WTF Community

Day 544

Updated 7/17/2018 11:38 AM PDT

1/ Trump called his meeting with Putin "even better" than his "great meeting with NATO" allies while blaming the media for being "rude" and "going Crazy!" During yesterday's news conference, Trump said he doesn't "see any reason" why Russia would meddle during the last election, blaming the U.S. for acting with "foolishness and stupidity" toward Russia in the past. Trump also rejected the consensus of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election. Instead, Trump said he believed Putin's denial. (Washington Post / Bloomberg / Reuters)

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

The man needs to step down and the GOP needs to demand it. Apparently that can’t happen, yet.


Amidst all the stupid shit going on, I really don’t want people to lose sight of one important thing. The idea that Trump doesn’t know what he’s doing isn’t a new one, but it’s particularly insidious in the way he talks about NATO. He doesnt seem to get what’s going on here. You don’t “raise money” for NATO. It’s just a commitment to spend a certain amount of your own money on your own military. If we commit more than 2% of our GDP, all we do is proportionately increase our military. If Germany spends less than 2%, their military is proportionately smaller. That’s it. That’s all. He wants to be fair to American tax-payers? Decrease spending to the military.


Maria Butina allegedly helped her Russian handler meet with a congressional delegation in August 2015. That’s when these lawmakers—one Democrat, one Republican—were in Russia.

Pro-Kremlin GOP Congressman Dana Rohrabacher met with a Putin ally in Russia in August 2015, The Daily Beast has confirmed, matching an account in Monday’s blockbuster FBI affidavit against accused Russian spy Maria Butina.

Butina was part of “discussions about the RUSSIAN OFFICIAL’s plans to meet with a U.S. Congressman during a Congressional Delegation trip to Moscow in August 2015,” FBI agent Kevin Helson’s affidavit swears. “In that conversation, BUTINA noted she has the RUSSIAN OFFICIAL’s diplomatic passport and can purchase a plane ticket for him from St. Petersburg to Moscow.”

The official is widely believed to be Alexander Torshin, an influential former Russian politician from Vladimir Putin’s party who established trans-continental ties to the National Rifle Association.

Yesterday, the Justice Department charged accused Maria Butina of acting as a Russian agent “for the purpose of advancing the interests of the Russian federation” and trying to infiltrate the NRA and “create a back-channel line of communication” back to the Kremlin.


Trump never likes being backed into a corner, and after a couple of defensive tweets of blaming the media and the investigations for his poor reviews, Trump gave “an unconvincing, halfhearted job of pretending that he always believed Russian meddling did indeed occur.”


The EU “signed its largest trade deal ever” with Japan to cut “customs duties on products like European wine and cheese, while gradually reducing tariffs on cars.”

The agreement will cover a quarter of the global economy — by some measures the largest free trade area in the world — and is the latest in a string of efforts either concluded or in the works with countries like Australia, Vietnam and even China.


Another loss for Manafort – and one more reason to flip. He has filed many motions to improve his position in his trials (loosening bail restrictions, requesting delays, etc.) and I believe he is batting 0 on those. Am I correct?


Mueller to give five witnesses immunity…and a delay in the trial start. And has been speculated here on WTFJHT, Manafort may be maneuvering for taking a plea bargain.

All five have said they will not testify so as not to incriminate themselves; if Ellis approves these orders, what they say cannot be used against them.

Meanwhile prosecutors are busily preparing for trial, filing motions Tuesday to compel five unnamed witnesses to testify under immunity from prosecution.

The motions are sealed and the government will not name the witnesses unless they are called to testify.

The five individuals identified in the motions at issue are third parties who have not been charged in this matter, and who have not been identified publicly with the case,” Assistant U. S. Attorney Uzo Asonye wrote. “The motions would reveal those individuals’ involvement. . .thereby creating the risk of their undue harassment.”


David Farhentholt (WaPo - pulitizer prize winner for his dogged analysis of Trump Foundation and Charities money issue and no donations from the Trumps)

Trump’s stay at his Scotland resort cost $68,800 which is not at cost

Trump still owns his businesses, including Trump Turnberry, but he has given over day-to-day control to sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump. The Turnberry club has been one of his biggest investments — costing him $205 million in cash to cover the purchase and extensive renovations. But, so far, it has lost millions of dollars and has never reported a profit.

Almost everyday we seem to uncover additional evidence that reveals the attack on our election was even worse than we thought.


Yesterday, coming home from work, NPR was almost like in a feeding frenzy over Trump’s remarks. I had caught a bit of the “press conference”, which Trump adamantly hates because he is an epic failure at them, but he must have known it was coming. What is especially disturbing to me is that it seems he no longer has any “guardrails” or “filters”. The talk about Hillary and the “witch hunt” and the missing servers, it was beyond the pale as they say. Like talking about your Uncle Ned’s Thanksgiving drunkenness at work, nobody outside the family needs to hear about it, especially in a public setting. It’s as though his handlers have flown the coop and if he wants to just wing it with Putin or Kim Jong Un, mostly for the sake of showmanship (another key motivator aside from fish fillet sandwiches), it’s ok. Who knows what a senile old Art of The Deal Guy would say to Putin, behind closed doors, about furthering the interests of the privately held Trump Corp. He probably spent half the time trying to identify a site for that Trump Tower he’s been lusting to have in Moscow for the last decade.

But it’s wrong. It’s just wrong and I hope it IS the proverbial “tipping point”. If the Republicans are going to go along with his attitude (today’s backpedaling aside), then they really have become something like a modern day Nazi party, if you ask me anyway…


File under #AvoidingSubpoenas

DNC filed a lawsuit in April 2018 against the Russian Gov’t, Trump Campaign and Wikileaks for conspiracy to disrupt the 2016 campaign. But they are unable to get the subpoenas to Kushner, who is using the secret service to protect himself from the process servers.

DNC is now looking for a court motion to find another way to get it to him and it could be now by mail or possibly email.
(discussed MSNBC - Last word w/ Lawrence O’Donnell)

The Democratic National Committee filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit Friday against the Russian government, the Trump campaign and the WikiLeaks organization alleging a far-reaching conspiracy to disrupt the 2016 campaign and tilt the election to Donald Trump.

The complaint, filed in federal district court in Manhattan, alleges that top Trump campaign officials conspired with the Russian government and its military spy agency to hurt Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and help Trump by hacking the computer networks of the Democratic Party and disseminating stolen material found there.

“During the 2016 presidential campaign, Russia launched an all-out assault on our democracy, and it found a willing and active partner in Donald Trump’s campaign,” DNC Chairman Tom Perez said in a statement.

The suit asserts that the Russian hacking campaign — combined with Trump associates’ contacts with Russia and the campaign’s public cheerleading of the hacks — amounted to an illegal conspiracy to interfere in the election and caused serious damage to the Democratic Party.


And here we go. . . Of course, since Trump insisted on the colossally stupid (and conspiratorial?) move of meeting one-on-one with Putin, Russia is now claiming that agreements were reached. However, none of us, even those at the highest levels of our government, have any idea what those agreements may be. We only have Trump’s word to take for it (and we all know what that’s worth). We could ask the interpreter, but now that’s just getting absurd.

“The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation is ready for practical implementation of the agreements reached between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump in the sphere of international security achieved at the Helsinki summit,” Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, a Russian military spokesman, said in a statement Tuesday. . . .

The National Security Council would not confirm what Trump had agreed to in the one-on-one with Putin. A spokesman for the NSC told CNN on Tuesday that they were still "reviewing the discussion."

How can the NSC be “reviewing the discussion” when there is no record of the discussion? Trump wouldn’t even allow notes to be taken. The NSC should tell the truth and say they are “reviewing the President’s recollection of the discussion.”

BTW, here’s an enlightening article about why the CIA has a rule that one of its agents must never meet one-on-one with a KGB agent (now GRU agent). As we all know, Putin was KGB and now controls the GRU (even if he is not “officially” its head).


In this interview with CNN’s Don Lemon, Democratic Congressman Mike Quigley (Illinois) discloses that Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee blocked Democrats from interviewing Maria Butina (recently indicted as a Russian agent) and 30 other witnesses. (starting at 2 min., 30 sec.)


Just word play…? Damage done…

Would It or Wouldn’t It Be Russia: Trump Goes Double Negative


I’m just having flashbacks to “it depends on what the definition of ‘is’ is”


Thinking about the five people who will receive immunity from Mueller during Manafort’s trial - this may be one. Michael Caputo

Among the odd stories surrounding the colorful cast of characters orbiting the Trump campaign and the Mueller investigation, political consultant Michael Caputo—a one-time protégé of PR dirty trickster Roger Stone and former aide to Paul Manafort—likely doesn’t even crack the top dozen. In fact, his most memorable claim to fame on the Trump campaign may be that he’s the only person to have left the campaign under totally normal circumstances, resigning after an ill-advised tweet that celebrated the firing of Corey Lewandowski.

More descriptors…“heedless amateur,” in case you needed any more.

At the press conference in Helsinki, Trump proved himself, at best, a heedless amateur, blind to the bogus arguments and offers being made by a shrewd adversary. “President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today, and what he did is an incredible offer,” Trump said. “He offered to have the people working on the case come and work with their investigators with respect to the twelve [Russian intelligence officers who were indicted by Mueller]. I think that’s an incredible offer.” Incredible is the word, and not just for the offer. Trump’s incredible journey to Europe was an act contrary to the interests of his country. Now we will see who, particularly in the Republican Party, will stand up not to applaud the Great Leader but to find the capacity to say what is obvious and what is true.

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From the latest court filing on Maria Butina (July 18, 2018).

Alleged Russian spy Mariia “Maria” Butina is more than likely going nowhere until her trial, the latest filing in her case suggests. Prosecutors argue that Butina, who is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday, is a major flight risk, and they fear that the Russian government will attempt to sneak her back overseas under the cover of darkness. It’s also been alleged that Butina offered sex in exchange for a position in a “special interest organization.”

Prosecutors said Butina and U.S. Person 1, age 56, “are believed to have cohabitated and been involved in a personal relationship during the course of Butina’s activities in the United States […] but but this relationship does not represent a strong tie to the United States because Butina appears to treat it as simply a necessary aspect of her activities.”

As proof of this, prosecutors said Butina offered sex for access.

“For example, on at least one occasion, Butina offered an individual other than U.S. Person 1 sex in exchange for a position within a special interest organization. Further, in papers seized by the FBI, Butina complained about living with U.S. Person 1 and expressed disdain for continuing to cohabitate with U.S. Person 1,” the filing continued.


Yup, they nabbed her right before she fled…and more sordid details

poses a serious risk of flight based on the nature of the chargesher history of deceptive conduct, the potential sentence she faces, the strong evidence of guilt, her extensive foreign connections, and her lack of any meaningful ties to the United States.

Here’s the court filing…

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