‘Deep Politics’ and Supranational Aspects of the Trump Era
Every American president is covertly backed by a consortium of “deep political” factions and interest groups. These groups invariably wind up stacking the administrations they help parlay into power with members and associates of their clique. This factional quarreling and proxy activity is usually largely confined to the domestic sphere and in the United States almost always at its core runs along the lines of fundamental foreign policy differences. On the one hand, a liberal-internationalist-“globalist” wing supports multilateral foreign policy (the United Nations), typically restrains from interventionist misadventures (instead preferring to utilize soft power) and generally opposes increases in defense spending. On the other hand, a militaristic conservative-ultranationalist wing advocates unilateral foreign policy, is highly supportive of military intervention/rollback (hard power) and is fanatically in favor of increased defense spending and “national security” measures. Both of these viewpoints exist in both American political parties and along a gradation. The most important takeaway from this is that literally not a single American president has ever in any way been a “political outsider”. They virtually always have clandestine and/or open ties to foreign policy interest groups and think tank networks. From a deep political standpoint, domestic and economic policy is almost always an accessory to be used in the furtherance of some kind of foreign agenda.
What’s special about the 2016 election and the Trump apparatus is the extensive involvement of foreign groups (namely Russia, Israel and the Gulf States) that further complicates an analysis of the political circles involved. This article will examine not only the domestic covert politics behind the Trump presidency but also the numerous foreign reciprocities that are apparently present.
The Hard-Right National Security Establishment
Most of my research on Trump, his entourage and his benefactors up until this point has revolved around their deep-seated ties to the primarily US-based right-leaning ultranationalist national security establishment centered around the Pentagon (and in particular its internal advisory bodies), conservative elements in the CIA and militaristic national security-boosting think tanks and foreign policy interest groups such as the Center for Security Policy, American Security Council, Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Jamestown Foundation, American Foreign Policy Council, Henry Jackson Society, Hudson Institute, Association of Former Intelligence Officers/OSS Society, the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) before it was disbanded and last but not least, the Committee on the Present Danger (probably the most elite).
Founded in 1950 and populated by CIA men, top generals, and researchers/scientists around the RAND Corp. and its wartime predecessors, the Committee on the Present Danger (CPD) was along with the American Security Council (the originator of the “peace through strength” doctrine) one of the original hard-right militarist foreign policy pressure groups and military-industrial complex lobbying organizations. The CPD — which remains dormant for extended periods of time before springing into action again — and American Security Council were immensely influential in establishing long-term US national security protocols and successful in lobbying for a post-World War II remilitarization and troop deployment that helped initiate the Cold War (NSC 68), for more aggressively articulating the Soviet threat and pulling away from detente, containment and the “mutually assured destruction”-arms control doctrine in favor of rollback and arms build-up in the ’70s and ’80s (CIA’s Team B) and for a number of actions taken by the Bush administration in the name of the “War on Terror” and 9/11, including initiating the Iraq War, identifying the “Axis of Evil” and seeding calls for regime change in Iran, a thread that carries on into the present and is quite obviously the conservative national security apparatus’s current favored undertaking.
In 1978 the ASCF created the “National Strategy for Peace through Strength,” and has been cited numerous times with providing the overall foreign affairs theme for the administration of former President Ronald Reagan. President Reagan personally gave the ASCF credit for this on several occasions and said America won the Cold War based upon the ASCF’s “National Strategy for Peace through Strength” doctrine.
Beginning in the ’70s (right around the time CIA-Mossad liaison James Angleton joined the American Security Council) this network shed its original anti-Zionist, “old right” baggage and has morphed into today’s “neoconservatives” and “Scoop Jackson Democrats” by joining with — and becoming almost indistinguishable from — the “pro-Israel” lobby which exists to promote the militaristic right-wing Likud elements in Israel by identifying Israeli national security issues with American national security and at this point constitutes a fifth column within the US establishment. Organizations representing this Israeli (Likud) fifth column include AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee), JINSA (Jewish Institute for National Security of America), CPMAJO (Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations) and WINEP (Washington Institute for Near East Policy), the Israel lobby’s primary liaison with the Eastern Establishment.
After the Cold War ended, much of the American Security Council’s funding dried up and it was replaced by its spiritual and intellectual successors — stereotypically “neoconservative” think tanks such as the Center for Security Policy, American Foreign Policy Council and Foundation for Defense of Democracies, all of which are as militaristic as its predecessors and overlap considerably with the Israel lobby and pro-Israel interest groups. Several key members of this group today such as Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Edward Luttwak, Frank Gaffney, Douglas Feith and Elliott Abrams sprang out of the offices of anti-communist, pro-Zionist Cold Warrior senator and ultra-right CIA asset Henry “Scoop” Jackson, who ran a small army of nuclear alarmists and anti-Kissinger “detente-wreckers” during the Cold War. Perle and Wolfowitz were dispatched to Jackson’s office by proto-neoconservative RAND nuclear strategist, Albert Wohlstetter.
Indeed, a large number of those in this conservative faction appears to simply be high-level informal liaisons between the United States and hard-right Likud factions in Israel. Top neoconservative Richard Perle and his aide, Stephen Bryan, were actually caught passing classified information to Israel embassy officials while working for Henry Jackson in the ’70s. In 2004, the FBI was engaged in a frantic molehunt for a suspected Israeli spy in the Pentagon passing classified information on US deliberations on Iran to Israel who had close ties to Jewish neoconservatives Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith. However, this is not to say that neoconservatism/hard-right national security is purely an Israeli or Jewish project. Virtually every hawkish policy coup involving Jewish neoconservatives (NSC 68, Team B, Reagan administration/”Star Wars”, Rumsfeld Commission, Iraq War, etc.) has been enabled and managed at the higher levels by non-Jewish, typically more moderate hawks/unilateralists such as George H.W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Paul Nitze, Dean Acheson, Bill Casey, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Frank Carlucci, Cap Weinberger (ethnically half-Jewish, religiously Episcopalian), etc. All of these people know that the Likud interlopers like Perle, Wolfowitz and Feith are there, but never do anything about it because they’re protected — there has been deep national security state support for Israel since the days of James Jesus Angleton intrigue with the Mossad and Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger and Richard Helms giving Israel carte blanche to develop nukes, even going so far as to not even bother taking any action against Israel after it was caught stealing highly enriched uranium from NUMEC and smuggling it out of the country.
While many in conspiracy circles try to ascribe very abstruse, esoteric and sometimes almost occult-like or racial motives and beliefs to this war-hungry hard-right network, this is misguided. While certain bodies aligned with the American conservative defense establishment such as the hyper-shadowy, bizarre, extreme-right Le Cercle “black network” do have essentially unknowable motives, the foreign policy school of thought held by the hard-right faction in the United States (and Britain, to an extent) can be traced back to a school of thought in the development of systems analysis, operations research, applied science and war-gaming by the WWII-era Office of Scientific Research and Development and later the RAND Corp. under people like Albert Wohlstetter, Andrew Marshall (Office of Net Assessment), James Conant and Vannevar Bush (CPD & Raytheon). Author Craig Unger writes, “to join Team Wohlstetter, apparently, one had to embrace unquestioningly his worldviews, which eschewed old-fashioned intelligence as a basis for assessing the enemy’s intentions and military capabilities in favor of elaborate statistical models, probabilities, reasoning, systems analysis, and game theory developed at RAND … Even a small probability of vulnerability, or a potential future vulnerability, could be presented as a virtual state of emergency … If you look down the road and see a war with, say, China, twenty years off, go to war now.”
This fusion of highly rigorous and technically/mathematically-informed game theory and strategy with paranoid, survivalist, preemptive instincts (very present in Israel and in Zionist Jews such as Wohlstetter and his pupils Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz) seen in the CPD, American Security Council and similar hard right think tanks contrasts sharply with the realist-realpolitik-“geo-strategic”-“grand chessboard” worldview found in most (but certainly not all) Eastern Establishment types like Henry Kissinger, Brent Scowcroft and Zbigniew Brzezinski, who constitute the core of liberal “realist” think tanks such as the CFR, Trilateral Commission, etc. The kernel of the rift that evolved between the anti-detente game theorists and the pro-detente “geo-strategists” during the Cold War was a game theoretic dispute over whether a nuclear conflict would consist of preemptive nuclear strikes on only military and nuclear installations (the scenario envisaged by the proto-neoconservatives) or of a tit-for-tat escalation precipitating retaliatory strikes on population centers (the “mutual assured destruction” scenario subscribed to by liberal “realists”).
Most mainstream nuclear strategists theorized that nuclear stand-off was essentially an “iterated prisoners dilemma” in which both countries merely possessing even a small amount of thermonuclear weapons was sufficient for nuclear deterrence/”cooperative” stand-off and preventing the outbreak of thermonuclear war. This was the so-called “balance of terror”. On the other hand, nuclear strategists around the CPD and ASC (Wohlstetter in particular) believed, because of asymmetric capabilities and information between the US and USSR and many other granular technical and game theoretic considerations, that the payoffs involved in a nuclear exchange were unclear; that complete and utter annihilation of civilian population centers in both countries was not guaranteed and therefore a nuclear exchange was 1) “winnable” in some sense even though both sides would likely suffer major casualties (i.e., it may not be a mutual assured destruction/prisoners dilemma) and 2) actually much more likely than anyone would like to admit. Because of this, they vigorously, and in many cases successfully, advocated for the development of aggressive “second strike” capabilities, exotic space-based, other experimental and conventional missile defense systems and nuclear countermeasures in order to ensure effective deterrence and possibly enable a US first strike on the USSR that would not involve mutually assured destruction.
This kind of thinking permeates the neoconservative foreign policy establishment today even though the Soviet threat disappeared — they are basically transcendentally militaristic and still display the same preemptive first strike mentality in regards to “rogue” nuclear powers such as North Korea and possibly Iran (the “axis of evil”). They are intensely paranoid — they place zero trust in other countries (except for Israel and sometimes the UK), have no faith in diplomacy or multilateralism (usually when they conduct diplomacy it’s part of a trap) and have a strategy of minimizing downside risk, even if that risk is small and distant. They are constantly scanning the horizon for potential threats, real or imagined, to threats to US global domination (as well as Israeli regional domination) and developing weapons, technology and plans to combat those threats.
As a result, this American-Israeli hard-right/”neoconservative” national security apparatus is:
- Generally skeptical of the rules-based international order: multilateralism, international law and international diplomatic forums (particularly the United Nations) that facilitate cooperative strategies among world powers. Instead prefers unilateral/bilateral action and (wasteful) competitive strategies without regard for any kind of international or even transatlantic consensus. This applies to defense/foreign relations and often trade as well, which is itself closely related to the former. Tends to view international relations as a zero-sum game.
- Always promotes continual military/defense build-up and employing hard power (direct, aggressive and usually preemptive military and covert actions) and militaristic “peace through strength” strategies over soft power (diplomatic maneuvering, economic and cultural co-opting) strategies. This advocacy for military expansion is one of the main reasons it receives so much support from the defense industry and the “military-industrial complex”. Generally expansionist and interventionist. Pro-rollback, pro-first strike/preemption, pro-SDI/”Star Wars”. Anti-containment, anti-detente and anti-realist/realpolitik.
- Typically prioritizes the US-Israeli special relationship over transatlantic (NATO) and other relations, or at least elevates it to the same level. Although, despite sometimes being skeptical of NATO as an organization, it generally promotes US-led NATO expansion in line with its expansionism.
- Has a penchant for using almost rogue-like American, pan-European and Israeli private intelligence/”parallel CIA” black networks to conduct covert operations in a manner both more deniable and more expedient than using official channels. Examples of these kinds of almost rogue-like private networks include Erik Prince’s Blackwater, BCCI, the Western Goals Foundation, Rupert Murdoch’s clandestine network, Ted Shackley’s renegade covert operations cliques (Le Cercle, 6I, Safari Club, etc.) and a whole bevy of private Mossad/Shin Bet/IDF spin-offs.
- Because of its wide placement in the Pentagon-CIA-national security bureaucracy and ties to defense contractors, is deeply involved in “deep black”, usually unaccountable technical projects such as secret weapons systems, novel espionage technology and experimental energy sources. Large swaths of the Pentagon bureaucracy including the DIA, NRO and NSA are basically a permanent private playground for this group.
- Highly supportive of domestic “homeland security” measures such as blanket mass surveillance, militarization of law enforcement, etc.
How is this all relevant? Well, the Trump administration is not only connected to think tanks that purport these views, but also displays this kind of thinking in spades itself: aggressive increases in military expenditures, allowing the Pentagon to operate more independently from the rest of the executive, neutering the State Department (traditionally liberal-“globalist” territory), predominantly unilateral/bilateral foreign policy, diplomacy and trade, hawkish unilateral actions against China, floating the idea of a “Space Force” (which was a side project of Donald Rumsfeld & friends in the late ’90s and later incorporated into PNAC), advocacy for rollback and/or attacks on Iran tied in with the unilateral US dismantling of the Iran deal, the use of Erik Prince-associated and Israeli private intelligence networks, ambivalence if not outright hostility towards the UN, expansion of NATO into Montenegro, arming the Ukrainian government, etc.
Additionally, the above general foreign policy subscriptions manifest most visibly today in bizarre Islamophobic “counter-jihad” and “Axis of Evil” propaganda seen throughout the conservative and alternative media (replacing Cold War-era anti-Soviet propaganda) as well as support for military and/or covert actions against the current Iranian regime (a major theme in the Trump administration), which is seen as the principal regional threat to Israel and other US allies in the region such as Saudi Arabia. And these anti-Iranian aspirations are part of a wider scheme embraced initially by Ariel Sharon and Rafael Eitan (the Mossad operative who oversaw NUMEC and Jonathan Pollard) and backed by elements in the US and the ruling Likud political alliance in Israel to balkanize and destabilize the Middle East as a means of establishing “Greater Israel”. Iran-Contra, an operation run entirely out of the same hard-right circles within the US and Israeli national security establishments now backing Trump, was, in addition to being an anti-communist effort, a plot to destabilize Iran internally through arming and funding a moderate faction within Ayatollah Khomeini’s regime that supposedly sought rapprochement with the United States, a result that would have greatly benefited Israel as well.
The right-wing foreign policy-centered axis described above is attached domestically to domestic policy/politics, media and economics think tanks and interest groups like the Council for National Policy (CNP), Heritage Foundation, Intercollegiate Studies Institute, Olin Foundation, American Enterprise Institute, Mont Pelerin Society, etc. “Old right” John Birch-style Christian conservatives, mainline moderate Republicans, neoconservatives, newfangled “alt-right” types and even many libertarians are all represented in this. However, this more intellectual, “movement”-oriented domestic group that more or less hijacked the previously Eastern Establishment-dominated GOP in the ’60s and dragged it rightward never really existed as an independent entity, as throughout history it appears to have always ultimately been run and funded by higher-level CIA/military intelligence and foreign policy/defense-centered networks essentially as a media and financing arm to combat the Eastern Establishment-dominated legacy media and bankroll favored politicians. Same goes for the so-called “New Left”, which is alternatively financed by liberal CIA “globalist” establishment groups such as the Soros, Ford, Carnegie & Rockefeller Foundations.
Most of the above think tanks mentioned above (particularly the Heritage Foundation) are controlled and financed by the likes of Edwin Fuelner (ASC & Le Cercle) and wealthy legacy right-wing CIA financiers such as the Mellon-Scaife, DeVos, Bechtel, Coors, Hunt and Forbes families. The John Birch Society, World Anti Communist League and Liberty Lobby were completely controlled at the higher levels by American Security Council-tied CIA and military intelligence assets (Roy Cohn, John Rees, John Singlaub, Larry MacDonald, N.B. Hunt, etc.) primarily through the Western Goals Foundation, an intelligence clearinghouse for hard-right anti-communist operatives whose members were fed any intelligence they collected to the CIA, FBI and NSA and is widely believed to have received off-the-books CIA financing. Legendary conservative think tanker and intellectual William F. Buckley was recruited into the CIA by covert operations specialist E. Howard Hunt of Watergate infamy, who remained a confidante of Buckley’s until his death.
Hunt, Buckley and others such as Rush Limbaugh, the John Birch Society, Ann Coulter, Ludwig von Mises, Russell Kirk, Whittaker Chambers, Friedrich Hayek, Newt Gingrich, David Horowitz, Mike Pence and Donald Trump would later be published and promoted by the CIA-financed Regnery Publishing company, owned by the Regnery family that was part of the American Security Council and the ASC-operated America First Committee. Today, William Regnery II is running Richard Spencer and the National Policy Institute from behind the scenes.
On a related note, many alternative media characters and conspiracy promoters come from military intelligence in particular. This isn’t surprising given how the Department of Defense is so thoroughly infiltrated by hard-right extremists from the conservative defense establishment. Steve Bannon (Breitbart) and Jack Posobiec (pro-Trump Pizzagate promoter) both come from Naval intelligence. In fact, Bannon even served as “special assistant” to the Chief of Naval Operations in the Pentagon and, according to investigative reporter Daniel Hopsicker, was indirectly associated with a Costa Rica-based stock swindler and cocaine trafficker whose network included former CIA, US military intelligence and Genovese mafia members. Alex Jones, who hired a “former” employee of Erik Prince’s Blackwater as head of security at Infowars, admits that his family is tied in with the Texas CIA-oilman crowd and Army intelligence. Pizzagate-promoter Mike Flynn comes out of the DIA, as does his collaborator and former aide at the NSC, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, a Zionist national security troll who assembled the dossier of classified files which showed that members of the Trump campaign had been swept up in US intelligence agencies’ monitoring of foreign individuals and which was later arranged by the Trump administration to be funneled to Trump surrogate, Devin Nunes.
Trump Ties To Conservative National Security
Principal members and key operatives within the American-Israeli right-wing national security combination include neoconservatives (both Republican and Democrat and many of whom were Cold Warriors), underhanded political and media operatives, GOP megadonor billionaires, CIA-Mossad assets and “national security”-boosters: James Woolsey, Frank Gaffney, Edwin Meese, Oliver North, Erik Prince, Joe Lieberman, Rupert Murdoch, Roger Stone, Paula Dobriansky, Newt Gingrich, John Bolton, Peter Thiel, Robert Mercer, Sheldon Adelson, Dick Cheney, Tom Barrack, Elliott Broidy, Roger Ailes (deceased), Michael Ledeen, the Mellon-Scaife family and the DeVos family — all of whom are inextricably linked to the Trump apparatus. Indeed, even the above-ground Trump administration is itself riddled with members and associates of this network — Mike Pompeo, John Bolton, Bill Shine, Keith Kellogg, Mike Pence, Nikki Haley, and the disgraced Oliver North-like Michael Flynn, who was apparently run by ultra-connected neoconservative and CIA-Pentagon insider James Woolsey and appears to have been the most important pointman between the Trump camp, broader American ultranationalist faction and foreign bodies in Israel, Russia, Turkey & the Gulf States.
This same loose confederation – which can probably be described as a successor to the John Birch-American Security Council-Western Goals Foundation conspiracy and private intelligence network of the 50s through the early 80s sans its occasional anti-Semitic leanings – was also responsible for bolstering Ted Cruz (who very well may have been their first choice for president in 2016), Ronald Reagan, Rudy Giuliani, Barry Goldwater, Richard Nixon, Newt Gingrich, George Wallace, Ross Perot, Sarah Palin, Douglas MacArthur and, to a marginally lesser extent, George W. Bush and Bob Dole. The network can be credited almost exclusively for the creation and rise of conservative and hard-right media outlets such as Fox, Breitbart, Drudge, Newsmax, etc. as well as for much of the “alternative media“, which has since the 90s been responsible for the emergence of a cottage industry of conjuring up cartoonish anti-Democrat, anti-liberal and often times Islamophobic conspiracy theories in line with the anti-UN, anti-liberal establishment rhetoric that originated with the “old right” John Birch Society, America First Committee, World Anti Communist League and Liberty Lobby.
Of particular interest is the neoconservative national security fraternity, a subset of the hard-right US-Israeli coalition described above. In its current iteration, almost all of the characters in this hawkish unilateralist faction were Reagan White House notables and somehow involved in Iran-Contra, pro-Iraq War influence operations, anti-Iran advocacy and the Project for a New American Century. And with the appointment of the rabidly anti-UN arch-unilateralist and the right-wing think tank network’s top State Dep’t/UN asset John Bolton — who ticks all of the above boxes — as National Security Advisor and the equally unsubtle anti-Iran hawk and unilateralist, Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State, this ring is now nestled in the administration at the highest level and the current White House foreign policy leadership is among the most hawkish in modern history alongside the Bush II administration’s. Bolton, who was appointed Ambassador to the UN by the Bush II administration as a deliberate affront to the UN itself, openly advocates for preemptive military strikes and regime change operations against Iran and North Korea and was a major promoter of backing out the Iran deal. Paula Dobriansky, a neoconservative Bush 43 State Dep’t official, right-wing think tanker (CSP & PNAC member) and daughter of anti-communist and American Security Council member Lev Dobriansky, will be joining Mike Pompeo as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs.
It was widely rumored in the “alternative” media that Bolton attempted to sabotage the North Korean “denuclearization” summit by making a reference to the “Libya model” for denuclearization (a reference to Gadaffi’s gruesome demise after entering into nuclear negotiations with the US) in a television appearance and then subsequently sidelined, but this isn’t true. Firstly, Bolton played an important behind the scenes advisory role in the Singapore summit and secondly, he was hired on as National Security Advisor after having gone on Fox News several times advocating for a diplomatic trap whereby North Korea would eventually and inevitably infract some aspect of the denuclearization agreement, potentially paving the way for the use of force. This suggests that the Libya model comment was likely an accurate representation of the Trump national security team’s strategy, though it certainly didn’t look good from a PR standpoint. As it turns out, the North Korea “deal” appears more and more to have been an elaborate PR stunt as opposed to a trap or a diplomatic achievement, as it has so far been utterly substance-free.
Perhaps the most unexpected character involved in this pro-Trump national security clique is James Woolsey, who served as the Trump campaign and transition team’s national security advisor. Woolsey is a neoconservative Democrat and former CIA director with a somewhat shrouded and under wraps past whose influence has been felt in every administration since Carter and has been an anchor of the neoconservative foreign policy wing for decades. He’s possibly the most widely influential and connected foreign policy and international relations personality living after Henry Kissinger and maybe one or two others such as George Schultz and Brent Scowcroft. Woolsey, who was highly involved in the SALT and START US-Soviet nuclear arms negotiations, is a member of seemingly almost every major foreign policy think tank/NGO and Pentagon-CIA advisory board and also serves in an advisory capacity to every major defense conglomerate and contractor in the United States. Recently, he’s joined advisory boards of private equity companies that invest in high-tech companies with defense and intelligence applications.
Among the think tanks and secretive lobbying/advisory groups Woolsey has been a member of include the Center for Security Policy, JINSA, WINEP, PNAC, Atlantic Council, Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Pentagon Defense Advisory Board, CSIS, CFR, AFIO/OSS Society and the ultra-elite Committee on the Present Danger (CPD), where Woolsey is a co-chair along with George Shultz and Joe Lieberman, a “Scoop Jackson” Democrat neoconservative who was a finalist in the running to become the Trump administration’s FBI director. Woolsey is also chair of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a principal pro-Israel, anti-Iran advocacy think tank funded by the likes of the Bronfmans, Mellon-Scaifes and Sheldon Adelson and populated by neoconservatives such as Richard Perle, Bill Kristol & Michael Ledeen, is chaired by Woolsey. The FDD overlaps considerably with the Committee on the Present Danger. In 2006, Woolsey and John Deutsch were forced to resign from an obscure annual meeting called the Intelligence Summit after its primary financier, Russian-Israeli oligarch Michael Cherney, was exposed as having ties to Russian-Jewish-Eurasian organized crime. Cherney, who in 1995 was the target of an Israeli-foiled FSB/KGB assassination, is deeply involved with high-level Israeli officials and politicians (in particular fellow Soviet-Israeli, Avigdor Lieberman). In 2003, he founded the Jerusalem Summit, an elite meeting of American neoconservatives, radical Christians and Israeli Likudniks.
Despite the fact that he resigned as national security advisor to the Trump campaign and claimed he was being cut out of the Trump inner circle (which was a face saving measure after Trump’s inflammatory remarks about the intelligence community), Woolsey remained covertly embedded in the Trump apparatus through his apparent proxy, former DIA director and Trump national security advisor, Michael Flynn, whose Flynn Intel Group featured Woolsey as a board member.  Woolsey attended a meeting with Flynn (who was on the payroll of Recep Erdogan) and representatives of the Turkish government where the primary topic of discussion was kidnapping then extrajudicially renditioning Turkish Islamic leader Fethullah Gulen out of the United States to Turkey, to face likely execution by the Erdogan government. At the same time as he was advising the Trump campaign, Woolsey and his wife were shopping a PR campaign aimed at smearing and discrediting Gulen to allies of Erdogan. All of this was occurring while Flynn’s consulting firm was being paid by an ally of the Erdogan government to “investigate” Gulen’s activities in the United States.
After Woolsey’s resignation as an advisor to the Trump campaign, Trump downplayed his advisory role, but this was clearly a sham — after the election, incoming national security advisor Mike Flynn offered Woolsey the position of CIA director, which would have made Woolsey the only person to have ever held the position twice. It is impossible that Trump wouldn’t have known about this. Additionally, in late 2017 at Mar-a-Lago, Woolsey had a “friendly, lengthy conversation” with Trump at the main dining table surrounded by several of Trump’s friends, associates, and political allies. The exact nature of the conversation is unknown, but it was clearly very significant seeing as how no one gets a private audience with Trump unless they are of the utmost importance to him.
Woolsey’s closeness to the Trump campaign’s favored middleman and deniable wheeler-dealer, Mike Flynn, indicates high-level involvement in the Trump apparatus. Furthermore, Trump ran on somewhat of a unique “realist” (Kissinger-Brzezinski-Scowcroft)-Jacksonian quasi-isolationist hybrid foreign policy and locked horns publicly with more high-profile neoconservatives such as Bill Kristol, yet there arch-neoconservative Woolsey was along with other idealist cohorts nestled in the Trump transition team’s foreign policy advisory team. His support of Trump is particularly confounding because Woolsey, despite being a neoconservative, fits the profile of an anti-Trumper — highly respected among the entire national security establishment, scandal-free, a Democrat, not merely a Likud stooge, maintains backchannels with the Atlanticist foreign policy wing, etc. His placement within the Trump ecosystem is very significant and possibly indicates a more profound push from deep within the broader defense establishment for a president like Trump.
The fact that Michael Flynn was so embedded with Woolsey is significant in itself. This indicates that Flynn — who made a number of extremely unorthodox and questionable decisions including taking large sums of money in the form “consulting fees” from the Turkish government and an Israeli spyware company originating from Unit 8200 (the Israeli equivalent of the NSA) — was probably doing more than just running around trying to procure contracts with every entity willing to pay in some frantic attempt to enrich himself. It was almost surely involved in some kind of informal private intelligence network.
Flynn appears to have also answered to K.T. McFarland, an obscure foreign policy hawk who, before joining the Trump campaign and later transition team as a foreign policy advisor, had been inactive (other than a few appearances on Fox News) since the Reagan administration. During the ’70s, McFarland worked on Henry Kissinger’s NSC staff writing briefs for the president and remained on the NSC during the Ford administration as a purported Kissinger protege. In the ’80s, McFarland was one of defense secretary Caspar Weinberger’s closest aides as well as his speechwriter and communications chief. According to McFarland, her speeches were used to “short-circuit layers and layers of conflicting interests” in the defense bureaucracy. In December 2016, after the Obama administration levied sanctions on Russia for election meddling, McFarland, who according to sources was apparently more senior than Flynn, met Flynn at Mar-a-Lago to discuss “what, if anything, Flynn was to communicate to the Russian Ambassador [Sergey Kislyak] about the US sanctions”, the potential impact of the sanctions on the incoming Trump administration’s foreign policy and how the transition team did not want Russia to escalate the situation.
Flynn later called Kislyak to request that “Russia not escalate the situation and only respond to the US sanctions in a reciprocal manner.” McFarland briefly served as Deputy National Security Advisor in 2017 before being pushed out by H.R. McMaster, where she had been not-so-subtly pushing for the agitation of North Korea and convened a meeting of national security officials to solicit proposals for a first-strike on North Korea. It is a virtual certainty that McFarland at the very least knows James Woolsey, as McFarland served as an advisor to the Woolsey-chaired Foundation for Defense of Democracies and is a member of the Jamestown Foundation, a think tank of which Woolsey is a member.
In 2016, The Field of Fight, a book co-authored by Mike Flynn and his compatriot, neoconservative CIA asset and foreign policy consultant, Michael Ledeen, was published in which Iran was identified as the linchpin of a vast international conspiracy against the United States that also includes North Korea, China, Russia, Syria, Cuba, Bolivia, Venezuela, and Nicaragua. No evidence is offered in support of this deranged, incoherent fantasy. Despite keeping a relatively low profile, Ledeen is very connected as one of the foremost presences at the Iran-obsessed Foundation for Defense of Democracies as well as JINSA. Ledeen played a pivotal role in brokering meetings between Iranian, American and Israeli representatives in Iran-Contra (while working with Ted Shackley), ran intelligence-sponsored anti-Carter disinformation campaigns and during the Bush years, was the only international relations analyst Karl Rove consistently sought counsel from, having been instrumental in inventing and then forwarding among the Bush national security establishment the idea that Saddam Hussein had procured and sourced yellowcake uranium from Niger while working with Douglas Feith. Disturbingly, Ledeen is still kicking today — during the election season, his wife, a Senate judiciary committee staffer, arranged a covert investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server that enlisted the help of Newt Gingrich, Judicial Watch and a few unnamed defense contractors in attempting to acquire pilfered Clinton emails on the “dark web.”
The Center for Security Policy (CSP), a successor to the legendary American Security Council as the key nerve center for the conservative defense establishment, seems to be a hub for pro-Trump national security, Pentagon and foreign policy insiders. Its membership list turns up a substantial list of “national security” hardliner heavyweights: James Woolsey, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Norman Augustine, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Edward Teller, Richard Mellon Scaife, James Schlesinger, Elliott Abrams, James L. Jones, Paula Dobriansky, Dov Zakheim and a sea of other defense establishment insiders. The CSP was successful in lobbying for the creation of the Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat (nicknamed the “Rumsfeld Commission”), which was instrumental in seeding the idea of an “Axis of Evil” in foreign policy circles and keeping the missile defense lobby alive even after the Cold War ended. As it happens, Frank Gaffney, the CSP’s president was a foreign policy advisor on the Trump transition team. Gaffney, a former Reagan Pentagon official who worked closely with other neocons such as Richard Perle and convinced Newt Gingrich and Dick Armey to make National Missile Defense a plank in their 1994 political credo, was slated to become Ted Cruz’s National Security Advisor, had he won. A number of Trump network figures such as Mike Pompeo, Sebastian Gorka, Mike Flynn & Steve Bannon have conducted numerous interviews on Gaffney’s obscure radio show and podcast and the Trump administration as a whole seems to get many of its talking points from Gaffney and the CSP, often times even explicitly citing CSP studies and statistics usually relating to Muslims in the United States and the Middle East.
Gaffney is a major proliferator and originator of many hysterical conspiracy theories embraced by the alternative media and right-wing, such as the idea that Barack Obama is a secret Muslim communist, that the Obama administration was a vehicle for the “Iran lobby”, that US intelligence agencies are infiltrated by the Muslim Brotherhood, that Huma Abedin is a Muslim Brotherhood operative and that Saddam Hussein was behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. These talking points then percolate down through so-called alternative media shops like Breitbart News, Infowars, Intelius, WorldNetDaily, ZeroHedge, Drudge, etc. The Gatestone Institute, headed by John Bolton, Rebekah Mercer, Elie Wiesel and James Woolsey, bolsters similar Islamophobic lines, warning of a looming “jihadist takeover” and “Islamization” of Europe leading to a “Great White Death.” The comical “Secure America Now Foundation”, funded by influential Zionist billionaire and Trump friend, Ron Lauder and run by an aide of Lauder’s, peddles similar crazed theories. While it is true that mass third world immigration poses a grave threat to Western countries, most anti-immigrant propaganda unfairly targets Islam as a malady in itself and, more often than not, is informed by a malicious foreign policy agenda.
In 2013, Mother Jones reported that Gaffney, Steve Bannon and John Bolton were at the helm of a confab of conservative Washington insiders called “Groundswell” that was orchestrating a sprawling PR campaign aimed at undermining Obama administration policies, hyping the Benghazi controversy, smearing the GOP “establishment” and marginalizing Karl Rove, who was viewed by Groundswell as too moderate, and Grover Norquist, who Bolton and Gaffney literally believe is a secret Muslim Brotherhood agent. Another evidence of Gaffney and Bolton’s association is Bolton’s concerted rehabilitation of Gaffney’s image in mainstream conservative circles in the run-up to the 2016 election, including having Gaffney unbanned from CPAC in 2016.
Another confluence of Trump network associates is the Council for National Policy (CNP), an intensely secretive and influential think tank dating back to the Reagan era teeming with hard-right megadonors, politicians, generals, political operatives and media pundits that seems to be centered more around domestic politics and media than foreign policy and international relations, as opposed to the CSP. It is so secretive that CNP members were instructed to deny its existence until recently. John Singlaub, Frank Gaffney, John Bolton, Irving Kristol, Edward Teller, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Pat Robertson, Pat Buchanan, Jerry Falwell, Jerome Corsi, Chris Ruddy, the Coors family, the Hunt family, the Scaife family, Edwin Meese, Steve Forbes, Erik Prince (and the greater DeVos-Prince family, which is a major bankroller of the CNP), Oliver North, Robert Mercer, Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway have all been members of the CNP.
CNP member Oliver North has even been involved in assisting Blackwater (private intelligence network) founder and CIA asset, Erik Prince lobby the White House and CIA director Mike Pompeo to contract with business partners of Prince to establish what could be described as a private “parallel CIA” that reports only Pompeo, circumventing the official CIA bureaucracy. Steve Feinberg, head of Cerberus Capital (which owns defense contractor DynCorp) and chair of the Trump Intelligence Advisory Board, was courted by Prince to help him in privatizing the war in Afghanistan and other Pentagon functions. Prince fashions himself as a torch bearer for the legacy of the CIA “oldboys” network of JFK assassination fame that evolved into Nixon private intelligence circles and later the Iran-Contra network (for more on this, see the Western Goals Foundation).
Prince wields tremendous influence as an informal advisor and envoy within the Trump administration and maintains connections to many in the “anti-establishment” right, including Steve Bannon and Dana Rohrabacher. Betsy DeVos, Trump’s education secretary, is Erik Prince’s sister. The DeVos family’s political ties hearken back to Nixon circles and is now a veritable pillar of insider Republican politics and one of the most prolific financiers of GOP candidates and policy initiatives, having provided the seed money for what came to be known as the “Republican Revolution” and “Contract with America” when Newt Gingrich became Speaker of the House in 1994. Joseph E. Schmitz, who was an official foreign policy advisor to the Trump campaign, was a former executive at Prince’s Blackwater and a senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy. Schmitz’s father, John G. Schmitz, was an ultraconservative congressman and leading member of the John Birch Society. Walid Phares, another Trump campaign advisor, was a former senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
Cofer Black, who was a top candidate for CIA director within the Trump administration and formerly part of Erik Prince’s Blackwater clique, ran the CIA’s Counter Terrorist Center and was aware of several members of Mohammed Atta’s cell having been in the United States prior to 9/11, did not put the men on any terror watchlists until right before 9/11 and never reported them to the FBI. Additional key 9/11 suspects Dick Cheney, Rudy Giuliani and Donald Rumsfeld have emerged as surrogates of the Trump administration. Cheney has served as an unofficial bridge between the Trump team and skeptical Republican politicians and power brokers. Giuliani, who mirrors Trump in their shared authoritarian tendencies and is now the Trump legal team’s figurehead, has a mile-long laundry list of connections to the neoconservative movement, Israel lobby and national security establishment. Edwin Meese, a key powerbroker and gatekeeper in the Reagan White House (and involved in every scandal of the era, including Iran-Contra and PROMIS), serves in a similar capacity, having founded the Reagan Alumni Advisory Council for Trump-Pence, which promotes massive tax cuts and a rebirth of the American Security Council’s “peace through strength” foreign policy.
The ultra-connected Mellon-Scaife family of Alcoa-Gulf Oil fortune appears to have backed Trump. According to an investigation by the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, the Scaife Foundation has a laundry list of ties to the Trump network primarily through its preferred conduit, the Heritage Foundation, which is funded in large part by the Scaife Foundation and is riddled with Scaife trustees and board members. The Heritage Foundation, which is one of the most influential conservative think tanks in the US and has been described as “the most effective media operation in US politics”, was reported as having been one of the dominant forces in the Trump transition team, constituting somewhat of a “shadow transition team” building bridges between the incoming Trump camp and high-level conservative politicians, donors and think tankers. Prominent Heritage Foundation members on the transition included Edwin Meese, Edwin Feulner, Rebekah Mercer and at least two others.
The Mellon-Scaife family has long had very deep ties to post OSS-Anglo American intelligence and neoconservative think tank networks, which might explain their political involvement. Richard Mellon Scaife (now deceased), the most politically engaged Mellon in recent memory, was an ultra-right CIA asset belonging to both the American Security Council and Committee on the Present Danger and financed seemingly every conservative politician and influence operation/PR campaign in the past 40 years, including most of the journalists, private investigators and media outlets behind the Clinton scandal and rumor mill of the ’90s. Most interestingly, Rex Armistead, a private investigator who worked for Scaife, was responsible for seeding the Vince Foster murder conspiracy by pitching the story to American Spectator staff writer, David Brock. Scaife was a linchpin and major financier in the establishment of the insurgent right-wing think tank network of the Reagan era and was among those who ran the secret, underground parallel government headed by vice president George H.W. Bush that covertly ran the Reagan administration.
Another thread in Trump’s past with sordid national security assets is glamorous Saudi CIA-cavorting arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi — at one point the world’s wealthiest man. Khashoggi sold Trump his yacht, the Nabila, at a bargain basement price (Trump later sold it to finance the faltering Taj Mahal casino), attended Trump’s 1993 wedding to Marla Maples and, according to investigative journalist Daniel Hopsicker, was given shelter by Trump at Mar-a-Lago while Khashoggi was being pursued by INTERPOL for defrauding a Thai bank. Khashoggi’s centrality in both above and below ground arms/weapons markets and rapport with American defense companies afforded him a role in an impressive assortment of conspiratorial chapters orchestrated in large part by covert “parallel CIA”-private intelligence networks, including Iran Contra/BCCI (Khashoggi was a key middleman for weapons transfers), Ted Shackley’s Safari Club, Nixon dirty tricks teams, the Imelda Marcos affair, and Bush family-City of London front company Barrick Gold.
The Trump campaign’s foremost sugar daddy, Robert Mercer, is a reticent and taciturn James Bond villain-like computer scientist turned hedge fund billionaire with deep ties to the hard-right think tank network involved in all manner of bizarre activities such as volunteering as a deputy sheriff in rural New Mexico with Navy SEALs and defense contractor mercenaries as well as bankrolling the storage of a gigantic stockpile of human urine in Oregon for some probably insane reason. Mercer was formerly co-CEO of hedge fund, Renaissance Technologies (whose success comes from the novel application of sophisticated mathematical and statistical techniques) and is famous for hoping to drastically shrink the government and financing insurgent underdog “anti-establishment” politicians such as Ted Cruz and Trump and political movements such as Brexit — a contrarian philosophy he carried over from Renaissance, which doesn’t employ anyone from a Wall Street financial background because of their “herd-like” mentality.
After initially backing and financing Ted Cruz, Mercer and his daughter Rebekah Mercer shifted their allegiance to Trump. Robert Mercer was ranked the #1 donor in the 2016 election cycle and was by far the largest contributor to pro-Trump PACs (having given at least $15.5 million) and a direct contributor to the Trump campaign. Nick Patterson, a former colleague of Mercer’s said in 2017 that Trump would not have been elected without Mercer’s support. According to the New Yorker‘s Jane Mayer, the Mercers eclipsed the Kochs as the most influential donors on the right in the 2015-2016 election cycle. The secretive father-daughter duo wielded tremendous influence in the Trump White House directly and through their stooge, Steve Bannon, who was introduced to Trump by the Mercers and whose involvement with the Mercers dates at least back to his collaboration with them at the so-called Government Accountability Institute, which spawned the Clinton Cash documentary. Mercer surrogates Bannon and Kelly Anne Conway were secured positions in the Trump administration by the Mercers while Rebekah sat on the transition team. Trump National Security Advisor John Bolton was also the beneficiary of Mercer money — his PAC was funded to the tune of $5 million by Mercer — as well as the services of the largely Mercer-owned psychographic data mining firm, Cambridge Analytica, which will be discussed later.
The Mercers, Bannon and Conway — all members of the secretive Council for National Policy — joined in establishing the anti-Clinton media ecosystem (the “vast right-wing conspiracy”) and neutralizing mainstream media talking points in the run-up to the 2016 election. The Mercer family is additionally an owner and financier of far right propaganda outlet and virtual Trump rallying point Breitbart News, which was run by Bannon, who also owned a large stake of Breitbart and pitched the site to the Mercers, from 2012 to 2017. Breitbart relentlessly aired ludicrous rumors about Hillary Clinton as well as Islamophobic talking points that seem to have come from Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy. Further reinforcing US conservative ties to Israel, Israeli political elements even had an ambiguous role in the foundation of Breitbart according to its co-founder, Larry Solov:
A lot of people don’t realize this but Breitbart News Network really got its start in Jerusalem. It was the summer of 2007, and Andrew had been invited to tour Israel as part of a media junket. I agreed to tag along as his lawyer and best friend. What neither of us knew at the time was that the trip would change our lives and give us the inspiration for Breitbart News Network … We were blown away by the spirit, tenacity, and resourcefulness of the Israeli people on that trip … One thing we specifically discussed that night was our desire to start a site that would be unapologetically pro-freedom and pro-Israel. We were sick of the anti- Israel bias of the mainstream media and J-Street. By launching Breitbart Jerusalem, the journey comes full circle and a promise between two friends is fulfilled. And in a very real sense, Breitbart News Network returns to its roots. — Larry Solov
In its work for Robert Mercer’s super PAC, Cambridge Analytica disseminated anti-Clinton propaganda. Kelly Anne Conway’s husband, George Conway, who was at one point being considered for a position in the Trump administration as solicitor general, was a critical player in the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Conway, a long-time government attorney, helped set his friend Linda Tripp up with a lawyer when she “finally decided” to go public with her knowledge of the Lewinsky affair. In addition, Conway even helped feed the story to Matt Drudge of the Drudge Report. The Drudge Report‘s breaking of the Lewinsky scandal turned it from an obscure, fledgling operation into the news aggregation giant it is today. And, of course, Linda Tripp was far more than just some innocent friend of Lewinsky’s whose conscious got to her — she was a Bush political operative and loyalist who held ultra-sensitive posts in military intelligence and was later embedded as a high-level mole and secret antagonist in the Clinton White House legal office (where she “befriended” Monica Lewinsky) and later the Pentagon.
Contrary to the naive assertion of those in both right and left-wing alternative media that neoconservatives “hijacked” the Trump administration, neoconservatives were ingrained in the Trump apparatus from the very beginning, although their involvement did seem to accelerate after Ted Cruz’s defeat. Cruz appears to have been the other candidate the hard-right foreign policy wing was cultivating, perhaps even having been their first choice. Woolsey, Frank Gaffney and a cadre of other prominent neoconservatives were advisors to the Cruz campaign before joining the Trump team. Although what is certain is that the neoconservatives were legion against Hillary Clinton and immediately embraced Trump in preparation for the general election.
The Roy Cohn Nexus
Donald Trump and his family’s ties to hard-right and pro-Israel political circles is not at all a recent development. Donald’s father, Fred Trump, was a critical advocate and financial backer of the American Security Council’s handpicked candidate, Barry Goldwater, and was a major promoter of Jewish causes (mostly through cash and land donations) along with his closest collaborator and advisor Bunny Lindenbaum, a prominent New York-area legal fixer and well-known Zionist. Bunny Lindenbaum and his son, Sandy Lindenbaum — both members of Chabad-Lubavitch — later went on to serve as legal counsel to Donald as well. Fred Trump was also among the largest initial buyers of Israel Bonds, debt securities issued by the Israeli government in the United States whose proceeds go towards the Israeli government and were apparently instrumental in helping to establish Israel’s infrastructure and defense apparatus. His success as a real estate developer was critically dependent upon his connections to the Brooklyn-New York Democratic political machine, which was — and still is to an extent — largely controlled by Zionists such as Lindenbaum, Abe Beam (the first Jewish mayor of New York) and publicist Howard Rubenstein.
Fred’s political connections were instrumental in procuring subsidies and lucrative no-bid contracts from various government institutions including the Federal Housing Authority and Navy for his real estate business. Many have speculated as to whether the Trump family is actually covertly Jewish or merely assuaged prominent Jews as a means of breaking into New York political circles. Fred Trump became acquainted with Benjamin Netanyahu in the ’80s during Netanyahu’s time as the Israeli ambassador to the UN and Donald Trump has personally known Netanyahu since at the very least the early ’00s when Netanyahu met him at Trump Tower, though the relationship probably goes back much further given Fred’s ties. Following his father’s lead, Donald has been a prolific donor to Jewish and Israeli causes since the ’70s and later lent office space, telephones, equipment and his private jet to the 1980 Reagan presidential campaign.
In 2000, Trump was fingered by his close friend Ross Perot to run for president on the Reform ticket. Perot, despite having been portrayed by the media as a political outsider, was a consummate political insider with deep ties to the hard-right national security establishment and Reagan circles, having financially backed several of Oliver North’s off-the-book, private intelligence network projects. Perot was neck deep in intelligence connections through his company Electronic Data Systems, which had lucrative government-defense IT & management outsourcing contracts and typified CIA involvement in the Dallas business community. He was in fact so tied to intelligence that he was placed on Reagan’s Presidential Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (a group of civilian presidential appointees that advise the president on intelligence and covert operations matters) and regularly attended AFIO (Association of Former Intelligence Officers)/OSS Society meetings.
Donald Trump had many benefactors who abetted his penetration of the Manhattan real estate market and consequent rise as a developer, however the most important were Fred Trump and anti-communist crusader and political fixer Roy Cohn. Not only did Fred incubate Donald’s real estate business with injections of cash, Fred’s political connections were transferred to Donald and he underwrote most of the loans he received early in his career, as Donald had few assets of his own. Most only know Roy Cohn as Donald Trump’s attorney, but he was much more than that — he was Trump’s mentor, foremost advisor and one of his most intimate friends until his death in 1986.  Besides his Goldwater-backing father, Cohn is Trump’s earliest link to the ultranationalist hard-right political in-group that backed his presidency and procured innumerable important political connections for Trump.
[Cohn] assumed a role in Donald’s life far transcending that of a lawyer. He became Donald’s mentor, his constant adviser. – Wayne Barrett, Trump: The Deals and the Downfall
Cohn, who made himself a name as Joseph McCarthy’s chief counsel (a job he was recommended for by J. Edgar Hoover) and as the lead Department of Justice prosecutor on the Rosenberg case and who later went on to become perhaps the most infamous legal and political fixer in history, instructed Trump to be aggressive and unrelenting in his dealings, handled sensitive public relations matters for him, secured his sister her judgeship and, most critically, was involved in brokering and running interference for many of his early Manhattan business and real estate deals, securing him critical tax abatements and zoning variances.
Cohn was highly connected to and involved in conservative and pro-Israel political circles. Initially cultivated and later protected by founding CIA director Allen Dulles, Cohn was highly placed in the American Security Council-based hard-right power structure as an outside advisor and counsel to Republican presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan and as a point-man between right-wing pro-Israel politicians and the intelligence community, having been one of the central figures in the John Birch Society as well as the Western Goals Foundation private intelligence ring (whose successors fully backed the Trump presidency). His list of entanglements in conspiratorial intrigue is a mile long:
- Was on the board of CIA-Mossad front company, Permindex, and was president of the Lionel Company. Both are believed to have been involved in the JFK assassination and were both tied to Mossad-cavorting mobster Meyer Lansky and the powerful Zionist Bronfman family among others.
- Gave Roger Stone — who was working on Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign in New York — a briefcase containing blackmail material and/or bribes for him to deliver to lawyers for New York’s Liberal Party in order to get John B. Anderson the nomination for the Liberal Party, which would fracture the opposition to Reagan in the state.
- Mediated a Reagan-era early 1980s “perception management” campaignspearheaded by CIA director William Casey and Richard Mellon Scaife that utilized Rupert Murdoch’s media assets to promote Reagan’s foreign policy agenda and combat the “liberal media”. This operation engendered the birth of Murdoch’s Fox News with the help of Republican media strategy virtuosos Roger Ailes and Lee Atwater. Christine Seymour, Cohn’s courier and secretary, noted that Cohn spoke almost daily with William Casey and Nancy Reagan, as well as Donald Trump. Rush Limbaugh’s ascension was instigated through this network when Bill Casey, still pursuing his agenda of assembling a pro-Reagan hard-right media network, used Capital Cities to purchase ABC, whose executives recruited Limbaugh to work for them because of his spirited defense of Oliver North and Iran-Contra.
- Along with his aide, David Schine, took part in an European underground spy hunting ring with several former communists and exiled Nazis counting among its ranks.
- Operated CIA-sanctioned pedophile entrapment and blackmail rings in league with various CIA and Army Intelligence men. One which took place in CIA asset Craig Spence’s home reached all the way up to the Reagan White House. Allegedly, along with James Jesus Angleton and Meyer Lansky, had blackmail material on J. Edgar Hoover. Cohn himself was a pederast and central player in the “lavender Mafia” – a secretive and closely knit group of closet homosexuals in the American political right, and in particular the Reagan administration.
…According to the former head of the vice squad for one of America’s biggest cities, ‘Cohn’s job was to run the little boys. Say you had an admiral, a general, a congressman, who did not want to go along with the program. Cohn’s job was to set them up, then they would go along. Cohn told me that himself.’”
Cohn was a good friend of Craig Spence and together with top CIA and Army men, as well as politicians and businessmen, he once threw his birthday party at Spence’s house. Spence was later investigated for running a CIA-sanctioned homosexual and pedophile entrapment ring at his house with operations going straight up to the White House. …
… When New York attorney John Klotz began to investigate Roy Cohn on behalf of a client…declassified New York government files and spadework by a private detective substantiated the allegation that there was indeed a ‘blue suite’ at the Plaza, Suite 233. ‘Roy Cohn was providing protection,’ Klotz discovered. ‘There were a bunch of pedophiles involved. That’s where Cohn got his power from—blackmail.
Cohn connected Trump with numerous political elites and power brokers including several future political allies, namely Rupert Murdoch, Paul Manafort, Roger Ailes (both of Fox News) and Roger Stone, an underhanded GOP dirty tricks operative, media hatchetman and former Cohn partner who got his start as a Nixon goon working on the CREEP reelection campaign and who’s served as Trump’s most trusted political advisor since Cohn’s death in the mid ’80s. All four of them were personally introduced to Trump by Cohn. Former Clinton political strategist and pollster Dick Morris is a first cousin once removed of Roy Cohn and his family benefited both politically and financially from Cohn’s lucrative mob connections. Morris, who has been secretly advising Donald Trump since at least early 2016, turned against the Clintons after having been exposed as a saboteur and leaker in the Clinton White House and is now a purveyor of anti-Clinton talking points both in writing and in YouTube videos.
Cohn, like most other powerful lawyers, had preferred mouthpieces in the media through which he planted stories to serve him and his clients’ purposes. The most significant of those was the New York Post, Rupert Murdoch’s right-leaning tabloid newspaper which almost singlehandedly turned Donald Trump into a celebrity in the late ’70s and maintained his image as the symbol of wealth and grandeur throughout the ’80s and ’90s. Cohn would plant gushing, aggrandizing and utterly dishonest articles in the Post about Trump. This kind of unabashed flack coverage was most definitely signed off on by the Post’s owner, Rupert Murdoch, himself a major power broker throughout the Anglosphere and United States.
Rumored to have been recruited by the CIA’s Ted Shackley while Shackley was station chief in Australia, Murdoch runs in both hard-right/Zionist and liberal political circles and is without a doubt the most powerful media executive in the world. Murdoch controls nearly half of the British and Australian medias and virtually all aspiring national British and Australians politicians require his affirmation and good graces lest they be torn apart by his influential network of newspapers and television holdings, which generally seem to be preoccupied with running interference for the broader pro-Israel, neoconservative foreign policy agenda. Bill Kristol and Norman Podhoretz’s uber-neoconservative The Weekly Standard was even bankrolled by Murdoch. For this reason, Murdoch is consistently showered with praise by the Israel lobby. Murdoch has had a close relationship with Trump at least since the beginning of the 2016 election season and, according to the New York Times, commiserates and plots strategy with Trump over the phone on a weekly basis.
I would actually sit there where (Cohn) would have a (New York Post) reporter on the phone, and he would be dictating the story, dictating word for word: ‘Donald Trump made a billion-dollar deal with the Saudis today, period, paragraph.’ You know, it was extraordinary. – Roger Stone
Comically uncritical coverage of Trump at Fox News shouldn’t be a surprise since it is also owned by Rupert Murdoch through News Corp. Roger Ailes, the former CEO of Fox News, has been a media consultant to every Republican president since Nixon and was, along with Lee Atwater, one of the key architects of modern Republican media strategy and turned television into a political propaganda medium for the GOP. This was, quite literally, the model for Fox, which Ailes founded with Rupert Murdoch in 1996. Contrary to the Twitter theater between Trump and Ailes that was played up in the media early in election season, the two have been close for decades. Ailes was, in fact, the figure responsible for thrusting Trump into politics by giving him a daily call-in segment on Fox & Friends and had been a close advisor of Trump’s up until his death. Never mind the fact that Michael Cohen, Trump’s lawyer, is in bed with Fox News‘s preeminent pro-Trump flack, Sean Hannity. The importance of Murdoch’s Fox shouldn’t be underestimated — Trump vociferously consumes Fox content, it quite literally appears to control his rhetoric and has probably spurred some executive decisions.
Contrary to the handwringing about anti-Trump bias in the media by both left and right-leaning “alternative” political crowds who engage in all manner of shameless apologia for Trump, the media was and still is a knowing and intentional abettor of Trump and the “Trump phenomenon”. And it’s not just right-wing media like Fox. At CNN, staffers complain of Jeff Zucker (Trump’s self-described friend and “personal booker“) and his insistence on constantly covering Trump at the expense of other important stories. Zucker previously worked with Trump at MSNBC on The Apprentice and enjoyed a special relationship with him all throughout the election season which he used to turn CNN’s deteriorating ratings and viewership numbers around. Over at MSNBC, Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski (both of whom have communed with Trump at Mar-a-Lago) and their producers allow Trump to personally dictate what they can and cannot ask him. The media gifted Trump full control of the news cycle, almost $2 billion in free advertising and massively disproportionate coverage compared to both rival GOP nomination contenders (even before he registered in the polls) and Clinton. In fact, according to several analyses, Trump may have received more net positive coverage than Hillary Clinton, whose scandals were also relentlessly aired in the mainstream media. (For a more in-depth look into the media’s role in catapulting Trump to the White House, see this article.)
Trump’s Liberal-“Globalist” Ties
At the same time, the core of the American pro-UN, pro-transatlantic, “globalist” liberal establishment centered around the State Department, liberal elements in the CIA, legacy media and think tanks such as the Council on Foreign Relations (core leadership), Atlantic Council, Brookings Institute and Trilateral Commission has generally positioned itself squarely against Trump, who is vilified by the legacy media (though it’s not clear whether this negative attention ultimately harms or benefits Trump). The largely hard right-controlled altmedia has latched onto this antagonism and uses it to make the false claim that the entire American elite is opposed to Trump. There are even strong indications that the entirety of the liberal Republican/Eastern Establishment wing is not anti-Trump, or at the very least isn’t completely alienated from the administration.
Henry Kissinger, probably the most well-connected representative of the American foreign policy and diplomatic establishment alive, with deep ties to pretty much every conspiratorial bloc on earth be it liberal/globalist, conservative or Zionist, has positioned himself as an intermediary between the Trump administration and Putin and as part of his effort to forge a “new relationship” between the US and Russia has advised Trump to accept Crimea as part of Russia ostensibly as part of an effort to have Russia pull troops out of eastern Ukraine. Kissinger additionally pitched to Trump and Jared Kushner a strategy of closer relations between Russia and other countries as a means to counter China’s growing geopolitical weight in South and Central Asia. Kissinger, who has a colorful history of secret diplomacy and backchanneling, reared his head in the Trump White House in relation to the Iran deal, Chinese diplomacy and North Korea as well. According to some sources, Kissinger connected Jared Kushner with Chinese politicians, an action which greased the wheels for a series of high-profile meetings between Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping, who reportedly has sought Kissinger’s advise in navigating the Trump administration.
I’m hoping for an Augustinian moment, for St. Augustine … who in his early life followed a pattern that was quite incompatible with later on when he had a vision, and rose to sainthood. One does not expect the president to become that, but it’s conceivable … — Henry Kissinger on Donald Trump
Kissinger, who’s been a regular advisor and counselor of both Trump and Putin (Kissinger has always been noted for his unusually close relationship with Putin) and has spoken positively of the Trump phenomenon and presidency, has apparently extended the olive branch to Russia, breaking with the rest of the core liberal/”realist” diplomatic establishment, possibly indicating a schism within the Atlanticists and greater Eastern Establishment. John Huntsman Jr., son of longstanding GOP insider John Huntsman Sr., Kissinger protege and chairman of the CFR & Trilateral-aligned Atlantic Council, is Trump’s ambassador to Russia and was under contention to become secretary of state. In May 2018, Mikhail Fridman and Petr Aven, the pro-Western integration, anti-nationalist Russian oligarchs behind Alfa Group (whose owners are alleged by the Steele dossier to have colluded with Trump and Putin), held “friendly” closed-door talks with members of the Atlantic Council. Strangely, this incident went virtually unreported in the legacy American media. This apparent Kissinger-Huntsman-Atlantic axis adds yet another layer of complexity to the relationship between the Trump administration and Russia and indicates that there may be a very concealed side operation being conducted either running alongside or routing the prevailing neoconservative Trump foreign policy apparatus and its usual nefarious machinations.
Jim Mattis, a hawkish right-wing Atlanticist whose appointment as Secretary of Defense was lobbied for by John McCain, holds policy prescriptions mostly in line with those of the liberal-GOP establishment, such as support for a two-state solution in the Middle East, support for a multilateral international order (UN and NATO), containment of perceived Russian encroachment into NATO’s sphere of influence and opposition towards withdrawal from the Iran deal (though he is generally very hawkish on Iran). Mattis, the last more mainstream Atlanticist-liberal establishmentarian standing in the Trump cabinet, has emerged as possibly the most powerful member in the administration (rivaling Bolton) and reportedly has the president’s ear. In fact, Mattis appears to be protected within the administration by someone.
Mattis’ closest ally and ideological counterpart, Rex Tillerson, was forced out, but Mattis remained untouched. Before being confirmed as secretary of defense, Mattis drew a fat $419,000 a year salary as a distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institute, which then proceeded to blast out emails to potential donors that touted its ties to the Trump administration through Mattis and others on the transition team, promising to influence policy. The Hoover Institute connects more hardline conservative elements with liberal Republicans. Members include George Schultz, the Bechtel family, Edwin Meese, Condoleezza Rice, William Perry, Peter Thiel and Donald Rumsfeld.
Tillerson, former secretary of state and chairman-CEO of ExxonMobil, was an asset of the liberal establishment inside the Trump White House before being jettisoned by the prevailing hard right and Zionist faction because of his apparent refusal to take part in pulling out of the Iran deal. Tillerson, who was promoted to the Trump inner circle as secretary of state by Condi Rice, Kissinger, Dick Cheney, James Baker and Donald Rumsfeld, has been a member of the CFR, Business Council and CSIS (Center for Strategic & International Studies) liberal think tanks. He was previously chairman of Exxon Neftegas, Exxon’s Russian venture arm that sought to develop oil resources in and off Sakhalin Island. He’s spent almost as much time face-to-face with Vladimir Putin as Henry Kissinger and is a close friend of Putin’s “de facto deputy” in charge of Russia’s security/military apparatus Igor Sechin. Being tied to both the Atlantic establishment and Russia, it’s very likely Tillerson was part of the post-Dulles Russian relations network.
Another node in the Trump administration’s liberal-diplomatic pro-NATO establishment axis was HR McMaster, who was advocated for by Mattis and John McCain. For this reason, McMaster from his first day in the White House quite obviously became the victim of an intense and vitriolic media campaign throughout the controlled alternative and right-wing media (both of which Trump personally consumes on an hourly basis) which sought to discredit him among hardcore Trump boosters as a contemptible globalist George Soros stooge. Strangely, McMaster’s ideological and policy confederates, Mattis and Tillerson, were not subject to near the same degree of insane internet-fueled smear tactics. Might this PR operation been part of the long-running effort to parlay conservative national security and defense lobby asset John Bolton into the White House? Where did this whole anti-McMaster enterprise originate? Perhaps Sheldon Adelson was part of it — the Adelson-backed Zionist Organization of America called for Trump to take McMaster out of the National Security Council through Bannon’s Breitbart News.
Additionally, a coterie of ‘Eastern Establishment’, ‘Rockefeller Republican’ Wall Street financial insiders led by ultra-connected chairman and CEO of private equity giant, Blackstone Group, Stephen Schwarzman, and leveraged buyout billionaire Wilbur Ross appears in the Trump arena. Schwarzman, former chair of the Trump White House Strategic & Policy Forum before it was disbanded, is part of the Trump inner circle; one of his closest advisors and counselors, particularly on matters related to China, internal White House management and foreign policy. Peter Peterson, co-founder of Blackstone, was Schwarzman’s mentor in addition to having been chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations, where he succeeded David Rockefeller, whose family coaxed Peterson’s career along. In the ’70s, Peterson was chairman of the US-Soviet Commercial Commission and his aptly-named Peterson Institute — an international economics think tank stacked with Eastern Establishment “liberal CIA” heavyweights like Larry Summers, George Shultz, Lynn Forester de Rothschild and Maurice Greenberg — teamed up with Zionist oligarch Viktor Pinchuk and the Yeltsin government to economically co-opt and exert US soft power on Russia.
It appears Schwarzman may be following in his mentor’s footsteps — he is a member of several high-level think tanks such as the CFR, Business Council & Atlantic Council, was a member of Skull & Bones with George W. Bush (whose presidency Schwarzman backed) and is a member of the advisory board of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, which acts as a catalyst for foreign investment in Russia’s economy. RDIF CEO and Putin confidante Kirill Dmitriev was present at the infamous Erik Prince Seychelles meeting, where a secret communications backchannel between the Trump administration and Russia was discussed.
While working in the bankruptcy restructuring advisory practice of N M Rothschild & Son’s New York office, current secretary of commerce and early Trump supporter Wilbur Ross (in league with Carl Icahn) helped Donald Trump retain control of three of his utterly bankrupt Atlantic City casinos (one of which was the Taj Mahal, which will later be shown to be involved in Russian mob money laundering) by convincing bondholders to strike a lenient restructuring deal with Trump. During the Clinton administration, Ross was on the board of the US-Russia Investment Fund and today has a litany of financial ties to Russian oligarchs and business interests, chief among them the Bank of Cyprus PCL, where Ross is vice chairman of the board along with an appointee of Vladimir Putin. The Bank of Cyprus is a dirty bank that has served as one the top three offshore destinations for Russian and former Soviet Union flight capital, most of it motivated by tax dodging, kleptocracy, and money laundering.
Introduction To Foreign Connections
Certainly, it can now be said that something of a domestic understanding of the 2016 election has been established, however underreported it may be. However, there most definitely seems to be an international understanding lying primarily with Russia, Israel and the international Russian-Jewish-Eurasian criminal and clandestine network binding New York, Tel Aviv & Moscow — and it’s gotten much more attention both in the mainstream and alternative press. Of course, in this case, the domestic and international components of covert support for the Trump presidency cannot be untangled because since the days of Jewish mobster and CIA-Mossad-Naval Intelligence collaborator Meyer Lansky, Mossad-allied CIA counterintelligence chief James Jesus Angleton and ultra-right red-baiting Trump mentor Roy Cohn there has been a near seamless relationship between the ultranationalist conservative wing of American deep politics, the basically unchallenged far-right Likudnik wing of Israeli politics and the international Russian-Zionist dual criminal-espionage network, which has always been deeply connected to the Kremlin, Russian state and now Putin, who was parlayed into the Russian presidency by Boris Yeltsin and the Russian-Jewish mobster-oligarchs behind him.
In the mainstream press, parts of this relationship are expressed in the form of “Russiagate” — the lurid and usually vastly oversimplistic theory posited by most in the New York-Washington media and many within the US government that the Trump camp directly and explicitly colluded with Putin and the Kremlin to help Trump win the 2016 presidential election. Many mainstream journalists have extensively investigated ties between the Trump camp and Russian oligarchs (i.e., the Russian-Jewish mafia, though you’ll never hear them say this), but the overarching theme and thrust of the theory is concerned with the Kremlin and Vladimir Putin first and foremost.
Putin and the Kremlin’s motive in supporting Trump was, according to the DNI office and much of the mainstream press, to prevent Hillary Clinton from ascending to the presidency, as Putin abhors Clinton, assumed she would win the 2016 presidential election and believes her to be a threat to Russian plans to encroach physically, economically and politically on Eastern and Central European countries that are part of the NATO/Western orbit. In other words, the Kremlin prefers Trump to Clinton not necessarily because of anything the Trump administration will actively do to promote Russian interests, but because it will apparently not do things that might otherwise happen under a Clinton administration.
This makes sense if the mainstream media’s claims about Putin’s distaste for Hillary Clinton are taken to be true, but it also makes the core prediction of Russiagate essentially unfalsifiable, since regardless of what actions the Trump administration takes in regards to Russia/Eastern Europe, the Russiagate theorists will always be able to claim that they are preferable in the eyes of the Kremlin to the actions that would have likely been taken by a Clinton administration. And, although there is somewhat of a discontinuity between Trump and his national security apparatus on certain foreign policy matters, the administration as a whole has been substantially hawkish towards Russia in a direct sense, taking actions such as expelling Russian diplomats, expanding NATO into Montenegro, attacking Russian mercenaries in Syria, approving arms sales to Ukraine’s government, imposing sanctions, etc. However, it could be argued that the Trump presidency has certainly abetted Russian geopolitical interests in a more indirect — and probably more profound — sense.
According to the infamous Steele dossier (several parts of which have been verified or corroborated), Putin and the Kremlin’s aim in supporting Trump was to “sow discord and disunity both within the US itself, but more especially within the Transatlantic alliance which was viewed as inimical to Russia’s interests” and that the effort “should be seen in terms of Putin’s desire to return to Nineteenth Century ‘Great Power’ politics anchored upon countries’ interests rather than the ideals-based international order established after World War Two.” Russia’s covert support for ultranationalist, right-wing populist movements in the UK (Brexit/UKIP/Nigel Farage), France (National Front/Marie le Pen) and Germany (AfD) makes sense in the context of a broader agenda aimed at sabotaging the Atlantic (US-UK-EU) special relationship as a means of bolstering a Eurasian political coalition.
If subverting the Transatlantic alliance as a means to promote Eurasian integration is the central premise of Russiagate (as opposed to the president being necessarily friendly to Russia), this inspires much more confidence in the narrative, seeing as the Trump administration has consistently thumbed its nose at the UN, destabilized and diminished NATO, strained US relations with European allies, trashed the EU, torpedoed the Iran deal that sought to act as a springboard for normalization of relations between the US and Iran and gradually bring Iran into the fold of the West, backed off of Russian and Israeli ally Bashar al-Assad, systematically disassembled the State Department and pulled out of a number of international treaties backed by a large portion the US liberal diplomatic establishment (Paris Agreement, TPP, TTIP, etc.), among other things.
The most interesting consideration here is what role and/or knowledge the seemingly pro-Trump militaristic American ultranationalist national security establishment tracing its roots back to the American Security Council and World Anti-Communist League had in the effort to boost Eurasia at the (at least medium-term) expense of the Trans-Atlantic alliance and the UN-centered international order that its domestic counterpart, the liberal diplomatic establishment, has spent the better part of a century building up.
After all, the neoconservative national security-boosters do, to an extent, share in Russia’s skepticism and occasional outright opposition to the “ideals-based” world order and the transatlantic alliance, which definitely raises some questions about their knowledge of Russian involvement in the election. Certainly, the neoconservatives’ deep involvement in the Trump support effort that has been documented extensively in previous articles on this blog makes it unlikely that those who participated in the covert Trump support effort couldn’t have known or at the very least had serious suspicions. Even though many specifics regarding the Trump support effort, the domestic and international characters behind it and the ensuing legal spectacle are still unclear or unknown, it’s quite obvious at this point that the aforementioned events have been a manifestation of deep politics at the very highest levels.
While solid, unimpeachable evidence of direct collusion between Trump or people around him and the Kremlin remains elusive, a pattern of Trump camp involvement with Russian-Jewish oligarchs and other figures connected to the Russian and Israeli governments is definitely evident, and there have even been a few pretty damning explicit statements from a few individuals that certainly raise questions. On an individual basis, many of the instances of questionable interactions between Trump apparatus figures and characters tied to the Russian state can be explained away innocently, but as more and more of these incidences crop up, the odds of all of this having been random or mere coincidence crater precipitously.
Vox‘s Matt Yglesias puts it best — “Trump–Russia skeptics, legion in the political press, brush all this aside in a gesture of faux sophistication, positing a bizarre series of coincidences complete with a massive cover-up all—for no particular reason.” Because of this, the apparent international Russian-Zionist component of the Trump effort cannot be ignored, dismissed out of hand or labeled a complete fabrication as the altmedia is so fond of doing, along with dragging a bevy of extraneous distractions about the evil Democrats into the discussion or ridiculously framing Russiagate as some kind of sinister “deep state” stratagem to oust Trump from the White House or start war with Russia. But before delving into the Trump-Russia-Israel triangle, the Russian interference investigation and all the alternative media talking points swirling about in regards to it should be addressed.
First, it’s prudent to call attention to the fact that Russiagate has been a boon for the media. Keep this in mind when judging the media’s motives not only relating to Russia-related stories but also really anything else. According to CNN producer Jeff Bonifield, the mainstream media largely pushes and sensationalizes Russiagate as a means of boosting cable news viewing numbers and ratings and has been miraculously effective seeing as how CNN‘s viewership and ratings are both through the roof. According to Bonifield, Jeff Zucker, CNN‘s CEO, directed CNN staff to cover old Russiagate news items over other important national stories, just as he did with Donald Trump during election season as part of an effort to shore up CNN‘s faltering performance as a news network.
Many have speculated as to what role Hillary Clinton and the Clinton campaign had in promulgating the Russia thesis. Alt media pundits are always eager to point out that the Clinton campaign funded Christopher Steele’s opposition research in the latter half of election season after his initial Republican funding dried up subsequent to the GOP primary. Therefore, according to the rampaging pro-Trump shock troops in the altmedia, Christopher Steele is just a dastardly pro-Clinton apparatchik and his dossier must have been a complete fabrication or at the very least extreme hyperbole. Firstly, Steele was a highly credible and respected former intelligence officer (formerly the head of MI6’s Russia desk) and investigator who had no significant political predilections; secondly, anyone familiar with the world of private investigations and opposition research knows that their research and conclusions are never fabricated nor are they paid huge sums of money to simply spin tales out of nothing; and, finally, Steele wasn’t even aware he was working for Clinton and the DNC for much of his investigation because of the firewall and legal barrier put up between the Clinton campaign/DNC and Steele’s private intelligence firm Orbis Intelligence by the Democrats’ primary law firm Perkins Coie. The Clinton campaign allegedly wasn’t aware that Steele was conducting opposition research for them either.
Although it’s unlikely that the Clinton team had anything to do with the content of the Steele dossier, people within the Clinton orbit may have been familiar with the Russian interference talk brewing behind the scenes in Washington because two longtime Clinton confidantes, Sidney Blumenthal and Cody Shearer, had authored a research memo — shared with the FBI and numerous media outlets — that came to similar conclusions as the Steele dossier. Glenn Simpson, the head of Fusion GPS (the opposition research firm that hired Steele) has connections to the old Jackson Stephens-centered Arkansas political machine that was behind Bill Clinton’s rise.
Furthermore, after it became obvious Clinton would lose the election, Clinton people fed the Russian interference narrative to an array of friendly media outlets, which undoubtedly helped fuel the story. According to the definitive account of the Clinton campaign, Shattered, the campaign felt (maybe rightly so) that the election results were suspect, which is the only reason they launched a risky and unorthodox PR effort aimed at questioning the integrity of the election. (On a somewhat related note, the Clinton campaign also propped up Trump in friendly media outlets hoping to elevate him to the GOP nomination since he would be ostensibly easy to beat.) Ultimately, however, Hillary Clinton and people in her orbit probably had very little to do with formulating Russiagate or with any profound counter-Trump undertaking within the establishment. It’s much more interesting to consider the role of the FBI & broader Obama intelligence community.
Most in the alternative and conservative media frame Robert Mueller as an attack dog of the “globalists” and liberal establishmentarians out to destroy Donald Trump. However, Mueller’s history as a prosecutor and investigator is not one of sabotaging politicians opposed to the establishment’s agenda, but one of cover up, obfuscation and misdirection, having been involved in covering up corruption in the FBI’s Boston field office, diverting attention away from the true culprits behind the Lockerbie bombing and 2001 Anthrax attacks, obscuring the CIA’s involvement with BCCI/Manuel Noriega and covering up several aspects of 9/11 as well as derailing and subverting Operation Green Quest, the interagency investigation into the financing of Al-Qaeda and the 9/11 attacks. His expertise seems to be in handling sensitive legal matters that might if not handled in a particular manner end up exposing conspiratorial machinations within the intelligence community. Given this pattern of behavior, why should anyone suspect Mueller will do anything other than conceal some sort of political conspiracy or intrigue — perhaps a deeper domestic involvement in the promotion of the Trump presidency than has been reported so far?
Stefan Halper, a Cambridge international relations researcher and former deputy CIA director Ray Cline’s son-in-law on the payroll of the Pentagon’s internal think tank, was recently officially outed as one of the FBI’s “top secret” informants working on Mueller’s Russia probe. Halper has long had deep ties to the intelligence community and Republican politics (the Bush family specifically) having occupied posts in the Nixon, Ford and Reagan administrations and later working on both Reagan and George H.W. Bush’s presidential campaigns. Halper’s career in politics was ended when he was exposed as having played a central role in the 1980 Reagan-Carter spying scandal in which Halper (whose alleged handler was George H.W. Bush himself) and several other Reagan aides spied on the Carter campaign using retired CIA agents.
The altmedia has glommed onto this character and make the misleading claim that Halper was a spy embedded in the Trump campaign. He was no such thing, although his involvement in the probe is admittedly quite odd and the possibility that Halper and maybe others were dispatched by the counterintelligence division of the Obama FBI to entrap or ensnare Trump campaign officials in some kind of Russia-related scandal in order to delegitimize the Trump campaign cannot be ruled out. However as of now, as far as anyone knows, Halper was only requested by the FBI to feel out Trump campaign aides (Papadopoulos and Page) who were already known to the FBI regarding any potential Trump connections to Russia. He was stonewalled by Papadopoulos and the outcome of his interactions with Page is still unclear. It’s extremely unlikely that even if Halper had attempted to become a spy planted directly in the Trump campaign that such an operation would have succeeded since Halper is a known entity to anyone in politics and because anyone who does know of him is almost certainly familiar with his peculiar and potentially criminal history. No one in their right mind would let him anywhere near a campaign. What exactly Halper’s participation ultimately means is unclear, at least for now.
What is clear is that a number of agents, namely Peter Strzok, former head of FBI counterintelligence and pointman on the Russia investigation, and FBI attorney Lisa Page were vehemently opposed to the idea of a Trump presidency and discussed stopping Trump from reaching the Oval Office over text message. A “secret society” of FBI agents opposed to Trump congregating offsite and off hours was even referenced. This may at first glance seem to confirm the altmedia’s narrative about the Mueller investigation being a sham designed to tear down the current administration, but clearly given the fact that this “secret society” and its activities had to be carefully hidden and conducted offsite and off hours means it’s unlikely Mueller and his top deputies are part of the venture. Additionally, Strzok also made disparaging remarks about Hillary Clinton in his now-public texts and supported the reopening of the Clinton email server investigations, having authored a draft of the infamous “Comey letter” that upended the Clinton campaign just days before the general election. So, as far as anyone knows, it’s unclear as to whether Strzok’s actions while head of the FBI’s counterintelligence division on net hurt or helped Trump.
And, as it happens, there was another secret society compartmented off from other parts of the FBI that acted in favor of then-candidate Trump. This circle was based mainly out of the New York FBI office, which (along with the NYPD) has for many years contained a large contingent of politically biased agents harboring a “deep and visceral hatred of Secretary Clinton,” according to the same OIG report that brought so much attention to Peter Strzok. This sect was responsible for many of the leaks that significantly undermined Clinton in the media (Rudy Giuliani even bragged about having been leaked information from the FBI) and for pressuring James Comey into reigniting the Clinton email controversy by releasing the ‘Comey letter’ to Congress only a few days before the general election. Furthermore, if the FBI in general were so hell bent on destroying Trump, how come there were virtually no leaks about the FBI investigation into Trump’s connections to Russia as there were with the Clinton email scandal? Key elements forwarded by Intelgate proponents just don’t seem to comport with the general picture of events.
Increasingly it’s looking as if former CIA director under Obama, John Brennan, may have been the individual ultimately responsible for provoking Russian interference claims and therefore the subsequent FBI probe into said interference. By late 2015 Brennan was receiving and/or soliciting reports from foreign intelligence agencies (namely GCHQ as well as Estonian and Dutch intelligence) pertaining to “suspicious interactions” between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian intelligence agents/assets. Brennan in fact testified himself that he likely played a key role in triggering the opening of the FBI’s probe and was preoccupied throughout his entire last year as CIA director with frantically shopping the Russiagate narrative and the accompanying Steele dossier around D.C. to anyone who would listen, including John Kerry, the Congress’s so-called “Gang of Eight”, the president and James Clapper, who joined in Brennan’s efforts.  Other members of the Obama intelligence community were involved in selling the Russian threat as well. For example, Mike Rogers, former head of the NSA and US Cybercommand under Obama, claimed that “we [the NSA] watched” Russia hack Emmanuel Macron’s campaign in France despite the fact that the head of France’s cybersecurity agency said that there was no evidence that Russia specifically hacked the campaign and that the hack “was so generic and simple that it could have been practically anyone.”
But even if there was a concerted and possibly politically-motivated effort by a clandestine network within the Obama-era intelligence community and FBI counterintelligence to bring the incoming Trump administration down via Russiagate — and it appears there may have been, particularly in regards to the orchestration of entrapment schemes and the stovepiping of politicized intelligence — this has little bearing on the merits of the Russiagate thesis particularly when the potential evidentiary body is so large. Both deep politics and garden variety party politics played significant roles in exposing Iran-Contra, Watergate & every single scandal engulfing the Clinton administration, yet they did actually occur and were substantial scandals. They were not fake news regardless of how central a role politics had in uncovering them. Not only that, but even if the allegations about the surreptitious entrapment network operating out of Obama intelligence are true, it’s probable that such an operation was at the very least ethically justified, as it’s simply undeniable at this point that there are very significant criminal & political Trump-Russia/Israel connections that go far beyond “a few business deals”.
Russia & Israel: The Historical & Political Context
Ever since the release of the explosive Steele dossier, an ongoing gaslighting campaign of epic proportions has been orchestrated by alternative media outlets both on the right and left whose objective is to misdirect anyone with one iota of political curiosity away from the most damning evidences of a joining of the Trump network with Russian parties and towards the most sensational claims made by the likes of Rachel Maddow (many of which are unsubstantiated), which are used to discredit the existence any Russian connection. Make no mistake — there is a preponderance of evidence indicating, if not direct interference in the election process, a much deeper marriage between the current administration and Russian elements which very likely entails some degree of collusion.
A large body of research into Trump and his questionable dealings with criminal syndicates & clandestine fronts dating back to the early 1980s exists, but is lost in the noise of the mainstream and alternative media, neither of which ever seem willing to put current events in any kind of historical context. In doing such a contextualization, it’s usually useful to look at one instrumental example or critical event in the past to then branch out from and establish a pattern with. In Trump’s case, this event is his acquisition of the Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City from a clandestine front company called Resorts International.
Resorts International began its life as the Mary Carter Paint Co. and was originally bankrolled by founding CIA director Allen Dulles, who was the ranking member of the right-wing division of the Eastern Establishment (“Wall Street CIA”, “Rockefeller Republicans”) and probably its premier kingmaker at the time. The company served as a money laundering front for factions within the CIA and various Israeli intelligence bodies which were facilitating the Meyer Lansky criminal syndicate in its own laundering, gambling and drug trafficking operations, many of which supported American and Israeli intelligence operations. Lansky was the ranking member of the Jewish mafia and intelligence network in the United States (sometimes called the “kosher nostra”) for most of the 20th century.
He aided the foundation of the Zionist state of Israel by assisting the Haganah — the underground forerunner of the Israel Defense Forces — in smuggling arms out of the United States and into Palestine. Earlier, Lansky, in league with the Italian mob, had assisted the US Navy and military intelligence in patrolling the Port of New York and cracking Nazi spy rings during WWII. Legendary political fixer and Donald Trump’s long-time mentor and lawyer, Roy Cohn, was on a first-person basis with Lansky throughout much of his life. Both Lansky and Cohn are alleged to have run sophisticated espionage and blackmail rings utilizing Mossad-related figures and pro-Israel elements of the American intelligence community and in the process obtained blackmail material on J. Edgar Hoover and many other powerful government officials.
Later, with the financial backing of Meyer Lansky himself, the Mellon family, Baron Edmond de Rothschild and Mossad money launderer of JFK intrigue Tibor Rosenbaum, the company was spun-off as Resorts International after it moved into the business of operating casinos and resorts in the US and Bahamas as a means of laundering money for the American and Israeli clandestine services. Resort’s “internal security” subsidiary, Intertel, along with providing internal “security” at Resorts properties, offered its services to other lovely parties such as Howard Hughes, the Shah of Iran and Anastasio Somoza.
In a highly peculiar deal brokered in 1988 (and not the only strange casino deal Trump’s been involved in), Donald Trump entered into a $60 million management contract with Resorts by which he would in effect be paid to supervise his own investment in the company – the construction of the Taj Mahal. After Resorts’ chairman, CIA man James Crosby died, Trump bought a 93% controlling interest in Resorts in order to finance the Taj Mahal project, after which he bought out the rest of the company then almost immediately sold most of its assets to Merv Griffin, retaining ownership only of the Taj Mahal. However, this was clearly not just some relatively innocuous corporate maneuvering – Trump apparently carried on Resorts’ criminal legacy, as Trump’s Taj Mahal has had to pay tens of millions in fines over its 25 years in existence for “willful non-compliance” with money-laundering laws and according to federal investigators became the preferred gambling and money laundering spot for Russian mobsters from Brooklyn. Interestingly, Trump’s other casinos curiously have near perfect compliance histories, indicating that there is something special about Taj Mahal — Trump and the people around him apparently don’t just “look away” from potential criminal activity in general.
Vyachelsov Ivankov, a top vor (the Russian mob analogue to the Italian mafia’s don) in the legendary Russian-Jewish mobster and dual Russian-Israeli citizen Semion Mogilevich’s Solntsevskaya bratva criminal syndicate (much more on this later) with ties to Russian state intelligence organizations, used to regularly visit the Taj Mahal along with other members of Mogilevich’s mob. There’s no question that the Taj Mahal remained an essentially criminal enterprise even after ownership shifted from Resorts to Trump, but did it retain its intelligence and state ties? It’s certainly fascinating that a casino previously owned by an American-Israeli intelligence money laundering front would eventually end up being used by the Russian mafia (comprised mostly of ethnic Jews) to launder money.
This connection is perhaps not quite as mystifying when two facts are taken into account: 1) since Israel’s conception, there has been a longstanding marriage between it and elements of the Russian state apparatus; and 2) Russian-Jewish criminal syndicates, all of which are deeply involved with what are called “Russian oligarchs”, are more often than not simply arms of Russian and/or Israeli state security and intelligence.
The “Russian oligarchs” emerged as an identifiable group in during the Gorbachev-initiated process of “market liberalization” whereby state-owned enterprises and assets were systematically sold off and handed over piecemeal to a small handful of young Russian Jews connected to and promoted by Communist party insiders and Russian organized crime. This process was greatly accelerated under Boris Yeltsin, who oversaw the most dramatic stage of privatization and was for most of his time as president of Russia a puppet of the oligarchs, who to this day constitute a covert underground KGB-successor government. Yeltsin was particularly under the thumb of Russian-Jewish oligarch Boris Berezovsky, who, along with Russian-Israeli oligarch Roman Abramovich (who recently surfaced in Israel), plucked ex-KGB officer Vladimir Putin from the entirely mob-controlled St. Petersburg political machine and maneuvered him into becoming prime minister and later president of Russia.
Today, Russian oligarchs as a group control much of economic and political life in Russia, but jockey for power amongst themselves, as oligarchs and political factions in the west do (though you’ll hardly ever hear the media refer to that kind of activity as such). Putin himself along with a clique of think tank elites and hyper-militaristic Russian nationalists — many based out of St. Petersburg — constitutes somewhat of an oligarchic faction on its own. Putin personally gained a considerable amount of power himself after aligning with other oligarchs to oust Boris Berezovsky (the very man who put him into power) as well as other oligarchs such as Mikhail Khodorkovsky who were tied into State Department-CIA-Wall Street-liberal think tank efforts to fully subsume post-Soviet Russia into the orbit of the West and are to this day subjects of Kremlin-orchestrated harassment and intimidation campaigns even while living in exile in places like the UK and Switzerland. Simply put, business oligarchs in Russia may as well be treated as parts of the state apparatus. It also turns out that much of the Russian mafia can also be considered an appendage of the state.
Just as Israel — itself a mafia state — utilized Meyer Lansky’s criminal network to further its end in the United States and elsewhere, Russian state security utilizes the Russian-Jewish mafia that internationalized in the 1990s after the collapse of the USSR and ensuing capital outflow to perform deniable operations that the Russian government can’t risk being exposed as doing such as money laundering, arms smuggling and trafficking, assassinations, running drugs to raise funds for covert operations, computer hacking, moving spies across international borders, etc. The Kremlin utilizes local organized crime structures co-opted and/or controlled by Russian mobsters directly linked to the Russian state in fomenting separatist movements, most notably in Donbas, Crimea, South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Organized crime is also instrumental in the Kremlin’s cultivation of foreign businessmen and government officials (the “captured constituency” as Russia experts call it) through blackmail, co-opting, flattery and bribery. Most major Russian-Jewish mobsters According to slain FSB defector Alexander Litvinenko, Russian state security and intelligence services (FSB, GRU, SVR) directly control many of the country’s domestic and transnational organized crime networks. Call it mafia statecraft. According to former Russian spy Stanislav Lunev, “from the end of the Cold War, Russian spy activity against the West and the U.S. has decreased until the middle of the 90’s, when it increased dramatically. Now, it would be comparable to the coldest days of the Cold War.”
In the ’70s, Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson, a pro-Israel, anti-communist Democrat who ran a “Zionist fifth column” in the senate (from which many of the famous neocons of today such as Richard Perle & Paul Wolfowitz sprang) aided the internationalization of the Russian-Zionist mafia — in particular into the United States — by linking trade concessions with Jewish emigration from the Soviet Bloc through the Jackson-Vanik amendment. This, along with the passing of the RICO act, began the process by which any remnants of the old Italian mafia (which had been slowly waning in influence since the ’60s) left were displaced by the Russian-Jewish mafia, a process which was complete by 1990.
Since Joseph Stalin’s open embrace of Zionism during WWII, there has been a special relationship between Russia and international Jewry/Israel. A massive influx of Jews from Germany and Central Europe into the USSR occurred after the German invasion of the USSR, leading to the establishment of a large Jewish population in Russia that ended up establishing extensive organized crime networks allowing them to virtually dominate the black market economy that kept the Soviet economy afloat throughout the ’70s and ’80s and still exists to this day. These refugees’ survivalist vigor and political organization was exploited by the Soviets who recruited them en masse into the war effort. The majority of the spies exposed by the Army Signal Intelligence Service’s famous Venona project were not only Soviet spies and/or communists but were also involved in Zionist circles:
On December 14, 1998, The Spotlight was the only newspaper on the planet to publish a suppressed fact about the otherwise widely-publicized secrets about KGB espionage that were revealed with the release of the fabled Soviet diplomatic cables that were secretly decrypted beginning in 1946 by the U.S. Army Signals Security Agency and code-named “Venona.”
Military historian Ulick Steadman described the Venona venture as “an historic achievement,” but noted that there was “a shocking twist.” In fact, a vast majority of the alien agents unmasked by the decoded Soviet cables turned out to be active in Zionist circles rather than merely in the Communist underground. According to H. Dexter Gamage, who served as a Pentagon cryptography analyst, the Venona files revealed that Zionists “made up three-fourths of the enemy spies recruited by the Soviets” in the United States.
As a consequence, at the time the Venona project was under way, Gen. Omar Bradley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, ordered the intercepts withheld from President Truman, because—according to Steadman—Bradley was “concerned that anything known to the White House would soon become known to the Zionist insiders [surrounding the president] and subsequently to the Soviets” who would discover that their cables were being intercepted. — The Judas Goats, Michael Collins Piper
A massively disproportionate number of the publicly known spies for the Soviet Union have been Jews, and in particular Jews born in or descended from the Soviet bloc — Samuel Dickstein, Julius & Ethel Rosenberg (along with most in their ring), George Koval, Nathan Silvermaster, etc.
The USSR paved the way for Israel to become a state through its vigorous lobbying in the UN on behalf of Israel in support of the plan to partition Palestine into two states — one Arab and one Jewish. One of the prerogatives Soviet spies in Britain had during the ’40s was hampering their British intelligence colleagues in their efforts to defeat the Zionist movement. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, many Russian Jews immigrated to Israel. Many, such as Avigdor Lieberman, eventually made their way into government (with some reporting back to the KGB) and others established Russian-Jewish organized crime outposts. Today, about 1.5 million native Russians live in Israel (almost 17% of its population) and over 100,000 Israeli citizens live in Russia.
Since the pro-Russian Ariel Sharon entered office as prime minister of Israel, Russia-Israel relations have been warmer than ever. Vladimir Putin is know for being virulently pro-Israel having been the only Russian leader in memory who’s never even so much as tacitly fomented anti-Semitism and is arguably the closest (both personally and politically) world leader to Benjamin Netanyahu, with Donald Trump & friends being the only real competition. In 2014, Putin and Netanyahu established a special encrypted direct hotline between themselves in order to route American electronic eavesdropping efforts. Recently, it has become clear that Israel is willing to advance the cause of Eurasian integration and multilateralism (at the expense of the US, its greatest ally, I might add) given its seeming eagerness to enter or at least closely partner with the Eurasian Economic Union, a Kremlin project that seeks to establish a Eurasian free trade bloc that will eventually merge with China’s “Silk Road Economic Belt“, the EU and the Middle East.
Chabad Lubavitch & Israeli Intrigue
In addition to state relations, a massive constellation of NGOs — all of which have significant ties to the Russian-Jewish international criminal syndicate — facilitate Russian-Israeli relations. Some of these include the World Jewish Congress, Russian Jewish Congress and the Federation of Russian Jewish Communities. Today, one of the core nexuses between the Kremlin, Israel, the international Russian-Zionist crime network and the Trump team is a mystical, messianic Hasidic Jewish movement called Chabad Lubavitch originating from what is now Belarus but is currently largely centered in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn. It has over 200,000 followers and is the most sprawling Jewish organization in the world, with representation in basically every single major city in the world through “Chabad houses”.
As the closest thing the Jewish world has to evangelism—much of its work is dedicated to making Jews around the world more involved in Judaism—Chabad serves many more Jews who are not full-on adherents.
According to Schmuley Boteach, a prominent rabbi in New Jersey and a longtime friend of Democratic Sen. Cory Booker, Chabad offers Jews a third way of relating to their religious identity. “You have three choices as a Jew,” he explained. “You can assimilate and not be very affiliated [Reform Judaism]. You can be religious and Orthodox, or there’s sort of a third possibility that Chabad offers for people who don’t want to go the full Orthodox route but do want to stay on the traditional spectrum.” — Politico
Chabad is highly politically connected. According to professor of Jewish history at the University of Denver, David Shneer, Chabad is “a movement that cultivates ties with political leadership as part of a broader strategy to make a home wherever they happen to be.” He compares this to the medieval practice of shtadlanut, in which European Jews lobbied local rulers for rights.
Chabad’s chief rabbi in Russia, Berel Lazar — sometime’s called “Putin’s rabbi” — was elevated to the position of de facto leader of the Jewish community in Russia by Vladimir Putin and his cohorts after becoming acquainted with Russian-Jewish oligarchs and Putin confidantes Lev Leviev (born in what is now Uzbekistan) and Roman Abramovich, who installed Lazar as the head of their Jewish vehicle, the Federation of Russian Jewish Communities. Lazar serves as somewhat of an ambassador for the Chabad movement and met with former Trump Organization lawyer and current Trump administration “special representative for international negotiations” and Israel advisor Jason Greenblatt to discuss “Russian society” and “anti-Semitism”. Chabad is the dominant sect of Judaism in Russia and among Russian Jews. According to Russian-Jewish PR executive Ronn Torossian, “all Russian Jews [in foreign countries) go to Chabad. Russian Jews are not comfortable in a Reform synagogue.” This of course applies to Russian oligarchs, many of whom are followers of Chabad. A few oligarchs particularly close to Putin such as Leviev (the top donor to Chabad) and Abramovich are used as envoys to the greater Jewish community, using Chabad as a base of operations and networking tool.
Russian Jew Menachem Mendel Schneerson — a messianic figure in Chabad — was one of the most influential Jewish leaders of the 20th century and oversaw Chabad’s transformation from a relatively small and obscure Hasidic group into the most widespread Jewish movement in the world. Schneerson, despite claiming to have been non-political and non-Zionist, was very politically astute, having been a political force in his own right in Israel and ceaselessly promoted the Zionist state of Israel’s interests throughout his life and spoke glowingly of it. Schneerson served in an advisory capacity to many top Israeli politicians and military leaders, most notable among them being Benjamin Netanyahu, Ariel Sharon, Shimon Peres, Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Rabin. Based in Brooklyn for much of his life, Schneerson’s advise was additionally sought by many American politicians including John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Jacob Javits, Ed Koch, Rudy Giuliani, David Dinkins and Joe Lieberman.
Rabbi Levi Shemtov, the ranking Chabad member in the greater Washington, D.C. area, handles government and diplomatic relations for Chabad Lubavitch, maintaining close relationships with members of Congress, intelligence & military officials, Administration officials and diplomats and often being spotted at the White House, Pentagon, Department of State and other venues in the D.C. area. Shemtov has a number of nicknames among beltway insiders — “the rabbi of Capitol Hill”, “a Washington institution”, “a fixture on the diplomatic circuit” and “one of the most savvy politicos in town.”
Many figures in the orbit of Donald Trump are members of Chabad-Lubavitch including Jared & Ivanka Kushner (along with the extended Kushner family), Michael Cohen, Felix Sater, Tevfik Arif and Tamir Sapir, all of whom seem to interface through Chabad houses, particularly ones in Manhattan and Port Washington, an affluent Long Island town that both Michael Cohen and Felix Sater have owned homes near. Sater, a globe-trotting international businessman and consultant with deep ties to the Russian mafia, is a member of Chabad of Port Washington, having been named its “man of the year” in both 2010 and 2014. was intimately involved in several highly suspect ventures involving Trump that seemed to be of a transactional nature with his childhood friend and fellow Chabadnik, Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.
These included a scheme to get Russian sanctions imposed after its invasion of Crimea revoked, a Russia-Ukraine “peace plan” and negotiations to develop a Trump tower in Moscow with backing from VTB Bank, a Russian intelligence-FSB front. (Sater’s numerous episodes of criminal involvement and international intrigue will be covered in more detail later.) Even more, members of Chabad of Port Washington facilitated direct talks between Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko and Trump through Michael Cohen after Poroshenko aides reached out to the Chabad house. More and more, Chabad appears to be some kind of clearinghouse for Russian-Jewish and Israeli political and intelligence operations.
The Trump foundation as well as the Kushner family foundation have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Chabad institutions in the past 10 years. Kushner, who was the de facto chairman of the Trump campaign and is one of Trump’s closest advisors in the White House, is a devout and highly enthusiastic follower of Chabad and lives within walking distance of Washington, D.C.’s Chabad-Lubavitch center in D.C.’s swanky Kalorama neighborhood. On January 27th, 2017, Jared and Ivanka Kushner invited several Trump administration officials including Wilbur Ross, Gary Cohn, Steve Mnuchin, Dina Powell and Hope Hicks to a Shabbat meal with the aforementioned Rabbi Levi Shemtov.
The Kushner family has deep ties to Israel. Jared Kushner’s father, Charles Kushner, was a highly influential New Jersey-based Democratic party mega donor, kingmaker and real estate tycoon who donated generously to pro-Israel causes (including to an illegal settlement in the West Bank), financially supported many of Benjamin Netanyahu’s election campaigns and even hosted the Israeli prime minister in his own home in New Jersey when Netanyahu visited the US. In the early 2000s, Charles Kushner almost single-handedly thrust Jim McGreevey into the governorship of New Jersey. After McGreevey – then governor – started refusing to return Kushner’s favors, Kushner dispatched a gay Israeli friend of his to seduce and entrap McGreevey. The relationship was exposed, McGreevey was forced to admit his homosexuality and was then blackmailed with the threat of sexual harassment lawsuits from the Israeli, which forced his resignation. In 2005, Charles was imprisoned for two years on counts of illegal campaign donations, witness tampering & tax evasion after blackmailing his sister and her family, who were cooperating with investigators looking into some of Kushner’s problematic political donations and ties. It’s possible that Charles Kushner was himself a direct Mossad asset.
Before joining the Trump campaign (where he was instrumental in orchestrating the Trump digital operation and was likely aware of Palantir, Cambridge Analytica and Russian-Israeli involvement), Kushner succeeded his father in managing the Kushner real estate empire, which had shifted operations to New York City after Charles Kushner was released from prison. Kushner’s business was aided and underwritten by the Steinmetz family, one of Israel’s wealthiest oligarchic families that also happens to be entangled in several investigations into alleged money laundering and bribery around the world. In his role in the Trump administration, Kushner acts as somewhat of an unofficial gatekeeper, ambassador and go-between for his usually clueless father-in-law, liaising with such characters as Henry Kissinger, Rupert Murdoch, Paul Ryan, Roger Ailes (before his death), powerful CEOs and numerous foreign leaders including Benjamin Netanyahu, whose first post-inaugural sit down with Trump was brokered by Kushner.
Much of Netanyahu’s evident influence in the Trump administration is probably exercised through Kushner. In a speech given after the meeting, Trump referred to Netanyahu as a long-time friend and Netanyahu claimed that “there is no greater supporter of the Jewish people and the Jewish state than President Donald Trump.” Both Kissinger and Murdoch regularly counsel Kushner on various matters. It was also Kushner who evidently handled Trump on matters relating to Israel. After Trump claimed that he would remain “neutral” in dealings with Israel and Palestinians, Kushner worked the phones to placate angry Republicans and urged Trump to deliver a pre-written, unequivocally pro-Israel speech in front of AIPAC.
It should be unsurprising then that Kushner was instrumental in the most solid case of Trump team collusion with foreign agents in which Kushner, on behalf of the Israeli government, directed Michael Flynn (telling him “this is a top priority to the president”) to lobby members of the UN Security Council, including then Russian ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak, to help undermine a UN Security Council resolution backed by the Obama administration condemning illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the US, confirmed that the Israeli government reached out to the Trump transition team requesting help upsetting the Obama administration’s Middle East policy.
This is not the only example of the Trump camp colluding with Israel to subvert Obama-era policy. In 2017, Trump aides hired Israeli private intelligence firm Black Cube — staffed entirely by “former” Mossad and Shin Bet operatives — to carry out a “dirty ops” campaign to smear and discredit key individuals from the Obama administration who negotiated the Iran deal, which Israel has always been intensely opposed to. The discrediting of the Obama diplomats and advisors would have made it easier to justify pulling out of the Iran deal, which the administration has now done. In July 2018, the Times of Israel reported that in a leaked video clip, Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking to senior members of Likud, boasted of having personally convinced Donald Trump to back out of the Iran deal. In the clip, Netanyahu is briefly interrupted by an unidentified person off-screen who says, “[Iran] will disappear with the help of God.” In response, Netanyahu says, “You said it. From your mouth to God.”
It’s very clear at this point that Iran is in the sights of the Trump administration and has long been in the sights of Israel and the American right-wing defense/national security establishment. The administration is of course stacked with Iran hawks such as John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, Jim Mattis and Jared Kushner, who’s been dispatched to build a Sunni coalition composed of Persian Gulf States and Egypt to take some kind of significant geopolitical action against Iran in the near future. Some American and Arab sources have said that this could possibly be parlayed into an even broader counter-Iran Sunni Muslim “Arab NATO”, tentatively known as the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA). According to a report from an Israeli TV station (later confirmed by the White House), a secret bilateral agreement was reached between Israeli and American officials for both countries to take a variety of coordinated actions against Iran and its allies in the Middle East, particularly Lebanon. Part of the agreement included a wind down of the Obama-initiated American intervention and accompanying covert war in Syria that almost openly aimed to topple Bashar al-Assad. Assad’s leadership in Syria is favored by Israel because Assad is allied with the Kremlin, which is an Israeli ally and will vet all of Syria’s policies towards Israel as well as help Israel in ousting Iranian elements from Syria.
Erik Prince — an anchor of the hard-right national security-boosting circle within the US — was an “unofficial” envoy for the Trump administration in a UAE-brokered meeting held in the Seychelles with Trump Middle East liaison George Nader, de facto ruler of the UAE Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan and Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of Russia’s sovereign wealth fund and confidante of Vladimir Putin, in which the primary topics of discussion were establishing a secret communications backchannel between the incoming Trump administration and the Kremlin as well as curtailing Russia’s relationship with Iran, including and especially in Syria. Indeed, Syria appears to be a major agenda item for the Trump-Russia-Israel alliance and was likely discussed at length during the private Trump-Putin Helsinki meeting in July of 2018. Certainly, it cannot be denied that recent events in Syria — enabled by the Trump administration — amount to a colossal win for Israel, Russia and the Eurasian axis.
Prince also arranged an August 2016 meeting between himself, a collection of Saudi and UAE princes, Donald Trump Jr., Trump team Middle East liaison, George Nader and the previously mentioned Joel Zamel, the Israeli-Australian businessman who owns several businesses staffed primarily by former Israeli intelligence operatives specializing in social media manipulation, war-gaming, influence operations and private intelligence and whose firms were reportedly operating a network of fake social media accounts to promote Trump. In this meeting, representatives of Saudi Arabia and the UAE voiced their support for Trump’s presidential bid and Nader promoted a covert plan to use private contractors to destabilize Iran. Zamel, who offered his companies’ digital and social media campaign services at the meeting, received a large payment from Nader after the election and a company linked to Zamel provided Nader with an elaborate presentation about the significance of social media campaigning to Trump’s victory.
Three exceedingly shady billionaires and major Trump fundraisers, Tom Barrack, Sheldon Adelson and Elliott Broidy, appear to be additional channels through which the Trump camp coordinates Middle East policy. Barrack, the head of real estate investment firm Colony Capital who wielded influence in Nixon and Reagan political circles and has conducted business with Trump since the ’80s, was the chairman of the Trump Presidential Inaugural Committee, where he hired on Russiagate luminary Rick Gates and recommended Gates’ former boss, Paul Manafort to Trump as his campaign manager. Barrack and Elliott Broidy even paid Gates to “help navigate the new administration.” Now Barrack, who is personally close to Saudi and UAE royalty, serves as the key intermediary between the Trump inner circle and Arab royalty, presumably involved in the Trump administration’s effort to bring the UAE, Qatar and other Gulf States closer to Israel and the US. According to legacy Trump-GOP political consultant Roger Stone, “[Barrack] is the only person I know who the president speaks to as a peer… Barrack is to Trump as Bebe Rebozo was to Nixon, which is the best friend.” Barrack’s closeness to Trump extends to Jared Kushner. Barrack acquired a a large chunk of the debt owed by Kushner on his troubled 666 Fifth Avenue New York property and later, after a call from Trump, bailed Kushner out by agreeing to reduce Kushner’s obligations to keep him out of bankruptcy.
Elliott Broidy, another Trump donor, is a venture capitalist and defense industry big connected to the Israel lobby (through membership in the Likudist Republican Jewish Coalition) with direct access to the president. Broidy began accumulating clout after having played a critical role in fundraising for George W. Bush’s reelection campaign. From 2006 to 2008, Broidy was chair of the RNC finance committee and was named to the Homeland Security Advisory Board by Zionist Michael Chertoff. Broidy has been embroiled in a number of controversies, including bribing the New York State Comptroller on behalf of Israeli business interests, funding payoffs of Playboy models with whom Donald Trump has had affairs and engaging in political advocacy in the US and Middle East on behalf of Russian intelligence front, VTB Bank. In March 2018, the New York Times reported that Lebanese-American businessman and lobbyist George Nader “worked for more than a year to turn Broidy into an instrument of influence at the White House for the rulers of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, according to interviews and previously undisclosed documents. …High on the agenda of the two men…was pushing the White House to remove Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, backing confrontational approaches to Iran and Qatar and repeatedly pressing the president to meet privately outside the White House with the leader of the UAE.”
Militantly Zionist casino magnate, power broker and enforcer for the Israel lobby, Sheldon Adelson, who gave the Trump general election effort $25 million, wields tremendous influence in the White House, having been actively involved in lobbying for hawkish actions against Iran, pushing Rex Tillerson out of the administration, advocating for undermining Iran, and pushing the US’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel through. Adelson is known to by an ally of John Bolton, who, while in Las Vegas meeting with Adelson, persuaded Trump to commit to specific language pledging to pull out of the Iran deal if Congress and America’s European allies did not go along with demands for major changes that were clearly calculated to ensure the deal would fall apart. According to a CBC interview, Adelson has had private meetings with Trump, Mike Pence, John Bolton and others. The GOP megadonor and kingmaker who fashions himself as an anti-George Soros pretty much openly flaunts his dodging of campaign finance laws has long been involved in conservative political circles and the pro-Israel lobby and think tank network.
Many important (and very strange) billionaire megadonors tied to the Israel lobby and associated conservative political circles in the US are connected to or have backed and financed the Trump network:
- Lewis Eisenberg, current US Ambassador to Italy. As it happens, Eisenberg was chairman of the Port Authority during 9/11 and prior to 9/11 negotiated a long-term lease for the World Trade Center with Larry Silverstein and his partner, Frank
Lowy. Michael Glassner, the Trump campaign’s national political director, was a senior advisor to Eisenberg during Eisenberg’s tenure as chairman of the New York Port Authority. Glassner, a Zionist political operative and fixer, was formerly an AIPAC director and has a history of handling politicians endorsed by the Israel lobby, including Sarah Palin, Bob Dole, George W. Bush and of course Donald Trump.
- Paul Singer, billionaire hedge fund manager on the board of JINSA and the Republican Jewish Coalition with long-standing ties to Republican politics, having been a major donor to George W. Bush, Rudy Giuliani and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Strangely, Singer initially financed Republican Trump opposition groups and in large part funds the Washington Free Beacon, the initial sponsor of anti-Trump opposition research by Fusion GPS.
- Bernard Marcus, the co-founder of Home Depot who was born to Russian-Jewish immigrants. Marcus co-founded the Israel Democracy Institute.
- Ron Lauder, heir to the Estee Lauder fortune, president of the World Jewish Congress and former Ambassador to Austria under Reagan, who Lauder and the broader pro-Likud Jewish community were very supportive of. Lauder has been personally acquainted with Donald Trump for half a century, has quietly supported his presidency and is now an informal Middle East advisor. Lauder used to be a confidante and advisor of Netanyahu’s but has reportedly fallen out of favor with the prime minister as a result of disagreements over the Israel-Palestine “peace process”.
Sexual Blackmail: Jeffrey Epstein & Les Wexner
Donald Trump is connected to pedophilia and blackmail not only indirectly through Cohn but also directly through convicted pedophile and close friend since at least 1987, Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein, who is rumored to have moved money for the Mossad, CIA and prominent dynastic political families such as the Rockefellers, managed a sprawling pedophile blackmail ring stretching from the Virgin Islands to Palm Beach to Manhattan that entangled everyone from Trump to Bill Clinton to Prince Andrew to Alan Dershowitz to Ehud Barak.
Donald Trump’s contact — which listed virtually every possible way to get a hold of him — was circled in Epstein’s contact book by Epstein’s Palm Beach butler as a material witness and/or accomplice to Epstein’s pedophilic activities. Furthermore, Trump, who has a history of accused sexual impropriety (including hitting on teenagers), was sued along with Epstein by a woman with intimate knowledge of Epstein’s arrangements who accused the pair of having raped her when she was 13 years old and was listed as a witness to Epstein’s lurid lifestyle in an unrelated lawsuit. The Miami US attorney who brokered the federal non-prosecution deal for Epstein was none other than Alex Acosta, the current secretary of labor under Trump. Given these facts, it’s utterly inconceivable that Trump wasn’t at the very least well aware of Epstein’s child abuse. He was likely far more involved.
Epstein and his manipulative female deputies procured underage girls from around the world to abuse through modeling agencies (an industry Trump has been involved with – his modeling agency recruits girls as young as 14) and enticements of career opportunities in modeling, acting and fashion. Epstein’s chief aide and procurer was Ghislaine Maxwell, a Manhattan-London socialite who was responsible for recruiting one of Epstein’s victims, Virginia Roberts, into Epstein’s ring while Roberts was a towel girl at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago. Ghislaine — a close associate of both the Trump family and the Clintons — is the daughter of British media mogul, Mossad spy and Iran-Contra conspirator Robert Maxwell.
Maxwell, a potential Chabad-Lubavitch follower who Donald Trump has personally known since at least 1989, was at the confluence of Israeli intelligence, the Russian-Zionist mafia and Soviet leadership. While serving in the British military, Maxwell utilized his contacts with Czech communist leaders to convince them to covertly arm Israel in the build-up to Israel’s 1948 War of Independence. Later, Maxwell built a British media empire mainly through a series of acquisitions which he used to attack Israel’s enemies. Maxwell’s additional ties to the Soviet bloc and international communism through the KGB, Mikhail Gorbachev and Leonid Brezhnev comports with Israel’s general entanglement with the Soviets. He concocted and designed complex money laundering schemes with Russian intelligence-connected mobster Semion Mogilevich and another Mossad asset, billionaire banker Edmund Safra. Maxwell’s circuitous schemes came in handy to the Mossad and CIA as well, which used them to mask their arms trafficking activities. According to former FBI director John O’Neil, these laundering schemes became the model for the Russian-Jewish mafia and therefore Russian intelligence. Mogilevch’s procurement of an Israeli passport was helped along by Maxwell.
Maxwell was exposed as a spy for the Mossad by a former employee of Israel’s Military Intelligence Directorate who also alleged that Maxwell had leaked to the Israeli embassy in London that Mordechai Vanunu had had given about Israel’s nuclear capabilities to one of Maxwell’s newspapers as well as one owned by Rupert Murdoch. Given the Mossad’s penchant for blackmail, it’s definitely worth asking if Robert Maxwell and/or Ghislaine Maxwell were involved in the blackmail component of Epstein’s ring. Interestingly, another character who bears resemblance to Maxwell seems very likely to have been involved with — if not ultimately in control of — Epstein’s blackmail material. Epstein’s homes in Palm Beach and New York contained elaborate covert surveillance systems – hidden CCTV cameras, taps on all landlines within the homes, sophisticated computer network monitoring and high-end security suites installed on all computers, etc. According to the testimony of Epstein’s personal pilot Larry Visoski, a dedicated technician who flew into Palm Beach from New Albany, Ohio maintained all surveillance equipment and handled any recorded footage (read: blackmail material) from the hidden cameras strewn throughout Epstein’s properties where him and his network of friends sexually abused children.
Now why would anyone need to fly in a technician from a small town in Ohio every single week just to maintain video equipment? Well, New Albany happens to be the residence of Leslie Wexner, the billionaire founder and CEO of apparel conglomerate L Brands. Wexner’s presence in New Albany is so outsize that it is sometimes nicknamed “Wexley”. Wexner also happens to be Epstein’s ostensible “investment management” firm’s only publicly listed client and is apparently the source of much of Epstein’s billions, having been Epstein’s mentor and advisor since the ’80s. The two are so close that Epstein has fiduciary responsibility over Wexner’s private trusts and foundations.  Wexner is a legacy GOP megadonor (playing a particularly important role in fundraising for George W. Bush) with rumored ties to organized crime (according to a murder file on an attorney for Wexner’s company destroyed by Columbus, Ohio’s chief of police) and his Wexner Foundation once hired Republican pollster Frank Lutz to craft a PR strategy portraying Israel and the invasion of Iraq in a positive light.
For a brief period of time in early 1997, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the National Security Agency engaged in a frantic mole hunt for an Israeli spy, believed to be operating inside the highest levels of the Clinton Administration national security establishment. By the time the mole hunt was made public–in a May 7, 1997 Washington Post leak–the hunt had been abruptly ended, and for all intents and purposes, the story disappeared from the news within a matter of days.
According to the Post account, in January 1997, the National Security Agency (NSA) had intercepted a phone conversation between an Israeli official at the embassy in Washington, and Danny Yatom, the head of the Mossad, Israel’s foreign intelligence service. The official sought permission from the spy boss to “go to Mega” in order to obtain a copy of a confidential letter that had been sent by then-U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher to Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat, concerning U.S. assurances about a recently negotiated agreement for an Israeli military withdrawal from the Hebron area in the West Bank. Yatom, according to the NSA intercept, rejected the request, admonishing his agent, “This is not something we use Mega for.” — Jeffrey Steinberg, Executive Intelligence Review
As it turns out, ‘Mega’ stood for the Mega Group, a small, reticent and obscure informal meeting of Jewish billionaires indelibly linked to the Israel lobby founded by Leslie Wexner and Charles Bronfman that counted among its ranks not only Leslie and Charles but also former World Jewish Congress head Edgar Bronfman, politically connected Zionist hedge fund titan Michael Steinhardt, Laurence Tisch of the Loews conglomerate, GOP megadonor Max Fisher and US Healthcare founder Leonard Abramson. According to Jeffrey Steinberg of Executive Intelligence Review, Mega’s purpose was “to add greater clout to the Israeli lobby, by establishing an informal, but all-powerful policymaking group, able to deploy billions of dollars in “charitable” funds for the maximum effect on U.S. policy toward Israel, the Mideast, and other issues of paramount importance to the Jewish megabillionaires.” It is very possible that someone within Mega Group or its orbit was in fact one of Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard’s handlers (“Mr. X” or the “X Committee”). On a related note, much of the intelligence Pollard was directed to gather was very likely redirected and/or brokered to the Soviets, long-time Israeli bedmates. Without a doubt, Mega Group was deeply involved in the broader Israeli penetration of the Clinton White House and national security apparatus, which was entirely liberal/”globalist” with the exception of CIA Director James Woolsey.
The core members of the Mega Group in league with right-wing megadonors Sheldon Adelson and Paul Singer have bankrolled and backed the foundation of two other bodies in the right-wing Israeli orbit — 1) Emet, a think tank dedicated to generating long-term strategies that will present Israel in a positive light as well as to bolstering the hawkish hard-line approach to the “peace process” in Israel; and 2) the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, set up right after 9/11 and stacked with neoconservative extremists such as James Woolsey, Louis Freeh, Richard Perle, Michael Ledeen & Steve Forbes.
So, to summarize, a high-ranking member of a group that an Israeli spy was apparently authorized to answer to also almost surely has the president of the United States on video tape (doing god knows what) at a convicted serial pedophile’s mansion. Truth really is stranger than fiction.
Cambridge Analytica & Secret Data Operations
Psychographic data mining and predictive analytics firm Cambridge Analytica (CA), which reportedly ran the entire Trump digital campaign, has emerged as a fulcrum in Trump and broader right-wing populist efforts. Analytica used both traditional statistical regression methods and newer ‘machine learning’ methods (machine learning essentially being computer-aided iterative applications of traditional statistical regression methods) to develop models that predict various things, such as voter outcomes. Although the effectiveness of Analytica’s psychographic micro-targeting techniques (essentially targeting voters with bespoke messages) is disputed and the company appears to have exaggerated its abilities and taken liberties in marketing its services to an extent, it’s still worth exploring as an apparent nexus of hard-right political cirlces in the US and UK in addition to Israeli and Russian parties. Analytica was founded in 2013 as an offshoot of a British company called SCL Group by right-wing billionaire megadonor Robert Mercer (the source of most of Analytica’s funding and one of its owners), Rebekah Mercer and former Breitbart head and Trump White House “Chief Strategist”, Steve Bannon, who occupied high-level executive and strategic roles at the company. Mercer, who since at least 2011 has accelerated his support for the political right, largely controlled the company.
SCL, Analytica’s parent company, was a mysterious UK-based behavorial research and strategic communications shop with deep ties to British royalty and the Tory party that worked extensively with militaries, defense contractors and governments (including the Pentagon and UK Ministry of Defense) around the world on influence operations, sentiment manipulation, psychological operations and “sophisticated campaigns of mass deception”, even going so far as to claim it has fomented coups in developing countries. Vincent Tchenguiz, a shady Jewish-Iranian billionaire and Tory donor based in the UK who was until 2015 one of SCL Group’s largest owners and investors, has advisory and business ties to Russian-Ukrainian oligarchs both directly and indirectly through his PR advisor David Burnside, a pro-Brexit, pro-Tory Northern Irish politician who also has Eurasian ties mainly through his PR business (which is a hub for pro-Russian “counter-NATO” propaganda outlets) and has courted wealthy Russians for donations to the Tory party. Analytica and SCL Group became defunct after their well-publicized Facebook data scandal erupted, but core employees and backers of both companies continue to operate through successor companies Emerdata and Data Propria, which is currently electioneering for the RNC and Trump 2020 campaign.
Major clients of Analytica included the 2016 Trump campaign, Ted Cruz’s 2016 campaign, Brexit and John Bolton’s PAC. As early as 2014 — before Analytica had any affiliation with Trump — the company was testing Americans’ reactions to slogans such as “drain the swamp” and “deep state”. Not only that, but CA under the direction of Steve Bannon also assembled focus groups to test Americans’ feelings towards building a wall along the Mexican border and, fascinatingly, towards Russian expansionism and Vladimir Putin, who CA discovered was admired as a strong authoritarian leader by many Americans given the right framing. It was around this same time in 2014 that CA began working for John Bolton’s Mercer-backed PAC, which sought to “make people more militaristic in their worldview,” according to Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie. This lends further credence to the idea that a secret team of national security boosters and neoconservatives was behind the scenes the whole time pushing for a right-wing authoritarian president like Ted Cruz (who channeled a Bush II-style persona) or Donald Trump.
Another odd personality that shows up around Trump and Cambridge Analytica is Peter Thiel, the “anti-establishment” billionaire Silicon Valley fixture, Facebook board member and Bilderberg Steering Committee member behind PayPal and Palantir, a CIA and Pentagon predictive analytics and data mining contractor. Like Robert Mercer, Thiel is immersed in a lot of fringe endeavors, such as preparing for an artificial intelligence-induced apocalypse by building a massive redoubt in New Zealand. He was a major donor to the Trump campaign, was one of the Trump transition team’s top advisors and remains in Trump’s orbit to this day. He’s reportedly the impetus behind rumblings from within high level policy circles about limiting Jeff Bezos’s influence in the Pentagon through Amazon and breaking up internet giants Google and Facebook. Several Palantir and Thiel veterans have made their way into Jim Mattis’s inner circle and/or on to the National Security Council staff.
Employees of Thiel’s venture capital and investment firms were seconded to work on the Trump campaign and employees of Palantir worked extensively with Cambridge Analytica on building psychographic models based on Facebook data. According to a Forbes expose, the Trump digital campaign “delved into message tailoring, sentiment manipulation and machine learning” – machine learning the crux of cutting edge predictive analytics, the type Thiel’s Palantir focuses on almost exclusively. This means that a CIA-Pentagon analytics appendage’s expertise and know-how was weaponized for direct use in the “anti-establishment” Trump digital campaign. Given Analytica’s sometimes dubious capacity as an effective digital campaigning firm, Palantir may very well have been the real engine behind the Trump digital campaign. Certainly, Thiel’s involvement would make sense, given the fact that he and Palantir have everything to gain from Trump and his administration’s advocacy for the vast expansion of the surveillance state both in scope and scale. However, regardless of what the exact details are, it’s clear that Thiel was indispensably involved in the campaign in some way given the fact that he almost became the chairman of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board before turning the position down.
In July of 2018, BuzzFeed reported that Mark Zuckerberg secretly congratulated Donald Trump on winning the 2016 election and that Facebook, which collaborated with Trump and Clinton campaigns on their data operations, celebrated Trump’s win internally as “one of the most imaginative uses of the company’s powerful advertising platform. ” Simply put, Facebook was enthralled at the chance to work with the Trump campaign to further develop the platform as a means of predicting and manipulating its users’ attitudes and behavior. According to BuzzFeed, “the Trump campaign was able to sway voting sentiment via Facebook advertising with a rapid testing approach, according to a late-2017 Facebook marketing team note on TLA, which discusses the example set by the Republican candidate’s advertising strategy to drive donations and voter turnout.” Facebook data was instrumental to the Trump campaign and in particular Cambridge Analytica, which built most of its predictive models on Facebook data — some of which was illicitly pilfered and mishandled, something that Facebook knew for a full two and a half years and didn’t do anything about until the Analytica-Facebook scandal broke. Political strategists from the Leave.EU Brexit campaign also stated that Facebook was eminently useful in targeting and swaying voters to their campaign as well.
Digital campaigning wasn’t the only activity going on at Analytica apparently. It was additionally a hub for dirty tricks and black bag operations and was used by Robert Mercer’s PAC and the Brexit campaign (which Mercer donated Analytica services to through close friend Nigel Farage) to circumvent campaign financing laws. Alexander Nix, CEO of the company, admitted that himself and other executives hired British and Israeli private intelligence firms to set up surveillance operations, honey traps, entrapment schemes, bribery stings and prostitutes for opposition research. Analytica also formed a strategic partnership with a private intelligence firm called PsyGroup — founded Australian-Israeli businessman Joel Zamel — whereby the two companies could cooperate on a case-by-case basis to provide intelligence and social-media services, or pitch business to an array of clients.
Joel Zamel owns several businesses staffed primarily by former Israeli intelligence operatives specializing in social media manipulation, war-gaming, influence operations and private intelligence. According to the New York Times, one of Zamel’s companies had at some point been “working on a proposal for a covert multimillion-dollar online manipulation campaign to help elect Mr. Trump” reportedly using “thousands of fake social media accounts to promote Mr. Trump’s candidacy on platforms like Facebook.” One of Zamel’s companies, Wikistrat, a geostrategic analysis consulting platform, is stacked with hard-right foreign policy power players such as Mike Hayden, Elliott Abrams and Daniel Pipes, the son of Richard Pipes, who headed up the CIA’s anti-detente Team B that produced a highly aggressive assessment of Soviet Union military capabilities
Yet another complication arises in the universe of Trump data operations around Michael Flynn associate, Jon Iadonisi. Iadonisi, a CIA-collaborating Navy special operations veteran and “cybersecurity expert”, runs a company called VizSense specializing in “millennial engagement” and “viral social media” whose services where purchased by the Trump campaign but never reported in FCC filings. In 2017, VizSense promised on its website to “weaponize your brand’s influence” through “military-grade influencer marketing and intelligence services.” The company was spun out of another Jon Iadonisi entity called White Canvas, an intelligence consulting firm that shared offices with Flynn Intel Group in Virginia and whose founders once described as a “privatized DARPA” and has received numerous Pentagon contracts, including $150,000 in 2016 from the Navy for “deep and dark web capability and gap analysis,” according to contracting records. Iadonisi’s partner in White Canvas was paid to assist Flynn in his “investigation” into Fethullah Gulen’s activities in the United States. The extent of this group’s participation in Trump data operations or with the Trump campaign digital coordinator, Cambridge Analytica, is still unknown.
During the 2016 election, there was very clearly a massive online campaign to deploy and disseminate pro-Trump, anti-Clinton messages through both paid trolls (who even generated some original content) and automated bots. American, Russian, Israeli and probably even other organizations were probably involved in this, but the Russian angle has been most explored. According to sources from within FBI counterintelligence probe into Russian bot-engineered traffic, Russian operatives appear to have strategically timed their online bots to blitz social media with links to pro-Trump stories during the contentious race. The result was millions of Twitter and Facebook posts carrying links to stories on Breitbart News and Infowars as well as other conservative sites – and on the Kremlin-backed Russia Today and Sputnik News. One unnamed former intelligence official told McClatchy the Russian cyber-operation “may be one of the most highly impactful information operations in the history of intelligence.” Former US officials have told Reuters that the operation was masterminded by a think tank controlled by the Kremlin through a retired ultra-nationalist SVR general called the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS). Though, according to sources, closer towards the general election, the RISS increasingly believed that Clinton would win the election and pivoted away from promoting Trump and towards advocating messages about voter fraud in order to undermine the legitimacy of the US electoral system and a Clinton presidency.
Today, all presidential campaigns employ online bots, but the Trump effort was obviously in a whole other league in terms of its scale. According to Samuel Woolley, who heads the Computational Propaganda project at Oxford’s Internet Institute, a hugely disproportionate amount of pro-Trump messaging was conducted by bots and Trump bots outnumbered Clinton bots five to one at the time of the election. According to The Guardian, Trump’s campaign was using bots to test “40-50,000 variants of ads every day that were continuously measuring responses and then adapting and evolving based on that response.” Automated tweeting played a small but potentially decisive role in Trump’s win, according to a paper released by the National Bureau of Economic Research. The research (which admits that some confounders are probably at play) suggests that bots touting Trump or attacking rival Hillary Clinton could have accounted for 3.23 percentage points of the vote for president, putting Trump over the top. Bots and social media influence operations typically don’t have a large effect on vote counts, but even a very small added margin in critical districts could have put Trump over the top in some states and affected the electoral college total. The research also suggests that the bots may have handed Brexit a win by influencing just 1.76 percent of the tally.
In addition to possibly swaying the vote, the propagation of pro-Trump messages and content all across the internet (more shares, more likes, more comments, etc.) most definitely would have aided all the data mining and analytics firms working for the Trump campaign by providing them with more data to feed into their predictive voter models, this improving the predictive power of said models.
Perhaps unsurprisingly at this point given how incestuous all of this has been so far, Cambridge Analytica has connections to Wikileaks, which in turn has connections to Russia. CA CEO Alexander Nix reached out to Julian Assange, requesting help in “locating” Hillary Clinton’s state department emails. The request was turned down according to Wikileaks. In February of 2017, a Cambridge Analytica director who funneled donations and cryptocurrency payments to Wikileaks met Julian Assange to “discuss the US election.” Robert Murtfeld, a legal assistant who worked under the lawyer that represented Assange in his extradition case against the Swedish government and did legal work for Wikileaks, went on to become head of sales at Cambridge Analytica’s New York office.
Assange and Wikileaks were quite obviously extremely conducive in the triple-pronged US national security-Russian-Israeli operation to dismantle Hillary Clinton, who Assange has a well-established animus towards. Wikileaks’ release of the Podesta and DNC emails were immeasurably damaging to the Clinton campaign, especially when considering the fact that they were strategically timed in such a way as to damage Clinton — the DNC emails released 3 days before the Democratic convention and the Podesta emails released only hours after the Access Hollywood “pussygate” tape was released. Quite obviously, coordination of some kind was occurring. US intelligence agencies and several cybersecurity firms are “highly confident” that Russian government hackers purloined the DNC emails and shared them with Wikileaks.
Although it is true that it’s often basically impossible to tell conclusively who conducted a hack just by looking at a hacked computer network due to the fact that almost everything is tamperable and because of the ability for intelligence agencies (or really anyone for that matter) to frame other parties by spoofing IP addresses and using or imitating stolen/cataloged malware from other countries, there is a wider, holistic body of evidence, both circumstantial and forensic, that suggests that Russian state-backed hackers (mostly tied to the SVR) did carry out hacks on the DNC, Podesta and US state/local election systems. What can be said for sure is that the hacks utilized highly sophisticated methods requiring nation state-level resources. Americans, Israelis and others were surely involved in some way as well, if not in executing the hacks in nominating Russia to do them. It’s really too much to get into here, so instead see this investigative timeline. For summaries of evidence for the hacks being Kremlin-sponsored, see here and here.
Take of that what you will, but what can be said for sure is that without those timed email dumps, the swarm of automated pro-Trump bots, the barrage of leaks about the Clinton email server investigation out of the anti-Clinton New York FBI office (that was apparently in bed with Trump accomplice Rudy Giuliani) and the bizarre Comey letter, it’s extremely doubtful that Trump could have won the election given how miraculously narrow the margin of victory for Trump was, even if the total effect was relatively marginal.
Apart from this, Assange and Wikileaks are even problematic in other ways. Assange was compromised and very likely “turned” by US law enforcement when he was caught hacking several US government and military organizations in his 20s, an act for which he served virtually no prison time. That by itself is a glaringly huge red flag that so far hasn’t been convincingly accounted for by anyone and perhaps indicates he was for some time or possibly still is an asset of some faction in the US government or intelligence apparatus.German weekly magazine Focus reported that according to a confidential German government dossier, Wikileaks had long since been infiltrated by Russian agents aiming to discredit NATO governments.
The magazine added that French and British intelligence services had come to the same conclusion and said Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev receive details about what Wikileaks publishes before publication. The Focus report followed a New York Times story that suggested that Wikileaks may be a laundering machine for compromising material about Western countries gathered by Russian spies. Adam Waldman, a lobbyist for Putin inner circle member and Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska (one of Paul Manafort’s clients while he was in Ukraine) and former counsel for Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, secretly visited Julian Assange nine times at the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2017. This of course isn’t the only backchannel Wikileaks had — Wikileaks additionally had secret channels of communication with Donald Trump Jr. and Trump political consultant Roger Stone (who had advance knowledge of Wikileaks releases), something that all three parties have frantically attempted to cover up.
Donald’s First Trip to Moscow
It was around the time when Russian mobsters from Brighton Beach/”Little Odessa” (many of whom were connected to Semion Mogilevich and the Solntsevskaya mafia) began scarfing up units in Trump Tower that Soviet intelligence potentially began cultivating Trump as either a knowing agent of influence or merely a dupe. Beginning in the mid ’80s, the KGB began an aggressive campaign to ramp up the recruitment of Americans as intelligence assets (including businessmen and politicians) through bribery, blackmail, graft and other means. As discussed previously, this is often outsourced by the Russian intelligence services to the international Russian mafia, but in the most sensitive cases, it is handled by the KGB itself. One of the instances in which the KGB directly participated in a potential bid to recruit an American asset was the Trump-Soviet effort beginning in 1987 to develop a Trump luxury hotel in the Red Square across the street from the Kremlin.
The very fact that an American national (Donald Trump) was even in the running to develop any kind of property in Moscow’s entirely government-controlled core sector is suspicious enough on its own, but its gets even worse. The Kremlin, KGB and Soviet diplomatic service made a concerted effort to make Trump Moscow happen by first having then-Soviet ambassador Yuri Dubinin strike up a conversation with Trump about building a hotel in Moscow in cooperation with the Soviet government and then later arranging Trump’s first visit to Moscow in 1987, where the development of the property was first discussed. So far, the project hasn’t gone anywhere, but not for a lack of trying — Trump, Russian oligarchs and the Kremlin have attempted to finalize a Trump Moscow deal on five separate occasions since 1987. However, despite the fact that Trump Tower hasn’t gotten off the ground so far, Trump has expanded other aspects of his licensing business and various television programs to Russia, making the Trump brand one of the most well-known American brands in Russia.
The KGB’s targeting of Trump was almost surely not random. It has long been known particularly among Russian intelligence services that vane, suggestible, corruptible and egoistic people susceptible to flattery, graft, bribery and blackmail often make good assets and are much easier to recruit. Additionally, they preferred to recruit already well-connected, up-and-coming figures such as businessmen, high-end lawyers, international consultants and politicians. Trump, a celebrity businessman, was widely known as having been sexually promiscuous and his real estate business was scrambling to survive due to its enormous debts and was having significant problems acquiring lines of credit. Partnership with the Soviets and the Russian mafia were a way for Trump to buttress his faltering businesses. The KGB probably had much time to familiarize itself with Trump, his habits and the (hard-right Roy Cohn-associated) circles he ran in through the Soviet-allied Czechoslovakian intelligence service, which had been monitoring and collecting intelligence on Trump since 1977 when he married Czech model, Ivana Zelnickova, who somehow managed to leave Czechoslovakia at a time when it was basically impossible to do so without a nod from the government.
Only two months after Trump’s first visit to Moscow in July of 1987, he began publicly mulling a run for president and took out full-page ads in the Boston Globe, Washington Post, and New York Times calling for the United States to stop spending money to defend Japan, Europe, and the Persian Gulf. Whether Trump already had political ambitions or an anti-transatlantic and anti-NATO bent before his involvement with the Soviets beginning in 1986 or not is unclear, since Trump’s pre-1987 politics (if he even had any at all) are rather obscure and not well-documented. Given Fred Trump’s history of backing anti-Atlanticist isolationalists like Barry Goldwater and the company Donald kept with characters openly hostile towards the UN-NATO international order such as Roy Cohn, it’s certainly possible that Trump’s political ties were a rationale for his being targeted by the Soviets, who were inclined to focusing in on potential assets who already held political inclinations and ties possibly beneficial to the USSR.
The Russian Mafia, Oligarchs and Money Laundering
Trump’s ties to Russia date all the way back to the 1980s when the US real estate market (Manhattan’s in particular) benefited greatly from the vastly increased capital inflows into the US from the former Soviet Union when its economy was on the verge of collapse and Russian-Eurasian-Jewish organized crime was internationalized. Untold millions from the former USSR flowed into Trump residential properties and casinos, particularly after a wave of bankruptcies forced Trump to seek out questionable sources of funding because no American bank would lend to him. This influx of suspicious money from Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and other assorted former Soviet countries into the United States being parked in Trump owned and/or licensed properties may well have saved
Trump’s faltering real estate business, which was mired in debt and litigation by the beginning of the 90s, making it very possible that Trump has owed some kind of debt to and/or has somehow been compromised by Russian crime organizations (and therefore probably elements of the Russian state tied in with Russian mobsters) since the early ’80s. There are many instances of major legitimate Russian banks (all of which have ties to the Kremlin) bankrolling Trump owned or branded properties as well. And this pattern of dubious investments being made in Trump and Trump circle projects continues to this day. Donald Trump Jr. boasted at a real estate conference in 2008, “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross section of a lot of our assets… We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.” Eric Trump told golf reporter James Dodson, “we have all the funding we need out of Russia [for Trump golf courses]”.
Purchasing high end real estate is a relatively common but still startlingly effective method of laundering (or “washing”) dirty money and parking illicitly obtained assets, and this is exactly what Russian mobsters began doing in Manhattan, Miami Beach and a select few other real estate markets in the ’80s and ’90s. A series of Financial Times investigations have concluded that Trump and his properties not only received massive infusions of cash that potentially saved Trump personally from complete and irreversible insolvency after a string of utterly failed business ventures, but were also at the center of a massive money laundering operation whose purpose was to spirit the ill-gotten gains of Russian-Jewish oligarchs out of Russia and into the United States.
Chief among the prolific money laundering entities that began cropping up in the United States was Semion Mogilevich’s crime syndicate, known as the Solntsevskaya Bratva. Mogilevich — an oligarch in his own right — is described by American and European law enforcement agencies as the “boss of bosses” of the Russian mafia and, like most other Russian mobsters and oligarchs, has very close ties to Vladimir Putin and the Ukrainian government, has worked hand-in-hand with Russian intelligence services for decades and has been extensively involved with many other mysterious transnational figures connected to various episodes of conspiratorial intrigue, such as Mossad spy Robert Maxwell. His expertise is in designing sophisticated financial frauds and money laundering schemes that are “virtually undetectable”. A 1998 FBI report reportedly said Mogilevich’s organization was involved in trafficking nuclear materials, weapons, and money laundering. In the early ’90s, Mogilevich and his top associates settled in Israel, where they received Israeli citizenship. Mogilevich “succeeded in building a bridgehead in Israel” and “developing significant and influential [political] ties,” according to an Israeli intelligence report. In Europe and Russia, the “corruption of police and public officials has been part of the Semion Mogilevich Organization’s modus operandi,” says a classified FBI document.
Mogilevich’s crime syndicate is in several instances directly tied to Trump and Trump properties, in particular the flagship Trump Tower, which has apparently served as a base of operations for Mogilevich-sponsored criminal enterprises. In 1984, David Bogatin, one of Mogilevich’s senior deputies in the New York area, bought five condos in Trump Tower for six million dollars to help launder profits from a gasoline bootlegging ring operated by the Russian mob. Trump personally attended the closing. In 2014, alleged Russian mobsters Anatoly Golubchik and Vadim Trincher were arrested for operating a massive illegal gambling and international money laundering ring catering to oligarchs and criminal from the former Soviet sphere out of Trump Tower, which reportedly took up the entire 51st floor of the building.
Golubchik and Trincher’s ring ultimately answered to a Mogilevich associate at one point on the FBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted list and dual Russian-Israeli citizen, Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov, who lived in Trump Tower and attended Trump’s 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow as a special VIP guest. In addition, unit 63A — a condo directly below one owned by Trump — served as the headquarters for a Tokhtakhounov-managed “sophisticated money-laundering scheme” that moved an estimated $100 million out of the former Soviet Union, through shell companies in Cyprus, and into investments in the United States. Vyachelsov Ivankov, the Mogilevich operative in charge of laundering illicit mob proceeds through Trump’s Taj Mahal casino in the ’90s also lived in the Trump Tower while on the run from the FBI and reportedly had in his personal phone book the private telephone and fax numbers for the Trump Organization’s office in that building.
One third of the priciest floors of the 72-story Trump World Tower in Manhattan were purchased by individual buyers from former Soviet countries or shell companies connected to Russia after its construction was completed in 2001. The building was in fact so popular with wealthy Russians that Bloomberg has nicknamed it the “tower full of oligarchs.” The Trump brand became so well-known among Russians that the Trump Organization even used it to market condos to Russian buyers in the United States. One case of such marketing was Trump Sunny Isles, where Trump struck a deal with a developer building high-rises in Sunny Isles near Miami Beach whereby Trump would license his name to be placed on the towers in return for a cut of the profit. About a third of the Trump-branded units sold in Sunny Isles went to wealthy Russian speakers. So many were sold to Russians that the area became known as “Little Moscow”. Another third of the units were sold to shell companies. An investigation by the Miami Herald found that at least 13 buyers in the Florida complex have been the target of government investigations, either personally or through their companies, including “members of a Russian-American organized crime group.”
One of the financial institutions Trump turned to for financing after becoming toxic to American banks was German Deutsche Bank, which is widely known to be a major money laundering facilitator and the go-to financial institution for foreign businessmen looking to circumvent US and European sanctions. In January 2017, the bank was fined a whopping $425 million by the the New York state government and £163 million by the UK Financial Conduct Authority regarding accusations of laundering $10 billion of oligarch money out of Russia mostly through relatively simple mirror trading schemes. The investigations that precipitated the fines largely focused on Deutsche’s cozy relationship and numerous lucrative business deals (not typically afforded to Western banks) with Russian state-owned bank, VTB, which is known to be a front for Russian intelligence/FSB and whose executive team is composed largely of former FSB officers.
Deutsche is by far the largest creditor to Trump (in addition to being one of Jared Kushner’s largest creditors), having dispensed over $1 billion in loans to him and currently owns more than $360 million of Trump’s debt in the form of outstanding loans. Trump’s relationship with Deutsche began in 1998 after he had been almost completely blacklisted by every American Wall Street lending institution as a result of Trump’s tendency to stiff lenders. Even after Trump failed to repay loans from Deutsche, they continued doing business with Trump, allowing him to repay loans from Deutsche’s real estate division with separate incoming loans from the bank’s private wealth division, an almost completely unprecedented arrangement. It was around the time that Deutsche was laundering Eurasian oligarch money that Trump began acquiring massive new lines of credit from the bank. At the heart of the FBI inquiry into Deutsche Bank’s relationship with Trump is whether VTB or Russian state development bank, VEB (also headed by spies), purchased parts of Trump’s debt from Deutsche Bank. In December 2016, Russian ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak, arranged a meeting between Jared Kushner and the head of VEB, Sergey Gorkov, another former FSB officer.
In 2015, Kushner’s real estate development company purchased several floors of the old New York Times building in Manhattan from the US branch of one of Russian-Jewish oligarch and Putin confidante Lev Leviev’s company, Africa Israel Investments. Later, Deutsche Bank refinanced the deal for $74 million more than Kushner paid initially, essentially extending with almost no strings attached a massive line of low interest credit. In 2008, Leviev invited Trump to his Madison Avenue jewelry store hoping to work with him on real estate deals in Moscow. Yuri Milner, a Russian-Jewish oligarch and Putin surrogate who founded Russian online service Mail.ru and is now a tech investor living in Silicon Valley, staked a large investment (nearly $1 million) in a real estate investment start-up co-founded by Jared Kushner called Cadre. Earlier, Milner acted as a deniable conduit through which Russian intelligence/FSB front, VTB Bank, invested hundreds of millions of dollars in both Facebook and Twitter. Mark Zuckerberg is a close friend of Milner’s.
Perhaps unsurprisingly at this point, both Jared and Ivanka Kushner are close to Russian-Israeli oligarch Roman Abramovich and his wife, Dacha Zhukova, who was introduced to Ivanka through Rupert Murchoch’s then-wife and Kushner family friend, Wendi Deng. Deng, now divorced from Murdoch, was dating Vladimir Putin as of around March 2016. Ivanka and Zhukova have been friends for over a decade and Jared Kushner has interacted with Abramovich at least four times (that we know of) ostensibly in a “social setting”. According to former Russian oil magnate Mikhail Khodorkovsky, “there’s no oligarch among those still accepted in the West who’s closer and more trusted by Putin than Abramovich.”
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is reportedly close to Trump, rushed to retire from the Supreme Court so that Trump could name someone to the bench before the 2018 midterms. Anthony Kennedy’s son, Justin Kennedy, was Deutsche’s former global head of real estate capital markets during the period in which Trump began working with the bank and developed a close with Trump during that time. After leaving Deutsche, Justin Kennedy became CEO of LNR Partners (owned in part by Steve Roth/Vornado Realty, a major Trump donor), which was the special servicer of the debt on Jared Kushner’s woefully over-leveraged 666 Fifth Avenue New York property during Kennedy’s tenure as LNR’s CEO.
Sergei Millian, head of the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce and an alleged source for the Steele dossier, was identified by the Financial Times as a participant in potential money laundering schemes involving Trump properties. FT quotes former Russian MP Konstantin Borovoi in identifying the chamber as a front for intelligence operations during Soviet times. On its website, the chamber claimed it had “signed formal agreements” with the Trump Organization and two other companies to “jointly service the Russian clients’ commercial, residential and industrial real-estate needs”. Millian boasted of his extensive business dealings and friendship with Trump, ties to American business interests and the potential for Trump’s presidency to enhance Russian-American relations and project Russian soft power in an interview with a Russian news network in 2016.
In the same interview, he claimed he was the Trump Organization’s “exclusive broker” with Russian buyers and later told ABC Television that the Trump Organization had received “hundreds of millions of dollars” through deals with Russian businessmen. In 2011, Millian invited 50 American businessmen on a trip to Moscow in what the FBI suspected was a Russian intelligence operation to recruit the men. Mikhail Morgulis, a board member of the Russian-American Chamber, told the Financial Times that Millian had explained to him he was helping Trump and the Republican Party. “We have soft power and we are trying to change relations now,” Morgulis said. Millian is connected to other Russiagate luminaries such as Oleg Deripasksa, Jared Kushner, George Papadopoulos and Michael Cohen, who allegedly told Millian to stop talking to the press after it got wind of Trump’s Russian connections.
Donald Trump co-financed the Trump Tower and Hotel in Toronto with Alex Schnaider, a Russian-Canadian billionaire who owes much of his success to his ex-father in law, Boris Birshstein, who was a long-time business associate of Sergei Mikhalyov, co-head of the Solntsevskaya mafia with Semion Mogilevich. According to the Financial Times, documents show that Shnaider paid a $100 million “commission” to middlemen representing Kremlin interests who helped facilitate the sale of Shnaider’s stake in a Ukrainian steel mill. The sale of the stake for $850 million was financed by Russian bank VEB, which was chaired by Vladimir Putin at the time. A large portion of the proceeds from the sale were later earmarked for the Trump Tower Toronto project.
Another Financial Times investigation turned up a likely money laundering operation around a supremely shady New York-based real estate development group called Bayrock Group. Bayrock was founded by Kazakh emigre Tevfik Arif and financially backed by the Eurasia Group, another dubious entity spearheaded by Kazakh-Israeli billionaire, World Jewish Congress regional director and Chabadnik, Alexander Mashkevich. Mashkevich and two other Kazakh oligarchs behind the Eurasia Group and other Kazakhstan-based businesses are collectively known as “the Trio” and have been on numerous occasions involved in international resource grabbing, money laundering, bribery, and racketeering. Trump and Bayrock also jointly developed properties in Florida, Arizona, Colorado, Turkey, Poland, Russia and Ukraine. However, the Trump-Bayrock development that attracted attention from investigators was Trump SoHo, a luxury hotel-condo complex in Lower Manhattan and among the most famous Trump-branded properties.
It was certainly no ordinary real estate development deal – Bayrock and the Sapir Organization (a partner of Bayrock’s) put up all the money for the building, while the Trump Organization was contractually entitled to 18% of the profits without putting up any investment at all. Similar brand licensing agreements definitely occur, but 18% is a peculiarly high profit share figure. The Financial Times concluded, after a lawsuit against Bayrock was levied by several real estate executives and former Bayrock employees, that Trump SoHo was part of an international money laundering network that involved the Eurasia Group (Mashkevich) and a former Kazakh energy minister. The lawsuit stated that Bayrock was “backed by oligarchs and money they stole from the Russian people” and “substantially and covertly mob-owned and operated.” Another major investor in Trump SoHo was FL Group, an obscure Icelandic private equity firm with an impenetrable, labyrinthine ownership structure that is rumored to have a number of Russian owners and has a history of making peculiar loans to Russian oligarchs and their businesses. Unsurprisingly, further investigation into the players behind Bayrock and SoHo yields more connections to Simeon Mogilevich, the Russian-Jewish mafia, the KGB, Chabad-Lubavitch and one of the most powerful oligarchs in Russia.
Arif, Bayrock’s founder, got his start working for the Soviet Ministry of Commerce and Trade for 17 years and later worked as the billionaire Reuben brothers’ “agent on the ground”. In 2001, Arif founded Bayrock and began working with Trump (often offering him 20-25% of the profits from his overseas developments) as well as introducing him to investors from Russia. In 2010, Arif was arrested aboard his yacht in the Mediterranean along with Alex Mashkevich and a cadre of other prominent Russian, Kyrgyz and Kazakh businessmen and government officials. Arif was charged with running a prostitution and human trafficking ring that involved underage girls. Blackmail was also almost certainly involved. Tamir Sapir, the founder of the Sapir Organization that partnered with Bayrock in the development of Trump SoHo, was a Georgian-born Jewish billionaire and Chabad donor. Sapir reportedly maintained close ties with Lev Leviev, another Eurasian crime syndicate associate and top Chabad backer. In the ’80s, Sapir moved to the United States, where he started a high-end electronics (read: covert surveillance equipment) distribution business whose clientele mainly consisted of KGB agents and Russian criminal syndicate members. According to the FBI, Sapir’s partner in the firm was an associate of Vyachelsov Ivankov’s Brighton Beach mafia. As mentioned previously, Ivankov was Simeon Mogilevich’s foremost henchman and enforcer in New York.
However, the most fascinating character in the SoHo chapter is Felix Sater, who was brought on by Arif as Bayrock’s managing director and chief operating officer. Sater was born into a Russian-Jewish-Chabadnik family in Moscow and moved to Brighton Beach, Brooklyn in 1974, where he was reportedly childhood friends with Trump lawyer and fellow Chabadnik, Michael Cohen. The Sater-Cohen friendship likely developed through Cohen’s uncle’s ownership of a Brooklyn club, event space and catering hall that rented space primarily to members of the Brighton Beach Russian-Jewish mob. Sater’s father, Mikhail Sheferovsky, was an underboss in Simeon Mogilevich’s mafia clan. After Sater’s career in the stock brokering industry was derailed by an assault conviction (he stabbed someone in the face with a broken margarita glass during a bar fight, in true mobster fashion), he turned increasingly to real estate, consulting (at one point working for Neil Bush’s TxOil) and working with the Russian mafia, where among other things, he helped it orchestrate a $40 million pump-and-dump penny stock fraud.
While engaged in nefarious mob activities, Sater also became involved in real estate, serving as an advisor to real estate groups hoping to do business with Russian mob associates. One such group was the Trump Organization, where Sater held the title of “Senior Advisor to Donald Trump” and conducted Bayrock business out of Trump Tower. By Sater’s account, in sworn testimony, he was very tight with Trump. He flew to Colorado with him, accompanied Donald Jr. and Ivanka on a trip to Moscow at Trump’s invitation, and met with Trump’s inner circle “constantly.” In Trump Tower, he often dropped by Trump’s office to pitch business ideas—“just me and him.”
In November 2015 (about a year before the election), during a round of negotiations regarding the development of a Trump tower in Moscow, Sater sent an email to Michael Cohen stating that he and others in his circle could “engineer” a Trump presidency and that he could “get Putin’s team to buy in on this.” “I will get Putin on this program and we will get Donald elected,” he wrote in another email to an unidentified Russian contact. “If he says it we own this election.” It was around this time that Sater, Mike Flynn and Cohen were also working on a Russia-Ukraine “peace plan” and a scheme to get US sanctions levied on Russia over its invasion of Crimea lifted. Sater and Cohen were also critically involved in the 2015 Trump Tower project. In November 2015, a few months after Trump announced he was running for president, Sater wrote an email to Cohen saying Russian intelligence/FSB front, VTB Bank, had agreed to bankroll a Trump Tower Moscow project.
Given the above facts, anyone in their right mind might suspect Sater is, in effect, a Russian spy. He may very well have been at one point, but that is not confirmed. What is confirmed is that — shockingly — Sater has been a fairly effective spy for American intelligence since at least 1996 when he was recruited as an asset by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) while working as a consultant in Moscow. At the time, Sater was consulting on a number of business deals involving Russian military officials whose activities were of interest to the DIA. Later, Sater began informing for the CIA, helping it pursue Stinger anti-aircraft missiles lost in Afghanistan, track down North Korean military intelligence operatives working on its nuclear program and collect intelligence on al-Qaeda — Sater was reportedly even able to get a hold of some of Osama bin Laden’s personal satellite phone numbers at one point. After returning to the United States, Sater became an informant for the FBI on matters relating to the Russian mafia and national security and remains an FBI source to this day according to two current FBI agents. In 2014, Sater attended an event at a federal building in New York where he was praised by dozens of intelligence officers from several separate agencies as a “national hero.” One officer said Sater “probably saved tens of thousands of US lives, maybe even millions… through the brave work that he’s done.”
So what in the blue hell is a decades-long CIA-DIA-FBI asset and informant with apparent ties to the Bush family doing running around brokering deals for Russian intelligence fronts to fund a presidential hopeful’s property in Moscow? Is there some kind of bizarre reciprocity between the Russian-Jewish Chabad network (which is beginning to look more and more like a Russian and/or Israeli intelligence front) and factions in US intelligence we’re not aware of? Keep in mind that in his FBI work on the Russian mafia, Sater reported to the New York FBI office — which apparently considers him a hero — the majority of the time. As discussed previously, this is the same FBI office that was ravenously anti-Clinton during the 2015-2016 election season and the source of several leaks about the Clinton email investigation. It’s certainly worth asking whether Sater ever discussed his effort to parlay Trump into the presidency with the FBI and if the FBI and other intelligence agencies Sater has worked with ever had any kind of understanding of such operation.
It’s also curious that the New York FBI office has never even so much as investigated Trump (until it became associated with the Mueller investigation) despite the fact it’s been an open secret among law enforcement and New York real estate/business circles that he’s been in bed with the oligarchic Russian-Jewish criminal syndicate for decades. As it happens, most, if not all, Trump properties (including at least one of his golf courses, which are funded by Russians) are laced with highly intrusive covert surveillance equipment — phone taps, embedded microphones, hidden cameras, etc. — far beyond what anyone would expect to find in a normal property.
Certainly, this begs the question as to whether there were others besides Trump and his security staff listening in to conversations that took place in his properties. Perhaps the Eurasian-Jewish mob or Russian intelligence services. It wouldn’t be too far a stretch to suggest the FBI as a party to this behavior given Trump’s history of cooperation with the FBI regarding potential mob activity around his Atlantic City casinos (which undoubtedly involved permitted FBI surveillance) and the unusual number of FBI arrests made out of Trump Tower. Just a sampling of such busts include an FBI surveillance operation that busted a gambling and money laundering ring headed up by the Russian mafia that operated out of a suite in Trump Tower (among many other mob-related busts) and a separate covert operation that led to the arrest of a Brazilian FIFA official who had accepted bribes. Perhaps it’s not merely a coincidence then that Trump’s many sloppy and cavalier business and financial dealings and questionable personal ties have never been scrutinized and pressured by the FBI – him and the people around him play both sides.
Miscellaneous Financial Ties To Oligarchs:
- Len Blavatnik, an oligarch of Ukrainian Jewish descent who is very close to Benjamin Netanyahu and the Alfa Group, has been a major political donor in the United States for years, giving roughly equally to both Republicans and Democrats and widely distributing said donations to 30 or 40 different candidates. In the 2015-2016 election season, his pattern was disrupted when he began donating heavily to Donald Trump and the RNC. Although he didn’t donate directly to Trump’s campaign, after Trump won, Blavatnik’s Access Industries gave $7 million to the Presidential Inaugural Committee. Blavatnik gave $12,700 in April 2017 to a Republican National Committee fund that was used to help pay for the team of private attorneys representing Trump in the probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election. He’d given the RNC legal fund $100,000 in 2016. Two top Trump administration officials, one in the Department of Justice and the other in the Department of Interior, were former lobbyists for Blavatnik’s company, Access Industries.
- Columbus Nova, a small American holding company that manages assets on behalf of Renova Group, a conglomerate controlled by Russian-Jewish oligarch Viktor Vekselberg through American businessman Andrew Intrater, allegedly funneled $500 thousand to Michael Cohen, who was hired by Columbus Nova as a “consultant” after Trump’s inauguration. Eleven days before Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration, Cohen met with Vekselberg and Andrew Intrater, an American business partner of Vekselberg’s, in Cohen’s office on the 26th floor of Trump Tower. Days after the inauguration, Columbus Nova awarded Cohen a different $1 million consulting contract. Vekselberg, who made his fortune in metals, has close ties to the Kremlin, Len Blavatnik, Oleg Deripaska and the Alfa Group. For a time, Vekselberg was president of the Skolkovo Foundation, which sought to build a “technology hub” in Russia with several American technology companies and is alleged by the FBI to be a front for the Russian government to help facilitate industrial espionage and technology transfers to Russia.
- Michael Cohen solicited a $150,000 donation to the Trump Foundation from pro-NATO, pro-EU Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Pinchuk. This wouldn’t really be too interesting if it weren’t for the fact that in 2017 Pinchuk also paid John Bolton $115,000 to speak at conferences he sponsors in Europe (he also received over half a million dollars from Murdoch’s Fox News as a contributor).
- In 2008 (incidentally when Trump suffered a massive financial setback from the financial crash), Russian fertilizer oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev, bought a mansion from Trump for a hugely inflated price of $95 million. Trump had purchased the mansion for only $40 million four years prior. It was the largest single family home sale in US history.
In March of 2016, Trump hired Paul Manafort as his campaign manager on the advise of Middle East advisor, Tom Barrack. Manafort has been presence in Republican politics since the late ’70s, having worked on presidential campaigns for Reagan, Bush I and Bob Dole. In 1980, Manafort founded political consulting firm Black, Manafort & Stone with the flagrantly dirty political operative, Roy Cohn protege and long-time Trump ally, Roger Stone, who also worked extensively on the Trump campaign and remains a mouthpiece for Trump in the media. Black, Manafort & Stone became known as the “torturers’ lobby” after taking on extensive consulting and lobbying work for an impressive assortment of unsavory characters including Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire and several other unsavory third world characters. Beginning in the 2000s, Manafort — who mind you managed and advised the American president’s presidential campaign — was neck deep in a comprehensive and well-financed secret campaign backed by Putin allies to pull Ukraine back into the orbit of Moscow in which he worked hand-in-hand with at least one full-fledged Russian intelligence operative, Konstantin Kilimnik.
On and off from 2004 to 2015, Manafort, who by 2004 already had a breadth of foreign electioneering experience, performed rather intricate lobbying on behalf of pro-Putin and completely Putin-backed Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych and the pro-Russian Party of Regions, which were instrumental in pulling Ukraine back into a mode of Russian integration and away from Europe. His efforts to rehabilitate Yanukovych’s image and parlay him back into power were reportedly incredibly effective. In fact, Manafort was even placed in charge of a clandestine “black ops” media campaign intended to champion Yanukovych and discredit his pro-Western adversaries (particularly Yulia Tymoshenko) in the press. According to The Guardian, the strategies included:
- Proposing to rewrite Wikipedia entries to smear a key opponent of the then Ukrainian president.
- Setting up a fake think tank in Vienna to disseminate viewpoints supporting Yanukovych.
- A social media blitz “aimed at targeted audiences in Europe and the US”.
- Briefing journalists from the right-wing website Breitbart to attack Clinton when she was US secretary of state.
- “Placing” articles containing anonymous anti-Clinton briefings in the Wall Street Journal (Rupert Murdoch) and other US websites
This PR operation tied into another suspicious enterprise undertaken by Manafort and Gates whereby they secretly retained and bankrolled a group of former senior European politicians informally referred to as the “Hapsburg Group” to use their influence to lobby in Europe and the United States on behalf of Manafort and his Ukrainian clients, who in turn were more or less Kremlin surrogates. In a June 2012 memo labeled “Eyes Only”, Manafort outlined what he described as a “Super VIP” part of the effort led by former Austrian chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer to “assemble a small group of high-level European highly influential champions and politically credible friends who can act informally and without any visible relationship with the Government of Ukraine”. Former US ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor even requested that Manafort cease his activities in Eastern Europe as they were undermining US interests in the area, but Manafort cavalierly blew him off, apparently without consequence.
After Manafort’s entry into Eastern European politics, he developed a rapport with Oleg Deripaska, a Russian aluminum oligarch. Deripaska, an ally of Roman Abramovich, has been described as “Putin’s favorite industrialist.” Leaked US diplomatic cables from 2006 described Deripaska as “among the 2-3 oligarchs Putin turns to on a regular basis” and “a more-or-less permanent fixture on Putin’s trips abroad”. Starting in 2005, Manafort negotiated a $10 million annual contract with Deripaska to influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the US, Europe and former Soviet republics in favor of Putin’s government. Manafort told Deripaska he was pushing policies as part of his work in Ukraine “at the highest levels of the U.S. government — the White House, Capitol Hill and the State Department.” “We are now of the belief that this model can greatly benefit the Putin Government if employed at the correct levels with the appropriate commitment to success,” Manafort wrote in a 2005 memo to Deripaska. The effort, Manafort wrote, “will be offering a great service that can re-focus, both internally and externally, the policies of the Putin government.” During his time as a campaign manager and advisor with the Trump campaign, Manafort offered to provide briefings on political developments to Deripaska through Kiev-based Russian military intelligence operative Konstantin Kilimnik, who was an employee of Manafort’s consulting firm and his right-hand man during Manafort’s time as a political consultant for Yanukoych.
Dmytro Firtash, a pro-Russian Ukrainian billionaire with widely reported ties to Semion Mogilevich who featured prominently in the Yanukovych administration, was another important Manafort client. According to the former chairman of the former Ukrainian government’s anti-corruption committee, “Firtash has always been an intermediary… He is a political person representing Russia’s interests in Ukraine.” Firtash, a former used car salesman, was elevated to the position of half ownership in RosUkrEnergo (which control’s Gazprom’s gas sales to Europe) by Putin. Eurasian-Jewish mafia kingpin and deniable Russian intelligence asset Semion Mogilevich is also a “silent partner” in RosUkrEnergo and its co-owner Firtash. Bankers close to Putin granted Firtash credit lines of up to $11 billion, which helped Firtash to back Yanukovich who won power and went on to rule Ukraine for four years. The relationship had great geopolitical value for Putin — Yanukovich ended up steering the Ukraine away from the West and towards Moscow until he was overthrown in February 2014.
In 2008, when Donald Trump was reeling from the fallout of the 2007-2008 crash, Manafort teamed up with a former manager of the Trump Organization to purchase the Drake Hotel in New York for up to $850 million, with Firtash agreeing to invest $112 million. According to a lawsuit brought against Manafort and Firtash, the key point of the deal was not to make a carefully-planned investment in real estate, but to simply launder part of the huge profits that Firtash had skimmed while brokering dodgy natural gas deals between Russia and Ukraine, with Mogilevich acting as a “silent partner.” The deal ultimately fell through when Firtash pulled out after the collapse of a bank one of his company’s had a significant investment in, but ultimately further reinforces Trump’s business ties with Kremlin-tied kleptocratic oligarchs from the post-Soviet sphere.
Meetings & Backchannels
Mike Flynn, Rob Goldstone, George Papadopoulos and Carter Page appear to have been part of a parallel Russian intelligence cultivation operation alongside Trump. At least one of them was almost surely an Israeli agent at one point as well. The Trump camp has repeatedly lied about and attempted to cover up the below events,
While Carter Page, who took frequent trips to Moscow, was running an oil & gas consulting business specializing in the Russian and Central Asian energy business, SVR agents operating a spy ring in New York attempted to recruit him as an asset, though it’s unclear how successful the operation was, as the SVR agents considered Page an “idiot”. Page became a foreign policy advisor to the Trump campaign in March of 2016, where he essentially touted a cartoonishly pro-Kremlin, pro-Eurasian integration foreign policy approach that may as well have come directly from Vladimir Putin. In July of 2016, while working on the Trump campaign, Page was invited to Moscow give a speech at a university, but that clearly wasn’t the real purpose. During this trip, Page secretly visited Putin’s “de facto deputy” Igor Sechin, Russian deputy prime minister Arkady Dvorkovich and Kremlin official Igor Diveykin, reportedly having discussed the lifting of sanctions on Russia. FBI documents released by the Trump administration said “the FBI believes that the Russian government’s efforts are being coordinated with Page and perhaps other individuals associated with” Trump’s campaign. They also said Page “has established relationships with Russian government officials, including Russian intelligence officers”.
In June 2016, former British tabloid writer and publicist Rob Goldstone emailed Donald Trump Jr. on behalf of his client, Emin Agalarov:
Emin just called and asked me to contact you with something very interesting.
The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras [Agalarov] this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.
This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump – helped along by Aras and Emin.
Trump Jr. responded, “…perhaps I just speak to Emin first. Seems we have some time and if it’s what you say I love it … Could we do a call first thing next week when I am back?” This email exchange culminated in a meeting at Trump Tower attended by Goldstone, Trump Jr., Manafort, Jared Kushner, Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, Agalarov associate Ike Kaveladze and former Soviet counterintelligence officer Rinat Akhmetshin who has ongoing ties to Russian intelligence and has worked closely with allies of Putin for years. At the time, Veselnitskaya, known as a “trusted insider” among Russian government officials, was an informant for Russia’s prosecutor general Yuri Chaika, who she coordinated with in an intense, years-long campaign to repeal the Magnitsky Act US sanctions law, which along with other US sanctions freezes up oligarch assets, making them unreachable. At the meeting, Veselnitskaya offered to provide the Trump team evidence that Bill Browder — an American financier with extensive business ties to Russia who lobbied for the passing of the Magnitsky Act — and the billionaire Ziff brothers had evaded taxes in Russia and funneled money in a potentially illicit manner to the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton. Browder and the Ziffs did indeed donate quite generously to the Clinton Foundation and Democratic National Convention. According to Michael Cohen, Donald Trump personally approved the meeting.
Azerbaijani-Russian real estate oligarch and Kremlin fixer Aras Agalarov (Emin Agalarov’s father) was critical in bringing Donald Trump’s Miss Universe pageant to Moscow in 2013. The Agalarovs began courting Trump in 2013 and ended up paying Trump $20 million to have them host the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in a suburb of Moscow. While in Moscow attending the pageant, Trump met with Aras Agalarov and the head of Russia’s Sberbank among other prominent Russian moguls about building a Trump Tower in Moscow as part of a $3 billion real estate project involving hotels, a shopping center and office space. The Sberbank executive offered to provide 70 percent of the financing and Agalarov and Trump came to an agreement on the deal, which Trump had to pull out of when he decided to run for office. “Almost all of the oligarchs were in the room,” Trump bragged to Real Estate Weekly upon returning home. During this time, Agalarov, who remained in contact with Trump at least until 2017, served as liaison between Putin and Trump and had attempted to set up a meeting between the two. The meeting never materialized, with Putin sending Trump a Russian fedoskino miniature doll as a consolation prize instead.
An obscure “oil, energy & international relations” consultant, George Papadopoulos was recruited onto the Trump campaign by Sam Clovis, a high-ranking campaign official, who allegedly told Papadopoulos that improving US-Russia relations was a top priority for the campaign. In March of 2016, Papadopoulos met Joseph Mifsud, a slippery Maltese academic who claimed to have connections with high-ranking Russian officials and was a regular attendee of meetings held by the Valdai Discussion Club, a Moscow-based pro-Putin think tank populated by Kremlin officials (including Vladimir Putin) that has been described as an instrument of Kremlin soft power and as a “high-profile Russian equivalent to Davos.” At a London hotel, Mifsud told Papadopoulos that he had just learned from high-level Russian officials in Moscow that the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails”. After meeting Mifsud, Papadopoulos engaged in a frenzied effort to arrange a meeting between Trump and Russian officials including Putin and members of the Russian Foreign Ministry and discussed with several senior campaign officials about his connections to Russia.
After Papadopoulos began touting his ties to “the Russians” throughout the campaign, Clovis (the advisor that initially recruited Papadopoulos) and Paul Manafort encouraged Papadopoulos to fly to Russia to meet with agents of the Russian Foreign Ministry, who were in contact with Papadopoulos. On May 21st 2016, Papadopoulos sends an email to Manafort. The subject line reads, “Request from Russia to meet Mr. Trump,” and the body of the email reads, “Russia has been eager to meet Mr. Trump for quite sometime and have been reaching out to me to discuss.” To another colleague, Manafort writes, “We need someone to communicate that DT [Donald Trump] is not doing these trips. It should be someone low level in the campaign so as not to send any signal.”
Papadopoulos later told an Australian diplomat in England, Alexander Downer, about the Russians’ supposed dirt on Hillary Clinton. In a bizarre twist, the New York Times reported that the meeting between Papadopoulos and Downer was actually arranged by someone from within the Israeli embassy in London. Papadopoulos’ wife, Simona Mangiante, claims that Papadopolous took Mueller’s office’s plea deal and pled guilty because Mueller had threatened to charge Papadopoulos with being an Israeli agent. The Washington Post reported afterwards that the special counsel’s office had evidence that Papadopoulos, who has written several op-eds in the Israeli media, had worked on behalf of Israel without registering as a foreign agent under the US Foreign Agents Registration Act during a stint working as an energy consultant, before he joined the Trump campaign.
In 2013, during Mike Flynn’s tenure as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (US military intelligence), he was invited into the headquarters of Russian military intelligence (GRU), making him only the second DIA director to be allowed into his Russian counterpart’s headquarters. “Flynn thought he developed some rapport with the GRU chief,” a former senior U.S. military official said. Former colleagues of Flynn at the DIA said that while he was director of the DIA, on top of being somewhat a renegade figure generally, developed an all-consuming, almost crippling obsession with annihilating secret Islamist terrorist networks throughout the Middle East and Central Asia he believed were out to destroy the United States. This obsession led him to try to ally with Russia in combating this supposed Islamist network, ignoring Russia’s escalating assertiveness on the world stage.
Former Russian ambassador to the US, Sergey Kisylak, was almost surely essential in arranging backchannels and coordinating with the Trump team. Kislyak covertly communicated with Mike Flynn, Jeff Sessions, Carter Page, campaign official J.D. Gordon and Jared Kushner, who discussed with Kislyak establishing a secret, secure channel to communicate with the Kremlin that would not be monitored by US intelligence. Only a couple weeks after Kushner spoke with Kislylak about establishing a backchannel, Erik Prince (who was acting as Trump’s surrogate) held the now-infamous Seychelles meeting with Kremlin insider Kirill Dmitriev in which further backchanneling and Russia’s ties to Iran and Syria were discussed. As mentioned previously, Flynn also discussed with Kislyak the incoming Trump administration’s handling of economic sanctions escalation (having been coached by hard right national security asset K.T. McFarland) and having Russia abstain from a UN vote officially condemning illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank at the direction of Jared Kushner.
Michael Flynn’s first contact with Sergey Kislyak, was during his visit to GRU headquarters to Moscow. This apparently precipitated a close relationship that developed between the two — a relationship that became Flynn’s downfall after he repeatedly lied to the FBI by denying its existence. While ambassador, Kislyak was known for his lavish parties and assiduous cultivation and patronage of high-level American officials. Records show that Flynn collected nearly $68,000 in fees and expenses from Russia-related entities in 2015. The bulk of the money (more than $45,000) came from Russia Today (RT), a vehicle of Kremlin soft power and propaganda, where he made semi-regular appearances as an analyst after retiring from the DIA. In 2015, he was invited to a gala in Moscow in honor of RT, where he sat directly next to Vladimir Putin, and at the same table as Green Party candidate Jill Stein.
Flynn, through his consulting firm, was also paid $11,250 that year by the American subsidiary of a Russian cybersecurity firm, Kaspersky Lab, and another $11,250 by a US air cargo company affiliated with the Volga-Dnepr Group, which is owned by a Russian businessman. Additional clients of Flynn’s consulting firm included Palo Alto Networks, Adobe Systems and Francisco Partners, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm. Palo Alto Networks and NSO Group (where Flynn was an advisor through Francisco Partners, an investor in NSO) were founded by alumni of Israel’s Unit 8200, the Israeli equivalent of the NSA. Palo Alto Networks is a network security company and the NSO Group sells spyware to intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies around the world. It is highly unusual and generally frowned upon for high-ranking former US officials to join foreign companies, particularly ones connected to Israel and Russia, which are both constantly spying on the United States and its allies.
During the 2016 election, Flynn was working with Chicago investment banker, political donor and GOP operative Peter W. Smith. Smith, who was a member of several think tanks including the Atlantic Council, CSIS, the Heritage Foundation and the Brookings Institute, was engaged in subsidizing and organizing anti-Clinton media orchestrations similar to the ones conducted by Richard Mellon Scaife. Smith was instrumental in exposing the Clinton administration “Troopergate” scandal by setting Arkansas state troopers with American Spectator reporter David Brock. He also tried to orchestrate a paternity suit against Clinton, trying to find a woman who would claim she had an illegitimate child with Clinton. While working with Flynn, Smith contacted computer experts to trawl hacker forums in an effort to find Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 deleted State Department emails. Smith told the Wall Street Journal that he ultimately received some emails from hacker groups he suspected of being tied to Russian intelligence prior to the election, but urged those groups to pass the emails along to Wikileaks so he would not have to personally vouch for their authenticity. So far, the emails have not surfaced.
A strange IP traffic pattern between a bizarrely configured server registered to the Trump Organization, Russian-Israeli oligarch and Mikhail Fridman’s Alfa Bank (a major instrument of Russian soft power) and Spectrum Health (whose chairman is Dick DeVos – husband of Trump Education Secretary Betsy DeVos) that seemed to indicate secret communication/coordination between the three parties was noticed by a number of forensic computer networking professionals in late 2016. Although evidence of secret communication is far from conclusive and despite the fact that the particular networking configuration between the three servers was far from optimal for establishing an almost undetectable and untraceable communication line (i.e. – why not just skip public domain registration entirely and just set up a private network?), the fact that Trump, Mikhail Fridman and the DeVos-Erik Prince clique are all represented exclusively together on a server is suspicious enough, seems incredibly unlikely to have been a coincidence and warrants serious investigation.
One possible explanation for what was occurring is SQL server database replication, i.e. the Trump Organization, Alfa Bank/Fridman and Spectrum Health/DeVos/Prince were sharing large volumes of data through automated interval synchronization of databases. For what reason this data was being shared and what the data was are the big unanswered questions we’re left to speculate on. Fridman (Russian-Israeli co-founder of the Russian Jewish Congress) and his Alfa Group colleague Petr Aven — both close to Putin and Netanyahu — are alleged by the Steele dossier to have colluded with the Trump campaign and Putin to get Trump elected. According to a leaked Stratfor report, Fridman and Aven are “pillars” of the Putin regime and, despite their relatively unvarnished record and history of promoting Russian-Western integration, are, like virtually all other Russian oligarchs, tied in with Semion Mogilevich and Sergei Mikhailov’s Solntsevskaya mafia through money laundering operations.
Richard Burt, a former State Department official, US ambassador and think tanker, is a member of Alfa Bank’s advisory board. While Burt was serving as a foreign policy advisor to the Trump campaign (advising him to take a less interventionist approach) was simultaneously lobbying for the expansion of the Nord Stream pipeline which would allow Russian gas to reach Western Europe without going through Ukraine or Belarus. Burt arranged and in large part crafted one of Trump’s first major foreign policy speeches, held at the Center for the National Interest, a think tank promoting foreign policy realism whose board features Richard Burt, Henry Kissinger, Maurice Greenberg, Dov Zakheim and Grover Norquist, among others. Brian Benczkowski, who formerly served as an attorney for Alfa Bank while working at elite GOP-connected law firm Kirkland & Ellis, is the Trump administration’s assistant attorney general for the DoJ’s criminal division, despite having zero prosecutorial experience.
Russian agent Maria Butina, who worked for Russian politician and mafia money launderer, Aleksandr Torshin, was aggressively attempting to set up backchannels between the Trump campaign and Republican political circles (including a couple between Trump and Putin) beginning in 2013-2014 in an attempt to mitigate the hawkish policies towards Russia that the GOP has traditionally embraced. She even brazenly claimed that she had been part of the Trump administration’s communications with Russia at a party she hosted after the election. Butina recruited highly connected GOP operative and Jack Abramoff-associate Paul Erickson to work with her. In particular, the Butina-Torshin-Erickson trio targeted Dana Rohrabacher, the National Prayer Breakfast (run by “The Fellowship“, a secret diplomacy facilitator) and the NRA, which is being investigated by the FBI as a possible intermediary for financial donations to the Trump campaign coming from Torshin and ultimately the Russian government.  According to government filings, in October 2016, Erickson emailed an acquaintance that he’d helped secure “a VERY private line of communication between the Kremlin and key [Republican] leaders through, of all conduits, the [NRA].”
The View From 30,000 Feet
Quite obviously, what’s been presented is a truly massive constellation of points and connections between those points and a watertight, systematic understanding of the whole picture remains elusive. However, that being said, observing various patterns, we can surmise and infer certain things about smaller pieces of picture.
It’s incontrovertible that the American conservative national security axis, Israeli Likudniks (and their quislings in the US) and Russian mobster-oligarchs all have a plethora of substantial ties to Trump and the Trump team. While it’s pretty easy to explain each group’s involvement with Trump individually, it’s much more difficult to determine if there’s any reciprocity between said groups and, if there is reciprocity, what its nature is.
The conservative national security axis’s motivation for orbiting and in many cases explicitly bolstering Trump is very clear — 1) he’s a manipulable strongman, something the right-wing can’t seem to get enough of; 2) he espouses the kind of militaristic, unilateralist views they absolutely love; and 3) he’s been adjoined to their tight-knit clique for decades through people like Roy Cohn, Roger Stone, Rupert Murdoch, Adnan Khashoggi and apparently even his father, who was an ardent Goldwater supporter and backer. (He’s also had plenty of relations with liberal internationalists like Henry Kissinger through New York high society.) Sure, the more predictable Ted Cruz, who also has national security ties, may have been their first choice. Indeed, this appears to be the case — James Woolsey and Frank Gaffney, two pillars of this faction, were behind Cruz before they were behind Trump. But Trump will certainly do for them, and has. What’s most significant about this is that it shows Trump was not a political outsider in the United States before being elected. That Trump was an “outsider” is literally a blatantly false canard reiterated by both the alternative and mainstream that doesn’t hold up to even the slightest bit of scrutiny.
The hard-right Zionist Likudniks, who by the way have been completely and utterly in bed with the hard-right and Jewish neocons in America since at least the days of James Jesus Angleton, support Trump because of his unyielding pro-Israel stance. This stance comes from his past and recent collaboration with Likud-allied national security circles (the Israel lobby think tank network) in the US and him and his family’s long-standing connections to Israel and international Jewry, most eminently today through Jared Kushner, who is the main Trump backchannel with Israel. Remember — Kushner and Flynn, at the request of the Likudniks, attempted to undermine US policy regarding Israeli settlements before Trump was even sworn in and now the administration is even making secret agreements with Israel and its Saudi-Emirati goons about attacking Iran, Lebanon and Qatar.
Russia is by far the most complex issue to analyze. It’s pretty apparent at this point that there has been an on-and-off Kremlin intelligence cultivation and support operation targeting Trump that probably originated in the late ’80s, survived the “collapse” of the Soviet empire and was aggressively revamped somewhere around 2013 at around the time of the 2013 Miss Universe pageant when talks about the development of a Trump Tower in Moscow (to be financed by KGB/FSB-front VTB Bank, according to Felix Sater) were resurrected. But to be clear, Trump is not a Russian puppet, at least not a knowing one. If he were, there would be no need for the multi-faceted frantic race to establish a backchannel of communication between the Trump camp and the Kremlin in 2015 and 2016. Sure, Russia obviously supported Trump’s campaign, the campaign was aware of this and it probably had direct communications with it at some point, but that’s a far cry from being a literal puppet. It’s more likely that they targeted him because his extreme ultranationalist unilateralist views (probably transmitted through Roy Cohn) would destabilize the US-led liberal international order, which is exactly what’s happened recently with NATO, the EU and the UN.
A huge component of this is all of the business deals with and financial ties to the Russian-Jewish mob and Russian-Jewish oligarchs, both of which are usually indistinguishable. It is well known that the oligarchs and Russian mob are often surrogates for Russian intelligence. Now, the oligarchs’ ultimate end is mixing business, politics, crime and espionage for their own benefit, not necessarily acting as agents for the Kremlin, but wherever there are ties to the oligarchs with Trump there is deep involvement with the Russian mob. More specifically, the Semion Mogilevich-led Solntsevskaya bratva, which is by far the most sophisticated deniable wing of Russian intelligence.
Almost all of the Russian oligarchs and most of the Russian mobsters are Jewish, often hold Israeli citizenship and have political connections in Israel, almost invariably to the Likud. Russia and Israel have long had a semi-covert relationship historically mainly through oligarchs and now increasingly directly. We know that George Papadopoulos, who was trying desperately to arrange meetings between Trump and the Kremlin, at one point acted as an agent of influence for Israel. Many of the most important characters and Russian backchannelers in the Trump saga such as Michael Cohen and Felix Sater interface through Chabad Lubavitch, which itself was cultivated by Vladimir Putin and basically appears to be a Russian-Jewish intelligence network. So, almost everywhere where there are Russian connections there are Jewish and Israeli ones as well, which makes it really quite difficult to tell whether the Russian-Jewish oligarchs and mobsters were acting on behalf of Kremlin, Israel, international Jewry or all three. It’s very likely a combination of the three motivated by having policies favorable to Israel in place in the United States and facilitating Eurasian integration, something Russia and apparently Israel now are both keen on promoting.
The Likudniks are connected to the American hard-right foreign policy consortium, the Kremlin and the international Russian-Jewish-Eurasian criminal syndicate. But in order to close the loop there needs to be a direct Russian connection to the wider American hard-right. So far, there isn’t a well developed pattern of particularly strong ties between the two. Mike Flynn is by far the most convincing thread — he may very well have been targeted by a parallel cultivation operation alongside the Trump operation having sat next to Putin at the 2015 RT gala. Sean Hannity was for a time Russian backchanneler Michael Cohen’s client. Roger Stone had some communication with Russian intelligence cut-out Guccifer 2.0 and GOP operative Peter W. Smith solicited hacked Clinton emails from what he suspected were Russian intelligence operatives. James Woolsey had some kind of rapport with Russian-Israeli oligarch and crime syndicate operative Michael Cherney through Cherney’s Intelligence Summit, but that ended in 2006. A circuitous connection between the Mercer-Bannon duo and Russia runs through Cambridge Analytica. It’s all rather shallow and spotty.
Another approach is to look for commonalities between all three groups in terms of their incentives and motivations. The two most compelling ones are defeating Hillary Clinton and taking down Iran. The US hard-right foreign policy crowd (other than a few largely powerless media pundits), Likudniks and Moscow are all anti-Clinton because she’s a liberal multilateralist. American national security and Israel are fanatically anti-Iran and Iran appears to be the most important agenda item for the Trump administration. However, what complicates this is the that Iran has been an ally of Moscow’s, although it is known that Erik Prince was making overtures to Putin confidantes attempting to convince the Kremlin to back off of its association with Tehran.
Honestly, it doesn’t appear as if there was explicit collusion between American national security, Russia and Israel. It certainly appears that there may have been reciprocity and common interests between Likudniks and Russians and between Likudniks and American ultranationalists, but it really makes no sense for American ultranationalists as a faction to be knowingly and willingly involved in any Russian effort. It makes no sense for them, even though they’re unilateralists, to bolster someone who is seemingly so intent on destabilizing NATO (potentially even paving the way for the development of a European nuclear deterrent, which is being discussed in some circles), unless there is a truly unprecedented ultra-high level geopolitical shift being facilitated, which is certainly possible, but not likely. Or perhaps American national security was willing to risk destabilizing NATO for a short period of time in order to take Iran out of the equation.
At this point it gets highly speculative, but what can be said for sure is that recent developments have been endlessly fascinating as an exercise in exploring deep political machinations and more is sure to come.
*sorry, don’t have time to write out 440 full notes right now. might do it later
 Thomas, Gordon; Dillon, Martin, Robert Maxwell, Israel’s Superspy: The Life and Murder of a Media Mogul, Carroll and Graf Publishers, New York, 2002, pages 125 & 39