Pete's Prep: Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Russian woman indicted for trying to infiltrate GOP via the NRA

Last week we learned that the Democrats were victimized by a Russian infiltration operation. The Department of Justice indicted a dozen Russian hackers.

Yesterday, we learned the Republicans were victimized by a Russian infiltration operation. The Department of Justice indicted a woman named Maria Butina, accusing her of being a spy.

From the Chicago Tribune:

Prosecutors say Butina, at the official's direction, met with U.S. politicians and candidates, attended events sponsored by special interest groups — including two National Prayer Breakfast events — and organized Russian-American "friendship and dialogue" dinners in Washington as part of her work.

Court papers also show that after the 2016 election, Butina worked to set up a Russian delegation's visit to the 2017 National Prayer Breakfast, describing it in an email as an effort to "establish a back channel of communication." After the visit, Butina emailed the organizer of the breakfast thanking him for a gift and "for the very private meeting" that followed the breakfast.

"A new relationship between two countries always begins better when it begins in faith," Butina wrote, saying she had "important information" that would further the new relationship.

Two days later, she emailed another American who had been involved in some of the email communication surrounding the prayer breakfast and her efforts to arrange several dinners between Russians and people involved in U.S. politics.

"Our delegation cannot stop chatting about your wonderful dinner," Butina wrote. "My dearest President has received 'the message' about your group initiatives and your constructive and kind attention to the Russians."

Some background on Butina from the Daily Beast last year.

Butina’s relationships, formed with Washington’s conservative society through her fierce advocacy for firearms—one conference described her as the “public face of gun rights in the Russian Federation”—provide a previously unreported link between the Russian government and the Republican Party.

Two of Butina’s friendships in particular have raised eyebrows. She started a business with Paul Erickson, a decades-long Republican Party activist. And she served as a special assistant to the deputy governor of Russia’s central bank, Alexander Torshin, a former Russian senator belonging to Vladimir Putin’s political party with alleged ties to the Russian mob world.

This triangle appears to be the focus of the indictment.

The Trump-Putin presser was pretty bad

I don't understand why any US President would hold a joint news conference with a murderous psychopath like Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump's critics apparently wanted him to chastise Putin to his face in public. To try to shame him like he shamed our NATO allies earlier in his trip.

That didn't happen.

I'm not sure what Trump supporters wanted out of the joint appearance. Maybe they wanted to see the same thing (He fights!). But I don't they expected to hear the rambling word salad screeds about Hillary's emails, DCCC servers, and saying he believes Putin denial of election interference over US intelligence assessments.

But this is Trump. I'm a bit puzzled by people acting surprised at who Trump is and how he behaves.

Also, I don't expect ANY sitting US President to rip Putin at a joint press conference for espionage (which we engage in, as well).

Which is why I don't understand why Trump would do the event in the first place. I don't see any upside to it for him. He should've come out with Putin, each read their own statement, and left.

You can watch the full news conference here:


FOX's Chris Wallace grills Putin

Meanwhile, FOX News' Chris Wallace sat down for a half-hour interview with Putin, where the Russian maniac said the Western effort to isolate Russia failed. And as Wallace reads the indictment - naming the GRU unit numbers involved in the operation - Putin starts laughing at him (at the 5:31 mark).

Wallace offered the indictment to Putin, "May I give this to you, sir?"

Putin stares at it for a few seconds, without moving. Then tells him to leave it on the nearby table.

Putin proceeds to deny Russia has EVER interfered with American elections.

You can watch that interview here:


Democrats astroturfing against Supreme Court nominee

Almost two dozen newspapers ran an identical Letter to the Editor - all published under different names.

From the Daily Mail:

At least 21 papers were duped last week, including big-market brands like the Dallas Morning News and The Washington Times. They ran identical letters over a four-day period, each signed by a different person.

The effort is an example of public-relations 'astroturfing,' a technique meant to simulate genuine grassroots support for an idea or cause.

The form letter is one small piece of the message minefield erupting around Kavanaugh as he prepares for a brutal confirmation process that will end with scant support from Democrats.

It appears the only North Carolina paper to print the letter was the Daily Reflector in Greenville.

I suspect this Democratic-Socialist isn't well-informed - Part 2

As we saw in one clip yesterday, New York Congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez - called Israel the "occupation of Palestine" and then confessed she didn't know what she was talking about.

Today, we see how little she knows about economics - despite having a degree in economics.


To win big in November, all Democrats have to do is not be crazy...

But wait! There's more!

The resort used by the Las Vegas shooter to murder 58 people at an open air concert in October is suing more than 1,000 victims of the attack.

The Charlotte City Council voted 6-5 to sign a contract - bringing the Republican National Convention to the Queen City in 2020.

Pete Kaliner

Pete Kaliner

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