Remember the Pitiful response to Katrina? That was awful, this is even worse

Late-night host Seth Meyers framed it just right last night, Trump is “so desperate for literally any kind of positive achievement” that he’s willing to lie that he won something.

Homeland Security secretary Elaine Duke, who is helping to coordinate the response.

“I know it is really a good news story in terms of our ability to reach people and the limited number of deaths that have taken place in such a devastating hurricane,”

Carmen Yulín Cruz hugs a woman during her visit to an elderly home in San Juan, Puerto Rico on 22 September 2017. Photograph: Thais Llorca/EPA

“Dammit, this is not a good news story,” Mayor of San Juan Carmen Yulín Cruz told CNN. “This is a people are dying story. This is a life-or-death story.”

The mayor of San Juan lashed out at the Trump administration on Friday after a senior official called the relief effort in Puerto Rico a “good news story”.

Donald Trump and administration figures have sought to put an optimistic gloss on their aid to the US territory, where residents are struggling to access drinking water and nearly half remain in the dark without electricity after being hit by two hurricanes in quick succession.

“FEMA & First Responders are doing a GREAT job in Puerto Rico,” the president wrote on Thursday in a typical tweet, referring to the US Federal Emergency Management Agency. “Massive food & water delivered.”

The San Juan mayor was reacting to comments by acting Homeland Security secretary Elaine Duke, who is helping to coordinate the response.

“I know it is really a good news story in terms of our ability to reach people and the limited number of deaths that have taken place in such a devastating hurricane,” Duke told reporters on Thursday.

The phrase drew a sharp rebuke from Cruz, who implored Duke to visit the ravaged island.

“This is a story of a devastation that continues to worsen because people are not getting food and water,” Cruz told CNN. “When you’re drinking from a creek, it’s not a good news story. When you don’t have food for a baby, it’s not a good news story … I’m sorry. That really upsets me and frustrates me.”

Elaine Duke is briefed on the Hurricane Maria response during a flight to Puerto Rico on Friday.

On Friday, Duke traveled to the US territory, a visit that was planned before her comments drew criticism. Duke clarified her comments during a press conference, explaining that she meant she was encouraged by the coordination among federal agencies, local government, and first responders.

“Clearly the situation here in Puerto Rico after the devastating hurricane is not satisfactory,” Duke said. “But together we are getting there and the progress today is very very strong. The president and I will not be fully satisfied, however, until every Puerto Rican is back home, the power is back on, clean water is freely available, schools and hospitals are fully open and the Puerto Rican economy is working.”

Despite the mobilization efforts underway, the situation in Puerto Rico remains dire as residents face food, water and fuel shortages and many residents have questioned why help has been so slow to arrive.

The electric grid was badly damaged, leaving many residents without power and reliant on gas-powered generators for energy. The storm crippled the island’s already weakened waste and water treatment plants. Fallen trees and strewn debris block roads. Cell phone service remains limited for many residents, making it difficult to reach family members.

Donald Trump has complained that the coverage of the government’s response has been unfair. He has also faced criticism for raising the issue of the country’s debt crisis as it reels from the impact of two hurricanes.

On Friday, Trump praised the administration’s relief effort, noting that 10,000 federal workers had been sent to the island along with ships bringing food and water.

Donald Trump waives Jones Act to allow foreign ships to supply Puerto Rico

“All appropriate departments of our government from homeland security to defense are engaged fully in the disaster. And the response and recovery effort probably has never been seen for something like this,” Trump said during a speech to the National Association of Manufacturers in Washington.

“This is an island, surrounded by water, big water, ocean water,” he added, referring to the logistical challenges.

He said that Puerto Rico was “totally and unfortunately unable” to manage the crisis on its own.

“They are working so hard. But there’s nothing left. It’s been wiped out. The houses are largely flattened,” he said.

Trump also said the government of Puerto Rico would have to work with federal authorities to determine how to pay for the massive recovery effort, which is compounded by “the tremendous amount of existing debt already on the island”.

He tweeted earlier: “The fact is that Puerto Rico has been destroyed by two hurricanes. Big decisions will have to be made as to the cost of its rebuilding!”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/29/san-juan-mayor-criticizes-us-officials-for-calling-puerto-rico-relief-effort-good-news#img-1

 

Advertisements

F–k Rob Arkley!

“Our own local racist bully boy version of Trump doesn’t want the Wiyot’s stolen home returned to them.”TE

Tuluwat Village

Allen McCloskey sets the record straight:

Indian Island is and always has been of great cultural and historical value to the Wiyot People. I support the City of Eureka City Council (Austin Allison and Kim Walford-Bergel) and City Leadership in their efforts to restore Indian Island to its original inhabitants/stewards. The Wiyot People as the original inhabitants and stewards of Indian Island have what I equate to a genetic-historical-connection to Indian Island. The cultural connection of the Tribe to Indian Island goes back countless generations and their people are intrinsically tied to the Island. In fact I would argue that their individual and collective well-being and prosperity and the healing of the Tribe’s genetic memory with regards to the historical trauma and deliberate attack by Eureka’s great businessmen of the time, to commit genocide of the Wiyot people, is truly contingent upon the environmental health and return of this land to its original inhabitants/stewards.

The Tribe and the City of Eureka in recent years have worked together collectively to mitigate years of pollution and contamination and have engaged in meaningful dialogue with regards to transitioning Indian Island back to the Tribe. The collective work of the Tribe and the City should not be tarnished and/or in any way delayed or derailed by the intentional and ignorant intervention by the likes of Robin Arkely, merely on the premise that he feels that the Island belongs to him and his family, because, in his words they “like it.” Indian Island was stolen from the Wiyot people at the hands of “prominent Eureka businessmen” of that time who murdered and viciously killed the Wiyot people.

The current City leadership is now in the process of contributing to the healing of the Wiyot people by returning the Island to its original inhabitants. The City’s efforts to return the Island to the Wiyot people is clearly an act of restoring to the indigenous peoples what very obviously they’re entitled to and they have a legitimate claim to, and a claim I might add that on the Tribe’s part is in no way divisive but rather restorative. That’s the idea behind reconciliation. I commend the City of Eureka Council for their recent actions and their commitment to the Wiyot People and the return of Indian Island.

In Solidarity,

Allen McCloskey

 

Pardons, threats, lies, misdirection, phony leaks, Pay attention people! This is a slow rolling Republican sanctioned Coup d’état

(They lost the popular vote by 3 million, but thanks to “Cross Check” voter suppression and Russian sabotage the Republicans now completely control the Government and seem ready for Trump to officially become its dictator.)TE

Misdirection: Trump attacks Post over report Sessions discussed campaign with ambassador

Donald Trump went on the offensive on Saturday morning, after the Washington Post reported that his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, discussed Trump’s White House bid with the Russian ambassador to Washington in 2016.

The president did not defend Sessions, whom earlier this week he criticized strongly for his recusal from the Russia investigation. Instead, Trump complained about “illegal leaks” and demanded: “Why isn’t the AG or Special Council [sic] looking at the many Hillary Clinton or Comey crimes. 33,000 e-mails deleted?”

(Talk about fake news, now we have the media initially falling for this “so called leak” that actually was reported about months ago. Now being re-leaked by the White House) TE

The Post report cited US intelligence intercepts which contradict Sessions’ assurances that the campaign was not discussed. Sergey Kislyak told his superiors in Moscow he talked about campaign-related matters and significant policy issues during two meetings with Sessions, according to current and former US intelligence officials, the Washington Post reported on Friday.

The ambassador’s accounts of the meetings, which US spy agencies intercepted, clash with those of Sessions and pile fresh pressure on the attorney general just days after the president publicly criticized him.

On Saturday morning, Trump tweeted his anger.

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump 3:33 AM – 22 Jul 2017

A new INTELLIGENCE LEAK from the Amazon Washington Post, this time against A.G. Jeff Sessions.These illegal leaks, like Comey’s, must stop!

Trump has complained that Comey, whom he fired in May, has leaked confidential information.

Trump also tweeted a complaint about the Post’s main rival:

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump  3:45 AM – 22 Jul 2017

The Failing New York Times foiled U.S. attempt to kill the single most wanted terrorist, Al-Baghdadi.Their sick agenda over National Security

On Friday, Gen Raymond Thomas, head of Special Operations Command, blamed a “media leak” for one instance of Islamic State leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, escaping capture or death.

Trump did not immediately follow up or expand his argument, instead tweeting about a speaking engagement in Norfolk, Virginia. He then tweeted a reference to reports, met with horror among Democrats, that White House advisers were exploring the possibility of presidential pardons.

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump  4:44 AM – 22 Jul 2017

“While all agree the US President has the complete power to pardon,” Trump wrote, “why think of that when only crime so far is LEAKS against us. FAKE NEWS.”

He added:

So many people are asking why isn’t the A.G. or Special Council looking at the many Hillary Clinton or Comey crimes. 33,000 e-mails deleted?

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump 4:47 AM – 22 Jul 2017

…What about all of the Clinton ties to Russia, including Podesta Company, Uranium deal, Russian Reset, big dollar speeches etc.

 Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump  5:00 AM – 22 Jul 2017

My son Donald openly gave his e-mails to the media & authorities whereas Crooked Hillary Clinton deleted (& acid washed) her 33,000 e-mails!

Sessions, formerly a senator from Alabama, was a senior foreign policy adviser to Trump during the presidential race. After being tapped to run the justice department, he first failed to disclose his encounters with Kislyak and then said the meetings were not about the Trump campaign.

The Post cited an unnamed US official who called Sessions’ statements “misleading” and “contradicted by other evidence”. An unnamed former official said the intelligence indicated Sessions and Kislyak had “substantive” discussions on matters including Trump’s positions on Russia-related issues and prospects for bilateral relations in a Trump administration, the paper reported.

The officials acknowledged that the ambassador could have mischaracterized the meetings in his briefings to Moscow.

The attorney general has repeatedly said he never discussed campaign-related issues with Russian officials and that it was in his capacity as a senator, not a Trump surrogate, that he met Kislyak. “I never had meetings with Russian operatives or Russian intermediaries about the Trump campaign,” he said in March.

The apparent discrepancy with Kislyak’s version of events capped a torrid week for Sessions. Trump said in an interview published on Wednesday that he regretted appointing him after Sessions recused himself from investigations into links with the Trump campaign and Russia.

The president, marking six months in office, appeared to be venting concern that the investigation headed by special counsel Robert Mueller was reportedly expanding to include his business ties with Russia.

Sessions told reporters on Thursday that he would continue in his job “as long as that is appropriate”. He made no immediate response to the Post’s article on Friday.

However, in a statement, a justice department spokeswoman told the paper: “Obviously I cannot comment on the reliability of what anonymous sources describe in a wholly uncorroborated intelligence intercept that the Washington Post has not seen and that has not been provided to me.”

In a separate development on Friday, the Senate judiciary committee said that next week it would interview the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr, and his former campaign chief Paul Manafort behind closed doors rather than in public testimony, as originally planned.

Both men agreed to negotiate to provide the committee with documents and be interviewed prior to a public hearing, the committee chairman, Chuck Grassley, and its ranking member, Dianne Feinstein, said in a statement. “Therefore, we will not issue subpoenas for them tonight requiring their presence at Wednesday’s hearing but reserve the right to do so in the future.”

(“Instead in an attempt at a big misdirection Grassley tried to replace them with GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson the research firm responsible for funding the bombshell Russia dossier. An attorney for Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson rejected a request to voluntarily appear before a Senate Judiciary hearing next week, citing Simpson’s vacation plans.”)  nice try TE

News from story in the Guardian – http://www.theguardian.com

The Mayor: Prayer Breakfasts in the morning….thievery as a public official during the day????

It appears as if in 2016, the (honorable?) Eureka Mayor Frank Jager was not only earning over $100,000 a year in PERS retirement and $15,000 a year from the County working as a deputy coroner/public “administrator of estates”, he couldn’t help himself from allegedly stealing from dead people thru the unethical practice of having his wife and himself purchasing property from deceased peoples estates at below market value.  We have a question for our very religious Mayor; what would Jesus do?  Certainly not what this ex-EPD “good ole boy” has done.  It is time for Mayor Jager to repent.  It is also time for some justice and for him to reap the consequences of this kind of low-life behavior and probably breaking the law.

This growing scandal is catching many of our local good ole boys by surprise. They thought sheriff Billy was going to handle it in the usual way, appoint the usual suspects to investigate one of their own then say basically “nothing to see here move along” sweeping all under the rug. Well as we posted about before…https://tuluwatexaminer.wordpress.com/2017/07/07/former-epd-good-ol-boys-are-finally-getting-caught-with-their-hands-in-the-cookie-jar/  (OOPS!) The DA invited the State Department of Justice in. For the most part, they don’t give a shit about the local good ole boys perceived right to line their pockets at the rest of our expense. Stay tuned to this story is going to get interesting especially if it starts coming out the tragic death of family members was followed by the looting of their estate

The rumors mill is reporting that Mayor Jager is for some reason feeling a sense of relief because the FBI has declined to investigate at this time.  However, from what we have heard the California Department of Justice is very interested in investigating the whole matter.

Take a deep breath Mayor Jager, it’s going to be quite a ride

Former EPD good ol’ boys are finally getting caught with their hands in the cookie jar!!!

Integrity

Thanks to a complaint from a concerned citizen and the questioning of Ryan Burns from the Lost Coast Outpost, it looks like the FBI and the State Attorney General’s office will be looking into the Coroner’s handling of estate properties.  And by handling, we mean the most extreme “low-balling” of the purchase price and outright theft of deceased people’s property:

https://lostcoastoutpost.com/2017/jul/7/da-maggie-fleming-calls-fbi-state-attorney-general/

Great “ethical standards” law enforcement!!!  Stealing from the dead or potential family members of the deceased is just plain low.  But that’s business as usual at the Eureka Police Dept(EPD) and in Humboldt’s Good Ol’ Boy network. Wait, EPD you say?  Why would we put EPD into a story about the Sheriff-Coroner sales of property that appears on the face of it illegal?  The reason is that former EPD officers (not Sergeants or Lieutenants) Frank Jager and Dave Parris have run the coroner’s office since the nineties!

Mills and Downey

When we first heard about the selling off of deceased people’s property to county employees, Eureka Mayors, and their family members: we weren’t at all surprised.  We’ve been getting tips for years that people who’ve had their property seized in marijuana raids have later seen their ATV’s and trailers being used/owned by the same officers who raided their property.  But what the hell could we do about that? Who would believe us? If people in the drug trade don’t complain, the problem would just persist.

However, in this case, we have some hope.  At first, we were pretty worried.  Newly minted Sheriff William “Billy” Honsal gave an interview to Ryan Burns, in which he talked about the new “investigation” he was calling for.  The “independent” investigator would be hired by the HCSO, to look into the corruption that was happening under Billy Honsal’s nose when he was in command or second-in-command at the Sheriff’s office:

https://lostcoastoutpost.com/2017/jun/30/sheriff-honsal-interview/

In that same article, Honsal was quoted as saying, “I don’t want to get too specific into the investigation because I want the independent investigator at the DA’s Office to evaluate the entire investigation and then make a referral to the DA based upon that, but the idea is there is a government code section that basically says no property shall be sold to any current employees of the Coroner’s Office or Public Administrator.”

Now that quote was when we started to get worried and started asking questions to our sources at the County and City of Eureka.  Our worst fears of corruption and potential cover-up had been confirmed, …..that is until today’s announcement from DA Fleming.  Congratulations and respect to DA Magie Fleming for requesting the State and Federal Government to investigate this case.  Maybe some truth will come out of this investigation and criminals (whether elected or not) will be held to account.

But even before this investigation gets underway, it would be nice for the community to understand who the players involved in this good ol’ boy theft of property were, and why those connections had us so worried about what may happen.

NCJ photo of Jager

First, we have former EPD officer Frank Jager, currently the Mayor of Eureka, who was the Humboldt County Coroner from 1999 until 2009. Then in 2009, the Department was taken over by Dave Parris.  Parris ran the department until it was consolidated with the HCSO in 2015.

Paris and Downey

Interesting to note that both Jager and Parris were police officers at the Eureka Police Department.  Neither of them promoted above the rank of officer (?), but both of them ended up running the Detectives Bureau at EPD at different times. Their rise to the top position of County Coroner was filled with lots of glad-handing, favors and out and out corruption.  It’s also important to notice that these men went to prayer breakfasts in the morning and then stole from dead people during the day. (Not a big surprise to the Examiner)

To top that off, Billy Honsal, a regular prayer breakfast attendee is the son of William Honsal Sr.  William Honsal Sr. was a former EPD Captain who was known for several officer-involved shootings.  Honsal Sr. is BFF’s with recently retired evangelical Sheriff Downey, who hired Honsal Jr. from an outside agency as the under-sheriff, groomed him as his heir and then promoted him to Sheriff when he left suddenly and somewhat unexpectedly earlier this year.

But it goes further from there!  Until DA Fleming made her bold move the investigation of Jager and Parris would have been under the direction of Chief DA Investigator Wayne Cox.  Cox was an officer at EPD before becoming a DA Investigator.  Cox was given the Investigator and Chief position by his former boss, Mike Hislop.  Hislop was a former EPD Sergeant who got the position of Chief DA Investigator from his father in law, Jim Dawson.  Now the EPD connections are obvious here, and there’s clearly a built-in bias if Cox was to head an investigation into fellow former fellow EPD officers Jager and Parris.

But it goes even further from there….   You see, many sources have reported to us that Mike Hislop was a thief of the first order back in his days in power.  In fact, we’ve been told that he had a hanger at the Eureka airport filled with lots military surplus gear he obtained when he was a Peace Officer.  That gear was supposed to be utilized by the agency he worked for, but there’s been accusations and speculation that the gear never made it to his employers. And military gear was just the tip of the iceberg for tips about Hislops corruption and thefts.  So you see why we were a little worried that Hislop’s minion Wayne Cox might not look seriously into corruption and theft.

Hopefully, the FBI looks into this as a very “broad” investigation.  Maybe they can flesh out whether the theft/sale of deceased people’s property was an isolated corrupt practice, or was part of a broader theft of community member’s property (such as drug seizures, Military Surplus given to departments, unclaimed property, ect.).

As a side note, this investigation and corruption couldn’t have been a surprise to former Sheriff Mike Downey or soon to be former Chief Andy Mills.

The Examiner has to ask. Did they leave their post’s early knowing shit was about to hit the fan?  That’s as good an explanation as any of the questionable statements we heard from them when they announced their departures!!!

Good luck Federal and State authorities, bring your hip boot waders you’re stepping into some deep shit!!!

Trump’s business partnerships with shadowy Russians in New York real estate deals

A bombshell Bloomberg View report dropped Wednesday morning detailing President Donald Trump’s shadowy business partnerships with Russian investors on New York City real estate deals.

Rachel Maddow teased the report, which links the president to possible money laundering operations through his business associate Felix Sater — a mob informant and felon who has boasted of his ties to the Kremlin and Russian intelligence.

While special counsel Robert Mueller is looking into whether Trump obstructed justice in firing former FBI Director James Comey, the investigation into possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia also continues. As The Washington Post reported last week, the investigation into Trump also involves tracking concerning financial activities. The New York Times went even further, saying that Mueller is looking into whether Trump associates laundered payoffs from Russians and funneled them through offshore accounts.

“It’s ridiculous that I wouldn’t be investing in Russia,” Trump said during a 2007 deposition. “Russia is one of the hottest places in the world for investment.”

“Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets,” Donald Trump Jr. said a year later.

A troubling history of possibly compromising business relationships has scored cash for Trump for years, according to Bloomberg. The Bayrock Group, a now-dormant development firm that operated in Trump Tower, partnered with Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump on a series of deals between 2002 and 2011. The largest of the deals was part of a project in Manhattan, the Trump Soho Hotel.

During the years that the two worked together, Bayrock was a link between several dark projects in the U.S. and Europe that once named after Trump. Bayrock used Icelandic banks to launder money from government investors, legislators and others, Bloomberg reported.

One principal was a career criminal, according to Bloomberg, named Felix Sater, who worked with organized crime in both the U.S. and Russia. Before he brought the company to Trump he worked as a mob informant for the FBI and ran to Moscow to avoid any criminal charges.

Trump, Arif and Sater, at right

A former Bayrock insider, Jody Kriss, admitted that he left the firm out of fear the company was a front for a money laundering scheme and filed a lawsuit claiming he’d been swindled out of millions by cash skimming and tax dodging.

A federal judge agreed in December that Kriss’ suit could move forward as a racketeering case.

Trump claims he barely knows Sater, but the two met frequently at Trump Tower and Sater showed Trump’s children around Moscow on a visit, and he also carried Trump Organization business cards.

Sater was also involved with Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen and former national security adviser Michael Flynn on a Ukrainian peace proposal.

He went to prison for 15 months in 1993 for slashing the man’s face open with a margarita glass during a bar fight, and Sater later fled to Moscow after federal prosecutors charged him and his associates with laundering about $40 million from elderly Holocaust survivors for the mob.

Sater “was always hustling and scheming, and his contacts in Russia were the same kind of contacts he had in the United States,” Lauria wrote in his 2003 memoir, “The Scorpion and the Frog.” “The difference was that in Russia his crooked contacts were links between Russian organized crime, the Russian military, the KGB, and operatives who played both ways, or sometimes three ways.”

He eventually came back to the U.S. to face charges but traded on his knowledge of Stinger missiles for sale on the black market in Afghanistan to strike a plea deal in the money laundering case, which was then sealed.

Sater and Kriss joined Bayrock, headquartered at Trump Tower, in 2002 with a $10 million investment from former Soviet official Tevfik Arif, who reportedly made his fortune running upscale hotels in Turkey that catered to wealthy Russians.

Marketing documents for Bayrock pitched prospective investors claiming a former Soviet oligarch, Alexander Mashkevich, was one of Bayrock’s primary sources of capital.

According to Bloomberg, Bayrock was never out of money, despite running a small development firm. Kriss’ lawsuit alleges they could operate “month after month, for two years, in fact, more frequently, whenever Bayrock ran out of cash.” If times got tight, Bayrock’s owners would “magically show up with a wire from ‘somewhere’ just large enough to keep the company going.”

Both Sater and Arif wooed Kriss to Bayrock by promising him 10 percent of the firm’s profits, according to the lawsuit. Being located in Trump Tower gave “an air of success” to the company, according to Kriss — as well as an opportunity to work with Trump.

Sater was the one who built the relationship with the future president, according to court records. He used three Trump Organization executives to eventually lead him to Trump in 2002, when the celebrity real estate developer wasn’t in a good place financially and had barely escaped personal bankruptcy in the 1990s. His reputation was sunk and no bank wanted anything to do with him, so Trump turned to developing golf courses. Arif and Sater pitched him the idea of doing international hotel chains with Trump’s name, according to Kriss — which they claimed would help pump up his “brand.”

The relationship proved mutually beneficial, and both Bayrock and Trump saw their fortunes rise after the debut of his reality show, “The Apprentice,” in 2004.

“That put Bayrock in a great position once the show debuted,” Kriss said. “The show did it for Trump, man. Nobody was interested in licensing his name before that.”

Bayrock promised Trump an 18 percent equity stake in the Trump Soho hotel, which would provide a steady stream of cash from fees and his name on a Manhattan building. No one knows whether Trump did any research into the Bayrock partners backgrounds, but Bloomberg alleges that Trump was known for lacking concern for such matters.

Sater claims he revealed his convictions to Trump Organization members and assumed they relayed it to Trump, but he can’t say for sure.

“It’s not very hard to get connected to Donald if you make it known that you have a lot of money and you want to do deals and you want to put his name on it,” said Abe Wallach, who served as Trump’s right-hand man from 1990 to 2002. “Donald doesn’t do due diligence. He relies on his gut and whether he thinks you have good genes.”

Due to a language barrier, Arif had little to do with Trump, so it was left to Sater and Kriss — who had most of their interactions with Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, but the future president always had final say.

According to a deposition, Sater met with Trump multiple times a week to talk about business, including a plan to use Sater’s Russian connections to build a “high-rise” in Moscow.

Sater claimed he wouldn’t call Trump “my friend” in a 2008 deposition, but the two traveled together to look at deals. “Anybody can come in and build a tower,” he said. “I can build a Trump Tower because of my relationship with Trump.”

They began the international hotel-condo projects by exploring deals in Turkey, Poland, and Ukraine. Sater took Ivanka and Don Jr. to Moscow looking for land for a Trump-branded hotel, but none got past the planning stages. In the U.S., however, Bayrock and Trump projects moved forward.

Developing a Phoenix hotel became a nightmare when a zoning debate surfaced and Sater ended up in court with a local investor named Ernest Mennes. In a lawsuit, Mennes claimed he threatened to reveal Sater’s criminal history, and Sater said that he had a cousin that would “electrically shock Mr. Mennes’ testicles, cut off Mr. Mennes’ legs, and leave Mr. Mennes dead in the trunk of his car.”

Mennes also claimed Bayrock and Sater skimmed money off of the development. They ultimately settled the suit, sealed the court documents and Sater’s lawyers deny Mennes’s allegations

They then started the Trump International Hotel and Tower project in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in 2005. It ultimately ended up in foreclosure. Finally, Bayrock and Trump built the Soho hotel with a Trump, Sater and Arif photo from a launch party in 2007 — which Trump advertised as part of “The Apprentice.”

An influx of funding came in from an Icelandic investment bank named the FL Group. Sater and Lauria had a longtime mob ally recruited into FL. Trump didn’t seem concerned about vetting the firm despite operating in a country with problematic banking systems. The FL Group went under, a little more than a year after its investment, but was never prosecuted despite other Icelandic banks being jailed for money laundering.

In an interview, Kriss said competitors of the FL Group also asked to invest in Bayrock. He took the proposal to Sater and Arif, who told him that the money from Icelandic banks “was mostly Russian,” and that the group was forced to take FL’s funds for other deals with Trump because the firm was “closer to Putin.”

“I thought it was a lie or a joke when they said Putin,” Kriss remembers, though he doesn’t have financial records to prove it. “I didn’t know how to make sense of it at all.”

When Kriss complained he was owed a payout after the FL deal, but he said that Sater threatened him, so he took $500,000 and eventually quit.

By December 2007 Sater’s past was splashed across the New York Times, and he began using an alternative spelling of his name, “Satter.” Just days following that article, Trump sat for a deposition with the Bloomberg story’s author, Timothy O’Brien, as part of a libel lawsuit Trump had filed for “TrumpNation.” O’Brien’s attorneys asked if Trump planned to sever ties with Sater because of the organized crime ties and The Times article. Trump said he wasn’t sure yet.

“Have you previously associated with people you knew were members of organized crime?” one of O’Brien’s lawyers asked Trump.

“No, I haven’t,” Trump replied. “And it’s hard to overly blame Bayrock. Things like that can happen. But I want to see what action Bayrock takes before I make a decision.”

When asked about Sater any time since Trump claimed they weren’t close. In a 2013 deposition around the failed Fort Lauderdale project, Trump was asked about Sater again.

“He was supposedly very close to the government of the United States as a witness or something,” Trump claimed. “I don’t think he was connected to the Mafia. He got into trouble because he got into a barroom fight.”

“I don’t know him very well,” Trump swore under oath. He then claimed he hadn’t spoken much to Sater. “If he were sitting in the room right now I really wouldn’t know what he looked like.”

Trump continued, claiming that he didn’t think any questions about Sater’s background should have influenced his business partnership. “Somebody said that he is in the Mafia. What am I going to do?” Trump said.

By 2008, Sater was forced to resign from Bayrock. The Trump Soho hotel was a flop, opening in 2010 with unfilled units. Those who did buy condos sued Bayrock and Trump and it was forced into foreclosure.

When Kris left Bayrock he set up another firm and sued Sater, Arif, Trump and Bayrock in Delaware in 2008. He claimed Bayrock was a criminal operation and demanded back pay. The case was moved to New York in 2010. Interestingly, however, Sater accidentally left a copy of his deal with the government for the Stinger missile on an old Bayrock computer. An employee found it and gave it to Kriss’s attorney, who filed it as an exhibit.

Trump was ultimately dropped from the case, and Sater came after Kriss with multiple lawsuits claiming, among other things, that Kriss used the courts to come after Slater.

Kriss then began receiving threatening emails, and he discovered there were hundreds of websites that had false and disparaging information about him. He moved to sue the anonymous authors for defamation and the court ruled in his favor and the sites were delisted from Google. He used the court order to find the source of the sites and found them tracked back to Sater’s home address in Sands Point.

At one point, Kriss claims “goons” showed up at his real estate projects in Brooklyn asking his workers if they knew the stories about their boss. Letters questioning his background arrived in every mailbox of every resident in two buildings where Kriss had apartments. Investors in his new company, East River Partners, stood by him but Kris said that Sater’s digital attack on him may be impossible to overcome.

His new attorney, Bradley Simon, stated that he continues to be mystified by how Sater has managed to stay in business this long.

“Sater was a cooperating witness for the Eastern District of New York and he continued going on a crime rampage,” says Simon. “He’s filed all kinds of frivolous lawsuits, but that’s what he does. He seems to have unlimited funds.”

After leaving Bayrock, the Trump Organization briefly employed Sater as a consultant and more recently he was named in other litigation for an Ohio shopping mall where millions allegedly disappeared. The case was settled in 2013.

Sater and others at Bayrock would not comment for O’Brien’s expose.

http://www.rawstory.com/2017/06/trumps-links-to-russian-money-laundering-raises-new-questions-about-secret-real-estate-deals-since-election/

Trump, Manafort, Konstantin Kilimnik and the Republican-Russian election interference web

Donald Trump’s campaign chairman met in August — as controversy swirled over possible Russian interference in the election — with a business associate who may have ties to Russian intelligence.

Paul Manafort met twice during the presidential campaign with Konstantin Kilimnik, who helped run the Ukraine office for his political consulting operation for 10 years — including a previously undisclosed dinner shortly before his own Russian ties forced him out of the Trump campaign, reported the Washington Post.

Konstantin Klimnik

Kilimnik learned fluent English and Swedish at a Soviet military school, and his later work as a translator earned him a reputation as an operative for Russia’s GRU intelligence service — although he denies those connections and U.S. officials have not made that allegation.

He began working for Manafort, whose own ties to the Kremlin are under investigation by Congress and the FBI, in 2005, and he stayed with the consulting group through its work for pro-Russian hardliner Viktor Yanukovych, who became president of Ukraine and later fled to Russia.

Kilimnik admits to meeting twice with Manafort in the U.S. during the presidential campaign.

The first meeting came in early May 2016, about two weeks before Manafort was promoted to campaign chairman, and the second was in August — about two weeks before he resigned under pressure related to his political work in Ukraine.

The business associates met at the Grand Havana Room in New York City, where they talked about which clients owed them money, the overall situation in Ukraine and the U.S. presidential campaign.

Manafort admits to discussing with Kilimnik the hacks of the Democratic National Committee, but simply as part of a conversation about current events at that time.

“It would be neither surprising nor suspicious that two political consultants would chat about the political news of the day, including the DNC hack, which was in the news,” Jason Maloni, a spokesman for Manafort, told the Post. “We’re confident that serious officials will come to the conclusion that Paul’s campaign conduct and interaction with Konstantin during that time was perfectly permissible and not in furtherance of some conspiracy.”

Kilimnik’s late-summer visit to the U.S. drew the attention of U.S. authorities, and he later told associates that he played a role in softening the Republican platform toward Russian interests in Ukraine.

Ukrainian authorities formally investigated Kilmnik’s alleged ties to Russian intelligence last year, and he was cleared, although some lawmakers there questioned whether the probe deliberately avoided findings that could have affected the U.S. presidential race.

Kilimnik’s name appeared this spring on a subpoena issued in Virginia by a federal grand jury in connection with Manafort’s work in Ukraine and his business connections.

http://www.rawstory.com/2017/06/revealed-trump-campaign-chief-met-with-suspected-russian-spy-last-august-to-discuss-dnc-hacks/