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WHAT UP, ROBERT MUELLER INVESTIGATION? Suddenly there is lots of news about it, which is weird because everybody was saying Mueller would all of a sudden STFU during election season, to protect the sanctity of an election in which Donald Trump the Useful Idiot Of Moscow is not even technically on the ballot.

As the nation turns its attention from the cranky butthole mouth of Brett Kavanaugh, who is now officially boofing with Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court (#NeverEverForget), a handful of stories have come out about what Vox notes are some of the more opaque narratives in the Trump-Russia scandal. There was news about Peter Smith, the weird Clinton hater who was trying to do his own ninja mission to get Hillary's hacked emails from Russia, after which he mysteriously killed himself; and there was news about that weird Trump Organization server that only connected with Alfa Bank in Moscow and the DeVos family's Spectrum Health in Michigan, the one the New York Times pooh-poohed from the outset but now admits was MAYBE KIND OF A STORY, DON'T YOU THINK? Anyway, computer scientists are still pretty sure there's a "there" there, we just don't know what it is yet. But maybe Robert Mueller does!

Taken together with everything else we know, we sure are getting a bigger picture of just how many people associated with the Trump campaign were looking for any skeevy and/or illegal way they could to help Russia manipulate voters to assist Donald Trump in barely stealing an election!


And now there is this thing about Rick Gates, Paul Manafort's guilty-ass apprentice, cavorting with an Israeli intelligence firm to fuckbang the Republican primary (and maybe the general election!) for Donald Trump. WAIT, DID YOU JUST SAY ISRAEL? Yes, we did! There's a whole other weird wang of the Russia investigation that seems to include Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and apparently Israel. This particular news is about an Israeli firm made up of former intel officials pitching Rick Gates to use fake Internet robot people to "sway 5,000 delegates" at the Republican convention, because Trump's people were worried Ted Cruz would kill JFK with his dad again try to take the GOP nomination from Trump. There were also proposals for firm to similarly ratfuck the election against Hillary Clinton. Gates and the company, Psy-Group, say they never ultimately worked together, but let's just assume that's #LIES for now.

The story is long and detailed, but let's start here for the basic gist:

A top Trump campaign official requested proposals in 2016 from an Israeli company to create fake online identities, to use social media manipulation and to gather intelligence to help defeat Republican primary race opponents and Hillary Clinton, according to interviews and copies of the proposals.

The Trump campaign's interest in the work began as Russians were escalating their effort to aid Donald J. Trump. Though the Israeli company's pitches were narrower than Moscow's interference campaign and appear unconnected, the documents show that a senior Trump aide saw the promise of a disruption effort to swing voters in Mr. Trump's favor.

OK. So the company, as we said, is called Psy-Group, and it is owned by an Australian-Israeli businessdude named Joel Zamel. He is connected to George Nader, who is a cooperating witness with the Mueller investigation, and who is an adviser to the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates. Nader is also connected to the weird Russian meeting former Blackwater sadist Erik Prince (brother of Betsy DeVos) had in the Seychelles, seemingly to establish a secret "back channel" with Russia just before Trump's inauguration, because that's just a normal thing for incoming American presidential administrations to do. (It's also super normal to lie to Congress about such meetings, like Prince did.) Nader is also tied in with that bizarre Michael Flynn grift to "recolonize" the Middle East, by stealing its resources and dividing the spoils between everybody on Donald Trump's Christmas card list, including all the Russians. So ... CONNECT THE DOTS, MORANS! Just kidding, we don't know WTF all these connections mean.

The New York Times points out that, while we don't know for sure if the Trump campaign ever officially worked with Psy-Group;, there is some evidence of NO COLLUSION, YOU ARE THE COLLUSION, citing a meeting in August 2016 with Donald Trump Jr. that was attended by Zamel and Nader and set up by Erik Prince. Totally normal, right? Just in case the obvious Russian collusion didn't work, it's smart to have a backup NO COLLUSION plan, we guess.

Oh yeah and also George Nader Venmo-ed Joel Zamel two million dollars just after the inauguration, but that could also be totally normal. Maybe Zamel took care of Nader's dogs while he was out of town or something, and the price of that was two million dollars.

Dig into the NYT piece for more sexxxy details, about how Gates hooked up with Psy-Group because of George Birnbaum, a GOP consultant dude who is connected to the Israelis, and who is described as the "protégé of Arthur J. Finkelstein, the legendary Republican political operative," who is also legendary for his reclusive nature. He was a New York buddy of Roy Cohn's and also of Donald Trump's, so, you know, he's obviously a nice guy. Finkelstein was behind the election success of the creepy authoritarian leader of Hungary, Viktor Orbán, who is notably up Vladimir Putin's ass, which reminds us that there is one independent journalist who has been pretty sure that this entire Trump-Russia road leads back to Finkelstein and Hungary for quite a while now. We've never been sure how much to trust that theory, but we're just letting you know it exists.

Oh yeah, did we mention Finkelstein is also connected to Paul Manafort, in that he seems to have hooked Manafort up with all these Russian oligarchs a long while back? Well, we're mentioning it now!

Wanna read an article from 1996 about how a lot of this very same circle of people tried to dirty trick Bob Dole into office in order to beat a Clinton, including Manafort and Tony Fabrizio, who went on to become the lead pollster for the Trump campaign? You can do that!

Please note as you absorb these facts that both Rick Gates and Paul Manafort are now cooperating witnesses in the Mueller investigation, so the timing of our learning about this whole Psy-Group rigamarole might be significant, right? Oh, and Psy-Group, according to NYT, is now "in liquidation" like a common Cambridge Analytica, isn't that so weird?

Well! Now that we've thrown a bunch of facts at your faces and given you some links to rabbit-hole your way through without providing any analysis whatsoever, we're going to slip out of this blog post and leave you to figure it out for yourselves, GOODBYE NOW!

[New York Times]

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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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There was a time, a few months ago, when everyone had written off Elizabeth Warren. Well, not me, because I am a fabulous genius, but lots of other people. The "very reasonable" talking heads on all the various news channels, the kind of people who used to say things like "Oh, we'd like universal health care too, but 'the people' will never go for it!" but who definitely did not actually want universal health care for any reason, and even the Trump campaign. Though, to be fair, the Trump campaign didn't think Trump had much of a chance of winning in 2016 either.

But now, as more and more people hear her speak, hear her plans, hear what she wants to do and how she wants to do it... Elizabeth Warren is rising up in the polls. She's a contender. In the most recent Quinnipiac poll, she was closing in on Sanders for second place nationally, and in California and Nevada polls, she's in second place.

And now, according to a report from Politico, the Trump campaign is now scrambling and panicking and... stalking her?

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