You need to read this post by my friend, tech-investor Russ Daggatt about possibly the biggest political scandal in U.S. history:
"Last August, Jared Kushner, son-in-law and (not coincidentally) the senior White House official in charge of the Middle East, received over a billion dollars from a firm seeking to sell nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia. Then, the House Judiciary Committee got confirmation Jared uses WhatsApp to communicate with foreign leaders (in violation of US law), including Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS known for ordering the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi).
"The Trump administration has kept secret seven authorizations for sharing of sensitive nuclear technology with Saudi Arabia, despite the fact that the kingdom hasn't agreed to the anti-proliferation requirements of US law. (Oh, and Trump intervened to get his daughter Jared and Ivanka and 23 others high-level security clearances when they were denied them through normal national security channels.)
“Let's go through this step-by-step (links below). In 2007, just before the collapse of the real estate bubble, Jared had the family company buy 666 Fifth Avenue in New York for $1.8 billion, financed by a $1.4 billion loan - the highest price ever paid for a building in New York, and is not among even the top 100 tallest buildings in the city. It was a disastrously overpriced acquisition, about 30% vacant, with its largest tenant saying it planned to leave. The loan was due in February. Jared had been scouring the planet - while serving in the White House - for possible investors to save his family from financial collapse. No rational investor would touch the thing.
‘But then, last August, a savior was found - Brookfield Asset Management - which took a 99-year lease on the building, paying the entire $1.1 billion in lease payments upfront (!) and allowing Kushner to retain ownership of the underlying land (the one thing of real value). Turns out, Brookfield also owns the nuclear services company Westinghouse (purchased out of bankruptcy last year), which is seeking to sell nuclear reactors to Saudi Arabia. (Trump's first National Security Advisor (and convicted felon) Michael Flynn, and Trump's buddy, campaign advisor, and the chairman of his Inaugural Committee, Tom Barrack, were also part of these efforts to sell nuclear reactors to Saudi Arabia. It gets complicated - among other things, Barrack was the guy who brought Paul Manafort in as Trump's campaign manager. This appears to be among the matters spun off from the Mueller investigation. But I digress.)
‘It was reported last October that Jared has been communicating with MBS, using his personal mobile phone, through the free encrypted messaging service WhatsApp, which conveniently does not store messages on its servers after they are delivered, leaving no record of the communications. (If only Hillary had used WhatsApp.) That appears to have been confirmed recently by the House Oversight Committee. Jared has also been bypassing the State Department and the US Embassy in Saudi Arabia in his direct dealings with MBS, excluding them from communications and meetings (much like Trump's direct dealings with Putin).'
(DB note: Then there's the stunning Qatari angle: they used US foreign policy to shake down the Qataris to help bail out 666 Fifth Avenue. Crum! They didn't even try to hide it behind a series of shell companies! It's almost in the open!)
‘We know Trump ordered John Kelly, to grant Jared and Ivanka security clearances, despite objections from the CIA and the White House counsel, among others. Trump and Ivanka had both previously stated publicly that Trump did not intervene in the granting of those security clearances after they had been held up for over a year. (What exactly is it that Ivanka does that requires a top security clearance? Getting personal trademarks from China?) Who knows what the hold up was. Maybe it was the 40 times Jared had to amend the paperwork for his security clearance, to disclose foreign government contacts he had previously omitted (in possible violation of law). Maybe it was his efforts during the transition to set up a secret back channel to the Kremlin through the Russian Embassy to evade US intelligence services (just one of those details omitted from his paperwork). Or maybe it was his global hunt for money.
‘In any event, we have what looks like a possible billion dollar payoff to a senior White House official (and president's son-in-law) by a group seeking to sell nuclear technology to the world's major exporter of Islamist radicalism. And, at the same time, secret approvals of transfers of nuclear technology to that country. And I've really only touched on all permutations of this story. You'd think it would be getting more attention than it has.
‘Oh, and I almost forgot to mention: The National Enquirer, which Trump has used for decades to kill scandals, and (apparently) Saudi intelligence services may have teamed up for a hit on Washington Post owner (and Trump target) Jeff Bezos. No way the Saudis and the Enquirer would be doing that except at the direction (or at least, with the knowledge) of Trump. Saudis aren’t going to be going rogue on something like that. My take is that Trump seems to be using the Saudi intelligence services to do dirty work for him that the professional US intelligence services never would (just as he sought a back channel to the Kremlin through the Russian Embassy to evade US intelligence services).’
Thanks Russ. If even just one of you can wrestle a RASR to the ground and pin him long enough to hear you recite-aloud the above, and get him to WAGER whether ALL of the “Clinton Scandals” he clings to – if all of them together were proved (and none ever were) -- would amount to 1% of just this one aspect of the Confederate-GOP-Putinist treason....
Cornered by your demand that he put actual money on it, some RASRs have been known to declare that they now realize we’re ruled by a mafia gang. If you – yes you – can haul just one sinner back to the American Enlightenment, then this will be a good day for us all.
There is more blatant proof here - just lying in the open - than all of the "Clinton-Obama Scandals" that the mad right spent 25 years and half a billion of our dollars "investigating," finding zilch.
A picture is worth…
Lest we forget the most-telling image of them all (and what Hollywood director would have dared with such a wretched-obvious villain cliché?)
Show it again to your aunt and uncle, and ask them if they ever saw James Bond characters who didn't scream more villainy.
== It’s mobs. Everywhere mobs ==
This article offers (duh!) comparisons between the Trump Organization and organized crime. But I take it much further. There are no other models that better map what we're up against. Putin, Kim, MBS (the Saudi leader), Erdogan, Duterte, Assad and the PRC all order assassin hits on opponents around the world with impunity while Trump defends all of them and blocks our institutions from taking counter measures. Some are 'communist' or ex-KGB or Sunni or Shiite or Catholic or casino moguls or U.S. Nazis -- but all those surface rationalizations and incantations are distraction BS.
Fundamental: some human males will be insatiably rapacious, absent of accountability. After 6000 years of feudalism, mafia tactics come naturally, wherever the Western Enlightenment cannot shine its new inventions of light and accountability. And the top shared goal of all these mobs - loosely led by Putin - is utter demolition of those tools and this enlightenment.
There are no other applicable models. (Well, the Chinese are a bit more complex, but the Kremlin has been the same, from the Czarist Okrhana to the Stalinist KGB to the post-communist-but-still-Stalinist oligarchy-mafia. And that one point should be shoved up your mad uncle's MAGA nose.)
My father infiltrated the 1930s Nazi-Bund. As a gangland reporter he covered Capone. The Greatest Generation came to recognize this perennial threat to our flickering freedom, that strives above all to divide us and staunch our faith in facts and negotiation and a hope for reasonableness.
And if you haven't yet, at my urging, watched the Costa-Gravas film "Z" then please do so ASAP.