Meet Trump's Ukraine Puppetmasters: Putin, Viktor Orbán, And Dipsh*t Rudy Giuliani!
Today, Bill Taylor, the chargé d'affaires from the US Embassy in Ukraine, is testifying before Congress about his knowledge of the Ukrainium One scandal propagated by Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani to bolster Trump's re-election bid. You remember old Bill! He's the career guy in the quid pro quo-oooolyshit! State Department text messages who kept horning in like some kind of law-abiding public servant to say I THINK IT'S PRETTY FUCKING BATSHIT TO CONDITION MILITARY AID ON WHETHER UKRAINE MANUFACTURES ALLEGATIONS AGAINST JOE BIDEN AND FAKES EVIDENCE ON 2016 ELECTION INTERFERENCE IN ORDER TO HELP DONALD TRUMP AND RUSSIA IN THE 2020 ELECTION. (He wasn't all caps-y like that, but that's the treason paraphrase what he said. He called it a "nightmare.")
Either we'll get a bunch of leaks from that, or Congress will go radio silent, which means what he's saying is bad. We are guessing it will be the latter, but here's a thing while we wait.
New: Per source in the room, Bill Taylor’s opening statement was 15 pages long and prompted “a lot of sighs and gasps.”— Andrew Desiderio (@Andrew Desiderio)1571761706.0
But the Washington Post and the New York Times have new reporting on what State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent said to Congress last week. We had already learned that he was warning State officials as far back as March that Rudy Giuliani was leading a disinformation campaign against then-ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and the Bidens. Now we learn that he had some pretty serious information to share about who else was filling Trump's head with pubic lice and conspiracy theories about Ukraine. Surprise, it's those authoritarian dictators Trump loves so much!
Specifically, Hungary's Viktor Orbán and Russia's you-know-who:
Trump's conversations with Putin, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and others reinforced his perception of Ukraine as a hopelessly corrupt country — one that Trump now also appears to believe sought to undermine him in the 2016 U.S. election, the officials said. [...]
The role played by Putin and Orban, a hard-right leader who has often allied himself with the Kremlin's positions, was described in closed-door testimony last week by George Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of state, before House impeachment investigators, U.S. officials said.
As the Post explains, it's not that Orbán was like, "Hey, get fake oppo on Biden from Ukraine" or Putin said, "NO COLLUSION! NO COLLUSION! Anyway, the DNC server is buried in the backyard in Ukraine." It's just that they did a number on the dipshit's brain, encouraging him to see Ukraine the way they see Ukraine, which is easy to do, because Donald Trump is an absolute moron who succumbs easily to peer pressure from dictators. However, the Post quotes "US officials" who really want us to understand that Trump's Ukraine crime spree was mostly "directly driven by Trump's own impulses and Kyiv conspiracy theories promoted by his attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani." We buy that, sort of.
Still, though, that Putin phone call:
Trump turned to Putin for guidance on the new leader of Ukraine within days of [Volodymyr] Zelensky's election. In a May 3 call, Trump asked Putin about his impressions of Zelensky, according to a Western official familiar with the conversation. Putin said that he had not yet spoken with Zelensky but derided him as a comedian with ties to an oligarch despised by the Kremlin.
And then the Orbán meeting, which happened on May 13:
The May visit from Orban began with an hour-long meeting between Trump and the Hungarian leader with no note-takers, officials said. Bolton and the Hungarian foreign minister joined afterward.
Neat, a secret conversation with a dictator beloved of Putin and despised by our allies! Love it!
Senior U.S. diplomats said they had limited insight into the private conversation between Trump and Orban, let alone how Trump's views of Ukraine have formed. But one official familiar with the encounter said that it became "clear that the meeting with Orban had solidified" Trump's pessimistic view about Kyiv and Zelensky.
According to a former White House official quoted by the Post, nobody wanted Trump to have that Orbán meeting. "We were against it because [we] knew there was a good chance that Trump and Orban would bond and get along." Refer to what we just said about Trump being an absolute moron who will do anything to get in with those he perceives as the cool kids, by which we mean authoritarian dictator types.
But it ended up happening because certain adults had left the room, like then-chief of staff John Kelly and then-Defense secretary Jim Mattis. John Bolton, then the national security advisor, didn't want Trump meeting with Orbán, and former Trump Russia advisor Fiona Hill didn't either, but guess who works at the White House now, a few months later? Not those people!
But MICK MULVANEY wanted Orbán to come over for a playdate! Apparently Mulvaney is just in steamy romantic love (allegedly!) with Orbán and gets tingly over his authoritarian tendencies! Also he thinks Orbán is a great champion of Catholics, or something. Also, Trump's ambassador to Hungary, a jewelry salesman named David Cornstein, wanted it to happen, and told The Atlantic this year about how jealous Trump is of Orbán's (authoritarian dictator) "situation."
Everybody Donald Trump knows is such fucking garbage.
And now follow the timeline!
Trump and Putin talked on the ringy dingy May 3, Orbán came to the White House May 13, and of course at this point Rudy Giuliani's "Let's use Ukraine for our crime spree!" plan was in full flower, having already claimed the job of respected ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.
And then what happened? Help us, Washington Post official Ukraine timeline that you need to bookmark:
May 13: Same day as the Orbán visit, low-rent Roy Cohn "Bill Barr" announces his bullshit investigate-the-investigators probe into what REALLY happened in 2016.
May 14: Trump blocks Mike Pence from going to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's inauguration, decides to send Governor Goodhair Rick Perry instead. (After all, Perry had some shit cookin' in Ukraine too.) That's about when Trump started saying he was going to withhold a White House visit from Zelenskiy, to see if Zelenskiy would play ball with Trump's crime sprees, according to the whistleblower report.
May 23: As the New York Times reports, on this day, 10 days after the Orbán White House meeting, Trump met with the dinguses and dickwads who had just come back from Zelenskiy's inauguration, who told him Zelenskiy was great, and let's be nice to Ukraine and shit. But Trump said:
But Mr. Trump expressed deep doubt, saying that Ukrainians were "terrible people" who "tried to take me down" during the 2016 presidential election.
Wonder where he got that dumbass idea! From a very weird combination of Putin, Orbán and Rudy Giuliani, obviously. Indeed, that appears to have been George Kent's testimony, that those three assholes were the ones who were teaching Trump some "alternative facts," and it worked, because refer once again to how Trump is an absolute moron.
We've wondered aloud many times why Trump spouts Kremlin revisionist history about how really Putin probably was right to invade Ukraine and seize Crimea, because of how they all speak Russian. We don't really wonder anymore where President Russian Asset gets his "intel."
Sometime between then and July: The bright idea is hatched to hold up millions in military aid Congress had already appropriated for Ukraine, which Mick Mulvaney said last week they did because they wanted Ukraine to cooperate with Bill Barr's bullshit investigation, and to investigate Trump's dumbfucking belief that the hacked DNC server was stolen and smuggled to Ukraine to hide the evidence of the REAL rigging, in order to bolster Trump's fantastical conspiracy theory that Russia didn't do it. Mulvaney of course "walked that back," we guess because he wasn't supposed to confess that crime.
July 25: CRIME CALL! CRIME CALL! CRIIIIIIIMME CALLLLLLL!
All of this is just super great. Have we mentioned that the president of the United States is an absolute moron lately?
Can't wait to hear what kinda fucked up details Bill Taylor adds to the story!
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