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Lost in the Sauce: Trump, Cruz, and Gohmert team up to incite election-related violence

Welcome to Lost in the Sauce, keeping you caught up on political and legal news that often gets buried in distractions and theater… or a global health crisis.
Housekeeping:

Election shenanigans

I put the latest info on Trump's phone call to Raffensperger in this comment.
According to experts, Trump’s conduct has potential criminal exposure:
A federal statute makes it a crime when one “knowingly and willfully … attempts to deprive or defraud the residents of a State of a fair and impartially conducted election process, by … the procurement, casting, or tabulation of ballots that are known by the person to be materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent under the laws of the State in which the election is held.”
A Georgia statute similarly provides that a “person commits the offense of criminal solicitation to commit election fraud in the first degree when, with intent that another person engage in conduct constituting a felony under this article, he or she solicits, requests, commands, importunes, or otherwise attempts to cause the other person to engage in such conduct.”
…The hard part for prosecutors would be proving Trump’s state of mind, because the statutes require proof of knowledge and intent. Prosecutors would have to show that Trump knew that Biden fairly won the election, and Trump was asking for Georgia officials to commit election fraud. And it’s not clear prosecutors could make that case.
At least 12 Republican senators plan to challenge Biden’s Electoral College win on Jan. 6, when Congress is set to officially count the votes. The effort is being led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and includes Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), and Mike Braun (R-Ind.), as well as new Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.). Separately, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) is pursuing a similar plan.
"Congress should immediately appoint an Electoral Commission, with full investigatory and fact-finding authority, to conduct an emergency 10-day audit of the election returns in the disputed states. Once completed, individual states would evaluate the Commission’s findings and could convene a special legislative session to certify a change in their vote, if needed," the senators said in a joint statement. “Accordingly, we intend to vote on Jan. 6 to reject the electors from disputed states as not ‘regularly given’ and ‘lawfully certified’ (the statutory requisite), unless and until that emergency 10-day audit is completed."
Their plan is not going to succeed in preventing Biden from taking office, as majorities in both the House and the Senate would need to support a challenge against a state’s electoral votes. For an objection to be made, at least one member of both the House and Senate would need to submit it in writing. Then, the House and Senate separately convene to consider the issue. Debate is limited to two hours for each objection. After debate concludes, the House and Senate vote to uphold the objection and throw out the state’s votes. If the majority of the House AND the majority of the Senate does not uphold the objection, the state’s electoral votes are counted as cast.
  • Vice President Mike Pence’s role is simply to preside over the joint session, opening and presenting the certifications from each state. In his absence, the Senate pro-tempore Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) will lead the session. At the end of the process, the presiding officer announces who has won the majority of votes for president and vice president.
The most immediate danger from Trump and Cruz’s doomed election gambit is rightwing terrorism and general violence: Trump, in particular, is inciting his supporters to swarm D.C. on Jan. 6. “JANUARY SIXTH, SEE YOU IN DC!” Trump tweeted last week. Four rightwing rallies are scheduled, including one headlined by George Papadopoulos and Roger Stone.
The Proud Boys and other extremists are planning to attend the rallies and may set up an “armed encampment” on the National Mall, according to the Washington Post. On social media platform Parler, the leader of the Proud Boys said that members will be there “incognito” and may “dress in all black” to impersonate leftwing protestors.
Enrique Tarrio: "The ProudBoys will turn out in record numbers on Jan 6th but this time with a twist...We will not be wearing our traditional Black and Yellow. We will be incognito and we will spread across downtown DC in smaller teams."
Rep. Louie Gohmert has more explicitly tried to incite violence, saying the failure of his legal challenge to the election means “you gotta go the streets and be as violent as Antifa and BLM.” (clip)
  • At the same time, pro-Trump lawyer Lin Wood suggested that Pence could “face execution by firing squad” for “treason” if he doesn’t go along with the attempt to subvert the election.

Obstructing the transition

Biden’s transition director has accused the Office of Management and Budget of stonewalling the incoming administration’s team. OMB Director Russ Vought is not allowing key staff to meet with the transition team to help prepare the president-elect’s first annual spending plan, a move that could delay major proposals. Vought pushed back on the charges, saying that his agency needs to focus on finalizing the Trump administration’s regulations before the president leaves office.
“OMB leadership’s refusal to fully cooperate impairs our ability to identify opportunities to maximize the relief going out to Americans during the pandemic, and it leaves us in the dark as it relates to Covid-related expenditures and critical gaps,” [Biden transition Exec. Dir. Yohannes] Abraham said.
Earlier last week, Biden himself said Trump officials are not cooperating with his team, singling out the Defense Department for obstructing information on crucial national security issues. “Right now, we just aren’t getting all the information that we need from the outgoing administration in key national security areas. It’s nothing short, in my view, of irresponsibility,” Biden said. The Defense Dept. finally scheduled meetings with the incoming team this week, after not briefing the transition for weeks.
  • The timing of the resumption in meetings is notable because it comes after the one year anniversary of the U.S. assassination of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani on Jan. 3. NATO officials are reportedly worried about the lack of coordination from the Trump administration: "We need the incoming Biden administration to be fully briefed and ready to deal with these very dangerous issues facing NATO's security."

Sabotaging the Biden Administration

U.S. Agency for Global Media CEO Michael Pack is taking steps to keep control of Radio Free Europe and Radio Free Asia during the Biden administration. As chairman of the boards of Radio Free Europe and Asia, Pack and his fellow members have added binding contractual agreements that will make it impossible to remove him or other pro-Trump allies from the board in the next two years.
In other words, although President-elect Joe Biden has already signaled he intends to replace Pack as CEO of the parent agency soon after taking office in January, Pack would maintain a significant degree of control over the networks.
The State Department is likely to designate Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism “as an 11th hour effort to create hurdles for the incoming Biden administration.” The label, which requires the approval of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, would undo a major accomplishment of the Obama administration. To take Cuba back off the list, the Biden team would need to conduct a formal review, a process that might take several months.
Such a designation would impose restrictions on US foreign assistance, a ban on defense exports and sales, certain controls over exports and various financial restrictions. It would also result in penalization against any persons and countries engaging in certain trade activities with Cuba.
The Trump administration has been rushing to finalize a myriad of rules before Biden’s inauguration. Since Election Day, the Trump administration has issued about three to four times as many new regulations as it did during other periods of Trump’s presidency. Rules that haven’t been finalized or taken effect can be suspended by an incoming president, which Biden has said he intends to do. By contrast, rules that are finalized can take months, or even years, to undo.
“As a general rule, it takes at least as much process to undo or modify a rule as it does to put the rule in place,” said Jonathan H. Adler, a professor and an administrative law expert at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. “The Trump administration is magnifying that challenge for the Biden administration.”
Trump loyalists are urging the president to stymie Biden’s efforts to rejoin the Paris climate agreement and the Iran nuclear deal. Sens. Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham are working to get the agreements submitted to the Senate for ratification, requiring a two-thirds vote, with the goal of failure. While such an outcome wouldn’t prevent Biden from rejoining the accords, Cruz and Graham hope it would make their resurrection more problematic.
A vote against them would signal GOP opposition to the world and, they hope, undermine any unilateral action by Biden to rejoin the agreements. One senior congressional aide told RCP that sending them to die in the Senate “would be the final nail in the coffin.”
Further reading: “Biden To Be Saddled With Trump’s Payroll Tax Deferral Mess,” Forbes.
Further reading: Biden will inherit a backlog of tens of thousands of visa requests from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — and a bureaucratic tangle that refugee advocates say President Trump ignored or made worse.

Trump money and properties

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance is employing forensic accounting specialists to examine Trump’s finances and business operations. Vance is looking “for anomalies among a variety of property deals” and trying to determine “whether the president’s company manipulated the value of certain assets to obtain favorable interest rates and tax breaks”.
The analysts hired by Vance probably have already reviewed various bank and mortgage records obtained from Trump’s company as part of the ongoing grand jury investigation, and they could be called on to testify about their findings should the district attorney eventually bring criminal charges
In yet another shady business deal connected to Trump, the United States sold the ambassador’s residence in Israel for more than $67 million. The person who bought the residence is none other than Trump mega-donor Sheldon Adelson. The property only became available due to Trump's controversial decision to relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to contested Jerusalem. Furthermore, State Dept. representatives reportedly lied to Congress about the sale, perhaps to hide that Adelson purposefully overbid.
For now, there is no alternative residence for the ambassador, David Friedman, Trump’s former lawyer, who currently uses a suite at Jerusalem’s King David Hotel or rooms at the former Jerusalem Consulate General when he spends nights in Jerusalem… As a result, the United States appears likely to end up leasing the residence it has owned since 1964 from the GOP-affiliated casino mogul.
“It is very strange that we are now paying Sheldon Adelson,” a congressional aide told The Daily Beast. “It is not above board. We have a number of questions. Did they get two independent appraisals? Was it a sweetheart deal? Was Adelson the highest donor? Was there a reason to sell it now?”
Trump’s businesses have taken in $10.5 million of donor money over the course of his presidency. $8.5 million came from the Trump campaign and related entities that Trump controls directly; $2 million came from other Republican candidates and committees. The biggest beneficiary was Trump’s NYC hotel, taking in $3,039,979 over the four years of his presidency, with $891,003 of that in just the final four months of the campaign.
Trump’s DC hotel is ramping up room prices and requiring a two-night minimum stay for two key events this month, as the president tries to squeeze more profit out of his office. On Jan. 6, when Congress is set to formally count the votes cast by the Electoral College, room rates are listed at over eight times the price of surrounding dates. Trump is encouraging his supporters to attend a protest of Biden’s win on the 6th. A room during the inauguration costs five times the normal rate, at $2,225 per night.
Trump’s Turnberry Resort in Scotland posted a £2.3 million ($3.1 million) loss in 2019, marking the sixth year in a row it has failed to turn a profit under his ownership. Since Trump took over the historic property in 2014, its losses now total nearly £45 million ($61.5 million).
The fact Turnberry remains in the red comes in spite of significant tranches of payments it has received from the US government during Mr Trump’s single term in office… the US Secret Service spent nearly £25,000 to accommodate its agents at the resort during business trips by Mr Trump’s son, Eric, an executive vice-president of the family firm. Since Mr Trump’s election, the property has received close to £300,000 from the Secret Service, US State Department, and US Defence Department
A Florida state lawmaker is calling for Mar-a-Lago to be penalized - and possibly shut down - for flouting coronavirus restrictions during a New Years Eve party. While Trump and the first lady did not attend, son Don Jr., attorney Rudy Giuliani, Rep. Matt Gaetz, and Fox News personality Jeanine Piro were captured on video among the maskless crowd. Guests paid as much as $1,000 for access to the ballroom to be entertained by Vanilla Ice.
State Rep. Omari Hardy: “My constituents are not snowbirds like @DonaldJTrumpJr & @kimguilfoyle. My constituents live here. This is their home, and they're going to have to deal w/ the consequences of a potential super-spreader party at Mar-a-Lago long after Junior & wife leave here on their private jet.”
Are you ready for a Donald J. Trump Airport? According to the Daily Beast, Trump has been asking aides about the process of naming airports after former U.S. presidents.
Further reading: “Jared Kushner’s family real estate business wants to raise at least $100 million in capital through Israel’s bond market… Kushner has helped spearhead a series of moves that have been applauded by the conservative pro-Israel community, including moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv and recognizing Israeli sovereignty in disputed areas such as the Golan Heights. Kushner also has close ties to Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.”

Miscellaneous

The Census Bureau missed it’s end-of-year deadline to produce numbers that determine representation in Congress and the Electoral College for the next decade. The agency is working toward Jan. 9 as an internal target date for completing the current stage of processing records. "If we miss Jan. 9, it's hard to envision that we would get apportionment done before inauguration," a Census employee told NPR.
The final timing of the 2020 census results' release could undermine President Trump's efforts to make an unprecedented change to who is counted in key census numbers before leaving office… If the first census results are not ready until after Trump's term ends on Jan. 20, it would be President-elect Joe Biden, not Trump, who would get control of the numbers, which are ultimately handed off to Congress for certification.
submitted by rusticgorilla to Keep_Track [link] [comments]

Trumps Russian Ties

Trump has been in Russia's pocket a long time here is more reading for those interested in the history.
Trump was over a billion in debt and the Russians bailed him out.
► Trump was first compromised by the Russians in the 80s. In 1984, the Russian Mafia began to use Trump real estate to launder money. In 1987, the Soviet ambassador to the United Nations, Yuri Dubinin, arranged for Trump and his then-wife, Ivana, to enjoy an all-expense-paid trip to Moscow to consider possible business prospects. Only seven weeks after his trip, Trump ran full-page ads in the Boston Globe, the NYT and WaPO calling for, in effect, the dismantling of the postwar Western foreign policy alliance. The whole Trump/Russian connection started out as laundering money for the Russian mob through Trump's real estate, but evolved into something far bigger.
► In 1984, David Bogatin — a convicted Russian mobster and close ally of Semion Mogilevich, a major Russian mob boss — met with Trump in Trump Tower right after it opened. Bogatin bought five condos from Trump at that meeting. Those condos were later seized by the government, which claimed they were used to launder money for the Russian mob. (NY Times, Apr 30, 1992)
► [Felix Sater](https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felix_Sater } is a Russian-born former mobster, and former managing director of NY real estate conglomerate Bayrock Group LLC located on the 24th floor of Trump Tower. He is a convict who became a govt cooperator for the FBI and other agencies. He grew up with Michael Cohen--Trump's former "fixer" attorney. Cohen's family owned El Caribe, which was a mob hangout for the Russian Mafia in Brooklyn. Cohen had ties to Ukrainian oligarchs through his in-laws and his brother's in-laws. Felix Sater's father had ties to the Russian mob. This goes back more than 30 years.
► Trump was $4 billion in debt after his Atlantic City casinos went bankrupt. No U.S. bank would touch him. Then foreign money began flowing in through Bayrock (mentioned above). Bayrock was run by two investors: Tevfik Arif, a Kazakhstan-born former Soviet official who drew on bottomless sources of money from the former Soviet republic; and Felix Sater, a Russian-born businessman who had pleaded guilty in the 1990s to a huge stock-fraud scheme involving the Russian mafia. Bayrock partnered with Trump in 2005 and poured money into the Trump organization under the legal guise of licensing his name and property management.
► In July 2008, the height of the housing bust, Trump sold a mansion in Palm Beach for $95 million to Dmitry Rybolovlev, a Russian oligarch. Trump had purchased it four years earlier for $41.35 million. The sale price was nearly $54 million more than Trump had paid for the property. Again, this was the height of the recession when all other property had plummeted in value.
► Semion Mogilevich was the brains behind the Russian Mafia. Mogilevich operatives have been using Trump real estate for decades to launder money. That means Russian Mafia operatives have been part of his fortune for years. Many of them owned condos in Trump Towers and other properties. They were running operations out of Trump's crown jewel.
► So many Russians bought Trump apartments at his developments in Florida that the area became known as Little Moscow. The developers of two of his hotels were Russians with significant links to the Russian mob. The late leader of that mob in the United States, Vyacheslav Kirillovich Ivankov, was living at Trump Tower
► According to a Bloomberg investigation (3/16/2017) into Trump World Tower, “a third of units sold on floors 76 through 83 by 2004 involved people or limited liability companies connected to Russia and neighboring states.”
► In 2013, Federal agents busted an “ultraexclusive, high-stakes, illegal poker ring” run by Russian gangsters out of Trump Tower. They operated card games, illegal gambling websites, and a global sports book and laundered more than $100 million. A condo directly below one owned by Trump reportedly served as HQ for a “sophisticated money-laundering scheme” connected to Semion Mogilevich.
► The Russia Mafia is part and parcel of Russian intelligence. Russia is a mafia state. That is not a metaphor. Putin is head of the Mafia. So the fact that they have been operating out of the home of the president of the United States is deeply disturbing.
► Rudy Giuliani famously prosecuted the Italian mob while he was a federal prosecutor, yet the Russian mob was allowed to thrive. Now he's deeply entwined in the business of Trump and Russian oligarchs. Giuiani appointed Semyon Kislin to the NYC Economic Development Council in 1990, and the FBI described Kislin as having ties to the Russian mob. Of course, it made good political sense for Giuliani to get headlines for smashing the Italian mob.
► A lot of Republicans in Washington are implicated. Boatloads of Russian money went to the GOP--often in legal ways. The NRA got as much as $70M from Russia, then funneled it to the GOP. The Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee lead by McConnell got millions from Leonard Blavatnik. In the 90s, the Russians began sending money to top GOP leaders, like Speaker of the House Tom Delay. Craig Unger's book alleges that most of the GOP leadership has been compromised by RU money.
► At the Cityscape USA’s Bridging US and the Emerging Real Estate Markets Conference held in Manhattan, on September 9, 10, and 11, 2008, Donald Trump Jr. was frank about the tide of Russian money supporting the family business, saying "...And in terms of high-end product influx into the US, Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets."
► Eric Trump told golf reporter James Dodson in 2014 that the Trump Organization was able to expand during the financial crisis because “We don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.”
► It's believed that Russian oligarchs co-signed Trump’s Deutsche bank loans.
Alex Navalny has insinuated Paul Manafort passed along Trump's campaign information to the Kremlin via Kilimnik. In a 25-minute Youtube video (Russian with subtitles), Navalny shows footage of Deripaska with Russian deputy prime minister Sergei Prikhodko on his yacht in Norway in August 2016. Based on that footage, he alleges that information about the Trump campaign must have passed between the two. Senate Intelligence Report I believe concluded Paul gave the information to known Russian asset but that we have no proof this asset gave the information to the Kremlin? Im hoping someone in the comments has some more on the Paul Manafort accusation to perhaps clear this bullet up in a future edit.

Trump now gleefully takes cues from Putin:
► Trump went against American intelligence on North Korean missiles. He told the FBI he didn't believe their intelligence because Putin told him otherwise. “I don't care, I believe Putin"
Trump met in secret with Putin at the G20 summit in November 2018, without note takers. 19 days later, he announced a withdrawal from Syria.
Trump refused to enforce sanctions legally codified into law - and in some cases reversed standing sanctions on Russian companies.
► He has denounced his own intelligence agencies in a press conference with Putin on election meddling - and publicly endorsed Putin's version of events.
Demanded Russia get invited back into G7
► Pushed the CIA to give American intelligence to the Kremlin.
► Withdrew from the Open Skies treaty

EDIT -
First want to say thanks for taking the time to read the post. Please take the time to also VOTE this election. Also thank you various users for the rewards and support.
On to actual edits :)
Firstly I've removed the link to Trump / Russian bounties allegations. Which was the last point in the post originally due to its lack of factual evidence.
Second I've changed a few points wording.
Third I've added a new bullet at the end that was passed a long to me yesterday by another user in another thread about Trump and his campaign manager.
Fourth I'd like to point out that this post is a collection of points from various other users in other threads and I personally don't want to take any credit for this post as I'm just carrying the torch with this post of several users before me who compiled many of these points.

submitted by idontneedjug to Keep_Track [link] [comments]

An overview of Trump’s numerous ties to Russia

Trump was over a billion in debt and the Russians bailed him out.
► Trump was first compromised by the Russians in the 80s. In 1984, the Russian Mafia began to use Trump real estate to launder money. In 1987, the Soviet ambassador to the United Nations, Yuri Dubinin, arranged for Trump and his then-wife, Ivana, to enjoy an all-expense-paid trip to Moscow to consider possible business prospects. Only seven weeks after his trip, Trump ran full-page ads in the Boston Globe, the NYT and WaPO calling for, in effect, the dismantling of the postwar Western foreign policy alliance. The whole Trump/Russian connection started out as laundering money for the Russian mob through Trump's real estate, but evolved into something far bigger.
► In 1984, David Bogatin — a convicted Russian mobster and close ally of Semion Mogilevich, a major Russian mob boss — met with Trump in Trump Tower right after it opened. Bogatin bought five condos from Trump at that meeting. Those condos were later seized by the government, which claimed they were used to launder money for the Russian mob. (NY Times, Apr 30, 1992)
Felix Sater is a Russian-born former mobster, and former managing director of NY real estate conglomerate Bayrock Group LLC located on the 24th floor of Trump Tower. He is a convict who became a govt cooperator for the FBI and other agencies. He grew up with Michael Cohen--Trump's former "fixer" attorney. Cohen's family owned El Caribe, which was a mob hangout for the Russian Mafia in Brooklyn. Cohen had ties to Ukrainian oligarchs through his in-laws and his brother's in-laws. Felix Sater's father had ties to the Russian mob. This goes back more than 30 years.
► Trump was $4 billion in debt after his Atlantic City casinos went bankrupt. No U.S. bank would touch him. Then foreign money began flowing in through Bayrock (mentioned above). Bayrock was run by two investors: Tevfik Arif, a Kazakhstan-born former Soviet official who drew on bottomless sources of money from the former Soviet republic; and Felix Sater, a Russian-born businessman who had pleaded guilty in the 1990s to a huge stock-fraud scheme involving the Russian mafia. Bayrock partnered with Trump in 2005 and poured money into the Trump organization under the legal guise of licensing his name and property management.
► In July 2008, the height of the housing bust, Trump sold a mansion in Palm Beach for $95 million to Dmitry Rybolovlev, a Russian oligarch. Trump had purchased it four years earlier for $41.35 million. The sale price was nearly $54 million more than Trump had paid for the property. Again, this was the height of the recession when all other property had plummeted in value.
► Semion Mogilevich was the brains behind the Russian Mafia. Mogilevich operatives have been using Trump real estate for decades to launder money. That means Russian Mafia operatives have been part of his fortune for years. Many of them owned condos in Trump Towers and other properties. They were running operations out of Trump's crown jewel.
► From Craig Unger's AMA: "Early on, a source told me that all this was tied to Semion Mogilevich, the powerful Russian mobster. I had never even heard of him, but I immediately went to a database that listed the owners of all properties in NY state and looked up all the Trump properties. Every time I found a Russian sounding name, I would Google, and add Mogilevich. When you do investigative reporting, you anticipate drilling a number of dry holes, but almost everyone I googled turned out to be a Russian mobster. Again and again. If you know New York you don't expect Trump Tower to be a high crime neighborhood, but there were far too many Russian mobsters in Trump properties for it to be a coincidence."
► So many Russians bought Trump apartments at his developments in Florida that the area became known as Little Moscow. The developers of two of his hotels were Russians with significant links to the Russian mob. The late leader of that mob in the United States, Vyacheslav Kirillovich Ivankov, was living at Trump Tower
► According to a Bloomberg investigation (3/16/2017) into Trump World Tower, “a third of units sold on floors 76 through 83 by 2004 involved people or limited liability companies connected to Russia and neighboring states.”
► In 2013, Federal agents busted an “ultraexclusive, high-stakes, illegal poker ring” run by Russian gangsters out of Trump Tower. They operated card games, illegal gambling websites, and a global sports book and laundered more than $100 million. A condo directly below one owned by Trump reportedly served as HQ for a “sophisticated money-laundering scheme” connected to Semion Mogilevich.
► The Russia Mafia is part and parcel of Russian intelligence. Russia is a mafia state. That is not a metaphor. Putin is head of the Mafia. So the fact that they have been operating out of the home of the president of the United States is deeply disturbing.
► Rudy Giuliani famously prosecuted the Italian mob while he was a federal prosecutor, yet the Russian mob was allowed to thrive. Now he's deeply entwined in the business of Trump and Russian oligarchs. Giuiani appointed Semyon Kislin to the NYC Economic Development Council in 1990, and the FBI described Kislin as having ties to the Russian mob. Of course, it made good political sense for Giuliani to get headlines for smashing the Italian mob.
► A lot of Republicans in Washington are implicated. Boatloads of Russian money went to the GOP--often in legal ways. The NRA got as much as $70M from Russia, then funneled it to the GOP. The Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee lead by McConnell got millions from Leonard Blavatnik. In the 90s, the Russians began sending money to top GOP leaders, like Speaker of the House Tom Delay. Craig Unger's book alleges that most of the GOP leadership has been compromised by RU money.
► At the Cityscape USA’s Bridging US and the Emerging Real Estate Markets Conference held in Manhattan, on September 9, 10, and 11, 2008, Donald Trump Jr. was frank about the tide of Russian money supporting the family business, saying "...And in terms of high-end product influx into the US, Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets."
► Eric Trump told golf reporter James Dodson in 2014 that the Trump Organization was able to expand during the financial crisis because “We don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.”
► Russian oligarchs co-signed Trump’s Deutsche bank loans.
Trump now gleefully takes cues from Putin:
► At the end of 2018, Putin and his allies started making a strong push for a resolution that would justify their country’s 1979 invasion of Afghanistan and reverse an 1989 vote backed by Mikhail Gorbachev that condemned it. The Putinists’ goal was to pass the resolution by Feb. There is no one on this side of the Atlantic who thinks the USSR was justified in invading Afghanistan. And out of nowhere, on January 2nd, Trump came out strongly supporting Russia's 1979 invasion of Afghanistan.
► Trump went against American intelligence on North Korean missiles. He told the FBI he didn't believe their intelligence because Putin told him otherwise. “I don't care, I believe Putin"
Trump met in secret with Putin at the G20 summit in November 2018, without note takers. 19 days later, he announced a withdrawal from Syria. As a note, Trump conducted FIVE completely private meetings and conferences with Putin, and has gone to great lengths to prevent literally anyone, even people in his administration, from learning what was discussed.
Trump refused to enforce sanctions legally codified into law - and in some cases reversed standing sanctions on Russian companies.
► He has denounced his own intelligence agencies in a press conference with Putin on election meddling - and publicly endorsed Putin's version of events.
► Trump pulled out of the INF treaty with no explanation, which allows Putin to create long-range hypersonic missiles that threaten Europe with impunity. The US already has all the weaponry that the INF would ban the development of, so this offers us literally nothing, while allowing Russia to develop powerful new weapons to challenge our allies.
Demanded Russia get invited back into G7
► Pushed the CIA to give American intelligence to the Kremlin.
► Withdrew from the Open Skies treaty
Received intelligence in 2019 that Russia was paying bounties for dead American soldiers, and hasn't done anything about it by the time of this writing.
Announced troop withdrawal from Germany (America's missile defense from Russia and forward operating base against Russian aggression)
► And of course, Trump continues to threaten to pull out of NATO, a move so catastrophically stupid, so inconceivably cosmically myopic, I truly can't express the profundity of the idiocy. Suffice to say, pulling out of NATO would be like the only guy in a prison yard with a shotgun just throwing it over the fence for absolutely no reason, suddenly giving the people with crude homemade shivs complete power.
Trump commuted the sentence of Roger Stone, a former advisor convicted several charges, including lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstructing a congressional committee proceeding, as part of former special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.
Edit: thanks for the awards, credit should also go to u/victorvictor1 who originally composed this list. Also, please share so that more people can see this
submitted by Tobert420 to Keep_Track [link] [comments]

COVID-19 Megathread #6

This post is updated daily.
You can also follow the Reddit Live thread here.
 
COVID-19 has now infected more than 215,956 people. There have been 8,757 confirmed deaths and 84,080 confirmed recoveries attributed to the virus.
 
Recent Updates
Note: These are the updates from the last 48-72 hours.
MARCH 18 -
 
MARCH 17 -
 
MARCH 16 -
 
Tracking COVID-19
 
Reputable Sources for Information:
submitted by hoosakiwi to news [link] [comments]

Will China's PLAN survive contact with the enemy?

The best laid PLANs of mice and men often go awry.

Welcome back to another effortpost by me generally on the developing arms race in East Asia, this time covering the People's Liberation Army Navy, hereafter referred to as the "PLAN", and its massive growth... and... mostly, well, its massive growth. What that means is mostly covered in other posts about how other countries are responding to it. The why is a bit difficult because, well, China is not well known for open debate, or open anything, really, which will turn up repeatedly.

  1. What you [might] need to know about South Korea's ludicrous arms buildup
  2. We shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches.... uh, what do we do after that again?: The Perilous Defensive Position of Taiwan
  3. "You've hit another cargo ship? The Problems with the US Navy: Not all of them begin with "Seven" and end with "th Fleet"."
  4. Will China's PLAN survive contact with the enemy?
  5. Biden's New START and modern nuclear war
  6. First And Last Stand Of The Tin Can Navies [ASEAN + Australia and the smaller adversaries China may contend with]
  7. Boned: Problems in the US Air [and space!] Force
  8. --Unnamed-- effortpost on Japanese military matters, mostly about how weird the JSDF status is
  9. --Unnamed--effortpost on Indian military matters, and why they can't focus on China or buy anything that works
  10. --Unnamed--effortpost on the rest of the PLA, mostly the air force though
  11. --Unnamed--effortpost on the rest of the US Armed Forces, mostly talking about how the marines are changing and the Army's new love affair with INF-busting weapons
  12. Conclusion?

Glossary:
PLA = People's Liberation Army = the armed forces of the People's Republic of China, or China
PLAN = People's Liberation Army Navy = the naval forces of the PLA
PLANAF = People's Liberation Army Navy Air Force = the air force of the navy of the PLA
Ashm = Anti-ship missile, cruise missile unless specifically described as otherwise--there's only one anti-ship ballistic missile in existence and its efficacy and whether or not it functions is questionable
CIWS = close-in weapons system, like the Phalanx gun or Goalkeeper
VLS = vertical launch system for missiles
AEGIS = Aegis Combat System if described specifically in that context, a US naval warfare system, but we'll usually be talking about "Chinese AEGIS", which is a nomiker used by the Chinese media in particular comparing the Type 346 radar to the AN-SPY family, with which it shares numerous technical characteristics--but how comparable the "Chinese AEGIS" system is to what the US uses is a complete unknown.
SAM = Surface-to-air missile, in this case usually a S-300 derivative
First Island Chain = The islands, stretching from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Japan, which keep China inside its littoral seas much as the GIUK [Greenland-Iceland-UK] gap has kept various continental powers out of the Atlantic.


Some PLAN equipment you might see described--the nomenclature is confusing and a relic of the cultural revolution, and as a result China now has more Types than the British.
Type 003 = China's new conventionally powered supercarriers, currently under construction
Type 002 = China's first truly "operational" carrier
Type 001 = China's first carrier, built on a Soviet hull purchased from Ukraine ostensibly to make a floating casino
Type 055 = Guided-missile cruiser, though generally called a destroyer it's probably more descriptively labeled a cruiser
Type 052D = Guided-missile destroyer using "Chinese AEGIS"
Type 052/051B/052B/052C = the gradual progression of evolving Chinese naval tech, largely built as practice/demo ships like the Type 001. Some of the earlier ones are steam-powered but by the Type 052C you have something almost as advanced as the Type 052D, albeit with turbine problems
Type 054A = the standard modern frigate of the PLAN
Type 053[anything] = old PLAN frigates
Type 096 = China's newest SSBN class, under construction
Type 094 = China's first functional SSBN class, very noisy
Type 092 = China's first "SSBN", believed to have never left port with an actual nuke on board
Type 095 = China's newest SSN class, under construction
Type 093 = China's current SSN class, noisy
Type 091 = China's first SSN class, dumb dumb dumb and is at a 1950s tech level
Type 039[A] = China's new SSK class
Kilo = China's older SSK class, imported from Russia
Sovremenny = China's first capable anti-air destroyers, imported from Russia


1. The Last Time A Rising Navy Challenged A Dominant Foe

The last time we've seen something like this was in the late 19th century. After the First World War shipbuilding was restricted by the landmark Washington Naval Treaty, one of the first great arms control treaties, and during the Cold War the Soviet Union never really had any hopes of surpassing American naval power. China, however, seems intent on replacing the US as the world's dominant naval power, or at least building a force that can stop the US Navy, even combined with the forces of Japan and other regional allies.

The nations in question, of course, in the last naval arms race, were the United Kingdom and a newly-unified Germany. Germany never reached the level of the UK, but seriously threatened it. Previously the UK had maintained a policy of having more ships than the next two largest fleets combined, but this was no longer possible, and the UK legitimately was fearful for its naval supremacy. It didn't last too long in the end--under a decade--and a resumption was foiled by first a world war and then the Washington Naval Treaty. The impact of the arms race, though, was massive. It set Germany and the UK at odds with each other, it resulted in a general buildup of warships pretty much everywhere [South America was, believe it or not, one of the biggest offenders there], established Germany for a time as the world's second naval power, having eclipsed both France and Russia and turning a small coastal defense navy into something that was able to defeat the Royal Navy itself, though never comprehensively enough to change the course of the first world war.

China dwells in a much different situation than Germany did at the turn of the last century, so we can only extend the analogy so far--substituting in Japan for the UK, India for Russia, and so on is possible but not, in my view, educational. However, we can see many of the same elements playing in here. China seems intent on replacing the US as a dominant power, or at least as regional hegemon--the ancient tributary system seems to lie fairly heavily on Chinese minds--and in order to do that, it must be able to have some degree of power projection and the capability to deny the US Navy access to areas within the first island chain. It remains to be seen, however, how successful that quest will be. Much as with the dreadnought battleships, I wouldn't be surprised if we never actually do find out if most of the shiny naval toys people have built actually work. But their mere existence shows the mutual hostility developing in the region and demonstrates the size of the Chinese threat.

Another lesson learned here is that China, like Germany, may not develop a naval force capable of defeating the US comprehensively, but only partially, and that one of the powers--in this case, China--might be pressured to strike first before the US Navy can close the gap. That ~2030 gap I talked about in my last post is, I think, an especially vulnerable point, because China may look at a degraded, but rejuvenating US Navy, then at their own capable forces, and decide to strike then in Taiwan and the South China Sea, only to back down when the US Navy again eclipses them. Whether or not that will happen, we will see--but I find it a very dangerous and perhaps likely possibility.

2. What the PLAN looked like 20 years ago

The PLAN has undergone an absolutely stunning evolution in the past two decades. In the Third Taiwan Strait Crisis the US could intimidate China with a pair of aircraft carrier strike groups and China could do pretty much nothing about it. Now the US is afraid of sending anything more than a destroyer through the strait.

Twenty years ago, the PLAN was a bit of a joke. Even Taiwan figured it could hold the seas against the PLAN. It consisted of a few tens of outdated coastal-defense frigates, some Soviet-era diesel-electric subs, and a large number of unsophisticated missile craft. The pride of the Chinese fleet were a handful of destroyers assembled using cobbled-together Western technology--copied French missiles, American gas turbines, the lot. According to American accounts at the time, the instructions for the equipment hadn't even been translated. The most advanced ship in the fleet used steampower. There were nuclear submarines, but of 1950s quality. Of particular note was the fact that the Chinese fleet had no area air defense capabilities--their premier surface-to-air-missile was an unlicensed knockoff of the French Crotale, and couldn't shoot anything outside of visual range, at high altitudes, or really doing anything more sophisticated than trying to kill their ships with low-altitude dumb bombing runs.

In the past twenty years, however, the PLAN has, much like the German Navy towards the end of the 19th century, gone from an afterthought to the world's second most powerful force. It began, as modern China's military capabilities almost all began, with the looting of the former Soviet Union for naval technology. While Soviet naval tech was generally lacking, it was much better than anything else China could get its hands on after the arms embargo placed on it in the 1990s by the US and Europe in response to Tienanmen and the end of the Cold War. China bought Soviet diesel submarines, Soviet air-defense destroyers, and Soviet aircraft carriers, which it promptly left lying around [and turned one of them into a theme park]. This was combined with copies of various pieces of Western, mostly European, technology for everything from sonars to surface-to-air missiles. China then began developing its first modern indigenous surface combatants, the Type 052C, but there were still problems. The engines were Ukrainian and had reliability trouble, the gun jammed, there was no VLS.

It is really in the last ten years that things have begun to move extremely quickly, and even only in the latter portion of the decade. In 2012 the Type 001 Liaoning entered service, and although it remains more of a training ship than an operational vessel, and is held back by a poor carrier aircraft, the mere fact that China "built" a carrier was a surprise to many. In 2014 the first Type 052D destroyer came online. It had learned the lessons from the Type 052C, and in just the last six years at least ten have entered service, with a class size of about 23 expected. This rapid expansion is what has frightened competing navies the most--in a little over a decade, the PLAN is constructing more destroyers than the British, French, and Australian navies have in service combined. It is also building the Type 055, which has generally been called a "destroyer" despite being more aptly described as a cruiser in line with the Ticonderoga-class. China has also built 30 modern frigates in the past decade, which has also swelled its numbers, along with numerous smaller corvettes, submarines, and so on.

This is why the PLAN has become such an object of concern. While it cannot challenge the US Navy yet, at least outside its littoral zones, the decline of the USN and rapid expansion of the PLAN means that it is a serious threat. And the speed at which it has developed has made many fearful. As recently as 2010, the idea of China operating an aircraft carrier or modern destroyers seemed distant, possibly preposterous. Now China speaks openly of having a six-carrier fleet in the 2030s, although, as with many of China's plans to operate full US-replicated tech and doctrine, these may have somewhat caved to realism. China is mighty, but it has already done the easy part--the last part is much harder, in economics and in military matters. Building the software, the institutional knowledge, the hardware to compete with the US Navy will prove difficult.

3. What the PLAN looks like now--submarines

Submarines are one of the PLAN's weak spots, particularly nuclear submarines. China is, however, making some fairly rapid advances in this area.

Their nuclear submarine program has been considered a bit of a joke for some time. In the late 1950s when all the cool kids great powers were getting nuclear submarines, China decided [or at least Mao did] that China needed nuclear submarines too. About 16 years later, the product of this effort finally emerged as the Type 091 submarine. Based on 1950s technology, with poor radiation shielding and basically nothing done in the name of noise reduction, and not even a teardrop hull, the Type 091 was probably more of a threat to the sailors who were on it than anyone else, except maybe the two Tench-class submarines that Taiwan operates, which use 1940s technology and are the world's longest-serving submarines, though they're mostly used for training nowadays. Even then, my money would be on the Tench despite the upgrades the PLAN has made to the Type 091. There's only so much you can do to put lipstick on a pig.

China also produced an SSBN, the Type 092, which was probably the only submarine more useless than the Type 091. About the only useful thing it did for the PLAN was that it served as a test platform for SLBM launches. Reports suggest that the Type 092 is the noisiest SSBN ever made, and is thought to have only ever undertaken a single patrol. It stayed at port for so long that it was thought to have sunk in an accident. And the experience turned the PLAN off from building SSBNs for over twenty years, until the Type 094 came online in 2007.

More recent submarines are growing in capability, though. The Type 094 is not the noisiest SSBN ever made, and may not even be the noisiest in current service--that honor going to the Delta III operated by the Russian Navy, which uses 1970s technology, and, which, according to the US Office of Naval Intelligence, is about as noisy as the Type 094. The Type 093 is also moderately capable--it actually functions and can fire anti-ship missiles. However, the Type 093 is still considered only comparable to the Soviet Victor III class, again using 1970s technology. Future submarines have not yet been seen, but expectations are that China will make another step forward to late 1980s or early 1990s tech levels, producing something on par with the Los Angeles or Akula for the first time.

China also operates a fairly capable fleet of coastal diesel-electric submarines. While some are quite old--the Type 035--most are pretty average for the global submarine force, a mix of Kilos and domestic AIP designs. The large number of boats in operation and their anti-ship missile capability means that these should be considered a real threat, at least in the littoral waters near to China, but they aren't decisive by any means, especially since China is facing off against such threats as Japan's Soryu class, probably the most advanced diesel-electric sub in existence.

In conclusion, the PLAN is still pretty weak on the submarine front--weaker here than on anything but its carrier force, but its capabilities are advancing rapidly and should not be underestimated.

4. What the PLAN looks like now--surface combatants

The surface fleet is definitely the most impressive and capable portion of the PLAN, no questions about it. China once had a fleet consisting mostly of coastal frigates and missile boats. As recently as 2000, its fleet had no real area-air-defense destroyers, and no SAMs that could operate outside visual range. Now, though, the PLAN operates tens of advanced guided-missile destroyers, advanced frigates, and still retains a large number of small, stealthy missile boats.

The major focus of Chinese warships appears to be on anti-air, with anti-surface being a somewhat secondary concern for all but the smallest vessels. This makes sense when you realize that the primary focus is, at least for the moment, on using land-based aircraft to strike against hostile fleet formations using long-range anti-ship missiles, in a very Soviet sort of way--"Backfire raids" using long-range land-based aircraft with anti-ship missiles were one of the US Navy's major concerns during the Cold War, and the very reason for the F-14's existence along with the AIM-54 Phoenix it carried. However, China has been developing anti-surface capabilities as well using ashms and land-attack cruise missiles [generally the same thing, actually]. Since China has finally developed a VLS system that allows it to use the same launcher for multiple missiles, its most recent ships have become more versatile in that role.

How effective these ships are at that task is, however, a relatively open question. Their radars at least seem to quite sophisticated, using flat-panel AESA, and have been dubbed "Chinese AEGIS" by the highly reliable Chinese domestic media. The basic platform their surface-to-air missiles are based on also seems to be fairly capable--the HQ-9 is an S-300 derivative, a respectable SAM system though, again, how capable it is against opponents in an active electronic warfare environment is questionable, and it has basically no capabilities against stealth aircraft like the F-35 as far as anyone knows. The efficacy of their CIWS, again, is open to question. Really this is true of everything about the modern PLAN, and PLA in general. The PLA is secretive, has not exported most of its hardware, and has developed largely independently of foreign militaries, though it is definitely influenced by them. Now that the PLAN has moved away from simply copying foreign hardware and patching it together, its capabilities are much harder to discern.

However, they should be taken as a very real threat, and not written off. My guess would be that their warships are about as capable as most of their non-American counterparts, save those equipped with AEGIS, but that's all my guess is---a guess.

5. What the PLAN looks like now--carriers

The PLAN currently has two carriers in service, and two more known to be under construction, and most suspect that it will build several more. However, at the moment, the PLAN's carrier force is largely a paper tiger, designed around training. The first carrier, the Type 001, basically was a "how do you build a carrier" kit bought from Russia, possibly by accident--the "fully functional" Minsk ended up as a theme park, believe it or not. The hull was purchased from Ukraine and then completed in China years later. It is also believed that the PLAN may have learned some things about aircraft carriers from the HMAS Melbourne, which was sold to a Chinese firm for scrapping--rumor has it the PLAN had no clue this had happened and then had a field day looking at all the stuff that hadn't been taken out. This was back in the old days when nobody could imagine that China would have an aircraft carrier. The Type 002, however, is built from scratch, but isn't particularly capable especially as it's a ski-jump carrier, leaving the Type 003 the first carrier which will prove actually useful.

The main thing holding China's carrier fleet back, though, is a lack of a suitable aircraft. Originally China was considering purchasing Su-33s from Russia, hardly a good carrier-based aircraft but functional, but after Russia discovered that China had been mucking about building a Su-27 derivative without asking the deal fell through [China tells a different story, saying that Russia demanded exorbitant amounts to reopen production which it was unwilling to pay for a nearly obsolete aircraft]. As a result China operates the J-15 as its naval fighter, with... less than stellar results. It's extremely heavy, and, if it takes off from the carrier, has minimal range if carrying anything at all--it can't take more than two short range air to air missiles into the sky to fight enemy aircraft. However, the J-15 isn't really intended for combat service--it's intended to teach China how to run carriers, and it seems to work well enough for that task, aside from the multiple fatal crashes. There is, however, thought to be a new carrier fighter in the pipeline--most say the J-31/FC-31, which has reduced RCS and a number of carrier-unique features, is being pitched as a carrier-based aircraft and will serve as China's carrier fighter in the future. China also lacks any fixed wing carrier-based airborne early warning, which could prove troublesome--a lack of AEW means that its view is limited by the horizon--and has no resupply aircraft like the C-2 Greyhound. As a result, for the moment at least, China lacks an effective carrier force, but it is likely to continue developing rapidly in the next decade and become a fairly substantial threat. Remember that as recently as 2010, a Chinese aircraft carrier seemed preposterous to many people, and now they have two.

6. Some attention to land-based aircraft

Land-based aircraft as a naval weapon are not generally used by the US, which has never had a reason to develop them as a doctrinal focus. Sure, you could potentially envision them as being used, and there even were situations where they were utilized, but it just wasn't generally a priority or how things were done. For China, though, taking influence from the Soviets, and lying on littoral seas with hostile powers in the First Island Chain, land-based aircraft and missiles are a key part of doctrine. Although this is often viewed as a new thing, called A2/AD [anti access/area denial], it's really the result of a long historical evolution of naval power, probably most refined by the Soviet Union. As a result, land-based naval aviation plays an important role, firing anti-ship missiles at standoff distances at enemy vessels, and shore-based launchers of anti-ship missiles are also an important weapon. The combination of these systems means that venturing within China's littoral seas is a dangerous proposition during war, and some waters, like those of the Taiwan Strait, are effectively considered closed at this point in the event of hostilities breaking out. For this reason air superiority is also important in this sort of naval warfare, as if either side gains air superiority it can pummel its opponents with air-launched anti-ship missiles. China's capabilities in this area are sophisticated and should not be underestimated, but they are unlikely to go through a rapid period of growth like the PLAN's fleet.

And a brief note dedicated entirely to the DF-21D "Carrier killer" that the PLA likes to show off. It's a pretty impressive capability, on paper, using a ballistic missile to hit a carrier. The CEP [circular error probable] means that it could even happen, presuming that an aircraft carrier was good enough to sit in one place, not moving, long enough to be detected by China. Aircraft carriers look big, but the seas are huge, and they're surprisingly hard to find. They also move quite fast, in excess of of 35mph/55kph, and thus by the time the ballistic missile has launched it might well be out of range given the fact that ballistic missiles are not particularly known for their maneuverability in terminal stages, at least not in the realm of miles. The DF-21D is not a particular threat to the modern aircraft carrier. It could potentially be one if it evolves into a hypersonic boost-glide vehicle, but that's a whole additional can of worms, that I might address a different day.

7. The PLAN's plans for the future--what will it look like in 2030?

Unfortunately the PLAN is not exactly the most open of navies, as I've repeatedly mentioned. There are no public debates over acquisitions programs, no big fleet shape plans, relatively little detail.

However, a few things are fairly sure bets or publicly announced.

China has repeatedly announced plans to build a six-carrier force, including the Type 001 and Type 002, but also a pair of Type 003 [already under construction] conventionally powered supercarriers and a pair of Type 004 nuclear powered supercarriers. However, it seems that the Type 004 is currently on hold. Why, exactly, is unclear, but it seems to be technical difficulties, which are not particularly surprising given that China's experience with nuclear maritime propulsion seem to be rather limited and have had poor results in their submarine fleet. The costs were also expected to be too high--China does not have an unlimited quantity of money, despite what it may flaunt, and nuclear carriers are expensive to develop especially given that China has not built a nuclear-powered surface ship before.

A new carrier-based fighter is almost certainly in the cards because the J-15 is pretty much useless. The FC-31 seems by far the most likely candidate but it could be another aircraft we haven't seen yet. The addition of this aircraft will greatly improve the PLAN's capabilities.

China also has two Type 075 amphibious assault ships/LHDs under construction, and I would expect this class to be much more prolific. These ships are much more affordable than the full carriers, and focus on areas in which China is particularly concerned--amphibious assaults, say, on islands in the South China Sea or on Taiwan, and anti-submarine warfare, which is of particular importance given that submarines cannot be easily halted with land-based anti-ship missiles and air-launched cruise missiles provided for in their area denial doctrine--submarines are one of the few things that can slip through that net.

The surface combatant fleet is likely to continue growing, but I am not sure if it will swell much beyond the ~23 Type 052D ships planned and the 8 Type 055s. We're likely to see the retirement of the classes preceding the Type 052C destroyer and the Type 054 frigate, and they may be offloaded to Bangladesh, Myanmar, or Pakistan--there is substantial precedent here, and it seems that China is interested in expanding the naval capabilities of its partners around India.

The submarine fleet is likely to see rapid expansion if the PLAN is satisfied with the Type 095 and Type 096 classes, and we're likely to see more diesel-electric subs built as well. Submarines are generally quite good at fighting submarines and conducting area-denial missions, and the large and capable subsurface forces of Japan, Korea, and the United States means that this has to be an area the PLAN invests more in--and the fact that several Southeast Asian nations are also looking at acquiring submarines makes the issue more pressing.

8. Conclusion

China has in the past decade gone from a third-rate navy to perhaps the greatest threat the US Navy has faced since the Second World War. This has significant geopolitical implications, and has resulted in neighbors scrambling to overhaul their naval forces. The growth of the PLAN means that the US can no longer easily defend Taiwan or the South China Sea, or any of China's littoral waters. This, more than anything else, is what has everyone scrambling in the US talking about "great-power competition" because denying access to the US Navy and working on power projection, an inherently naval thing, is essentially a clear sign that China is looking to directly compete with the United States. Underestimate the PLAN at your own peril.

I hope to have more detail and citations in future posts, but unfortunately the PLAN is very secretive [yes, I've said that fifty times already] and this is a pretty big topic to discuss without going into details about all sorts of naval tidbits. Thanks for reading the fourth post in what I hope will be a fairly substantial series, probably around ~12 posts.

9. Citations

James Holmes, "The Danger Zone In Naval Arms Races"
USNI, Report to Congress on Chinese Naval Modernization
Hans Kristensen, China's Noisy Nuclear Submarines
Eric Wertheim, China's Type 052D Destroyer is a potent adversary
Robert Farley, Let's Talk About The Chinese Navy's Type 055 Destroyer
Ryan Pickrell, Chinese fighter jet holding China back as it builds carrier fleet
Look, much more here is based on loose speculation, more unreliable sources, and stuff I've picked up over the years, because public info is limited. So take everything I say with a grain of salt, but understand that it's the best information I know of.
submitted by AmericanNewt8 to neoliberal [link] [comments]

A list of ties between Russia and the President

Trump has been in Russia’s pocket for a long time:
► Trump was over a billion in debt and the Russians bailed him out.
► Trump was first compromised by the Russians in the 80s. In 1984, the Russian Mafia began to useTrump real estate to launder money. In 1987, the Soviet ambassador to the United Nations, Yuri Dubinin, arranged for Trump and his then-wife, Ivana, to enjoy an all-expense-paid trip to Moscow to consider possible business prospects. Only seven weeks after his trip, Trump ran full-page ads in the Boston Globe, the NYT and WaPO calling for, in effect, the dismantling of the postwar Western foreign policy alliance. The whole Trump/Russian connection started out as laundering money for the Russian mob through Trump's real estate, but evolved into something far bigger.
► In 1984, David Bogatin — a convicted Russian mobster and close ally of Semion Mogilevich, a major Russian mob boss — met with Trump in Trump Tower right after it opened. Bogatin bought five condos from Trump at that meeting. Those condos were later seized by the government, which claimed they were used to launder money for the Russian mob. (NY Times, Apr 30, 1992)
► [Felix Sater](https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felix_Sater } is a Russian-born former mobster, and former managing director of NY real estate conglomerate Bayrock Group LLC located on the 24th floor of Trump Tower. He is a convict who became a govt cooperator for the FBI and other agencies. He grew up with Michael Cohen--Trump's former "fixer" attorney. Cohen's family owned El Caribe, which was a mob hangout for the Russian Mafia in Brooklyn. Cohen had ties to Ukrainian oligarchs through his in-laws and his brother's in-laws. Felix Sater's father had ties to the Russian mob. This goes back more than 30 years.
► Trump was $4 billion in debt after his Atlantic City casinos went bankrupt. No U.S. bank would touch him. Then foreign money began flowing in through Bayrock (mentioned above). Bayrock was run by two investors: Tevfik Arif, a Kazakhstan-born former Soviet official who drew on bottomless sources of money from the former Soviet republic; and Felix Sater, a Russian-born businessman who had pleaded guilty in the 1990s to a huge stock-fraud scheme involving the Russian mafia. Bayrock partnered with Trump in 2005 and poured money into the Trump organization under the legal guise of licensing his name and property management.
► In July 2008, the height of the housing bust, Trump sold a mansion in Palm Beach for $95 million to Dmitry Rybolovlev, a Russian oligarch. Trump had purchased it four years earlier for $41.35 million. The sale price was nearly $54 million more than Trump had paid for the property. Again, this was the height of the recession when all other property had plummeted in value.
► Semion Mogilevich was the brains behind the Russian Mafia. Mogilevich operatives have been using Trump real estate for decades to launder money. That means Russian Mafia operatives have been part of his fortune for years. Many of them owned condos in Trump Towers and other properties. They were running operations out of Trump's crown jewel.
► So many Russians bought Trump apartments at his developments in Florida that the area became known as Little Moscow. The developers of two of his hotels were Russians with significant links to the Russian mob. The late leader of that mob in the United States, Vyacheslav Kirillovich Ivankov, was living at Trump Tower
► According to a Bloomberg investigation (3/16/2017) into Trump World Tower, “a third of units sold on floors 76 through 83 by 2004 involved people or limited liability companies connected to Russia and neighboring states.”
► In 2013, Federal agents busted an “ultraexclusive, high-stakes, illegal poker ring” run by Russian gangsters out of Trump Tower. They operated card games, illegal gambling websites, and a global sports book and laundered more than $100 million. A condo directly below one owned by Trump reportedly served as HQ for a “sophisticated money-laundering scheme” connected to Semion Mogilevich.
► The Russia Mafia is part and parcel of Russian intelligence. Russia is a mafia state. That is not a metaphor. Putin is head of the Mafia. So the fact that they have been operating out of the home of the president of the United States is deeply disturbing.
► Rudy Giuliani famously prosecuted the Italian mob while he was a federal prosecutor, yet the Russian mob was allowed to thrive. Now he's deeply entwined in the business of Trump and Russian oligarchs. Giuiani appointed Semyon Kislin to the NYC Economic Development Council in 1990, and the FBI described Kislin as having ties to the Russian mob. Of course, it made good political sense for Giuliani to get headlines for smashing the Italian mob.
► A lot of Republicans in Washington are implicated. Boatloads of Russian money went to the GOP--often in legal ways. The NRA got as much as $70M from Russia, then funneled it to the GOP. The Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee lead by McConnell got millions from Leonard Blavatnik. In the 90s, the Russians began sending money to top GOP leaders, like Speaker of the House Tom Delay. Craig Unger's book alleges that most of the GOP leadership has been compromised by RU money.
► At the Cityscape USA’s Bridging US and the Emerging Real Estate Markets Conference held in Manhattan, on September 9, 10, and 11, 2008, Donald Trump Jr. was frank about the tide of Russian money supporting the family business, saying "...And in terms of high-end product influx into the US, Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets."
► Eric Trump told golf reporter James Dodson in 2014 that the Trump Organization was able to expand during the financial crisis because “We don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.”
► Russian oligarchs co-signed Trump’s Deutsche bank loans.
Trump now gleefully takes cues from Putin: ► Trump went against American intelligence on North Korean missiles. He told the FBI he didn't believe their intelligence because Putin told him otherwise. “I don't care, I believe Putin"
Trump met in secret with Putin at the G20 summit in November 2018, without note takers. 19 days later, he announced a withdrawal from Syria.
Trump refused to enforce sanctions legally codified into law - and in some cases reversed standing sanctions on Russian companies.
► He has denounced his own intelligence agencies in a press conference with Putin on election meddling - and publicly endorsed Putin's version of events.
Demanded Russia get invited back into G7
► Pushed the CIA to give American intelligence to the Kremlin.
► Withdrew from the Open Skies treaty
Received intelligence in 2019 that Russia was paying bounties for dead American soldiers, and hasn't done anything about it
Compiled by u/Torbert420.
submitted by readwritethink to conspiracy [link] [comments]

VXX As An Insurance Bet - In Confusion, There Is Profit

VXX As An Insurance Bet - In Confusion, There Is Profit
I know what you're thinking, "Oh great, another douchecanoe typing 'words words words' who adds a crayon drawing because he thinks this is investing." No. Because sirs (and madams), this is a casino!
In this casino there are Robinhood autists YOLOing at the roulette table, or trying to win their YOLOs back at the nickel slots. Then there's theta gang, sitting at the blackjack tables like the card counters they are. They're not as fun, but they're methodical, and can play for hours at a sitting. Your loss porn is their gain. They know the House doesn't always have to win if they bet more when the odds are in their favor.
In blackjack, if the dealer shows an ace, you can buy insurance. It's almost always a bad bet, because in multideck blackjack it's really hard to count cards. But if you could count the cards, you would know that sometimes, an insurance bet is a good play.
For the hand we're all holding right now, the cards that will be dealt next can be (mostly) counted. Your portfolio insurance doesn't have to be SPY puts. You don't have to be a bear right now, but if you're at least bear curious, VXX is a decent play at the moment.
For a detailed explainer on what VXX is, click here. For those of you who don't care about messy details just understand that VXX is an ETN trading on current and future month VIX (market volatility) futures. Presuming you're buying calls/selling puts because that's all some of you do, you're buying calls on futures of an volatility index. That's a lot of crystal balls to be juggling in one ticker symbol.
Now let's look at the chart of VXX since January 2018, giving us almost three years of history:

VXX Jan 18 through Oct 20
For the two of you who have ever read the disclosure on your broker's investment pitches, you know "past performance doesn't guarantee future results". How could it? We're looking at futures here, not pasts. But...
Note that in the last three years, VXX has only been below $20 from late October 2019 to mid February 2020 - when Covid decided it was going to wreck our fully employed, stable, almost nirvana of an economy.
Since Late March, we've been working off that excess peak as stonks have only been able to go up. That last little spike, however, came in September when election uncertainty coupled with Washington gridlock/Stimulus failure/JPow saying the Feds needed to help his printer go BRRRR.
The VIX popped back to 30 after the first "Presidential" (air quotes) debate raised uncertainty over the outcome of the election/transfer of power and then the President was diagnosed with Covid. As the polls started to shift toward a sweep for the democrats, however, the removal of election uncertainty and the likelihood of even bigger stimulus after the election started to outweigh the fears of additional taxes/regulation on businesses, along with Congress and the White House continuing to play Lucy & The Football with us over stimulus before the election goosed the market. Stonks resumed their "only go up" posture, and the VXX has been creeping back down.
That's the past. What's actually going to happen here?
(NOTE: I'm well aware of WSB's NO POLITICAL BULLSHIT! rule. You should be too - look to the right if unfamiliar. The following items are about illustrating how uncertainty will lead to volatility so we can make green, not to talk about how red or blue you are.)
1) Polls always, always close before an election. It's still hard to put together the electoral map where President Trump wins, but there are late polls showing states that were clearly in Biden's column moving back to toss up. Narrowing polls, by definition, will increase election uncertainty.
2) The greater use of vote by mail increases the likelihood that we won't know who won - especially control of the Senate - on election night...or maybe a day or three after.
3) Individual Senate seats are less guaranteed to flip than the White House. In addition, there are possible runoffs. In Georgia, where a candidate must get 50% plus one vote to win, there are two seats currently in the toss-up category, and their runoffs are NINE WEEKS LONG. It's possible the next Congress will only have 98 Senators when they are sworn in, with Georgia getting around to sending Senators a week or so later.
4) Late this week or next, The White House/Nancy Pelosi/Mitch McConnell are probably going to have to say definitely/out loud that there will be no stimulus agreement before Nov 3rd.
5) Half the country is not prepared to accept the outcome of the election, regardless who wins.
6) If you think partisans are bitter and unable to reach an agreement now, wait until they're lame ducks. I don't see how all of these problems get magically solved in November or December.
7) Sometime in November, the market will quit worrying about just getting November 3rd over with and will start focusing on policy changes. A Republican Senate that refuses to pass anything for a Democratic President? A Democratic Senate that decides to get rid of the filibuster and pack the Supreme Court, Green New Deal, resume soaking the rich?
8) The Pandemic? That old thing? Newsrooms are working overtime to turn ensure we're all preparing for new lockdowns as winter approaches.
Again, taking political opinions - mine or yours - out of this, the market got way too comfortable too quickly with what is about to happen November - January, and the open questions should lead to quite a bit of additional volatility. Bringing this home to that crayon drawing from CNBC above, does this environment look like it should have a VXX trading at the same levels from last fall, when unemployment was 3.5% with no inflation in sight, and reasonably stable DC politics? I don't think so.
But here's the bonus thing. I may be wrong about any and all of the 8 catalysts above. They lend themselves to shorter term calls, but at least once per year, the market gets caught offsides, and VXX spikes. The ETN appears to be worthy of a core trading position below $20, in addition to calls at times like now when the market seems to be too comfortable with the discomfort that is coming.
If you're counting cards with me, you see a lot of 10's left in the deck and the dealer is holding an ace. I'm buying the insurance. Not so much as a hedge against the negative, but because in confusion, there is profit.
Counter-argument/caution: I've skimmed several articles noting that the VIX was pricing the election as the single biggest risk event ever. Clearly, I'm not the first to suggest this play and some will argue that it's priced in. But as this article from Forbes points out, the VIX/VXX is back to all time historical norms just a couple of weeks out. My argument is that people sold their event profits too soon, and that I expect a rising VXX into the election and possibly after.
TL;DR - The market is underpricing the uncertainty coming around and after the election, and VXX calls will help play the volatility spike as nervousness returns over the next few weeks.
Positions:
10 Nov 20 $24 calls
Likely adding new Nov or Dec calls Monday after writing this and convincing myself of my own BS.
submitted by One_Eyed_Man_King to wallstreetbets [link] [comments]

Know Your President!

There's a lot of disinformation out there spread by foreign trolls and domestic militants. Qanon is nonsense but it serves a purpose of blunting the facts. "You say Trump was helped by the Russians? What about Hillary eating babies?"
A poster named Tobert420 put together a comprehensive list that worth reviewing before voting in the coming election. Since the goal of those spreading disinformation is to muddy the waters, I thought I would share his work. Knowledge is power.

An Overview of Donald Trump’s numerous ties to Russia, with sources!

📷
Trump was over a billion in debt and the Russians bailed him out.
► Trump was first compromised by the Russians in the 80s. In 1984, the Russian Mafia began to use Trump real estate to launder money. In 1987, the Soviet ambassador to the United Nations, Yuri Dubinin, arranged for Trump and his then-wife, Ivana, to enjoy an all-expense-paid trip to Moscow to consider possible business prospects. Only seven weeks after his trip, Trump ran full-page ads in the Boston Globe, the NYT and WaPO calling for, in effect, the dismantling of the postwar Western foreign policy alliance. The whole Trump/Russian connection started out as laundering money for the Russian mob through Trump's real estate, but evolved into something far bigger.
► In 1984, David Bogatin — a convicted Russian mobster and close ally of Semion Mogilevich, a major Russian mob boss — met with Trump in Trump Tower right after it opened. Bogatin bought five condos from Trump at that meeting. Those condos were later seized by the government, which claimed they were used to launder money for the Russian mob. (NY Times, Apr 30, 1992)
► Felix Sater is a Russian-born former mobster, and former managing director of NY real estate conglomerate Bayrock Group LLC located on the 24th floor of Trump Tower. He is a convict who became a govt cooperator for the FBI and other agencies. He grew up with Michael Cohen--Trump's former "fixer" attorney. Cohen's family owned El Caribe, which was a mob hangout for the Russian Mafia in Brooklyn. Cohen had ties to Ukrainian oligarchs through his in-laws and his brother's in-laws. Felix Sater's father had ties to the Russian mob. This goes back more than 30 years.
► Trump was $4 billion in debt after his Atlantic City casinos went bankrupt. No U.S. bank would touch him. Then foreign money began flowing in through Bayrock (mentioned above). Bayrock was run by two investors: Tevfik Arif, a Kazakhstan-born former Soviet official who drew on bottomless sources of money from the former Soviet republic; and Felix Sater, a Russian-born businessman who had pleaded guilty in the 1990s to a huge stock-fraud scheme involving the Russian mafia. Bayrock partnered with Trump in 2005 and poured money into the Trump organization under the legal guise of licensing his name and property management.
► In July 2008, the height of the housing bust, Trump sold a mansion in Palm Beach for $95 million to Dmitry Rybolovlev, a Russian oligarch. Trump had purchased it four years earlier for $41.35 million. The sale price was nearly $54 million more than Trump had paid for the property. Again, this was the height of the recession when all other property had plummeted in value.
► Semion Mogilevich was the brains behind the Russian Mafia. Mogilevich operatives have been using Trump real estate for decades to launder money. That means Russian Mafia operatives have been part of his fortune for years. Many of them owned condos in Trump Towers and other properties. They were running operations out of Trump's crown jewel.
► From Craig Unger's AMA: "Early on, a source told me that all this was tied to Semion Mogilevich, the powerful Russian mobster. I had never even heard of him, but I immediately went to a database that listed the owners of all properties in NY state and looked up all the Trump properties. Every time I found a Russian sounding name, I would Google, and add Mogilevich. When you do investigative reporting, you anticipate drilling a number of dry holes, but almost everyone I googled turned out to be a Russian mobster. Again and again. If you know New York you don't expect Trump Tower to be a high crime neighborhood, but there were far too many Russian mobsters in Trump properties for it to be a coincidence."
► So many Russians bought Trump apartments at his developments in Florida that the area became known as Little Moscow. The developers of two of his hotels were Russians with significant links to the Russian mob. The late leader of that mob in the United States, Vyacheslav Kirillovich Ivankov, was living at Trump Tower
► According to a Bloomberg investigation (3/16/2017) into Trump World Tower, “a third of units sold on floors 76 through 83 by 2004 involved people or limited liability companies connected to Russia and neighboring states.”
► In 2013, Federal agents busted an “ultraexclusive, high-stakes, illegal poker ring” run by Russian gangsters out of Trump Tower. They operated card games, illegal gambling websites, and a global sports book and laundered more than $100 million. A condo directly below one owned by Trump reportedly served as HQ for a “sophisticated money-laundering scheme” connected to Semion Mogilevich.
► The Russia Mafia is part and parcel of Russian intelligence. Russia is a mafia state. That is not a metaphor. Putin is head of the Mafia. So the fact that they have been operating out of the home of the president of the United States is deeply disturbing.
► Rudy Giuliani famously prosecuted the Italian mob while he was a federal prosecutor, yet the Russian mob was allowed to thrive. Now he's deeply entwined in the business of Trump and Russian oligarchs. Giuiani appointed Semyon Kislin to the NYC Economic Development Council in 1990, and the FBI described Kislin as having ties to the Russian mob. Of course, it made good political sense for Giuliani to get headlines for smashing the Italian mob.
► A lot of Republicans in Washington are implicated. Boatloads of Russian money went to the GOP--often in legal ways. The NRA got as much as $70M from Russia, then funneled it to the GOP. The Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee lead by McConnell got millions from Leonard Blavatnik. In the 90s, the Russians began sending money to top GOP leaders, like Speaker of the House Tom Delay. Craig Unger's book alleges that most of the GOP leadership has been compromised by RU money.
► At the Cityscape USA’s Bridging US and the Emerging Real Estate Markets Conference held in Manhattan, on September 9, 10, and 11, 2008, Donald Trump Jr. was frank about the tide of Russian money supporting the family business, saying "...And in terms of high-end product influx into the US, Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets."
► Eric Trump told golf reporter James Dodson in 2014 that the Trump Organization was able to expand during the financial crisis because “We don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.”
► Russian oligarchs co-signed Trump’s Deutsche bank loans.
Trump now gleefully takes cues from Putin:
► At the end of 2018, Putin and his allies started making a strong push for a resolution that would justify their country’s 1979 invasion of Afghanistan and reverse an 1989 vote backed by Mikhail Gorbachev that condemned it. The Putinists’ goal was to pass the resolution by Feb. There is no one on this side of the Atlantic who thinks the USSR was justified in invading Afghanistan. And out of nowhere, on January 2nd, Trump came out strongly supporting Russia's 1979 invasion of Afghanistan.
► Trump went against American intelligence on North Korean missiles. He told the FBI he didn't believe their intelligence because Putin told him otherwise. “I don't care, I believe Putin"
Trump met in secret with Putin at the G20 summit in November 2018, without note takers. 19 days later, he announced a withdrawal from Syria. As a note, Trump conducted FIVE completely private meetings and conferences with Putin, and has gone to great lengths to prevent literally anyone, even people in his administration, from learning what was discussed.
Trump refused to enforce sanctions legally codified into law - and in some cases reversed standing sanctions on Russian companies.
► He has denounced his own intelligence agencies in a press conference with Putin on election meddling - and publicly endorsed Putin's version of events.
► Trump pulled out of the INF treaty with no explanation, which allows Putin to create long-range hypersonic missiles that threaten Europe with impunity. The US already has all the weaponry that the INF would ban the development of, so this offers us literally nothing, while allowing Russia to develop powerful new weapons to challenge our allies.
Demanded Russia get invited back into G7
► Pushed the CIA to give American intelligence to the Kremlin.
► Withdrew from the Open Skies treaty
Received intelligence in 2019 that Russia was paying bounties for dead American soldiers, and hasn't done anything about it by the time of this writing.
Announced troop withdrawal from Germany (America's missile defense from Russia and forward operating base against Russian aggression)
► And of course, Trump continues to threaten to pull out of NATO, a move so catastrophically stupid, so inconceivably cosmically myopic, I truly can't express the profundity of the idiocy. Suffice to say, pulling out of NATO would be like the only guy in a prison yard with a shotgun just throwing it over the fence for absolutely no reason, suddenly giving the people with crude homemade shivs complete power.
Trump commuted the sentence of Robert Stone, a former advisor convicted several charges, including lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstructing a congressional committee proceeding, as part of former special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.
submitted by Slabraton to centrist [link] [comments]

Government, Trump and other top 1% Exposed!!! Towards bottom is why the IRS is illegal with proof. Sorry it’s so long, please read carefully.

So Russia and China share a border though they fight they have to get along. Russia and Germany are divided by Poland, have an up and down relationship, but ultimately depend on one another (they are building this pipe connecting them together). Then there is China and the USA who has an up and down relationship or so it seems, when in reality they were working together. Then there’s the USA and Russia, it seems like they don’t get along, but in reality behind the scenes trump is always a business man first. Some say he has that dirty Russian money. And here’s how..
He owns multiple business under the name “The Trump Organization,” which owns a group of about 500 different business entities.” 5 names of these businesses are called the Trump National Doral (real estate/hotel/golf course), Trump Old Post Office LLC (which is now the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. with the clocktower that reminds you of the movie Back to the Future), Trump Ruffin Tower LLC (casinos/real estate/hotels/spas), the Trump Turnberry (golf course in Scotland/ he also has one in the UK), and Mar-a-Lago Club L.L.C (clubs/spas). The trump organization as a whole is mainly composed of real estate. If one owns one single large corporation (The trump organization) and then uses that organization to disguise his smaller companies (the 500 other businesses he owns under different names) one would own a monopoly since every smaller real estate company belonged to a larger company, that belonged to an even larger real estate company until, it reaches its mother company aka the trump organization.
The trump organization files it’s own taxes since it is a privately owned corporation (how do we know the numbers reported are Accurate?) and he doesn’t have to publicly release the tax documents either, instead they get sent straight to the IRS. This is highly concerning considering he owns most of the real estate companies in the country, which is where most of his money lies. If one owns all the buildings and companies just like in the game monopoly one would be the ruler of the land aka how he became president. Ever wonder how the Simpsons knew 20 years before that he would be president? Bc the elite already knew he owned most of the estates and land in the country. Land is after all the most valuable. What better way to disguise it then by marketing it as different business that all ultimately belonged to a single entity.
Well how would one hide all his money if he had a lot of money and didn’t want to loose it? By building golf courses, spas, casinos, and hotels to cycle the money through and also launder it. If one owns so many businesses, it is quite easy for the business to “accidentally loose money.” How? By holding two separate accounting books or setting up a fake robbery, for example. One could then use this “lost” money and invest it somewhere else or even set up a hidden Swiss bank account, for example. Well since the money cycles through his different businesses all across the country and even world, he builds his famous golf courses he emphasizes he loves so so much. One could only wonder why. The answer was simple, to launder money into a different country through his other golf courses located in Scotland and UK. Suddenly the money didn’t fall under us laws anymore, and thus could be used in a different country with different laws allowing it to be transferred to a Swiss or German bank (Deutsche bank, for example). Russia has done the same and randomly stored $330 million dollars at the German bank a couple years ago. It would be quite simple for Trump to have the dirty Russian money transferred into his foreign bank accounts. 
It is very important to note that the first major bank the Deutsche bank was owned by the Rothchild family. The Rothchild family was like the Trump Monopoly, they owned ALL the banks around the world including in Afghanistan, China, Italy, Japan, France, and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The list of owned banks was actually so long and all over the world, one could not possibly list them all. They were just like The Trump Organization who owned all the real estate companies. The Rothschilds owned all the banks under different names throughout the world, which is what made them the richest of course and gave them world control. One who owns all the banks, that own all the different types of money of the world, owns almost everything. And if you happend to be part of the top 1% with all the money and control in the world, you would want to keep control over the money and world somehow, but in this modern world you have to plan it out Intricately, one could compare it to them having a criminal mind.
So you work with other top 1% families to circulate the money back and forth between the families who controlled everything. These families owned banks, real estate (land/, transportation( railroads/cars/planes), water supply, electricity, and electronic devices including computers/phones/tablets/gaming consoles. What is very interesting is that the Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is the one of the richest people in the world. Warren Buffett also fall under that umbrella. Buffet owns BNSF Railway Co., owned by Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., which is North America’s biggest railroad. Bill Gates is the largest shareholder of the Canadian National Railway Company. Though they make it seem like they go separate ways in businesses, behind the scenes, together they controlled All of the railroads across the country. So now, we have Bill Gates and Buffet working together. Buffet controls the railroads bc Bill Gates also has Microsoft aka half the electronic devices under their control. The electronic devices such as gaming consoles, phones, and computers are worldwide. Once again, a monopoly hidden under different names and businesses. One who controls the land and the railroads and technology controls all.
Let’s not forget the Andrew Carnegie Steel Company, which is now part of the United States Steel Corporation. They produce the following: steel, coal, coke, flat-rolled and tubular steel products, railroad rails. The US Steel Corporation (mother company) is now owned by David Boyd Burritt. This means that since steel is needed to build railroads, used in factories, and real estate (steel used to build buildings) all comes from one source, the Coal is mainly used as fuel to generate electric power in the United States. One who controls the power aka the electricity controls everything. So now we also have the steel corporation. The top 1% had to continue cycling (recycle) the money through their money pool somehow to stay rich and powerful, by working together. Now we have the US steal corporation who supplies the railroad and other steal companies and supplies the coal for energy (electricity), we have Bill Gates who owns Microsoft electronics which needs power for the electric devices, (so he must work with the US steel corporation for his railroads and electricity from the coal to power up the railroads, computers and other electronic devices). And then we have Warren Buffet who owns the BNSF Railway Co. meaning he must also be working with the US steel corporation and Bill Gates’ Railroads in Canada (bc the railroads connect) and they needed coal to power their railroads so the money goes round and round. It’s just like the game monopoly, but in real life, the 1% worked together under different names and corporations to build a monopoly, so they would have control over the whole world.
The Rothschild owned all the banks and used Foundations to launder money and to get out of paying taxes. Any foundation created was a way to launder money and not pay taxes, since the money donated into the different charities went right back into their hands, bc they owned the foundations and the corporations. All the different elites including Trump, Rothschild (owner), Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, David Burritt, Germany, Russia aka Putin, even elites in China, India, Afghanistan used the banks the Rothschild owned to store their money...one could call it a money pool. Steve Jobs’s widow (largest shareholder and owner of Disney) and Tim Cook who was the largest shareholder of Apple. Apple was founded by Steve Jobs and his widow owned Apple and Disney. Apple used China to build their devices, which means that Disney and Apple was working together with China. This allowed China to get its hands on everyone. They also controlled the Entertainment industry through Disney and all the electronics including Apple and Microsoft since they produced the electronics. Jeff Bezos owner of Amazon, first worked with China and was now o after India (one of the highest populations) to make/sell his products as he does all around the world. Some of the products he sells and uses require power and needed to be transported via mail/plane/fedex/ups/etc. aka transportation.
So he worked with the other elites to make it happen. It destroyed many businesses and gave the 1% even more control over us. I want to note that the Rothschilds own the Federal Reserve of the USA since they owned all the banks. What is the Federal Reserve System? It is the central banking authority of the United States. It is part of the U.S. government, it controls the reserve accounts of commercial banks, and oversees supply of currency, including coin and the U.S. Mint. This would mean that the Rothschilds are the owners of the USA government! This would explain how Trump got away with filing his taxes for all his businesses Privately through his Trump Organization. In order for Trump to become President he had to liquidate all his assets. The issue was that since he owned a lot of real estate and also owned the trump organization that owned all these real estate businesses he could not liquidate them since he was the owner, so he gave control to his 2 sons who now owned the Trump Organization and all its businesses. They allowed Trump to get money any time he needed from a separate account they owned.
The icing on the cake is that the United States IRS is illegal. How so? I will prove it to you. What is the IRS? the IRS is the government authority which collects taxes and enforces the Treasury Department's revenue laws, through the collection of taxes. The Federal Reserve is a nonprofit company aka a Charity, who pays its remaining profits to the department of treasury. This charity is owned by the Rothschilds and as stated above ANY Foundation or charity was fraud, bc it circulated the money back into the 1% pockets, it was simply many different companies under different names owned by one mother company or entity.
According to the article, ‘31 Questions and Answers about the Internal Revenue Service,’ “The IRS was NOT an organization within the U.S. Department of Treasury.” The treasury department was organized under laws now classified in Title 31 of the US code, called “31 U.S.C.” The IRS is only mentioned once in the US code in Title 31 sections 301-315. Title 31 U.S.C. 301 states, that the president may elect, “an Assistant General Counsel in the US Department of Treasury to be the chief counsel for the IRS. In 1979, the case of Chrysler Corp. v. Brown (441 U.S. 281), the U.S. Supreme Court admitted that no organic Act for the IRS could be found. The Guarantee Claude in the U.S. constitution guaranteed the Rule of Law to all Americans (we are to be governed by law not arbitrary bureaucrats). See article IV Section 4. Since there was no Organic Act creating it, the IRS is NOT a lawful organization.”
So what is the IRS? Mitchell states, “The IRS appears to be a collection agency working for foreign banks and operating out of Puerto Rico. It is money laundry, extortion racket, and conspiracy of racketeering activity, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1951 & 1961 (“Rico”).” There is no known Act of Congress, nor any executive order,** giving the IRS lawful jurisdiction to operate within ANY of the 50 states of the Union.”
In other words, since the IRS was not legally within the USA, bc it’s headquarters were located in Puerto Rico, it didn’t fall under the US laws. The department of Treasury and the IRS simply had an “agreement” to work with one another. The issue is that since the IRS in NOT a lawful organization within the US department of Treasury it would be illegal for the IRS to send mail through the U.S. Mail for fraudulent purposes. That would mean that, “every piece of U.S. mail sent from the IRS with “The Department of Treasury” in the return address is one count of mail fraud. See also 31 U.S.C. 333. Although the U.S. Department of Justice does have power of attorney to represent federal agencies before the federal courts, the IRS is not an “agency.” Why? Because, “the IRS is residing in Puerto Rico, it is thereby excluded from the definition of federal agencies which can be represented by the Department of Justice.” So, we have the Charity the Federal Reserve System owned by the Rothschilds, we have the IRS which is not located within the USA making it unlawful, we had the department of Treasury working with the IRS and the Federal Reserve System, and the Department of Justice who can’t represent the IRS even though they make it appear as if they are all within the USA following the same laws. And now we also have our President Trump who owned the Trump Corporation, which was privately owned, so it didn’t have to publicly release its tax documents and audits, bc they were directly sent to the IRS. Ever wonder how he could lose so much money, not be concerned, and gain it right back? Because he was part of the 1% money pool. The money was always recycled, so it didn’t hurt to loose it, bc it ultimately would always come back. Him becoming president was all part of the plan, because of the part he plays in the elite club.
I must also mention that I am sure that some of these families disguised themselves with different last names, so it would be harder to spot. I can also show very specific laws stating animal testing, abortion, prison laws, etc. which are major issues and have been decided on and made into law a long time ago and hidden within the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, which also mentions the War on Drugs and how fertilizers (radioactive poisons—see other posts in my history) are used for coca aka cocaine eradication in the USA. They are committing genocide, which I can also explain in further detail with step by step examples. Everything is a lie, the government is a lie and people need to know the truth, before it’s to late. It can be different, but we need to work together to change it.
**executive orders are BAD. They give the president full control. He can write any law he pleases and NOT need the house and senate to vote on them. This means the president has full control. This is very dangerous. One must also be aware of how FEMA can take over the president, government, all the people, and the country instantaneously if the president were to declare a national emergency executive order. This means he has no power allowing fema to take over and not give back control. Suddenly, overnight it would turn into a living hell military environment for the people and it would eventually turn sour and create a genocide like environment. We do not want this! We should not vote. We should take control away from the top 1% instead of allowing them to continue dividing the people.
Things can be different. We as a whole can build a newer and better system for the world, where we head towards future technological advances, while having a clean earth instead of the toxic earth the 1% are creating with us the people through the inhumane corporations and trash created (we must build recycling incentive programs worldwide to clean our Earth as a collective). Electricity and water should be made free for everyone, instead of using it as greedy leverage to make money and control the world. And yes it is possible to have unlimited electricity it works hand in hand with Earths magnetic field. We could even have water powered cars without carbon monoxide emissions, but again, greed is a powerful thing, so we make no new strides as humanity as a whole, since the 1% wouldn’t want to loose their place in the real-life monopoly game.
In the comments will also be the link to the full article that explains why IRS is illegal.
submitted by CatEyes420 to conspiracy [link] [comments]

Washington tribes find new energy to vote in 2020 election, pour campaign cash into races

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/washington-tribes-find-new-energy-to-vote-in-2020-election-pour-campaign-cash-into-races/
By Lynda V. Mapes and Jim Brunner
LUMMI NATION — Freddie Lane gathered up T-shirts, posters and signs at the tribal administration building, getting ready for a Native Vote 2020 rally, planned for later this month at Lummi and reservations across the state.
All over the get-out-the-vote swag was the image of a woman, stoic and resolute.
She is “Lummi Woman,” as the haunting photo made by Edward Curtis in 1899 is called. She was photographed in the midst of historic change after her people in 1855 signed a treaty with the United States, ceding vast swaths of their land. Yet the nation’s first people were the last to receive citizenship, under the Snyder Act passed by Congress in 1924. And it wasn’t until 1962 that every state in the nation secured the right to vote for Native people.
Today Lummi Woman’s descendants, in part to honor their ancestors and protect all that their elders reserved for them in the treaties, are rallying to get out the vote and be heard in the 2020 election.
Tribal leaders see everything at stake, from their way of life to their treaty rights, in the election between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.
Trump has signed some bills important to Native Americans, including compensation to the Spokane people for loss of their lands in the mid-1900s, and reauthorization of funding Native language programs. And he did not block federal recognition of the Little Shell Tribe of the Chippewa Indians in Montana.
But the bigger picture is bleak from a Native perspective.
Among their concerns, Trump has downplayed the threat of a pandemic that is ravaging some tribal nations. And he has ignored the scientific evidence for climate change, even as rising sea levels are causing havoc for coastal tribes like the Hoh and as intensifying wildfires are repeatedly roasting thousands of acres of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Indian Reservation in Eastern Washington.
The administration’s environmental policies have been particularly offensive to tribes that rely on natural resources for their economies and cultural practices. The Trump Administration has even rolled back clean water regulations in Washington intended to protect the purity of foods that are critical to tribes, including salmon.
Every election is important. But to Native people, this election feels more like a matter of survival.
“This is for the sake of our ancestors who fought to protect us,” said Candice Wilson, former vice chair of the Lummi business council and active in the get-out-the-vote campaign. “We have the responsibility to do the same, or what will our grandchildren have? The strength of our ancestors is what makes us strong today. This is about the future.”
Tribes have already put millions of dollars of contributions into the election, according to a Times analysis of state and federal records of campaign spending. Voter registration and voter turnout also are at the heart of tribes’ election strategy.
“It’s critical,” said Lane, who last week was helping to organize the Lummi Native Vote 2020 rally, taking place Oct. 20.
Teresa Taylor, interim economic development director for the Lummi Nation, knows better than most the importance of voter turnout. She lost her reelection to the Ferndale City Council last year on a coin toss after a tie vote failed to decide the contest. “I can tell you, every vote counts,” she said, while at a planning meeting for the rally.
While they run their own governments and nations, tribes care deeply about the partners they govern with, from city councils and utility boards to school boards, judges, members of the state Legislature, and of course the governor and members of Congress and president of the United States.
That is because exercise of tribal sovereignty and even the most fundamental aspects of protecting and continuing their way of life depends on productive government-to-government relationships at every level, said Nikki Finkbonner, interim general manager for the Lummi Nation.
So much comes down to good governance with partners that honor tribal treaties and cultural imperatives, she explained, from protection of cultural resources and sacred sites, to federal funding for tribal education and housing, health care programs, and protecting natural resources and treaty rights.
“This election means so much for us right now,” said Rodney Cawston, chairman of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Indian Reservation. “I don’t know how we are going to survive another four years if things don’t change.”

Tribes rally with new energy

Not since the campaign by the late GOP Sen. Slade Gorton, infamous in Indian Country for fighting treaty-protected fishing rights all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, have tribes been so energized by a federal election.
“We have 574 federally recognized tribes in the U.S., and 500 who knew who Slade Gorton was,” remembered Julie Johnson, chair of the Native American Caucus for the Washington State Democrats. “All these tribes would say, ‘What are you going to do about him?’”
Plenty, it turned out. In his faceoff with challenger Maria Cantwell in 2000, tribes were regarded as the deciding edge in the tightest U.S. Senate race in Washington history.
Today, Johnson, 78, has been helping to lead a Native voter registration drive and voter turnout effort across the region. Over her lifetime she has seen a big change in Indian political activism, Johnson said, from days of apathy and even being afraid to participate in politics off the reservation.
“A lot of our people wouldn’t register to vote, and I understood that. For years I remember non-Indians shooting bullets into (Indian fishing) boats,” said Johnson, a Lummi tribal member, living in Neah Bay. “I understand why our Native people don’t register.”
But she, and others, also have been bound and determined to change that. “It is good and positive to see our people sitting behind those desks in Olympia and in Washington, D.C.
“We have really increased the Native vote, and it is very powerful, even our people don’t realize how powerful it is, we are getting so many more people involved.”

Tribes bring casino cash to campaigns

For so long they were disenfranchised in their own land, and once too poor to take care of their own people, let alone heft campaign clout.
But today tribes in Washington are active participants in politics. Some tribes with larger casinos also have become important players in funding campaigns.
Since 2016, Washington-based tribes have donated more than $3 million to candidates for federal and state offices in Washington, according to contribution data maintained by the National Institute on Money in Politics (FollowTheMoney.org). Of that, nearly $2.5 million went to Democrats, not including donations to political committees such as the Democratic National Committee or state parties.
This year alone, Washington tribes have donated more than $1.3 million to candidates and political committees for state and local offices, according to a Seattle Times analysis of contribution data filed with the state Public Disclosure Commission (PDC). The Muckleshoots and Puyallups led the way, accounting for nearly half that total.
The tribal political giving skews overwhelmingly to Democrats in a state where the party has largely held the reins of power for decades. But the biggest-spending tribes also spread the money around, donating to Republican incumbents in the state Legislature.
So far in 2020, the Muckleshoot Tribe has donated roughly $212,000 to Democratic candidates and committees in state and local races, compared with about $123,000 to Republicans. The Puyallup Tribe has given nearly $240,000 to Democrats, and about $70,000 to Republicans.
The largest donations have gone to party political committees, which can accept unlimited donations.
The Puyallup Tribe on Sept. 30 donated $100,000 to the state Democratic Party. The Muckleshoot Tribe in July donated $100,000 to a pair of political committees — the Harry Truman and Kennedy funds — dedicated to maintaining Democratic majorities in the state House and Senate.
The Muckleshoot Tribe in August donated $35,000 to the Reagan Fund, which works to elect Republicans to the state House. A month earlier, the tribe gave $40,000 to the Leadership Council, the committee associated with state Senate Republicans.
Some tribes also are leading contributors in Washington to federal campaign coffers.
The Puyallup Tribe is in a class by itself for campaign contributions so far on federal campaigns this year since January 2019, with more than $2.2 million spent, far and away more than any other Washington tribe, according to data from the Federal Election Commission reports of contributions for 2019-20.
That includes the top six biggest contributions from Washington to the Democratic National Committee, totaling $639,000 since September 2019.
While most contributions from the Puyallup Tribe were for Democratic candidates and committees, the tribe also gave repeatedly to GOP House members Dan Newhouse, of Sunnyside, and Cathy McMorris Rodgers, of Spokane, as well as $35,500 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
The tribe declined to discuss its campaign contributions, spokesperson Michael Thompson said.

Worry pandemic could suppress vote

It’s not an easy year for political activism, with the risk of coronavirus infection stalking reservations. That has shut down the in-person gatherings so central in Native life and in political campaigns. Some tribal leaders fear the pandemic also will suppress turnout, particularly in rural reservations where voting means leaving the house to drive distances to drop off a ballot.
“We have people refusing to go out; how do we get them to take a ballot to be mailed? This pandemic is going to take us back 10 years in terms of voting,” said Norma Sanchez, a member of the tribal business council for the Colville tribes, whose reservation sprawls across more than 1,500 square miles of rural, north central Washington.
To get out the vote the tribe handed out voter information and registration forms during food bank drive-thrus, said Karen Condon, another member of the business council. “I have been talking to people and encouraging them to vote and to register to vote.”
Just getting a ballot drop box outside the tribal administration building was a breakthrough for this tribe, Condon said, where for so many years too many have not registered to vote, and many today still don’t see why it matters.
But that has to change this year, said Cawston, the Colville tribal chairman. His people are reeling from damage over the past four years.
“It has been a challenge, every facet of our life has been touched and not in a good way. We are just so much under attack, we don’t know where to go, or where to turn any more,” Cawston said.
“We are just constantly facing a losing battle here, it is almost fearful for us to face the next four years and what could happen.”
Lynda V. Mapes: 206-464-2515 or [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]); on Twitter: @LyndaVMapes. Lynda specializes in coverage of the environment, natural history, and Native American tribes.Jim Brunner: 206-515-5628 or [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]); on Twitter: @Jim_Brunner. Seattle Times political reporter Jim Brunner covers state, local and regional politics.
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An Overview of Donald Trump’s numerous ties to Russia, with sources!

Trump was over a billion in debt and the Russians bailed him out.
► Trump was first compromised by the Russians in the 80s. In 1984, the Russian Mafia began to use Trump real estate to launder money. In 1987, the Soviet ambassador to the United Nations, Yuri Dubinin, arranged for Trump and his then-wife, Ivana, to enjoy an all-expense-paid trip to Moscow to consider possible business prospects. Only seven weeks after his trip, Trump ran full-page ads in the Boston Globe, the NYT and WaPO calling for, in effect, the dismantling of the postwar Western foreign policy alliance. The whole Trump/Russian connection started out as laundering money for the Russian mob through Trump's real estate, but evolved into something far bigger.
► In 1984, David Bogatin — a convicted Russian mobster and close ally of Semion Mogilevich, a major Russian mob boss — met with Trump in Trump Tower right after it opened. Bogatin bought five condos from Trump at that meeting. Those condos were later seized by the government, which claimed they were used to launder money for the Russian mob. (NY Times, Apr 30, 1992)
► Felix Sater is a Russian-born former mobster, and former managing director of NY real estate conglomerate Bayrock Group LLC located on the 24th floor of Trump Tower. He is a convict who became a govt cooperator for the FBI and other agencies. He grew up with Michael Cohen--Trump's former "fixer" attorney. Cohen's family owned El Caribe, which was a mob hangout for the Russian Mafia in Brooklyn. Cohen had ties to Ukrainian oligarchs through his in-laws and his brother's in-laws. Felix Sater's father had ties to the Russian mob. This goes back more than 30 years.
► Trump was $4 billion in debt after his Atlantic City casinos went bankrupt. No U.S. bank would touch him. Then foreign money began flowing in through Bayrock (mentioned above). Bayrock was run by two investors: Tevfik Arif, a Kazakhstan-born former Soviet official who drew on bottomless sources of money from the former Soviet republic; and Felix Sater, a Russian-born businessman who had pleaded guilty in the 1990s to a huge stock-fraud scheme involving the Russian mafia. Bayrock partnered with Trump in 2005 and poured money into the Trump organization under the legal guise of licensing his name and property management.
► In July 2008, the height of the housing bust, Trump sold a mansion in Palm Beach for $95 million to Dmitry Rybolovlev, a Russian oligarch. Trump had purchased it four years earlier for $41.35 million. The sale price was nearly $54 million more than Trump had paid for the property. Again, this was the height of the recession when all other property had plummeted in value.
► Semion Mogilevich was the brains behind the Russian Mafia. Mogilevich operatives have been using Trump real estate for decades to launder money. That means Russian Mafia operatives have been part of his fortune for years. Many of them owned condos in Trump Towers and other properties. They were running operations out of Trump's crown jewel.
► From Craig Unger's AMA: "Early on, a source told me that all this was tied to Semion Mogilevich, the powerful Russian mobster. I had never even heard of him, but I immediately went to a database that listed the owners of all properties in NY state and looked up all the Trump properties. Every time I found a Russian sounding name, I would Google, and add Mogilevich. When you do investigative reporting, you anticipate drilling a number of dry holes, but almost everyone I googled turned out to be a Russian mobster. Again and again. If you know New York you don't expect Trump Tower to be a high crime neighborhood, but there were far too many Russian mobsters in Trump properties for it to be a coincidence."
► So many Russians bought Trump apartments at his developments in Florida that the area became known as Little Moscow. The developers of two of his hotels were Russians with significant links to the Russian mob. The late leader of that mob in the United States, Vyacheslav Kirillovich Ivankov, was living at Trump Tower
► According to a Bloomberg investigation (3/16/2017) into Trump World Tower, “a third of units sold on floors 76 through 83 by 2004 involved people or limited liability companies connected to Russia and neighboring states.”
► In 2013, Federal agents busted an “ultraexclusive, high-stakes, illegal poker ring” run by Russian gangsters out of Trump Tower. They operated card games, illegal gambling websites, and a global sports book and laundered more than $100 million. A condo directly below one owned by Trump reportedly served as HQ for a “sophisticated money-laundering scheme” connected to Semion Mogilevich.
► The Russia Mafia is part and parcel of Russian intelligence. Russia is a mafia state. That is not a metaphor. Putin is head of the Mafia. So the fact that they have been operating out of the home of the president of the United States is deeply disturbing.
► Rudy Giuliani famously prosecuted the Italian mob while he was a federal prosecutor, yet the Russian mob was allowed to thrive. Now he's deeply entwined in the business of Trump and Russian oligarchs. Giuiani appointed Semyon Kislin to the NYC Economic Development Council in 1990, and the FBI described Kislin as having ties to the Russian mob. Of course, it made good political sense for Giuliani to get headlines for smashing the Italian mob.
► A lot of Republicans in Washington are implicated. Boatloads of Russian money went to the GOP--often in legal ways. The NRA got as much as $70M from Russia, then funneled it to the GOP. The Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee lead by McConnell got millions from Leonard Blavatnik. In the 90s, the Russians began sending money to top GOP leaders, like Speaker of the House Tom Delay. Craig Unger's book alleges that most of the GOP leadership has been compromised by RU money.
► At the Cityscape USA’s Bridging US and the Emerging Real Estate Markets Conference held in Manhattan, on September 9, 10, and 11, 2008, Donald Trump Jr. was frank about the tide of Russian money supporting the family business, saying "...And in terms of high-end product influx into the US, Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets."
► Eric Trump told golf reporter James Dodson in 2014 that the Trump Organization was able to expand during the financial crisis because “We don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.”
► Russian oligarchs co-signed Trump’s Deutsche bank loans.
Trump now gleefully takes cues from Putin:
► At the end of 2018, Putin and his allies started making a strong push for a resolution that would justify their country’s 1979 invasion of Afghanistan and reverse an 1989 vote backed by Mikhail Gorbachev that condemned it. The Putinists’ goal was to pass the resolution by Feb. There is no one on this side of the Atlantic who thinks the USSR was justified in invading Afghanistan. And out of nowhere, on January 2nd, Trump came out strongly supporting Russia's 1979 invasion of Afghanistan.
► Trump went against American intelligence on North Korean missiles. He told the FBI he didn't believe their intelligence because Putin told him otherwise. “I don't care, I believe Putin"
Trump met in secret with Putin at the G20 summit in November 2018, without note takers. 19 days later, he announced a withdrawal from Syria. As a note, Trump conducted FIVE completely private meetings and conferences with Putin, and has gone to great lengths to prevent literally anyone, even people in his administration, from learning what was discussed.
Trump refused to enforce sanctions legally codified into law - and in some cases reversed standing sanctions on Russian companies.
► He has denounced his own intelligence agencies in a press conference with Putin on election meddling - and publicly endorsed Putin's version of events.
► Trump pulled out of the INF treaty with no explanation, which allows Putin to create long-range hypersonic missiles that threaten Europe with impunity. The US already has all the weaponry that the INF would ban the development of, so this offers us literally nothing, while allowing Russia to develop powerful new weapons to challenge our allies.
Demanded Russia get invited back into G7
► Pushed the CIA to give American intelligence to the Kremlin.
► Withdrew from the Open Skies treaty
Received intelligence in 2019 that Russia was paying bounties for dead American soldiers, and hasn't done anything about it by the time of this writing.
Announced troop withdrawal from Germany (America's missile defense from Russia and forward operating base against Russian aggression)
► And of course, Trump continues to threaten to pull out of NATO, a move so catastrophically stupid, so inconceivably cosmically myopic, I truly can't express the profundity of the idiocy. Suffice to say, pulling out of NATO would be like the only guy in a prison yard with a shotgun just throwing it over the fence for absolutely no reason, suddenly giving the people with crude homemade shivs complete power.
Trump commuted the sentence of Robert Stone, a former advisor convicted several charges, including lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstructing a congressional committee proceeding, as part of former special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.
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