Friday, January 13, 2017

Updates on Trump in Russia you may want to read

Three things:

* Did you wonder how Pravda reported on Trump's adventures in Russia?  As it happens, they did it running a dismissive, let's all laugh at how ridiculous Americans are, column headed "The Adventures of Donald Trump at Moscow's Ritz Hotel".   And here's the oddest section: 
Generally speaking, American policy makers have a serious obsession about natural bodily functions. Last year, for example, it was reported that an unidentified individual, presumably a Russian intelligence officer, defecated on the carpet in an apartment of an American diplomat. Of course, no evidence was presented whatsoever.
Furthermore, continuing the "I think they protest-eth too much" line, it concludes:
The story has once again clearly shown the mental abilities of Hillary Clinton's supporters. The Democratic Party experiences a deep-rooted crisis indeed. In general, the story about the adventures of Donald Trump in Moscow's Ritz Hotel has already been recognized as one huge epic fake news both in Russia and in the United States.
Gee.  They write exactly how Trump talks.  Spooky.

* No 2's:   I see via Twitter that someone has turned up audio of Trump on a Howard Stern show from 2001 in which the other guest (who, apparently, had a girlfriend who Trump had "stolen" from him - ugghhh) said this:
After Trump bragged that he “took” Benza’s girlfriend, this happened:
Trump: I assume A.J.’s clean. I hope he’s clean.
Benza: Meanwhile, he bangs Russian people…
Stern: Russian people?
Trump: Who are you talking about, Russian people, A.J.? I don’t know anything.
Benza: He used to call me when I was a columnist and say, “I was just in Russia, the girls have no morals, you gotta get out there.” [Trump’s] out of his mind.
Trump did not deny making the statement.
 The site has the audio of the interview up, and to be honest, it's not clear that Trump heard what Benza was saying about what he [Trump] had said about Russia "girls".

But it certainly helps reinforce the (unsurprising, of itself) likelihood that Trump has had slept with Russia women, if not prostitutes, on (more than likely) more than one occasion.

The question is - was it recorded by Russians and, even then, is the content enough for it to be bribe capable?

*  The use of sex tapes for political purposes in Russia was in the news only last year.  In a story that I certainly don't recall noticing at the time, Putin was accused by a political activist:
Natalia Pelevina, a Russian political activist at the heart of a shocking sex scandal, has no doubts about who is responsible for revealing her affair with a former Russian prime minister.
A secret video of her and Mikhail Kasyanov showing intimate bedroom sex scenes and frank private conversations was baldly exposed last Friday on national television.
Pelevina is convinced the Russian security services planted the recording devices to entrap the couple at the behest of the president.
"It had to be Putin. I have no doubt about that," Pelevina told CBC during an exclusive interview in Moscow this week.
She hadn't spoken publicly about the sex scandal since it broke last week. Kasyanov is chairman of PARNAS, a liberal opposition party in Russia. Pelevina is his political assistant and was, until this week, a member of the party executive.
Russian broadcaster NTV aired a 40-minute special program liberally laced with scenes from the secretly taped video of the two.
But as for Putin's direct dirty hands in the use of sex tapes,  we go back to 1999:
Out of nowhere, a shocking video appeared on a Russian TV news program late one evening in March 1999. A surveillance tape showed a naked, middle-aged man who resembled Russia's top prosecutor, Yuri Skuratov, cavorting with two unclothed young women. Neither was his wife.
The ensuing scandal included a press conference by the head of Russia's FSB security service at the time, Vladimir Putin, who made clear it was Skuratov in the video.
Skuratov soon lost his job, not to mention his dignity.
President Boris Yeltsin was apparently impressed with Putin's handling of this episode. Yeltsin wanted to get rid of Skuratov, who was believed to be looking into Kremlin corruption. Several months after the video surfaced, Yeltsin named Putin to be prime minister, and a few months after that, Putin took over as president.
It is therefore completely plausible that, if he knew it was potential useful, Putin would give the nod to taping  Trump if he was silly enough to be engaged in any form of sex (without his wife) in Moscow in  2013.

As I don't doubt he is silly enough, the main question is likely - did they?

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