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PUTIN: Master statesman with Turkey and Japan – and now Trump

Vladimir Putin has developed close relations with the leaders of Turkey and Japan in spite of continued policy differences and historic difficulties. This is the key to understanding how Putin’s relationship with Donald Trump could develop.

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Over the years, Russia has fought more wars against Turkey than any other country, even more than Poland. Likewise, between 1904 and 1905 Russia fought a war with Japan whose devastating outcome for Russia lead to a destabilising revolution at home. Russia’s relations with Japan did not get much better as the century rolled on. The Soviet Union was on the opposite side of the Second World War vis-a-vis Japan and territorial disputes over the Kuril Islands remain unresolved into the 21st century.

Turkey and Japan’s policies have not suddenly become pro-Russian in recent years. In respect of Turkey, there is a strong case to be made that while Turkish political leadership has moved closer to Russia, Turkey’s policies have if anything become more contrary to Russian interests.

This is why the strong personal relationship between Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as well as that with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are important case studies if one is to try and ascertain what might become of the relationship between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been the leading political figure in Turkey since 2003, first as Prime Minister and then after 2014 as a strong President. During this time he has developed a close relationship with Vladimir Putin, one based on personal respect, something Erdogan seems to have little of for many other leaders.

This did not stop Turkey from shooting down a Russia jet in 2015 when it allegedly strayed into Turkey airspace for seconds although many independent observers note that it was almost certainly in friendly Syria airspace the entire time.

This was a situation that could have realistically led to war, but because of Putin’s patience, it led to Erdogan personally apologising to Russia for the incident after which he called Russia a “friend and strategic partner”. This is even more astounding as it came from a man who remains among the most unapologetic world leaders in recent history.

In many ways, the personal relationship between Putin and Erdogan has grown stronger since then. Even as Turkey continues to back jihadist groups in Syria, the personal relationship between Putin and Erdogan has allowed Russo-Turkish relations to strengthen in many other areas. This close relationship has also helped to draw Turkey closer to Iran. The door which first opened this was Russia inviting both Iran and Turkey to form the Astana Group for peace in Syria.

Likewise, the Kuril Islands dispute between Russia and Japan has long been a barrier to good bilateral relations between Moscow and Tokyo.

However, under Prime Minister Abe who has been in power since 2012 (after a brief period in power from 2006 to 2007), Japan and Russia have agreed to work cooperatively and through dialogue over the dispute with both sides renouncing violence and unilateralism.

Japan still views many issues totally differently from Russia, including the situation on the Korean peninsula, but Abe and Putin’s close personal relationship has led to an unexpected turn for the better in Russo-Japanese relations. Indeed, Abe was among the first world leaders to visit with a newly elected President Trump and he told his American ally that having good relations with Russia and its President is both essential and a desirable thing.

Vladimir Putin is capable of fostering good personal relations with leaders whose official policies often remain at odds with Russian interests, something which is something of a masterful achievement in bilateral diplomacy.

Russia is unique in that it has close allies (China, Belarus), traditional allies and partners (India, Syria, Vietnam, Cuba, Serbia, Palestine, Greece, Cyprus, newly consecrated partners re-established partnerships (Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Venezuela, Philippines) and nations that Russia speaks to with ease in spite of apparent ideological differences (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Israel, Germany).

In reality, Russia has only one declared enemy in the world and that happens to be the world’s most violent, unstable, illegitimate and at times comical regime, that in Kiev. This shouldn’t be a surprise as this regime was created for the purpose of being Russia’s enemy.

For all the troubles the EU and US have caused Russia, Russia still refers to them as ‘partners’ and this patience seems to be paying off. Germany and her allies have said no to sanctions from the US which would hurt Russo-German cooperation on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline and under Donald Trump, the US is no longer led by a leader with a pathological hatred of Russia as Obama appeared to have.

During the G20, Putin remarked that while US policy has not changed dramatically under the leadership of Donald Trump, that nevertheless, he is a person Putin can work with.

The Russian President stated,

“As regards personal relations, I believe that they have been established. This is how I see it: Mr Trump’s television image is very different from the real person; he is a very down to earth and direct person, and he has an absolutely adequate attitude towards the person he is talking with; he analyses things pretty fast and answers the questions he is asked or new ones that arise in the course of the discussion. So I think that if we build our relations in the vein of our yesterday’s meeting, there are good reasons to believe that we will be able to revive, at least partially, the level of interaction that we need”.

This is official confirmation that because of Donald Trump, the US has been moved from Russia’s basket of disagreeables into something that could realistically approach Russia’s relationship with Erdogan’s Turkey and Abe’s Japan. This is a giant step in a positive direction. Donald Trump offers even more hope because unlike any Turkish or Japanese leader who would necessarily carry some historically anti-Russian baggage, Trump seems not only unmoved by the recent trend of Russophobia, but he seems to admire much about Russia’s conservative outlook, Christian heritage and strong leadership, three things Trump is keen to associate himself with in the US.

Putin once admitted that the “men in black suits” run America, a euphemism for the deep state, but it increasingly seems that Trump will at least sometimes put up a fight with them meaning that there is a small but crucial potential for the US under Trump to become slightly more elevated in terms of relations with Russia vis-a-vis that of Erodgan’s Turkey and Abe’s Japan.

The deep state sees controlling and meddling in Russia’s natural sphere of influence as a crucial American ‘red line’, but Donald Trump seems to see things differently.  Even if Trump remains compromised in this respect for the foreseeable future, the world is still in better shape than it was under Obama, let alone better than it would be under Hillary Clinton whose perverse combination of avarice and fanaticism could have easily covered the world in blood and perhaps also nuclear fallout.

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Putin, Trump meet in Helsinki for first bilateral summit

The Helsinki summit is the first ever full-fledged meeting between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. Their previous encounters were brief talks on the sidelines of the G20 and APEC summits in 2017.

Vladimir Rodzianko

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump are meeting in the Finnish capital of Helsinki for their first bilateral one-on-one meeting.

Trump arrived in the Finland capital a day early, while the jet of Putin, who wrapped up his nation’s hosting of the World Cup Sunday, touched down around 1 p.m. local time and the Russian president’s motorcade whisked him straight to the palace where the two world leaders are meeting.

Trump signed an August 2017 law imposing additional sanctions on Russia. The law bars Trump from easing many sanctions without Congress’ approval, but he can offer some relief without a nod from Congress.

Almost 700 Russian people and companies are under U.S. sanctions. Individuals face limits on their travel and freezes on at least some of their assets, while some top Russian state banks and companies, including oil and gas giants, are effectively barred from getting financing through U.S. banks and markets.

The agenda of the summit hasn’t been officially announced yet, though, the presidents are expected to discuss global crises, such as the Syrian conflict and Ukraine, as well as bilateral relations.

Stay tuned for updates…

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“Foreign entity, NOT RUSSIA” hacked Hillary Clinton’s emails (Video)

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tx): Hillary Clinton’s cache of 30,000 emails was hacked by foreign actor, and it was not Russia.

Alex Christoforou

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A stunning revelation that hardly anyone in the mainstream media is covering.

Fox News gave Louie Gohmert (R-Tx) the opportunity to explain what was going on during his questioning of Peter Strzok, when the the Texas Congressman stated that a “foreign entity, NOT RUSSIA” hacked Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Aside from this segment on Fox News, this story is not getting any coverage, and we know why. It destroys the entire ‘Russia hacked Hillary’ narrative.

Gohmert states that this evidence is irrefutable and shows that a foreign actor, not connected to Russia in any way, intercepted and distributed Hillary Clinton’s cache of 30,000 emails.

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Via Zerohedge

As we sift through the ashes of Thursday’s dumpster-fire Congressional hearing with still employed FBI agent Peter Strzok, Luke Rosiak of the Daily Caller plucked out a key exchange between Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tx) and Strzok which revealed a yet-unknown bombshell about the Clinton email case.

Nearly all of Hillary Clinton’s emails on her homebrew server went to a foreign entity that isn’t Russia. When this was discovered by the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG), IG Chuck McCullough sent his investigator Frank Ruckner and an attorney to notify Strzok along with three other people about the “anomaly.”

Four separate attempts were also made to notify DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz to brief him on the massive security breach, however Horowitz “never returned the call.” Recall that Horowitz concluded last month that despite Strzok’s extreme bias towards Hillary Clinton and against Donald Trump – none of it translated to Strzok’s work at the FBI.

In other words; Strzok, while investigating Clinton’s email server, completely ignored the fact that most of Clinton’s emails were sent to a foreign entity – while IG Horowitz simply didn’t want to know about it.

Daily Caller reports…

The Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) found an “anomaly on Hillary Clinton’s emails going through their private server, and when they had done the forensic analysis, they found that her emails, every single one except four, over 30,000, were going to an address that was not on the distribution list,” Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas said during a hearing with FBI official Peter Strzok.

Gohmert continued..

“It was going to an unauthorized source that was a foreign entity unrelated to Russia.”

Strzok admitted to meeting with Ruckner but said he couldn’t remember the “specific” content of their discussion.

“The forensic examination was done by the ICIG and they can document that,” Gohmert said, “but you were given that information and you did nothing with it.”

According to Zerohedge “Mr. Horowitz got a call four times from someone wanting to brief him about this, and he never returned the call,” Gohmert said – and Horowitz wouldn’t return the call.

And while Peter Strzok couldn’t remember the specifics of his meeting with the IG about the giant “foreign entity” bombshell, he texted this to his mistress Lisa Page when the IG discovered the “(C)” classification on several of Clinton’s emails – something the FBI overlooked:

“Holy cow … if the FBI missed this, what else was missed? … Remind me to tell you to flag for Andy [redacted] emails we (actually ICIG) found that have portion marks (C) on a couple of paras. DoJ was Very Concerned about this.”

Via Zerohedge

In November of 2017, IG McCullough – an Obama appointee – revealed to Fox News that he received pushback when he tried to tell former DNI James Clapper about the foreign entity which had Clinton’s emails and other anomalies.

Instead of being embraced for trying to expose an illegal act, seven senators including Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca) wrote a letter accusing him of politicizing the issue.

“It’s absolutely irrelevant whether something is marked classified, it is the character of the information,” he said. Fox News reports…

McCullough said that from that point forward, he received only criticism and an “adversarial posture” from Congress when he tried to rectify the situation.

“I expected to be embraced and protected,” he said, adding that a Hill staffer “chided” him for failing to consider the “political consequences” of the information he was blowing the whistle on.

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Donald Trump plays good cop and bad cop with a weak Theresa May (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 55.

Alex Christoforou

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US President Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK was momentous, not for its substance, but rather for its sheer entertainment value.

Trump started his trip to the United Kingdom blasting Theresa May for her inability to negotiate a proper Brexit deal with the EU.  Trump ended his visit holding hands with the UK Prime Minister during a press conference where the most ‘special relationship’ between the two allies was once again reaffirmed.

Protests saw giant Trump “baby balloons” fly over London’s city center, as Trump played was his own good cop and bad cop to the UK PM, outside London at the Chequers…often times leaving May’s head spinning.

Even as Trump has left London, he remains front and center in the mind of Theresa May, who has now stated that Trump advised her to “sue” the European Union to resolve the tense negotiations over Brexit.

Trump had mentioned to reporters on Friday at a joint press conference with Theresa May that he had given the British leader a suggestion that she found too “brutal.”

Asked Sunday on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show what that suggestion was, May: “He told me I should sue the EU. Not go into negotiation, sue them.” May added…

“What the president also said at that press conference was `Don’t walk away. Don’t walk away from the negotiations. Then you’re stuck.”‘

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris summarize what was a state visit like no other, as Trump trolled the UK PM from beginning to end, and left London knowing that he got the better of a weakened British Prime Minister, who may not survive in office past next week.

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Via CNBC

It wasn’t exactly clear what Trump meant. The revelation came after explosive and undiplomatic remarks Trump made this week about May’s leadership — especially her handling of the Brexit negotiations — as he made his first official visit to Britain.

In an interview with The Sun newspaper published Thursday — just as May was hosting Trump at a lavish black-tie dinner — Trump said the British leader’s approach likely “killed” chances of a free-trade deal with the United States. He said he had told May how to conduct Brexit negotiations, “but she didn’t listen to me.”

He also praised May’s rival, Boris Johnson, who quit last week as foreign secretary to protest May’s Brexit plans. Trump claimed Johnson would make a “great prime minister.”

The comments shocked many in Britain — even May’s opponents — and threatened to undermine May’s already fragile hold on power. Her Conservative government is deeply split between supporters of a clean break with the EU and those who want to keep close ties with the bloc, Britain’s biggest trading partner.

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