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TBR News March 18, 2018

Mar 18 2018

The Voice of the White House 

Washington, D.C. March 18, 2018:” The “poison gas attempted assassination” never happened.

A total hoax.

The man is not in hospital, his daughter is not in hospital, they are in a safe house being held incommunicado. The British media can get cameras into the toilets in Buckingham Palace and take photos of the Queen on the shitter, but not one reporter or newspaper can discover what hospital the man is in and what is his condition. You buy that?

He was poisoned in a restaurant. He was poisoned by sniffing flowers on his wife’s grave. He was poisoned by touching the door handle of his car. He was poisoned by the Easter Bunny with a chocolate Easter egg.

All the men wandering here and there in full-body silver-colored hazmat suits, head-to-toe, while dozens of British police walk 3 feet away from them in short-sleeved shirts with NO protective breathing apparatus whatsoever?

Now dozens of police are in the hospital after being poisoned by Vladimir Putin. The British police must have all the intelligence of cobblestones. You buy that?

Where are they, these sick police? What are their names? Where are their photos?

The whole thing is pure drama, Sturm-und-Drang for the news cameras and the “outraged” politicians.

What for? To stop this loose-cannon Russian, who would tell anybody anything for money, from talking to Robert Mueller and revealing that the Steele dossier was a complete DNC put-up job.

The entire Russiagate hysteria is a put-up job. The Deep State never wanted Trump to be elected, but now that he is there, they switched to Plan B and are using him for their own ends. And he’s dumb enough to let himself get used.

What else for? To further try to cost Putin a few votes right before the Russian election.

And to further stir up the British and American public and the politicians in the EU against Russia, so as to justify the NEXT round of sanctions.

And to start a movement to boycott the Soccer World Cup in Russia next year.

The formula for that poison gas was published in a hardcover book by the Russian scientist-inventor after he defected to the West back in the 1980’s, and wrote his memoirs, in which he gave the process for making it.

It was never manufactured in Russia, but in Kazakhstan or Uzbekistan or one of those Stans.

In 1990 those countries all left the Soviet Union.

The Russians don’t have it and never did make it. They have destroyed all their chemical weapons, but the West has not.

The Brits make that poison 5 miles away from Salisbury at Porton Down. The US makes it at Fort Detrick.

Anyone could make it – the formula is public, in print.

 

 

Table of Contents

  • Investors in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies face hefty tax bills
  • “Adversary” Examines Trump’s Mini-Me Carl Paladino — And How to Beat Trumpism
  • Andrew McCabe: Ex-FBI deputy director gave notes to Russia inquiry
  • Republican senators warn Trump not to end Russia probe
  • Donald Trump’s Russian connections
  • Trump’s Russian Connections

 

Investors in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies face hefty tax bills

According to the Internal Revenue Service, anything purchased using a digital currency is liable to be taxed as a capital gain

March 18, 2018

by Edward Helmore in New York

The Guardian

What is bitcoin and is it a bad investment?

Bitcoin is the first, and the biggest, “cryptocurrency” – a decentralised tradeable digital asset. Whether it is a bad investment is the big question. Bitcoin can only be used as a medium of exchange and in practice has been far more important for the dark economy than it has for most legitimate uses. The lack of any central authority makes bitcoin remarkably resilient to censorship, corruption – or regulation. That means it has attracted a range of backers, from libertarian monetarists who enjoy the idea of a currency with no inflation and no central bank, to drug dealers who like the fact that it is hard (but not impossible) to trace a bitcoin transaction back to a physical person.

The rollercoaster ride for some cryptocurrency investors could be about to take another tax-time lurch, according to experts, as the taxman looks for his share of transactions made using bitcoin and its like.

Wild fluctuations in the value of digital currencies – bitcoin surged from less than one dollar in 2010 to $997 at the start of the 2017 to nearly $20,000 before settling back to around $8,500 on Friday – have exposed investors to tax bills the value of their coins may no longer meet.

On Reddit earlier this week, one contributor, under the heading “I just discovered that I owe the IRS $50k that I don’t have, because I traded in cryptos. Am I fucked?”, wrote they had ended up with a $50,000 tax liability on trades after they sold $120,000 worth of bitcoin to buy different coins. The current value of those coins is about $30,000. “I feel like I might have accidentally ruined my life because I didn’t know about the taxes,” the poster wrote. One complication for crypto investors is that digital currencies that were, in part, devised to operate outside of government and banking industry oversight, are still of interest to the US tax authorities, who look at cryptocurrency as property and not currency.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, anything purchased using a digital currency is liable to be taxed as a capital gain. So anyone who has cashed out or paid for anything using cryptocurrency may have capital gains to report to the IRS.

Another source of confusion is that crypto-brokers are not required to issue 1099 disclosure forms – the forms used by the IRS to report income other than wages, bonuses and tips – on digital currencies, but individuals are still responsible for reporting gains.

In November, a US district court judge in California ordered Coinbase, a popular platform for trading bitcoin, to turn over identifying information on accounts worth at least $20,000 during 2013 to 2015.

The IRS case came about after the agency discovered that only about 800 taxpayers claimed bitcoin gains in each year from 2013 to 2015. But the Coinbase agreement only affects about 10,000 accounts, not the 480,000 accounts the IRS first requested.

Not reporting gains, it should be said, could amount to tax evasion.

And the capital gains ruling is not the only crypto-complication. If an investor sells a cryptocurrency after holding it longer than a year, then the profits are typically long-term capital gains. Nor are losses deductible against future tax years.

William Perez, a tax accountant at the online tax filing and advisory service Visor, has noticed that accountants are often unwilling to familiarize themselves with crypto-accounting rulings. “Among crypto-investors, I see resistance to reporting it,” he says. “Then there’s another group who’ve got a 1099 from Coinbase but they don’t know what it means.”

Investors are getting caught out in basic ways. For instance, crypto-to-crypto transactions are taxable – if, for example, you use your bitcoin to buy rival ethereum. “That often catches people off guard, but once you break it out you’ve sold one coin and invested in another. That’s one bear trap,” said Perez.

The second bear trap, Perez explains, is when crypto is used for purchasing. But crypto is not like PayPal or a gift card, and not merely a conduit of exchange. “Under accounting rules, you have property that you exchanged for something else.

“People think because they’ve paid a sales tax so that’s the end of the story. But it’s not. We’re talking about a property denominated in dollars. If you exchange that then there’s a tax liability.”

The IRS rules on crypto, Perez says, are straightforward. He anticipates the agency will leave the preliminary guidelines (issued in 2014) in place for a few years to see how they work out.

“The US government is getting some hands-on experience with how crypto works,” Perez says. The action against Coinbase, he points out, was about trying get visibility on trades and whose trading.

The way tax law is currently written, the government has no way to force crypto-brokers to issue trading information the way stock brokers are required to do. “Once they get through the technological issues, they’re going to want to look at larger patterns, and they had to sue Coinbase because there’s nothing in law that requires crypto-brokers to do any information reporting. IRS wanted information so they could enforce tax law on individuals.”

Placing responsibility on the individual to report taxable income is, of course, in keeping with the libertarian perspective of crypto-world. “So on one side, yeah, it’s been easy to avoid tax, but on the other it’s part of the crypto ethos of personal responsibility to own up to it,” Perez says.

But shifting responsibility back from the individual back to institutions like Coinbase naturally presumes that information held by crypto-brokers is accurate to begin with.

Tax accountant Doug Sipe anticipates problems may arise when tax authorities attempt enforcement on scofflaw crypto-investors.

“Even they are getting notifications on transactions over $20,000 what does that actually mean? Do they have a social number? They may know of a transaction, and they may have a name, but can they enact any kind of enforcement? The question is what kind of information have investors given – besides an email address when they registered for an account?”

 

“Adversary” Examines Trump’s Mini-Me Carl Paladino — And How to Beat Trumpism

March 18, 2018

by Jon Schwarz

The Intercept

Almost no one outside of New York State noticed in 2010 when Carl Paladino, a super-rich real estate developer, came out of nowhere to beat a cadre of drab Republican politicians and seize the GOP gubernatorial nomination. In fact, almost no one inside New York State noticed: Andrew Cuomo clobbered Paladino in the general election, beating him 63 percent to 33 percent.

Yet in hindsight it’s self-evident that Paladino — now the subject of “Adversary,” a new documentary from Field of Vision — was a foreshock for the world-rocking earthquake of 2016 Donald Trump. The degree to which Paladino is simply a miniature version of Trump is uncanny:

  • Paladino’s a New York real estate developer, but based in Buffalo, not Manhattan, with a net worth of merely $150 million.
  • He swept many of New York’s western and rural counties – places disdained by the far-away glittering metropolis — but nowhere near enough to win.
  • He was a longtime, famous local crank – he once declared “The day [Obamacare] was passed will be remembered just as 9/11 was remembered in history” — but on the Buffalo stage, not New York City’s.
  • He’s given to vile, news-making eruptions of racism and hate, but on a monthly or yearly basis rather than a daily one.
  • He boasted he was going to self-fund his campaign and then kind of did (often paying his own companies), but on a smaller scale, spending $8 million to Trump’s $66 million.
  • His candidacy revealed that he’d cheated on his wife in a particularly degrading way, though less ambitiously than Trump.
  • He was advised by Roger Stone, but without the international intrigue.
  • He occasionally tells the truth in ways that cause his party extreme dyspepsia, but on less significant issues – e.g., he once went after Verizon and National Grid for gouging local customers, as compared to Trump’s unorthodox attacks on the Iraq war and pharmaceutical prices.
  • He was literally part of the 2016 Trump campaign, though just as co-chair of its New York State branch.
  • He was even born the same year as Trump, 1946, but is slightly younger and physically slighter.

Most importantly, Paladino is, like Trump, part of America’s most inexplicable demographic: Old, wealthy, white men who hold 94 percent of the power in U.S. society, yet are filled with fury that they’re denied the remaining 6 percent. They are The Onion’s shrieking white-hot sphere of pure rage.

“Adversary,” directed by Scott Cummings, is a subtle portrait of Paladino and his Buffalo milieu that should encourage everyone frightened by the Trumpist flavor of demagoguery. It turns out when the klieg lights are turned off, these men shrink dramatically and can be beaten by everyday people willing to engage in civics-class citizenship.

What’s surprising about Paladino is that, after losing the race for governor, he didn’t pour his energy into becoming a national right-wing media hero. Instead, in 2013 he ran for the least glamourous public office in America: the Buffalo School Board. And he won, becoming one of its nine members.

You don’t have to admire Paladino’s ideology or his rectitude (he appears to have personally profited from the charter school policies he pushed) to appreciate that Trump would be more likely to run the Boston Marathon than show up at a school board meeting. Unlike Trump, Paladino does in fact care about something beyond being on and/or watching television.

However, what Paladino cares about is extremely unpopular when it’s forced to present itself openly in the daily grind of local politics. At one point “Adversary” shows Paladino speaking at a Trump rally, asking the crowd “Are we mad? Are we going to let the nation see how mad we are?” But that’s all he offers his epinephrine-addicted followers: thrilling permission to let their angry frustration loose on whatever targets Paladino names. When appearing at public school board meetings under the fluorescent lights, Paladino and his program appear as they actually are: pathetic, old and exhausted.

Of course, people like Paladino can still win if everyone else just cedes the field. What “Adversary” depicts is what effective fighting back looks like: Regular human beings getting the basic tools of self-governance down out of the attic and using them again.

Most importantly, “Adversary” quietly implies, this must be led by young people. By far the most vivid characters in the movie are two teenagers, 18-year-old Austin Harig and 17-year-old Jayden McClam. When Paladino runs for reelection in 2016, Harig nearly beats him just by going door to door to talk to neighbors. McClam belongs to a local group of activists called Just Resisting, and plays a prominent role in efforts to remove Paladino from office when he tops even himself just after Trump is elected.

In December, 2016, a local Buffalo weekly called Art Voice asked several notable residents, including Paladino, what they wanted to happen in 2017. Paladino’s answer:

Obama catches mad cow disease after being caught having relations with a Herford. He dies before his trial and is buried in a cow pasture next to Valerie Jarret [sic], who died weeks prior, after being convicted of sedition and treason, when a Jihady [sic] cell mate mistook her for being a nice person and decapitated her. … I’d like [Michelle Obama] to return to being a male and let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe where she lives comfortably in a cave with Maxie, the gorilla.

When criticized for this, Paladino convincingly responded: “It has nothing to do with race. That’s the typical stance of the press when they can’t otherwise defend the acts of the person being attacked.” (If you believe the second sentence isn’t even internally logical, you are correct.)

You’ll have to watch “Adversary” to see what happened next. But if you’re worried that Trumpism can’t be defeated, you’ll see that it can be and it’s not complicated. It just requires a lot of work.

 

Andrew McCabe: Ex-FBI deputy director gave notes to Russia inquiry

March 18, 2018

BBC News

Ex-FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe has given memos about conversations he had with President Donald Trump to an inquiry into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election, US media say.

The memos could support claims that Mr Trump sought to obstruct justice.

Mr McCabe was fired from the FBI on Friday. Mr Trump had accused him of bias and said on Sunday Mr McCabe had never taken notes when the two met.

The president has also dismissed the Russia investigation as a “witch hunt”.

The investigation is led by special counsel Robert Mueller, himself a former FBI director. He has so far indicted 19 people.

The president’s lawyer, John Dowd, issued a statement on Saturday saying it was time for the special counsel’s investigation to end. Mr Trump has since complained that the Mueller team is composed of “13 hardened Democrats, some big Crooked Hillary supporters, and Zero Republicans”.

Why was McCabe fired?

Mr McCabe had been under internal investigation by the FBI and had already stepped down from his deputy post in January pending the review.

He was sacked just two days short of his 50 birthday on Sunday, when he was expected to retire with a federal pension.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the “extensive and fair investigation” had concluded that Mr McCabe “made an unauthorised disclosure to the news media and lacked candour – including under oath – on multiple occasions”.

Although the decision to fire Mr McCabe was made by Mr Sessions, Mr Trump had criticised him for months.

He has publicly pointed to donations that Mr McCabe’s wife, a Democrat, received from a Clinton ally when she ran unsuccessfully for the state Senate in 2015 as evidence that Mr McCabe was politically biased.

In December Mr Trump tweeted: “FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is racing the clock to retire with full benefits. 90 days to go?!!!”

He welcomed the news of his dismissal almost immediately after Mr Sessions announced it, calling the move a “great day for democracy”.

Mr Trump’s tweet about the firing provoked an angry response from former CIA

What could the memos say?

News that Mr McCabe had kept records of his conversations with Mr Trump at the time he was acting FBI director emerged on Saturday.

US media say the memos will support Mr Comey’s account of the circumstances of his dismissal last May

Comey’s most revealing moments

Mr Comey has testified that Mr Trump had asked him for his “loyalty” and requested he drop an inquiry into his former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.

He too has said he kept contemporaneous notes of his dealings with the president.

But President Trump cast doubt over the notes. Tweeting on Sunday, he said he had spent “very little time” with Mr McCabe – and the acting FBI director had never taken notes during those meetings.

He added: “Same with lying James Comey. Can we call them Fake Memos?”

In a statement responding to his firing on Friday, Mr McCabe vehemently denied wrongdoing.

“I am being singled out and treated this way because of the role I played, the actions I took, and the events I witnessed in the aftermath of the firing of James Comey,” his response said.

The statement alleges that the justice department report recommending his firing was “accelerated” after he indicated that he would corroborate Mr Comey’s version of events.

On Saturday Mr Comey – who is due to release a book – said Americans would soon be able to judge for themselves “who is honourable or not” after the president again criticised him on Saturday.

What did Trump say on Saturday?

The president continued posting about Mr McCabe’s departure on social media, saying there had been “leaking, lying and corruption” at the FBI, as well as the defence and state departments.

In an email to The Daily Beast website, Mr Dowd said he prayed that Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein would follow the “brilliant and courageous example” set by Mr Sessions to bring the investigation to an end.

He initially said the statement was made on behalf of the president, before backtracking and saying the comments had been made in a personal capacity.

Mr Dowd’s statement provoked an angry response from Democrats.

Senate Intelligence Committee Vice-Chairman Mark Warner called for a bipartisan defence of Mueller’s Russia probe.

The statement was echoed by Sen Patrick Leahy, who said the Senate Judiciary Committee should hold a hearing on the “attempted politicisation of the FBI”.

Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff tweeted: “Obstruction of justice is no less a threat to our democracy when done in the open than behind closed doors.”

 

Republican senators warn Trump not to end Russia probe

March 18, 2018

by Susan Cornwell

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican senators warned President Donald Trump on Sunday against trying to shut down the federal probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, saying it was important to let Special Counsel Robert Mueller do his job.

Trump, a Republican, has renewed his Twitter attacks on both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Mueller’s probe since the firing on Friday of the bureau’s former deputy director, Andrew McCabe, days before he was eligible to retire with a full pension.

Republican Senator Jeff Flake, who has criticized Trump harshly, said it appeared the president’s latest comments were aimed at the firing of Mueller.

“I don’t know what the designs are on Mueller, but it seems to be building toward that, and I just hope it doesn’t go there, because it can’t. We can’t in Congress accept that,” Flake told CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“So I would expect to see considerable pushback in the next couple of days urging the president not to go there. He can’t go there.”

On Saturday, Trump personal lawyer John Dowd urged the Justice Department official overseeing Mueller, Rod Rosenstein, to “bring an end to alleged Russia Collusion investigation manufactured by McCabe’s boss James Comey.”

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said it was very important that Mueller be allowed to proceed without interference and that many Republicans share this view.

“The only reason Mr. Mueller could ever be dismissed is for cause. I see no cause when it comes to Mr. Mueller. He needs to be able to do his job independent of any political influence. I pledge to the American people as a Republican, to ensure that Mr. Mueller can continue to do his job without any interference.”

“As I have said before, if he tried to do that, that would be the beginning of the end of his presidency, because we’re a rule of law nation,” Graham said.

Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Writing by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

 

Donald Trump’s Russian connections

Отчет, представленный министру Колокольцеву

Report submitted to Minister Kolokoltsev

Translation

The KGB had opened a file on Donald Trump in 1977, the year when Mr.Trump married Ivana Zelníčková, then a twenty-eight-year-old model from Czechoslovakia. Zelníčková was a citizen of a communist country. She was therefore of interest both to the Czech intelligence service, the StB, and to the FBI and CIA.

Zelníčková was born in Zlin, a town in Moravia. In the early 1970s she moved to Canada, first to Toronto and then to Montreal, to be with a ski instructor boyfriend. Exiting Czechoslovakia during this period was, the files said, “incredibly difficult.” Zelníčková moved to New York. In April 1977 she married Mr.Trump. Ivana became a naturalized United States citizen in 1988. The couple divorced in 1992

According to intelligence files, both in Moscow and in Prague, Czech intelligence agents kept the Trumps under close surveillance in Manhattan. The agents who undertook this task were code-named Al Jarza and Lubos. They opened letters sent home by Ivana to her father, Milos, an engineer. Milos Zelníčková had a functional relationship with the Czech secret police, who would ask him how his daughter was doing abroad and in return permit her visits home. There was continuing surveillance of the Trump family in the United States. At her request, and by her father’s insistence, Ivana and Donald Trump, Jr., visited Milos in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic,

As was the custom, the Czechs shared their intelligence product with their counterparts in Moscow, the KGB. Mr.Trump was of interest to Soviet intelligence for several reasons. In the first instance his wife came from a country under Soviet control and secondly during the perestroika period Trump was considered to be a good potential source as he was known to be a prominent real estate leader.  In the Czech intelligence files, communications from Ivana to her father mentioned her husband’s growing interest in politics. It was at this point that it appeared that Mr.Trump might embark on a political career and, if successful, be a first class intelligence asset.

Therefore, Mr. Trump was in an active file of the KGB and regarded as a highly potential agent/informant and, possibly to become a full KGB agent.

Through the offices of his wife, Mr.Trump was encouraged to consider the Soviets as a good business connection. The relationship would be known as an important “confidential contact.” doveritelnaya svyaz. доверительные отношения  (Trust relationship)

Trump biography

Donald John Trump (June 14, 1946)

He is of German/Scottish origin. One of his German relatives was an Arnold Trumpf, b, 27 October 1892 in Gifhorn and died 7, January 1985 in Garmish-Partenkirchen. Trumpf was a member of the Nazi party number 389 920 from 1 December 1930. He was a member of the SS Race and Settlement Office as an SS-Oberfürer

Trump was born and grew up in New York City. He received a degree in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Trump took over running his family’s real estate business in 1971, renamed it The Trump Organization, and expanded it to involve constructing and renovating skyscrapers, hotels, casinos, and golf courses. He also started various side ventures, including branding and licensing his name for real estate and luxury consumer products.

He managed the company until his 2017 inauguration as President of the United States.

Trump also gained prominence in the media and entertainment fields. He co-authored several books, and from 2003 to 2015 he was a producer and the host of The Apprentice, a reality television game show.

Trump owned the Miss Universe and Miss USA beauty pageants from 1996 to 2015. According to the American financial Forbes magazine, he was the world’s 544th richest person as of May 2017, with an estimated net worth of $3.5 billion.

In 1977, Trump married his first wife, Czech model Ivana Zelníčková. They had three children: Donald Jr. (b. 1977), Ivanka (b. 1981), and Eric (b. 1984). Ivana became a naturalized United States citizen in 1988. The couple divorced in 1992, following Trump’s affair with actress Marla Maples.

In October 1993, Maples gave birth to Trump’s daughter, who was named Tiffany after the upper-class Tiffany & Company. Maples and Trump were married two months later in December 1993. They divorced in 1999, and Tiffany was raised by Marla in California.

In 2005, Trump married his third wife, Slovenian model Melania Knauss, at Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Palm Beach, Florida. Her original name was Melanija Knavs, born on April 26, 1970 at Novo Mesto, SR Slovenia, SFR Yugoslavia

In 2006, Melania became a United States citizen and gave birth to a son, March 20, 2006, Barron William Trump. Melania and Barron moved to the White House on June 11, 2017,

Trump has never filed for personal bankruptcy, but his hotel and casino businesses were declared bankrupt six times between 1991 and 2009 in order to re-negotiate debt with banks and owners of stock and bonds. Because the businesses used Chapter 11 bankruptcy, they were allowed to operate while negotiations proceeded.

Mr. Trump was quoted by Newsweek magazine in 2011 saying, “I do play with the bankruptcy laws – they’re very good for me” as a tool for trimming debt.

The six bankruptcies were the result of over-leveraged hotel and casino businesses in Atlantic City and New York: Trump Taj Mahal (1991), Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino (1992), Plaza Hotel (1992), Trump Castle Hotel and Casino (1992), Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts (2004), and Trump Entertainment Resorts (2009).

As president, Trump has frequently made false statements in public speeches and remarks. Trump uttered “at least one false or misleading claim per day on 91 of his first 99 days” in office according to The New York Times, and 1,318 total in his first 263 days in office. The Washington Post, also wrote, “President Trump is the most fact-challenged politician that The Fact Checker has ever encountered… the pace and volume of the president’s misstatements means that we cannot possibly keep up.”

Mr. Trump has a history of making racially-charged statements and taking actions perceived as racially motivated.

In 1975, Mr. Trump settled a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Department of Justice in 1973 alleging housing discrimination against black renters. In 1989, he was accused of racism for insisting that a group of black and Latino teenagers were guilty of raping a white woman in the Central Park jogger case even after they were exonerated by DNA evidence.

He continued to maintain this position as late as 2016.

Mr.Trump launched his 2016 presidential campaign with a speech in which he described Mexican immigrants as criminals and rapists.

One of Mr.Trump’s campaign managers, Paul Manafort, had worked for several years to help pro-Russian politician Viktor Yanukovich win the Ukrainian presidency.

Other Trump associates, including former National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn and political consultant Roger Stone, have been connected to Russian officials. Russian agents were overheard during the campaign saying they could use Manafort and Flynn to influence Trump.

Members of Mr.Trump’s campaign and later his White House staff, particularly Flynn, were in contact with Russian officials both before and after the November election In a December 29, 2016 conversation, Flynn and Kislyak discussed the recently imposed sanctions against Russia; Mr.Trump later fired Flynn for falsely claiming he had not discussed the sanctions.

Donald Trump has pursued business deals in Russia since 1987, and has sometimes traveled there to explore potential business opportunities. In 1996, Trump trademark applications were submitted for potential Russian real estate development deals. Mr.Trump’s partners and children have repeatedly visited Moscow, connecting with developers and government officials to explore joint venture opportunities. Mr.Trump was never able to successfully conclude any real estate deals in Russia. However, individual Russians have invested heavily in Trump properties, and following Mr.Trump’s bankruptcies in the 1990s he borrowed money from Russian sources. In 2008 his son Donald Trump Jr. said that Russia was an important source of money for the Trump businesses.

In 1996 Mr.Trump partnered with Liggett-Ducat, a small company, and planned to build an upscale residential development on a Liggett-Ducat property in Moscow. Trump commissioned New York architect Ted Liebman, who did the sketches.

In 1987 Mr.Trump visited Russia to investigate developing a hotel

In Russia, Mr.Trump promoted the proposal and acclaimed the Russian economic market. At a news conference reported by The Moscow Times, Mr.Trump said he hadn’t been “as impressed with the potential of a city as I have been with Moscow” in contrast to other cities had visited “all over the world.

By this time, Mr.Trump made known his desire to build in Moscow to government officials for almost ten years ranging from the Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev (they first met in Washington in 1987) to the military figure Alexander Lebed.

Moscow’s mayor, Yuri M. Luzhkov, showed Trump plans for a very large shopping mall to be located underground in the vicinity of the Kremlin. The mayor complimented Mr.Trump’s suggestion that this mall should have access to the Moscow Metro, and it was eventually connected to the Okhotny Ryad station. Although the 1996 residential development did not happen, Mr.Trump was by this time well known in Russia.

Between 2000–2010, Mr.Trump entered into a partnership with a development company headquartered in New York represented by a Russian immigrant, Felix Sater. During this period, they partnered for an assortment of deals that included building Trump towers internationally and Russia was included. For example, in 2005 Slater acted as an agent for building a Trump tower alongside Moscow River with letters of intent in hand and “square footage was being analyzed.”

In 2006, Mr.Trump’s children Donald Jr. and Ivanka stayed in the Hotel National, Moscow for several days, across from the Kremlin, to interview prospective partners, with the intention of formulating real estate development projects.

Sater had also traveled to Moscow with Mr. Trump, his wife Ivanka and son Donald Jr.

Mr. Trump was associated with Tevfik Arif, formerly a Soviet commerce official and founder of a development company called the Bayrock Group, of which Sater was also a partner.

Bayrock searched for deals in Russia while Trump Towers company were attempting to further expand in the United States. Mr. Sater said, “We looked at some very, very large properties in Russia,” on the scale of “…a large Vegas high-rise.”

In 2007, Bayrock organized a potential deal in Moscow between Trump International Hotel and Russian investors

During 2006–2008 Mr.Trump’s company applied for a number of trademarks in Russia with the goal of real estate developments. These trademark applications include: Trump, Trump Tower, Trump International Hotel and Tower, and Trump Home.

In 2008, Mr. Trump spoke at a Manhattan real estate conference, stating that he he really prefered Moscow over all cities in the world and that within 18 months he had been in Russia a half-dozen times.

Mr.Trump had received large and undisclosed payments over 10 years from Russians for hotel rooms, rounds of golf, or Trump-licensed products such as wine, ties, or mattresses, which would not have been identified as coming from Russian sources in the tax returns

A secret KGB memo under date of February 1, 1984 concerned the necessity of making an expanded use of the facilities of cooperating foreign intelligence services—for example, Czechoslovakian or East German intelligence networks.

The most revealing section concerned kompromat.

The document specifically requested any compromising information about Donald Trump, including illegal acts in financial and commercial affairs, intrigues, speculation, bribes, graft … and exploitation of his position to enrich himself. Plus any other information that would compromise the subject (Trump) to his country’s authorities and the general public. Naturally the information could be used to cause him serious problems in his country if exposed.

Finally, the report mentioned that his attitude towards women was also of interest. The point of interest would be if he was the habit of having affairs with women.

Mr. Trumps’ first trip to Moscow came after he found himself seated next to the Soviet ambassador Yuri Dubinin in 1986. His original position was Soviet ambassador to the U.N. Dubinin’s mission as ambassador was to make contact with America’s business elite.

There was a luncheon held by Leonard Lauder, the son of Estée Lauder. Mr. Trump was invited to meet the Ambassador. Ambassador Dubinin spoke fluent English and during the course of the luncheon Trump spoke at length with the Ambassador who proposed that Trump build a large luxury hotel, directly across from the Kremlin, in association with the Soviet government.

Mr.Trump at once became interested in the project and expressed his willingness to cooperate on such a project.

By January 1987, Mr.Trump had become a “prominent person” status and therefore Ambassador Dubinin deemed Mr.Trump interesting enough to arrange his trip to Moscow. U.S.-based Soviet diplomat, Vitaly Churkin—the future U.N. ambassador—was of assistance in this project.

Mr. Trump first visited the Soviet Union on July 4, 1987.

Mr. Trump flew to Moscow for the first time, together with his wife Ivana and Lisa Calandra, Ivana’s Italian-American assistant. Ambassador Dubinin’s invitation to Trump to visit Moscow was a standard operation exercise by the KGB.

The Trump trip was orchestrated by the Intourist Agency which was under the control of the KGB. Its duty was to investigate and monitor all foreigners coming into the Soviet Union.

The Trumps were treated with great courtesy by Soviet officials and they were housed in Lenin’s suite at the National Hotel, at the bottom of Tverskaya Street, near Red Square.

The hotel was connected to the Intourist complex next door and was under KGB control.

The Lenin suite had been fixed for electronic surveillance.

In November of 2013, the Miss Universe pageant was held iin Moscow

It was there that  Mr. Trump — then the pageant’s owner — spent several days socializing with Russia’s business and political elite and becoming acquainted with a wealthy developer whose connections his son would later seek to capitalize on. The developer, Aras Agalarov, offered to pass on information about potential rival Mrs. Clinton from Russia’s top prosecutor to help a projected Trump presidential campaign.

The contest was held at Crocus City Hall, a venue owned by Agalarov. The event would be a family affair: Agalarov’s son, a pop singer named Emin, performed on stage and his wife was a judge.

Mr.Trump remained on good and productive terms with the Agalarov family, at one point, appearing in a music video with Emin and sending him a videotaped greeting on his 35th birthday.

During his trip to Moscow on November 9-11, 2013 for the Miss Universe pageant, Mr.Trump surrounded himself with business people and those necessary to sign a deal which would bring a Trump Tower project to Moscow. These were: Aras Agalarov, Emin Agalarov, Yulya (Yulia) Alferova, Herman Gref, Artem Klyushin, Vladimir Kozhin, Chuck LaBella, Rotem Rosen, Phil Ruffin, Alex Sapir, Keith Schiller, Roustam Tariko and Bob Van Ronkel.

At first, President Putin, who had planned on meeting Mr.Trump at the pageant, sent numerous individuals tied to the Russian construction sector to the event to discuss potential lucrative building plans and to ascertain Mr. Trump’s attitudes.

President Putin to establish a distance, stated he was unable to attend the pagent because of a last-minute visit from the King of the Netherlands.

Previous to this meeting, there had been no positive positions on the possibility that Mr. Trump, with Russian assistance and financing, might construct a luxury hotel in Moscow. Trump made several tweets thanking individuals in Moscow and bragging about his future plans. Then on November 12th, 2013 Trump posted a link to the Moscow Times, remarking that his organization was working on building a luxury hotel in Moscow “@AgalarovAras I had a great weekend with you and your family. You have done a FANTASTIC job. TRUMP TOWER-MOSCOW is next. EMIN was WOW!”

This hotel deal was finalized during Trump’s weekend stay in Moscow for his Miss Universe pageant. At the Four Seasons Hotel at Ulitsa Okhotnyy Ryad, 2, a private meeting was held between Mr. Trump and President Putin. As the President is fluent in English, no other person was present. President Putin praised the business abilities of Mr. Trump and said that he would be a “refreshing person” as President of the United States. President Putin said that his people would be pleased to support Mr. Trump and that if this support was deemed material in achieving a victory, President Putin had one request to make of Mr. Trump. President Putin said his best wish was to establish “friendly and cooperative attitudes” by both parties, firmer business contacts and an abandonment of the policy of threats to the Russian Republic. President Putin stressed that certain very right-wing groups in America had been constantly agitating against him and against the Russian Republic and he hoped that Mr. Trump, if elected, could ignore these few people and work with, not against the Russian Republic. Mr. Trump repeatedly assured the President that he woud be most eager to do just that and he agreed to work with various people in the United States who were friendly towards, and had connections with, the Russian Republic.

This most important conversation was recorded as a form of kompromat. And it is certain that a direct quid pro quo took place in November of 2013 between President Putin and Mr. Trump.

On June 16, 2015, Mr. Trump announced his candidacy for President

The methodology of Russian assistance:

The SVR has often sent intelligence officers to branches of the New York Public Library, and other public libraries, where they obtained access to the Internet, via library computers, without revealing their identity.

They placed propaganda and disinformation to educational web sites and sent e-mails to US media. It is a fact that the alternate internet site, WikiLeaks, is entirely controlled, out of Sweden, by the SVR and that they use this front to release genuine information to address issues they consider important to influence.

The articles or studies were generated by Russian experts who worked for the SVR. The purpose of these active measures was to whitewash Russian foreign policy, to create good image of Russia, to promote Anti-American feelings and “to cause dissension and unrest inside the US.

The materials used to support the candidacy of Mr. Trump were a series of emails from, and to, the Democratic National Committee which were perfectely genuine but selected to bring discredit on the campaign of Ms. Clinton. This material was part of a trove of such material obtained by an American domestic intelligence agent and sold to Russian interests.

In June of 2016, Mr. Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., Mr. Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, and his presidential chairman Paul Manafort met with a Russian lawyer when they were told the Russian intelligence had acquired highly damaging information concerning Mrs. Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party candidate.

Russian property developer, Aras Agalarov had arragned this meeting. Subsequently the information gleaned from this meeting was given to Aras Agalarov from Russian prosecutor-general Yuri Chaika.

Because the Trumps, both father and son, were not discreet, the American Central Intelligence Agency, who were subjecting both Trumps to surveillance, learned of some of the contacts with Russian government personnel and one of their internal memos spoke very disparingly of these contacts.

Then, on September 6, 2016, there was an arragned accident in Moscow in which an oncoming vehicle was suddenly controlled to swerve across the median and collide with a State-owned BMW used by President Putin. The driver of the Presidential car was killed instantly. As the President was known to have been in China for the G20 summet meeting, the arraigned accident was not an assassination attempt but meant as a clear warning to the President to abandon his activities in support of Presidential candidate Trump.

It is known that the CIA has developed the methodology of controlling the speed and direction of a moving vehicle via its on-board computer system.

Messagings from the CIA section in the American Embassy in Moscow were intercepted and decoded by Russian intelligence that clearly indicated the reasons for the arrangned accident.

Evaluation of Mr. Trump as an asset for Russian interests

Оценка г-на Трампа как актива для интересов России

Russian intelligence has had an interest in Donald Trump since the year 1977 when we received an alert from a sister unit in Prague.

He was described as impressionable young man with large ambitions and money from his family real estate business.

His marriage to a Czech woman whose father was an element in that countries’ intelligence agency brought him to our attention and we went to some lengths to ascertain his potential value for Russian interests.

The initial impression of Mr. Trump was that he was extremely self-important and egotistical to a remarkable degree.

As our first hand knowledge of him progressed it became evident that Mr. Trump fancied himself as a man to whom beautiful women were attracted.

That they were attracted to his money is more evident.

Although it is true he is a person with whom one could establish good business contacts, Mr. Trump was, and is, an overbearing and intolerant person.

He is subject to mood-swings in that what is acceptable today is not tomorrow.

He is easily led by women to whom he is initially very attentive and once he feels he had their purchased loyalty, proceeds to turn his attentions to other women.

It was our experience with Mr. Trump that by supplying him a number of beautiful Russian women, he became besotted and was willing to agree to almost any proposal presented to him.

As a businessman, Mr. Trump is erratic in the extreme. He owes very large sums of money, for example, to the Deutsche Bank, sums he somehow forgets to pay. He also owes large sums to Russian banks but in this case, he dare not neglect to pay.

Although he and President Putin got on well together, Mr. Trump’s promises ought to be taken very cautiously.

Mr. Trump is so convinced of his superiority to others and so easy to influence that promises to one person could easily be forgotten when making identical promises to another.

His current wife, Melanija Knavs, has produced a son and this boy, quite attractive, is the idol of his mother. She has stated to one of our people that she is not happy with her marriage because of her husband’s constant, and often very obnoxious, persuit of other women and does not want her young son to associate with his father lest he hear Mr. Trump’s constant flow of foul and obscene language or see him grab at some woman’s breasts.

She planned to divorce him and take her son back to Yugoslavia but the scandal would do so much damage to Mr. Trump’s public image that she was dissuaded from divorce by the payment of a large sum of money and promises on the part of Mr. Trump to let his wife rear and be responsible for his son.

Insofar as his use to Russian interests, this is problematical due to Mr.Trump’s disturbed personality. He does recall, however, that we released unpleasant material about Mrs. Clinton and that the same sort of material could very easily be released about him.

On the one hand, he has no problem taking Russian money for his businesses but on the other, he is susceptible to pressure from American power groups such as the Christian religious sector, Jewish groups and the military which have virtual control of current American politics and governance.

 

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Trump’s Russian Connections

Overview

Wikpedia

For many years, there has been intensive public scrutiny of Trump’s relationship to Russia. In a book excerpt published in Politico, former Guardian Russia correspondent Luke Harding stated that files declassified in 2016 indicated that Czech spies closely followed Trump and then-wife Ivana Trump in Manhattan and during trips to Czechoslovakia in the time after their marriage in 1977. Natalia and Irina Dubinin, daughters of then-Soviet ambassador Yuri Dubinin, are cited as indicating that a seemingly chance meeting of their father with Trump in the autumn of 1986, was part of Dubinin’s assignment to establish contact with America’s business elite and a determined effort by the Soviet government to cultivate Trump in particular. This effort extended through a series of subsequent events, also documented in The Art of the Deal, including a meeting in 1986 between the Ambassador and Trump at Trump Tower and Dubinin’s subsequent invitation to Trump to visit Moscow (which was handled via KGB-affiliated Intourist and the future Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin). Harding also asserts that the “top level of the Soviet diplomatic service arranged his 1987 Moscow visit. With assistance from the KGB… The spy chief [Vladimir Kryuchkov] wanted KGB staff abroad to recruit more Americans.” Harding cited Trump as writing in The Art that the trip included a tour of “a half dozen potential sites for a hotel, including several near Red Square” and that he “was impressed with the ambition of Soviet officials to make a deal”.

During the 2016 campaign, Trump repeatedly praised Russian president Vladimir Putin as a strong leader, leading to jokes about their “bromance”. From various occasions in 2013 to 2015, Trump has said regarding Putin, “I do have a relationship with him”, “I met him once”, and “I spoke indirectly and directly with President Putin, who could not have been nicer”. However, from 2016, during Trump’s election campaign, Trump’s stance changed. During a press conference Trump claimed, “I never met Putin, I don’t know who Putin is … Never spoken to him”, and during another interview Trump said, “I have no relationship with him”.

Several Trump advisers, including former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and former campaign manager Paul Manafort, have been connected to Russian or Ukrainian officials. Russian agents were overheard during the campaign saying they could use Manafort and Flynn to influence Trump. Members of Trump’s campaign and later his White House staff, particularly Flynn and Jared Kushner, were in contact with Russian government officials both before and after the November election, including some contacts which they initially did not disclose As of May 2017, the FBI is investigating several alleged links between Trump associates and representatives of the Russian government. British and Dutch intelligence services have given information to their United States counterparts about meetings in European cities between Russian officials, associates of Putin, and associates of then-President-elect Trump. American intelligence agencies also intercepted communications of Russian officials, some of them within the Kremlin, discussing contacts with Trump associates.

The Wall Street Journal reported that United States intelligence agencies monitoring Russian espionage found Kremlin officials discussing Trump’s associates in the spring of 2015. At the time, U.S. intelligence analysts were reportedly confused, but not alarmed, by these intercepted conversations. In July 2017, the conversations were re-examined in light of a recently disclosed Trump Tower meeting involving Donald Trump, Jr. and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.

The New York Times reported that multiple Trump associates, including Manafort and other members of his campaign, had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials during 2016, although officials said that, so far, they do not have evidence that Trump’s campaign had cooperated with the Russians to influence the election. Manafort said he did not knowingly meet any Russian intelligence officials. Flynn and now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions subsequently confirmed contacts after having initially denied them. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told CNN that the “electoral process” was not discussed during these meetings, and that the Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak had also met with “people working in think tanks advising Hillary or advising people working for Hillary” during the campaign.

In particular, Kislyak met with several Trump campaign members, transition team members, and administration nominees. Involved people dismissed those meetings as routine conversations in preparation for assuming the presidency. Trump’s team has issued at least twenty denials concerning communications between his campaign and Russian officials; several of these denials turned out to be false. The Trump administration reportedly asked the FBI for help in countering news reports about alleged contacts with Russia.

Former ambassadors Michael McFaul and John Beyrle said they were “extremely troubled” by the evidence of Russian interference in the U.S. election. Both supported an independent investigation into the matter, but dismissed as “preposterous” the allegations that Kislyak participated in it, particularly through his meetings with the Trump campaign: “Kislyak’s job is to meet with government officials and campaign people,” McFaul stated. “People should meet with the Russian Ambassador and it’s wrong to criminalize that or discourage it.”

According to three officials who reviewed a letter sent to The Washington Post in December 2016, a meeting took place in Trump Tower on December 1 or 2 between Kushner, Kislyak, and Flynn. In the meeting, Kushner is alleged to have requested that a direct Russian-encrypted communications channel be set up to allow secret communication with Russia which would circumvent safeguards in place by the United States intelligence community. The goal would be to allow Flynn to speak directly to Russian military officials about Syria and other issues. No such communications channel was actually set up, according to the sources. After the meeting, Kislyak sent a report of the meeting to the Kremlin using what he thought were secure channels, but it was intercepted by American intelligence. Kislyak was reportedly taken aback by the request and expressed concern of the security implications that would be at stake in having an American use secure communications between the Kremlin and diplomatic outposts.

Former Acting CIA Director Michael Morell stated in March 2017 that he had seen no evidence of collusion between Trump and the Kremlin. “On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians here, there is smoke, but there is no fire, at all,” Morell said. In a March 2017 interview, James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence under President Obama, said that at the time of the intelligence community’s report on the issue in January 2017, there was no evidence of any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives Former FBI Director James Comey, who was dismissed from his position in May 2017, subsequently testified under oath as follows: “In one conversation, Trump suggested that if there were some ‘satellite’ associates of his who did something wrong, it would be good to find that out.”

David A. Graham, staff writer at The Atlantic, has written: “It’s no wonder Trump is upset about the dossier, but his mantra that ‘there was no collusion [and] everybody including the Dems knows there was no collusion’ rings false these days. While there’s not yet any public evidence to indicate a crime was committed, or that Trump was involved, it is clear that the Trump campaign and later transition were eager to work with Russia, and to keep that secret.”

 

 

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