, 42 tweets, 40 min read Read on Twitter
😨Ex CIA Bob Baer suggests the “urgent credible threat” in the whistleblower complaint (that DNI won’t give Congress) ”usually” has something to do w/ someone in White House setting up an illegal backchannel to a foreign govt, or some sort of corruption, discovered by CIA or NSA.
🚨>> Whistleblower complaint involves TRUMP’S communications with a foreign leader that included a “promise” regarded so troubling it prompted an official in the US intelligence community to file a formal whistleblower complaint with the inspector general. washingtonpost.com/national-secur…
In the weeks before the “urgent & credible” whistleblower complaint about Trump’s “promise” to a foreign leader, he had interactions with:
1) Russia’s Putin that WH initiated
2) 2 “beautiful” letters from North Korea’s Kim Jong Un
3) Pakistan’s PM
4) Netherlands’ PM
5) Qatar emir
Trump apologists often excuse his bad conduct by blaming us for misinterpreting his language, or just not liking “how he talks.” That’s absurd & not about style or interpretation. He is the president. His words matter—always. My money’s on a “promise” to Russia’s Putin. #Maddow
🤔One explosive theory: Maybe Trump made a promise to Putin involving the exfiltrated Russian spy outed in Virginia—the CIA asset w/ direct knowledge that Putin directed Russia's attack to help Trump win the 2016 election. That would light a whistleblower's hair on fire. #Maddow
Another theory about possible content of whistleblower complaint: Trump could have promised Putin to stop funding Pentagon's NATO projects to help Europe defend against Russia's aggression. #Maddow (see THREAD below)
Theory 3: Trump's promise to Putin concerned #Ukraine, specifically blocking $250 million in US military aid to defend from Russia, who invaded in 2014, seized Crimea and a chunk of Eastern Ukraine. Over 13000 Ukrainians have died so far, w/ no end to the war in sight. #Maddow
Let me reiterate, I'm speculating about what promise Trump could have made to Putin that might compel a whistleblower to file a complaint. My theories are all very plausible & very disturbing. Lives are at risk. And Putin's done NOTHING to deserve accommodating promises. #Maddow
Worth noting: Trump and Barr have undoubtedly known about the whistleblower complaint since August 12. That means they've had over a month to come up with a narrative & a plan to whitewash whatever abuse/promise Trump made. I'd put my money on Barr taking a lead on that. #Maddow
Theory 4: Trump could have made a promise to Putin concerning #sanctions. US was about to impose mandatory sanctions on Russia over the #Skripal poisoning. They spoke on the phone July 31 ostensibly about "wildfires" in Siberia. I can imagine like Flynn, he said "don't worry" 😉
And it's not just Trump's promise to Putin or whomever that's alarming. As @nycsouthpaw notes, the admin's reaction to the whistleblower was to break laws & cover up. Their instinct is to cheat & lie, act in bad faith. This happens in authoritarian Russia. Now here, regularly.
@nycsouthpaw Context: My July 31 2019 THREAD notes on the day Trump called Putin, Twitter suspended one of Russia's prime propaganda accounts. And the Kremlin actually asked for his help. Alone, that wouldn't alarm a whistleblower. But it indicates Russia was asking him for stuff—on that day.
@nycsouthpaw ‼️Theory 5: #Trump using foreign policy to extort foreign help for his re-election >> House chairs reportedly scrutinizing July 25 Trump-Zelensky call when Trump allegedly told #Ukraine's new president to reopen the #Biden investigation to improve relations w/ US. #Whistleblower
Almost missed this detail: Intel #whistleblower complaint involves MULTIPLE actions by #Trump—going beyond any single discussion with a foreign leader. That would comport with all the above theories involving #Putin's pro-#Russia agenda, including pressing #Ukraine re aid/#Biden.
💥🚨There it is >> #Whistleblower complaint about President Trump involves #UKRAINE, according to two people familiar with the matter wapo.st/2Ienb6I
THREAD on how Trump & Giuliani might've leveraged the enormous power of the US presidency to pressure #Ukraine—a country already under strain from war w/ #Russia—to open a criminal investigation on Biden, to help Trump's re-election bid. h/t @WendySiegelman #Whistleblower #Maddow
It's unspeakably vile to extort a country at war w/ monster mafia state Russia. Yet Giuliani & Trump have been abusing key ally #Ukraine for yrs. Pushing one absurd conspiracy theory after another for political gain. Eg. "Ukraine collusion" in 2016🙄 & Biden dirt since ⤵️#Maddow
Giuliani admits the crux of Trump's abuse of power—using the cover of conducting foreign policy to behave like mobsters extorting vulnerable ally Ukraine to rig the 2020 election. AND absurdly asserting a POTUS isn't subject to oversight or accountability. #WhistleblowerComplaint
Another thought about the #WhistleblowerComplaint: Remember, if it involves #Ukraine, it likely involves #Russia. I joke below about Mafia Don talking to Zelensky. The words may've been different, but the subtext is that Putin & Trump allied against #Ukraine would be devastating.
From financial ties to election collusion to Kremlin propaganda, #Russia's deep in everything Trump does. Much of his propaganda (incl Giuliani's lies to @ChrisCuomo) is laced with Russian conspiracy theories about Ukraine, Clinton, Biden—from 2014. Details in @theintercept⤵️
@ChrisCuomo Read the definitive debunking of @RudyGiuliani's painfully absurd & underinformed propaganda about Ukraine & Biden. From @OliverBullough, author of "Moneyland," on corruption & money laundering. cc @ChrisCuomo washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/… #WhistleBlowerComplaint #Whistleblower
@ChrisCuomo @RudyGiuliani @OliverBullough 🙃The craziest thing about #Trump & #Giuliani's #propaganda: #Biden was actually pressing #Ukraine to fight corruption. That's why Lutsenko had to go—along w/ many others—who weren't willing to aggressively root out endemic corruption, a relic of the Soviet state. #Whistleblower
💯 @JulietteKayyem: Trump & Giuliani have already confessed. Trump wasn’t joking. And he didn’t just try to stop military aid to Ukraine. He stopped it—for some period of time. The scandal is so in our face, we have trouble naming it—because it is so public.🎯 #Whistleblower
@juliettekayyem Trump directly asked #Ukraine's president Zelensky—8 times—to investigate Biden, saying "people in Washington wanted to know." He didn't mention US military aid on the call. But that's clearly on the table for any official conversation w/ Ukraine, at war w/ Russia. #Whistleblower
Context: A month after Trump urged #Ukraine's newly elected green 😉president Zelensky **8 TIMES** to work with Giuliani to investigate Biden's son, news broke Trump was slow-walking military aid to Ukraine. It stunk then. And alarmed a #whistleblower.
Context: At the same time Trump withheld military aid, he canceled a trip to Poland AND a sitdown meeting w/ #Ukraine's president Zelensky. Was that pressure too? Punishing Ukraine for not launching an investigation into Biden's son after asking 8 times? #WhistleblowerComplaint
🤔Aug 28—#Bolton's in #Ukraine reassuring them about US military aid—while Trump was stalling it. Remember that aid is in US natsec interests b/c it deters #Russia.🤔Is that when Trump turned on Bolton?? It would fit Trump's pattern of dumping guys tough on #Putin. #Whistleblower
#Russia's likely why Trump pushed out DNI Coats & Gordon, surely as alarmed by Trump pressing Ukraine as McMaster was about abandoning allies.
—July 25—Trump-Zelensky call
—July 28—Coats resigns
—Aug 12—#Whistleblower files #WhistleblowerComplaint
—Aug 15—Coats/Gordon gone
🔥NEW details on Dual Channels of Pressure on #Ukraine >>> "Your country owes it to us"—#Giuliani told aide Yermak, days after Trump urged Zelensky 8 TIMES to reopen investigations on Democratic opponents. #WhistleblowerComplaint washingtonpost.com/politics/how-t…
In addition to needing military aid at time of call, #Ukraine's president urgently sought a sit-down meeting in the Oval Office, to demonstrate US support as it fights a war w/ #Russia. Against his advisers, Trump *personally* rejected efforts to set a meeting date #Whistleblower
😨Senior admin official: Trump says what we were doing in #Ukraine was "pointless and just aggravating the Russians.”

“The president’s position basically is, we should recognize the fact that the Russians should be our friends, and who cares about the Ukrainians?
NEW #Whistleblower TIMELINE gets worse: By the July phone call w/ Zelensky, Trump had already blocked #Ukraine aid. (Thought it was in late August, but that's when it was 1st reported) ‼️So POTUS blocked needed defenses for a country #Russia wages war against, THEN demanded dirt.
🤯#Whistleblower TIMELINE: Trump literally solicited collusion w/ #Ukraine THE DAY AFTER #Mueller testified on the #Russia investigation.😫Media's focus on Mueller's frailty & performance emboldened Trump to do it again—the next day! Now he's in full disinformation mode on Biden.
🧵Welcome THREAD to the first major 2020 election #disinformation campaign Trump & Giuliani have now mainstreamed. They've flipped & muddied facts, even extorted Ukraine to smear Biden. Like 2016, journalists are used to frame, repeat & spread the propaganda. (Spoiler: Russia)
We don't know all the facts relevant to the #Whistleblower complaint yet, but we do know it's about Trump abusing power—using the enormous weight of his office not just to help him politically, but to create a fog of disinformation to use against Biden. This is 💯Putin playbook.
There's a reason the #Whistleblower complaint involves #Ukraine & #disinformation. @JoyAnnReid shows how Ukraine & #Russia form the foundational scandal of the #Trump presidency. #Putin invaded Ukr for leaving his corrupt world. Trump was Putin's means to end punishing #SANCTIONS
@JoyAnnReid @MaddowBlog @maddow 🔥‼️ @Leshchenkos: Giuliani's using disinformation to try to rehabilitate Manafort & drag Zelensky into intervening in a US election, undermining US relations w/ Ukraine—confronting Russia's aggression for yrs. Leshchenko's ready to testify to Congress! washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/…
@JoyAnnReid @MaddowBlog @maddow @Leshchenkos Leshchenko, a distinguished Ukrainian MP & journalist, reminds us just how harmful Trump's cohorts have been to #Ukraine. Manafort stole millions from Ukr, helped put a corrupt dictator in power who ended up getting #Russia to kill Ukrainians for wanting normal European freedoms.
@JoyAnnReid @MaddowBlog @maddow @Leshchenkos 🔥@rgoodlaw cuts to the chase: "We have a witness" in Ukraine who can testify to Giuliani's actions & motives. Serhiy Leshchenko—the journalist who reported on the "Black Ledger" that exposed Manafort's money-laundering—excoriated Rudy's disinformation campaign in an op-ed today.
@JoyAnnReid @MaddowBlog @maddow @Leshchenkos @rgoodlaw To see the absurdity of Giuliani's disinformation claiming the Black Ledger money laundering was "fake," read this from Ukrainian MP Serhiy Leshchenko, detailing "evidence of illegal financial fraud in Ukraine, which involved a former adviser to Donald Trump, Paul Manafort…"⤵️
Shamelessness right in #Whistleblower timeline:

»July 24: Mueller testifies to Russia election interference

»July 25: Trump solicits Ukraine interference; halts aid to increase pressure

»July 28: DNI Coats forced out

»July 31: Trump calls Putin

Let's see THAT transcript too.
🤡Trump admits it all: "Conversation was largely corruption…largely… that we don't want our people like VP Biden & his son creating … corruption already in Ukraine. Pres said he's going to be able to rid the country of corruption & I said that'd be great thing "
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