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What were we just saying the other day about NO COLLUSION, and about how every single time there's a news report what says the Russia investigations are over and NO COLLUSION, there are always news reports right at that very moment that, by their very existence, call the NO COLLUSION reports into question? This week, it was the story of GOP Senate Intelligence Committee chair Richard Burr saying the Senate's investigation is almost over and NO COLLUSION. Meanwhile, we learned Friday that Robert Mueller's investigators are zeroing in on a crucial meeting Paul Manafort had with his RUSSIAN SPY friend Konstantin Kilimnik on August 2, 2016, the events of which, according to Mueller prosecutor Andrew Weissmann, go to the "heart" of the Mueller investigation, which is conspiracy crimes between Trumpers and Russia to steal an election.

Indeed, as the Washington Post lays out, and as Wonkette has now laid out several times, the weeks at the end of July and the beginning of August 2016 are seeming more and more important in answering the question of just what the hell happened in that election, what the Russians and other bad foreign actors did, and who in Donald Trump's orbit gave them just the reacharound they needed to achieve climax.

Now we have another nugget of information that relates to that time period, buried in an excellent new longread from Adam Entous and Ronan Farrow at The New Yorker, about an Israeli company called Psy-Group, which you may have heard of before if you are an avid Trump-Russia scandal watcher. Created out of former Mossad and other Israeli intelligence types, the company tried to position itself at the forefront of manipulating public opinion (and, by extension, elections both very tiny and local and VERY BIGLY and national) through wicked smart use of social media, "covertly spreading messages to influence what people believed," as Entous and Farrow write. Indeed, they claimed they could shape reality in voters' perceptions, and apparently they could even do honeytrap stuff and blackmail stuff and hacking stuff, because what kind of self-respecting private spy agency doesn't do that shit?

You can read it all when you have 72 hours of free time, because it is fascinating, but the part we're concerned with has to do with Joel Zamel, the Australian-Israeli owner of Psy-Group who reportedly pitched Donald Dumbfuck Junior on a plan to bone the election for his daddy at Trump Tower August 3, 2016, a day after Manafort's meeting with Kiliminik, and just hours after Manafort's former boss Oleg Deripaska's plane landed in Newark. (Related? No idea. Let us get our STRINGBOARD!)


Psy-Group's larger ambition was to break into the U.S. election market. During the 2016 Presidential race, the company pitched members of Donald Trump's campaign team on its ability to influence the results. Psy-Group's owner, Joel Zamel, even asked Newt Gingrich, the former House Speaker, to offer Zamel's services to Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law.

That happened in the spring of 2016. Psy-Group at that point had been introduced to Trump campaign idiot/Paul Manafort's idiot Rick Gates, whom they also pitched on a plan to enfucken the election for Trump, but reportedly the Trump team rebuffed Psy-Group's advances. And as Entous and Farrow report, Joel Zamel also met Lebanese-American lobbyist George Nader around that time. Remember him? Guy who advised both the crown princes of Saudi Arabia (Mohammad bin Bonesaw, AKA "MBS") and Abu Dhabi (Mohammad bin Not Bonesaw, AKA "MBZ")? Guy who has been a Robert Mueller cooperating witness for about a hundred years now?

In June, 2016, Nader was attending an international economic forum in St. Petersburg, Russia, when Zamel approached him and requested a meeting. According to a representative for Nader, Zamel told Nader that he was trying to raise money for a social-media campaign in support of Trump; he thought that Nader's Gulf contacts might be interested in contributing financially. Nader listened to Zamel's pitch but didn't make any commitments, according to the Nader representative. (Zamel's representatives denied that he spoke to Nader in St. Petersburg about trying to help Trump.)

First of all, holy shit, did EVERYBODY somehow vaguely associated with Donald Trump go to the St. Petersburg Economic Forum to cavort with the Russians, or at least plan to go to St. Pete until they canceled the trip suddenly and quit negotiating on a Trump Tower Moscow project because maybe they got freaked out by something, MICHAEL COHEN?

OK, so June of 2016. Zamel's trying to pitch a thing about ratfucking the election for Trump, and he thinks maybe George Nader's Arab princes might be DTF with paying for it.

Fast forward to August 3, when suddenly Zamel and Nader both are in Trump Tower, Nader reportedly as a rep of MBS and MBZ, staring into the misshapen face of Donald Trump Jr. and pitching him on a social media plan to ratfuck the election for Daddy. The meeting was arranged by babyfaced Blackwater Sadist and Betsy DeVos's brother, Erik Prince. Oh yeah, and Stephen Miller was there for some reason. All reports about that meeting say Junior didn't take Zamel up on the pitch.

OR DID HE? We have always wondered if actually Zamel did end up doing some sort of ratfucking for the Trump campaign, and either everybody was lying about what happened at Trump Tower Meeting Part Deux, or maybe some kind of plan was hatched just after that. This brings us to the nugget in Entous's and Farrow's reporting that made us stop and say WHOA HEY WHOA HEY:

[A]ccording to [a] Nader representative, shortly after the election Zamel bragged to Nader that he had conducted a secret campaign that had been influential in Trump's victory. Zamel agreed to brief Nader on how the operation had worked. During that conversation, Zamel showed Nader several analytical reports, including one that described the role of avatars, bots, fake news, and unattributed Web sites in assisting Trump. Zamel told Nader, "Here's the work that we did to help get Trump elected," according to the Nader representative. Nader paid Zamel more than two million dollars, but never received copies of the reports, that person said.

HUH.

We knew Nader paid Zamel two million bucks after the election. We just didn't know exactly why. (We always assumed it was for dog-sitting!)

So, according to that quote just above, after the election, Zamel told Nader, whom he had known for months at that point, and with whom he met in Trump Tower with Junior and a couple other dickweasels in August 2016, that actually he had ended up doing secret ratfucking for Trump, and did Nader want to see how he did it? And Nader did! He wanted to see!

We see a few possibilities here. Maybe literally every participant in that August Trump Tower meeting is lying and a foreign manipulation scheme to steal the election was concocted right there in the presence of God and Donald Trump Jr.'s incorrect face. But maybe not! It's entirely possible nothing came of it, and that when Zamel met up with his friend Nader, he was just talking out his ass and trying to score business, to the point that he scammed Nader out of two million bucks. (Wouldn't be the first time that happened with people in Donald Trump's orbit.)

The third possibility -- unless all Ronan Farrow's reporting is just COMICALLY WRONG, silly Pulitzer-winning Ronan Farrow! -- is that Joel Zamel was not talking out his ass to his old pal George Nader, and maybe he did do something very secret and ratfucky for Trump.

(Not for nothing, but Entous and Farrow note that Psy-Group ran around Washington after Trump's unlikely victory doing a slideshow some Psy-Group people called "If we had done it." Which sounds ... kinda familiar LOLOL?)

Did we mention that George Nader has been a cooperating witness for approximately ONE METRIC SHIT-FUCK of months at this point? We should mention it again.

Should we note right now that one of Zamel's companies has worked in the past for Russian oligarchs Oleg Deripaska and Dmitry Rybolovlev, two of the most intriguing figures in the investigation into Trump-Russia 2016: The Enfuckening? Deripaska, of course, is known as Putin's favorite oligarch, and is Paul Manafort's old boss. Rybolovlev, the "fertilizer oligarch," is the guy who mysteriously bought Donald Trump's Florida mansion in 2008 for $100 million, after Trump had picked it up just recently in a fire sale for only about $40 million. He's also rumored to have flown Trump people around Europe on his private jet -- like A WEEK after the August Trump Tower meeting -- for reasons we just don't know.

A few weeks/months/years back, we wrote a super-interesting CONSPIRACY THEORY post about how in a very odd coincidence, Rybolovlev and Nader's two Arab princes ended up in an entirely different story, about the most expensive art purchase in history, where a previously lost da Vinci that might not even be a da Vinci sold for $450 million at auction. The seller? Dmitry Rybolovlev. The buyer? Mohammad Bone Saw. The other secret bidder who competed with MBS to get it up to that price? Mohammad bin Zayed al-Nayhan of Abu Dhabi.

We are just fucking spitballing here, but is it possible that somehow Psy-Group did a secret thing, bankrolled by the Kremlin through its true and faithful servant Dmitry Rybolovlev, who then got reimbursed later by George Nader's clients, who had been offering to pay for the Trump enfuckening in the first place?

Just. Curious.

Maybe the da Vinci thing has literally nothing to do with all this and it really is just a big coincidence that all these characters end up in so many stories together. Maybe those two Muslim princes have a competition going to see who can spend the most money on a picture of Jesus. YOU DON'T KNOW.

But by the way, guess who has been investigating weird money deposits in Psy-Group's Cypriot bank accounts? NO, GUESS!

Here are a few more #PsyGroupFacts, from our big da Vinci post:

  • Psy-Group officially teamed up with Cambridge Analytica, that other creepy ass company that did data work for the Trump campaign, not long after the election. Wonder what that's about!
  • One time in 2017, yachts owned by Dmitry Rybolovlev and Cambridge Analytica funder/GOP weirdo Robert Mercer were seen barebacking in the British Virgin Islands. Wonder that that's about! And have they never heard of safe sex?
  • Psy-Group up and quit being a company when Robert Mueller came a-knockin' in the spring of 2018. Cambridge Analytica closed its doors literally the same month. Wonder what that's about!

HUH.

Go read the whole New Yorker thing from Adam Entous and Ronan Farrow. It's GOOD. And while you're at it, read our whole da Vinci thing again, because even if it's just a crazy conspiracy theory, it's fuckin' fun. And then pick your jaw up off the floor, because ain't none of us know the final answers to any of this shit just yet.

[The New Yorker]

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the senior editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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