Here. A forty-five minute town hall answering pretty much all the questions you, too, would have asked.
Rachel Monday night: “The Mueller report details all those [Russian] contacts in incredible factual specific detail, but then the Mueller report says nothing about whether that’s important . . . about whether there’s a national security consequence or intelligence consequence or anything to worry about when it comes to the fact that one of the two major party presidential candidates had a pending secret side business deal being negotiated with the Kremlin for potentially hundreds of millions of dollars while he was lying about it to the American people. No discussion in the Mueller report as to whether or not that might be a bad thing.”
Imagine if it had been Obama instead of Trump. Would Republicans have read this 448-page report and been unconcerned? Insistent that it exonerated Obama?
Ed: “Though It’s NOT exactly summer reading, Art and I downloaded the Mueller Report. It will take your breath away…it is worse than a severe gut punch. It is terrifying because it shows in black and white just how beholden the GOP is to Russia. The Russians have understood that the best way to bring down our democracy is by buying it. The connections are so clearly drawn by Mueller, yet nobody talks about them.”
Ed and Art started Googling some of the names in the report, looking for more context. They write:
“Do you remember Oleg Deripaska? He is one of the richest men in Russia and a close friend to Putin. Deripaska plays a prominent role in the Mueller Report as being a leading architect of the cyber attacks and hackings that targeted our elections. Recently, Mnuchin’s Treasury Department lifted sanctions against Deripaska. Mitch McConnell has vigorously defended the lifting of these sanctions and, as you know, has done everything he can to kill any funding or legislative initiative to combat ongoing and future attacks on our elections. Now we learn that Rusal, Deripaska’s vast aluminum and steel company, is investing over $200 million in a Kentucky steel plant. McConnell, of course, is from Kentucky.
“But wait, there is another player hidden behind the curtain: Blavatnik. He is the second largest shareholder of Rusal after Deripaska. Blavatnik has a long history with Mnuchin: they co-owned a Hollywood finance company called RatPac Dune. They go way back. Deripaska and Blavatnik are close friends and tightly connected business partners. Blavatnik recently gave over $3.5 million to McConnell’s PAC and another $1.5 million to the GOP Senate Leadership Fund, $800,000 to Lindsey Graham, and $1.5 million to Marco Rubio. And this is just what we know…much more may have been contributed under the table. And we wonder why Republicans are so quiet about Russian meddling in the elections?
“And then there is Yuri Milner, a Russian billionaire who lives in Silicon Valley. Milner befriended Mark Zuckerberg way back in 2009 and subsequently became one of the largest investors in Facebook by channeling $1 billion of Gazprom money into purchasing shares. Milner also has long ties in the upper echelon of the Bank of Cyprus, which is known as the biggest money laundering operation on the planet for Russia. Milner helped fund Jared Kushner’s start-up real estate company, Cadre. Wilbur Ross, Trump’s Commerce Secretary, co-chaired the Bank of Cyprus until 2017.
“This summary doesn’t even scratch the surface. There is Alexander Shustorovich, who contributed $1 million to Trump’s inaugural committee, which was gleefully accepted. Shustorovich attempted to donate $250,000 to George W. Bush but had his contribution returned because of his ties to the Russian government. Rybolotev, known as Russia’s ‘fertilizer king’ and who is a stake owner of the Bank of Cyprus, is the man who bought Trump’s mega-mansion in Palm Beach back when trump couldn’t unload it.
“One could go on and on. It is painfully obvious that the Russians have bought the entire GOP.”
☞ Well, or Trump, anyway.
Putin is winning. Click here.
Quote of the Day
Why shouldn't the American people take half my money from me? I took all of it from them.~Edward A. Filene, Department Store Magnate, 1860-1937
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