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Why Didn’t We Hear About Trump’s Golden Shower In August? Links To The Golden Shower Memo Circulated in August 2016

January 12, 2017

Trump attacked news organizations, CNN and BuzzFeed during his “press conference,” and I use the term loosely, because it routinely turned into a press jab or Clinton punch, not exactly a briefing on foreign policy. He claimed that the memo that was leaked about his Golden Shower was “fake news,” and he yelled about how it should never have been released. BuzzFeed’s decision to release the memo has been called “controversial.” I covered the details of the memo yesterday, and you can click here to read it: Russian Documents Leaked Showing Trump’s Campaign Links to Russia And “Perverted Sexual Acts” “Golden Shower Presidency” 

What I want to know: Why were Americans the last to know?

I checked multiple international reports, and BBC and Reuters both confirm that the documents were called “unsubstantiated” by CNN but don’t offer any veracity of their own. Unsurprisingly since the BBC is “British Broadcasting,” the reports investigating the MI-6 British operative who provided the dossier are less damaging, more thoughtful in their nuance.

The BBC reports on the warrant requested to determine whether or not Russia contributed to Trump’s campaign, thereby deflecting the British operative’s report and emphasizing that the US government felt there was a serious enough Russian breach to request a warrant three times from international agencies to investigate that link, an investigation whose full report has not been published:

Last April, the CIA director was shown intelligence that worried him. It was – allegedly – a tape recording of a conversation about money from the Kremlin going into the US presidential campaign.

It was passed to the US by an intelligence agency of one of the Baltic States. The CIA cannot act domestically against American citizens so a joint counter-intelligence taskforce was created.

The taskforce included six agencies or departments of government. Dealing with the domestic, US, side of the inquiry, were the FBI, the Department of the Treasury, and the Department of Justice. For the foreign and intelligence aspects of the investigation, there were another three agencies: the CIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the National Security Agency, responsible for electronic spying.

Lawyers from the National Security Division in the Department of Justice then drew up an application. They took it to the secret US court that deals with intelligence, the Fisa court, named after the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. They wanted permission to intercept the electronic records from two Russian banks.

Their first application, in June, was rejected outright by the judge. They returned with a more narrowly drawn order in July and were rejected again. Finally, before a new judge, the order was granted, on 15 October, three weeks before election day.

Neither Mr Trump nor his associates are named in the Fisa order, which would only cover foreign citizens or foreign entities – in this case the Russian banks. But ultimately, the investigation is looking for transfers of money from Russia to the United States, each one, if proved, a felony offence.

I don’t doubt that we will find evidence of MORE Russian interference in our elections. It’s already happened, but what I wonder is: what happens if it’s determined that Russians contributed to Trump’s campaign. The investigation into the foreign banks hasn’t been completed, but if the US intelligence agencies knew about possible Russian money transfers, as did an international court, why try to hide Trump’s alleged links to Russia from the American people? Why vilify a news agency that only put out there what the international community has known since August2016?

Why rely on intelligence agencies and spies when cold hard cash might just open up this whole ordeal? The BBC reports that the American pornography outlets are putting a million dollar price tag on serving up Trump’s other “head,” to prove he was in compromising positions, which would just validate the whole ordeal, FBI not included:

If a tape exists, the Russians would hardly give it up, though some hope to encourage a disloyal FSB officer who might want to make some serious money. Before the election, Larry Flynt, publisher of the pornographic magazine Hustler, put up a million dollars for incriminating tape of Mr Trump. Penthouse has now followed with its own offer of a million dollars for the Ritz-Carlton tape (if it exists). 

It is an extraordinary situation, 10 days before Mr Trump is sworn into office, but it was foreshadowed during the campaign.

During the final presidential debate, Hillary Clinton called Donald Trump a “puppet” of Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin. “No puppet. No puppet,” Mr Trump interjected, talking over Mrs Clinton. “You’re the puppet. No, you’re the puppet.”

In a New York Times op-ed in August, the former director of the CIA, Michael Morell, wrote: “In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr Putin had recruited Mr Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.”

Agent; puppet – both terms imply some measure of influence or control by Moscow.

Michael Hayden, former head of both the CIA and the NSA, simply called Mr Trump a “polezni durak” – a useful fool.

Because Golden Showers and Puppet are both distracting terms, I want to redirect you to the phrasing used by the BBC, the most important phrasing: ” before the election…” American pornography outlets knew of the existence of this alleged sexual dossier before the American public. So why is everyone blog-shaming  BuzzFeed?

BBC points out that the reports were credible enough to warrant a Presidential briefing by the CIA and FBI, so why is everyone blaming the former British operative for providing them?

The claims of Russian kompromat on Mr Trump were “credible”, the CIA believed. That is why – according to the New York Times and Washington Post – these claims ended up on President Barack Obama’s desk last week, a briefing document also given to Congressional leaders and to Mr Trump himself.

Mr Trump did visit Moscow in November 2013, the date the main tape is supposed to have been made. There is TV footage of him at the Miss Universe contest. Any visitor to a grand hotel in Moscow would be wise to assume that their room comes equipped with hidden cameras and microphones as well as a mini-bar.

At his news conference, Mr Trump said he warned his staff when they travelled: “Be very careful, because in your hotel rooms and no matter where you go you’re going to probably have cameras.”

Just so we don’t leave out any inflammatory comments to other companies, Trump then asked, via Twitter, of course, whether or not we were living in Nazi, Germany. The Germans were not thrilled with this comment, just as the British aren’t happy that when it’s convenient to trash a British operative, the incoming US President will do so if the information relates to him.

The BBC goes on to point out that other Eastern European agencies had knowledge of the “Golden Showers” tape and Russian interference over the summer of 2016:

And the former MI6 agent is not the only source for the claim about Russian kompromat on the president-elect. Back in August, a retired spy told me he had been informed of its existence by “the head of an East European intelligence agency”.

Later, I used an intermediary to pass some questions to active duty CIA officers dealing with the case file – they would not speak to me directly. I got a message back that there was “more than one tape”, “audio and video”, on “more than one date”, in “more than one place” – in the Ritz-Carlton in Moscow and also in St Petersburg – and that the material was “of a sexual nature”.

The US news media completely discounts the fact that international intelligence communities may be able to validate the information, that if it was ripe for the picking, more than one international intelligence agency may have the same information that Americans are just now finding out about. It’s like an extramarital affair when the wife is always the last to know, and then someone yells at the informant asking: “Who told her?” Why are the American people the last to know about this?

Reuters, a UK based news organization gave a more thorough background of  the man who wrote the dossier, Christopher Steele,  and pointed out that the US intelligence community had used information Steele collected in the past to issue indictments in various cases of corruption between a soccer organization (football) and the World Cup.

Christopher Steele, who wrote reports on compromising material Russian operatives allegedly had collected on U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, is a former officer in Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, according to people familiar with his career.

Former British intelligence officials said Steele spent years under diplomatic cover working for the agency, also known as MI-6, in Russia and Paris and at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London.

After he left the spy service, Steele supplied the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) with information on corruption at FIFA, international soccer’s governing body.

 It was his work on corruption in international soccer that lent credence to his reporting on Trump’s entanglements in Russia, U.S. officials said on Wednesday.

Emails seen by Reuters indicate that, in the summer of 2010, members of a New York-based FBI squad assigned to investigate “Eurasian Organized Crime” met Steele in London to discuss allegations of possible corruption in FIFA, the Swiss-based body that also organizes the World Cup tournament.

People familiar with Steele’s activities said his British-based company, Orbis Business Intelligence, was hired by the Football Association, Britain’s domestic soccer governing body, to investigate FIFA. At the time, the Football Association was hoping to host the 2018 or 2022 World Cups. British corporate records show that Orbis was formed in March 2009.

Amid a swirl of corruption allegations, the 2018 World Cup was awarded to Moscow and Qatar was chosen to host the 2022 competition.

The FBI squad whose members met Steele subsequently opened a major investigation into alleged soccer corruption that led to dozens of U.S. indictments, including those of prominent international soccer officials.

Senior FIFA officials, including long-time president Sepp Blatter, were forced to resign.

International news organizations are correctly pointing out that the US Intel community will use Steele’s information to take down World Cup corruption, but when it comes to a US President, the FBI claims Steele’s work is “unverified.”

Steele’s dealings with the FBI on Trump, initially with the senior agent who had started the FIFA probe and then moved to a post in Europe, began in July. However, Steele cut off contact with the FBI about a month before the Nov. 8 election because he was frustrated by the bureau’s slow progress.

The FBI opened preliminary investigations into Trump and his entourage’s dealings with Russians that were based in part on Steele’s reports, according to people familiar with the inquiries.

However, they said the Bureau shifted into low gear in the weeks before the election to avoid interfering in the vote. They said Steele grew frustrated and stopped dealing with the FBI after concluding it was not seriously investigating the material he had provided.

American seem to be caught flat-footed, even while the rest of Europe is taking notice and trying to block Russian attempts to interfere with their own elections. For a threat that is considered “fake news,” the rest of the world is stepping up to fight it. Strange that when there is direct evidence that Russia hacked the US election to influence it, the US appears the last to know and the last to admit it happened. Across the world, other countries are setting up surveillance to monitor Russian activities specifically:

The EU foreign service is slated to expand a 30-person strategic communications office set up in March 2015 to counter what it sees as fake news and Russian campaigns for influence.

The second EU source said the effort was “a badly under-funded, tiny team with close to no support”, and added Brussels did not see Russian intervention as a priority.

Individual members are now setting up their own offices to monitor and respond to disinformation, including the Czech Republic, which set up a 20-member team on Jan. 1.

Berlin is considering an office to evaluate fake news, but that effort has already run into political concerns that the government is setting up a “truth ministry” that would limit free speech or influence national elections.

German intelligence cited the high-profile case of a German-Russian girl who Russian media said was kidnapped and raped by migrants in Berlin, a claim later refuted by German authorities. The case underscored mutual suspicion between Moscow and Berlin.

Some other countries banned Russian-language television from broadcasting for spreading disinformation or inciting hatred. Lithuania, Latvia, Britain, Estonia and Denmark have also urged the EU to create news sources for Russian speakers.

In Latvia, facing municipal elections in June, officials cite a barrage of propaganda aimed at 500,000 Russian speakers and a cooperation agreement between the pro-Russian opposition party Harmony with Putin’s United Russia party.

Lithuania this week said it had barred construction of a data center for cloud computer operations last year over concerns it could be infiltrated by Russian intelligence once it was connected by fiber-optic cable to Russia…

German officials say a hack in December of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) used methods seen in a 2015 hack of the German parliament that was linked to APT28, a Russian hacker group, blamed for U.S. election hacks.

“We are already at war, and for many years,” Darius Jauniskis, head of Lithuania’s counter-intelligence State Security Department told Reuters in an interview.

Cyber security is a pressing concern for NATO, whose ambassadors discussed specific fears raised by Germany about Russian election interference in December, two diplomats said.

France and Germany recently set up cyber warfare units, and NATO officials have told Reuters they suspect Russia sponsors attacks against their networks before key summits.

“We are already at war…” Seems the Americans have been the last to know.

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