RussiaFvckery Open Thread: Brexit, Too Also

Putin: Maybe I can’t make Russia Great Again, but I *can* do my best to bring America / Britain /the E.U. down to our level!

Lenin: When it comes time to hang the capitalists, they will vie with each other for the rope contract.”

In August, Sam Patten, a US political consultant who had worked for Cambridge Analytica on campaigns in the US and abroad, struck a plea deal with Mueller after admitting he had failed to register as a foreign agent for a Ukrainian oligarch.

He became a subject of the special counsel’s inquiry because of work done with Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign manager, in Ukraine. He had also set up a business with Konstantin Kilimnik, a key figure who Mueller has alleged has ties to Russian intelligence and who is facing charges of obstruction of justice. In a 2017 statement to the Washington Post, Kilimnik denied any connection to intelligence services. Kaiser, however, is the first person connected directly to both the Brexit and Trump campaigns known to have been questioned by Mueller.

The news came to light in a new Netflix documentary, The Great Hack, which premiered at the Sundance film festival last month and is expected to be released later this spring. Film-makers followed Kaiser for months after she approached the Guardian, including moments after she received the subpoena. She claims the summons came after the Guardian revealed she had visited WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange while still a Cambridge Analytica employee in February 2017, three months after the US election…

In October 2017, it was revealed that Alexander Nix, the chief executive of Cambridge Analytica, had contacted Assange in August 2016 to try to obtain emails from Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign – which indictments from Mueller’s team say were obtained by Russian military intelligence – to use in Donald Trump’s campaign. When Kaiser gave evidence to parliament last year, she was asked about her relationship with Assange and WikiLeaks but failed to reveal that she had met Assange…






88 replies
  1. 1
    debbie says:

    This must be the thousandth BIG thing. 😒

  2. 2
    Baud says:

    I can’t wait for the TV show about all this.

  3. 3
    Baud says:

    @Baud:

    I wonder of it’ll be called Special Prosecutor or simply Mueller?

  4. 4
    trollhattan says:

    Cripes, for the last year at least I’ve been asking why the Brits aren’t doing their own massive Russia interference in Brexit vote inquiry, as they hurtle to their own Stupid Decision cliff. They’re usually smarter than we on this sort of thing but all I ever hear is “Our democracy is threatened if we don’t proceed” out of them. Painful to watch.

  5. 5
    Baud says:

    @Baud:

    Maybe Thirteen Angry Democrats?

    ETA:. Oh, or Witch Hunt

  6. 6
    plato says:

    I look at my timeline and we seem to be laughing, shrugging & snarking our way through the fact that our president is shouting at the top of his lungs that he wants to shut down dissent and free speech. Just because he's a clown doesn't mean he's not a serious threat.— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) February 17, 2019

  7. 7
    Aleta says:

    @Baud: Unfairest Mueller ?

  8. 8
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @plato: Of course clowns are a threat. Everyone knows that.

  9. 9
    Duane says:

    @Aleta: Humpty Trumpty: The Breaking of a President.

  10. 10
    Aleta says:

    Mission Illogical

    (Mission Intolerable is more like it.)

  11. 11
    Gin & Tonic says:

    For heaven’s sake, can we drop the “alleged” when referring to Kilimnik?

  12. 12
    Yutsano says:

    @Aleta:Mission: Deplorable?

    Also: the fact that May won’t allow a Parliamentary inquiry into the nature of Brexit seems…telling, to me. I’m not sure what it tells except that she may be a True Believer. If so, this thing is going to blow up and hard.

  13. 13

    @Baud: From Russia, with love.

  14. 14
    Jay says:

    @trollhattan:

    “Theresa May must launch an independent investigation into “foreign influence and voter manipulation” in the Brexit vote, a committee of MPs says today, amid growing evidence of lawbreaking by Leave campaigners.

    A highly critical report – which warns “democracy is at risk” from rogue practices on social media – turns its fire on the prime minister for the failure to probe their effect on the referendum result.”

    https://www.google.ca/amp/s/www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-vote-investigate-law-breaking-influence-manipulation-theresa-may-facebook-a8783746.html%3famp

  15. 15
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Baud: The special prosecutorial system is made up of two separate, but equal parts: Bob Mueller who investigates and prosecutes the conspiracies by Republicans against the United States and members of the Republican Party that tweet mean things about him. These are their stories.

  16. 16
    SRW1 says:

    @trollhattan:

    The Brits haven’t done more about Russian interference in the Brexit vote for a similar reason why the Republicans haven’t been interested in Russian interference in the 2016 US election: The party in power is pro-Brexit and investigating Russian interference would only harm that interest.

    Patriotism don’t earn no buck quid.

  17. 17
    rk says:

    @trollhattan:

    Cripes, for the last year at least I’ve been asking why the Brits aren’t doing their own massive Russia interference in Brexit vote inquiry, as they hurtle to their own Stupid Decision cliff.

    There is something seriously wrong in Britain. Apparently there were 14 deaths linked to Russia (by the US intelligence agencies) in the UK, but their police force shut down investigations into all of them, and the govt reused to reopen any of the cases even after Buzzfeed did extensive reporting on it. Apparently Russian oligarchs own a lot of London real estate. To me it seems like massive corruption at the highest levels in that country including in their police force.
    https://www.buzzfeed.com/heidiblake/from-russia-with-blood-14-suspected-hits-on-british-soil

  18. 18
    Mary G says:

    Also, too, a Belgian major high in their counterintelligence unit has been arrested for spying for Russia. Vlad seems to have poured a lot of money into a lot of people. The Brits haven’t wanted to do much because if they crack down on all the laundered Russian money and murders of dissidents, real estate in London might crash. Who cares if the poors have medicine or food?

  19. 19
    Jay says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I’m stealing that!

  20. 20
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jay: As long as you’re making progress on that other thing, we’re good!

  21. 21
    Lapassionara says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Well done.

  22. 22
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mary G: The major wasn’t high in the counterintelligence division, the major was the director of the counterintelligence unit! This would be like having the FBI Executive Assistant Director for the National Security Branch arrested on suspicion of spying for Russia. Or anyone else for that matter!

  23. 23
    Aleta says:

    England’s in huge trouble.

  24. 24
  25. 25
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I know that Belgium is not a large country, but a major as the head of counter-intelligence?

  26. 26

    @Baud: Special Prosecutor is a much better name IMO, though it is making me imagine sort of an Ally McBeal-ish reimagining of the whole thing.

  27. 27
    zhena gogolia says:

    @debbie:

    My thoughts exactly. “This is HUGE!” and then nothing happens

  28. 28
    JaySinWA says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: “The Perjury Trap” or “The Mueller Grind”

  29. 29
    James E Powell says:

    @debbie:

    Agreed. It’s like seeing BREAKING in a diary at the Great Orange Satan.

  30. 30
  31. 31
    plato says:

    U.S. income inequality has returned to levels not seen since the 1920s — and it could actually be significantly worse, Axios reports.The top 1% owns about 40% of total household wealth. https://t.co/qi1G6SqRcK— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 18, 2019

    Mission accomplished. With active participation by voters.

  32. 32
    catclub says:

    @Baud: “Mueller, She wrote!”

  33. 33
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I really don’t know either unless this is a police rank and not military. The only Belgian officer I know is one who was my student my first year at USAWC. I think he’s still a colonel, maybe a brigadier. They don’t have a lot of general officers/flag officers.

  34. 34
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Gorgeous double rainbow! Thanks for showing us.

  35. 35
    catclub says:

    @rk:

    There is something seriously wrong in Britain.

    I think Theresa May read and decided to apply that HL Mencken quote: “Democracy is based on the theory that the people should get what they say they want – good and hard.”

  36. 36
    Aleta says:

    Modern Crime Family: Moscow on the Hudson
    Modern Crime Family: State’s Evidence Unit
    Modern Crime Family: Trial by Immunity
    Modern Crime Family: Life on the Lam

  37. 37
    catclub says:

    @rk:

    To me it seems like massive corruption at the highest levels in that country including in their police force.

    to me it sounds like it could be the police decided that it was just Russian mobsters killing other russian mobsters, so let them continue as long as no outsiders get hit.

  38. 38
    MagdaInBlack says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:
    That is a wonderful shot!
    Thank you!

  39. 39
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Baud:
    The show should be called The Miller of God (he said modestly).

  40. 40
    plato says:

    @Baud: The Trump Shitshow.

  41. 41
    Aleta says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Very extra nice
    (Homeowner might want to buy a framed print?)

  42. 42
    Suzanne says:

    @debbie: TRUFACTS. Supposedly everything is YUUUUUGE, but not really. We’re still stuck with this motherfucker.

  43. 43
  44. 44
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Aleta:
    Not just England, where many are convinced that cutting the nation off from Europe is an act of grevious self-harm. Norn Iron is very upset that Brexit will mean a “hard” border between it and the Republic of Ireland. In Scotland there has been talk of another independence referendum if Brexit goes through, and this time independence would probably win.

  45. 45
    MomSense says:

    @catclub:

    That’s already the name of a really good podcast. There’s a new one that just came out tonight.

  46. 46
    AnotherBruce says:

    @plato: Or non participation of voters.

  47. 47
    Yutsano says:

    @Amir Khalid: I think not only would independence win, it wouldn’t even be close. Scotland would just take its North Sea oil wells and say “Bugger Off!” to the Union. This would sldo give great incentive for Norhern Ireland to pursue reunion into the Republic. They’d be left with England and Wales.

  48. 48
    PJ says:

    @rk: There’s a lot of this shit that goes uninvestigated/covered up in the US, too. There was Mikhail Lesin, former aide to Putin, who “fell down” and died at a DC hotel, and Vitaly Churkin, Trump’s one-time handler, who died of a “heart attack” in NYC. Neither of their autopsies was made public.

  49. 49
    Yutsano says:

    FYWP for no allowing edit. Sigh.

  50. 50
    Mary G says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Putin really hates the EU, doesn’t he? The spying is coming from inside the house!

  51. 51
    Percysowner says:

    @Gin & Tonic: No, because everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty. As much as I think everyone involved with Trump is dirty and probably guilty (why I could never be on a jury hearing any of these cases) we shouldn’t chip away at our democracy and our judicial process. The President and Republicans are doing enough of that. they don’t need any help.

  52. 52
    Jay says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    There seems to be some confusion about the case.

    GISS is Belgian Military Intelligence,
    “The Major” under investigation worked in Counter Intelligence,
    The Head of Counter Intelligence, ( rank not given) has been suspended.

    Apparently, all Belgian intelligence groups spend more time fighting for turf and Euro’s, than terrorism or Foriegn spies.

  53. 53
    Yutsano says:

    @Mary G: The EU as a unit has more political and economic power than Russia by a longshot. The EU also has stronger money laundering laws. Putin misses the day when Russia could fuck with the West just by shutting off the gas pipelines. Now Germany and Italy are getting a gas pipeline from Azerbaijan to Greece via Turkey. The EU is a direct threat to Putin’s power to bully.

  54. 54
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @Percysowner:

    No, because everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

    Gotta disagree, and I think @Gin & Tonic: has it right. Kilimnik is an officer of an enemy regime, intent on doing us harm. He will never stand trial in America, and this by his own decisions, just as with Prigozhin (Putin’s chef). Sure, there might be reasons to dispute Mueller’s word. But unless one is willing to argue that those fuckers are some sort of freedom-fighters, truth-tellers, whistle-blowers, it’s perfectly reasonable to call ’em what they are : enemies of America, spies for our enemies.

    They want something different? Let ’em come and defend themselves in our courts. Otherwise, “fuckem” [(c) efg]

  55. 55
    plato says:

    @Percysowner: The totus thug’s minions have pled guilty, but yeah, let’s pussyfoot around ‘alleged’ as a show of our librul streetcred.

  56. 56
    Mary G says:

    @Yutsano: Yeah, loved the standing O for Angela Merkel and at best “tepid applause” for Mike Pence in Munich yesterday. “Fuck off, Vlad!”

  57. 57
    Ruckus says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Belgium has less than a million more people than Los Angeles County and 2.6 times the land area. So it really isn’t a big country. Very nice though.
    So I’d suspect that the military isn’t all that big and as you say the number of officers of any rank is not huge.

  58. 58
    plato says:

    The President called SNL "Real Collusion" because he doesn't like Alec Baldwin playing him.Vladimir Putin has been playing him for the last 20 years.— Brian Krassenstein (@krassenstein) February 17, 2019

  59. 59
    oldgold says:

    @Mary G:

    The Russian delegation and Ivanka did not join in the standing O for Angela Merkel.

  60. 60
    Janet Strange says:

    @Amir Khalid: OT: Flickr just told me “Selamat datang, janetstrange!
    Now you know how to greet people in Malaysian” So, selamat datang, Amir!

  61. 61
    NotoriousJRT says:

    “Breaking Vlad”

  62. 62
    jl says:

    @plato: Trump is pissed because Alec Baldwin does a better top, the best, terrific…. terrific… really terrific Trump than Trump does.

  63. 63
    Another Scott says:

    Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump

    “These guys, the investigators, ought to be in jail. What they have done, working with the Obama intelligence agencies, is simply unprecedented. This is one of the greatest political hoaxes ever perpetrated on the people of this Country, and Mueller is a coverup.” Rush Limbaugh

    4:32 PM – Feb 17, 2019

    This is completely normal

    Time to dust off and update those Articles of Impeachment.

    Grr…

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  64. 64
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Janet Strange:
    Selamat datang to you too. That greeting means “welcome” rather than “hello”. Did you just sign up for Flickr?

  65. 65
    Mike in NC says:

    @Another Scott: Welcome to the Trump/Limbaugh/Coulter/Hannity administration, brought to you by FOX News. When will this national nightmare be over?

  66. 66
    rikyrah says:

    @Baud:
    It will be a Netflix limited series

  67. 67
    Ruckus says:

    @Mike in NC:

    When will this national nightmare be over?

    Not anywhere soon enough.
    If it ends anytime soon it wasn’t as much of an investigation as we need. Monty Python didn’t go far enough in the Holy Grail with the Black Knight, they rode off to the sound of coconut hoofbeats and the Black Knight still bullshitting himself. And we can’t afford that.

  68. 68
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @Ruckus:

    If it ends anytime soon it wasn’t as much of an investigation as we need.

    If we save our country in 2020 (by taking the trifecta), we’ll need to insist that our tribunes pursue all leads and all perps, hunt them down and prosecute/imprison them, and expose all their evil deeds to the light. Only if the GrOPers realize that they *cannot* profit from this sort of treason [yeah yeah, IANAL, and this is the civilian’s definition I’m usin’] will they stop.

  69. 69
    burnspbesq says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I continue to belive there is a strong possibility that Brexit will lead to Irish unification.

  70. 70
    West of the Rockies says:

    @Mike in NC:

    A few years ago, I thought Hannity was a lightweight, a guy who’d become a joke like Beck, but instead he apparently is an intellectual giant in the conservative world, a charismatic fountain of truth…

    Jeebus, but conservatives are stupid.

  71. 71
    Yarrow says:

    @Another Scott: Limbaugh has plenty he’s hiding. No wonder he’s saying that stuff.

  72. 72
    HalfAssedHomesteader says:

    @Baud: “Barney Mueller”?

  73. 73
    Mike in NC says:

    @West of the Rockies: Apparently Donald Trump, Sean Hannity, and Bill O’Reilly grew up within a fairly short distance of one another. My frequent time spent on Long Island convinced me that every other person I met was Archie Bunker.

  74. 74
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @trollhattan:

    Our democracy is threatened if we don’t proceed

    I’ve seen this from even Remain supporters. Utterly idiotic.

  75. 75
    trollhattan says:

    At this time I’d like to declare puppy nose.

  76. 76
    jl says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: It was a nonbinding vote. They could hold another vote. Bizarre. Like lemmings running off a cliff. Or, like I saw turkeys and sheep do on the farm, a bunch drifts to a fence and sits there jammed up in a little crowd until they die of heat stroke. Insane.

  77. 77
    Aleta says:

    “Whitewater is about health care.” Rush Limbaugh 1994 (via NYRB)

  78. 78
    Plato says:

    @Aleta:

    The fat thug has been fattening his bank account with fat lies for over quarter century. Only in murkkka.

  79. 79
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @jl:
    Yup. But “democracy!”, even if it’s a potentially tainted election by a hostile foreign power.

  80. 80
    Janet Strange says:

    @Amir Khalid: I signed up a long time ago, but hadn’t been back in years. I wanted to use it for something so I was working on getting a new password etc and figuring out how it works now. No idea why it was sharing Malaysian with me, but I thought it was cool. How do you say hello?

  81. 81
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Janet Strange:

    How do you say hello?

    It kind of depends on who you’re saying it to and in what circumstances. The Arabic “assalamu’alaikum” is commonly used between Muslims here. There’s a special one used for greeting royalty — I learned it a long time ago, but I don’t hang out with that crowd so I have since forgotten it. There’s the neutral and somewhat formal “salam sejahtera”. Older Chinese Malaysians might ask in Malay, “Sudah makan?” (Have you eaten?) which can be amusing during Ramadhan. Over the phone, most people just use the English word.

  82. 82
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I vaguely recall that there’s another language where Have you eaten? is a common form of greeting, but I can’t remember which one it is at the moment and I’m too lazy to Google it.

  83. 83
    Aleta says:

    @Mnemosyne: That was my mom’s language.

  84. 84
    Aleta says:

    @Plato: They feared and despised Hilary (and Bill) (and Carter), the whole lot of them, the Reagan Contra people.

  85. 85
    Sloane Ranger says:

    In the UK both major party leaders want Brexit although for different reasons. To Corbyn it’s a neo-liberal institution furthering multi national businesses. May was a lukewarm Remainer during the Referendum due to the negative effects on the economy but, when Leave won, she saw the silver lining that now, finally, there could be a crackdown on all those yucky immigrants. So, why should a little voting chicanery be allowed to derail an outcome both like?

    Things may be changing as far as Labour is concerned. The BBC is reporting that a group of up to 40 Labour MP’s are about to announce they are leaving the Party because of Corbn’s unwillingness to put his weight behind a 2nd Referendum and his handling of the anti-semitism problem.

    If this comes to pass, if the Tory Remainers, who are growing increasingly irritated with May’s constant deference to the smaller, but louder, Tory Brexiteers, vote with them, we may see some movement.

    As for independence for Scotland, there may be a 2nd Referendum but a vote to leave the Union is not by any means certain. The gilt has very much gone off the SNP due to various scandals and bad decisions in office plus some people who voted for Independence last time don’t see the point of leaving a Union of 4, in which Scotland is the 2nd largest nation to join a Union of nearly 30 in which it will be one of the medium or smaller nations.

    Northern Ireland will leave the Union over the dead bodies of the Unionists and the Republicans who will die in the ensuing carnage.

    Why isn’t Russian interference getting more play? Well, as one Brexit voter explained, even if it happened, us Brits are too smart to have fallen for it!

  86. 86
    ixnay says:

    ixnay–How about Mueller’s Crossing?

  87. 87
    Formerly disgruntled in Oregon says:

    @Sloane Ranger: For sustaining denial in the face of obvious facts, never discount the blinding nature of arrogance. Seems to be a factor on our side of the pond as well.

  88. 88
    Barry says:

    @trollhattan: “They’re usually smarter than we on this sort of thing but all I ever hear is “Our democracy is threatened if we don’t proceed” out of them. Painful to watch.”

    Probably because the entire Tory Party is involved.

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