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Flynn affair: a tale of lying and incompetence; not of conspiracy or collusion

Flynn helped Israel, asked Kislyak for restraint on sanctions, lied about both, and was consulting Kushner

Alexander Mercouris

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Shortly after the indictment against Michael Flynn and his guilty plea were published, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team published a statement setting out the facts behind the indictment.

This statement shows that the discussions between Kislyak and Flynn on the subject of the sanctions announced by Barack Obama on 28th December 2016 were much more extensive than Flynn had previously admitted to.

It turns out that Kislyak telephoned Flynn shortly after the sanctions were announced to ask what the Trump administration’s policy would be with respect to the sanctions.

Flynn in response called a “senior official of Trump’s transition team” – almost certainly Jared Kushner – to ask what response he should give to Kislyak.

The wording of the statement at this point becomes a little obscure, and reads as follows

The PTT official (ie. Kushner) and FLYNN also discussed that the members of the Presidential Transition Team at Mar-a-Lago did not want Russia to escalate the situation.

That suggests that Kushner did not discuss Flynn’s call with other members of the transition team but simply told Flynn what he thought their opinion would be.

Flynn then called Kislyak back and in the statement’s words

….requested that Russia not escalate the situation and only respond to the US sanctions in a reciprocal manner.

That shows that Flynn did not tell Kislyak either (1) that the Trump administration would lift the sanctions; or (2) that Russia should not respond to the sanctions.

Instead he asked Kislyak that the Russian counter-sanctions should go no further than a symmetrical response to the sanctions that Obama had announced.

The sequel is that Kislyak informed the Kremlin of Flynn’s request, and Putin as is well known responded by announcing no counter-sanctions at all, which was better than what Flynn and Kushner had expected or asked for.

Kislyak then telephoned Flynn on 31st December 2017 to inform him of this.

The statement then says that Flynn informed “several members of Trump’s transition team” – ie. not just Kushner but others including conceivably Trump himself – about the Russian decision, which Kislyak had told him about.

These interactions show that not only were Flynn’s interactions with Kislyak much more extensive than he admitted to Vice-President Pence or the FBI, but that several people within the Trump transition team including Kushner and conceivably including Donald Trump himself were aware of them.

Though it is now clear that Flynn did indeed lie about his discussions about the sanctions with Kislyak (about which more below) and that one other member of the Trump transition team – almost certainly Kushner – was involved in the discussions, and that other members of the Trump transition team were told about the discussions after they took place – including quite possibly Donald Trump himself – it is important to say again that none of this in any way touches on or proves the allegations of illegal collusion during the Presidential election between the Trump campaign and Russia.

On the contrary all this was standard diplomacy, with the sequence of calls initiated by Kislyak, who was doing his job by trying to find out what the new administration’s intentions were in light of Obama’s sanctions announcement, and with Flynn and Kushner acting entirely appropriately in order to advance Donald Trump’s publicly announced policy of seeking better relations with Russia.

Given that none of this was at all improper – neither the Special Counsel’s statement nor the indictment says it was, and needless to say there is no reference in either the Special Counsel’s statement or the indictment to the Logan Act preposterously conjured up by Acting Attorney General Sally Yates – I am at a total loss to understand why Flynn felt the need to lie about it.

I am also at a total loss to understand why Flynn lied about his lobbying work on behalf of Israel to block Resolution 2334, which I discussed in my previous article.

The statement confirms that it was about Resolution 2334 that Flynn called Kislyak on 22nd December 2016, and that he did so at the prompting of a “very senior official of the Trump transition team”, who again is almost certainly Jared Kushner.

The statement also makes it clear that Flynn also contacted several other foreign governments – not just Russia’s government – in an attempt to get Resolution 2334 blocked.

Leaks moreover now confirm that the effort to get Resolution 2334 blocked was actually initiated by no less a person than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, who contacted the Trump transition team and asked them to lobby against Resolution 2334 on Israel’s behalf

Whilst this was unorthodox diplomacy, to put it mildly, it is scarcely conceivable that anyone in Washington would seriously criticise Kushner or Flynn for it given how controversial the Obama administration’s decision to abstain on Resolution 2334 was, and given that Kushner and Flynn were both acting at the request of no less a person than the Prime Minister of Israel in doing what they did.

Given that this is so, it is nothing short of bizarre that Flynn felt the need to lie about it to the FBI also.

Lastly, I express my incredulity that at a time when the Russiagate scandal was already raging Michael Flynn – a highly experienced intelligence officer who had recently headed the Defense Intelligence Agency – appears to have been unaware that Kislyak’s conversations on open telephone lines were being tapped by the FBI and that everything he said to Kislyak was therefore being listened to and recorded.

Had Flynn been straightforward about his dealings with Kislyak and told the FBI and Vice-President Pence the truth then after a brief storm the whole affair would have quickly died down.  Flynn would in that case probably still be Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser now.

The only explanations I can come up with for this strange behaviour are (1) that Flynn – by all accounts a driven and difficult man – found it easier to lie to Pence and the FBI than to tell the truth; and/or (2) that he was protecting or thought he was protecting Kushner; and/or (3) he felt he had to lie about his dealings with Kislyak because given the hostility of much of the bureaucracy that was the only way he could do his job of improving relations with Russia.

If it was the second then Flynn has not protected Kushner by his lying but has instead landed Kushner in trouble, and if it was the third then Flynn was simply wrong.

What I would say about this strange behaviour is that it does at least explain Trump’s decision in February to insist that Flynn resign.

With Kushner and presumably other people within Trump’s team including quite possibly Trump himself knowing the truth about the things Flynn had said to Kislyak, Flynn’s position would have become completely untenable once the extent of his lying to Vice-President Pence and the FBI had become known.

What of the suggestion some are making that Flynn’s lying was intended to hide some other darker secret, specifically the illegal collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the Presidential election earlier that year?

It is difficult to see how this could be so.  Why would Flynn think that lying about perfectly legitimate discussions he had with Kislyak about the sanctions and about his lobbying on behalf of Israel would conceal illegal collusion during the election between the Trump campaign and Russia?  What do any of these things have to do with each other?

As it happens Flynn’s interactions with Kislyak provide further grounds for doubting that any illegal collusion took place, or that the Russians possess leverage over Trump, or that the Trump campaign had any special connection to Russia.

Not only is it clear that no reference to collusion or to any special connection between the Trump campaign and Russia was made during any of the calls, but the outcome of the calls was negative in both directions: the Trump transition team did not promise Kislyak that the incoming Trump administration would lift Obama’s sanctions and Kislyak did not promise that Russia would block Resolution 2334.

As it happens the one positive thing that came out of the calls was Russia’s as it turns out temporary decision not to respond to Obama’s sanctions.  If anybody benefitted from that it was the United States.

There has been some talk that Michael Flynn feels let down by Kushner and Trump.  If so then it is not difficult to see why.

All Flynn’s interactions with Kislyak were undertaken on behalf of the Trump transition team and after consulting with Kushner, whilst his lobbying work against Resolution 2334 was actually carried out on Kushner’s instructions.  The moment his conduct came in for criticism Trump and Kushner should have come to his defence.

Flynn should not have been exposed to questioning by Vice-President Pence and by the FBI, and he should not have been left swinging in the wind when all he did was loyally carry out the President elect’s policies.

That he was is further proof of the amateurism and inexperience of Trump, Kushner and of the people around them, and of their ignorance of the things that need to be done to contain an affair like this.  A more professional and experienced administration like for example Ronald Reagan’s would have had no difficulty containing the fallout from an affair like this.

As it is the Flynn affair has been a source of great embarrassment and confusion upon which the true believers in the Russiagate conspiracy theory have fed.  In my opinion it gave Russiagate a whole extra year of life.

Thankfully, now that the Flynn affair has been largely cleared up, that should end, increasing the likelihood that – as Trump’s lawyer Ty Cobb says – the Russiagate affair is drawing to a close.

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Foolish French President Macron tests Trump’s patience (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 149.

Alex Christoforou

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US President Donald Trump was ridiculed for his nationalist agenda by the very unpopular, globalist French President Emmanuel Macron, in a very public display of disrespect towards the United States and its president.

Macron, in front of world leaders brought together to commemorate the end of World War I, thought it wise to chastise Trump for his ‘America first’ policy, stating that nationalism was “tearing the world apart.”

Trump did find Macron’s smart ass tone to his liking, tweeting out his feeling the minute he landed stateside by reminding his European peers who pays the bills to keep the peace on the continent.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris reflect on Macron’s diplomatic gaffe, which Trump is unlikely to forget anytime soon.

Macron showed his boyish diplomatic skills, for which a man like Trump will make sure a heavy price is paid. The French President will certainly be at the receiving end of a very public and embarrassing dressing down at the hands of Donald Trump.

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Via Zerohedge

What was supposed to be a solemn visit to honor the 16 million soldiers who died during World War I alongside a coterie of world leaders in Paris was overshadowed by a mini-scandal surrounding President Trump’s missing an Armistice ceremony at an American military cemetery for purely cosmetic reasons (Trump reportedly didn’t want to get his hair wet during the ceremony which was held in pouring rain, though the White House maintained that he missed the beginning of the ceremony for security purposes).

Given the media’s focus on Trump’s purported vanity at the expense of nearly every other detail from Trump’s visit, it’s hardly surprising that the president has returned to the US rather agitated, and decided to lash out at his European partners in a series of tweets Monday morning.

While he said that his meetings with fellow world leaders were productive, Trump noted that it’s “never easy” to raise the issue that the US foots most of the bill for military protections in Europe thanks to its outsize shouldering of the cost burden of funding NATO.

Adding insult to injury, the US is paying “hundreds of billions of dollars” for the privilege of “losing hundreds of billions of dollars” with these countries on trade. Trump demanded that, going forward, the US must be treated fairly on military spending and trade.

It is time, Trump said, for these countries to either pony up, or find a way to start protecting themselves.

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Midterm Elections: A Disaster Denied, and What is Coming

The Democrats intend to mount a non-stopping offensive against the President.

The Duran

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Authored by Jeremiah Johnson (nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces ) via SHTFplan.com:


Before the 2016 Presidential Election, and both before and after the inauguration, I wrote specifically about how important the midterm election would be, and the results if the President should lose even one House of Congress.  That happened: the Republicans just lost the House of Representatives. Now that the Democrats control it, not one piece of legislation will pass that is on the President’s agenda. In the supreme act of denial, the Republican party claims the “Blue Wave” was not successful; even the President declared a “victory” with the midterms.

Nothing could be further from the truth, on either count.

The Democrats intend to mount a non-stopping offensive against the President. First, they are going to demand that Mueller go on the attack again. They are already demanding the President’s tax returns. On Thursday, 11-8-18, thousands of people marched in Times Square in New York City in protest of Jeff Sessions’ departure from the White House…although Sessions was the one who tendered a letter of resignation. The mob of protesters carried mass-produced “No one is above the law” placards and signs.

Not one of those Marxists carried those signs when former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton resigned after Benghazi, where a U.S. Consular Outpost of the United States was destroyed, and the U.S. Ambassador and four of his staff murdered.

“Happy Veterans’ Day” is coming up, with the cliché eternal: “Thank you for your service.”

Nobody really cares about it, except the vets. Those who have to work receive time and a half for their pay, and Hallmark makes about another $50 million or so on the cards and gifts…about $10 million of that for the Government to “re-ingest” with the taxes….another day on the endless cycle:

The cycle of spending of disposable income, an indispensable part of the economy and all of the governmental employees on paid federal holiday, solemnly dispensed of at the expense of (to paraphrase Metallica) the government’s “disposable heroes.”

Where were the protests in the streets after Benghazi? Everybody was hidden, because at the time we were under Obama. When Donald Trump was elected President, a “hiatus” was granted from the nonstop march toward socialism/communism that reached a zenith as never before. Now that hiatus is shrinking, as the Communists and Marxists begin new offensives under their playbook “Rules for Radicals,” offensives targeting every area of the society.

Their plan should be obvious: to keep the President “backpedaling” and the economy faltering, in order to set the stage for the 2020 election. All of this I have written about before, and it came to pass with the Midterm elections. If they keep the President on the defense and keep pushing the “social issues,” it will render his administration ineffective…not delivering the change back toward the right that the voters wanted to see in 2016.

The Wall Street Journal published a piece on November 9 entitled Democrats plan to pursue most aggressive gun-control legislation in decades.” They have been receiving plenty of help on this one, with the Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, and the recent murders by a former Marine last week. Here they come again! All of the legislators…with armed protectors paid for by you, mind you…clamoring for the guns. Here’s a piece of it for you:

Democrats say they will pass the most aggressive gun-control legislation in decades when they become the House majority in January, plans they renewed this week in the aftermath of a mass killing in a California bar. Their efforts will be spurred by an incoming class of pro-gun-control lawmakers who scored big in Tuesday’s midterm elections, although any measure would likely meet stiff resistance in the GOP-controlled Senate. Democrats ousted at least 15 House Republicans with “A” National Rifle Association ratings, while the candidates elected to replace them all scored an “F” NRA rating. “This new majority is not going to be afraid of our shadow,” said Mike Thompson, a California Democrat who is chairman of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. “We know that we’ve been elected to do a job, and we’re going to do it.”

Now of course the argument to this rationale will be that the Senate is needed before a law passes. Yes, we all watched “Schoolhouse Rock” and learned about the three-party system of checks and balances. The problem?  Nothing was accomplished when the Republicans held both houses of Congress, and the Reds and Blues counter one another, and more:

The Democrats’ strategy is not to pass any laws: it is to stir up public controversy, win support of the “Zero” generation, and either force actions through the “tyranny of the majority,” or make it so horrible an arena that it detracts from or prevents any positive efforts and actions from the administration…setting the stage for the 2020 election.

Ocasio-Cortez just entered the House of Representatives at the “sage/sagacious” age of 29, and she is a self-described “democratic socialist” who favors single-payer healthcare, gun control, abolishing border controls, and declared that she would support the impeachment of the President. She was also part of Bernie Sanders’ campaign movement in 2016.

Lenin espoused some “gems” that should be considered. Here is one that falls in line with the “newly discovered wonderful possibility of socialism” the Zero-generation and twenty-somethings have fallen in love with hook, line, and sinker:

“The goal of socialism is communism.”

New York just placed a “democratic socialist” in the White House…a declared socialist, among all of the hidden Marxists camouflaged under the “progressive” or “democratic” monikers.

Gun control, coming at us once again, and once more, a quote from Lenin for you:

“Disarmament is the ideal of socialism. There will be no wars in socialist society; consequently, disarmament will be achieved. But whoever expects that socialism will be achieved without a social revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat is not a socialist. Dictatorship is state power based directly on violence. And in the twentieth century – as in the age of civilization generally – violence means neither a fist nor a club, but troops. To put “disarmament” in the program is tantamount to making the general declaration: “We are opposed to the use of arms.” There is as little Marxism in this as there would be if we were to say: “We are opposed to violence!” – Lenin, “The Disarmament Slogan,” from October of 1916

The next two years should be interesting, to say the least. Keep in mind: the President is not throwing in the towel, however, he has one more year to turn the tide…before he has to campaign. There is still another way, though: I mentioned it in the last article that I wrote. Bush Jr. used this technique successfully when he was trailing Kerry in the polls. Margaret Thatcher used this technique when she was about to be shown the door, and turned it around, remaining in office.

The “technique” is a war, whether a “quickie” (such as the Falklands War…Malvinas, if you prefer), or a protracted one (Iraq “II” where victory was declared within months of started, and it was achieved…with the decades and a half of Military Industrial Complex contracts…and the transition of the United States into a Surveillance and Police State).

The technique is a war, and if you keep abreast of what is going on, you will see that Russia and China are gearing up for a war, the nations are “decoupling” themselves incrementally from the dying fiat-backed Petrodollar, and North Korea is once again raising itself as a nuclear threat (on its own, or encouraged by one or more nations). A war could either suspend elections, or propel the incumbent into a victory based on the populace’s perception of what they need. Remember this last quote from Lenin, and let it sink in good:

“A standing army and police are the chief instruments of state power.” – Lenin, State and Revolution, 1917

The ultimate truth: the elections are akin to the Stock Market, the Dow-Jones Industrial Average. It doesn’t matter how many shares are bought or sold, as long as there are fluctuations and flux. The winners are the brokers, who pocket their commissions on every trade…a sell or a buy. The same exists here. The blue donkeys versus the red elephants. The “tribalism” of men, and their needs of a social order…a cohesive social grouping that reflects what they believe in…is exploited to its maximum advantage. All the while, the paradigm shifts almost imperceptibly, until before you know it….twenty years have elapsed, and you are not looking at the same country anymore.

The “art” is to make the people think they will be getting what they want…dupe them into believing it is something good, when it’s not. It took the blood of heroes to form and defend this nation.  The downfall is precipitated by traitors from within…bleeding the nation white by circumventing existing laws and replacing them with the greatest injustice and threat to personal liberty of all. What is that greatest threat? A foreign enemy? A spontaneous collapse of everything?

No. The greatest threat is the acceptance of the people of the illusion of “social justice,” that really translates into something for nothing by taking from those who have earned, and giving it to those who live within the entitlement cesspool of their own sloth. Such a mentality pervades our society today. In order to save the United States, we have to return to our fundamental values and become an ass-kicking, straight-shooting people who fear God and care for their families, neighbors, and nation once more. If we do this, we may emerge from the coming night as a nation once more. Ready your NVGs, and steel your hearts for the challenge before it arrives…now…at the twilight’s last gleaming.

May Veterans’ Day bring remembrance to your mind, may your heart find peace, and may any who serve in your family be safe and sound.


Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne).  Mr. Johnson is also a Gunsmith, a Certified Master Herbalist, a Montana Master Food Preserver, and a graduate of the U.S. Army’s SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape).  He lives in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with his wife and three cats. You can follow Jeremiah’s regular writings at SHTFplan.com or contact him here.

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Russia’s Next Weapon: A Church

The Russian military plans to build a military church to bolster the spiritual values of its armed forces.

The Duran

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Authored by Michael Peck via The National Interest:


Meet Vladimir Putin’s newest weapon: a church.

The Russian military plans to build a military church to bolster the spiritual values of its armed forces. Construction will soon begin of the Main Church of the Armed Forces, to be erected in Patriot Park outside Moscow, according to Colonel General Andrei Kartapolov, deputy defense minister and chief of the armed forces’ Main Military-Political Directorate, a new organization responsible for political education of the troops.

The “new church will be one more example of the people’s unity around the idea of patriotism, love, and devotion to our Motherland,” Kartapolov told Russian journalists.

To say the church, dubbed by some as the “Khaki Temple,” will have a martial air would be an understatement.

“The walls of the military church are really made in the color of the standard Russian missile system and armored vehicle,” according to the Russian newspaper The Independent [Google English translation here ] “…From the inside, the walls are decorated with paintings with battle scenes from military history and texts from the Holy Scriptures. The projected height is 95 meters [104 feet] and is designed for 6,000 people.”

“Kartapolov is convinced that the modern Russian serviceman cannot be shaped without shaping lofty spirituality in him,” Russian media said. “Speaking about ideology, the deputy head of the military department pointed out that this will be based on knowledge of the history of our Motherland and people and on historical and cultural traditions.”

“Even though the Russian constitution states that ‘no ideology may be established as state or obligatory,’ the Kremlin continues to search for a unifying set of beliefs,” notes the U.S. Army’s Foreign Military Studies Office.

Religion has long played a role in Russian military life, first through the Russian Orthodox Church in Tsarist times, and then—in a secular way—through Communism in Soviet times. “In late imperial Russia, when they began to build garrisons, every regiment sought to build a regimental church, but not a synagogue or mosque,” Roger Reese, an historian at Texas A&M University who has written books on the Tsarist and Soviet armed forces, told the National Interest. “In Putin’s Russia, the Orthodox Church seeks every opportunity to represent itself as the national religion and tie itself to the state as it had under the tsars, so this act represents continuity broken temporarily by the Soviet years. Of course the Soviet regime did not build churches for the army, but it did build the ‘House of the Red Army,’ shaped like a star, in Moscow dedicated to the use of the Red Army and its soldiers.

In some respects it was analogous to a USO [United Service Organization that supports American soldiers] building. So Putin’s dedicating one particular building to the use of the Russian Army soldiers for purposes of morale—and morals—is in line with that.”

While the thought of a military church will be distasteful to some, Russia is hardly unique in linking the military and religion.

Many armies, the United States and Israel included, maintain chaplains who wear uniform and hold military rank. Chapels are common on military bases, and soldiers are given time for – and sometimes pressured to – attend religious services. While a Russian military church is likely to favor a specific denomination – Russian Orthodoxy – even that isn’t unique: non-Christian members of the U.S. military have complained of religious discrimination , especially by Christian fundamentalists.

What’s interesting is how little things change. Be it the Tsar’s conscripts, or the Red Army’s draftees or the volunteers who comprise much of modern Russia’s military, some spiritual reinforcement is deemed necessary to get soldiers to fight.

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