Saturday, May 27, 2017

What the Actual F-CKSH-T IS THIS?

(Updated below)
This isn't much from me, this is pretty much what I read last night on Balloon-Juice:

(link to Washington Post) Russian ambassador told Moscow that Kushner wanted secret communications channel with Kremlin.
Ambassador Sergei Kislyak reported to his superiors in Moscow that Kushner, then President-elect Trump’s son-in-law and confidant, made the proposal during a meeting on Dec. 1 or 2 at Trump Tower, according to intercepts of Russian communications that were reviewed by U.S. officials. Kislyak said Kushner suggested using Russian diplomatic facilities in the United States for the communications.
The meeting also was attended by Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser.
Neither the meeting nor the communications of Americans involved were under U.S. surveillance, officials said.
The Post bolded that last. So the information came from…?

Reportedly the Post got an anonymous letter from inside the trump campaign. They've held onto it while verifying it, and apparently got confirmation from other Intel people who were able to dig up related info.

So here's the deal: Kushner went to Kislyak - alongside Flynn, who is already in a world of trouble with his ties to foreign nations - and wanted to set up a super-secret backchannel to Russia (Putin) in a way that our own government agencies wouldn't know about it. Subverting the Hotline that already exists with Russia, avoiding our own State Department, sneaking past the FBI and CIA and Congress. Kushner wanted to use resources at the Russian Embassy to do this, a request even the Russians viewed as crazy.

As a side note, Kushner did not report this meeting with Kislyak on his SF-86 form. He's had several contacts with Russians he failed to report.

The trump people are claiming they were doing this "to work out a peace deal over Syria," but why do it this way? There's a perfectly good STATE DEPARTMENT sitting right there they can use that's DESIGNED FOR DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS.

What this looks like to me, and I admit there's a bit of bias and rage here, is that Kushner wanted to keep himself and trump in contact with the Russian business and political allies they've had since the 1990s.

The same Russian allies they had during their 2016 campaign currently under investigation for Russian efforts to sabotage/subvert our election.

This is, to me, Kushner allying himself with a foreign power, trying to circumvent our own government's rules and organizations to serve his own interests against everyone else's.


Update: David Atkins over at Washington Monthly tries to think out the reasons:

So what monumental idiocy, urgent imperative and guilty necessity would drive Jared Kushner to reach out to Kislyak to request a secret back channel to the Kremlin during the transition period? Any aboveboard diplomatic explanation defies belief. Even a theoretically legitimate policy disagreement with the Obama White House would have been a non-starter, as there is only one president at a time, and therefore only one foreign policy at a time...
The motive has to be personal, then.
There are really only two possible explanations: that Kushner needed to arrange personal matters with Russian business partners and/or creditors without anyone but the Kremlin knowing (very bad and likely criminal) or that Kushner needed to arrange some sort of political deal with the Russians without the knowledge of the American intelligence services (potentially treasonous.) Or it could be both.
There simply isn’t any other reasonable explanation.
Which means the White House has a whole lot of explaining to do. Not just the White House, but the entire Trump family, including Donald and Ivanka.

This corruption is what 62 million of you voted for. I hope you're thrilled.

1 comment:

dinthebeast said...

Kushner seems to be in a heap of trouble now, and there is speculation about president four-year-old throwing him under the bus to protect his daughter, although I'm not sure how that would work, which is probably OK as he likely isn't either...

-Doug in Oakland