Friday, March 31, 2017

Vanity Fair dives deep into the mindset of the former Mi-6 agent who compiled that infamous Russian dossier.

Okay before I start this I just want to encourage all of you read this entire article yourselves, as it is absolutely loaded with important details.

Having said that let me offer a few of what I thought of as perhaps the most important takeaways.

On Christopher Steele's initial surprise: 

“It started off as a fairly general inquiry,” Steele would recall in an anonymous interview with Mother Jones, his identity at the time still a carefully guarded secret. But over the next seven incredible months, as the retired spy hunted about in an old adversary’s territory, he found himself following a trail marked by, as he then put it, “hair-raising” concerns. The allegations of financial, cyber, and sexual shenanigans would lead to a chilling destination: the Kremlin had not only, he’d boldly assert in his report, “been cultivating, supporting, and assisting” Donald Trump for years but also had compromised the tycoon “sufficiently to be able to blackmail him.”

Steele had at least five sources, A, B, C, D, and E.

"A" was “a senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure.”

"B" a "former top level intelligence officer still active in the Kremlin.”

"D" was a "close associate of Trump who had organized and managed his recent trips to Moscow."

"E" an "ethnic Russian” and “close associate of Republican US presidential candidate Donald Trump.” 

And finally "F" who "was a female staffer” at the Moscow Ritz-Carlton hotel, who was co-opted into the network by an Orbis “ethnic Russian operative”  

What he learned: These two sources told quite a lurid story, the now infamous “golden showers” allegation, which, according to the dossier, was corroborated by others in his alphabet list of assets. It was an evening’s entertainment, Steele, the old Russian hand, must have suspected, that had to have been produced by the ever helpful F.S.B. And since it was typical of Moscow Center’s handwriting to have the suite wired up for sound and video (the hotel’s Web site, with unintentional irony, boasts of its “cutting edge technological amenities”), Steele apparently began to suspect that locked in a Kremlin safe was a hell of a video, as well as photographs. 

Steele’s growing file must have left his mind cluttered with new doubts, new suspicions. And now, as he continued his chase, a sense of alarm hovered about the former spy. If Steele’s sources were right, Putin had up his sleeve kompromat—Moscow Center’s gleeful word for compromising material—that would make the Access Hollywood exchange between Trump and Billy Bush seem, as Trump insisted, as banal as “locker-room talk.” Steele could only imagine how and when the Russians might try to use it.

What he initially did with that information:

In the end, Steele found the rationale that is every whistle-blower’s sustaining philosophy: the greater good trumps all other concerns. And so, even while he kept working his sources in the field and continued to shoot new memos to Simpson, he settled on a plan of covert action. 

The F.B.I.’s Eurasian Joint Organized Crime Squad—“Move Over, Mafia,” the bureau’s P.R. machine crowed after the unit had been created—was a particularly gung-ho team with whom Steele had done some heady things in the past. And in the course of their successful collaboration, the hard-driving F.B.I. agents and the former frontline spy evolved into a chummy mutual-admiration society. 

It was only natural, then, that when he began mulling whom to turn to, Steele thought about his tough-minded friends on the Eurasian squad. And fortuitously, he discovered, as his scheme took on a solid operational commitment, that one of the agents was now assigned to the bureau office in Rome. By early August, a copy of his first two memos were shared with the F.B.I.’s man in Rome.

To his dismay the FBI did nothing with the information, and that caused Steele to panic as he realized the enormity of what he had discovered.

So he did what was considered unthinkable for a former spy: 

As his frustration grew, the mysterious trickle from WikiLeaks of the Democratic National Committee’s and John Podesta’s purloined e-mails were continuing in a deliberate, steadily ominous flow. He had little doubt the Kremlin was behind the hacking, and he had shared his evidence with the F.B.I., but as best he could tell, the bureau was focusing on solving the legalistic national-security puzzle surrounding Hillary Clinton’s e-mails. With so much hanging in the balance—the potential president of the United States possibly being under Russia’s thumb—why weren’t the authorities more concerned? He decided it was time for desperate measures. 

“Someone like me stays in the shadows,” Steele would say, as if apologizing for what he did next. It was an action that went against all his training, all his professional instincts. Spies, after all, keep secrets; they don’t disclose them. And now that the F.B.I. had apparently let him down, there was another restraint tugging on his resolve: he didn’t know whom he could trust. It was as if he were back operating in the long shadow of the Kremlin, living by what the professionals call “Moscow Rules,” where security and vigilance are constant occupational obsessions. But when he considered what was at stake, he knew he had no choice. With Simpson now on board, in effect, as co-conspirator and a shrewd facilitator, Steele met with a reporter.

That reporter was David Corn of Mother Jones.  (Here is that article.)

As I said you really need to read the entire Vanity Fair article.

However when you do feel free to come back here to discuss it in our comments section. 


  1. Anonymous7:25 PM

    CBS News:
    These days, the last thing you want is to be known as a Friend of Trump. He’sdoing great — he’s president, for heaven’s sake. His kids are getting jobs, his hotels are getting promoted 24/7. He goes golfing more than your average Palm Beach retiree. Meanwhile, the people he hangs around with are watching their reputations crumble into smithereens.

    1. Anonymous1:12 AM

      Why would they enable such a pos floating in the swamp on other peoples money that he stole? Old ugly slob pepe the frog face aint special. He is the average nasty dirty crook that has not been stopped. Yet. But he is now. And he wont like it. His best bet is to resign, confess, do his time, pay his debts and beg for forgiveness.

  2. Anonymous9:09 PM

    Should be noted POTUS' attitude is more "you don't deserve me" than "need to hide." This is the time to #resist the loudest.

    1. Anonymous1:15 AM

      Yep. The weather is beautiful for some marching and resisting and screaming and protesting and speaking up and standing up and send a GLOBAL MESSAGE TO THE WORLD. Dictators Suck and were coming for you.

  3. Anonymous9:17 PM

    FBI now pursuing Donald Trump campaign and Russia for targeting Hillary Clinton during primary season

    Timeline now aligns with arrival of Carter Page on Trump campaign staff

    Declassified documents now reveal that the FBI is going all the way back to March of 2016 to study the role which Trump campaign advisers played in the earliest known Russian attempts at hacking Hillary Clinton. It wasn’t until a couple months later, when Russia began targeting the Democratic National Committee instead, that the effort bore more fruit. But the March timeframe aligns with another key Trump-Russia event.

    ... it was in March 2016 when Jeff Sessions first introduced Carter Page to Donald Trump. Page had previously spent years working in Moscow, and it’s still not clear why he was brought into the campaign. Page then went on to meet with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the Republican Convention in the summer of 2016, and then he gave a pro-Russia speech in Moscow in the fall, before departing the campaign due to controversy over his Russia connections. Sessions also went on to meet with the Russian Ambassador and then lie about it under oath.

    Adam Schiff views the Russia evidence that Devin Nunes saw, then slams Donald Trump for fiasco

    The Trump-Nunes stunt continues to backfire

    Donald Trump holds Executive Order signing ceremony, leaves without signing it

    Trump may be just a bit distracted by his Russia scandal

    1. It's Bill "the troll" Palmer again with his click bait.

      Don't kill any more kittens!

    2. Anonymous1:19 AM

      mia who is bill "the troll" palmer? you are here so much I know you know? You seem very connected with so much knowledge.

    3. Anonymous10:08 AM

      Hi Bill, still looking to build up your fake journalism site then?

  4. Anonymous9:23 PM

    Wealthy White House Staffers’ Finances Detailed In New Disclosures

    Trump on Friday released details of the personal finances of his staffers late on Friday, including his son-in-law Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka, confirming that he has surrounded himself with some very affluent advisers.

    White House ethics officials said the legally required disclosure documents provided a snapshot of assets and positions held by personnel when they first entered their new jobs at the White House, and before they started selling stocks and other assets that could pose conflicts of interest.

    The White House disclosed Gary Cohn, former Goldman Sachs president and now head of the White House National Economic Council, had assets worth at least $230 million, but possibly much more. Little information was given on several of his assets and only indicated they were worth more than $1 million.

    Cohn had income ranging from $48 million to nearly $77 million in the year preceding his engagement in the White House, though it could be much higher.

    Jared Kushner’s 54-page report – which included most of the assets and income of his wife Ivanka Trump - included scores of assets worth six- and seven-figures.

    The New York Times reported that the couple’s real estate and investment empire was worth as much as $741 million. Kushner held executive positions with 266 LLCs, corporations, groups and non-profits, which he has resigned from since January.

    Democratic lawmakers have expressed concern about potential conflicts of interest for Kushner, who like Trump is a New York real estate developer.

    Trump this week officially added his daughter Ivanka to his staff. She had a fashion business and was involved in her father’s global real estate development business, but stepped aside from managing the businesses when her father entered the White House.

    Senior adviser Steve Bannon’s pre-White House bank accounts, real estate and other holdings were valued at between $3.3 million and $12.6 million.

    White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus had assets of between $604,000 and $1.16 million and income of $1.42 million. About $566,000 of his income came from the Republican National Committee and the rest from his partnership in a Milwaukee law firm.

    Neither Trump nor Vice President Mike Pence’s assets were included in the documents.

    1. Anonymous11:27 PM

      Makes one wonder why in the Earth did he finance $1 million dollars on that dog shit pile of a movie, The Undefeated. The flick that made Palin worshippers cream in their Depends. Pretty funny that Sarah Palin languishes in Wasilla and Trump is POTUS... Psychopath Of The US.

  5. Anonymous9:25 PM

    Devin Nunes Was Supposed To Probe Collusion. Instead He’s Committing It.

    The House Intelligence Committee chief is openly cooperating with the White House on an investigation involving Trump’s campaign.

    Evidence of collusion has already surfaced in the House Intelligence Committee’s probe of the 2016 election.

    No, not between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia, but between Trump’s White House and the chairman of the House committee that’s supposed to be doing the investigating.


    "In a statement to NBC News, a Treasury Department spokesman said Mnuchin’s plug for his movie was “made in jest and not intended to be a product endorsement of the Lego Batman movie. We think that’s clear in context.”

    And that is indeed a fair description of what Mnuchin was doing. As the president uses the highest public office to enrich his family business and a top aide is allowed by the White House counsel to promote the family’s products without consequence, it’s also refreshingly honest to hear the Trump administration say that ethics rules are officially a joke."

    I'm sure Trump thinks the Constitution is a joke. Or at least, it's only for the little people and doesn't pertain to Trump.

    "On the same day the stockbroker for then-Georgia Congressman Tom Price bought him up to $90,000 of stock in six pharmaceutical companies last year, Price arranged to call a top U.S. health official, seeking to scuttle a controversial rule that could have hurt the firms’ profits and driven down their share prices, records obtained by ProPublica show."

    Because ethics, conflict of interest, etc. It's all a JOKE to the Trump administration.

    "Price’s personal intervention raises more questions about the overlap between his investments and his work as a member of Congress."

    Jesus, take a number.

    1. Anonymous4:17 AM

      Our new member of Congress, former Marine general Jack Bergman, does not know much about ethics. When asked about the kerfuffle over House Ethics oversight early in January, he hemmed and hawed to the reporter. Ethics? What's that? I'm sure he voted against the oversight because he's for cutting the bureaucracy, including of course the ACA, Medicare and Social Security. Ethics is meaningless to a 21st century Republican.

  7. Anonymous9:53 PM

    During his New Rules segment, Bill Maher called the people who make Trump’s crazy possible his gang of White House enablers.


    ...Maher had a great point. A president can’t live as deeply in denial and delusion without a dedicated staff of enablers who keep reality out. Trump has created a culture around himself where his enablers compete to appease their boss. The President Of The United States is treating governing like The Apprentice. Sean Spicer puts on blustery lie filled performances each day where he scolds the press and disavows reality. Kellyanne Conway goes on Fox News to break government rules by hawking Ivanka Trump’s fashion line. Chief of Staff Reince Priebus says things on the Sunday talk shows that easily proven to be false.

    However, the problem goes much deeper. It takes more than a staff to enable a delusional president. It also requires an entire political party...

    1. Anonymous3:18 AM

      Maher had a great point when it comes to transgendered individuals using public restrooms.
      Remember how he and Milo Yianniopolous agreed that transgendered people are deranged and only want to hurt little girls in the restroom? Yeah, great minds think alike.

    2. Anonymous4:14 AM

      Every Republican in Congress who does not put the country above Donald Trump is an enabler. The GOP has enabled him since before the RNC convention. Once the Russian connection began to become public knowledge - last summer with Manafort, information about Trump's money ties to Russia, etc. - the GOP should have dumped him as a candidate. Their convention would have looked messier but the end result would have been less treasonous.

    3. I loved his comparison to Sunset Boulevard.

  8. Next up, kiss Net Neutrality goodbye.

    "On Thursday, President Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer made it clear that the legal foundation of net neutrality, which prevents broadband providers from limiting access speeds to certain sides, is also on Trump’s hit list."

    First it's open season on your privacy, now they'll take away the free and open internet.

    Pretty soon it will be censored just like the Chinese.

    When will U.S. bloggers disappear in the middle of the night, never to be seen again?

    1. Anonymous1:05 AM

      Americans will be speaking loud and clear and those playing trump u will be fleeing in the middle of the night like the cockroaches they are.

    2. Anonymous1:07 AM

      All the money in the world wont save this bunch of crooks and liars. Elevator is going down.

    3. Really? You think the American people have a chance with Neil Gorsucks on the bench for 30 years?

  9. Anonymous10:23 PM


    Shep Smith: Chairman Nunes Is A 'Weapon Of Mass Distraction'

    Fox News Sunday's Chris Wallace joined Shepard Smith to discuss the recent revelations that have pegged the White House as leaking intelligence to Rep. Nunes.

    Chris Wallace pointed out that Sean Spicer was doing everything he could during his press conferences "to avoid at this point - the collaboration, and one could argue even the collusion between Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence committee, a separate and independent body that is supposed to be investigating all this, and the White House."

    It's not lost on Wallace that Chairman Nunes' bizarre actions have cast a cloud of shame over the House Intel committee and specifically on him.

    The Fox News Sunday host laid out the actions and arguments that give his case credence, including Nunes' cancellation of Sally Yates' testimony. It gave the White House cover to not use their executive privilege from stopping her testimony.

    Wallace continued, "This whole question of the relationship between Nunes, the man who is supposed to be leading an independent investigation of Donald Trump and the WH and its relations with Russia, his relationship and apparent cooperation with the Trump White House is really quite interesting."

    Shepard Smith astutely observed, "To put a point on it, on that day when the FBI had the hearing with Director Comey, Nunes said 'You've cast a black cloud over this White House with this investigation.' There's a black cloud that will be there until it's resolved. you need to get it resolved."

    "The very next day came this sort of weapon of mass distraction, this -- under cloak of darkness meeting on the White House campus, where no one in the West Wing knows who it was and now the semantics games are being played. These are not actions about people being transparent about their dealings," Smith said.

    Weapons of Mass Distraction is an apt name for Chairman Nunes.

    None of his actions have made any sense at all if Nunes was an above-board player leading any sort of a credible investigation, but they are the actions of a man who is deeply involved in a cover-up or committing some sort of crime.

  10. Anonymous11:26 PM

    Dmitry Rybolovlev didn’t fly into North Carolina to meet Donald Trump. It was the other way around.

    Turns out Rybolovlev had a legitimate reason to be there, and Trump did not

    ...McClatchy is now reporting (link) that Dmitry Rybolovlev had flown into the town of Concord on his infamous M-KATE private plane because he was making preparations to open a business there. This is very a much a real thing; the company is called Alevo and it makes high tech batteries. Rybolovlev flew into the town in early November because he was working on getting his business off the ground. But now that we know Rybolovlev was in town for a legitimate reason, it means it was Trump who altered his schedule to make sure they met up.

    Sure, let’s allow for the possibility that Donald Trump just happened to schedule a campaign rally in the same exact smaller sized town where his longtime Russian business associate just happened to be visiting at the time. But the odds of this being random happenstance are what, one in a thousand? One in a million? So the reality is that Trump set up his campaign schedule to coincide with the travel schedule of that of Rybolovlev, so they would cross paths. But why?

    Thus far we already know that Rybolovlev bought a house from Trump a few years ago for more than twice what it was worth and then decided to tear it down. The transaction looked a lot like a Putin-controlled Russian oligarch funneling fifty million dollars into Trump’s pocket.

    Why was that Russian billionaire in Charlotte? He was looking in on his investment

    Read more here:

    President Obama’s secret preservation of Russia evidence set an obstruction trap for Donald Trump

    When attempting to decipher the actions of President Barack Obama, I’ve learned to begin with the premise that he’s smarter than I am. Once again, that’s proven to be the case. Not only did he and his team secretly preserve all the Trump-Russia evidence and deliver it to the Senate Intelligence Committee before he left office, he set a trap whereby Donald Trump and his team may have already been nailed for obstruction.

  11. This article gives some insight into why FBI didn't act:

  12. Anonymous1:00 AM

    Wow these crooks have really had a racket for quite awhile. And they chose dense pence to stand by, acting dumb, broke and innocent. How sweet!! Exactly what did these con artist do for this large sum of money transfers. Oh that's right they stole money from everyone else and pretended to have a job but really they just are sleazy swamp dwellers. Each and every one of them are now under the microscope and it aint pretty. They really are not fit to sit in the white house, not one of them. Leeches of society do not belong in the whitehouse doing the peoples business.

  13. Anonymous1:21 AM

    Next up? the rumble and flush of the toilet.

  14. Anonymous5:00 AM

    Thank you for posting the link to the Vanity Fair article.

  15. Anonymous11:59 PM

    Hahahaaaaa. Vanity Fair!

    If you are depending on Vanity Fair as your savior you have real problems. Ha!

    Vanity Fair!

    Oh did you read the big time article? lmao!


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