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Thread by @SethAbramson: "(THREAD) BREAKING—Washington Post Says Spring 2016 Trump Campaign Emails Confirm Ongoing Effort to Set Russia Meetings (See thread for more) […]"

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(THREAD) BREAKING—Washington Post Says Spring 2016 Trump Campaign Emails Confirm Ongoing Effort to Set Russia Meetings (See thread for more)
(1) WARNING: this will be a long thread. It deals with many people, dates, and events—so it may get confusing. I'll be as clear as possible.
(2) On April 27th, 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump gave a surprise foreign policy speech at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C.
(3) The speech was a surprise because it was supposed to be at the National Press Club—but the campaign cancelled less than 48 hours before.
(4) The event was rerouted to the Mayflower—for several reasons that all later turned out to be false—by new campaign manager Paul MANAFORT.
(5) The event had been set up by MANAFORT and Jared KUSHNER. At the National Press Club, it was just supposed to be a foreign policy speech.
(6) At the Mayflower, it became a speech preceded by an hour-long VIP event attended by the Trump campaign brass—and the Russian ambassador.
(7) It was a major breach of international protocol for Russia's ambassador Sergey KISLYAK to attend a campaign rally and VIP cocktail hour.
(8) At the cocktail hour, Mr. KISLYAK spoke with SESSIONS, MANAFORT, KUSHNER, TRUMP, and possibly many others high up in the Trump campaign.
(9) Others at the Mayflower that day include major Trump-Russia figures and Trump aides Stephen MILLER, Donald TRUMP JR., and J.D. GORDON.
(10) The event was hosted by the Center for the National Interest, and Trump's campaign would later claim all invitees were 100% due to CNI.
(11) Only four ambassadors in the entire world were "invited by CNI": all four nations were critical to the December 2016 ROSNEFT oil deal.
(12) Ex-MI6 Russia Chief Chris STEELE says the ROSNEFT deal—the biggest oil deal in Russian history—is the basis for Trump-Russia collusion.
(13) We now know the Trump campaign lied about every single aspect of the 2016 Mayflower event, including its role in inviting ambassadors.
(14) Prior to the event, KUSHNER called KISLYAK. The contact—confirmed by U.S. intelligence—is one KUSHNER never disclosed and still denies.
(15) MANAFORT lied about the security and crowd-size reasons for moving the event. The NPC was offering a bigger room with better security.
(16) Attorney General SESSIONS lied—repeatedly and under oath—about whether he was at the VIP event and whether he spoke to KISLYAK there.
(17) And now-President TRUMP lied, through his then-spox, about how long he was at the VIP event, his demeanor there, and who he spoke to.
(18) Today's WASHINGTON POST report appears to confirm that the Mayflower event was the result of a coordinated effort by TRUMP and aides.
(19) The Mayflower event was critical, as it was there that TRUMP offered PUTIN the "quid" in the "quid pro quo" of Trump-Russia collusion.
(20) With the VIP KISLYAK in the front row, Trump offered friendship and a "good deal" to Russia on what all present took to mean SANCTIONS.
(21) Trump didn't chastise Russia for anything, didn't make any demands of Russia, he simply promised friendship and a "good deal" to Putin.
(22) Trump's Mayflower speech was written with a lot of help from Richard BURT—who at the time was a lobbyist for a Russian oil-gas company.
(23) If you want more information on Richard BURT and the Mayflower speech, you can read this article by POLITICO: politico.com/story/2016/10/…
(24) Richard BURT has also served on the Senior Advisory Board of a major Russian bank—ALFA BANK—key to this story and the STEELE dossier.
(25) Another VIP "invited by CNI" and "without the knowledge of the Trump campaign" was Bud MCFARLANE, a major Russian pipeline advocate.
(26) MCFARLANE was part of the IRAN-CONTRA AFFAIR. And the feds investigated him for communicating secretly with U.S. geopolitical enemies.
(27) To understand how today's WASHINGTON POST story dramatically re-positions the Mayflower event—and others—we must go back to March 21st.
(28) On that date (March 21st, 2016), TRUMP met with the EDITORIAL BOARD of THE WASHINGTON POST. See the transcript: washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-par…
(29) The EDITORIAL BOARD caught TRUMP off-guard by asking him to announce, days earlier than he'd planned, his new Foreign Policy committee.
(30) Trump—not a details man—was, remarkably, able to name six committee members (a team headed by SESSIONS) off the cuff and immediately.
(31) The first man Trump mentioned from memory was Walid PHARES, who reportedly met secretly with KISLYAK at the RNC in Cleveland that July.
(32) The second man Trump mentioned from memory was Carter PAGE—who would make a campaign-sanctioned trip to Moscow shortly before the RNC.
(33) Before we go on, remember this team was headed by SESSIONS, who perjured himself before Congress multiple times about KISLYAK meetings.
(34) The third man Trump mentioned from memory was George PAPADOPOULOS, the subject of today's major breaking news in THE WASHINGTON POST.
(35) The three other members of the Foreign Policy committee seemed to be connected to—and advising on—the military side of foreign policy.
(36) It was bizarre for PAPADOPOULOS to be on the committee, given his limited experience and the fact that he'd graduated college in 2009.
(37) Given today's reporting by THE WASHINGTON POST, we can now say that within 72 hours it became clear why PAPADOPOULOS was on the team.
(38) By March 24—hours after his announcement as a foreign policy team member—PAPADOPOULOS began to send emails about his "Russia contacts."
(39) PAPADOPOULOS sent his Russia emails to seven top campaign officials, including (it's readily presumed) MANAFORT, KUSHNER, and SESSIONS.
(40) MANAFORT had just joined the campaign as a very, very, very curiously "unpaid" Campaign Chairman. He became Campaign Manager in April.
(41) The contacts PAPADOPOULOS had were with Russian leadership or those able to deliver meetings with Russian leadership, per PAPADOPOULOS.
(42) We know for certain MANAFORT, who set up the Mayflower event four weeks later, saw these emails. So did Sam CLOVIS—who's also key here.
(42) It was CLOVIS who recruited Carter PAGE to the foreign policy team. PAGE had previously been investigated by the feds for Russia ties.
(43) Based on today's report by THE WASHINGTON POST, it's clear another email recipient was Corey LEWANDOWSKI, Trump's then-Campaign Chair.
(44) Less than 90 days after the first Russia note from PAPADOPOULOS, LEWANDOWSKI would green-light Carter PAGE traveling to Moscow pre-RNC.
(45) According to the STEELE dossier, during his trip to Moscow PAGE met with Igor SECHIN, the CEO of ROSNEFT, to discuss U.S. sanctions.
(46) Sam CLOVIS—just nominated by Trump to a major administration position he's not at all qualified for—gave PAPADOPOULOS an odd response.
(47) Though THE LOGAN ACT and U.S. SANCTIONS make many private-citizen meetups with "Russian leadership" illegal, CLOVIS didn't rule it out.
(48) CLOVIS merely suggested the Trump campaign "sit with our NATO allies" before any such meeting. We don't yet know what he meant by that.
(49) He may have meant he wanted to chat (in Spring 2016) with Trump supporters from NATO countries, or he may have meant post-inauguration.
(50) His email to PAPADOPOULOS—which begins, "We thought we probably should..."—suggests he'd been discussing Russian meetings pre-emails.
(51) One of the military—non-oilman or Russia-tied—team members, ADMIRAL KUBIC, unambiguously observes that such meetings could be illegal.
(52) This strongly suggests MANAFORT and KUSHNER had been clearly advised not to hold private meets with Russians well before June 9, 2016.
(53) It also means that within just a couple weeks of this March 24 email from PAPADOPOULOS, KUSHNER was ignoring KUBIC and calling KISLYAK.
(54) It also suggests the "What did KUSHNER know about how to act and when did he learn it?" calendar must be moved up by around ten months.
(55) Clearly, nothing said by MANAFORT, CLOVIS, or KUBIC in any sense was aimed at getting PAPADOPOULOS to stop talking to Russian contacts.
(56) We know this because PAPADOPOULOS not only didn't stop but didn't even slow down his emailing of top brass to discuss Russian meetings.
(57) Indeed, PAPADOPOULOS sent his most shocking Russia email just after the Mayflower speech, saying "Putin wants to host the Trump team."
(58) Let me reiterate—on April 27, the same day Trump offered a "quid" to KISLYAK, PAPADOPOULOS got word PUTIN wanted TRUMP AIDES in Moscow.
(59) Now-AG SESSIONS would have received this notice that the Mayflower Speech had had its intended effect of gaining the notice of PUTIN.
(60) This confirms a) Trump's purpose in getting KISLYAK to the Mayflower, and b) that SESSIONS in no way "forgot" meeting KISLYAK April 27.
(61) LEWANDOWSKI also got the April 27 PAPADOPOULOS email. When he green-lit PAGE's Moscow trip he knew PUTIN had invited Trump aides there.
(62) PAGE has since conceded it's "possible he was in a meeting" with ROSNEFT CEO Igor Sechin in Moscow," opining he "never shook his hand."
(63) Everything here is *consistent* with the STEELE dossier—which Trump is obsessed with and right-wing media desperately try to discredit.
(64) Just a week—one week—after a foreign policy speech intended to offer Russia a "good deal," Russia's government invited Trump to Moscow.
(65) THE WASHINGTON POST says the May 4th invitation came from Ivan Timofeev, a top official with the Russian International Affairs Council.
(66) One of the major government partners of the RIAC is the "Russian Institute for Strategic Studies," then headed by Leonid Reshetnikov.
(67) As REUTERS notes, the spy-linked RISS is key, as it developed the Russian election-meddling campaign for PUTIN. reuters.com/article/us-usa…
(68) RISS's Chief hailed PAGE's pre-RNC trip to Moscow, noting no meetings with top officials were *scheduled*, but they *might well occur*.
(69) So PAGE's July 2016 Moscow trip—while he was on Trump's Foreign Policy team and "may have been in a room with SECHIN"—was not innocent.
(70) Per THE WASHINGTON POST, we now know PAGE knew BEFORE going to Moscow that PUTIN and other Russian leaders wanted to meet a Trump aide.
(71) And when Trump's campaign allowed PAGE to go to Moscow, they too knew that PUTIN and other Russian leaders wanted to meet a Trump aide.
(72) When SESSIONS, GORDON, and PHARES met with KISLYAK at the RNC, they knew PUTIN wanted ongoing negotiation and communication with TRUMP.
(73) When MANAFORT and GORDON lied on national TV about those meetings, they knew PUTIN was using KISLYAK to create a backchannel to TRUMP.
(74) And when KUSHNER was discussing a TRUMP-PUTIN backchannel with KISLYAK in December 2016, he'd known for 9 MONTHS that PUTIN wanted it.
(75) But let's go back to May 4. On that date, CLOVIS said that for a Russia meetup to happen the campaign needed to "mitigate" some issues.
(76) CLOVIS (per THE WASHINGTON POST): "There are legal issues we need to mitigate, meeting with foreign officials as a private citizen."
(77) So in a week—one week—all CLOVIS' "NATO" objections were *gone*. Who had he spoken to in that week? Was it then-candidate Donald TRUMP?
(78) We don't know. But we know that CLOVIS, by May 4, was *willing for a Russian meeting to happen* if some "mitigation" could be arranged.
(79) So what did CLOVIS mean? Did he mean *only* a "private citizen" could conduct such a meeting, or *only* a private citizen could *not*?
(80) Certainly, we know that the Trump campaign emphasized, repeatedly, that PAGE was going to Moscow as a "private citizen." (Their words.)
(81) This creates a catch-22 for TRUMP—if only private citizens can meet with Russian leadership, his aides concede PAGE was clear to do so.
(82) But if CLOVIS meant only private citizens *couldn't* meet with the Russians, he's saying ANYONE *in the campaign* was *clear* to do so.
(83) Understand PAPADOPOULOS wasn't just himself insistent—he said "Russia" was, too. "Russia has been eager for some time," he wrote May 4.
(84) So what was MANAFORT's response on May 4? MANAFORT, who was Campaign Manager, lived in Trump's building, and who spoke with him hourly?
(85) MANAFORT only had ONE issue with the campaign's furiously discussed plan to meet with "Russian leaders": that Trump not do it himself.
(86) This is what we'd call "consciousness of guilt." MANAFORT *knew* that the meetings were wrong and TRUMP needed "plausible deniability."
(87) Guess which meeting with "Russian leadership" offered "plausible deniability" for everyone? PAGE going to Moscow to deliver a lecture.
(88) MANAFORT's instructions met with an odd response from Rick GATES, who said he'd make the issue one of "non-importance" in the campaign.
(89) In campaign parlance, that didn't mean a meet with the Russians wouldn't happen, but that *all top brass would be left off the emails*.
(90) So now MANAFORT is ensuring he and other top brass won't get more emails on this topic. But then he *went to a meeting himself June 9*.
(91) MANAFORT's attorneys already say—insanely—MANAFORT's instructions show he didn't want to be involved. Then why WAS he—just weeks later?
(92) So MANAFORT used email to carefully set up plausible deniability for Trump and the brass while *actually* becoming far *more* involved.
(92) Indeed, MANAFORT's attorneys are claiming that MANAFORT's emails constituted an attempt to "reject outright" Russian overtures. Uh, NO.
(93) Now let's return to the PUTIN invitation itself, which was delivered by the RIAC, headed by *Igor IVANOV*, Sergey LAVROV's predecessor.
(94) RIAC has a board that oversees key RIAC initiatives—like inviting a U.S. presidential candidate to come to Moscow to meet with PUTIN.
(95) (In case you were wondering, no such invitation—indeed, to be clear, no invitation of ANY kind—was delivered to the Clinton campaign.)
(96) Who else is on the RIAC board besides IVANOV? How about the Chairman of ALFA BANK—an associate of Mayflower speechwriter Richard BURT?
(97) So the man who helped write the Mayflower speech is teammates with the man who invited TRUMP to meet PUTIN on the BASIS of that speech.
(98) So: BURT's speech is delivered on April 27 by TRUMP—and *hours later* an invitation to meet PUTIN comes from a BURT business colleague.
(99) This report from THE WASHINGTON POST changes *everything*, as it contextualizes all Trump-Russia timeline events in Spring/Summer 2016.
(100) Hopefully this thread helps establish just how *many* Trump campaign lies were exposed today. I hope you'll RETWEET this thread. {end}
(PS) Goes without saying but I'll say it anyway: within a month of Putin indicating he wanted a meeting, his agents got one--at TRUMP TOWER.
(PS2) Note the major Trump-Putin intermediaries--per the emailed plan--in fact ended up being "private citizens": Don; Goldstone; Agalarov.
(PS3) Per the email plan, KUSHNER and MANAFORT managed to show up at a secret Russia meeting at TRUMP HQ without sending inculpatory emails.
(PS4) So at the June 9 meeting, MANAFORT *knew* he was at a follow-up to PUTIN's interest in TRUMP's Mayflower speech and "good deal" offer.
(PS5) MANAFORT *ran* the June 9 meeting, and if he was on his phone, it was only so TRUMP could hear what was being said--WITHOUT attending.
(PS6) (Don couldn't/wouldn't run a large international meeting when he wasn't formally on campaign staff and Manafort was Campaign Manager.)
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