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Moscow Versailles

Stop me if you’ve heard this one already. Did you know that the Trump Organization was planning to gift a $50,000,000 penthouse to Vladimir Putin in Trump Moscow? This is according to Buzzfeed. Yeah, yeah, old news already. Less than 12 hours old but you know some of us gotta sleep.

Buzzfeed says:

BuzzFeed News first reported in May on the secret dealings of Cohen and his business associate Felix Sater with political and business figures in Moscow.

The two men worked furiously behind the scenes into the summer of 2016 to get the Moscow deal finished — despite public claims that the development was canned in January, before Trump won the Republican nomination. Sater told BuzzFeed News today that he and Cohen thought giving the Trump Tower’s most luxurious apartment, a $50 million penthouse, to Putin would entice other wealthy buyers to purchase their own. “In Russia, the oligarchs would bend over backwards to live in the same building as Vladimir Putin,” Sater told BuzzFeed News. “My idea was to give a $50 million penthouse to Putin and charge $250 million more for the rest of the units. All the oligarchs would line up to live in the same building as Putin.” A second source confirmed the plan.


According to the criminal information filed against Cohen Thursday, on Jan. 20, 2016, he spoke with a Russian government official, referred to only as Assistant 1, about the Trump Tower Moscow plan for 20 minutes. This person appears to be an assistant to Peskov, a top Kremlin official whom Cohen had attempted to reach by email.

Cohen “requested assistance in moving the project forward, both in securing land to build the proposed tower and financing the construction,” the court document states.

Cohen had previously maintained that he never got a response from the official, but in court on Thursday he acknowledged that was a lie.

Two FBI agents with direct knowledge of the Trump Tower Moscow negotiations told BuzzFeed News earlier this year that Cohen was in frequent contact with foreign individuals about the real estate venture — and that some of these individuals had knowledge of or played a role in 2016 election meddling. The identity of those individuals remains unknown.

What quid was going to be exchanged for what pro quo?

Some of it is obvious: Trump gets a shiny new tower in Moscow. Putin and his people would help set up the financing. In exchange for what?

If the Russians helped him win the election what would they get in return other than a nice new Versailles on the Moskva?

What did Putin want from Trump?

Two possible things:

1.) Get rid of the sanctions and the Magnitsky act. After all, what’s the point of being a obscenely wealthy Russian oligarch if there’s nowhere to spend all that filthy lucre? You can’t go to visit your fabulously well appointed penthouses in America.

2.) Just completely ruin the West. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Install some incompetent stooge who owes you big time and will help you dismantle the post-WWII global alliance that kept you in check for 70 years. Oh, sure, global warming might finally give you a passage in the arctic circle for you to menace and maraud your neighbors but why not get rid of as many obstacles as you can before then?

Any other theories? Drop them in the comments. And then hold on to your seats. There are going to be a lot of very nervous people doing a lot of unpredictable things in the near future.

Will Trump serve out his term? I seriously doubt it at this point. When it starts to go down, an avalanche tends to have a momentum of its own and Mueller seems like he’s not going to let some acting AG stand in his way of getting the truth out.

In a way, I’m sympathetic to all of the Trump voters who thought his candidacy was more substantial than the criminal venality that it turned out to be. It’s like waking up to find that someone’s stolen your kidney after that wild party last night.

Cheer up. You can operate quite well with only one. We won’t think less of you for falling for it. It could happen to anyone.



63 Responses

  1. Any other theories?

    Annex all of the countries that was the old Soviet Union bit by bit. He is already successful with Crimea,, and now trying to encroach other parts of Ukraine (hello, Manafort). trump blaming Obama for it and doing nothing, is that not a tell? Asking for journalists. There is so much, much more.

    • There is so much more but weakening/ruining America and the West is at the top of the list, though.

    • Putin did try w Georgia back in 2008 as well, and McCain (and Hillary) called him out on it.

    • When Putin sent the “little green men into Crimea in 2014, a prelude to the sham vote to rejoin Russia, Obama did make a comment that there was no military option. While there may not have been a military option, it was naïve to come out and say. It would have been more appropriate for Obama to say “We’re looking at all the options.” It would have preserved more options for action. Obama could have called on Putin to have a meeting to discuss troop withdrawal and Obama could have ejected Russia from the world banking program.

      I believe that Valerie Jarrett was also advising Obama not to send defensive weapons to Ukraine.

      During Obama’s presidency, I was reading books that had a conservative slant because I did not like Obama. In “The Amateur,” Edward Klein states that Valerie Jarrett and David Axelrod were two of Obama’s earlier supporters.

      I don’t remember where I read that MEchelle Obama and Valerie Jarrett did not like Hillary, but there were a few books that did not extol Obama to the skies.

  2. Duh, all they have to do to blackmail him is to say they hacked the votes in such and such a state and they will say it out loud if he does not deliver. It need not even be true.

  3. LOL… all that stammer, stutter…

  4. What?! “very legal”, “very cool” you say?!

  5. RD,

    Great post and very asute, as always!

    I think your No. 2 theory is right on target as to putin’s plans, destroy the west and open the door for his having dominance in his region and beyond. BTW, Hillary warned us just days before the election that this was going to happen if trump gets in the WH but the media ignored her as they always have. Now, they are collectively patting themselves on the back for their “excellent” reporting. If they hadn’t been so misogynistic in their coverage, America could have been spared all of this, but hey, ratings come first!

    Also, I think you were very kind in your giving the trump supporters a pass because anyone could fall for his BS. However, what is unforgivable is that, despite all of the evidence that he lied to the American people about his activities with Russia and his being subseptable to blackmail, many of those same supporters still believe everything that comes out of his mouth.

    I still can’t get out of my head trump saying in his ever present blustering style that Hillary should never be elected president because she would be under investigation and they all screamed “lock her up! and still are. Oh, the sad irony and hypocrisy. I don’t hear anyone on the right saying “lock him up”.

  6. I must admit to being just the teeniest bit disappointed that the Putin/Trump meeting is cancelled, at least for the moment. A meeting between the two at this juncture would eclipse the debacle factor of Helsinki to the tenth power, or more. Approval ratings would plumment, as occurred after their Helsinki hook up, but even lower.

    Trump does not have the finesse to manage the optics. I still believe Putin will lobby Trump for a back room chat. We shall see.

  7. despicable!

  8. RD, you are more benevolent than I toward the people who “just didn’t like Hillary, I am not sure why,” and decided to cast their lot with someone who had no intellect, no credentials, no capacity to tell the truth, and had no idea about any issue which affected their lives. They can do what they want for themselves, I suppose, but they ruined things for everyone else. And many of them, like most marks, still refuse to accept that they were marks,, and keep trying to rationalize why they made the worst voting choice in American history. As I say over and over, the media helped them along, by making it look as if Trump was a rational choice, an exciting grab bag of potential goodies. The people who knew him in New York knew better, and said so every time they got a chance. But the rubes did not want to hear from these “book larned” types, they have been encouraged to believe that “going with their gut” is the best way to make crucial political choices. And then of course there are the Sanders folks, a genre unto themselves, full of intellectual pretentiousness and spite, willing to sit at home or vote third party “to be true to themselves” and their fantasies of a Bernie world.

    • William,

      You really do get to the heart of the matter! I particularly appreciated your description of the “Sanders folks”. One of my life long friends voted for sanders and was furious that I voted for Hillary. I find the extreme response from the sanders folks to anyone who disagrees with them equally as disturbing as the trump folks, don’t you?

      • Yes! They are absolutely doctrinaire, and most of them don’t even understand political realities. They thought that Sanders could actually get some of his ideas through, when the truth is that he would have been totally stymied by Republicans. He never worked on a major domestic bill with anyone. He voted against virtually every gun control legislation. He doesn’t have a hundredth of Hillary’s expertise on issues and ability to work with others. But they didn’t even want to consider those lacks, nor Hillary’s abilities. They still think that somehow she fixed the primaries, when they are run by individual states.. If it were not for undemocratic caucuses, Sanders would have been through by March, and gone away. Even now, there are intransigent Sanders supporters who are willing to lose another election to follow him.

    • Yeah, I can’t forgive these people either. In all fairness the entire bunch of Republican primary candidates sucked. Once Trump became the nominee then Hillary was a no-brainer if you value this country and its citizens. If someone was of the opinion that one of the most openly transparent candidates was somehow guilty of a vast array of crimes through decades then I don’t know what to say to them. There was a clear difference in candidate quality. One was highly intelligent, articulate, well informed with a well designed platform. The other was a belligerent, obtuse no-nothing who only wanted to enrich himself. To vote for Trump was just a vote to burn the entire country down. I think it was really that simple.

      • I agree with the burn the whole country down theory and it wasn’t just relegated to the right. There were some on the left with this type of thing going on though for different reasons.

    • If the majority of Sanders supporters had actually stayed home or voted third party, Trump would have won both the popular and the electoral vote in a landslide. You’re talking about almost half the party, after all.

      • Properties,

        Hillary beat sanders by 4 million votes. I don’t think sanders had as many supporters as was reported on the news. Plus, with the Russian hacking into social media, many of the so-called Bernie Bros were actually Russians posing as such to undermine Hillary.

        I have no doubt that Hillary would have won the popular vote even if the majority of standers’ supporters stayed home. I also think she won the electoral votes because it has been proven in 2006 that voting systems can be hacked and the votes altered without detection in the HBO documentary “Hacking Democracy” if you want to see how it’s done. Moreover, because of what was discovered in that documentary, the German people banned voting systems because their computer security experts proved to the German Supreme Court how easily the machines could be manipulated. Unfortunately, Americans do not have standing with our Supreme Court as the German people do.

      • Ok, ok I guess you don’t realize that Sanders is not nor has ever been an actual Democrat. He lost by millions of votes to Hillary including all of those open primary states like the one I live in which droves of Republicans crossed the line and voted in the Democratic primaries to insure the worst possible candidate. But I repeat, Sanders is not a Democrat and had no interest in building up the party. He only wanted to hijack it. The shame is that if they hadn’t allowed him into the primary then he would have went third party and guaranteed a Trump victory. His was a scorched Earth candidacy that only served the right and will contribute nothing in the future. No one is electing a socialist to the highest office in the land no matter how much I agree with most of his ideas. I doubt the guy would have gotten 1 electoral college vote.

        • Gregory P,

          I agree with you! Sanders is not a democrat and only registered as one in order to get matching funds from the democratic party to help pay for his campaign expenses. He won primarily in those states which held caucuses (which, BTW, are not the most democratic way of choosing a candidate) and only won 2 primaries – his home state and Michigan. Hardly an indication that he would have won against trump PLUS (you are right) America is just not ready for a socialist as president, which is why the republicans laid off him throughout the democratic primary. Hillary was obviously the better candidate and so they focused solely on her. The media joined in with great glee in attacking her too, while never laying a glove on trump or sanders in comparison.

          The Russian bots also helped Bernie as well as trump via social media during the campaign to undermine Hillary. In essence, Hillary was running against trump, sanders, stein, the republicans, the media and the far left but she still won the primary and then took the popular vote by almost 3 million votes against trump. Clearly, she was the choice of the people. Trump did not win the presidency, it was stolen for him with the help of the Russians, the media and even Sanders, when he broke his promise and started to attack Hillary during the later part of the primary, sounding very much like a republican in his assaults against her. Sanders’ petulant child act during the democratic convention was something to behold. A perfect example of a bad loser.

          As far as I’m concerned Hillary is the legitimate president because she was the clear choice of the American people. I will never accept what happened in the 2016 presidential election as a “teachable moment” and to just get over it. The consequences have been extraordinary and have harmed this country for many years to come, if we can survive it.

      • Propertius, you seem to have a soft spot for Bernie bros and their women. But he is bad news for America. Period. Sorry. And if your numbers are right, good that half of them came to their damn senses.

        I will let Mimi speak for 2020.

        • Only in his dreams is Bernie Sanders is the best candidate in 2020. Kurt Eichenwald wrote an op-ed for Newsweek in mid-November, 2016 about the myths that may have cost Hillary the election. One of the items he mentioned was the opposition research on Bernie which was two feet thick. Had Bernie been the nominee, then tRump might have won the popular vote and not just the EC vote.

  9. Actually, Lawrence O’Donnell, not my favorite because of his abiding dislike of the Clintons, said it pretty well last night. The only things that Trump ever cared about were Money, Fame, and Sex, the last of which he believes money and fame make much more available to him. If one starts from the premise that nothing else matters to Trump, then it all makes perfect sense. Russia offers him immense money (some suggest that there was an offered deal to give Trump 5% of Rosnet, even if Russia had no intention of doing it), and he has no interest in the rest of what he has to do, which is everything Russia wants in geopolitics, plus letting them pick most of his Cabinet, and determine his policies. There is no other “there” for Trump; just show him the money, and let him feel that he is an equal to the world’s most powerful dictator, who will help him stay in power to make even more money.

    Trump is so addicted to the lure of money, that he will say anything to rationalize the fact that he has no intention to do anything about global warming, because of his obvious financial interest in fossil fuel companies. The other day, he said that “the oceans are small.” This is someone for whom facts or rational thought have absolutely no place. He will NEVER do anything about global warming, because it would cost him some money; and NOTHING anyone could say, no amount of natural disasters, will ever change his mind. He doesn’t even know or care what is in his administration’s own climate report. Someday, more people might figure out that it is of no purpose whatsoever to ask him anything, or to listen to any speech he makes, because it is all utter nonsense, on a par with any con man’s spiel, whose words are only intended to try to get you to do what he wants. Looking for some substance or sign of rationality is idiotic, but some people continue to do it, maybe out of human habit. Imagine buying some kind of toy which was programmed only to get you to put money in its slot. You might find it interesting for a few hours, but then you would throw it away, because there is nothing to learn or gain from using it. That is Trump; but they will keep showing him on TV, to utter his word salads, lies, and grifter’s sociopathic lines.

  10. The whole world is laughing at him.

  11. The whole world is mocking and laughing at trump. But the side effect of that is that they are also laughing at American media and journalism, right? Media may act like a cat that drinks milk with its eyes closed, thinking the whole world does not see it drink the milk, but, we all saw what they did in 2016. Shame on them!

    trump is on them! Period.

  12. Allies will walk away…or not cooperate/collaborate. ‘art of the deal’ for the stupid.

  13. Bribery is explicitly called out as an impeachable offense in the Constitution.

  14. Wow, Maddow is saying Jon Tester would be a great president to his face. What?!

    • Tester is clearly a good, decent, hard working, clear sighted, plain-spoken, straight shooting man. I loved the interview, particularly what he said about the VA and what the tariffs have done to the farmers. I know my memory sucks BUT didn’t Hillary address all the issues he listed as important for the Dems to focus on? Did she not do a listening tour, did she not include those insights in her policies? How can she be the most qualified candidate for our times and invisible and discounted at the same time? I realize that her biggest problem was the baggage unjustly heaped upon her for decades, the titanic body of lies, but she deserves to be Prez, and we the people need her to be our Prez.

      • Cats,

        Don’t forget – she also is a WOMAN.

        • Oh, Kathleen, I will never forget that. Her gender is the main reason she is so qualified and why the patriarchy will not let her win. If this country is ever to rise again, we as a nation have to kick misogyny and racism to the curb.

      • Cats, I would love to see Hillary run again, but she won’t. One reason is that her running would see her attacked by the same people, the far right, and the far left. The people running against her in the primaries would strongly criticize her. One of the major complaints, and the thing she never wants to risk, is that “she already lost twice, and she will lose again.” She didn’t lose twice, she really didn’t even lose once. But imagine what the media would do to her if she ran. “Hillary won’t go away, she will tear the party and country apart.” And much more. So she won’t run, and that is a tragedy in itself. I don’t care if a woman or a man gets the nomination, but none of the women, even the admirable Amy Klobuchar, are close to Hillary in knowledge, experience, and even charisma. And the men are a limited group as well, though I would not mind Sherrod Brown.

        Actually, I think we would be better of with Hillary running, because without her, it is going to be a free-for-all, with Sanders getting his share of votes, Biden being the “moderate,” and then the great majority of us here who do not want either, trying to light on a candidate who might do well enough to gain momentum. I do not think Sanders will be nominated, but he will do immense damage, because if he cannot be king, he wants to be kingmaker. I am thinking that Biden will lead the “moderates” in delegates, Sanders will be up there, maybe leading the “left.” At that point, neither can win, so Sanders will try to convince his cult followers to all vote for the person he thinks he can get the most from, or get the credit for electing, so they owe him. That could be Warren or Harris, most likely. I’d actually like to see Tester in there, to take moderate votes away from Biden, and perhaps actually get the nomination. Not that I love his politics, but he may be more solid than the “flavor of the month” candidates. My biggest fear is that we end up with a candidate far less talented than Hillary, and one who is overrated as electable by the Left, and ends up getting hammered on the national election trail. I can definitely see that with Warren or Harris, or O’Rourke. The irony is that Hillary was a far better candidate than anyone wants to give her credit for. In two separate campaigns, she never lost one debate. Amazing.

        • William, i too have mixed feelings about Hillary running again. I don’t want to see her maligned and pilloried by people who represent the worst in us. But, if she were to run again, i would want to see a F*** it all Hillary, the real Hillary not the push me pull me candidate that her handlers think she should be. I would also want to see her supporters actively fight for her with their friends and in public forums, talk up her policies, the position of respect and admiration she holds internationally especially among our allies, discredit the lies, and focus on what she wants to do for the country and its people and why she is best qualified to do it. If the anti Hillary media won’t do it, blitz the social media with the truth, get the young people involved, it is their future at risk after all. Get the Abrams, the Gillums, the Parkland kids stumping, get the women mobilized. This may well be our last and best chance to save our country.

          • Cats,

            I have the same feeling about not wanting Hillary being attacked by the media. However, I reserve my final opinion on what the Mueller report shows regarding just how far the Russians went in stealing the election for trump. I still am not convinced that they did not hack the voting systems in those 3 states that gave him the electoral vote by 70,000 votes. A slim margin and easy to be done without detection. Of course, trump may not be in office by 2020 based on that report but if it shows that the American people were robbed of the person who was really their choice in 2016, wouldn’t that give her an advantage for the country to rise up and give her what was already hers in the first place?

      • Don’t know much about Tester and was surprised by her effusive praise.

      • Media could have made Hillary sexy if they wanted to and made the email issue disappear in an instant and they could have sung praises of BC for Clinton Foundation (rightly so) if they wanted to. They didn’t and that they didn’t in spite of what trump represented for the country which we are living now, is a crime.

        • The owners of the media–“mainstream” as well as openly right-wing–are McDucks who prefer Rethugs to hold power, since Rethugs won’t make McDucks pay any taxes worthy of the name.

  15. This!

  16. So, GHWBush died. Guess who wont’ be invited to the funeral?

  17. This is quid pro quo on steroids as in ‘you do election meddling for me to win and I will get rid of sanctions’, ‘you give me Moscow tower, I give you 50mil penthouse and along the way I will lift sanctions so that both of us can personally enrich ourselves, both our countries be damned’ — there is so much wrong here.

    All the panelists I have seen are blowhards and quick to add there was not anything illegal in what he tried/did… what are they smoking?

    • Maria Butina thread and what the heck! Let us do some conspiracy… is Melania a mole? What is with all these immigrant wives, right?

      • FYI, people in reply are reminding RiotWomenn that Slovenia/Yugoslavia was not part of Soviet Bloc.

    • Rachel crushed it last night, but someone needs to start talking about the illegitimacy of the election and what do we do now. I don’t want to hear that our next prez is Pence or Orin Hatch. Nope, nope, nope. The founding fathers NEVER envisioned this level of corruption and party/media complicity.

  18. Maybe he was born a raci$t. This is from 1990. Russians have played a long and deep game here to screw America.

    • 2016 was ripe for the take over. A candidate without a moral compass and willing to do anything, anything and everything for money, made in their own mold. They were assisted by American social media companies, a corrupt American media, a political party with a moral depravity unseen until now and a feckless president in Obama and his administration who would not take this onslaught head on.

    • Ha!

    • Read this thread for more nuggets about trump and Bush, the elder.

  19. It is not funny but I put this here, only as a reminder for us to not falter in 2020.

  20. Others are getting a clue on how to deal with ‘the Donald’

  21. What. the. hell!

  22. Love this cat!

  23. Kathleen said:

    “Of course, trump may not be in office by 2020 based on that report but if it shows that the American people were robbed of the person who was really their choice in 2016, wouldn’t that give her an advantage for the country to rise up and give her what was already hers in the first place?”

    Me, likey, Kathleen. I am going to hold on to that thought!

    What the Russians did was an act of war. What the Orange Metastasis and his co conspirators did by aiding and abetting that foreign intervention was collaboration with an enemy at best and treason at worst. This is not a “constitutional crisis” so much as a threat to our sovereignty and a national emergency. Extraordinary measures are required. I wonder if a referendum would work, as an inter regnum (sp?) until 2020 when she could possibly run again. Not a complete do over of the election but rather an electoral affirmation of what is fair and just. I dream, i know, but i am not ready to roll over for the 1% ers.

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