Доброе утро, Америка - Notes from Underground

    As the "Spy who Came in from the Cold" starts to unfold or unravel, these are some of my notes - there will be more, many more, flying at a furious pace I expect. What else is happening? Feel free to pile on, like a Moscow snowdrift.

    Was Trump the "Casino" behind Russian Spies Arrested 2014?

    Little Moscow: More Trump-Russia real estate corruption.

    Plus: how Russian money powered Trump's comeback:



    Felix Sater, Trump consigliare - delivering those sealed poison letters. Paul Manafort & Artemenko helping run interference on Russian sanctions via Trump's lawyer. (More here)

    Plus Josh is on it: And much much more - it may start to explain the weird reluctance of our government under Obama to release any info on Trump's Russian connections - so there's an informer in the midst - a bit like Nicholson's role in The Departed.

    But the Dona don't know him no Ruskies, ya know?

    Web of Deception/Intrigue

    Meanwhile, Russia denies involvement in Montenegran coup attempt. What, is Kellyanne Conway moonlighting as Putin's PR flack as well?

    And go read Adam Khan for anything more....  [disclosure/confession - I stole many of his links]

    Trump picks friends for $2 billion FBI building contract.

    Huge crony deal - predicted last December, made real in January (while we were distracted), Roth is a Kushner business partner and for a short time on Trump's economic team.

    Presumably Russians will get a chance to put wiretaps all through it before complete. But wait, it gets much bigger.....

    Trump makes $23 million a year on the coattails of Roth's government biz.

    More ties to Kushner here. Infrastructure project to be $1 trillion or more, with no typical grownups in the room, like analysts, gov policy types, etc.,, just a bunch of real estate developers with a huge bucket full of cash. What could go wrong?

    Jan 19, 2017

    President-elect Donald Trump taps two rich developers to oversee infrastructure plan

    Donald Trump has chosen Richard LeFrak and Steve Roth, “two of the wealthiest men in real estate” according to Forbes, to head a “council of builders and engineers”. This new council will be tasked with overseeing Trump’s plan to invest $1 trillion in infrastructure, reports archinect. The Republican infrastructure plan relies heavily on private-public partnerships, so it’s not really a surprise that developers will be involved.

    Roth founded Vornado, one of the most prominent real estate trusts in New York and Washington. Tornado is merging with JBG Smith, which is one of the shortlisted bidders for the development of a new FBI headquarters, a $2 billion contract. The LeFrak family has played a major role in developing New York, New Jersey, Los Angeles and Miami. 

    (via AIA American Institute of Architects News)

    Feel free to pile on, like a Moscow snowstorm....

    До свидания, я'aлл. Poka!!!


    Um, could you send all this to WAPO and the NYT?  This is beyond my comprehension...I don't understand the passivity that allows all this to happen.  I also didn't get your allusion as to why Obama wasn't out in front about what Russia was up to BEFORE the election.  Nor do I understand why everyone said over and over that Comey didn't do what he did intentionally to scuttle Clinton (I know this isn't the crux of your excellent piece, but it is part of the overall lack of outrage and concern of what seems to me the biggest crisis our country has ever faced.)

    Considering 1 of the pieces was a WaPo breaking story months back, I'd guess they know a fair amount already. While the dossier last summer wasn't completely vetted, it was known and partly actionable - how come no one did anything.

    I'm sorry, but at NY Times I only know Judy Woodward (& I'm afraid she's gone... to Fox?) and 1 other reporter I did an intervew with maybe 7 years ago. I am familiar with a Friedman unit, perhaps the amount of time he'd take to respond with something relevant? Or Paul Krugman, but he's used to speaking into a vacuum.... Anyway, since I'm only cutting-and-pasting, I imagine they know the same sources as I do.

    But in any case, I think we're talking about combinations of illegal activity tied together with cross-border Russian espionage and industrial infiltration, intrigues that have been going on for longer than the campaign, seemingly with some attempt to co-opt Mr. Trump as just 1 of a bevy of greedy co-conspirators. There were certainly reports of funny Trump-Russia dealings over a year ago among this background info, so why specifically did it not rise to at least a reasonable internal report, rather than delayed to post-election?

    And certainly some of this is NSA and CIA, not just FBI, so I can't drop it all on Comey's shoulders. But basically, what *IS* required for something to rise to the official threshold for suspicion and investigation? with all the money spent on airport scanners and such, how much do we spend on high level security? (well, recently someone walked out with Bradley Manning-like secret documents, apparently broken security still 5 years later). If our only definition of "terrorist" is uneducated bomb-throwing idiot on the ground, there's a lot of damage that can be done at higher levels. Anyway, hoping the outrage will build much faster.

    I still consider Comey as possibly captured by the Russians as well. No proof, but I'm beyond giving benefit of doubt to these guys - he acted quite bizarrely for someone who should know the rules. Suddenly for guy with foot-in-mouth disease he's quite quiet - what gives?

    Has the burden of evidence now fallen upon the Trump Administration?

    As soon as some Federal or State agency determines that there is enough evidence against the tyrant will the tyrant be forced to produce thousands of pages of tax returns relevant to all the corporations involved.

    And then the American Public might see some bit of truth.

    I just love the idea of some court ordering the IRS to produce these returns.

    All hell will break loose.


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