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Donald Trump's Russian Buddies Probably So Excited About Trump's First Classified Intelligence Briefing!
If you are Russia, you probably have been getting really tired of waiting for Hillary Clinton to accidentally reply to your fake emails from "notrussiaLOL@yahoo.com" with all the US nuclear codes and secrets and whatnot. (Unless Russia hacked the NSA and already has them LOLOL!) So it must be exciting for the Kremlin that actual Republican nominee Donald Trump is getting his first intelligence briefing Wednesday (even though Trump says he doesn't trust US intelligence agencies because they are weak and sad).
But why would this be exciting for Russia? Well duh, because Trump loves Vladimir Putin so very much! Also, too, Trump has this one pal going to the briefing with him who has some real fucked up ties to Russia:
The briefing by intelligence officials will take place at FBI offices in New York, the source said. The source also said Trump is expected to bring with him New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a former federal prosecutor; and the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. Both Christie and Flynn have been advising Trump's campaign. Flynn's office told NPR on Monday they were not aware of any meeting.
Huh, we wonder why Flynn's office would say that! If Christie's office denied the meeting, we'd just assume the calendar was buried under a mountain of snacky cake wrappers and they forgot. But why would Michael Flynn's office say that, hmmmm? Let's learn more about this former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, who is now an analyst for RT, which used to technically stand for "Russia Today," and still basically stands for that:
Flynn ... has attracted attention since he was pushed out of government in 2014 for criticisms of what he says is the Obama administration’s failure to confront “radical Islam,” his role as an analyst on the Russian network RT, and his embrace of Trump.
ABC News reported on Tuesday that Flynn ... would accompany Trump to his first top-secret briefing, heightening critics’ fears that the Trump camp would gain access to secrets it could potentially leak to contacts in the Kremlin.
We learned you about Flynn a few months back, and then as now, HE SEEMS NICE. Does he love Vladimir Putin just like his pal Trump does? Maybe! Back in December, Flynn and Putin sat next to each other at RT's tenth anniversary dinner (along with Jill Stein)! Flynn says he didn't pick that seat, but that he learned from the experience that Russia doesn't have any respect for current American leadership. What a coincidence, because Michael Flynn doesn't have any respect for current American leadership! Here's what a Pentagon person told Michael Crowley of Politico about Flynn's presence at that dinner:
At a moment of semi-hostility between the U.S. and Russia, the presence of such an important figure at Putin’s table startled current and former members of the Obama administration. “It was extremely odd that he showed up in a tuxedo to the Russian government propaganda arm’s party,” one former Pentagon official told me.
Maybe when Donald Trump is president, they won't have to go through the formalities of "dinner" and can just have sleepovers, all three of them.
But is it really THAT big a deal for Flynn to be an analyst for RT? Is RT really the Russian propaganda machine people say it is? Flynn is all, "PFFFFFT what is even the difference between a state-run network like RT and a liberal media institution like CNN?" In fact, he said precisely those words to Dana Priest of the Washington Post (they didn't transcribe the PFFFFFFFT because WaPo doesn't know how to spell hard words like that):
FLYNN: I appear on Al Jazeera, Sky News Arabia, RT. I don’t get paid a dime. I have no media contracts. … [I am interviewed] on CNN, Fox …
PRIEST: Why would you go on RT, they’re state run?
FLYNN: Well, what’s CNN?
PRIEST: Well, it’s not run by the state. You’re rolling your eyes.
FLYNN: Well, what’s MSNBC? I mean, come on … what’s Al Jazeera? What’s Sky News Arabia?
Yeah, what even ARE those networks? To answer the dippy dumbshit's question, CNN and MSNBC are not state-run, even if you think they just are mouthpieces for Obummer. Al Jazeera and Sky News Arabia are semi-state-run, with money and influence coming from the ruling families of Qatar and Abu Dhabi, respectively.
Others say RT really is Putin's mouthpiece, though. Back to Michael Crowley at Politico and his story of that sexxxy 10th anniversary dinner for RT:
In his remarks ... Putin showed obvious pride in the network ... "Your greatest strength is presenting information freely and independently,” Putin told the crowd. ... “We do not control you. … and we do not meddle,” Putin said. [...]
But Putin’s comments are at odds with how the network operates in practice, according to interviews with people who closely watch or have worked at RT, and my own hours of monitoring the network and its website. One former RT staffer in Washington told me that she left her job, along with others who have also spoken to the media, after seeing the network’s Moscow-based editors instruct journalists to make their coverage hew to the Moscow-approved political line. Such concerns erupted into full view a couple years ago when Russia marched into neighboring Ukraine to annex the Crimean Peninsula, leading a 28-year-old RT presenter named Liz Wahl to quit on-air, declaring, “I cannot be a part of a network funded by the Russian government that whitewashes the actions of Putin.”
That time Liz Wahl quit on air? Awesome.
Maybe RT is a legitimate news network. Maybe it is Putin's personal plaything. We report, you decide, but it's probably the second thing.
So, how might Flynn influence Trump's foreign policy if Trump were president? Would it be the sort of foreign policy that tickles Putin in his special place? Well, to cite one good example, remember when Donald Trump said this?
It’s like NATO. Why do three-quarters of NATO [countries] get away with not paying anything? They have to pay their bills. We’ve done a lot, for the better part of half a century, for these countries.
Haha, fooled you, that wasn't Donald Trump, that was Michael Flynn talking to WaPo!
Anyway, we don't know if Michael Flynn is an actual anti-American traitor who fantasizes about teasing Vladimir Putin's nipples all the time. He might be! But it sure does seem like he's quite cozy with some people who really, for real, do not have America's best interests at heart, and we are talking about more than just his BFF-hood with Donald Trump.
The good news is that Paul Manafort, the Trump campaign chairman who also seems to have gross-bad ties with Russia, won't be at the security briefing Wednesday. On the other hand, Flynn could always stuff state secrets in Manafort's bottom, so Manafort could leak them to whomever in Russia, if that is a thing he does, not that we are saying it is.
The gooder news is that Trump's briefing probably won't be all that detailed anyway. Michael Morell, former acting director of the CIA, said in an interview with the Cipher Brief that it probably will "be more of a tutorial, more of a first cut at the issues," because "Trump, most likely, will be starting at square one." In other, meaner words, he's saying that Trump is a dumbshit who doesn't know anything, and that his meeting will involve a lot of flash cards and pop-up atlases, like imagine if you were briefing Sarah Palin BEFORE she realized that thing she could see from her house was Russia.
So, have fun taking THAT top secret knowledge back to your handlers in the Kremlin, Michael Flynn, if you have handlers in the Kremlin, not that we are saying you do.