Thursday, July 19, 2018

EPA Flint Water Crisis OIG Report Is Out!

Ok, let me get this straight.

So, the EPA Flint Water Crisis started like this:

del Tora: "Hey, boss, people of Flint just let me know the children are being poisoned by the water and no one is doing a thing about it." 
Hedman: "Really, let me get a legal opinion, first, then put together a legal defense team to come up with a propaganda campaign to cover up why it took so long for us to do anything to stop it." 
Feel free to correct me in the comments, below.

Inspector: EPA 'management weakness' prolonged Flint crisis

Lansing — "Management weaknesses" delayed federal intervention in the Flint water crisis after Michigan failed to enforce rules designed to prevent lead contamination and protect public health, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Inspector General.

The 69-page report, below, released Thursday highlights known failures by both state and federal regulators that led to the Flint water contamination crisis, but it provides a new level of specificity and includes recommendations to improve oversight.

“While Flint residents were being exposed to lead in drinking water, the federal response was delayed, in part, because the EPA did not establish clear roles and responsibilities, risk assessment procedures, effective communication and proactive oversight tools,” according to the report.

The report cited management problems at the EPA and its Region 5 office in Chicago, which oversees Michigan. Regional managers did not properly address state actions to “disinvest” in safe drinking water requirements dating back to 2010, concluding they were intended to be temporary and not affect public health, inspectors said.

The Region 5 office also lacked an effective risk assessment process, the report said. While initial bacterial violations alone would not have pointed to lead contamination, “the combined information available to Region 5 painted a picture of a system at risk from multiple angles.”

In January 2016, The Detroit News reported that Region 5 water expert Miguel del Toral warned of Flint water problems in a June internal memo, but then-Region 5 Administrator Susan Hedman said she sought a legal opinion on whether the EPA could force action that wasn’t completed until November 2015 — after the state finally recognized the crisis.

Oh, those "Legal Geniuses" (trademark pending), they are everywhere, are they not!?

Hedman soon retired after The News' report, but but no EPA officials were ever fired over the Flint crisis. In a March 2016 congressional hearing, Obama EPA chief Gina McCarthy defended Hedman as "courageous" and blamed the state's misleading and insufficient information for prolonging the crisis.

The state didn’t agree to apply corrosion controls until late July and didn’t publicly concede until October 2015 that it erroneously applied the federal Lead and Copper Rule overseeing water quality. The state decided in October to change Flint’s drinking water source from the corrosive Flint River back to the Detroit water system.

The report, based on two years of research and inquires, dings the federal agency but also repeatedly notes the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality holds primary responsibility for ensuring compliance with safe drinking water requirements.

Communication between the EPA and DEQ “did not convey key information about human health risks from lead,” the report said.

MDEQ did not properly develop and maintain an inventory of lead service lines needed to ensure appropriate test sampling of Flint water, according to the inspector general. The state also failed to ensure Flint continues to use corrosion control chemicals when city began using Flint River water in April 2014 and did not provide the EPA with “accurate information” regarding treatment.

The state “did not issue a notice of violation or take other formal enforcement action regarding either requirement until August 2015.,” the report said. “Instead, the MDEQ advised Flint public water system staff to conduct additional tests and to delay corrosion control treatment installation. The decision to delay corrosion control treatment prolonged residents’ exposure to lead.”

The EPA Office of Inspector General first announced the investigation in January 2016, five days after then-President Barack Obama declared a federal emergency in the city, freeing up $5 million in federal aid. The Obama administration denied Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's request for a major disaster declaration because the Flint water contamination crisis was a man-made calamity not created by fire, flood or explosion.

Inspectors issued a preliminary report in October 2016,  saying the EPA had the authority and enough information about Flint water lead contamination to issue an emergency order to protect public health as early as June 2015, seven months before it's Chicago-based Region 5 office did so.

McCarthy and Gov. Rick Snyder testified before a congressional committee in March 2016 and faced withering criticism for state and federal oversight failures but resisted calls to resign.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has filed criminal charges against several former and current state employees and officials over the lead contamination and Legionnaires' disease outbreaks that killed at least 12 and sickened 79 others.

Del Toral began raising concerns about Flint water lead content in early 2015 and pressed the DEQ for information about corrosion controls. He confirmed the suspicions in April of that year and two months later summarized the looming problem in an internal memo.

By June 2015, EPA Region 5 knew at least four homes had water with lead concentrations exceeding the federal action level of 15 parts per billion, according to an earlier inspector general report.  It was not until Jan. 21, 2016, that EPA finally exerted its authority by issuing an emergency order that laid out steps for Flint and the state to resolve the crisis.

In congressional testimony a month later, the Virginia Tech University professor who helped uncover the Flint water crisis criticized the EPA’s Hedman for discrediting the internal report. But Marc Edwards told Congress the primary blame lies with a few state environmental regulators who “misled” Michigan leaders and residents and tried to “cover up” proof of high lead levels.
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Cocktails & Popcorn: Gasper Fiore, FBI, Detroit & Hamtramck Politics - Busy, Busy, Busy

Boy, oh, boy, Gasper surely was a busy body in Detroit and Hamtramck politics.

Busy, busy, busy!

Feds: Lock up Gasper Fiore — He bribed many, including Kilpatrick aides

It doesn't matter how generous Gasper Fiore is, how hard he worked to become a millionaire tower or how much he loves his family — he greased one too many palms along the way and deserves prison for it, prosecutors argue.

And among those he bribed, they say,  were members of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's administration.

"Gasper Fiore, while a self-made businessman,  is also a prolific bribe payer dating back to at least the administration of Kwame Kilpatrick," prosecutors wrote in a scathing memo Thursday. "Investigations by the FBI over the past two decades revealed that there was virtually no public official whose palms Fiore wouldn't try to grease if there was something in it for him or his business."

According to prosecutors, Fiore "got preferential treatment in city towing matters because he was a big financial supporter of Kilpatrick."

The government disclosed this information as Fiore is scheduled to be sentenced in two weeks for bribing a Macomb County official. He faces up to two years in prison. This week, the judge received 80 letters of support from Fiore's friends and relatives, many of whom pleaded with the judge to show Fiore mercy.

In their letters, friends have suggested that Fiore – a high school dropout who ran an ice cream truck and pumped gas before building a towing empire that dominated southeastern Michigan for decades – get community service instead. They described him as a humble and generous working man who isn't afraid to get his hands dirty and puts others before himself.

Prosecutors tell a different story.

"For over a decade, Gasper Fiore has been an enemy of honest government in Detroit. His offense here is yet another example of his trading cash for contracts and corrupting an otherwise fair process," Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Bullotta and David Gardey wrote in the memo. "His conduct is very serious, and he deserves a punishment that addresses his embrace and continuation of pay-to-play politics."

Fiore is facing prison for bribing only one official – a crime he admitted.

Prosecutors argue he was "happy" to do it.

"With not the slightest bit of convincing or cajoling needed, Fiore happily agreed to dole out stacks of $100 bills to bribe then Clinton Township trustee Dean Reynolds, whom Fiore didn't even know,"  the government's memo states. "Fiore was well aware that what he was doing was illegal."

Fiore, 57, of Grosse Pointe Shores, pleaded guilty Dec. 20 to paying $7,000 in cash bribes to Reynolds in order to obtain a municipal towing contract with the township.  Reynolds also was charged and was convicted of multiple crimes by a jury last month.

Fiore paid the bribes to Reynolds through trash executive Chuck Rizzo, who was cooperating with federal law enforcement at the time of the bribe payments.

Rizzo, the former CEO of Rizzo Environmental Services, pleaded guilty to bribery and embezzlement last year and is serving 5½ years in prison for bribery and fraud.

Fiore and Rizzo were targets in a public corruption investigation that focused on pay-to-play schemes in Macomb County. The probe has so far ensnared 18 defendants and led to the demise of the Rizzo garbage empire.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Cocktails & Popcorn: Day 21.3. Was Mariia Butina Born In Severn, MD on Aug 2nd, 1985?

Do we see a product of child welfare?

Dare I say foster care and adoption?

Shall I be so bold as to say we are witnessing the trafficking of tiny humans?

All I know is what I know, and that is to make sure that you have popcorn.

He brought up unequal treatment of espionage by comparing Maria Butina to Imran Awan.

Very, very interesting.

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Cocktails & Popcorn: Day 21.1 Yet Another McCabe Mafia Character Brought In The Russia Drama

It was July 2015, and Maria Butina wanted to know what Trump, then a month into his unlikely campaign for the White House, planned to do about US relations with her country. Trump had good news.

“I believe I would get along very nicely with Putin,” he said.

Butina, then 27, was asked on the sidelines of the event why she had travelled all the way to Nevada for a gathering of libertarians and conservatives. “I would like to know more, and to bring this knowledge to Russia,” she said casually. “I hope it will be useful for my country.”

According to US prosecutors, Butina’s patriotic curiosity had by then developed into the beginnings of a criminal conspiracy.

Butina was arrested last weekend and appeared in court in Washington on Monday, charged with operating as a secret agent for the Kremlin. She is accused of working to infiltrate the National Rifle Association (NRA) in an attempt to influence the Republican party and, ultimately, the US government.

An FBI agent who investigated Butina said in a court filing she tried to develop secret back channels with American politicians that could “penetrate the US national decision-making apparatus to advance the agenda of the Russian federation”.

Butina denies any wrongdoing. Her attorney, Robert Driscoll, said she was a legitimate college graduate and aspiring businesswoman who happened to be Russian. She “intends to defend her rights vigorously and looks forward to clearing her name”, he said.

The charges open a new front in the justice department’s effort to counter Russian disruption of US politics, and signal that American associates of Butina may be seriously imperilled. They also threaten to conclude Butina’s short adventure in Washington with up to five years in a federal prison.
As she worked her way into some of American conservatism’s most rarefied circles, Butina had a compelling and simple pitch: she was building Russia’s equivalent of the NRA.

She spent years cultivating relationships with Republican operatives, gun rights activists and religious leaders. She took photographs with Republican presidential candidates and helped bring NRA officials to Moscow.

In the grey-haired, male-dominated world of conservative conferences, Butina stood out. She was young, tall and flirtatious, according to two gun rights activists who knew her. In 2014, she was the subject of a flattering profile in Russian GQ, accompanied by a photoshoot of her posing with pistols in Dolce & Gabbana underwear.

Butina has said she was raised in Siberia, where her father introduced her to guns and taught her to shoot. After college, she said, she founded a chain of furniture stores. Then she moved to Moscow, where she said she ran an advertising company. In a 2012 profile, she described founding a group called The Right to Bear Arms some time around 2011. She also took the American journalist profiling her to shoot guns “at a former KGB range”.

Butina clearly knew how to handle firearms: she was comfortable and competent around guns. But other aspects of her résumé did not seem to add up, one activist said. When asked for basic official documents for her Russian gun rights group, the activist said, Butina could not produce any.

Alan Gottlieb and Julianne Versnel, husband-and-wife gun rights activists, said they had an intimate dinner with Butina and Alexander Torshin, her longtime mentor, during a Right to Bear Arms conference in Moscow in 2013. Torshin, a senior official at Russia’s central bank, is now accused by US prosecutors of directing Butina’s operations.

Gottlieb, founder of the Washington-state based Second Amendment Foundation, said Butina always seemed laser-focused on gun policy. Still, she was an unusual character: assertive, even aggressive and determined to make herself the centre of attention.

“She did not behave in what I considered an entirely professional manner,” Versnel said. “She had an extra button or three unbuttoned.”

Her husband added: “She knew how to use her youth and beauty to make sure that she was engaged in conversation.”

Butina began cultivating American contacts. In 2013, John Bolton, now Trump’s national security adviser, appeared in a Russian gun rights videothat Right to Bear Arms used for pro-gun lobbying in Russia. Bolton was reportedly asked to appear in the video by David Keene, a recent president of the NRA, who had become acquainted with Torshin.

In April 2014, Butina flew to Indianapolis for the NRA convention. She posted photographs to the Russian social network VK showing that she mixed with Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s pugnacious vice-president, along with heavyweight Republicans including Bobby Jindal, then governor of Louisiana, and Rick Santorum, a former US senator and presidential candidate.

That September, Butina invited Paul Erickson, a conservative political operative and veteran NRA member based in South Dakota, to address her gun rights group in Moscow. Six months later, according to US officials, she emailed an American political operative who appears to be Erickson to set out what she called project “Diplomacy”. Erickson did not respond to messages this week.

The subject line of Butina’s email, sent on 24 March 2015, appeared to liken her to a notorious KGB propagandist during the cold war. In the text, she declared that the Republican party, in the prosecutors’ words, “would likely obtain control over the US government after the 2016 elections”.

The disclosure this week raised an obvious question: what, at a time when most national opinion polling indicated an advantage for Hillary Clinton over her potential Republican rivals, had convinced Butina that the GOP would be triumphant in an election still 20 months away?

Saying that she wanted to build more constructive relations with the traditionally hawkish Republicans, Butina noted the NRA’s “central place and influence” in the party. She said she needed a $125,000 budget to fund her participation in GOP conferences. The American political operative provided her with a list of “important contacts” to meet.

A few weeks later, Butina was back in the US for the NRA’s 2015 convention. Held in Nashville, Tennessee, it again gave her access to the most in-demand figures in the conservative movement. She and Torshin chatted with Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin, who posed for a photograph with her and spoke a few phrases in Russian. In July, Butina attended the launch of Walker’s presidential campaign.

The Kremlin seems to have been interested. Court filings said Butina wrote Torshin a memo about a political campaign event that detailed her “private meeting” with the same candidate at the NRA convention. Walker was not identified by name. Then came Butina’s encounter with Trump at the Freedom Fest event in Las Vegas.

Late that year, Butina’s gun rights group paid to fly NRA allies to Moscow for a visit that included lavish dinners and a meeting with Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s deputy prime minister. Her guests included Erickson, Keene and David Clarke, the former sheriff of Milwaukee, who would go on to support Trump’s presidential campaign.

Pete Brownell, a gun company chief executive who also took part in the 2015 Moscow trip, became NRA president in 2017. In May this year, his tenure ended abruptly and earlier than expected. Representatives did not respond to questions about whether his departure was connected to the Russia trip.

The NRA and Clarke did not respond to requests for comment. A person who answered the phone at a number listed under Keene’s name said on Monday he was “out fishing” and was not expected back until the end of the month.

As the 2016 campaign intensified, and the likelihood of Trump’s Republican primary victory became clear, Butina began honing her activities and trying to gain access to the candidate and his circle, according to US officials.

During that election year, she obtained a student visa and enrolled in an international relations graduate program at American University in Washington. But her networking continued.
Butina told a second American associate, also unidentified in the charging documents, that a Kremlin official had endorsed her efforts to establish a back channel to US politicians. She wrote: “All we needed is <<yes>> from Putin’s side. The rest is easier.”

Court filings describe extensive efforts by Butina and Torshin over the following months to arrange a series of “friendship and dialogue dinners” in Washington and New York. They reportedly used American go-betweens to make an apparently unsuccessful approach to senior members of Trump’s campaign with a “backdoor overture” on behalf of Vladimir Putin’s government.

They tried to get access to Trump himself in May 2016, but had to make do with his son. The Trump Organization confirmed that Donald Jr met Torshin during the NRA convention in Louisville, Kentucky, but tried to downplay the significance of their discussion.

Alan Futerfas, an attorney for the Trump company, told CBS the two men were introduced and “made small talk for a few minutes” before dining separately. Futerfas has also said the discussion was “all gun-related”. The New York Times reported on Monday that Butina was present at this meeting and that congressional investigators have obtained a photograph of the three together.

According to the FBI, when guns didn’t bring her to Trump, Butina tried again with God. An investigator described in court filings a series of contacts between Butina and an organiser for the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington. Butina and Torshin attended in February 2016.

(Torshin and Butina came even closer to a meeting with the president at the following year’s Prayer Breakfast. Shortly before the scheduled encounter, a White House aide flagged Torshin’s “baggage” and cancelled the meet and greets, Yahoo News reported.)

By 4 October 2016, with just a month to go before polling day, Butina’s first American associate – apparently Erickson – emailed a contact to say that he had “been involved in securing a VERY private line of communication between the Kremlin” and Republican leaders.

The next day, Butina and Torshin exchanged a series of cryptic Twitter messages reflecting on their efforts, according to prosecutors. When Torshin asked about the status of the “Russia-USA friendship society”, Butina replied “we are currently ‘underground’ both here and there” and signalled a need to avoid publicity.

“Time will tell,” Butina wrote. “We made our bet.”

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Cocktails & Popcorn: Day 20.5. Live With JK and Task Force

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Tuesday, July 17, 2018


Washington, D.C. – Today, after  President Donald Trump’s meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin and subsequent remarks in Helsinki, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) motioned for the House Judiciary Committee to adjourn the current hearing on social media filtering and go into executive session, in order to discuss threats to our electoral process from Russia.

Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler’s remarks, as prepared, are below:

“Mr. Chairman, on July 10, 2001, the Phoenix Field Office of the FBI forwarded a memorandum to headquarters to advise the Bureau of an effort by Osama bin Laden to send associates to the United States to enroll in civil aviation courses.  In the words of former CIA Director George Tenet, “the system was blinking red.”

“For a host of complicated reasons, the Bush Administration did not follow up adequately, and two months later, on September 11, in my district, the World Trade Towers fell.

“Mr. Chairman, on Friday, Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted twelve Russian nationals for hacking into the DNC, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and several state election systems.
“This indictment is a remarkable piece of forensic work.  With the aid of the Intelligence Community, the Special Counsel can name the specific Russian military intelligence officers at the keyboard on a given day.  And, in the words of Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats—a distinguished former Republican Senator and President Trump’s handpicked Director of National Intelligence—our digital infrastructure is “literally under attack” by the Russian government as we speak.

“Mr. Chairman, this latest indictment can surely be seen as the equivalent of the Phoenix Memo about 9/11.  It is a warning.  We must heed it.  Yesterday, in Helsinki, President Trump said he does not believe it.  He sided with Vladimir Putin over his own Intelligence Community.  And he continues to undermine American law enforcement, proclaiming on the world stage that our laws are meaningless, that the work of investigators has been worthless, and that no one should take the Special Counsel seriously.

“This is a catastrophe in the making.  If we do not take any action, the American people may not trust the outcome of the next election.
“And instead of taking action in this Committee, instead of refuting the President with information you and I have both read, Mr. Chairman, we spent six more hours questioning Lisa Page about Cheryl Mills’s laptop and Hillary Clinton’s email.

“This is a national emergency and our silence is unacceptable.  Our nation is under attack. Accordingly, under Committee Rule III(b) and House Rule XI(g)(2)(A), I move that the Committee go into executive session for the purposes of discussing the evidence in our possession that speaks directly to the Special Counsel’s indictment and to the President’s apparent submission to the Russian government.”

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Cocktails & Popcorn: Gabe Leland's Detroit Witch Hunt & Steve Fishman's Attorney Client Privilege Future

Image result for shakespeare popcorn
"Me thinks I see, in front of me, more reasons
to stop by the dollar store to pick up more paper towel for the
buttery Detroit popcorn."  ~ The Detroit Baird
Me thinks I see the foreshadowing of an historic legal case addressing an historic component in the law of chattels when it comes to that darned "Attorney-Client Privilege" marriage thingy, here, in Detroit with Steve Fishman.

Steve Fishman knows stuff.

I am just going to leave this here for now.

Do The "Legal Geniuses" Of The Detroit Land Bank Authority Have An Attorney Client Privilege Issue Like Trump & Stormy?

Learn more: BEVERLY TRAN: Do The "Legal Geniuses" Of The Detroit Land Bank Authority Have An Attorney Client Privilege Issue Like Trump & Stormy?
Stop Medicaid Fraud in Child Welfare 

Stay tuned.

2 separate lawsuits say Detroit Councilman Gabe Leland sought bribes

 - A Detroit businessman claims Detroit City Councilman Gabe Leland demanded free drinks, free food and free admission to his club in return for a promise to get city officials off his back.
Scott Bridgewater, an owner of the now-shuttered Centre Park Bar in downtown Detroit’s Harmonie Park, says Leland and one of his associates received more than $5,000 in booze, food and perks. Bridgewater sued Leland Monday, accusing the District 7 councilman of extortion.

Bridgewater’s extortion claim marks the second time in four months that a Detroit businessman has accused Leland of demanding cash or goods in return for Leland’s help in a dispute with city officials.

Bob Carmack, who owns an auto repair shop on West Michigan Avenue, sued Leland in March.
Bridgewater says he has witnesses who can confirm that Leland demanded free food and booze.
Carmack says he wore a wire for the FBI and caught Leland on hidden camera demanding $15,000 cash to help with his re-election campaign.
Leland, through attorney Steve Fishman, denies any wrongdoing. No criminal charges have been brought against Leland.
Bridgewater and Carmack’s claims differ in that Bridgewater says Leland demanded goods, rather than cash. But both men say Leland also sought services – free admission to Bridgewater’s club and free repairs at Carmack’s garage. They each also said Leland either did not try or did not succeed in helping them in their battles with city officials.
A city spokesman dismissed both Bridgewater and Carmack’s claims against city officials as baseless.
The lawsuits against Leland, filed in U.S. District Court, are just the latest matters raising questions about Leland’s ethics.

I revealed last year that Leland voted to approve contracts with companies owned or managed by his then-girlfriend that were worth more than $2 million. Detroit Police Chief James Craig also says he contacted the feds last year after he had what he described as an uncomfortable conversation with Leland in which Leland seemed to be fishing for information about a law enforcement investigation into towing contractors.


Detroit Councilman Leland uses 5th Amendment in lawsuit deposition
Questions swirl around meeting Detroit councilman had with police chief
Detroit councilman votes for contracts worth $2M to his girlfriend's company
Leland had been dating Jennifer Fiore, the daughter of towing mogul Gasper Fiore, who has since pleaded guilty to public corruption charges.
To hear more of Bridgewater’s claims – as well as the denial of the Leland associate Bridgewater accuses of also accepting free goods and services – check out my latest Problem Solvers investigation in the video player above.
Contact M.L. Elrick at or 248-552-5261. Follow him on Facebook at “ML Elrick,”on Twitter @elrick or on Instagram at “ml_elrick.” 

Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

Cocktails & Popcorn: Day 20.4. X-Agents On The Loose - Mariia Butina In Michigan

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Cocktails & Popcorn: Day 20.3 Browder Modus Operandi, Steal IP, Launder In Cyprus, Repeat

Ready for some Cocktails & Popcorn, yet?

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Cocktails & Popcorn: Day 20.2. Was Strzok Getting a Second Paycheck From CIA and Brennan? Like Father, Like Son?

He forgot to say Perkins Coie Sucks, so, on his behalf, I shall.

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Cocktails & Popcorn: Day 20.1 Did Browder Run The Ziff Bros Hacking Team In Moscow?

Before watching this video about Detroit, please keep close to your heart the fact that Perkins Coie Sucks.

Learn more: BEVERLY TRAN: DOJ Should Do Onto Perkins Coie As They Have Done Onto Och-Ziff
Stop Medicaid Fraud in Child Welfare 

JUDICIARY: Facebook, Google and Twitter: Examining the Content Filtering Practices of Social Media Giants

I actually stopped watching midway because all the damn lying was making me itch.

How in the living hell are Facebook, Twitter, and especially Google, going to sit up there and regurgitate some old school masticated internal control policy, directly stemming from that "pre-Emancipation Proclamation" era on how they are going to pick their own smarty pants people to tell "The Poors" (always said with clinched teeth) who have no money to go to the over-administratively, bloated "Dumb, Fat & Happy" tenured professors who will perform any trick in the world to get their work published so their overseer Messieurs keep doling out those federal research grants so they can continue to party, from either sides of the political aisle, that they can tell what is fake or real news, and how they are going to suppress it?

I wish to enter into the record, of which I actually did, on how these internet giants, along with their child welfare NGOs, suppress on their platforms.

Try out a few of these search terms and tell me whatcha come up with.

John Conyers

Beverly Tran 

Child Welfare Fraud

Perkins Coie Sucks

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Cocktails & Popcorn: DOJ Busts A Russian Republican Party In Detroit - Mariia Butina, Saul Anuzis & Michigan GOP Child Welfare Fraud

Welcome to Michigan.

Please make sure to fasten your seat belts because we are about to have the largest Cocktails* & Popcorn event in the history of this nation, right here, in Detroit.

I told you I had international intentions for Detroit because I was born here, and I am the original source.

I wonder if this is anything to do with the trafficking of tiny humans in Michigan, no, no, no, I may not limit myself to such an exclusive governmental jurisdiction, I must include the entire U.S. and international child welfare NGOs along with their "corporate parents" who just so happen to be privatized Public Private Partnerships of Corporate Shape Shifters investing in those complex financial real estate fraud schemes, including having to deal with those pesky children's trust funds.


Russian National Charged in Conspiracy to Act as an Agent of the Russian Federation Within the United States

 WASHINGTON – A criminal complaint was unsealed today in the District of Columbia charging a Russian national with conspiracy to act as an agent of the Russian Federation within the United States without prior notification to the Attorney General.

The announcement was made by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Jessie K. Liu, and Nancy McNamara, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.        

Mariia Butina, 29, a Russian citizen residing in Washington D.C., was arrested on July 15, 2018, in Washington, D.C., and made her initial appearance this afternoon before Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. She was ordered held pending a hearing set for July 18, 2018.        

According to the affidavit in support of the complaint, from as early as 2015 and continuing through at least February 2017, Butina worked at the direction of a high-level official in the Russian government who was previously a member of the legislature of the Russian Federation and later became a top official at the Russian Central Bank.  This Russian official was sanctioned by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control in April 2018.        

The court filings detail the Russian official’s and Butina’s efforts for Butina to act as an agent of Russia inside the United States by developing relationships with U.S. persons and infiltrating organizations having influence in American politics, for the purpose of advancing the interests of the Russian Federation. The filings also describe certain actions taken by Butina to further this effort during multiple visits from Russia and, later, when she entered and resided in the United States on a student visa. The filings allege that she undertook her activities without officially disclosing the fact that she was acting as an agent of Russian government, as required by law.        

The charges in criminal complaints are merely allegations and every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The maximum penalty for conspiracy is five years.  The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes.  If convicted of any offense, a defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court based on the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.        

The investigation into this matter was conducted by the FBI’s Washington Field Office. The case is being prosecuted by the National Security Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the National Security Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

* Cocktails do not always have to contain alcohol, so the party will be kid friendly.  Gotta invite the children.  Children are our most precious treasures, you know.

Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

Cocktails & Popcorn: Michigan Republican Party Crew Leader Saul Anuzis Gets Freaked Out By Russian Spies & Campaign Contributions

Image result for russian cocktails
"Dude, did you at least where a condom before you
cashed the check?"
UPDATE: Mariia may be a product of international trafficking of tiny humans.  I will be updating.


You better call for an emergency Michigan Republican Party Leadership meeting to come up with a plan for damage control.

Let me know what Ronna Romney, Betsy DeVos, John Engler, Rick Snyder, Bill Schuette, Brian Calley and the rest of the Michigan Republican Party crew came up with as a damage control narrative.

I really wish you people would stop stealin' the children, the land and the votes.

I wonder if this has anything to do with those sealed indictments in the Grand Rapids Eastern District Court of Michigan...

Russian National Charged in Conspiracy to Act as an Agent of the Russian Federation Within the United States


Ex-Michigan GOP chairman photographed with accused Russian spy

LANSING — A former chairman of the Michigan Republican Party who was photographed with an accused Russian secret agent said Tuesday he’s met Maria Butina a couple of times but has never had a much of a conversation with her.

A photograph of Saul Anuzis and Butina began circulating on social media Monday after the U.S. Justice Department announced Butina had been arrested and charged with conspiracyto act as an agent of the Russian Federation within the United States without prior notification to the Attorney General.

Anuzis said he remembers the photo being taken in 2016 or 2015 at the FreedomFest, an annual conservative gathering in Las Vegas.

"I met her a couple of times," Anuzis told the Free Press -- once at the FreedomFest and another time during a chance encounter at an airport. "I actually have never had much of a conversation with her, other than being introduced to her."

In the photograph being circulated on social media, Anuzis said he believes he was looking on as Butina was being interviewed by a media outlet. He said he understood she was a Russian proponent of gun rights and the National Rifle Association.

Anuzis said he knows nothing about the criminal accusations against Butina, but he assumes they are legitimate.

Butina, 29, was arrested on the weekend and a criminal complaint against her was unsealed Monday. She is in custody pending a hearing, accused of trying to infiltrate U.S. political groups, including an unnamed gun rights organization, and cultivate relationships with American politicians to establish “back channel” lines of communication to advance Russia’s agenda.

Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Brandon Dillon tweeted the photo Tuesday, saying it showed Anuzis "hanging out with a Russian spy."

Anuzis retweeted the photo, with the message: "Too funny, ah,... those dirty Russians:)"

Anuzis, a political consultant who was chairman of the Michigan Republican Party from 2005 to 2009, served briefly as Michigan chairman of the presidential campaign of Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas before supporting President Donald Trump as the nominee.

Anuzis said he thought Trump's performance Monday at a joint news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin -- at which Trump expressed more confidence in Putin's denials than in U.S. national security determinations that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election -- "was horrible."

"He missed an important opportunity to call both Putin and the Russians out," Anuzis said.

"I recognize his desire to have good relations and have some kind of dilalogue, but I think he just overplayed his desire to be polite."

The moral of the story is, once again, "Do not be mean to my Sweetie. Period."

Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

Another Spokestoken, Another Privatization Scheme, Another Attempt To Highjack Conyers' Legacy Of Reparations

You must understand, I do not hail from the 1950's era of social politeness, so I will say whatever I want because I am an original source and I do not appreciate when people and institutions are mean to my Sweetie, whether it be intentional or not.

I get extremely exasperated with all these so-called political spokestokens jumping up to be the new poster child for reparations, because I see this particular movement as another complex, financial fraud scheme of privatization; the activity of political carrion.

You would think someone would, in the least, properly reference the work of John Conyers, Jr., H.R. 40 Reparations Study Bill, but, alas, Bart probably never read it, which means someone recruited him to be the fraud scheme's spokestoken.

It seems the internet power that be attempted to scrub his legacy from the internet, opening the door to highjack the narrative to promulgate more privatization schemes on the local levels, like the Detroit Land Bank Authority.

Since Bart could not even execute a basic keyword internet search, or even hit me up, as demonstrated by his lack of reference to Conyers' original videos, speeches, white papers, I have so presciently preserved, it seems that certain powers "bleachbitted" federal records from the National Archives.

Bart did not even mention the work of the U.S. House Judiciary Chairman Emeritus on the exogenous issue variables that have led to the perpetual promulgation of H.R. 40.

I have decided to provide Bart with the opportunity to click the link, below, to learn more about the history of H.R. 40 Reparations Study and John Conyers, Jr.

Because Bart failed to even mention the Congressional Black Caucus, where John Conyers, Jr. was the Dean, I thought it only proper that I would assist in the education of Bart.

I truly hope the FBI will take possession of the Congressional Black Caucus servers, soon, but something tells me we already have everything. (snikcer).

I wonder if Bart ever spoke with Sheila Jackson Lee?

He really should interview Sheila and ask about the CBC servers, or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, to just suggest a few subjects, you know.

H.R. 40 is a study, not a check.  That is why my stealin' spidey senses started to tingle.

Besides, the peculiar institution of slavery was just renamed as child welfare.

Hey, Bart, Google me, or, you could just ask him because he is waiting in the wings.

You know what he says, about reparations, right Bart?

"Jobs, Justice, Peace", says Conyers.

Bart Everson: Toward a local platform for reparations

Bart Everson
The anniversary of the New Orleans Massacre of 1866 is coming up later this month, on July 30th. We should not forget this event, essentially a race riot, in which 238 people were killed, the vast majority of whom were Black war veterans who had fought for the Union — but the war had ended a year earlier.

The massacre was a crucial factor which led to the passage of the Reconstruction Acts. For a brief moment, a century and a half ago, it seemed as if our nation was poised to begin the long and difficult process of healing from the wounds which slavery inflicted on the body politic. Instead, that process was sabotaged and repressed in relatively short order. Call it the Deconstruction of Reconstruction.

Is there a city in the United States where we know this better? The legacy of slavery looms large here, though official acknowledgements of this history are scanty. The Crescent City was also home to one of the largest populations of free people of color. It stands to reason that people in New Orleans should be at the forefront of the newly re-invigorated movement toward making reparations for slavery.

And so we are.

On July 9th, there was a meeting on the prospect of a local platform for such reparations. It was sponsored by the Green Party of New Orleans. (Note: I serve as chair of this group.) All our meetings at the Mid-City Library are free and open to the public.

Local artist, activist and entrepreneur Anika Ofori drew on her experience working with the Green Party of the United States to give an informal presentation which informed and framed our discussion.

Anika began with a brief historical overview, outlining the establishment of the Freedmen’s Bureau and the Reconstruction Acts, as well as the sabotage of Reconstruction through acts of violence.
Current efforts on to establish reparations for slavery stem from the middle of the 20th century, picking up momentum in the 1990s, slowed temporarily by the political shifts after the terrorist attacks of 2001.

Anika recounted the work of the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA) and National African American Reparations Commission (NAARC) including their preliminary 10-Point Plan which is modeled after a similar plan endorsed by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). It’s a holistic program that would finally set our nation on the road to healing. A wealth of detailed information can be found via the Reparations Resources Center, maintained by the Institute of the Black World 21st Century, at

House Resolution 40, officially titled the “Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act,” was introduced to Congress in January of 2017 by John Conyers, Jr. He introduced the bill repeatedly over almost three decades. Since he resigned in December, the future of the bill is unclear.

The Bill is a political distraction to launch more privatization schemes.  I speak as an original source

Nevertheless, the Green Party of the United States has endorsed the idea of reparations, both in general principle as part of the Green Party platform, as well as more specifically endorsing H.R. 40.
We concluded our meeting with a discussion of how we might promote the reparations issue locally, here in New Orleans, which after all was once the preeminent hub of the slave trade on this continent.
Our conversation brought to light a series of questions. For example: How do we incorporate support for reparations in our local platform, currently under development? We anticipate some points from the NAARC ten-point plan will be included in other parts of our platform. Do we highlight these connections or address reparations separately? How do we advocate for reparations to a greater public that might not be educated on the issue and resistant to it? Are there particular policies and demands in the call for reparations that our chapter is in the best position to pursue locally?

The discussion of reparations also raised questions about the priorities and identity of the Green Party. Despite the official support for reparations in the Green Party platform, there were concerns that the Green Party as a whole isn’t racially inclusive and sufficiently aware of race issues. There were also concerns that prioritizing reparations and racial justice might alienate members of the party who are most interested in economic and/or climate matters. Others at the meeting suggested that the pursuit of economic, racial, and climate justice were not mutually exclusive and had to be pursued simultaneously because they are all related and interconnected.

Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

Cocktails & Popcorn: Behind The Scenes Of Trump - Putin Helsinki Conference & Detroit

Full text: Trump and Putin’s press conference, transcribed

RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN: Distinguished Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, negotiations with the president of the United States, Donald Trump, took place in a frank and business-like atmosphere. I think we can call it a success and a very fruitful round of negotiations. We carefully analyze the current status the present and the future of Russia and U.S. relationship [and] key issues of the global agenda. It's quite clear to everyone that the bilateral relationship are going through a complicated stage. Yet those impediments, the current tension, the tense atmosphere essentially have no solid reason behind it. The Cold War is a thing of past. The era of acute ideological confrontation of the two countries is a thing of remote past, is a visage of the past. The situation of the world changed dramatically.

Today, both Russia and the United States face a whole new set of challenges. Those include a dangerous maladjustment of mechanisms for maintaining international security and stability, regional crises, the creeping threat of terrorism and trans-national crime. It's the snowballing problems in the economy, environmental risks and other sets of challenges. We can only cope with these challenges if we join the ranks and work together. Hopefully, we will reach this understanding with our American partners. Today's negotiations reflected our joint wish, our joint wish with President Trump to redress this negative situation in the bilateral relationship, [and] outline the first steps for improving this relationship to restore the acceptable level of trust and going back to the previous level of direction on all mutual interest issues. As major nuclear powers, we bear special responsibility for maintaining international security.

[Inaudible} vital, and we mentioned this during the negotiations, it’s crucial that we fine-tune the dialogue on strategic stability and global security and nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction. We submitted [to] our American colleagues a note with a number of specific suggestions. We believe it necessary to work together further to interact on the disarmament agenda, military and technical cooperation. This includes the extension of the strategic offensive arms limitation treaty. It's a dangerous situation with the global American and missile defense system. It's the implementation issue with the INF treaty. And of course the agenda of nonplacement of weapons in space. We favor the continued cooperation in counterterrorism and maintaining cybersecurity. I'd like to point out specifically that our special services are cooperating quite successfully together. The most recent example is their operational operation within the recently concluded world football cup. In general, the contacts among special services should be put to a system-wide basis should be brought to systemic framework. I reminded President Trump about suggestion to re-establish the working group on antiterrorism. We also mentioned the plethora of regional crises, not always that our postures dovetail exactly. And yet the overlapping and mutual interests abound. We have to look for points of contact and interact closer in a variety of international forum. Clearly, we mentioned the regional crisis, for instance, Syria. As far as Syria is concerned, the task of establishing peace and reconciliation in this country could be the first showcase example of the successful joint work. Russia and the United States apparently can proactively take leadership on this issue and organize the interaction to overcome humanitarian crisis and help Syrian refugees to go back to their homes. In order to accomplish this level of successful cooperation in Syria, we have all the required components. Let me remind you of that. Both Russian and American military have acquired useful experience of coordination of their action, established the operational channels of communication which permitted [us] to avoid dangerous incidents and unintentional collisions in the air and in the ground. Also crushing terrorists in the southwest of Syria, the south of Syria should be brought to the full compliance with the treaty of 1974 about separation of forces, about separation of forces of Israel and Syria. This will bring peace to Golan Heights. And bring more peaceful relationship between Syria and Israel and also to provide security to the state of Israel. Mr. President paid special attention to the issue during today’s negotiations and I would like to confirm that Russia is interested in this development and this will act accordingly. Thus far, we will make a step toward creating a lasting peace in compliance with the respective resolutions of [the U.N.] Security Council, for instance the Resolution 338. We’re glad that the Korean Peninsula issue is starting to resolve. To a great extent, it was possible thanks to the personal engagement of President Trump, who opted for dialogue instead of confrontation. We also mentioned our concern about the withdrawal of the United States from the JCPOA. Well, the U.S. — Our U.S. counterparts are aware of our posture. Thanks to the Iranian nuclear deal, Iran began [to be the] most controlled country in the world, it’s submitted to the control of IAEA, it effectively ensures peaceful nature of Iranian nuclear program and strengthens the non-proliferation regime. While we discussed the internal Ukrainian crisis, we paid special attention to the bona fide implementation of Minsk agreement by Kiev. The United States could be more decisive in nudging the Ukrainian leadership and encourage it to work in this. We paid more attention to economic ties and economic operations. It’s clear that both countries, businesses of both countries are interested in this. American delegation was one of the largest delegations in the St. Petersburg Economic Forum. It featured over 500 representatives from American businesses. We agreed, me and President Trump, we agreed to create high level working group that would bring together captains of Russian and American business. After all, entrepreneurs and businessmen know better how to articulate this successful business cooperation. Let them think and make their proposals and suggestions in this regard.

Once again, President Trump mentioned issue of so-called interference of Russia with the American elections. I had to reiterate things I said several times, including during our personal contacts, that the Russian state has never interfered and is not going to interfere in internal American affairs, including election process. Any specific material, if such things arise, we are ready to analyze together. For instance, we can analyze them through the joint working group on cybersecurity, the establishment of which we discussed during our previous contacts.

Clearly, it’s past time we restore our cooperation in the cultural area, in the humanitarian area. As far as I think you know that recently we hosted the American congressmen delegation. Now it’s perceived and portrayed almost as historic event, although it should have been just a current affair, just business as usual. In this regard, we mentioned this proposal to the president.

We have to think about practicalities [inaudible]. But also about the rational, the logic of it. We have to engage experts on bilateral relationship who know history and background of our relationship. The idea is to create an expert council that would include political scientists, prominent diplomats and former military experts in both countries who would look for points of contact between the two countries. That would look for ways on putting the relationship on the trajectory of growth. In general, we are glad with the outcome of our first full-scale meeting because previously we only had a chance to talk briefly on international forum. We had a good conversation with President Trump and I hope that we start to understand each other better. I’m grateful to Donald for it. Clearly, there are some challenges left, when we were not able to clear all the backlog. But I think that we made a first important step in this direction. In conclusion, I want to point out that this atmosphere of cooperation is something that we are especially grateful for to our Finnish hosts. We’re grateful for Finnish people and Finnish leadership for what they’ve done. I know that we have caused some inconvenience to Finland. We apologize for it. Thank you for your attention.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Thank you very much. Thank you. I have just concluded a meeting with President Putin on a wide range of critical issues for both of our countries. We had direct, open, deeply productive dialogue. Went very well. Before I begin, I want to thank the President [Sauli] Niinistö of Finland for graciously hosting today's summit. President Putin and I were saying how lovely it was and what a great job they did. I also want to congratulate Russia and President Putin for having done such an excellent job in hosting the World Cup. It was really one of the best ever. Your team also did very well. It was a great job. I’m here today to continue the proud tradition of bold American diplomacy. From the earliest days of our republic, American leaders have understand that diplomacy and engagement is preferable to conflict and hostility. A productive dialogue is not only good for the United States and good for Russia, but it is good for the world. The disagreements between our two countries are well-known. President Putin and I discussed them at length today. But if we're going to solve many of the problems facing our world, then we're going to have to find ways to cooperate in pursuit of shared interests. Too often in both recent past and long ago we have seen the consequences when diplomacy is left on the table. We have also seen the benefits of cooperation. In the last century, our nations fought alongside one another in the Second World War. Even during the tensions of the Cold War, when the world looked much different than it does today, the United States and Russia were able to maintain a strong dialogue.

Our relationship has never been worse than it is now. However, that changed as of about four hours ago. I really believe that. Nothing would be easier politically that to refuse to meet, to refuse to engage. But that would not accomplish anything. As president, I cannot make decisions on foreign policy in a futile effort to appease partisan critics or the media or Democrats who want to do nothing but resist and obstruct. Constructive dialogue between the United States and Russia affords the opportunity to open new pathways toward peace and stability in our world. I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace than to risk peace in pursuit of politics. As president, I will always put what is best for America and what is best for the American people.

During today's meeting, I addressed directly with President Putin the issue of Russian interference in our elections. I felt this was a message best delivered in person. Spent a great deal of time talking about it. And President Putin may very well want to address it and very strongly, because he feels strongly about it and he has an interesting idea. We also discussed one of the most critical challenges facing humanity, nuclear proliferation. I provided an update on my meeting last month with Chairman Kim on the denuclearization of North Korea. After today, I am very sure that President Putin and Russia want very much to end that problem. Going to work with us, and I appreciate that commitment. The president and I also discussed the scourge of radical Islamic terrorism both Russia and the United States have suffered. Horrific terrorist attacks, and we have agreed to maintain open communication between our security agencies to protect our citizens from this global menace. Last year, we told Russia about a planned attack in St. Petersburg. They were able to stop it cold. They found them. They stopped them. There was no doubt about it. I appreciated President Putin's phone call afterwards to thank me.

I also emphasized the importance of placing pressure on Iran to halt its nuclear ambitions and to stop its campaign of violence throughout the area, throughout the Middle East. As we discussed at length, the crisis in Syria is a complex one. Cooperation between our two countries has the potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives. I also made clear that the United States will not allow Iran to benefit from our successful campaign against ISIS. We have just about eradicated ISIS in the area. We also agreed that representatives from our national security councils will meet to follow up on all of the issues we addressed today and to continue the progress we have started right here in Helsinki.

Today's meeting is only the beginning of a longer process. But we have taken the first steps toward a brighter future and one with a strong dialogue and a lot of thought. Our expectations are grounded in realism, but our hopes are grounded in America’s desire for friendship, cooperation and peace. I think I can speak on behalf of Russia when I say that also. President Putin, I want to thank you again for joining me for these important discussions and for advancing open dialogue between Russia and the United States. Our meeting carries on a long tradition of diplomacy between Russia, the United States, for the greater good of all. This was a very constructive day. This was a very constructive few hours that we spent together. It's in the interest of both of our countries to continue our conversation. And we have agreed to do so. I'm sure we will be meeting again in the future, often, and hopefully, we will solve every one of the problems that we discussed today. Again, President Putin, thank you very much.

TRANSLATOR: The journalists would have chance to ask two questions — two sets of question each. First the Russian journalist will ask a question. Please give your affiliation.

QUESTION: Good afternoon. I have a question to President Trump. During your recent European tour, you mentioned that the implementation of the Nordstream 2 gas pipeline, it makes Europe hostage of Russia. You suggested that you could free Europe from this by supplying American LNG — this cold winter actually showed the current model, current mechanism of supply of fuel to Europe is quite viable. At the same time, as far as I know, U.S. Had to buy even Russian gas for Boston. I have a question. The implementation of your idea has a political tinge to it or is this practical one? Because there will be a gap formed in the supply and demand mechanism and first it's the consuming countries who will fall into this gap. The second question, before the meeting with President Putin, you called him an adversary, a rival. And yet you expressed hope you will be able to bring this relationship to a new level. Did you manage to do this?

TRUMP: Actually I called him a competitor and a good competitor he is. I think the word competitor is a compliment. I think that we will be competing when you talk about the pipeline. I'm not sure necessarily that it's in the best interests of Germany or not. That was a decision that they made. We will be competing. As you know, the United States is now — or soon will be, but I think it is right now, the largest in the oil and gas world. We're going to be selling LNG and we’ll have to be competing with the pipeline. I think we will compete successfully. There's a little advantage locationally. I wish them luck. I discussed with Angela Merkel in pretty strong tones. I also know where they're all coming from. They have a very close source. So we will see how that all works out. We have lots of sources now. The United States is much different than it was a number of years ago when we weren't able to extract what we can extract today. Today, we're No. 1 in the world at that. I think we will be out there competing very strongly. Thank you very much.

PUTIN: If I may, I throw in some two cents. We talked to Mr. President, including this subject as well. We are aware of the stance of President Trump. I think that we as major oil and gas power and the United States is a major gas and oil power as well, we can work together on regulation of international markets because neither of us is actually interested in plummeting of the prices. The consumers will suffer as well. The consumers in the United States will suffer as well. The shale gas production will suffer. Because beyond a certain price bracket, it's no longer profitable to produce gas. Nor we are interested in driving prices up, because it will drain live juices from all other sectors of the economy. We do have space for cooperation here, as a first thing. Then about the Nordstream 2. Mr. President voices his concerns about the possibility of disappearance of transit through Ukraine. I reassured Mr. President that Russia stands ready to maintain this transit. Moreover, we stand ready to extend this transit contract that's about to expire next year, in case, if the dispute between the economic entities — dispute will be settled in Stockholm arbitration court.

QUESTION: Thank you. Mr. President, you tweeted this morning that it's U.S. foolishness, stupidity and the Mueller probe that is responsible for the decline in U.S. relations with Russia. Do you hold Russia at all accountable for anything in particular? If so, what would you consider them that they are responsible for?

TRUMP: Yes I do. I hold both countries responsible. I think the United States has been foolish. I think we have all been foolish. We should have had this dialogue a long time ago, a long time, frankly, before I got to office. I think we're all to blame. I think that the United States now has stepped forward along with Russia. We're getting together and we have a chance to do some great things, whether it's nuclear proliferation in terms of stopping, we have to do it. Ultimately, that's probably the most important thing that we can be working on.

But I do feel that we have both made some mistakes. I think that the probe is a disaster for our country. I think it's kept us apart. It's kept us separated. There was no collusion at all. Everybody knows it. People are being brought out to the fore. So far, that I know, virtually, none of it related to the campaign. They will have to try really hard to find something that did relate to the campaign. That was a clean campaign. I beat Hillary Clinton easily and, frankly, we beat her and I'm not even saying from the standpoint, we won that race. It's a shame there could even be a little bit of a cloud over it. People know that. People understand it. The main thing — we discussed this also — is zero collusion. It has had a negative impact upon the relationship of the two largest nuclear powers in the world. We have 90 percent of nuclear power between the two countries. It's ridiculous. It's ridiculous what's going on with the probe.

QUESTION: For President Putin if I could follow up as well. Why should Americans and why should President Trump believe your statement that Russia did not intervene in the 2016 election given the evidence that U.S. Intelligence agencies have provided? Will you consider extraditing the 12 Russian officials that were indicted last week by a U.S. grand jury.

TRUMP: I’m going to let the president answer the second part of that question. As you know, the concept of that came up perhaps a little before, but it came out as a reason why the Democrats lost an election, which frankly, they should have been able to win, because the Electoral College is much more advantageous for Democrats, as you know, than it is to Republicans. We won the Electoral College by a lot. 306 to 223 I believe. That was a well-fought battle. We did a great job. Frankly, I'm going to let the president speak to the second part of your question. Just to say it one time again, and I say it all the time, there was no collusion. I didn't know the president. There was nobody to collude with. There was no collusion with the campaign. Every time you hear all of these 12 and 14 — it's stuff that has nothing to do — and frankly, they admit, these are not people involved in the campaign. But to the average reader out there, they are saying, maybe that does. It doesn't. Even the people involved, some perhaps told mis-stories. In one case the FBI said there was no lie. There was no lie. Somebody else said there was. We ran a brilliant campaign. That's why I'm president. Thank you.

PUTIN: As to who is to be believed, who is not to be believed, you can trust no one. Where did you get this idea that President Trump trusts me or I trust him? He defends the interests of the United States of America. I do defend the interests of the Russian Federation. We do have interests that are common. We are looking for points of contact. There are issues where our postures diverge and we are looking for ways to reconcile our differences, how to make our effort more meaningful. We should not proceed from the immediate political interests that guide certain political powers in our countries. We should be guided by facts. Could you name a single fact of that would definitively prove the collusion? This is utter nonsense. Just like the president recently mentioned, yes, the public at large in the United States had a certain perceived opinion of the candidates during the campaign. But there's nothing particularly extraordinary about it. That's usual thing. President Trump, when he was a candidate, he mentioned the need to restore the Russia-U.S. relationship and it's clear that certain parts of American society felt sympathetic about it and different people could express their sympathy in different ways. But isn't that natural? Isn't it natural to be sympathetic towards a person who is willing to restore the relationship with our country, who wants to work with us? We heard the accusations about it [inaudible]. As far as I know, this company hired American lawyers and the accusations doesn't — doesn't have a fighting chance in the American courts. There's no evidence when it comes to the actual facts. We have to be guided by facts, not by rumors.

Let's get back to the issue of this 12 alleged intelligence officers of Russia. I don't know the full extent of the situation. But President Trump mentioned this issue. I will look into it. So far, I can say the following. Things that [are] off the top of my head. We have an existing agreement between the United States of America and the Russian Federation, an existing treaty that dates back to 1999. The mutual assistance on criminal cases. This treaty is in full affect. It works quite efficiently. On average, we initiate about 100, 150 criminal cases upon request from foreign states. For instance, the last year, there was one extradition case upon the request sent by the United States. This treaty has specific legal procedures we can offer. The appropriate commission headed by special attorney Mueller, he can use this as a solid foundation and send a formal and official request to us so that we would interrogate, hold questioning of this individuals who he believes are privy to some crimes. Our enforcement are perfectly able to do this questioning and send the appropriate materials to the United States. Moreover, we can meet you halfway. We can make another step. We can actually permit representatives of the United States, including the members of this very commission headed by Mr. Mueller, we can let them into the country. They will be present at questioning. In this case, there's another condition. This kind of effort should be mutual one. Then we would expect that the Americans would reciprocate. They would question officials, including the officers of law enforcement and intelligence services of the United States whom we believe — who have something to do with illegal actions on the territory of Russia. And we have to request the presence of our law enforcement. For instance, we can bring up the — Mr. Browder in this particular case. Business associates of Mr. Browder have earned over $1.5 billion in Russia. They never paid any taxes. Neither in Russia nor in the United States. And yet, the money escape the country. They were transferred to the United States. They sent huge amount of money, $400 million as a contribution to the campaign of Hillary Clinton. That's their personal case. It might have been legal, the contribution itself. The way the money was earned was illegal. We have a solid reason to believe that some intelligence officers, guided these transactions. So we have an interest of questioning them. That could be a first step. We can extend it. Options abound. They all can be found in an appropriate legal framework.

QUESTION: Did you direct any of your officials to help him do that?

PUTIN: Yes, I did. Yes, I did. Because he talked about bringing the S.S./Russia relationship back to normal.

PUTIN: I think there can be three questions from the Russian pool. You have the floor.

QUESTION: Thank you so much. Good evening in everyone. [Inaudible] Mr. President, would you please go into the details of possibly any specific arrangements for the U.S. to work together with Russia in Syria, if any of these arrangements were made today or discussed? My question to President Putin in Russian. Since we brought up the issue of football several times, I ask — I use the football language. Mr. Pompeo mentioned that when we talk about Syrian cooperation, the ball is in the Syrian court. Mr. Putin, in Russian court, is it true? How would you use this fact of having the ball?

TRUMP: I guess I will answer the first part of the question. We have worked with Israel long and hard for many years, many decades. I think we have never — never has any one country been closer than we are. President Putin also is helping Israel. We both spoke with Bibi Netanyahu. They would like to do certain things with respect to Syria, having to do with the safety of Israel. In that respect, we absolutely would like to work in order to help Israel. Israel will be working with us. So both countries would work jointly. I think that when you look at all of the progress that's been made in certain sections with the eradication of ISIS, about 98 percent, 99 percent there, and other things that have taken place that we have done and that, frankly, Russia has helped us with in certain respects. But I think that working with Israel is a great thing. Creating safety for Israel is something that both President Putin and I would like to see very much. One little thing I might add to that is the helping of people. Helping of people. Because you have such horrible — if you see — I've seen reports and I've seen pictures. I've seen just about everything. If we can do something to help the people of Syria get back into some form of shelter and on a humanitarian basis. That's what the word was, really a humanitarian basis. I think both of us would be interested in doing that. We will do that. Thank you very much.

TRUMP: Our militaries do get along. Our militaries have gotten along probably better than our political leaders for years. Our militaries do get along very well. They do coordinate in Syria and other places. Thank you.

PUTIN: We did mention this. We mentioned the humanitarian track of this issue. Yesterday, I discussed this with French President Mr. Macron and we reached an agreement that together with European countries, including France, we will step up this effort. On our behalf, we will provide military cargo aircraft to deliver humanitarian cargo. I brought up this issue with President Trump. I think there's plenty of things to look into. The crucial thing is that huge amount of refugees are in Turkey, in Lebanon, in Jordan, in the states that border or are adjacent to Syria. If we help them, the migratory pressure upon the European states will drop, be decreased many-fold. I believe it's crucial from any point of view, from humanitarian point of view, from the point of view of helping people, helping the refugees. And in general, I agree, I concur with President Trump, our military cooperate quite successfully together. They do get along. I hope they will be able to do so in future. We will keep working in the [inaudible] Russia, Turkey and Iran, which I informed President Trump of. But we do stand ready to link this effort to the so-called small group of states so that the process would be a broader one, a multidimensional one. We will maximize our fighting chance to gather ultimate success on the issue of Syria. Speaking about the — having the ball in our court in Syria, President Trump has just mentioned that we have successfully concluded the world football cup. Speaking of the football, actually, Mr. President, I will give this ball to you and now the ball is in your court. All the more the United States will host the World Cup in 2026.

TRUMP: That's right. Thank you very much. We do host it. We hope we do as good a job. That's very nice. That will go to my son Barron. We have no question. In fact, Melania, here you go.

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS: Final question from the United States will go to Jonathan Lamier from the AP.

QUESTION: Thank you. A question for each president. President Trump, you first. Just now President Putin denied having anything to do with the election interference in 2016. Every U.S. intelligence agency has concluded that Russia did. My first question for you, sir, is who do you believe? My second question is would you now with the whole world watching tell President Putin, would you denounce what happened in 2016 and would you warn him to never do it again?

TRUMP: So let me just say that we have two thoughts. You have groups that are wondering why the FBI never took the server, why haven't they taken the server. Why was the FBI told to leave the office of the Democratic National Committee. I've been wondering that. I've been asking that for months and months and I've been tweeting it out and calling it out on social media. Where is the server? I want to know. Where is the server, and what is the server saying? With that being said, all I can do is ask the question. My people came to me, Dan Coats came to me and some others and said they think it's Russia. I have President Putin, he just said it's not Russia. I will say this. I don't see any reason why it would be, but I really do want to see the server. But I have — I have confidence in both parties. I really believe that this will probably go on for a while, but I don't think it can go on without finding out what happened to the server. What happened to the servers of the Pakistani gentleman that worked on the DNC? Where are those servers? They're missing. Where are they? What happened to Hillary Clinton's emails? 33,000 emails gone, just gone. I think in Russia they wouldn't be gone so easily. I think it's a disgrace that we can't get Hillary Clinton's 33,000 emails. So I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today. And what he did is an incredible offer. He offered to have the people working on the case come and work with their investigators with respect to the 12 people. I think that's an incredible offer. OK? Thank you.

PUTIN: I'd like to add something to this. After all, I was an intelligence officer myself. And I do know how dossiers are made up. Just a second. That's the first thing. Now the second thing. I believe that Russia is a democratic state and I hope you're not denying this right to your own country, you're not denying that United States is democracy. Do you believe the United States is a democracy? And if so, if it is a democratic state, then the final conclusion in this kind of dispute can only be delivered by a trial, by the court, not by the executive, by the law enforcement. For instance, the Concord company that is brought up is being accused, it's being accused of interference, but this company does not constitute the Russian state. It does not represent the Russian state. I brought several examples before. Well, you have a lot of individuals in the United States take George Soros, for instance, with multibillion capitals, but it doesn't make him — his position — his posture the posture of the United States. No, it does not. It's the same case. There is the issue of trying a case in the court and the final — the final say is for the court to deliver. We are now talking about the private individuals and not about particular states and as far as the most recent allegations is concerned about the Russian intelligence officers, we do have an intergovernmental treaty. Please do send us the request. We will analyze it properly and we'll send a formal response. As I said, we can extend this cooperation, but we should do it on a reciprocal basis because we would await our Russian counterparts to provide us access to the persons of interests for us, who we believe can have something to do with intelligence service. Let's discuss the specific issues and not use the Russia and the U.S. relationship as a loose change for this internal political struggle.

QUESTION: A question for President Putin, thank you. Two questions for you, sir. Can you tell me what President Trump may have indicated to you about officially recognizing Crimea as part of Russia? And secondly, sir, do you — does the Russian government have any compromising material on President Trump or his family?

PUTIN: President Trump — well, the posture of President Trump on Crimea is well known and he stands firmly by it. He continues to maintain that it was illegal to annex it. Our viewpoint is different. We held a referendum in strict compliance with the U.N. Charter and international legislation. For us this issue [inaudible] — and now to the compromising material. Yeah, I did hear these rumors that these allegedly collected compromising material on Mr. Trump when he was visiting Moscow. Distinguished colleague, let me tell you this, when President Trump was in Moscow back then, I didn't even know that he was in Moscow. I treat President Trump with utmost respect, but back then when he was a private individual, a businessman, nobody informed me that he was in Moscow. Let's take St. Petersburg Economic Forum, for instance. There were over 500 American businessmen, high-ranking, high-level ones. I don't even remember the last names of each and every one. Do you think that we try to collect compromising material on each and every single one of them? Well, it's difficult to imagine [inaudible] on a bigger scale of this. Please disregard these issues and don't think about this anymore again.

TRUMP: And I have to say if they had it, it would have been out long ago. And if anybody watched Peter Strzok testify over the last couple of days, and I was in Brussels watching it, it was a disgrace to the FBI. It was a disgrace to our country. And you would say that was a total witch hunt. Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you.

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