written us off. The UK doesn’t even want him to visit there. He leaked classified information to the Russians, praised Putin, Erdogan of Turkey, and Duterte of the Philippines, both autocrats. Right now, on the anniversary of his inauguration, our government is about to shut down because the GOP wants to get rid of DACA and hasn’t gotten around to funding CHIP, and hasn’t even given the military more than a “continuing resolution” (CR, meaning temporary funding). It has never been the case in our history that the government shut down when one party has both houses.
“The dollar will be the strongest it has ever been in the history of the United States, and will once again be the currency by which all others are judged.”
I am not qualified to speak to this.
“The Spirit of God says: The enemy will quake and shake and fear this man I have anointed.”
Oh, like North Korea? Trump and Kim shot tweet insults back and forth like two teenagers. No one rushed to our defense. The world is terrified that Trump will bumble us into a nuclear war. Many are wondering if he is declining cognitively.
“They will even quake and shake when he announces he is running for president; it will be like the shot heard across the world. The enemy will say, ‘What shall we do now? This man knows all our tricks and schemes. We’ve been robbing America for decades; what shall we do to stop this?”
You know who knows what Trump knows about their tricks? The Russian mafia. The Italian mafia. The money launderers of eastern Europe. Why? Because our deal leader did all kinds of business with them in decades past. They passed millions to him in dodgy deals. He has no intention of exposing their tricks, because he is still profiting from them, and when it all comes out, there will be fines and hell to pay.
“The Spirit says: HA! No one shall stop this that I have started! For the enemy has stolen from America for decades and it stop now! For I will use this man to reap the harvest that the United States has sown for and plunder from the enemy what he has stolen and return it seven-fold back to the United States.”
Trump is reaping a harvest alright, but it’s not for the US. He is earning millions by spending oodles of time at his own gold resorts. The SS has to follow him everywhere, so they have to pay extra money to stay in his hotels and rent his golf carts. This is draining the US treasury, but Trump and family are gaining billions. It is a little disconcerting that some of what Trump says in his rallies may reflect what is in this and other prophecies. He is inclined to listen to such writings more than to his military and intelligence advisers.
“The enemy will say, ‘Israel, Israel, what about Israel? For Israel will be protected by America once again.”
President Obama made it clear that Israel was never in danger of being abandoned by the US. He just wanted Israel to do what is right, to stop the creep of Israeli settlements. Even God in the Old Testament demanded that Israel be more compassionate and righteous.
“The Spirit says: Yes! America will once again stand hand and hand with Israel, and the two shall be as one. For the ties between Israel and America will be stronger than ever, and Israel will flourish like never before.”
They won’t be so flourishy if another war breaks out between Israel and Hamas. Trump thrives on chaos. I enjoys a good fight. In that sense and many others, he is just like the devil.
“The Spirit of God says: I will protect America and Israel, for this next president will be a man of his word; when he speaks the world will listen and know that there is something greater in him than all the others before him. This man’s word is his bond and the world and America will know this and fear this, for this man will be fearless.”
Are you kidding me? Not a day goes by without a change of position, a lie, a fantasy, some scandal, a cover up, a stone wall, a new attorney to help an aide face charges of conspiracy, money laundering, and lying to the FBI. Facts are fluid, like Salvador Dali’s paintings. They flow here and there and wind up in places you would never think.
“The Spirit says: In this next election they will spend billions to keep this president in [meaning Obama for a third term]; it will be like flushing their money down the toilet. Let them waster their money, for it comes from and it is being used by evil forces at work, but they will not succeed, for this next election will be a clean sweep for the man that I have chosen.”
This segment is not only false, it is outrageously slanderous. In another prophecy, “God” makes it clear that Obama wants to remove guns from Americans because he is going to go for a third term. He’ll be supported by God’s enemies in the Deep State, and it will be a fight, but they will lose. In these prophecies, “God” calls Obama a “thief and a liar,” something he did not deserve. If there was ever a liar president, it’s Trump. As for being a thief, how about the money that came to his campaign from Russia? How about the stolen emails that hounded Hillary’s campaign? God has nothing to say about that? There was never a deep state conspiracy to keep Obama in power, but it’s the kind of web spun by Breitbart and Fox News, which would enrage the far Right and cause them to curse Obama and literally wish him dead. Fox News is a poison well, and those that drink from it drink to America’s harm. It’s the biggest threat to our democracy.
“They (the enemy) will say things about his man, but it will not affect him, and they shall say it rolls off of him like the duck, for as the feathers of a duck protect it, so shall my feathers protect his next president.”
He is feeling pretty secure right now because he has picked the kind of people that will protect him. There are corrupt judges that were rejected by the BAR. Many cabinet officials and aides have had connections to Russia. It’s hard to remember them all, but there are at least 8, maybe more if I counted carefully. Others that have connections with Breitbart and white supremist views. Jeff Sessions is not only famous for being a racist, he is a devout Trumpkin and will do whatever it takes to keep his job. Evangelical Christians will bring him support as they resist abortion and birth control. All of these people that he appointed are ethically challenged. They will say whatever it takes to support, enable, and defend him. However, there is Robt Mueller. I think Trump is afraid of Mueller. And how about Stormy Daniels? I wonder if he is afraid of the fact that In Touch Weekly published the whole 2011 interview today, and it’s pretty juicy. She holds nothing back. Some Elijah List prophet in the recent past prophesied that there would be an uncovering of corruptions. I’m sure the readers all thought that old Hillary would be exposed at last. And the evil Obama. Well how about Story describing Trump’s “junk,” which she saw shortly after Melania gave birth to Barron. The whole Donald J. Trump is being exposed, month by month. It’s all dirty, corrupt, secretive, and incompetent. I think at some point this exposure is going to have an effect. Or not. Because maybe his personality is too flawed for it to have an effect. If it doesn’t have some effect, we should all worry.
“Even mainstream news media will be captivated by this man and the abilities that I have gifted him with, and they will even begin to agree with him: says the Spirit of God.”

Maybe someday. So far, all they do is shred him all day long, and he deserves every bit of it. 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

MSNBC Journal, Jan 18

Thurs Jan 18

The government shuts down at midnight tomorrow night. Everyone is going nuts on Capitol Hill because there are deals out there that folks will vote for, but Trump, McConnell, and Ryan are fighting every solution, probably for different reasons. Kelly went on Fox and said that Trump is evolving on immigration and the wall issue. It sounded condescending, as if Trump is being managed by Kelly. Trump did not like it at all when he heard it and went into shut down mode. Not even Mitch McConnell can figure out what kind of bill to send to Trump. He is waiting for some signal of which direction to go.
[This morning Stephanie Ruhle said that a real estate person from NY told her that all this is theater. In the end, Trump will come and say this is what we’re going to do. In the meantime, he loves the chaos and the attention and the power he has to keep everyone upset. When the deal is signed, he’ll say, see you need me because I made it happen. This is a win for me.
She also said that the Evangelicals are thrilled with him. He has exceeded their expectations. They can now turn away from helping and/serving LGBTQ people and women wanting abortions or birth control. There is a division to help them negotiate their faith beliefs and their conscience. There are Bible studies in the WH and Christian prayer. This is why they voted for him. They believe that as time goes on, his faith will get stronger and stronger.]
[When you listen to him talk, I can’t help but think he seriously has a screw loose. He is a racist. He constantly changes his position on issues. He appoints pro-Russian officials,  racists and pro-life people, inexperienced, incompetent people, and corrupt people. He loves chaos, and he seems to think if he says something over and over, it becomes true. His narcissism is so evident. Facts don’t matter, slander is in. How dangerous is that?]

All In
The House has passed a 4-week, short term bill. It does not protect Dreamers, does add some months of CHIP. Disaster relief, opioid crisis funds are not in it. GOP doesn’t care if we don’t have an annual budget, because then you can cut money.
The House transcript of Glen Simpson/Fusion GPS testimony reads like a spy novel. It discusses kompromat and money laundering. “You know, we threw a line in the water, and Moby Dick came back, and we didn’t know what to do with it.”
Betsy Woodruff, Daily Beast:  After the dossier was publically released, there appeared to be a purge in Russia of possible spies. They may not have been the sources for the dossier, but they were sources for the US intelligence community. They were arrested and some were killed.
Hayes:  “So basically everyone in Russia works for Putin now.”
Adam Davidson, New Yorker:  Lots of mysterious money pours into the Irish and Scottish golf courses and Panama.
Hayes:  What came back from the Fusion investigation was possible conspiracy, money laundering, and kompromat. Steele wanted to go to the FBI.
Woodruff:  The way Simpson framed it was that kompromat and conspiracy go hand in hand. Troubling and questionable transactions are not necessarily proof of crimes. The FBI and Mueller and congressional committees must determine if a crime was committed.
Davidson:  10% of the global economy is money laundering. It goes on all the time and they usually don’t get caught. At the time, the money laundering and kompromat was everyday business as usual for Russians. They want to know who they can do crooked deals with and who can they manipulate.
Did the NRA funnel Russian money to the Trump campaign? In May 2016, Rick Dearborn got two invitations titled “Kremlin Connection.” And “Russian back door overture and dinner invite.” At that time the NRA was backing Trump. Alexander Torshin was a Russian mob money launderer. Did Torshin funnel money to the NRA to help Trump get elected? The NRA connection to Russia goes way back. The Fusion GPS firm found evidence of that. Torshin is a lifetime NRA member. A photo shows fmr NRA president David Keene, Alexander Torshin, and Sheriff David Clarke, pit bull sheriff.
Julia Ioffe, The Atlantic:  Some people who oppose Russian regime are libertarians and want more guns in the hands of citizen. So Maria Butina was one of those. Torshin weaponized our comments and tools to influence us. NRA money is dark money. It goes back to Citizens United. Russians are like Saudis and Chinese. They love the wealth, the drama, the Trump brand. We need more investigation.
Video of Sebastian Gorka: “The era of the pajama boys is over, and the alpha males are back.” [Oh God, that is what the world needs now. More alpha males in the WH.] He didn’t get a security clearance because the Hungarian police have a warrant out for his arrest due to a 2009 incident. He was denied a security clearance in Hungary in 2002.
FISA passed today.

Bannon’s testimony controversy. Theory is that Mueller and his prosecutors stopped Steve Bannon from testifying to Congress. Today, his House testimony was called off. Odds are he will talk to Mueller first.  
It became evident that the GOP investigators were using the Russia investigation to protect the WH and to create new Hillary allegations. Last week, Tuesday, Diane Feinstein released the Senate GPS testimony. That helped set the stage for release of the House transcript. Simpson talked to the Judiciary Committee as well. The House testimony represented 7 hrs of testimony. The GOPers were largely absent, like they got bored and after a couple of hours, they don’t show up anymore. There were a couple of staffers, so then it was the Dems asking questions. That left Simpson freedom to say what the really wanted to. [The GOP must have known what was coming.] He was exhausted when he testified. They studied Trump, Sater and Bayrock. Trump had associations with Italian mafia figures, and in the 1990’s, it expanded to the Russian mafia.
Bayrock had a mysterious funding source. Why was Trump in business with them? An amazing number of Russians bought properties from Trump. The mansion in FL had been looked into. Simpson originally thought Dmitry Rybolovlev was just hiding money from his wife. The press painted him as a big spender. “He was spending money like a drunken sailor on all kinds of things, and people were ripping him off in art deals.” He was closely linked to Igor Sechin. Sechin is close to Putin and is head of a state-owned gas company. Rybolovlev destroyed a whole town environmentally with his mining operations. He was criminally accused for it, but he managed to walk away from Russia with millions of dollars with the help of Sechin and his associates. Simpson is suspicious that Rybolovlev was deliberately overpaying for the mansion. Other oligarchs have left Russia, but they are still in touch with Moscow. Rybolovlev has traveled to Moscow regularly, and all this legal problems just went away. Simpson suspects that the art deals were also money laundering. Trump said that the FL deal was just him talking the buyer into paying double, “which is odd, because the market was going south at that point.”
It was perfect that the GOPers left and gave the floor to the Dems. “…by 2003, 2004, Donald Trump was not able to get bank credit for—and if you’re a real estate developer and you can’t get bank loans, you know, you’ve got a problem.” Alternative means of getting financing: show that you have sold a certain number of units. So a large number of Russians bought units or said they did, in pre-sales. In Panama, they got Bear Sterns to issue a bond “by telling Bear Sterns that they’d sold a bunch of units to a bunch of Russian gangsters.” That wasn’t in the underwriting information. They just said, these folks bought units. It’s well known now that the Russian mafia is under the control of the Russian government and the Intelligence services. It begs the question, if Russians are buying properties, are they doing it at the behest of the Russian government? This could be traced, and it would give Russia leverage over Trump. Years ago one of Trump’s sons boasted that they were getting a lot of their money from Russian sources.
Mallorca on the Mediterranean is a lovely place. In 2013, Alexander Torshin traveled there to attend a birthday party for a Russian friend. But Spanish officials had been investigating him and his friend for a web of dodgy financial schemes for the Russian mafia. They planned to arrest him, but he never showed because a Russian prosecutor tipped him off. They had to close the case. Torshin used to be a senator in the Russian Duma, and is now a deputy governor of the Russian Central Bank. He is a close ally of Vladimir Putin and is a lifetime member of the NRA. In the 2016 campaign, he tried several times to arrange a meeting between Putin and Trump. In May of 2016, Paul Erickson offered to arrange a back channel meeting between the two. He contacted Rick Dearborn for that connection. The email was headed “Kremlin Connection.” Putin “wants to extend an invitation to Mr. Trump to visit him in the Kremlin before the election.” That didn’t work, but later at an NRA convention where Torshin would be speaking on behalf of Putin, Torshin tried again, but although it didn’t work, he spent some time with Junior at a private dinner hosted by the NRA that weekend. “A meeting between Torshin, Maria Butina and newly-elected President Donald Trump was canceled at the last minute at the National Prayer Breakfast. Torshin wound up in the House transcript because Maria Butina was a big Trump fan in Russia. She showed up in the US around the time of the Transition. She enrolled at American University, which got her a visa. She got an apartment there. Putin is not exactly in favor of universal gun ownership by Russians. “So, [the NRA connection] it’s basically a charade.”
Greg Gordon, McClatchy:  Peter Stone was the lead author of that report that the FBI is investigating all that to see if Russian money went through the NRA to help Trump. The NRA spent $55m on the 2016 elections, $30m of it on Trump. That is triple what they spent on Romney in 2012. “Most of that was money spent by an arm of the NRA that is not required to disclose its donors.” It took them a long time to pull this info out of the investigation. A working group was working on money going to the campaign. Social media attacks. Harsh criticism of Hillary. Since Citizens United created a flood of dark money, the NRA has an arm that accepts dark money. They can’t say that this all happened for sure, but it is a question and is being investigating. Last year John Brennan said that the intell community saw Russian money flowing into the US election.
There is a one-story building in Delaware that is home to 300,000 businesses. Delaware thrives as a corporate tax haven. You can easily set up a shell company there and no questions will be asked. Last Friday, the WSJ reported that in 2016, just a few weeks before the election, Michael Cohen paid $130,000 to Stephanie Clifford to keep her quiet about her affair with Trump. But who paid the money and how did it get to her? Today the Journal reports that Essential Consultants, LLC in Dover, Delaware, was established on Oct 17, 2016 by Cohen as a private corporation, and it was intended to remain secret. He used an account linked to the corporation to pay money to an account owned by an attorney representing Stormy Daniels. Delaware doesn’t require companies to disclose the names of their managers. Pseudonyms were used, so Clifford was Peggy Peterson. Cohen and WH had no response.
Michael Rothfeld, WSJ: The Journal has been looking for Cohen’s LLC because they figured that that is how he managed it. He creates companies and names them according to what he wants to do with them. When he doesn’t need them, he dissolves them. They don’t know who put the money in the bank account. Don’t know whose money it was. Some attorneys say that it could be a violation of the FCC. Cohen denies the affair but not the payment of the money.
The original In Touch story that wasn’t published was an interview by Clifford in 2011 before she signed a NDA. Once she was paid, she denied the story, so that killed it. That is why In Touch was able to have the story and publish parts of it yesterday. [No GOP response. What if Hillary or Obama had done something like that. omg]
Mike Pence is going to the Middle East tomorrow, so he isn’t worried about being needed for a tie vote. Trump will go to Mar-a-Lago.

Last Word

They asked two other physicians if they thought Trump was healthy. They replied, God no. The DOD is very picky about who can be certified to have anything to do with nuclear weapons. Fmr AF psychiatrist Dr. Steven Buser wrote a book called A Clear and President Danger: Narcissism in the Era of Trump. He would want to test him further for certification if it were required. He has seen a lot of red flags. 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

MSNBC Journal, Jan 17

Weds Jan 17
Sen Mazie Hirono, D-HI says she knows John Kelly pretty well. He is a hardliner on immigration and race relations. Trump says the bi-partisan bill that was given him is terrible, and that is after he said on video that he would sign whatever they present to him. Suspicion is that Miller and Kelly talked him out of signing it. Even McConnell sounds very frustrated. He won’t allow a vote until Trump tells him what the he wants. Dems want protection for DACA kids and those who are in danger of losing protection. There are bi-partisan votes for a bill because there is money designated for security.
Interview with Reps Will Hurd, R-TX and Peter Aguilar, D-CA. Dems want border security with technology and manpower, and even Hurd preferred that rather to a 30 foot wall. Some fences are OK now. A smart wall would be cheaper and more effective.
Bannon testified yesterday but didn’t say much. His attorney was on the phone to the WH while he testified, asking the WH what he could answer and what not. SHS says that is a typical process. But today Bannon admitted that he talked to several people about the June 9 meeting.
Jill Wine-Banks:  She says the whole idea of executive privilege is misunderstood by the WH. Crimes are not covered. Other legal people say it’s unprecedented for a WH attorney telling a witness that they cannot answer questions. Mueller won’t fall for that. It will probably go to court. Bannon has said he would cooperate with Mueller’s subpoena. The WH says we are fully cooperating, but you can’t testify about us. The 5th doesn’t apply to others.
Fox News killed the Stormy Daniels story just before the election. Daniels was paid off, denied the story, and the other news outlets that had the story didn’t get it out. She has gone on record saying that she had an affair with Trump beginning in July 2006. Michael Cohen sent a letter, supposedly signed by Daniels, saying that the affair didn’t happen, but In Touch Weekly had the story in 2011. They confirmed with other sources and gave her a polygraph test, and then didn’t publish the story. So today they published excerpts from that story. Barron was a few months old at the time. She said that Trump said she was really smart, just like his daughter.
Bannon said to follow Kasowitz, who got Trump out of a lot of jams with women. Philip Bump WP said that when Daniels got paid off and then denied the story, they couldn’t verify or vet the story. Slate said that she had been negotiating with several outlets, including them, before that, thinking that Trump would stiff her. Trump makes everyone sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). Trump has denied the Daniels affair, of course.
Question:  Why did the WH let Wolff in. His answer was that he said what was ever necessary to get the story. Then he listened. Wolff said that when the press goes after Trump’s credibility, their own credibility then comes into question. Trump heard him say that on TV and liked the statement. Wolff wrote a positive article to soften them up. A little flattery went a long way.
Obama recognized what was going on with Facebook. People are living in a bubble. Now Facebook is going to show less news. They want it to be about social connections. But Noam Cohen, author The Know-it-Alls, says don’t trust them. People are saying that Facebook has more influence in what people believe than any religion.
Dems have flipped over 30 state and federal seats since Trump took office.

Trump’s so-called Fake News Awards finally came out in the form of a PDF released late tonight. It didn’t get much press.
Lots of WH people had to retain attorneys, but two of them retained the same attorney, Bill Burck, who also represents Bannon. NBC News says that Mueller says it’s OK for Burck to do that. Today Corey Lewandowski also refused to answer House questions today, but he was not subpoenaed. Donald Jr refused to answer questions. In every instance, the GOP said no problem with the ridiculous assertions for why they won’t answer questions.
The answer as to why Bannon is being treated differently by the GOP may be that last July 25, Manafort appeared on capitol Hill. His spox, Jason Maloni, said that Manafort had just testified before the House Intell Committee. That night after midnight the FBI showed up with a no-knock warrant. He had been handing over docs to Mueller’s office. They didn’t know that he was going to testify to the House. His testimony and the raid were connected. WP reported that Manafort and his attorneys intended to continue to cooperate. Maybe they were afraid that Manafort would give his info away to Congress. After the raid, the other testimonies were cancelled. The special counsel’s office maybe didn’t want the info leaked and spread around DC.
Today, Jeff Flake compared Trump’s attitude to the press with Joseph Stalin. When Kelly was asked, he said that Flake was completely wrong. Nikita Kruschev’s great granddaughter agrees with Flake. It’s important and dangerous that Trump is agreeing with dictators. Dutarte and Assad are both echoing Trump’s fake news claims. Don’t suppress the press, just dismiss them all as frauds.
NBC News reports tonight that his subpoenas are related. There was no fight going on between Bannon and the WH because Don McGahn and Bannon have the same attorney. The GOP may be wanting Bannon to talk to the House because they want to know what he is going to say to Mueller. Rachel says the Mueller subpoena was to stop Bannon from talking to Congress so that his testimony and info will go to Mueller and be preserved and protected. (Her argument doesn’t quite make sense.) Trump partisans are leading most of the investigations. So Mueller is jumping in ahead.
Rep Adam Schiff confirmed that the WH is treating Steve Bannon than other officials in the administration, and the committee is treating him differently. Rick Dearborn answered questions today. Lewandowski said he might answer questions at a later date. Bannon’s attorney said that he might not return to the Intell Committee.
Schiff:  No reason why Bannon can’t testify before both. But Dearborn answered all questions, so why not let Bannon just testify? Bannon told the committee that he would not answer any questions about his time after the campaign. Yesterday, Corey Lewandowski went on Fox News and said he was going to answer all questions, but today he said he’s not going to answer any questions after he left the campaign. The GOP response was, OK, come back when it’s convenient for you. That is no way to run an investigation. When we asked Lewandowski if he had spoken to the president in the last 24 hours, he would not answer the question.
John Kelly told Bret Baier today on FN that they are not invoking executive privilege, but then they tell witnesses to not answer questions and don’t day we are invoking exec priv because we don’t want to look like we’re hiding something. If we allow this, it will impair any Congress in the future to get to the truth if the WH can just get away with don’t answer.
Discussion of the Stormy Daniels affair. A week before the election, the National Enquirer, a backer of Trump, agreed to pay $150,000 to a former Playboy centerfold model for her story about a month-long affair with Trump. They got the story, then didn’t publish it. The National Enquirer denied that story. The WH said they had no idea where the WSJ got the story. They know nothing about it. But today’s story noted that when Michael Cohen denied that there was a Stormy Daniels affair, he did not address the alleged payment. Cohen denied to TRMS that there was an affair.
We need to know about this story because we need to know where the money came from to pay these women off. In the book, Marc Kasowitz paid a lot of women off. But today his firm denied all. No payments. Six media outlets knew about the Stormy Daniels story before the election. Slate editor Jacob Weisberg said he reached Daniels in summer of 2016. She was negotiating because if the Trump people said they would pay her and delayed until after the election, her story value would drop and they wouldn’t pay. So she was hedging her bets. She sent a couple of pages of the story, but they weren’t signed, so Slate couldn’t do the story, but the document was interesting. He has a side letter saying the real names of the people in the story, e.g., Stormy Daniels is Peggy Peterson.
If a payment was made to her, is there a way to track it?
Was it a campaign donation, which would be an FCC violation? In the case of the Playboy, that was a third party payment. [No clear answer to this question.]
Tomorrow the House will vote to release the Fusion GPS testimony. If some GOPers vote to release, it will pass.

Last Word
In the John Edwards case, the third party payment to his lover to keep her quiet was an FCC violation.
In the magazine, which O’Donnell had in hand, there is a lot of salacious information and pictures. The question is asked, will Melania divorce him. For some reason the article indicates no. Daniels talked about where they met, how they deceived Melania. Apparently, Cohen released her from her NDA to make this statement for In Touch Weekly. In the middle of the article, she says, “I was definitely stimulated. I could tell he was nice, intelligent in conversation.” That is the article’s only item in the story that pertains to today. He passed the porn star test ten years ago. For Trump it’s just another day in the office. Today in the press briefing, no one asked about the porn star story.
Bannon has agreed enough to cooperate with the special counsel that they dropped the threat of a subpoena to testify before a grand jury. There he would be under oath, and his attorney would not be present. So now he’ll testify more informally with the spec prosecutor. His attorney will be present. [This is complex.] So now the WH will know what he said to Mueller.
Betsy Woodruff, Daily Beast:  To hold someone in contempt of Congress, you have to have a majority vote in the House or the Senate, then that chamber would have to refer that contempt charge to the US Attorney for Washington, DC. That attorney would decide whether to not to bring charges. That attorney today is Jessie Liu, a member of Trump’s transition team. Not likely that a GOP House or Senate would refer charges, not likely that that attorney would indict. One of her sources said that Bannon is going to tell Mueller everything he knows.
Dearborn was candid and answered all questions.

Bannon allegedly knows who knew what about the June 9 meeting and when.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

MSNBC Journal, Jan 16

Tues Jan 16
A great connection has been made by author Leslie Salzillo. Sen David Perdue, one of the “sh***” deniers, was the guy in 2016 at a Christian conference who called on a curse in Psalm 109 to remove Obama from office and bring disaster to him and his family. Neither the Christians nor the GOP repudiated that statement.  Here’s the irony about that. The first verses of the Psalm describe a man who is being needlessly persecuted by enemies that slander him at every turn. He tries to be their friend, but they surround him with words of hatred. It’s that man who gets to curse his enemies. Verses 6-15 is the curse, calling for death, removal from office, bankruptcy, and destruction of the family of his enemy.
But check out verses 16-19: “For he never thought of doing a kindness, but hounded to death the poor and the needy and the brokenhearted. He loved to pronounce a curse—may it come on him; he found no pleasure in blessing—may it be far from him. He wore cursing as his garment; it entered into his body like water, into his bones like oil. May it be like a cloak wrapped about him, like a belt tied forever around him.
Which party hounds to death the poor and needy and brokenhearted? Who is doing the cursing here? Not Barack Obama!
Verses 28, 29:  “They may curse, but you will bless; when they attack they will be put to shame, but your servant will rejoice. My accusers will be clothed with disgrace and wrapped in shame like a cloak.
Look out, Sen David Perdue. If you believe in the power of words, you may have dug a pit that you will fall into.
Trump and the GOP have brought discourse so low that Perdue’s statement in 2016 was a blip on the radar. The outrage lasted 5 minutes, all from the left, and then it was on to the next shock and headline. But, verily, my Evangelical brethren and righteous Christian Congress people… if there is a God like we say we believe Him to be…
He doesn’t forget.
Oh, and there’s this:  A third porn star got an invitation to Trump’s bedroom.  She didn’t say they had sex, just that he offered a LOT of money to have it. And this was in 2006 when Melania was home with her new baby.
And this:  Trump’s administration may be the most corrupt in US history:
And it’s not even 3 pm yet.

Interview with the two authors of How Democracies Die, Daniel Ziblatt and Steve Levitsky. They have studied nations all over the globe, and have found 4 steps or signs of a developing autocrat. Trump fulfills all four.
1.      A weak commitment to the democratic rules of the game
2.      The denial of the legitimacy of one’s opponents
3.      Toleration or encouragement of violence
4.      A readiness to curtail the civil liberties of rivals and critics
Videos:  “the election is rigged.” The FBI let Clinton get away with her “terrible terrible crimes”; “there’ve never been so many lies, so much deception…”; “I’d like to punch him in the face.” 3 million people voted illegally. Fake News.
When an autocrat loses, the election is rigged. If they win, they hang the loser. Trump threatened to not accept the results of the election. Mocking nicknames. Attacking the media. Attacking the FBI. Not accepting legitimacy of rivals. He encouraged his base to attack critics in the rallies. He laughed at our press with Putin.
Chris Matthews:  “We are entering into Trumpland and leaving the land of our founders.”

All In
Preposterous semi-denials. SHS: Trump is not a robot. That’s why people love him. He is not politically correct.
Sen Lindsey Graham said that Trump killed the immigration deal and the staff helped that happen. John Kelly and Steve Miller didn’t want him to sign a bill that would offend his base.
Today Kirstjen Nielson was in the room. She said she did not hear the word “shithole.” There was tough language there, but she doesn’t recall. General profanity by almost everyone. People from Norway are industrious, hardworking, he was just complementing Norway. (They do have one of the shortest work weeks.) Cory Booker shredded her for amnesia. Yelled at her. “Your silence and amnesia is complicit.” [She was slippery. She wouldn’t admit what she heard.] We are shaping immigration policy. We are cutting back programs. They are trying to engineer the demographics to make the US stay whiter. Rep Matt Gaetz, R-FL found Trump’s remarks OK. He agreed with Trump. Haiti is dirty and full of garbage. He agrees with the whole RW immigration program. He doesn’t support the DACA program. He wants a wall, border security first. They want to tax remittances going to Mexico so that functionally Mexico will pay for it.
Jennifer Rubin, WP says that when you are under oath and say I don’t remember when you do, that is perjury. Her testimony was a “train wreck.” The belief that only white people can contribute and be educated is wrong and it’s the most bigoted thing she has ever heard coming from the Oval Office.
The WH counseled Bannon to not answer questions or cooperate, so he was issued a subpoena while he sat there. He was then questioned for 9.5 hrs. Mueller also subpoenaed him.
Rep Adam Schiff:  The subpoena was given. WH gave him a new gag rule. There is no privilege that broad, but he just refused anyway. The committee is not going to enforce it. They have a record now that they can take to court. This has never happened before. The solution is taking the refusal to court.
David Cay Johnston, author It’s Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration is Doing to America: Trump has two traits. Donald is a jerk. He gets pleasure from making people miserable. Also he is amazingly uninformed, and if he doesn’t know something, he just makes it up. He doesn’t care about policy. The purpose of his administration is to destroy government. They are “political termites.” You don’t see the damage they are doing because a lot of it happens out of sight.
Today Kirstjen Nielson claimed she didn’t know that the population was mostly white.

Two Navy Commanders are being charged with negligent homicide and dereliction of duty that killed 17 people.
China somehow managed to cripple our spying operation beginning around 2010. They began killing and imprisoning US agents, at least a dozen people. It began a mole hunt inside the CIA. Tonight, a former CIA officer has been arrested. Jerry Chun Shing Lee, age 53. He came back to the US and was arrested at JFK Airport.
Today in DC, Gates and Manafort were in court for a status report. Gates was released on his own recognizance.
Corey Lewandowski has lawyered up for the Russia probe. Peter Chavkin represented Ruth Madoff, Bernie Madoff’s wife. B Madoff was one of the worst con artists in history.
Grand juries decide if charges/indictment will be brought. Petit jury evaluates if the person is guilty. In a grand jury, you don’t have to be there every day, but you serve for up to 18 months. Grand juries have 16–23 people. All proceedings are secret, including who is on it. Prosecutors explain the law to you. You have wiggle room. You can ask questions of the witnesses. You can request documents or evidence. The witness doesn’t have an attorney with them in the room. The witnesses MUST answer all questions unless you plead the 5th. It’s all transcribed.
Grand jury witnesses on Rachel’s list:  Jason Maloney, a fmr spokesperson for Manafort; his attorney Melissa Lorenza; Sam Clovis who worked on the campaign, had a pro-Russian bent; Carter Page; Rinat Akhmetshin; A PR consultant from Sphere Consulting; a consultant to Flynn; Sezgin Baran Korkmaz; and today they got Bannon.
Rep Adam Schiff said that if the WH can gag someone under subpoena, no congressional investigation could ever be effective, so they will have to deal with it. They’ll bring him back in.
Chuck Rosenberg, fmr acting head of the DEA:  He used to screen the questions. When the witness left, he asked if there was anything needing clarification. You usually don’t bring a target before the grand jury. A target may ask to testify. They usually give people due warning so they can prepare. A witness can come out on the court house steps and have a press conference. Two reasons to subpoena someone, one is that they said they wouldn’t come in voluntarily, and two, we think they may lie at jury trial.
Rep Mike Conaway, R-TX says Bannon will be back and we will get answers.

Monday, January 15, 2018

MSNBC Journal, Jan 13, 15

Sat Jan 13
I thought today might be a slow news day because MSNBC had been rattling on about Trump’s sh*** remark all day yesterday. It seems the entire planet is still in a rage about it. But as the Mr and I were driving around in the car listening to NPR this morning, I said, “Let’s just check MSNBC. It’s the Trump era. You have to check every 15 minutes for new scandals and disasters.”
Turns out there was a false nuclear warning/push alert that a nuclear strike was on its way to Hawaii. Alerts went to hotel monitors and cell phones saying, “Ballistic missile threat inbound. This is not a drill.” It took 38 minutes to correct it. Had it been real, there were many who got no warnings at all. No sirens. This error happened at the state level through FEMA. It did not come from the Pentagon.
Trump was golfing at Mar-a-Lago at the time. Probably trying to avoid the messages from 55 African countries demanding an apology. They say he continued golfing.
Rep Trey Gowdy is resigning from the House Ethics Committee. This is a good thing. He is infamous with Twitter wonks for lacking all ethics. Someone linked his funding to the Russia probe.
The next scandal of the day is looming on the horizon. Today, Eric Garland tweeted a thread beginning with “So the New York Times and Slate had direct knowledge of Trump's activities with porn stars AS WELL AS hush money deals prior to the election.”
It’s not even 1 pm PST yet.

Jan 15
All In
It’s not surprising that Trump said again, “I am not a racist,” and something he has said many times, “I am the least racist person you ever interviewed.”
What is surprising is that 3 people attending the DACA meeting affirmed that he said the shithole word, and 3 said they don’t recall him saying it. Then they upped their game and denied that he said it. They are essentially calling Sen Dick Durbin a liar, in fact a serial liar. But Lindsey Graham also affirmed it, and Sen Tim Scott said he heard it from Graham after the meeting. Jeff Flake immediately heard about the comments, and Erick Erickson heard it from friends of Trump after Trump bragged to them that it would play well with his base. Graham said, “It’s pretty embarrassing when you have to remove your children from the room just to report the news.” Durbin says he is “stunned” at the loony explanations coming from the WH (maybe he said “shithouse”) and the denials from colleagues. He stands by what he heard. He would love it if there were recordings of what happened in the Oval Office.
Today a man was deported who has been here for 30 years. He is out of status because he came here at age 10 and didn’t qualify for DACA. Said good-bye to wife and kids. Infuriating.
Ben Howe, ed of Redstate is alarmed at how people are quick to kiss Trump’s ring.
Ari Melber said that Trump has a profound ruthlessness of not caring about anything or anyone.
At the DACA meeting, a bi-partisan deal was struck, and it was Trump who rejected it. That is when he made the statement about shithole countries. Now he is blaming Dems, saying they don’t really want it. Trump created this crisis by terminating DACA. He didn’t have to do that.
Sen Lindsey Graham rebuked Trump for telling immigrants to go home. “This is the only home they’ve ever known.”
Tomorrow Bannon talks to the House Intell Committee under oath behind closed doors. Melber says that Bannon is “verbal napalm” against anyone he doesn’t like.
Today marks the 96th day that Trump has spent at one of his golf courses. That makes 26% of his presidency. Congress designated MLK day as a day of service, so other presidents made an example of the day. Bush volunteered with kids, Obama planted seeds. In Trump’s little ceremony honor MLK, he spoke of service. So he knew it was a day of community service. King’s nephew explained it at the ceremony. Yet, Trump golfed the day away.
Mike Pence and wife were welcomed by a black pastor today, and sat in the front row in church. However, Rev Dr Maurice Watson felt he had no choice but to strongly remark about the President’s comments about shithole countries (w/o using the word and without mentioning Trump’s name). Pence was probably embarrassed.

Discussion of chromium. It makes stainless steel and chrome bumpers. About 1/3 of the chromium produced comes from western Kazakhstan, a former Soviet state. It’s toxic to mine and produce. Bloomberg reported that a Trump Soho partner ended up with mining riches from that plant. When the Soviet Union broke up, the employees were going to be given shares of the plant, so they could be part owners. But they were forced to sell their shares for basically nothing in order to keep working there. The shares were transferred to a “random, no-name co registered in the British Virgin Islands.” These companies can be shells to avoid taxes. Employees were robbed of their equity. Bloomberg said that Refik Arif is the alleged controlling interest of the plant. His brother created Bayrock. His partner was Felix Sater, and Sater is connected to Trump. Bayrock was headquartered in Trump Tower. They also developed the Trump Soho condominium complex. Last year a finance officer of Bayrock said that about $10M of the Soho money came out of the chromium plant. The funds were smuggled out of the plant and routed through some shell companies. Most of the metal in Kazakhstan is controlled by 3 billionaires. In 2007, these guys tried to list themselves, the ENRC, on a stock exchange in London, but that was a bad move because they had to fulfill reporting requirements. That didn’t go well. In 2013, they were taken off the exchange. One of the 3 was a “strategic investor” in Bayrock.
Kazakhstan is the largest landlocked country in the world. BTA Bank was the largest bank there. In 2009, the former chairman, Mukhtar Ablyazov fled the country. After he was gone, it was discovered that half of the loan book of the bank was loans that he made to himself and to companies that he secretly created and controlled. This added up to $8B to $12B. It was clear he had no intention to pay back any of the loans. He turned up in the UK. He had a 100 acre estate. But the UK convicted him, so he went to France. He had a villa there, but it turned out that his employees were French police officers. They arrested him. They are still trying to trace all the money he stole. Some of it went to 3 Trump Soho condos, bought through shell companies.
Some of the BTA money went to Batumi in Georgia on the Black Sea. Lots of money is laundered there, including money for Trump. Trump turned up there for a publicity stunt where he was paid a million dollars to promote a Trump Tower there. BTA Bank was the source of funding. They never built it. A bunch of smaller companies were created to help build and create the Tower, and these companies were all controlled by the chairman of the bank or people close to him. This is how he got the money out of the country.
In the Fusion GPS transcript it said that Trump had a long history of associating with Italian and Russian organized crime figures, including Felix Sater. “It wasn’t hard to find. It wasn’t any great achievement. It was in the NYT.” They saw that some of the money came from Kazakhstan. There was a case in NY about it.
One last thing to know…after the chairman left the country, all of the records and whatever was left was put into the hands of the son-in-law of the dictator of Kazakhstan. Tomorrow that dictator is coming to the WH. He will meet Trump at noon.
WSJ reported today that Jared K was warned by the intell community about his relationship with the Chinese ex-wife of the owner of the Journal, Rupert Murdoch. They told him that she is basically a Chinese spy.
Trump did not honor the wishes of the King family to honor King by doing some public service. Trump did nothing of the sort.
Bannon will testify tomorrow. While he is testifying, Trump will be entertaining the dictator of Kazakhstan in the Oval Office.
Last August, FinCEN put out an advisory about money laundering “transactions involving luxury property purchased through shell companies—particularly when conducted with cash and no financing.
Thomas Frank, FBI reporter of Buzzfeed has been following all of Trump’s secret money deals back to the 1980’s. He said that all these records are online. He knew that FinCEN was concerned about Miami and New York. He found $1.5B of real estate could have been money laundering. 21% of the total number of transactions were straight cash. Rich people do pay cash. They don’t need a mortgage. 77% of Soho condos were sold to companies in all-cash deals.
Rachel said there was a big turnaround where places were sold quickly at a loss.
Frank:  One of the warning signs of money laundering is a big gain or a big loss. It doesn’t get used by the buyer, and it turns over quickly. The mayor of the largest city of Kazakhstan is suing to say that some of the missing money was laundered that way.
Countries that summoned ambassadors to explain Trump’s remarks about shithole countries and why do we need more Haitians were Haiti, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Botswana, Senegal. The entire African Union wants an apology. The WH is telling ambassadors to just listen and don’t try to soften the remarks. Two State Dept officials have said that good relations with African countries that took decades to build are now in crisis mode. There was a protest on the route to Mar-a-Lago today.
Kirstjen Nielsen, Sec of Homeland Security, doesn’t recall hearing the president saying those awful things. Tomorrow she will testify to the Judiciary Committee, Sen Dick Durbin is on that committee.
Dan Rather:  MLK was the most charismatic and best example of what America could be. When he came out against the Vietnam War, the target on his back got bigger.
Ronald Reagan promised that he would get regular check ups due to his age, and if there was a hint that his ability to lead was diminished, he would resign. He did in fact develop Alzheimer’s.
The report from Rear Adm Dr. Ronny Jackson may have been falsely reported. The WH said that tomorrow there will be a press briefing and he will answer questions.
Another weird story:  At 9:45 on Friday night, reported that “Theresa Manning, the controversial official in charge of the Title X federal family planning program, was escorted from the Department of Health and Human Services premises on Friday. A source with knowledge of Manning’s dismissal said that staff members were told to leave the floor of the HHS building and to take their computers, in order to ensure that no one witnessed her being escorted out.” She is an anti-birth control, anti abortion person. She has said that she doesn’t think that contraception works. But the Trump administration has stalled the process for applying for new family planning money the states are counting on. That process was supposed to start last November. TRMS tried to see if the two events were connected. No one would answer. She was a controversial pick for that job.

Last Word

David Frum has written a book about Trump and his manner of governing. When he started it, he went to various officials and asked them, what are the rules to keep a president from cashing in on the office? They said, “There are no rules. It’s just that no one ever thought anyone would do that.” But Trump is running the office like a business, and he is pulling in payments from many countries and making millions that are not being disclosed. He is smashing expectations. How do we put them back in place again?