How Deep Is Trump's Love Affair with Russia? Now FBI looks Deeper into the Spy Case
Now the FBI is investigating potential cooperation between Trump advisors and the Russian to arrange and leak emails from Hillary Clinton and her party, in order to promote Donald Trump into the White House.
GLOBALO met a former, well respected director of an intelligence service and discussed the facts.
- He believes that the story below of former MI 6 agent Christopher Steele, who was cooperating with the FBI, contains “several true facts”. Read the paper here.
- One of his two top informers inside Moscow died recently- most probably as a revanche of the Russians. It was his “Source E” in the paper. On the 26th of December 2016, Oleg Erovinkin was found dead in the back of his car. He was an ex-KGB and FSB general, suspected of helping Christopher Steele, the British spy who drafted the dossier on Donald Trump. He was also an aide to the former deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, who now heads up state-owned oil company Rosneft. While no cause of death was announced, local media sources reported that foul play was suspected.The morgue reported no cause of death. His death was to be investigated by FSB officials. The dossier by Steele describes Erovinkin’s involvement with the Rosneft promises beneficial to Trump, represented by campaign staffer Carter Page. Russia expert Christo Grozev of the Bulgarian think tank Risk Management Lab reported that Erovinkin was described as “Sechin’s treasurer” and concluded that Erovinkin was the source for much of the information in the dossier.
The unexpected deaths of six Russian diplomats in just four months could be a sign of cleaning by the Russian secret service. Despite evidence to the contrary in some cases, several deaths of Russian diplomats have been described as due to ‘heart attacks’ or as a result of ‘brief illness’ by Russian officials. All six deaths were violent or sudden. All took place since the Trump-Russia scandal. On February 20 Vitaly Churkin, 64, was rushed to hospital from his office at Russia’s UN mission after becoming ill suddenly on his way in to work. He became the sixth Russian diplomat to die unexpectedly since November 2016. Was he involved in Trumpgate as well?
- The FBI has briefed Trump and members of his team and Republicans in Congress about the human sources of the Steele-report. Did someone leaked the names to the Russians, who killed them? The death of Source E of the Steele-paper shows: facts listed there could be true, otherwise no revenge necessary.
- The Russian motivated by Mr Putin tried to do everything to stop Hillary Clinton entering the White House. The main focus was to split the democratic party and to motivate the young supporters of Bernie Sanders to stay at home with fake news and leaks.
- It worked as Trump got only 80,000 more votes in three states to swing to victory in November 2016.
- Now this quite successful operation backfired, as Trump is paralyzed by the Russia-Gate affairs and cannot promote a pro-Russian policy in Washington due to very strong opposition within the Republican party in Congress.
Allegations that Russia obtained compromising personal and financial information about Donald Trump became the talk-of-the-town in Washington DC, just days before the inauguration of the new US president already in January 2017.
- A report by a British former spy of MI6, claiming special links to Russia by two advisors and with Russian influence, has been published by the American media, among them CNN and buzzFeed. Read all details here.
- In September 2015 a Republican donor, who strongly opposed Mr. Trump, hired the Washington-based research firm Fusion GPS, founded by former journalists, to compile a dossier about Donald Trump. The company gathered and put together several files about Mr. Trump.
- Fusion GPS contacted Orbis in London as well. The Wall Street Journal named Christopher Steele, owner of Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd. in London, as the writer of the documents, now leaked by buzzFeed.
- The website states: “Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd. was founded in 2009 by former British intelligence professionals. The team now draws on extensive experience at boardroom level in government, multilateral diplomacy and international business to develop bespoke solutions for clients. Our tailored approach means the Directors are closely involved in the execution and detail of every project, supported by an in–house team of experienced investigators and professional intelligence analysts. Our global network of senior associates is made up of regional, industry and academic experts, as well as prominent business figures. We call upon their expertise and closed network of contacts to help our clients frame business decisions, protect our clients’ reputations, and problem–solve for companies facing complex issues worldwide. Ethical business practice is a fundamental value for the Orbis Business Intelligence team. Our documented procedures, developed in conjunction with external legal counsel, ensure compliance with relevant UK, US and EU legislation.”
- Steele spent years working for MI6 in Russia and Paris and at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London. After leaving MI6 he supported the FBI with information on corruption at Fifa. John Sipher, who retired in 2014 after 28 years in the CIA’s clandestine service, said to British media “Mr Steele had a good reputation in the intelligence world and was stationed in Russia for years.” The writer is a long-time credible and reliable British agent.
- The 35 page-report is based on several of his direct and indirect Russian sources in Moscow with some concrete and several vague facts, one misspelling and a mixture of facts and opinions. It includes rumors too. It is difficult to verify by the media, but not so difficult for the NSA to check via standard electronic recordings and the CIA. The FBI continues to verify it.
- It includes extraordinary claims that Russian spies exploited the president-elect’s “personal obsessions and sexual perversion” involving prostitutes and hidden cameras in the Ritz Carlton hotel (pictures) in 2013. It would be a classic KGB-style kompromat (blackmail) scenario. Another Pussy-Gate for Trump, remembering “Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything”?
- During the first press conference incoming White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, talked about a “political witch hunt” following reports that Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Trump.
- Will Trump’s links with Russia lead to a Russian grip on the White House?
Extraordinary developments revealing the private and financial links between Donald Trump and Russia are threatening to overshadow the inauguration of a president and de-legitimize democracy of the United States of America.
In Bed With Moscow or “Fake News”
When faced with alleged compromising material and revelations of the business ties between president elect Donald Trump and an aggressive Russia, he dismissed them as “fake news”.
The idea that Russia has been cultivating, supporting and assisting Trump for years is a worrying prospect for the US.
Additionally the allegations that Russian spies collected blackmail documents and images – including alleged footage from a hotel in Moscow, has forced Trump on the defensive, using most of today’s press conference, his first since the election, to refute these claims in no uncertain terms.
Responding to unconfirmed and unverified documents originally published by Buzzfeed, the president-in-waiting took to Twitter.
Is Tough-Talking Donald Just a Puppet?
Despite the unconfirmed reports, there are real fears about how far Russian influence could reach in the Trump administration.
There remains widespread concern in the US intelligence community that Russian intelligence is aiming to undermine the 2016 election and engage on a program of hacking to embarrass the United States and de-legitimize its democratic elections.
What’s more, all the Russian meddling appears to have been targeted to benefit Donald Trump only.
President-elect Donald Trump has repeatedly promised to develop better relations with Moscow. He’s also defended Vladimir Putin in speeches, time and time again.
Naturally attention has turned to his business interests in Russia and the conflict on interest that could create. Despite insisting that he has had “nothing to do with Russia”, Trump has a long history of partnership with Russian business…
- Trump partnered with Russian billionaire Aras Agalarov to host Miss Universe in Moscow, 2013.
- The president elect attempted to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, however the deal fell through. He described the deal as “Trump International Hotel and Tower would be a nonexclusive deal, so it would not have precluded me from doing other deals in Moscow, which was very important to me.”
- Trump sold a Florida property to Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev for $95 million.
- The Trump Organization owns a network of hotels, luxury residential towers and facilities across 20 countries. The company is not listed on the stock market, therefore releasing no public statistics.
- Trump has refused to release his tax returns, meaning little is known about the extent of his interests.
Some of the most lurid accusations center around compromising material from hidden cameras while Trump stayed in a Moscow Ritz-Carlton hotel in 2013.
Built for $350 million in the heart of Moscow, the Ritz-Carlton is one of the most expensive places to stay in Moscow. The 334-room hotel has including 65 luxury suites, with high-end restaurants and a vodka sommelier.
What Next ?
Russia has responded to the allegations with outrage, describing the published dossier as ‘pulp fiction’, with Russian media attacking the reports as totally lacking in credibility.
Whether the wild allegations prove to be false or not, Donald Trump certainly has many people worried ahead of his inauguration on January 20th.
In his post-election speech he spoke of uniting the US, but the constant scandal and mire that continues to follow Trump is de-legitimizing the office of president and the democracy is represents.
What’s more, it is dominating the news cycles, meaning that we are still as uncertain as ever about the likely outcome of Trump’s first term.