OK! So last night, I began reading @SethAbramson's newly released book, Proof of Collusion. I live tweeted my takeaways from the Introduction and Chapter 1. I'm just kind of memorializing my thoughts so I can refer back to them later...
Seth does great work and I highly appreciate the holes he's helping us all fill in regarding the #TrumpRussia story. I'm not trying to summarize or review the book; I'm only tweeting things that stand out to me as particularly pithy or that I didn't know before.
If you haven't already, buy Seth's book! simonandschuster.com/books/Proof-of…
So, on to Chapter 2: Kompromat -- November 2013.
Important to remember just how petty Trump is -- p. 70: "The dossier sources allege that, to show disrespect to President Obama and his wife, Michelle, Trump asked a group of women to urinate on the bed in the presidential suite..."
"... that the Obama had slept in during a prior official visit to Russia." Does this sound in character for Trump? Of course it does. And did he do it? Of course he did, as I wrote myself last year. The available evidence appoints to yes. thegreatconsolidation.com/2017/11/the-pe…
p. 72: "Trump's claims of cautious behavior in Moscow are challenged by a pre-dossier interview on Hungarian television in which a former Miss Hungary, Kata Sarka, says that Trump approached her shortly before the 2013 Miss Universe pageant and propositioned her..."
"... for sex in his hotel room at the Ritz-Carlton." I'm trying to verify the timing of this interview to see if it is pre-dossier. Can't, because the video of it has been removed. According to this page, it was in May 2016, but it's not sourced well sutori.com/item/may-2016-…
As I indicated while reading (I think) the last chapter, I'm looking for contemporaneous accounts, as those can't be said to be part of a conspiracy against Trump's candidacy.
I *really* dislike James Comey, but I just love that he had to say this: "I don't know whether the current President of the United States was with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow in 2013. It's possible."
Raise your hand if you ever imagined a former head of the FBI saying that about a POTUS prior to 2016. I'll give you a cookie. Man, we live in the upside-down.
From p. 74: "Robert Baer, a former CIA case officer... concluded: 'the Agalarovs [Emin and Aras, Trump's billionaire associates in Russia] are KGB (FSB) agents." Emin was allegedly the guy who brought Trump the hookers, but I'd never heard anyone say he was FSB.
In the chapter, Abramson refers to this story, which he chronicled on Twitter a while back:
p. 75: "Rykov created a pro-Trump website, Trump2016.ru, in 2015." 2012 and 2015. Data points of Russia being involved with Trump's prospective campaign before he announced. If what Rykov said two days after the 2016 election is true...
(and he said it before most, including me, thought there was as wide-ranging conspiracy happening), that traces Russian involvement with Trump's potential campaign a full year before the pee tape supposedly happened. At the very least, Trump was starting to campaign 6 years ago.
It was not a spur-of-the-moment decision.
"In a March 2016 Reuters article, Rykov... [said], 'Trump is the first member of the American elite in twenty years who compliments Russia. Trump will smash America... Do we want the grandmother Hillary? No. Maybe it's time to help the old brigand [Trump].'"
March 2016, right out in the open. Trump and the Republicans can pretend that the Dems have been making up the story because they lost the election all they want, but that's nine months before the election. Trump hadn't even clinched the nomination yet.
That's it for Chapter 3. I'm going to take a break for a few minutes and then I'm going to come back and do Chapter 4. So far, the book continues to be what I expected, which is a good thing. Buy it here. simonandschuster.com/books/Proof-of…
Oops. I meant Chapter 2 and 3, respectively. I counted the intro.
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