Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Of Trump and Putin

Some immediate questions and observations about the BuzzFeed article alleging Trump's "deep ties" to Russia follow.

- The dossier reports that Trump was offered several sweetheart real estate deals inside Russia but elected not to capitalize on any of them:
TRUMP has declined various sweetener real estate business deals offered him in Russia in order to further the Kremlin's cultivation of him.
This is excerpted verbatim. Notice how clunky the sentence above is. The supposed source is a British intelligence agent. Editing the sentence thus, "In order to further cultivate its relationship with him, the Kremlin offered various sweetener real estate deals that Trump declined", makes the sentence much easier to read. Maybe it's just a consequence of a certain technical writing style, but it could benefit from the services of an editor.

- The following is subsequently reported, however:
Regarding TRUMP's claimed minimal investment profile in Russia, a separate source with direct knowledge said this had not been for want of trying. TRUMP's previous efforts had included exploring the real estate sector in St Petersburg as well as Moscow but in the end TRUMP had had to settle for the use of extensive sexual services there from local prostitutes rather than business success.
This has the feel of a clever high school student's trolling effort to it. Well, I couldn't close the deal but it's a good thing I have all this coven of courtesans as a consolation prize!

Incidentally, the dossier also asserts that Russia "compromised TRUMP through his activities in Moscow sufficiently to be able to blackmail him" by way of his "perverted sexual acts". I suppose no one is totally impervious to sex scandal fallout, but Trump is as close to it as they come!

More substantively, there's an apparent blatant contradiction here--Trump was offered plenty on the cheap but turned it down on the one hand but couldn't find anything to invest in despite trying hard to do so on the other.

- The report was prepared by "political opponents of Trump". An obvious question is why, given that the documents are dated from June through October of 2016, they are only now being released.

Even heroic anonymous agent isn't free of -isms!
- The dossier repeatedly mentions an organization referred to as "Alpha Group". The consortium is actually spelled "Alfa Group". Looks like Pepe, or maybe Heartiste, has gotten inside their heads!
name is actually

- It is alleged that Putin has been cultivating a relationship with Trump for "at least 8 years", efforts aimed at "splitting the US hawks inimical to Russia and the Washington elite more generally". Even with hindsight being 20/20, this seems incredible. Trump was utterly inconceivable as a presidential contender during the early years of the Obama administration. Even 18 months ago his bid was dismissed as attention-garnering fantasy. Russian prescience is astounding if they accurately divined how things would pan out a decade ago.

- The dossier alleges that Trump's business dealings in "China and other emerging markets" involved:
The payment of large bribes and kickbacks which, were they to become public, would be potentially very damaging to [the Trump] campaign.
Coupling the ChiComs knowledge of and involvement in business dealings throughout the middle kingdom and Trump's harsh rhetoric towards China it seems curious that these widespread bribes weren't made known during the presidential campaign.

It's also noted that Trump made payments to various computer hackers in multiple countries. None of the many, many people who should have evidence of putative Trumpian bribes and kickbacks are providing the proof that would vault them to messianic status in the eyes of the Establishment and have major media organizations the world over beating paths to their front doors? Hmm.

- The dossier also implicates Jill Stein, who--peacenik that she is--identified Hillary Clinton as the presidential candidate most likely to start a war with Russia during the campaign:


On the one hand, the overall narrative presented is plausible. On the other, it's too plausible. All of Trump's friends in the fevered imaginations of those with Trump derangement syndrome--overt in the case of Putin and covert in the case of Stein, etc--are there in their caricatured roles. It reads like "just so" fan fiction designed to cast a lingering cloud of suspicion over the Trump administration. The contradictions, sloppy errors like the Alfa Group error and Paul Manafort's last name being misspelled "MANNAFORT" on p32, and grin-inducing terms like "golden showers" included make it difficult to take seriously.

Trump is vociferously denying the whole thing. That's his style, of course, but he's been briefed on the information from US intelligence agencies, so if he thought there was something to all of this the strident denials will turn out to be a series of unforced errors.

Given the CIA's atrocious history of fabricating so-called intelligence for the purposes of toppling governments--both foreign and domestic (see Iraq)--and the total lack of anything beyond anonymous allegations completely devoid of hard evidence, incredulity is the most prudent position to take for the time being.

10 comments:

glt said...

check:
- The dossier repeatedly mentions an organization referred to as "Alpha Group". The consortium's Alfa Group. Looks like Pepe, or maybe Heartiste, has gotten inside their heads!
name is actually

Audacious Epigone said...

Got it, thanks.

Dan said...

The powers that be seem to really, really want the US to be enemies with Russia. Even more than they want open borders.

Rubio: It's obvious that we should we stand up to Putin's Hitlerness by committing ground troops to Moscow. Don't you agree?
Tillerson: Uh...
Rubio: WRONG ANSWER!

Rubio (to press): I am shocked and dismayed at Tillerson's... I can't even. [Collapses dramatically in to the arms of a surprised CNN cameraman.]


IHTG said...

in order to further the Kremlin's cultivation of him.

Couldn't it be that what they meant is that Trump declined so that they'd give him even more?

Feryl said...

This really smacks of psych. projection. Blackmail and perversion? Ya mean, like what we routinely see with Hollywood and D.C.?

Imagine if our government and media put 25% of their anti-Trump energy into investigating other "actors" (as Fed psy-op campaigns have put it since the early 90's).

BTW, the lion's share of elites have extensive business/investment ties with all kinds of foreign entities, with some activities better hidden than others. Of course, what was routine under non-Trump figures will now be breathlessly reported as evidence of rampant corruption and betrayal among Team Trump.

Audacious Epigone said...

Dan,

Right. They're trying to box Trump in by showing a bi-partisan front anti-Russian front in congress. Trump conceded a little about election interference from "Russia and other countries" but for the most part he's just throwing it right back. He's not going weak on Tillerson, he's blasting CNN as the fake news outlet that it is, and he's leaving no room for ambiguity in his social media reactions.

IHTG,

Good point, yes, that's certainly conceivable. And if that's the intended point, then it's even more muddled and poorly written than I imagined. Far easier to understand definitively is "The Kremlin offered Trump various sweetener real estate deals in Russia but he declined them in hopes of being offered even better deals".

Feryl,

Smacks of self-projection or, as Zero Hedge has reported, expert-level trolling. Every unhinged leftist fantasy about Trump comes true if this is true and so several of the less disciplined outlets, clickbait BuzzFeed most prominently, couldn't resist biting hard on the bait.

Anonymous said...

O/T but this is a map of countries that have invaded Poland.
Which is what the American midwest would be if either coast but especially the west coast were surrendered.

http://brilliantmaps.com/invaded-poland/

vxxc

Audacious Epigone said...

VXXC,

There aren't any countries in the entire western hemisphere outside of the US and Canada that are capable of invading anything, and the People's Republic of California wouldn't.

Saint Louis said...

Doesn't one of the memos refer to Jill Stein as a major player or something? That alone made the whole thing incredible (in the most literal sense of the word) to me.

Audacious Epigone said...

Saint Louis,

Yes, it alleges that Putin paid to have her come to Russia on multiple occasions. That's another reason it feels like a clever troll job--many on the left tore into Stein when she pointed out that Hillary's foreign policy was more bellicose and likely to start a war with Russia than Trump's was. This dossier is calibrated to fit all of the hysterical fantasies of the left.