Saturday, July 01, 2017

Journalists investigating Trump financial links face threats By The Wayne Madsen Report

Journalists investigating Trump financial links face threats By The Wayne Madsen Report
It is now obvious that the political "Achilles Heel" of the Donald Trump administration is not his and his team's kibitzing with Russian government and other envoys but his financial links to various business entities, some linked to criminal syndicates, that have been under investigation by the FBI for quite some time. The Trump White House believes it has scored a major victory in CNN's retraction of a story linking Trump and Trump White House aide Anthony Scaramucci, the founder of SkyBridge Capital, to Kirill Dmitriev, the CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), a $10 billion sovereign wealth fund established by the Russian government.

Three CNN journalists -- Thomas Frank, a 32-year veteran of USA TodayNewsdayDenver PostProvidence Journal, and Easton, Pennsylvania Express-Times; Eric Lichtblau, a former New York Times reporter who, along with Jim Risen, helped expose the National Security Agency's warrantless wiretapping program; and Lex Haris, formerly a newsman with television stations in Boston, Detroit, Kansas City, St. Louis, Sacramento, New Orleans, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, San Antonio, and Fort Myers -- resigned after the network retracted their story on links and a reported quid pro quo between Scaramucci and Dmitriev. Scaramucci does not deny that he knows the Russian investor. In fact, they met at this year's Davos conclave in Switzerland and have known one another for several years, according to an interview Scaramucci gave to Bloomberg Television in Davos in January.

The story CNN retracted concerns an anonymous source, likely within the Senate Intelligence Committee, who told the CNN investigative journalists that two Democratic committee members wanted to investigate a pre-inaugural meeting between Scaramucci and Dmitriev that touched on the Trump administration dropping sanctions against Russia imposed after the retrocession of Crimea from Ukraine to Russia.

Scaramucci reportedly threatened to sue CNN if they did not retract the story. CNN caved and retracted, a decision that was followed by the resignation of Frank, Lichtblau, and Haris. CNN appears to have fallen victim to political pressure from the Trump White House, which has done everything possible to marginalize the Fourth Estate. If there was nothing to the story, why have several meetings between senior Trump White House and Trump campaign officials and Russian interlocutors been under investigation by Justice Department special prosecutor Robert Mueller and his team of career prosecutors and FBI agents? Among those questioned at length by the FBI about ties between Trump and Russians are Carter Page, a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, and retired General Michael Flynn, Trump's former National Security Adviser.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, a 24-year Rothschild banker in New York, may have used his position as vice president of the Bank of Cyprus to launder foreign funds into the Trump campaign coffers, which is illegal under federal statutes. Federal Election Commission Democratic member Ellen Weintraub said Republican FEC commissioners have long opposed new rules to counter foreign money entering the U.S. electoral system. One of the former Republican commissioners who opposed new regulations against foreign funding of U.S. campaigns is Don McGahn, Trump's current White House counsel.

Where the former CNN journalists stepped on thin ice was in their investigation of the financial links of Trump's closest advisers, many of whom are veterans of Goldman Sachs and have dubious ties to what the FBI has dubbed "Eurasian" syndicates. In fact, Dmitriev is a former investment banker for Goldman Sachs in New York and was recognized as a future "global leader" by the Davos World Economic Forum. Gary Cohn, Trump's director of the National Economic Council, is a former president of Goldman Sachs. Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell was both a director of Goldman Sachs and an executive with its non-profit arm, the Goldman Sachs Foundation. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is a 17-year veteran of Goldman Sachs, where he was chief information officer before entering the world of hedge funds.

The Trump administration resembles a criminal syndicate in both make-up and vindictiveness. Journalists are on the receiving end of a hostility not seen since the Watergate scandal.

Very recently, this editor was accused of heinous criminality in a private Twitter message. The sender of the message implied that when far-right conspiracy king Alex Jones discovered the criminality, he "fired" me. The sender was obviously not aware that I was never an employee of Alex Jones or Infowars, now sources of the most egregious "fake news" propaganda on behalf of the Trump administration. When I asked the Twitter message sender whether he would like to be served with a subpoena for defamation, he replied "loser!" and blocked any further responses.

Trump's close ties to the AIPAC Real Estate Division, a death blow to the Palestinians

Now, it would be one thing if the sender was some low-IQ malcontent tweeting from his mother's basement. However, the sender identified himself by name and, lo and behold, it turns out he is employed by a multi-billion dollar New York-New Jersey real estate firm that has been involved in business with both the Kushner Companies and Trump Organization. The firm, along with Kushner Companies and the Trump Organization, are top-tier members of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Real Estate Division. The Real Estate Division membership includes such worthies as Jared and his father Charles Kushner, one-time Trump Organization officer Jason Greenblatt, and Larry Silverstein of 9/11 infamy. Jared Kushner and Greenblatt are now Trump's "special envoys" to the Middle East, which would be laughable if it were not so devastating to the cause of the beleaguered Palestinians.

So, the Twitter-transmitted accusation in question was not merely some "drive by" attack, but one that appears to have originated within the upper hierarchy of the New York/New Jersey "Kosher Nostra" that has infiltrated almost every nook and cranny of the Trump administration.