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Regime change in Kiev remains the only just option

Sergey Lavrov is correct to blast the EU’s role in fomenting instability and violence in Ukraine. That being said, the Minsk agreements were dead on arrival and nothing will resuscitate them. Only legal regime change in Kiev can provide a solution.

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The EU was supposed to be the last minute saviour of Ukraine as fascist street-fighters and foreign mercenaries with fresh injections of American money readied a violent coup.

It was on the 20th of February 2014 that the Foreign Ministers of EU member states France, Germany and Poland convened in Kiev to broker a deal that was supposed to bring stability. Instead, it brought about a genocidal war on the people of Donbass who shortly after the coup declared their independence from the young fascist regime in Kiev. The deal also brought wide scale corruption in an already deeply corrupt place as well as total economic collapse that continues to get worse by the day.

Most ominously, the then Polish Foreign Minister who helped broker the deal which the insurgents had no intention of keeping, told representatives of the radicals that if they did not sign the agreement “you’ll all be dead”.

The truth is that the death came and continues to come not from those who opposed the coup but from those who came to power as a result of the coup.

The deal was supposed to insure orderly early elections and constitutional reforms which ironically reversed those made by Viktor Yanukovych. Instead, the agreement merely caused the total collapse of the state as the mob eventually forced Yanukovych to flee to Russia after a temporary and in hindsight eerie pause in the violence.

The hours in the evening of the 20th of February 2014 in which violence temporarily abated have been made up for by three and a half years of violence, turmoil and a humanitarian disaster which has seen the lawless regime in Kiev drop chemical weapons on the people of Donbass, all while the west remains silent.

Today, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov blasted the EU for its role in bringing about the violent coup in Kiev.

He stated,

“The largely-provoked-from-the-outside Ukrainian crisis has become the direct consequence of such shortsighted policy of Washington and Brussels”.

He continued,

“We hope that Germany and France, as partners within the Normandy format, as well as the US who have a special influence on the Kiev establishment, will use their means to change the situation”.

Lavrov went on to define his hopes for Ukraine stating,

“We want to see Ukraine a stable country, where all minorities, including linguistic, religious and ethnic, live freely and exercise rights provided by international convention”.

Alas, while Lavrov articulates the official Russian position clearly, it is a position that is impossible. Ukraine as presently comprised was always a powder keg waiting to explode. The fact that it was the US and EU which ultimately threw the match that caused the explosion is almost inconsequential at this point.

The fact is that Ukraine is an artificial state based on the Bolshevik nationalities policy which itself was based on the mythical idea of a stateless ‘Ukrainian people’, is the more overarching cause of the current crisis.

This reality was explained by The Duran last year in the following piece reproduced in full below: 

“Of the many sad peculiarities surrounding 2014’s coup d’état in Kiev, one of the oddest is that it shows that it is possible to have nationalism without a nation.

As a city and region Kiev has long been at the heart of Russian civilisation. It was there in the 9th century that the first Russian state was declared, and where the spiritual journey for Russian unity began.

This makes recent events all the more sad, and makes the fascist coup which happened in Kiev in 2014 more like a 21stcentury version of the Mongol invasion which in 1240 led to the sack of Kiev, which forced many Russians to move north-east, so that the capital of the Russian people became Moscow.

Thus begins the tale of the Three Russia’s: Great, Little and White.

Whilst Moscow formally established itself as a Tsardom in the 16th century, the western Russian lands were occupied by the then mighty Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. An official policy of Polonisation saw the imposition of Roman Catholicism over Orthodox people.

The infusion of Polish culture led to the development of a dialect which combined elements of the Russian and Polish languages. This dialect was the linguistic precursor to what is now referred to as Ukrainian.

Not all the Russians in the region took this well. One distinct Russian subculture developed partly in reaction.

The Cossacks were people who initially rebelled against Polish-Lithuanian rule, and who gained an increasingly autonomous status known as the Cossack Hetmanate.

Acting as mercenary fighters for (at various times) the rulers of Poland, Russia and Ottoman Turkey, they were not an easy group to control.

Ultimately in 1654 the Cossacks committed themselves to Russia and against the Poles, beginning the process of reuniting what came to be known as Little Russia to Great Russia.

The new accord between the Cossacks and the Tsardom of Russia was known as the Treaty of Pereyaslav. The full evolution of the former Polish-Lithuanian territories into Little Russia was confirmed by a treaty between Moscow and the Polish and Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Truce of Andrusovo, signed in 1667.

This re-united eastern Slav people brought together with Moscow the territories of Little Russia, corresponding to modern day central Ukraine, and White Russia, corresponding to much of modern Belarus.

Parts of what is today western Ukraine eventually passed to Austria, as Poland lost its empire. In Austria the Slavs speaking a language in part Russian and in part Polish came to be called Ruthenians.

In the later days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire this however changed. The intelligentsia of the Austro-Hungarian Empire actively encouraged – some would say invented – the idea of a distinct national identity for the Ruthenian peasants. So began the concept of ‘Ukrainianism’.

Linguistically, Ukraine is a term which when etymologically analysed, does not directly imply an ethnic group. It merely means ‘on the border’ or ‘borderland’, which is where these people were, the border in question being the one between the Russian and the Austro-Hungarian empires (previously the border between Russia and Poland, and the border of Russia and Poland again during most of the 20th century).

Austria encouraged this movement as part of its long standing policy of keeping the Slavs divided. A pan-Slavic Congress held in Prague (then part of the Austrian empire) in 1848 threatened the integrity of Austria’s empire, and the Hapsburg rulers responded accordingly.

If Vienna behaved predictably, the true originator of today’s conflict, and the man who turned a fraternal and united people into a nationalistic and divided people, was Lenin.

Lenin’s strange sense of geography and his perverse relationship with nationalism have done more to sow the seeds of today’s conflict than the works and deeds of any living politician.

When drawing the internal map of the Soviet Union, The Bolsheviks erased the lines of Tsarist regional units – the gubernias – and replaced them with a vastly more complex system of Soviet republics.

Where the gubernias generally accurately reflected the vast swaths of regional identities across Russia, the Soviet Republics did not, and nowhere was this truer than in the case of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

Lenin took the territories of Little Russia and lumped them together with an area called Novorossiya, territory initially captured by Russia from the Ottomans during the Russo-Turkish Wars of 18th century, before becoming the Russian Guberniya of Novorossiya 1764.

This area was never part of the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth, and far more ethnically diverse. Not only were Russian and Turkic peoples there but so were Romanians, Germans, Serbs, European and Eastern Jews, Albanians, Greeks, Ruthenians, Armenians and others.

Interestingly, the ethnic diversity of Novorossiya made integration into the Russian state easier as Russian became the lingua-franca.

These areas correspond to what is today Eastern Ukraine, including not only Donbass but also the regions around Mariupol and Odessa.

Lenin’s geographical error was one of his biggest mistakes, and there was no reason for it. A map after all does not know whether it is communist or tsarist.

But if Lenin’s poor sense of geography was an error, what happened next was tantamount to treason.

Whilst communism is generally seen as antithetical to nationalism, in many ways it was Bolshevism in its early days, which actively encouraged regional nationalisms throughout Russia in order to demonstrate that the Bolsheviks stood up not only for the economically oppressed but for the ethnically disenfranchised as well.

The result was that where defined ethnicities did not exist the communists simply invented them.

Lenin filled the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic with propaganda turning brother against brother. Calling Russia a ‘prison of nations’, filling textbooks with made up history about divisions between Russians and Ukrainians, and forcing a foreign dialect upon people, were all part of Lenin’s plan to weaken the structures of the old Tsarist Russia.

Even though policies after Lenin’s death sought to control the damage, much of it became engrained.

The Soviet famine of the 1930s was a consequence of Stalin’s policy of forcibly establishing kolkhozy (collective farming). It affected many Soviet republics and the majority of the victims were ethnic Russians. If Lenin’s Soviet map was his lowest ebb, Stalin’s forced collectivisation was his. But in modern Ukrainian textbooks, it is blamed on the Russians and made into a conspiracy by the Russians to starve Ukrainians even though Ukrainians, Russians and others suffered equally. The fact that Stalin was not actually Russian is an irony left unmentioned.

The bitter seeds which Lenin sowed have allowed a narrative of Ukrainian nationalism to spread, and the results are poverty, war, terrorism and suffering in today’s Ukraine.

The fact that many fascists in Ukraine are destroying Lenin monuments is a testament to how poor education can result in devastating consequences.

The truth is that the violence in Ukraine is a product of nationalism without a nation. This adds an element of tragedy to what is actually a deeply unnecessary situation.

Ultimately the only solution is for referenda to be held throughout every region of modern Ukraine, where by people can decide which country best represents their identity and interests.

After all the people of Odessa and Rostov have far more in common with each other than the people of Milan do with those in Palermo.

This would be the only democratic solution. Let the people determine their destiny, not an outdated Bolshevik map which has perversely been co-opted by outright fascists.

The fact that the results of the referenda might surprise many in the West is another matter entirely”.

The feeble Minsk agreements which aim to create a ceasefire in Donbass and pave the way for reconciliation have not only failed but they were almost designed to fail.

States comprised of historically un-complimentary regions torn from various large powers, filled with people who clearly have no ability to live together any longer cannot long be artificially sustained.

This is the very reason why the regime in Kiev is trying so desperately to beg for salvation from the EU and the US. This salvation will doubtless not be forthcoming.

The EU wanted to provoke Russia on its borders and it largely failed. It merely created an unstable fascist state on Europe and Russia’s borderlands that the EU cannot deal with and which Russia refuses to deal with until the regime collapses under its own weight. Russian President Vladimir Putin said as much during the G20 summit in Hamburg.

The US will likely not help the situation under President Trump either. Trump has shown little to no interest in the matter from day one and with new revelations about how the Ukrainian regime actively tried to aid Hillary Clinton’s campaign, Trump will if anything begin to dislike the regime deeply in the coming months.

The EU’s experiment has failed. The US has lost interest in the Frankenstein monster it created under Obama. The only debate now worth having is as follows:

1. Is Russia wise to wait for the regime to collapse under its own weight or

2. Should Russia engage in legal regime change in Kiev.

The justifications for and ways of legally implementing regime change are as follows: 

“The regime in Kiev came to power illegally and governs in a manner that is totally unacceptable.The regime is guilty of mass murder, mass starvation and deprivation and multiple human rights violations.

If there was ever a regime in need of change, this is the one.

Here are the options.

1. The Security Council of the United Nations 

The Russian Federation could and should table a UNSC resolution calling for the immediate withdraw of all troops, mercenaries and terrorists loyal to the Kiev regime from the Donbass region.

Additionally, such a resolution must demand the total restoration of the Russian language to its official position and the end to all ethnic, linguistic, religious and racial discrimination.

Finally, the resolution must demand that all property of the Russian Orthodox Church which has been seized by the Ukrainian regime, must be reinstated with monetary compensation given to the Church.

The Ukrainian regime should be given a maxim of two weeks to comply with these demands or else face a corrective military response which will put an interim government in power.

The only problem with this plan is that the US and its allies would almost certainly use their veto to stop it. This is why other options must be considered.

2. Recognition of the statehood of Donetsk and Lugansk 

If Russia were to recognise the statehood of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, it would then be perfectly possible and legal for Russia to come to the military aid of these countries in helping them to end the fascist Ukrainian war of aggression against them.

If Russia recognised the sovereignty of the Donbass Republics and came to their aid, it is likely that the regime in Kiev would soon collapse without a shot and the freedom and peace of Donbass would be insured for the foreseeable future.

3. Grant Russian Citizenship to all Donbass people and Russians living under the Ukrainian regime 

This should be done anyway. The majority of the people in the historic Novorossiya and Little Russia regions consider themselves to be Russian and by all objective accounts they most certainly are Russian. Thousands have families in the Russian Federation and could be a productive part of the Russian Federation’s workforce.

There is no reason not to give Russian people who speak Russian and have family in Russia instant citizenship. Many other European countries give citizenship to their brethren outside of their borders without any fuss. Some states do this even to people who haven’t lived near Europe for generations. Likewise, Israel gives citizenship to anyone who is Jewish.

There should be zero hurdles for instant citizenship for all Russians outside of Russia, starting with those in historic Russian lands on Russia’s borders.

If hundreds of thousands of Russian passport holders living under the oppressive criminal regime in Kiev are in danger, then it would be within Russia’s remit to militarily intervene to secure their protection and restore their peaceful existence. This happened in 2008 in South Ossetia and Abkhazia when Russian citizens and peacekeepers were threatened with genocide by the regime in Tbilisi. The result was peace and freedom for the people of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. No one there has been hurt since.

4. The American example 

For those who think that these measures too easily disregard caution, one needs only to look at America. The United States changes regimes in countries on the other side of the world with impunity. They do so in countries that have no cultural, linguistic let alone ethnic connection to the vast majority of US citizens and they do so in countries where not even a small amount of Americans reside.

America has broken apart the integrity of Serbia by facilitating the unilateral separatism of the Serbian province of Kosovo and Metohija, a place where not a single American was in any danger for the simple reason that no Americans where there. This was all done without the approval of the United Nations.

The United States invaded Iraq and toppled its government on the basis that it had weapons of mass destruction which it did not have. By contrast Ukraine has used weapons of mass destruction, particularly chemical weapons on the civilians of Donbass and maintains large stocks of chemical weapons as well as nuclear power facilities which are in such poor repair it could cause a massive disaster. Must the world really wait till the flippancy and inadequacy of the Kiev regime causes a nuclear meltdown before a responsible party is put in charge?

Each of the aforementioned plans for Russia to bring an end to the regime in Kiev are less than what America has done in countries with no human rights disaster, no war, no use of weapons of mass destruction and no overriding conflict.

If there was ever a case for 21st century regime change it is in Kiev. The Kiev regime has violated all the acceptable norms of the most rogue failed state and no amount of America or EU money can change this fact.f

What’s more is that unlike in the countries where America militarily intervened, in Ukraine, millions of people would actually welcome Russia as a force of liberation. The people of the region were all living in one state until very recently and many still lament the creation of artificial borders between fraternal peoples.

If put to a referendum, the majority of Ukrainian regions would almost certainly prefer association with Russia than with neo-Nazi elements from the only non-Russian part of the region, Galacia in the west of the current Ukrainian borders.

Why is it that America can destroy nations at will, but Russia cannot help a fraternal Russian people on Russia’s current borders?

The only logical answer is timidity. It is a timidity that shames Russia and hurts millions of Russian people both inside and out of Russia’s current borders”

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Curious Bedfellows: The Neocon And Progressive Alliance To Destroy Donald Trump

The neocon metamorphosis is nearly complete as many of the neocons, who started out as Democrats, have returned home, where they are being welcomed for their hardline foreign policy viewpoint.

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Authored by Philip Giraldi via OffGuardian.com:


The Roman poet Ovid’s masterful epic The Metamorphoses includes the memorable opening line regarding the poem’s central theme of transformation. He wrote In nova fert animus mutatas dicere formas corpora, which has been translated as “Of shapes transformed to bodies strange, I purpose to entreat…”

Ovid framed his narrative around gods, heroes and quasi-historical events but if he were around today, he would no doubt be fascinated by the many transformations of the group that has defined itself as neoconservative.The movement began in a cafeteria in City College of New York in the 1930s, where a group of radical Jewish students would meet to discuss politics and developments in Europe. Many of the founders were from the far left, communists of the Trotskyite persuasion, which meant that they believed in permanent global revolution led by a vanguard party. The transformation into conservatives of a neo-persuasion took place when they were reportedly “mugged by reality” into accepting that the standard leftist formulae were not working to transform the world rapidly enough. As liberal hawks, they then hitched their wagon to the power of the United States to bring about transformation by force if necessary and began to infiltrate institutions like the Pentagon to give themselves the tools to achieve their objectives, which included promotion of regime change wars, full spectrum global dominance and unconditional support for Israel.

The neocons initially found a home with Democratic Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson, but they moved on in the 1970s and 1980s to prosper under Ronald Reagan as well as under Democrat Bill Clinton. Their ability to shape policy peaked under George W. Bush, when they virtually ran the Pentagon and were heavily represented in both the national security apparatus and in the White House. They became adept at selling their mantra of “strong national defense” to whomever was buying, including to President Obama, even while simultaneously complaining about his administration’s “weakness.”

The neoconservatives lined up behind Hillary Clinton in 2016, appalled by Donald Trump’s condemnation of their centerpiece war in Iraq and even more so by his pledge to end the wars in Asia and nation-building projects while also improving relations with the Russians. They worked actively against the Republican candidate both before he was nominated and elected and did everything they could to stop him, including libeling him as a Russian agent.

When Trump was elected, it, therefore, seemed that the reign of the neocons had ended, but chameleonlike, they have changed shape and are now ensconced both in some conservative as well as in an increasing number of progressive circles in Washington and in the media. Against all odds, they have even captured key posts in the White House itself with the naming of John Bolton as National Security Adviser and Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State. Bolton’s Chief of Staff is Fred Fleitz, a leading neocon and Islamophobe while last week Trump added Iran hawk Richard Goldberg to the National Security Council as director for countering Iranian weapons of mass destruction. Goldberg is an alumnus of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, which is the leading neocon think tank calling incessantly for war with Iran.

Meanwhile, the neocon metamorphosis is nearly complete as many of the neocons, who started out as Democrats, have returned home, where they are being welcomed for their hardline foreign policy viewpoint. Glenn Greenwald reports that, based on polling of party supporters, the Democrats have gone full-Hillary and are now by far more hawkish than the Republicans, unwilling to leave either Syria or Afghanistan.

The neocon survival and rejuvenation is particularly astonishing in that they have been wrong about virtually everything, most notably the catastrophic Iraq War. They have never been held accountable for anything, though one should note that accountability is not a prominent American trait, at least since Vietnam. What is important is that neocon views have been perceived by the media and punditry as being part of the Establishment consensus, which provides them with access to programming all across the political spectrum. That is why neocon standard-bearers like Bill Kristol and Max Boot have been able to move effortlessly from Fox News to MSNBC where they are fêted by the likes of Rachel Maddow. They applauded the Iraq War when the Establishment was firmly behind it and are now trying to destroy Donald Trump’s presidency because America’s elite is behind that effort.

Indeed, the largely successful swing by the neocons from right to left has in some ways become more surreal, as an increasing number of progressive spokesmen and institutions have lined up behind their perpetual warfare banner. The ease with which the transformation took place reveals, interestingly, that the neocons have no real political constituency apart from voters who feel threatened and respond by supporting perpetual war, but they do share many common interests with the so-called liberal interventionists. Neocons see a global crisis for the United States defined in terms of power while the liberals see the struggle as a moral imperative, but the end result is the same: intervention by the United States. This fusion is clearly visible in Washington, where the Clintons’ Center for American Progress (CAP) is now working on position papers with the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

One of the most active groups attacking President Trump is “Republicans for the Rule of Law,” founded by Bill Kristol in January 2018, as a component of Defending Democracy Together(DDT), a 501(c)4 lobbying group that also incorporates projects called The Russia Tweets and Republicans Against Putin. Republicans Against Putin promotes the view that President Trump is not “stand[ing] up to [Vladimir] Putin” and calls for more aggressive investigation of the Russian role in the 2016 election.

DDT is a prime example of how the neoconservatives and traditional liberal interventionists have come together as it is in part funded by Pierre Omidyar, the billionaire co-founder of eBay who has provided DDT with $600,000 in two grants through his Democracy Fund Voice, also a 501(c)4. Omidyar is a political liberal who has given millions of dollars to progressive organizations and individuals since 1999. Indeed, he is regarded as a top funder of liberal causesin the United States and even globally together with Michael Bloomberg and George Soros. His Democracy Fund awarded $9 million in grants in 2015 alone.

Last week, the Omidyar-Kristol connection may have deepened with an announcement regarding the launch of the launch of a new webzine The Bulwark, which would clearly be at least somewhat intended to take the place of the recently deceased Weekly Standard. It is promoting itself as the center of the “Never Trump Resistance” and it is being assumed that at least some of the Omidyar money is behind it.

Iranian-born Omidyar’s relationship with Kristol is clearly based on the hatred that the two share regarding Donald Trump.

Omidyar has stated that Trump is a “dangerous authoritarian demagogue… endorsing Donald Trump immediately disqualifies you from any position of public trust.”

He has tweeted that Trump suffers from “failing mental capacity” and is both “corrupt and incapacitated.”

Omidyar is what he is – a hardcore social justice warrior who supports traditional big government and globalist liberal causes, most of which are antithetical to genuine conservatives. But what is interesting about the relationship with Kristol is that it also reveals what the neoconservatives are all about. Kristol and company have never been actual conservatives on social issues, a topic that they studiously avoid, and their foreign policy is based on two principles: creating a state of perpetual war based on fearmongering about foreign enemies while also providing unlimited support for Israel. Kristol hates Trump because he threatens the war agenda while Omidyar despises the president for traditional progressive reasons. That hatred is the tie that binds and it is why Bill Kristol, a man possessing no character and values whatsoever, is willing to take Pierre Omidyar’s money while Pierre is quite happy to provide it to destroy a common enemy, the President of the United States of America.

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Nancy Pelosi tries to deplatform U.S. President Trump over the wall (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 170.

Alex Christoforou

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In response to Pelosi’s disgusting act of censorship, Trump trolled the Speaker of the House in epic fashion by forcing the cancellation of a trip to Afghanistan, Brussels and Egypt by Nancy Pelosi and her massive entourage.

In a letter addressed to Pelosi, U.S. President Trump told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi…

“I am sorry to inform you that your trip to Brussels, Egypt, and Afghanistan has been postponed. We will reschedule this seven-day excursion when the Shutdown is over.”

“I am sure you would agree that postponing this public relations event is appropriate.”

According to a congressional aide, Pelosi and several other politicians were already on buses preparing to leave the U.S. Capitol when the U.S. President cancelled their trip.

Trump suggested that Pelosi fly commercial to Afghanistan and elsewhere should she wish.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss how Nancy Pelosi is trying to censor Trump and prevent the U.S. President from delivering the State of the Union to the American people, in what is clearly another liberal left deplatforming ploy.

Instead of debating the issues about the wall and immigration with fact, logic, and policy positions, Pelosi (out of fear) is trying to silence Trump and squash debate and political discourse.

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Via The Gateway Pundit

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) sent a letter to President Donald Trump on Wednesday asking him to postpone the State of the Union Address to a Joint Session of Congress scheduled for January 29.

Pelosi cited security concerns over the partial government shutdown.

Pelosi said both the U.S. Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security have not been funded for 26 days now – with critical departments hamstrung by furloughs. Therefore, they would not be ready for the speech.

Pelosi posted her letter to Trump on Twitter, saying, “Today, I wrote to  recommending that we delay the State of the Union until after government re-opens, as the , the lead federal agency for  security, faces its 26th day without funding.” (Text version of letter below tweet.)

The Department of Homeland Security refuted the Speaker’s claims — The Secret Service is ready for the SOTU.

And on Thursday FOX News reported that Speaker Pelosi was using “all kinds of security” manpower for her pricey trip with Democrats to Belgium and Afghanistan.

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BuzzFeed pushes fake Michael Cohen news, as real news breaks on HUGE conspiracy against Trump at FBI and DOJ (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 169.

Alex Christoforou

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According to Zerohedge, in an almost unprecedented event – having rarely commented on stories related to the special counsel’s investigation – Robert S. Mueller III’s office put out a statement firmly disputing the reporting of the news site BuzzFeed reported that the president instructed his personal attorney to lie to Congress about his push for a Moscow real estate project

BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate,” the special counsel’s office said.

As The Hill reports, BuzzFeed had released a statement earlier Friday defending the reporters behind the story and saying that it “stands by this story 100%,” and for his part, Cohen adviser Lanny Davis refused to confirm or deny the report during an interview with MSNBC on Friday afternoon.

President Trump retweeted a few social media reactions…

And then made his own views clear:

Meanwhile the real election collusion bombshell had nothing to do with Russia, Moscow hotels, or Michael Cohen, and everything to do with bullet proof evidence that DOJ official, Bruce Ohr, warned all the higher-ups at the FBI and DOJ (Comey, Rosenstein, McCabe, etc…) that the Steele dossier was connected to Hillary Clinton, and was extremely biased against Donald Trump.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss how BuzzFeed pushed out a clear, fake propaganda story on Trump, Cohen, and more stupidity about Moscow hotel deals, as real reporter, John Solomon broke a massive story, with solid evidence and facts, that show the FBI and DOJ knew that the Steele dossier was a complete work of fiction, and knowingly hide that fact from FISA courts.

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Authored by John Solomon, via The Hill

When the annals of mistakes and abuses in the FBI’s Russia investigation are finally written, Bruce Ohr almost certainly will be the No. 1 witness, according to my sources.

The then-senior Department of Justice (DOJ) official briefed both senior FBI and DOJ officials in summer 2016 about Christopher Steele’s Russia dossier, explicitly cautioning that the British intelligence operative’s work was opposition research connected to Hillary Clinton’s campaign and might be biased.

Ohr’s briefings, in July and August 2016, included the deputy director of the FBI, a top lawyer for then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch and a Justice official who later would become the top deputy to special counsel Robert Mueller.

At the time, Ohr was the associate deputy attorney general. Yet his warnings about political bias were pointedly omitted weeks later from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant that the FBI obtainedfrom a federal court, granting it permission to spy on whether the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia to hijack the 2016 presidential election.

Ohr’s activities, chronicled in handwritten notes and congressional testimony I gleaned from sources, provide the most damning evidence to date that FBI and DOJ officials may have misled federal judges in October 2016 in their zeal to obtain the warrant targeting Trump adviser Carter Page just weeks before Election Day.

They also contradict a key argument that House Democrats have made in their formal intelligence conclusions about the Russia case.

Since it was disclosed last year that Steele’s dossier formed a central piece of evidence supporting the FISA warrant, Justice and FBI officials have been vague about exactly when they learned that Steele’s work was paid for by the law firm representing the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

A redacted version of the FISA application released last year shows the FBI did not mention any connection to the DNC or Clinton. Rather, it referred to Steele as a reliable source in past criminal investigations who was hired by a person working for a U.S. law firm to conduct research on Trump and Russia.

The FBI claimed it was “unaware of any derogatory information” about Steele, that Steele was “never advised … as to the motivation behind the research” but that the FBI  “speculates” that those who hired Steele were “likely looking for information to discredit” Trump’s campaign.

Yet, in testimony last summer to congressional investigators, Ohr revealed the FBI and Justice lawyers had no need to speculate: He explicitly warned them in a series of contacts, beginning July 31, 2016, that Steele expressed biased against Trump and was working on a project connected to the Clinton campaign.

Ohr had firsthand knowledge about the motive and the client: He had just met with Steele on July 30, 2016, and Ohr’s wife, Nellie, worked for Fusion GPS, the same firm employing Steele.

“I certainly told the FBI that Fusion GPS was working with, doing opposition research on Donald Trump,” Ohr told congressional investigators, adding that he warned the FBI that Steele expressed bias during their conversations.

“I provided information to the FBI when I thought Christopher Steele was, as I said, desperate that Trump not be elected,” he added. “So, yes, of course I provided that to the FBI.”

When pressed why he would offer that information to the FBI, Ohr answered: “In case there might be any kind of bias or anything like that.” He added later, “So when I provided it to the FBI, I tried to be clear that this is source information, I don’t know how reliable it is. You’re going to have to check it out and be aware.”

Ohr went further, saying he disclosed to FBI agents that his wife and Steele were working for the same firm and that it was conducting the Trump-Russia research project at the behest of Trump’s Democratic rival, the Clinton campaign.

“These guys were hired by somebody relating to, who’s related to the Clinton campaign and be aware,” Ohr told Congress, explaining what he warned the bureau.

Perkins Coie, the law firm that represented both the DNC and the Clinton campaign during the 2016 election, belatedly admitted it paid Fusion GPS for Steele’s work on behalf of the candidate and party and disguised the payments as legal bills when, in fact, it was opposition research.

When asked if he knew of any connection between the Steele dossier and the DNC, Ohr responded that he believed the project was really connected to the Clinton campaign.

“I didn’t know they were employed by the DNC but I certainly said yes that they were working for, you know, they were somehow working, associated with the Clinton campaign,” he answered.

“I also told the FBI that my wife worked for Fusion GPS or was a contractor for GPS, Fusion GPS.”

Ohr divulged his first contact with the FBI was on July 31, 2016, when he reached out to then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and FBI attorney Lisa Page. He then was referred to the agents working Russia counterintelligence, including Peter Strzok, the now-fired agent who played a central role in starting the Trump collusion probe.

But Ohr’s contacts about the Steele dossier weren’t limited to the FBI. He said in August 2016 — nearly two months before the FISA warrant was issued — that he was asked to conduct a briefing for senior Justice officials.

Those he briefed included Andrew Weissmann, then the head of DOJ’s fraud section; Bruce Swartz, longtime head of DOJ’s international operations, and Zainab Ahmad, an accomplished terrorism prosecutor who, at the time, was assigned to work with Lynch as a senior counselor.

Ahmad and Weissmann would go on to work for Mueller, the special prosecutor overseeing the Russia probe.

Ohr’s extensive testimony also undercuts one argument that House Democrats sought to make last year.

When Republicans, in early 2018, first questioned Ohr’s connections to Steele, Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee sought to minimize the connection, insisting he only worked as an informer for the FBI after Steele was fired by the FBI in November 2016.

The memo from Rep. Adam Schiff’s (D-Calif.) team claimed that Ohr’s contacts with the FBI only began “weeks after the election and more than a month after the Court approved the initial FISA application.”

But Ohr’s testimony now debunks that claim, making clear he started talking to FBI and DOJ officials well before the FISA warrant or election had occurred.

And his detailed answers provide a damning rebuttal to the FBI’s portrayal of the Steele material.

In fact, the FBI did have derogatory information on Steele: Ohr explicitly told the FBI that Steele was desperate to defeat the man he was investigating and was biased.

And the FBI knew the motive of the client and did not have to speculate: Ohr told agents the Democratic nominee’s campaign was connected to the research designed to harm Trump’s election chances.

Such omissions are, by definition, an abuse of the FISA system.

Don’t take my word for it. Fired FBI Director James Comey acknowledged it himself when he testified last month that the FISA court relies on an honor system, in which the FBI is expected to divulge exculpatory evidence to the judges.

“We certainly consider it our obligation, because of our trust relationship with federal judges, to present evidence that would paint a materially different picture of what we’re presenting,” Comey testified on Dec. 7, 2018. “You want to present to the judge reviewing your application a complete picture of the evidence, both its flaws and its strengths.”

Comey claims he didn’t know about Ohr’s contacts with Steele, even though his top deputy, McCabe, got the first contact.

But none of that absolves his FBI, or the DOJ for that matter, from failing to divulge essential and exculpatory information from Ohr to the FISA court.

John Solomon is an award-winning investigative journalist whose work over the years has exposed U.S. and FBI intelligence failures before the Sept. 11 attacks, federal scientists’ misuse of foster children and veterans in drug experiments, and numerous cases of political corruption. He is The Hill’s executive vice president for video.

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