Now They’re Just Screwing With Us! High End Russian Prostitution Ring Edition

From The New York Post (emphasis mine):

A flamboyant husband-and-wife pimp team orchestrated a high-end prostitution ring through a website called Russian Dolls, Manhattan authorities said Wednesday.

Yevgen Rizanov and Ksenia Khodukina, both 29, flew women from Russia to New York as part of a “sophisticated long-term operation promoting prostitution,” said Assistant District Attorney James Lynch.

The couple and a third defendant, Arkadiy Bashkatov, housed the sex workers in Brooklyn and dispatched them on jobs throughout New York, booking their hotels and hiring drivers, from June 2015 to June 2018, according to Manhattan prosecutors.

“The defendants split the money with the women but dictated the percentage they could keep,” the ADA said.

The Russian nationals were picked up last week in Miami at their tony beachfront pad inside the Trump Towers III*, where they allegedly ran their illicit enterprise remotely.

They moved from Brighton Beach to Florida a few months earlier, according to their attorney.

I don’t know who thought this script was going to fly, but they need to have their head examined and it needs to be sent back to rewrite.

Never before have the Balloon Juice categories of domestic affairs and foreign affairs been so literally applicable to a post. Yeah us!!!!

Open thread!

* You can find excellent reporting on all of the Russian criminal activities being run out of the President’s properties, both owned and branded, here and here. Surely a series of coincidences…

217 replies
  1. 1

    Just…please…stop…

  2. 2
  3. 3
    John PM says:

    I think DIck Wolf is focusing too much on Russia in this season of Law and Order:SVU.

  4. 4
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I am merely the messenger…

  5. 5
    dmsilev says:

    Russian Dolls? Please tell me that the specialty of the house is a hooker inside a hooker inside a hooker.

  6. 6
    Corner Stone says:

    With all this Russian swag being thrown around I am left to wonder how high up of a job does someone need to have to get “honeypotted”? Asking for that guy over there. No, the other one.

  7. 7

    For a little variety on an open thread –

    Tad Devine showed up a couple of weeks ago in a photo with Manafort’s Russian friend Konstantin Kilimnik.

  8. 8
    piratedan says:

    well since this following the script of The Equalizer reboot, when can we send Denzel Washington abroad to smoke Putin’s ass in a tragic electrocution event that involves a bathtub?

  9. 9
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: What did you do?

  10. 10
    feebog says:

    Russians buying condos in Trump properties. Where have I heard about that before?

  11. 11
    Baud says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Well, well, well…

  12. 12
    MJS says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: See, both sides.

  13. 13
    LAO says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: If I were the publisher, I send this draft back to the author. The plot is too unbelievable at this point.

  14. 14
    hitchhiker says:

    And the deplorable Kristin Neilsen just said that she has seen no evidence that Putin’s goal was to help Donald Trump.

    Seriously.

  15. 15
    MJS says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Obviously extra virgin.

  16. 16

    @Corner Stone: I’m sure it’s above the pay grade for the “other guy over there”.

  17. 17
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @dmsilev: Hookerception!

  18. 18
    oatler. says:

    @MJS: first cold press or GTFO

  19. 19
    trollhattan says:

    The Yelp reviews are in:
    “Trump Tower Natasha 3 is a spectacular companion who also plays chess. Four stars.”
    “Trump Tower Natasha 5, the redhead, can recite Pushkin and is very bendy. Five stars.”
    “Trump Tower Natasha 2 is surly and refused to call Reagan a personal hero. Two stars.”

  20. 20
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: This brought a smile to my face that I’ll probably wear for the rest of the day. Maybe longer.

  21. 21
    Corner Stone says:

    Breaking News: CEO of horrible media behemoth is horrible person. Film at 11.
    /Zuckerberg

  22. 22
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: My guesstimate is that Devine has been cooperating for a very long time with the Special Counsel’s Office. Which is why his name is almost never officially mentioned.

  23. 23
    Origuy says:

    @Corner Stone: A long time ago, I worked for a company that had defense contracts and also sold to the Soviet Union. I wasn’t working on either, but I still had to get the training on how to avoid a honeytrap. As a single guy, I wondered how blackmail would work if no one cared if I got some Russian tail. Unfortunately, I never got to find out.

  24. 24
    p.a. says:

    Trump is such filth it wouldn’t surprise me if he allows his properties to be used for everything from treason down to auto repos.

  25. 25
    trollhattan says:

    @hitchhiker:
    Three-year-old Guatemalans–a threat to our democracy.
    Russian autocrat with vast hegemonic intentions and murderous methods–our new best friend.

  26. 26
    Eljai says:

    @MJS: Of course!

  27. 27
    noncarborundum says:

    @dmsilev: I think the technical term is “whorducken”.

  28. 28
    Corner Stone says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: A man has to have ambitions. Would you deny a man his dream of being ensnared in a scheme involving hostile foreign intelligence operations in exchange for a little rough stuff?

  29. 29
    trollhattan says:

    @p.a.:
    Not just repos, chop shops. I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump doesn’t have a side gig shipping stolen luxury cars and SUVs to Russia in containers. It’s a thing, and a lucrative one.

  30. 30
    dmsilev says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Hookerducken.

  31. 31
    danielx says:

    Once again…you can’t make this shit up.

  32. 32
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @hitchhiker: She also did the both sides thing in regard to a question about Charlottesville.

  33. 33
    Miss Bianca says:

    Did you mean “screwing with us” literally or figuratively? I know, I know…por que no los dos? ; )

  34. 34
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @MJS: First, cold press! Right now Rachel Ray is preparing to go on pilgrimage to Las Cruces.

  35. 35
    trollhattan says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:
    Well now, am sure that’s just a co-ink-ee-dink.

  36. 36
    Major Major Major Major says:

    Ah jeez. Lol.

    @Cheryl Rofer: @Adam L Silverman: ah jeez.

  37. 37

    @Adam L Silverman: That would be amusing. Wonder what Bernie thinks of all this.

  38. 38
    Kelly says:

    @Corner Stone: If you have to ask you’re not upper crust enough.

  39. 39
    Death Panel Truck says:

    And if you think this is as tawdry as it gets, well – the child pornography shoe will be the next to drop. In a scandal of this magnitude, child porn is always in the mix somewhere.

  40. 40
    Corner Stone says:

    @LAO: If I were the publisher I would demand they stop being lazy gits and get ahead of the game. Russian high end hookers being run out of a property owned by the president is just the first few pages. Where are the South American drug lords supplying the coke? The Israelis with the illicit firearm distribution? C’mon, you gotta amp this up a little if you want to stay ahead of the real world!
    I’d probably also throw in a Secret Service agent that has WH duty and is also embroiled up to her naughty bits.

  41. 41
    Baud says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Do you think he’s one of the five people with immunity? It would be irresponsible not to speculate.

  42. 42
    LAO says:

    @Adam L Silverman: perhaps Devine is one of the recipients of the immunity orders the government requested.

  43. 43
    Leto says:

    @noncarborundum: Solid LOL! Glad no-one was in the office; ty!

  44. 44
    Mike in NC says:

    Trump properties must be run like “Westworld”. Any of your fantasies can be indulged for the right price. Roll in the hay with a Russian hooker (or two), gamble to your heart’s content, and snort nose candy with a $1000 bill.

  45. 45
    Miss Bianca says:

    @trollhattan: OK, I feel like I really, really, shouldn’t be laughing at this as hard as I am right now…

    I think that #RussianhookerYelpreviews should totally be a thing on that Twitter thing, btw…

  46. 46
    LAO says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I understand this is related to the election of a new papa john.

    ETA: election not sitting. no excuses. just tired.

  47. 47
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @hitchhiker: Maybe a member of our Press Corpse could ask her if she was aware Donald Trump had been shown texts, emails and other communications two weeks before the inauguration that… you know what? Nevermind. She’s awful and the entire administration is awful.

    The fact that reporting on this stuff isn’t immediately prefaced with “In a blatant lie, Secretary X said….” is an indictment of our entire media establishment.

  48. 48
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Death Panel Truck: George Nader already filled in that part, and if the media has forgotten about him, I suspect the final Mueller report will remind people

  49. 49
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    So the Russians “screwed the election” isn’t just a metaphor.

  50. 50
    John PM says:

    @hitchhiker:

    “And the deplorable Kristin Neilsen just said that she has seen no evidence that Putin’s goal was to help Donald Trump.”

    It’s hard to see anything when you are wearing blinders.

  51. 51
    Leto says:

    @Corner Stone: Listen they’re writing about the news, not the script for True Lies 2. /s

  52. 52
    James E Powell says:

    What are the chances that Manafort’s trial doesn’t go forward?

    For whatever reasons, continuance, plea, anything else.

  53. 53
    Kristine says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: It’s been my understanding that Devine was the one who pushed BS to label HRC as corrupt. After hearing he had been an associate of Manafort, I was wondering if his name would show up.

    In other news. phoned Senators and Rep this morning to voice my horror over the Ambassador McFaul matter. Young woman who answered my call to Rep told me that they had been receiving many calls about it.

  54. 54

    @LAO: Tad’s not stupid, I’m sure he got in early.

  55. 55
    LAO says:

    For the third consecutive day, another walk back from the White House@PressSec now says @realDonaldTrump disagrees with Putin's proposal to have Russians interview the 12 indicted Russians.The president had called it "an incredible offer"Here's the statement just released pic.twitter.com/ifCSoB65a4— Cecilia Vega (@CeciliaVega) July 19, 2018

  56. 56
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: My understanding of what Devine did in Ukraine makes him small fry compared to Manafort. But he would also, likely, have a very good understanding of what went down and who was connected to who. And given that I don’t think Devine is interested in actually doing serious and/or significant damages to the US, him quietly coming in from the cold and providing everything he had would make sense.

  57. 57
    Kelly says:

    @noncarborundum:

    whorducken

    Cleaning coffee off my screen

  58. 58
    Corner Stone says:

    @Origuy:

    As a single guy, I wondered how blackmail would work if no one cared if I got some Russian tail. Unfortunately, I never got to find out.

    “Now, my dahlink, we have you on tape making the naughty with a Russian spy! You will tell us about the supply chain or this will find its way to the authorities!”
    ME: “Hey! Can I get a couple copies of that? Or maybe you can just post it to my Instagram feed? It’s under 30 seconds so it should work. Thanks, comrade!”

  59. 59
    p.a. says:

    OT but LG&M cuts Fred Hiatt a new one- from the nape of his neck to his perineum:

    http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblo.....-cleansing

  60. 60
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @The Thin Black Duke: Seconded. Tying Devine into this is a cherry on top.

  61. 61
    Death Panel Truck says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Nader’s conviction was in 2003. I’m talking about something more recent, something involving Russia, something so large and involved that it will dwarf Nader’s crimes.

  62. 62
    LAO says:

    I found myself mildly disappointed by this. I was certain it would unleash some sort of plague or whatnot.

    Big mysterious sarcophagus opened, sucks https://t.co/RdJRMEt6zC pic.twitter.com/SScnK4OtEh— Gizmodo (@Gizmodo) July 19, 2018

  63. 63
    ChrisS says:

    @Origuy: Dumb white guys, virile manly man, love them some T & A. Just look at where the advertising budget is spent with regards to cheap beer, sports, and cars.

    I follow some hunting related companies on instagram and it seems like suddenly all these women hunters started becoming insta-famous for posting pictures of themselves in yoga pants or short shorts shooting bows in their backyard. “Giggle, my new [$1k] bow from manufacturer X just arrived and I’m so excited to shoot it, kisses, giggle”

  64. 64
    trollhattan says:

    @Origuy:@Corner Stone:
    Serious high-five material on the golf course.

    “So then they showed me a stack of 8x10s and I thought to myself ‘Man, I’m overdue for a haircut.’ Then I asked for her phone number; I’m telling you, she was haw to the T.”

  65. 65
  66. 66
    Corner Stone says:

    @Leto: Yeah but no one wants to read a Ken Burns documentary right now. We gotta Michael Bay/Jerry Bruckheimer this MF’er!

  67. 67
    Steve in the STL says:

    @ChrisS: it’s all fun and games until the Amazons take over the country

  68. 68
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Baud: @LAO: No. Those all have a very specific type of limited immunity, which LAO or one of our other legal fleagles can explain. My guess is that Devine has been cooperating from the get go and was either fully immunized from the start or was never in any jeopardy and is just doing the right thing.

  69. 69
    Steve in the STL says:

    @Adam L Silverman: @Corner Stone: need an evil Iran angle too. It’s de rigeur with the right wingers these days.

  70. 70
    Roger Moore says:

    @Origuy:

    As a single guy, I wondered how blackmail would work if no one cared if I got some Russian tail. Unfortunately, I never got to find out.

    There’s more to sex as a tool for spies than blackmail. They’re worried you’re going to get so excited by the sex you let the wrong head do the thinking. Guys have been known to do that and they wind up doing all kinds of stupid shit to make sure the girl keeps wanting to sleep with them.

  71. 71
    Leto says:

    @LAO: That already happened when Universal released the rebooted “Mummy” with Tom Cruise.

  72. 72
    Steve in the STL says:

    @Origuy: @Corner Stone: chick who cuts my hair is Russian and smokin’. Shit, I may have been compromised….

  73. 73
    Steve in the STL says:

    @Roger Moore: just ask David Petraeus

  74. 74
    LAO says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Maybe. But the feds only, ever offer derivative use immunity (not transactional immunity). I’m assuming (which isn’t a great thing to do) that the government has agreed to DPs (Decline to Prosecute) with a number of witnesses — but that isn’t the same as immunity — whose criminal exposure is minor. If Devine is cooperating, the feds will make his plead guilty to some criminal conduct, if he hasn’t already under seal.

  75. 75

    I give up on trying to process all the Russian news. I feel flattened by the stampede of it .

  76. 76
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    I’m still shocked the House GOP voted to zero out election security funding. I mean, how do they even begin to justify this in light of recent events? It makes them look guilty and power-mad.

    Wait, forget the Russia stuff. What sane nation would ever cut funding for election security? It boggles my mind.

    I hope this won’t impede the active measures campaign the NSA seems to be starting.

  77. 77
    Corner Stone says:

    @ChrisS:

    Dumb white guys, virile manly man, love them some T & A. Just look at where the advertising budget is spent with regards to cheap beer, sports, and cars.

    This pertains to almost all men, not just the kind who like to play at manly status. Vendors at a conference I attend every year finally figured this out right before the Recession of 2008. Then the budget drain struck hard and vendors had to go back to having boring people who knew actual details about their product again.

  78. 78
    kd bart says:

    “All they got from Trump was protection from other guys looking to rip them off. That’s what it’s all about. That’s what the FBI can never understand – that what Trump and the organization offer is protection for the kinds of guys who can’t go to the cops. They’re like the police department for wiseguys”

  79. 79
  80. 80
  81. 81

    @Steve in the STL:

    it’s all fun and games until the Amazons take over the country

    Yes, but the prices are great.

  82. 82
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @LAO: You’re the defense attorney, you’ll know better than I.

  83. 83
    Peale says:

    @Adam L Silverman: is it eternally virgin olive oil?

  84. 84
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @hitchhiker: Yeah. She shuts her eyes every time they put it in front of her.

  85. 85
    Teddys Person says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷:

    It makes them look guilty and power-mad.

    They are guilty and power-mad, and it seems they think they can get away with it. Or at least hang in there until the stack the courts, gut regulations, give tax dollars to the rich, and relagate non-white, female, and LBGTQ Americans to second-class citizenship.

    edit: not meant to a complete list of their shitty policies.

  86. 86
    Roger Moore says:

    @LAO:

    For the third consecutive day, another walk back from the White House@PressSec now says @realDonaldTrump disagrees with Putin’s proposal to have Russians interview the 12 indicted Russians.The president had called it “an incredible offer”

    Clearly, Trump was using “incredible” in the sense of “not credible; hard to believe; unbelievable” to mean that he can’t believe Putin would expect us to countenance such a thing. That’s my story, and I’m sticking with it… at least until Trump changes his mind again.

  87. 87
    Leto says:

    @Corner Stone: “You see Michael, the reason why my explosions are bettah is that they go to 11. Your previous guy, his only went to 10. I mean, that’s all well and good for Transformers, but we’re doing a propah shoot here. This is Trump! This is bigly! You’re going to want the biggest evah! You’re going to want that 11.”

    @Roger Moore: From the way back machine, 1987:

    Marine Sgt. Clayton Lonetree was convicted of espionage and 12 other charges Friday for slipping secrets to the KGB while guarding the U.S. embassies in Moscow and Vienna, and could be sentenced to life in prison.

    Lonetree is the first Marine court-martialed for espionage, and the only Marine to face espionage charges in the so-called sex-for-secrets scandal.

  88. 88
  89. 89
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷: They’re counting on it 1) being under reported, 2) where it is reported, that it is buried by other issues that will overwhelm it in the coverage, 3) most Americans never actually hearing about it.

  90. 90
    GeoGuy says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Devine doing the right thing? That will be a first!

  91. 91
    Kay says:

    CBS NEWS POLL: Only a third of Americans approve of the way President Trump handled his summit in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin

    The 33% :)

    Honestly I bet he lost some Republicans not because they give a shit about Russian interference but because he looked weak. He looked subservient. Justin Amash, the fake-hipster libertarian R from western Michigan used the word “subservient”

    I have never seen anything like it. Even if there weren’t collusion with Putin (and there is) Trump is cowed and impressed by Putin. It was like baby brother and big brother. I don’t think they can gloss that over.

    That must just kill the manly-men of the Right. Clinton wouldn’t have been subservient. Not a chance.

  92. 92
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Teddys Person:
    I don’t think they will. Their plans hinge on people obeying the Courts. If they hand down shitty decision after shitty decision that flies in the face of what the majority wants and makes people’s lives materially worse, they’ll quickly find out what happens when the rule of law breaks down

  93. 93
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Well, I’ve been doing my best to spread awareness about it in *my* little circle of influence…

  94. 94
    hueyplong says:

    Four months from now, cut to Tad Devine, getting his morning paper in a faceless, cardboard cutout housing development in Arizona:

    “I ordered some spaghetti with marinara sauce and I got egg noodles and ketchup. I’m an average nobody.”

  95. 95

    @Adam L Silverman: Maybe the Democrats should turn the volume up on this and get it on the local news.

  96. 96
    germy says:

    2014.06.19 Email T. Devine to K. Kilimnik re Can u resend the talking points

    I wonder what that’s about?

  97. 97
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @James E Powell: Frank Pentangeli in Godfather II?

  98. 98
    NotMax says:

    @Roger Moore

    Yup indeedy. (audio only clip)

  99. 99
  100. 100
    Roger Moore says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    My guess is that Devine has been cooperating from the get go and was either fully immunized from the start or was never in any jeopardy and is just doing the right thing.

    Anyone betting on Tad Devine cooperating because he wanted to do the right thing deserves to lose every cent they own.

  101. 101
    MomSense says:

    Is this real life?

  102. 102
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    It shows how little confidence they have in both the American people and their own political platform. That democracy is only a means to an end and can be discarded when inconvenient. It’s absolutely disgusting and I’m upset that the media isn’t treating the GOP as the authoritarian and un-American party they have become. I mean, maybe it’s just beginning, but I haven’t seen that much to show that they have realized that American democracy is at risk.

  103. 103
    pat says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷:

    I think they just refused to appropriate more, because there supposedly is still a few million left in the budget that hasn’t been used. But yeah it sucks.

    Repubs know they can’t win a totally free and honest election.

  104. 104
    Brachiator says:

    Their lawyer asked Justice Melissa Jackson to release Khodukina, a licensed aesthetician, without bail.

    Mommy, what’s an aesthetician?

  105. 105
    Teddys Person says:

    @MomSense: Well a minority of the American public wanted a reality show president.

  106. 106
    Haroldo says:

    Hi, Adam. I am primarily a lurker (of long standing!) and realize my question is somewhat (tho’ not completely) off topic.:

    What is the relationship of LaRouche, et al, to the Putin / Trump nexus? Or is LaRouche just too nuts to be of consequence?

    Thanks.

  107. 107
    Kay says:

    I felt like I knew there would be a Democrat (or more than one) tied to Manafort but I wouldn’t have picked the Bernie Sanders campaign.

    This is the most amazing political story of my lifetime and they ALL missed it while it was happening :)

    A billion dollar political coverage industry and they missed it. It doesn’t count if they report it after the election! Timing is everything :)

  108. 108
    Adam L Silverman says:

    And now a word from the Home Office!

  109. 109
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Like I said, houses on Block Island are very expensive. I suspect Tad wants to keep his.

  110. 110
    Wyatt Derp says:

    @MJS:

    Obviously extra virgin.

    Today you own the internet!

  111. 111
    NotMax says:

    “You have the wrong place. The Slovenian hookers are on the fourth floor. Have a nice day, dahlink.”

  112. 112
    Teddys Person says:

    @Adam L Silverman: The talking points have been delivered. Let the games begin!

  113. 113
    LAO says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Wait, what?

    SCOOP: Putin tells his diplomats he made ANOTHER offer to Trump — hold a referendum in Crimea on its future. Trump asked Putin NOT to disclose it so that he could consider it.https://t.co/Vi5ZDJTf8T— Kevin Whitelaw (@KevinWhitelaw1) July 19, 2018

  114. 114
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Peale: You’ll have to ask Mother Superior Rachel Ray of Our Lady of EVOO.

  115. 115
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Death Panel Truck: Like say “Trump Modeling Agency” staffed mostly by 14 year olds?

  116. 116
    Kay says:

    Remarkable: DHS Sec Nielsen doubles down and says “I haven’t seen any evidence” Russian election interference was intended to help Trump, contradicting IC assessment

    Can we please get rid of this person? FIRE HER. It isn’t fair to voters that we have such a ridiculous hack in charge of election interference mitigation. She’ll fuck it up. That’s a guarantee. There’s no excuse for forcing us to have such a low quality hire in such a crucial job. I don’t want to pay her anymore.

  117. 117
    Roger Moore says:

    @Corner Stone:
    Unfortunately, mass spectrometer vendors don’t seem interested in booth babes. I’m not sure if it’s because there are too many women mass spectrometrists for it to sell, or if the buyers are too interested in technical specs to be suckered by good looks alone. Booze and swag, however, are still considered viable sales tactics.

  118. 118
    NotMax says:

    There’s ample room for a joke about a high rise sex club, am too logy to refine the details at the moment.

  119. 119
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    “In the US we see that there are forces that put their narrow partisan interests above the common national interest.”

    This is rich coming from the guy who apprently doesn’t care what happens to his country after he croaks, just that his pockets get filled with rubles.

    And fuck Putin for claiming that the GOP is doing this for the greater good.

    Putin departs from prepared remarks: “We see that in the US there are forces ready to sacrifice Russian-American relations for their own domestic political ambitions.”

    Oh, you mean real American patriots and not puppets, right?

  120. 120
    Retr2327 says:

    @Adam L Silverman: he’s also a likely candidate for the guy who went to the feds over Manafort’s witness tampering efforts. . .

  121. 121
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:

    I have never seen anything like it. Even if there weren’t collusion with Putin (and there is) Trump is cowed and impressed by Putin. It was like baby brother and big brother. I don’t think they can gloss that over.

    That must just kill the manly-men of the Right. Clinton wouldn’t have been subservient. Not a chance

    Nope.

    And, we have the picture of 44 all up in Vlad’s face, not backing down one little bit.

  122. 122
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Roger Moore: @LAO: @Baud:
    I was wrong, Devine has a problem!

  123. 123
  124. 124
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Yes they should.

  125. 125
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:

    I felt like I knew there would be a Democrat (or more than one) tied to Manafort but I wouldn’t have picked the Bernie Sanders campaign.

    I said before..

    when it’s all said and done, HILLARY will be the CLEAN ONE.

    and, yes, the overwhelming majority missed this story.
    Or, rather, they refused to connect the dots that they had in front of them.

    Professional malpractice. Period.

  126. 126
    Captain C says:

    @Corner Stone: Apparently that actually happened with President Sukarno of Indonesia. He went on a diplomatic trip to Russia, and was sent some lovely young women to play with. When he was about to leave, the Soviets showed him the films, expecting that he would be suitably compliant. Instead, he smiled, and asked for copies to show his friends and associates back in Indonesia.

  127. 127
    NotMax says:

    Must chime in, Adam, that am mightily impressed at your restraint in not saying full penetration.

    ;)

  128. 128

    @Adam L Silverman: The Russians also released a video, mostly animation, of their deadly tsunami-creating nuclear underwater drone! I’ll see if I can find it.

    Also, breaking: This is why you have note-takers at a meeting like this.

    That said, I think that VVP is overdoing it a little. But let’s see how Trump responds.

  129. 129

    @Kay: Clinton would’ve been shrill. Way worse.

  130. 130

    @rikyrah:

    HILLARY will be the CLEAN ONE.

    …but…but….her emails.

  131. 131

    So SINCERE, that Vladimir!

  132. 132
    TenguPhule says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    I came for an argument.

    No you didn’t.

  133. 133
    Barbara says:

    @James E Powell: Chance of a Manafort plea is still as high as 50/50 IMO. There are lots of people for whom the fog lifts only at the last moment, after all the procedural tricks and games have been exhausted. For a professional used to being on top of the world, it can take a lot of shaking up to realize that yes, you might really be convicted of a crime.

  134. 134
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Haroldo: Good question, there are some visible links, but I honestly don’t know enough details to do anything else but post them.
    This article lays out a lot of connections, but the overall argument of the author is, as we now know, wrong:
    https://thinkprogress.org/how-russia-wooed-american-white-supremacists-and-how-it-fell-apart-8a8cf6e3b814/

    Here’s some more:
    http://www.businessinsider.com.....ier-2017-2
    http://anton-shekhovtsov.blogs.....-cult.html

  135. 135
    TenguPhule says:

    @NotMax:

    Must chime in, Adam, that am mightily impressed at your restraint in not saying full penetration.

    Maximum Penetration achieved with minimal effort.

  136. 136
    raven says:

    Eat, Drink and see Mary in Conyers Ga 1990

    Hundreds of pilgrims flock to her farm here on the 13th of every month, when Mrs. Fowler has said she is visited by Mary and Jesus. The worshipers pray and sing, and aim their camcorders at the sky, hoping to record the flickering of the sun or perhaps the opening of the door to heaven.

    They have been coming since 1990, when Mrs. Fowler, a 47-year-old Georgia housewife, first revealed that she regularly conversed with an apparition of Mary. On Oct. 13 of that year, Mrs. Fowler began to explain the first of Mary’s special messages, filled with predictions of floods and war and entreaties to embrace her son.This week, 40 people arrived in a tour bus from Chihuahua, Mexico, after a 30-hour drive. On the journey, several women said, they saw the Virgin Mary in a shadow on the bus window.

    One woman, Hortense Morales, a 34-year-old lawyer from Chihuahua, brought along a bottle of olive oil and two cartons of salt, believing that “the Holy Mother will bless it.”

  137. 137

    Here’s the Poiseidon video.

  138. 138
    TenguPhule says:

    @MomSense:

    Is this real life?

    Sadly yes.

    /Seriously considering getting and staying drunk for the rest of the week

  139. 139
    Corner Stone says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    That said, I think that VVP is overdoing it a little. But let’s see how Trump responds.

    Vladdy, bubby! You’re killing me here! I just went for the full out rope a dope walk in, walk back, walk in routine to distract these mindless press idiots. You can’t be dropping new agreements on me like this, it’s too early in the flim flam cycle!”
    VVP: “Crimea a river you little (insert Russian term for insignificant shit weasel)”

  140. 140
    Barbara says:

    @LAO: Well, it was an incredible offer, but probably not the way Trump meant.

  141. 141
    germy says:

    2014.06.19 Email T. Devine to K. Kilimnik re Can u resend the talking points

    Was Kilimnik sending Devine talking points, or was Devine sending Kilimnik talking points?

    The “re” has me unsure.

    Either way, I’m sure there’s an innocent explanation //

  142. 142
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @LAO: First I’ve heard, but Putin already did that shortly after he scarfed up Crimea. The rigged results ratified Putin’s invasion.

  143. 143
    Leto says:

    @rikyrah: You mean the hundreds of thousands of hours spent on investigating HER EMAILZ!?!?!/the Clinton Foundation/Beghanzi was a total waste, and that just about everyone around her during the campaign (and before) were the problem? This is my shocked face. Totally shocked. =I

    The blind hatred of all things Clenis/Hitlary continues to be a mighty force. I’m about 99% certain that zombie Hilary stories are going to be a thing. Hillary’s control of the Dems from beyond the grave! People 20 years from now will be like, who? But Talibangicals will still be frothing at the mouth about the 4 killed, while LTT will still be shouting, “Superpredator!”

  144. 144
    Haroldo says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Thank you.

  145. 145
    Doug R says:

    @James E Powell:

    What are the chances that Manafort’s trial doesn’t go forward?

    For whatever reasons, continuance, plea, anything else.

    That’s why he’s not singing yet-a few years in the can vs death by poison or falling off his balcony.

  146. 146
    Jeffro says:

    @trollhattan: “very bendy”

    LOLing all over the place here

  147. 147
    TenguPhule says:

    @Doug R:

    vs death by poison or falling off his balcony.

    Are you implying that Manafort would not commit suicide of his own free will?

  148. 148
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Yep.

  149. 149
    Calouste says:

    @Kay: The Ukrainian connection between Manafort and Devine has been extensively mentioned on this blog.

  150. 150
    TenguPhule says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Russians aren’t big on subtlety.

  151. 151
    Brachiator says:

    @Origuy:

    @Roger Moore:

    As a single guy, I wondered how blackmail would work if no one cared if I got some Russian tail. Unfortunately, I never got to find out.

    There’s more to sex as a tool for spies than blackmail.

    Yep. The East Germans, in particular, used to focus efforts on lonely and romantic people, especially women who had access to intelligence information.

    In the 1950s, Wolf dispatched an agent called Felix to Bonn, who befriended a woman called Norma employed in the office of the German Chancellor – by waiting at her bus-stop. They even married, and he got to know many of her colleagues. Then one day, she came home and he was gone – pulled back to the East after Wolf got wind of an investigation by West German intelligence services.

    Marianne Quoirin, author of “The Spies Who Did It For Love,” tells the story of another West German woman who as a former nun refused to have sex with her “Romeo” until they were married. So the Stasi staged a wedding, providing both priest and mother-in-law. The Stasi would do detailed research on targets, examining their previous relationships and hobbies.

    One Stasi agent, Gerhard Beier, worked in West Germany for nearly 20 years before the Berlin Wall came down. “I was fulfilling my patriotic duty, and it wasn’t unpleasant,” he said later in an interview. Altogether some 40 German women were prosecuted for passing secrets to East German Romeos.

    And sometimes an attempt at basic blackmail backfires:

    When Indonesian President Sukarno visited Moscow in the 1960s, the KGB sought to take advantage of his renowned sexual appetite, sending a batch of glamorous young women posing as air hostesses to his hotel. When the Russians later confronted him with a film of the lurid encounter, Sukarno was apparently delighted. Legend has it he even asked for extra copies.

  152. 152
    Fair Economist says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Script rejected for implausibility, part the 1000.

  153. 153
    TenguPhule says:

    @Leto:

    I’m about 99% certain that zombie Hilary stories are going to be a thing. Hillary’s control of the Dems from beyond the grave!

    Hillary has abducted Elvis and now lives with him in Las Vegas, where she forces him to perform cheap weddings to pay for her crack addiction! //

  154. 154
    Kelly says:

    @rikyrah: If I recall correctly Obama is all DOWN in Vlad’s face. Kinda towered over him.

  155. 155
    Boris, Rasputin's Evil Twin says:

    @Adam L Silverman: This is a slight variation on the “weeping icon” scam that’s been around since Peter the Great exposed some holy grifters.

    Has anyone else noticed all this Trump/Russia madness has taken place around the 100th anniversary of the Imperial Russian Family’s assassination? “Anastasia still screams in vain.”

  156. 156
    TenguPhule says:

    I don’t know who thought this script was going to fly, but they need to have their head examined and it needs to be sent back to rewrite.

    Writers union went on strike so the producers have decided that unscripted live action is the next big thing.

  157. 157
    rikyrah says:

    This is what you call Twitter Truth:

    This is why Bernie never makes much noise about Putin or Russia, and making noise is his only political skill. Trump, Sanders, Stein, were all assisted by Putin. In 2016, there was only one candidate for president who scared the hell out of Putin: Hillary Clinton. https://t.co/QqbxWI6kF1

    — Spandan @ TPV (@thepeoplesview) July 19, 2018

  158. 158
    rikyrah says:

    Ya think?

    Ex-DOJ official reveals hidden meaning of bombshell NYT report: US intel agencies fear Trump is a double agent https://t.co/hWx2SVFP8H

    — Raw Story (@RawStory) July 19, 2018

  159. 159
    Teddys Person says:

    @Brachiator: Who knew The Americans was a documentary.

  160. 160
    Wapiti says:

    So is engaging in prostitution a violation of a tourist visa? How about pandering? Asking for a network of friends.

  161. 161
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @raven: I was at Oxford College when this happened during my sophomore year. Just down the road. My housemate, the Polynesian Pentecostal (his dad moved to the mainland when he got out of the Army, his mom 15th generation Georgia cracker, they met when he was assigned to Benning), went to see this.

  162. 162
    Leto says:

    @Brachiator:

    used to focus efforts on lonely and romantic people

    That’s how they got Marine Sgt. Clayton Lonetree, my comment at 87.

  163. 163
    TenguPhule says:

    Also the FTFNYT has an article about a Trump appointee in waiting trying to screw unions even further by attempting to get a case up to the SC that would retractively force unions to refund non-member dues going back a decade or more. Per the analysis in the article, the hostility against unions by 5 corrupt traitors could result in yet another accepted norm of “good faith compliance with the law at the time” being tossed into the flaming dumpster.

    Is it five o clock somewhere yet?

  164. 164
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Boris, Rasputin’s Evil Twin: Yep and yep.

  165. 165
    raven says:

    Oh yea@Adam L Silverman: Oh yea!!!

  166. 166
    Leto says:

    @rikyrah: And in other news, water is still wet! More at 11.

  167. 167
    Yarrow says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I knew it! Devine is in it up to his neck too. Whassup, Bernie? We see you!

  168. 168
    trollhattan says:

    @Kay:
    That’s not her only whopper.

    When asked about Trump’s comment that there were “fine people on both sides” in Charlottesville, Sec. Nielsen seemingly doubled down. “it’s not that one side was right and one side was wrong” #AspenSecurity

    Yes you piece of human garbage, one side is wrong. Where and whenever there are nazis and klan, they are wrong. This is not rocket surgery and you are ill-suited to have any national security role whatsoever because you clearly do not understand this.

  169. 169
    Roger Moore says:

    @TenguPhule:
    Amazing how originalists can find all kinds of constitutional principles that never existed before when it serves their political interests.

  170. 170
    Brachiator says:

    @Leto:

    The blind hatred of all things Clenis/Hitlary continues to be a mighty force. I’m about 99% certain that zombie Hilary stories are going to be a thing. Hillary’s control of the Dems from beyond the grave!

    Hillary Clinton is the only person that John Wick fears.

  171. 171
    rikyrah says:

    @Kelly:

    @rikyrah: If I recall correctly Obama is all DOWN in Vlad’s face. Kinda towered over him.

    You are correct. There was no fawning over Vlad from 44 :)

  172. 172
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @raven: He was a hoot. His Mom would send us home made cookies every week. The week in 89 or 90 where that evangelical preacher had predicted that the rapture was going to happen, the night before the prophesied date, she called to tell my house mate she’d see him in heaven the next day. Wished me a pleasant stay in limbo. The next day nothing happened. The next week the cookie shipments restarted.

  173. 173
    rikyrah says:

    @trollhattan:

    Yes you piece of human garbage, one side is wrong. Where and whenever there are nazis and klan, they are wrong. This is not rocket surgery and you are ill-suited to have any national security role whatsoever because you clearly do not understand this.

    simply loathe her.

  174. 174
    Baud says:

    @Brachiator: I heard John Wick 3 is coming out. That would be an awesome ending to the series.

  175. 175
    Leto says:

    @Brachiator: You mean, Mama Yaga?

  176. 176
    TenguPhule says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Amazing how originalists can find all kinds of constitutional principles that never existed before when it serves their political interests.

    There’s a morbid fascination watching them reduce rule of law to nature red in tooth and claw.

  177. 177
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Adam L Silverman: his mom 15th generation Georgia cracker,

    Yowza! A proud descendant of a transportee? edited

    ETA: and what I came to say…. I heard Rand Paul ranting about “trump derangement syndrome” about the vote to tell Putin to fuck off in re McFaul. I know he’s always been somewhat tentatively isolationist, especially compared to his old man, but he’s really off the rails, or as one of his fellow GOP Senators liked to say, off in cloud cuckooland. McCain must really be in bad shape if he hasn’t gotten a plane to bitch about trump, Putin and Rand Paul on the floor.

  178. 178
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    @Adam L Silverman: How long before Bernie says that Devine was nobody special, “just the guy who went out for coffee”?

  179. 179
    raven says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Not a mormon huh?

  180. 180
    Mike in DC says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I think a stealth drone that can accurately fire a sniper rifle would scare Putin more than the doomsday torpedo will intimidate us.

  181. 181
    Nicole says:

    @Kay: Bernie was the other candidate who refused to release his tax returns.

  182. 182
    trollhattan says:

    @Mike in DC:
    A Dalek. “Take me to Vlad. I need to see Vlad. Bring me Vlad.”

  183. 183
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Hey look! A Republican Senator figured they actually own their votes and can do things!

    Alex Bolton @ alexanderbolton
    Sen. Tim Scott (S.C.), the only African-American member of Senate GOP conference, tells leaders that he can’t vote for 9th Circuit Court nom Ryan Bounds because of racially insensitive remarks. Told leaders he need more time to review Bounds. McConnell withdraws nomination.

    In all fairness, good for Scott. Or at least partial credit, because apparently he was okay with this guy

    @ CollinsWatch
    Susan ‘I’m powerless to stop Trump’ Collins cast the tie-breaking vote yesterday to put a 39 year-old on the federal bench. Nominee refused to say he backs Brown v. Board of Education. Confirmed 50-49. #mepolitics

    I didn’t know about Collins Watch. I hope she knows about it and hates it.

  184. 184
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L. Silverman

    his mom 15th generation Georgia cracker

    Good trick.

    Figuring a generation is twenty years, 15 of them would be 300 years.

    George III’s charter designating the colony was issued in 1732, first British settlers arrived in 1733, so the 300-year anniversary of its existence as Georgia hasn’t happened yet.

    /history pedant

  185. 185
    Baud says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Sen. Tim Scott (S.C.), the only African-American member of Senate GOP conference, tells leaders that he can’t vote for 9th Circuit Court nom Ryan Bounds because of racially insensitive remarks.

    The remarks must have been pretty bad if Scott couldn’t vote for him.

  186. 186
    TenguPhule says:

    @NotMax:

    Figuring a generation is twenty years, 15 of them would be 300 years.

    Georgia’s minimum legal age is 16.

  187. 187
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Listening to MSNBC: trump called Obama a “patsy” today? Specifically wrt to Russia?

  188. 188
    Yarrow says:

    @Nicole:

    Bernie was the other candidate who refused to release his tax returns

    Yep. What’s he hiding?

  189. 189
    Origuy says:

    @Corner Stone:

    It’s under 30 seconds so it should work.

    Thirty seconds? Give me some credit! Although, which this was happening, I was a lot younger.

  190. 190
    TenguPhule says:

    Trump criticizes Fed, breaking long-standing practice

    Trump just attacked the Federal Reserve. I’m sure Wall Street is thrilled.

  191. 191
    Nicole says:

    @Yarrow: Rubles? Lots of rubles?

  192. 192
    The Dangerman says:

    @Death Panel Truck:

    …the child pornography shoe will be the next to drop.

    It’s parallel was hinted at yesterday when it was thought that Donald’s weakness was an underage Ivanka look alike.

    ETA: And if that was it, nobody would care except for Ivanka and maybe Jared.

    ETA2: Maybe it was a Jared look alike (yes, say it, he came to…)

  193. 193
    Barbara says:

    @TenguPhule: Are you talking about this guy?

    GOP leaders withdrew President Donald Trump’s choice for a Ninth Circuit vacancy, federal prosecutor Ryan Bounds, shortly before a Senate vote Thursday, rather than have the nomination fail.

  194. 194
    NotMax says:

    @NotMax

    Land disputes with the Spanish about who held claim to what between what we know know as Florida and South Carolina eventually led to one of the more memorably named hostilities in the history books, the War of Jenkins’ Ear.

  195. 195
    trollhattan says:

    @NotMax:
    To be fair, it doesn’t specify which Georgia.

  196. 196
    MCA1 says:

    @Mike in NC: Knock twice, rap with your cane.
    Feels nice, you’re out of the rain.
    We’ve got your Russian whore,
    Here at the Trump Tower.

    Steely Dan songs seem like the most easy to apply to any scenario in the Trump era. Donald Fagan somehow had his pulse on the all-out moral depravity growing in America 40 years before it came to full flower. Same song nails the Dotard, too: “In the night you hide from the madman you’re longing to be. But it all comes out on the inside, eventually.”

  197. 197
    Roger Moore says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Trump just attacked the Federal Reserve. I’m sure Wall Street is thrilled.

    Trump just attacked the Federal Reserve for wanting to raise interest rates. Wall Street may indeed be thrilled; they love cheap money.

  198. 198
    tybee says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Georgia’s minimum legal age is 16

    well, now it is.

  199. 199
    TenguPhule says:

    @Barbara: No. This guy.

    Jonathan F. Mitchell.

    He was a Supreme Court clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia; worked at the Justice Department under President George W. Bush; taught at several law schools, including Stanford; and spent more than four years as the solicitor general of Texas.

    After the 2016 election, he served as a volunteer attorney on the Trump transition team, where he helped review future executive orders. In September, Trump nominated him to head the Administrative Conference of the United States, a small federal agency that advises the government on improving its inner workings. His nomination awaits action by the Senate after the Judiciary Committee approved him on a party-line vote in March.

  200. 200
    TenguPhule says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Wall Street may indeed be thrilled; they love cheap money.

    Nobody ever accused them of being long term thinkers.

  201. 201
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷:
    “What sane nation would ever cut funding for election security? “
    What does that have to do with the US these days?

  202. 202
    Dan B says:

    Once you’ve run hookers you’ll never go back. Or if grandad did. Reminder Granpa Drumpf ran hotels in Vancouver and Seattle that featured women of the night. It earned him eniugh to return to Bavaria but didn’t impress the Bavarians who booted his tax and military evading (is this an echo or a choice?) a$$ out of the country.

  203. 203
    Aleta says:

    Remember the stories before the election about a short-lived modeling organization T had with someone else, based in NYC, and maybe LA too. They offered young women in Eastern Europe modeling jobs in the US. The legal problems that ended the company were over visas. The stories hinted at prostitution and possible trafficking.

    Before T I had never thought about how perfect the giant ‘luxury’ hotel biz could be as a place to trade arms, layover with drugs, launder money, and pimp people. Owning the franchise but not the turf would be safer too.

  204. 204
    retr2327 says:

    @Teddys Person: I don’t know if you caught Maddow’s show the other night, but Peter Strzok, the FBI agent who testified in front of Congress, was the agent who tracked the real-life Russian agent couple that inspired the Americans. True story!

  205. 205
    retr2327 says:

    @NotMax: in Georgia, a generation can be only 15 years . . .

  206. 206
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @rikyrah: I’m sure he is but I doubt he realuzes it.

  207. 207
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @raven: Had a cousin who used to go around to see these things. Even went to a couple of out of the way places in eastern Europe. Made many scrapbooks with extensive notations maintaining the veracity of these “appearances”. Fortunately, she seems to have gotten over it.

  208. 208
    Yarrow says:

    @Nicole: Yes. Laundered rubles.

  209. 209
    trollhattan says:

    @retr2327:
    Cool! So Strzok’s real name is Beeman.

  210. 210
    D58826 says:

    So Der Fuhrer has invited Putin to DC to turn over the keys to the WH and AF1.

  211. 211
    Captain C says:

    @Yarrow: Probably that he’s one of those million-aihs that he keeps deriding.

  212. 212
    Miss Bianca says:

    @rikyrah: And like I said – and you’ve said – those of us who supported Hillary from the first…

    …are those of us who are the only ones who won’t be shocked, SHOCKED, I tell you, when it comes out that those emails between Devine and Manafort include high-fives to each other for doing what their Russian paymasters wanted…GET HILLARY CLINTON.

    And we will still be pissed as hell. And we will be carrying RECEIPTS, motherfuckers.

  213. 213
    Kathleen says:

    @John PM: L&O SVU has featured many episodes about Russian mobs and prostitution throughout the years. L&O episodes also used Russian in their plot lines. While watching those reruns I marvel at how prescient the writers were.The subject of Russians is not new to the L&O franchises.

  214. 214
    Kathleen says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I think both he and Bernie are rodent copulators extraordinaire Slanders’ voting record, refusal to release tax returns, hacking of the DNC , his behavior after he was eliminated and his tacit support of the hecklers at the Dem convention, his constant attempts to undermine Democratic candidates. He is a menace and I think his hands are dirty.

  215. 215
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Kelly: Co-sign. “Hookerducken” sounds like an exit on the Garden State Parkway.

  216. 216
    wjs says:

    How many reporters from the New York Times were assigned to this story after the NY Post got wind of it? Seven or eight?

    If this had happened “somewhere near” the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, the boost to the local hotel and bar economy in that fine American city would be enough to get everyone through the Christmas holidays.

  217. 217
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Captain C:
    Yep, that definitely sounds like Bung Karno. He was married to nine women over his life, including one from whom he did not get divorced even after he had married a subsequent wife. (He was Muslim, so he could do that without scandal.) He took considerable pride in being a ladies’ man. (If anyone’s curious, Bung was/is Indonesian for “bro”.)

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