Is This Why Trump Nominated and Supported DeVos?
Erik Prince, the infamous founder of the disgracedÂ security company known as Blackwater, established a secret back-channel between Vladimir Putin andÂ Donald Trump, according to a just-published report in The Washington Post. Prince happens to be the brother of Betsy DeVos, which might explain, at least in part, why the Trump administration was so devoted to ensuring her confirmation as Secretary of Education.
Here’s how intelligence expert Eric Garland responded to the just-published report:
ITâ€™S THE BIG ONE. BLACKWATERâ€™S ERIK PRINCE ARRANGED A MOSCOW BACKCHANNEL FOR TRUMP https://t.co/k4PWnXIOBf
â€” Eric Garland (@ericgarland) April 3, 2017
“The United Arab Emirates arranged a secret meeting in January between Blackwater founder Erik Prince and a Russian close to President VladiÂmir Putin as part of an apparent effort to establish a back-channel line of communication between Moscow and President-elect Donald Trump, according to U.S., European and Arab officials,’ the Washington Post reports.
“The meeting took place around Jan. 11 â€” nine days before Trumpâ€™s inauguration â€” in the Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean, officials said,” according to the Post.Â
Citing an unnamed “Putin confidant,”Â the Post reports, Prince “presented himself as an unofficial envoy for Trump to high-ranking Emiratis involved in setting up his meeting.”Â Prince “was seen in the Trump transition offices in New York in December.”Â
“Prince was an avid supporter of Trump who gave $250,000 last year to support the GOP nomineeâ€™s campaign, records show. He has ties to people in Trumpâ€™s circle, including Stephen K. Bannon, now serving as the presidentâ€™s chief strategist and senior counselor.Â Princeâ€™s sister Betsy DeVos serves as education secretary in the Trump administration.”
Politico’s cybersecurity reporter Eric Geller also weighed in:
Story just gets more and more unreal pic.twitter.com/RdGboHqmNS
â€” Eric Geller (@ericgeller) April 3, 2017
Blackwater is the “security firm that became a symbol of U.S. abuses in Iraq after a series of incidents including one in 2007 in which the companyâ€™s guards were accused â€” and later criminally convicted â€” of killing civilians in a crowded Iraqi square. Prince sold the firm, which was subsequently rebranded, but has continued building a private paramilitary empire with contracts across the Middle East and Asia.”
Co-author of a NYT bestseller on ISIS:
Because who better to foster US-Russian relations than a mercenary in an offshore tax haven? https://t.co/ObtTHrYZcu
â€” Michael Weiss (@michaeldweiss) April 3, 2017
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Marjorie Taylor Greene Feels “Insulted” That Herschel Walker Didn’t Want Her Campaigning With Him
Far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) recently complained that she should’ve been given a more high-profile role in the failed political campaign of Georgia gubernatorial candidate Herschel Walker.
Speaking on the War Room podcast of federally indicted anti-LGBTQ Trump adviser Steve Bannon, Greene said, “I was never asked very often by the Herschel Walker campaign to come speak at any of his campaign events.”
“He was campaigning all over the state, running for Senate, but they only asked me a couple of times in my own district, which I find extremely insulting,” Greene added.
“The audacity and really frank rudeness of the campaign consultants and Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham where they thought, you know, ‘We’re going to keep Marjorie Taylor Greene away from Herschel Walker,'” she continued.
“I think it was really a major mistake and an insult to me and insult to people who support me and Republicans all over Georgia.”
Marjorie Taylor Greene said it is “extremely insulting” that the Herschel Walker campaign didn’t ask her to campaign statewide for him. pic.twitter.com/Vg58W6cT9d
— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@patriottakes) December 7, 2022
Contrary to her personal beliefs, Greene’s advocacy probably wouldn’t have helped Walker’s scandal-ridden campaign.
During his unsuccessful run to become Georgia’s next senator, multiple women accused Walker of abuse, impregnating and abandoning his kids, and pressuring his former lovers to get abortions. These accusations were especially damning considering that Walker himself supports a total abortion ban.
While Greene has emerged as one of the loudest voices among congressional Republicans, she’s also among the most unhinged.
In her past social media comments, she has advocated for violence against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former President Barack Obama, said that an airplane never hit the Pentagon during the September 11 terrorist attacks, claimed that all school shootings are fake, said that California wildfires were started by a Jewish-owned space laser, and accused former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of slicing off a child’s face and wearing it.
Her social media posts caused her to lose her House committee assignments early into her freshman year.
Meanwhile, Bannon is no stranger to scandal himself. He co-founded the right-wing news site Breitbart and was chief executive officer of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. He also served as White House chief strategist and senior counselor to the president from January 2017 until August 18, 2017, when Trump fired him.
In August 2020, Bannon was indicted by a federal grand jury, accused of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and money laundering connected to the “We Build the Wall” campaign, a $25 million GoFundMe crowdfunding, which claimed to be raising money to help Trump construct a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
“She is the Worst”: AZ Senator Kyrsten Sinema Leaves the Democratic Party
After causing years of obstruction within her own party, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) has announced she’s leaving the Democratic Party to register as an Independent.
“I know some people might be a little bit surprised by this, but actually, I think it makes a lot of sense,” she said in a Thursday CNN interview.
“I’ve never fit neatly into any party box. I’ve never really tried. I don’t want to,” she continued. “Removing myself from the partisan structure… [is] true to who I am and how I operate. I also think it’ll provide a place of belonging for many folks across the state and the country, who also are tired of the partisanship.”
In a natural extension of my service since I was first elected to Congress, I have joined the growing numbers of Arizonans who reject party politics by declaring my independence from the broken partisan system in Washington and formally registering as an Arizona Independent. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/jUQHAeuxym
— Kyrsten Sinema (@kyrstensinema) December 9, 2022
The move will make her the third Independent Senator in addition to Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Angus King (I-ME). It also means that if she runs for re-election, she will face a Democratic and Republican opponent,
Contrary to her belief, Sinema’s move isn’t even a little bit surprising. Over the last two years, she has consistently alienated herself from her Democratic colleagues by obstructing votes on key Democratic legislative priorities.
She has given speeches on why it’s important to uphold Jim Crow-era filibuster rules in the Senate, even though the rules helped block important voting rights legislation and more.
Her antics, and her refusal to help stump for Democratic candidates during the latest midterm election cycle, have led to her being censured by the Arizona Democratic Party and low approval ratings amongst state Democratic voters. Top Democratic donor groups had also pulled their endorsements and funding from Sinema.
Twitter users were unimpressed with Sinema’s announcement.
Kyrsten Sinema switched to being an independent because she was never really a Dem and couldn’t survive an Arizona Primary. She also waited until after the GA runoffs so the Dems can’t celebrate 51 anymore. None of this is surprising but it is confirmation that she is the worst.
— brittany packnett cunningham. (@MsPackyetti) December 9, 2022
Don’t overthink Sen. Kyrsten Sinema switching from Democrat to Independent.
She’s not driven by ideology.
She’s driven by which corporations and lobbyists are giving her the most money — which makes her an elected mercenary, not an elected representative of the people.
— Melanie D'Arrigo (@DarrigoMelanie) December 9, 2022
In the most shocking, surprising, and unexpected news in modern American political history, Senator Kyrsten Sinema is leaving the Democratic Party, which makes sense because 1) she was never really a Democrat, and 2) she can’t win a Dem primary in 2024. So Sinema being Sinema… https://t.co/3FoSZM8Mqu
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) December 9, 2022
Think about all the people in Arizona who worked so hard to elect Krysten Sinema as a Democrat only to be stabbed in the back now?!! I wish Sinema would resign so that once Democrat Katie Hobbs is sworn in as governor she could pick a Democrat for the seat!!
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) December 9, 2022
‘The Hypocrisy Is Just Absolutely Insane’: Morning Joe Slams GOP ‘Idiots’ for Criticizing Brittney Griner Release
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough bashed Donald Trump and other Republicans for their “absolutely insane” hypocrisy on the prisoner swap that returned WNBA star Brittney Griner from a Russian penal colony.
GOP lawmakers and conservative media attacked President Joe Biden for agreeing to free Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout for Griner, who had been convicted of possessing cannabis oil, and not former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan, who was convicted of spying. The “Morning Joe” host ripped their complaints.
“The hypocrisy is just absolutely insane,” Scarborough said. “I mean, the same Republicans that were criticizing Joe Biden for not bringing Paul Whelan home failed to place blame on the man who was actually in the White House when Whelan was arrested illegally, jailed illegally. Why didn’t Donald Trump do anything in 2018 to get Paul Whelan home? Why didn’t he do anything in 2019 to get Paul Whelan home? Why didn’t Donald Trump do anything in 2020 to get Paul Whelan home? He was praising Vladimir Putin the entire time, why not actually call his buddy and ask him to release an American? I guess because he just didn’t give a damn.”
“Despite celebrating the releases of other Americans imprisoned while he was in office, Donald Trump didn’t publicly utter Whelan’s name even once as president,” Scarborough continued. “This is according to a review of public remarks and tweets, carried out by The Independent. Trump clearly had the power to negotiate a prisoner swap deal, however, never was this evident in 2020, when he negotiated with, get this, not with his friend Putin to get Paul Whelan home. He didn’t give a damn that Putin arrested Whelan and let him rot in jail. Instead, no, he was negotiating with the Taliban, and he freed up 5,000 Taliban terrorists. What did he get in exchange? Nothing, he got nothing in exchange and he wanted to actually invite the Taliban, the people who actually allowed the 9/11 attacks to happen, to be launched from their country, he invited them on Sept. 11 to Camp David.”
“When these idiot, and they are total idiots, when these idiots going around talking about Joe Biden being a bad negotiator, they are literally talking in defense of with Donald Trump — the biggest loser, the worst negotiator we have ever had,” Scarborough added. “He falls in love with dictators in North Korea, he completely kowtows to Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, and he doesn’t even give a damn about Paul Whelan, lets him rot in jail for three years while Biden and [secretary of state Tony] Blinken and this administration are working their tails off to try to get him home.”
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