#TrumpRussia clarity continues, even as desperation drives Trump to pull ever more stupid stunts, like hiring Giuliani to try to leverage SDNY.
Greg Olear decided to pursue a question raised today by Paul Krugman that while speculative, now has enough credible evidence floating around, which as we’ve now seen with the Steele Dossier being proven largely accurate.
- I mean, let’s be realistic: everything, and I mean everything, indicates that the president of the US is a Russian puppet; it almost has to be blackmail. But then the question is, blackmail with what? What could be worse than what we already know? 2/
- I mean, by now it’s clear that key Trump support groups don’t care about any of it. In particular, evangelical leaders have made it perfectly clear that his personal morality doesn’t matter; they’d stick with him if there was video of … actually, use your imagination3/
- Oh, and Republicans in Congress have also made it clear that no scandal, financial or otherwise, will cause them to break with Trump. So what can Putin possibly have? 4/
In all likelihood, Putin possesses all three of these things —
- sex tapes,
- proof of criminal activity, and
- receipts for debt forgiveness.
They are the three strings he pulls to control his puppet.
[THREAD via this morning’s Medium post]
1/The New York Times columnist & economist @paulkrugman asked a question that more media folks should be considering:
2/Let’s take a look-see at some possibilities.
First: THE GOLDEN SHOWER TAPE.
- 3/The only part of the Steele dossier most bothered to mention, the lurid tale of Donald & Melania Trump watching as a gaggle of acrobatic Russian whores despoil with warm urine the selfsame Ritz Moscow bed once slept in by Barack & Michelle is widely believed to be a falsehood.
(Second) Proof of Past Criminal Activity
(Third) Debt Forgiveness
16/Then there’s my favorite: Debt Forgiveness
An alleged billionaire, Trump has refused to release his tax returns — because he has something to hide. Either he isn’t worth as much as he claims (spoiler alert: he ain’t) or he doesn’t want us knowing about his creditors.
- 17/My theory has been this: Trump was in hock to a Russian state bank, a sanctioned one probably, for some grotesquely large sum of money. In the spring of 2016, via intermediaries like Carter Page, the Russians offered to forgive the debt…
- 18/…in exchange for help winning the election, plus concessions he’d make once installed in the Oval Office (i.e., bye-bye sanctions). Trump said no. Putin then countered: If you take the deal, we will forgive the debt even if you DON’T win. Trump, assuming he’d lose, agreed.
- 19/The Rosneft deal discussed in Steele dossier played out as had been forecast, with one exception: the sale was for 19.5, and not 19, percent of the ownership stake. Could that half a percent be the commission due to Trump — some $270 million, used to pay off his massive debt?
This is a sure sign of desperation.
Giuliani says he is joining TrumpÃ¢ÂÂs legal team to Ã¢ÂÂnegotiate an endÃ¢ÂÂ to Mueller probe https://t.co/7qjVKmt7El
Ã¢ÂÂ Yashar Ali Ã°ÂÂÂ (@yashar) April 19, 2018
More interesting would be Giuliani’s firm’s overlaps with Russian oligarchs.
Giuliani tells @DanaBashCNN that his role is Ã¢ÂÂlimitedÃ¢ÂÂ within the Trump legal team, and he wants to help bring Mueller investigation to an end by giving it a Ã¢ÂÂpushÃ¢ÂÂ – maybe a couple weeks, he thinks.
Ã¢ÂÂ Manu Raju (@mkraju) April 19, 2018
And even more important is this revelation that should prevent any Democrat from buying a copy of Comey’s book:
Yes, Comey effectively threw the election to Trump in what he thought was a cost-free way to appease the right. Saying this isn’t sour grapes or a refusal to move on — because it will happen again if we don’t face up to the reality now https://t.co/L8RyD8GsiW
Ã¢ÂÂ Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) April 18, 2018