John Helmer: Jared Kushner’s Testimonial to Stupidity and Unfitness – American and Russian

Yves here. Helmer wrote to say he was doing some minor clean-up to this piece, and I will repost his mildly tweaked version later today.

By John Helmer, the longest continuously serving foreign correspondent in Russia, and the only western journalist to direct his own bureau independent of single national or commercial ties. Helmer has also been a professor of political science, and an advisor to government heads in Greece, the United States, and Asia. He is the first and only member of a US presidential administration (Jimmy Carter) to establish himself in Russia. Originally published at Dances with Bears

Jared Kushner’s title is Director of the Office of American Innovation at the White House, a new function for the old one of overseeing everything in the US Government for the benefit of the incumbent president. He’s also ranked Senior Advisor to the President, and by marriage he is son-in-law to President Donald Trump.

Stupidity isn’t a crime; it’s a life sentence. Not so for power. Supposing everything Kushner has written in his presentation to the US Senate Intelligence Committee on Monday is true, then one conclusion from a half-dozen bits of evidence he testifies to is obvious – Kushner is unfit to rule, and so are the Russians whom he mentions.

Here are the eleven pages of Kushner’s public statement to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. His committee appearance and additional testimony were behind closed doors, lasting about two hours. Kushner gave his testimony on Monday (July 24).   Reading the statement  isn’t difficult because the vocabulary is simple,  the logic of presentation rudimentary,  the style impersonal.

Two slips are revealing, but they have so far gone undetected in the voluminous US media coverage. The first reveals just how ignorant Kushner, his legal and other advisors are of Russia, although it is the target of the proceeding. At page 8, he claims  “Nvgorod [is] the village where my grandparents were from in Belarus.” This looks like a typo for Novgorod (literally, “new town”), the ancient Russian city west of Moscow. It is more than 200 kilometres from the current Russian frontier with Belarus and the historical border with the territory which for a thousand years has been occupied by Lithuanian, Polish, German and Russian imperial as well as Soviet forces.  Kushner’s grandparents actually came from Navahrudak (Навагрудак),  spelled in Russian as Новогрудок (Novogrudok). The meaning of the word, which was first used for the place in the 11th century, is “new little town”.  When the Germans arrived in July 1941, there were 20,000 residents, 10,000 of whom, including the Kushners, were Jewish. The Kushners escaped; the majority who didn’t were killed. Kushner reveals he doesn’t know. His, and everyone else’s mistake, is 834 kilometres off the mark.

Also, by the M1 highway direct between Minsk, the current capital of independent Belarus, and Moscow, the distance is 856 kms. If Kushner’s father-in-law launched a nuclear attack on Russia, followed up by NATO missiles and forces from Poland, the Baltic Sea and the shore territories, it’s likely Novogrudok would be bypassed; and depending on which way the wind was blowing, the radioactive fall-out, too.  Kushner reveals he doesn’t comprehend these things.

Kushner’s second slip is evidence on the issue, as he states it, of collusion with Russia during the election campaign and during the presidential transition, before Trump was inaugurated on January 20. Kushner claims at the end of his testimony: “I did not collude, nor know of anyone else in the campaign who colluded, with any foreign government. I had no improper contacts.”

But Kushner admits that during the campaign he “had incoming [sic] contacts with people from approximately 15 countries.” He also had “hundreds” of “calls, letters and emails from people…outside the United States.” He says he asked Henry Kissinger for “advice on policy for the candidate, which countries/representatives with which the campaign should engage, and what messaging would resonate.”  He says he spoke once for “less than a minute” with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak at an April 2016 Trump campaign speech in Washington, when the Russian was accompanied by three other foreign ambassadors; Kushner doesn’t name them.

He denies any record of receiving or remembering two reported telephone calls with Kislyak between April and November, and had forgotten his name when, on November 9, an official congratulatory note arrived for Trump from President Vladimir Putin. From November 9 to January 20, Kushner says he received “over one hundred contacts from more than twenty countries…They included meetings with individuals such as Jordan’s King Abdullah II, Israel’s Prime Bibi Netanyahu, Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Luis Videgaray Caso and many more.”

A neophyte in foreign affairs as Kushner confesses himself to be, he doesn’t reveal that Videgaray and he set up candidate Trump’s visit to Mexico City to meet the Mexican President on August 31. The Mexican reaction to that was extremely hostile.  Videgaray was forced to resign as finance minister on September 7, but promoted to foreign minister on January 4.  Videgaray might be charged with colluding with the Americans to advance himself, with Kushner as co-conspirator, but no senator on the Intelligence Committee is reported to have asked Kushner about that.

Kushner may not  know the nicknames of Videgaray or King Abdullah,  but he certainly refers to the Israeli prime minister as Bibi, an appellation well-known to Israelis and Jews worldwide. His official name is Benjamin, and there is ample evidence that Kushner has been familiar with Netanyahu for many years. Kushner’s father is also widely reported in Israel as Netanyahu’s personal  friend. Kushner’s slip in yesterday’s evidence was to reveal just how familiar he is with that foreign official, who met with Trump and Kushner for a campaign appearance in Israel in June, five months before Election Day.

The special relationship between Israel and the US cannot be collusion – that’s a rule of US politics.  The rule wasn’t quite so fixed in the 1980s when the FBI caught US officials at spying, stealing and smuggling on behalf of Israel, and sent one of them to prison; click for details.

Nor can God and the Orthodox Jewish group known as Chabad-Lubavitch be reported as colluding in Trump’s victory, despite the evidence that Kushner and his wife Ivanka prayed for it at a Lubavitcher shrine on the weekend before the poll.


The Israeli and Jewish community media also claim  the possibility that Kushner’s pilgrimage reminded God to intervene when there was a suspected assassination attempt against Trump in Arizona at the same time.

The inadvertence of these slips in Kushner’s statement reinforces his claim that he knows the difference between collusion with Russians and special relationships with Mexican, Israeli and Lubavitcher friends. The US press and the US appear convinced of the same thing.

The evidence presented on Kushner’s meetings with Russians between April 2016 and January 20, 2017, adds up to four occasions for durations he reports of “less than” 1 minute + 10 minutes (“or so”) + 20-30 minutes + 20 – 25 minutes. That makes a total of 66 minutes at most, with several accompanying witnesses.

“Ten or so” of the minutes involved the recently reported meeting in New York on June 9, 2016,  at which Kushner’s brother-in-law Donald Trump Jr. was hosting a Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, and her associates. Supposing that Kushner is telling the truth about the meeting on two points — that its subject was “the issue of a ban on US adoptions of Russian children”, and that he was uninterested and left prematurely – this time ought to be subtracted from the serious time Kushner admits he did spend on matters of state policy towards Russia.  That leaves 56 minutes.

There are revelations in Kushner’s testimony about what transpired in this time. The first is that Dmitri Simes was involved with Kushner in arranging Trump’s campaign speech in April 2016, and that Simes fixed Kushner’s 1-minute introduction to Ambassador Kislyak. Simes runs the think-tank called Center for the National Interest, which was the creation of former President Richard Nixon. A Center press release reveals the other ambassadors Kushner shook hands with but doesn’t name were from Italy, Singapore and the Philippines. The names of others attending can be found here, without mention of Kushner, plus Trump’s speech.

About Russia on that occasion, Trump said: “Russia, for instance, has also seen the horror of Islamic terrorism. I believe an easing of tensions, and improved relations with Russia from a position of strength only is possible, absolutely possible. Common sense says this cycle, this horrible cycle of hostility must end and ideally will end soon. Good for both countries. Some say the Russians won’t be reasonable. I intend to find out. If we can’t make a deal under my administration, a deal that’s great — not good, great — for America, but also good for Russia, then we will quickly walk from the table. It’s as simple as that. We’re going to find out. “

Simes (Дмитрий Саймс), son of Jewish dissidents expelled from the Soviet Union to the US in 1978, is the Uriah Heep  of Russian-American advisors,   ingratiating themselves to both sides  and making a living out of obsequious intermediation. He was Richard Nixon’s factotum when the disgraced president visited Moscow. Nixon died in 1994 leaving Simes his think-tank as an inheritance. Its motto is “America’s Voice for Strategic Realism”.   Kissinger is the honorary chairman, succeeding the American International Group (AIG) fraudster Hank Greenberg.

From left to right: Simes, Greenberg and Kissinger. This month Greenberg was given the Center’s “Lifetime Achievement Award” in Kissinger’s presence, along with a general, an admiral, and four senators. Source:

When there is escalating conflict between the US and Russian governments, Simes is of next to no value to either side.  His advice has also been worthless when there is booming business between the Russian oligarchs and their US counterparts. The long dominance of Russia policy by the Clinton and Obama Administrations has been bad for Simes’s business;  war between the White House and the Kremlin allows him no room for manoeuvre at all. So cultivating Kushner and Trump in the spring of 2016 was a business opportunity  Simes exploited. Trading that to the Washington embassies of Italy, Singapore, the Philippines and Russia was Simes’s bread and butter. Kislyak and the other envoys got their minute with the candidate. They are likely to have paid for it.

Kushner now reveals how Kislyak tried cashing in. Kissinger and Simes continued being helfpul to the Trump campaign once they were sure he would win the Republican Party nomination. When Kushner’s memory of Kislyak’s name failed, he didn’t google for it — he says he sent Simes an email. Evidently, the name wasn’t urgently needed. Simes has continued to be as ingratiating to Kushner as he was at first to Nixon, and since then with every other candidate with the main chance.

What Kushner reveals with Simes, again inadvertently, is how inconsequential the Russian ambassador’s links were in Washington in 2016, despite starting his term eight years before, in 2008. If Simes was the go-between with Kislyak – if Kislyak couldn’t have gone straight to Kissinger, for example – then this is evidence of haphazard collision, not of calculated collusion.

Kislyak (right) meets Kissinger at the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, in May 2017. Kissinger was directly courted by the Kremlin immediately before the US poll with election to the Russian Academy of Sciences, voted on October 28; for details, read this.  

Kushner reveals more. According to his Senate testimony yesterday,  Kislyak told Kushner “he especially wanted to address U.S. policy in Syria, and that he wanted to convey information from what he called his ‘generals’.” Supposing Kushner to have heard right, it is a remark which may be as novel for the Russian General Staff as it is new for the US Senate to hear. Was a diplomat really proposing to talk about operations on a war front with the enemy? And was Kislyak asking Kushner and General Michael Flynn, then the US National Security Advisor in waiting, for “a secure line in the transition office to conduct a conversation”?

Never mind that Kushner and Flynn said no, and “so we all agreed that we would receive this information after the Inauguration.”  Accepting that Kushner didn’t ask for a back-channel, as he claims, the disclosure that Kislyak asked for one in this fashion — if Kushner is telling the truth —  is a blunder of Kislyak-sized proportions.  It begs the question: what were the ambassador’s instructions from the Foreign Ministry in Moscow, and what clearance had been given by the Security Council for such a meeting, with such a script, to take place?

Putin chaired Security Council meetings on November 8 – before the election result in the US was k nown – and on November 17 (pictured above) and November 28. Between November 17 and 28 Putin was travelling. Kislyak met Kushner on December 1, and asked for a follow-up session on December 6. That didn’t occur until December 12. In Moscow the Security Council met with Putin in the chair on  December 1, 7, 13, and 24.

Kushner has one more disclosure to make of significance. He says that Kislyak kept pestering for another meeting but that he declined because he was too busy.  Kislyak then proposed, and Kushner agreed, on a meeting between Kushner’s assistant and Kislyak. That happened on December 12.

Next, according to Kushner,  “my assistant reported that the Ambassador had requested that I meet with a person named Sergey Gorkov who he said was a banker and someone with a direct line to the Russian President who could give insight into how Putin was viewing the new administration and best ways to work together. I agreed to meet Mr. Gorkov because the Ambassador has been so insistent, said he had a direct relationship with the President, and because Mr. Gorkov was only in New York for a couple days. I made room on my schedule for the meeting that occurred the next day, on December 13.”

Gorkov, head of the state bank Vnesheconombank (VEB), had met Putin in August of 2016 (pictured below, left), when they discussed development banking policy.   They were to meet again, officially, on February 10 of this year (below, right).


Kushner now says he met Gorkov for “twenty to twenty-five minutes”.  That’s shorter shrift than Kushner gave Kislyak.

“He told me a little about his bank,” Kushner testifies, “and made some statements about the Russian economy. He said that he was friendly with President Putin, expressed disappointment with U.S.-Russia relations under President Obama and hopes for a better relationship in the future. As I did at the meeting with Ambassador Kislyak, I expressed the same sentiments I had with other foreign officials I met. There were no specific policies discussed. We had no discussion about the sanctions imposed by the Obama Administration. At no time was there any discussion about my companies, business transactions, real estate projects, loans, banking arrangements or any private business of any kind.”

Kushner omits to say whether he employed an interpreter,  notetaker or taperecorder at the meeting, and if Gorkov did the same. If Kushner didn’t, he cannot have been following Kissinger’s advice. That Gorkov’s VEB is not a commercial bank, and not intended to conduct the kind of business Kushner has operated  for his family raises the questions of what Gorkov was intending to achieve with the call-in, why Kislyak requested it, and who in Moscow decided to push it.

Again, supposing the meeting with Gorkov was as anodyne as Kushner testifies, there is one little thing which stands out on the Russian side. Make that two little things. Kushner describes how Gorkov opened their meeting: “He introduced himself and gave me two gifts — one was a piece of art from Nvgorod, the village where my grandparents were from in Belarus, and the other was a bag of dirt from that same village.” Kushner has told the Senate the fact that he immediately registered the gifts with the presidential transition office proves that he wasn’t trying to conceal the meeting.

But what was Gorkov doing making a gift of anything? If Putin’s power  vertical was running normally, this should have required a chain of memoranda, approvals, and instructions  running from Putin through the Security Council, the Foreign Ministry and Kislyak. Whose idea was it to make a gift at such a place and time,  and what gift options were discussed at the Kremlin?

Whatever the Russian calculation was on December 13, it appears now, in Kushner’s inadvertent retrospect, to have failed disastrously.  He can’t remember the name or how to spell his grandparents’ natal village. It is a traditional Jewish custom to bury the faithful with a phial of earth from the Holy Land. But Kushner, apparently not as faithful as he might be, says Gorkov gave him “a bag of dirt”. That phrase says everything.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. visitor

    Helmer provides a wealth of background about people and their role, institutions and practices. It is the kind of information that puts things in quite a different light — and it turns out to be intriguing.

    Apparently, the Kremlin really wanted to get in touch with Trump — and tried it in a serious way (gifts that should have been laden with personal symbolism for Kushner, sending that high-powered Gorkov banker, letting the ambassador pester Kushner for meetings). All for naught, due to spectacularly poor assessment of the other party by the Russians, and a clueless Trump team (with Kushner supremely ignorant of his supposedly cherished Eastern-European Jewish heritage).

    The picture of that milieu full of go-betweens, cats’ paws, and assorted parasites is not pretty. Contrarily to the often agape descriptions of “Putin’s regime”, the Russians appear to have been rather incompetent in that specific occurrence.

    1. witters

      “Apparently, the Kremlin really wanted to get in touch with Trump — and tried it in a serious way” – Well, I think the dirt on offer was of the wrong kind, no?
      Funny you got here first “Visitor”.

      1. different clue

        Somebody is always first by definition. There was always a mad rush to be the “Me first commenter number One!” over at James Klunster’s blog, for example.

        1. witters

          “Somebody is always first by definition.”

          No, not by definition: Q: “Who won?” A: “No-one. It was a tie.”

  2. Bill Smith

    “reveals just how ignorant Kushner, his legal and other advisors are of Russia”

    It is a big deal that Kushner didn’t know the proper spelling of the town his grandparents came from? Heck, I don’t even know the name of the town my grandparents came from – much less how to spell it.

    Interesting point on Mexico and Israel / collusion…

    For better or worse I think there are more US citizens who know who Bibi is and not many who know the nickname of the King of Jordan.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      1. I’ve come across the nickname Bibi so many times and I am only a casual reader of mainstream news.

      Perhaps it is that many people in the mainstream media who are ‘personal friends’ of Bibi.

      2. You know your grandparents home town either when they sat down with you and showed it to you on a map with its English spelling on an American map, or an old map with unknown words on it (a Belarussian one maybe), or they talked about it many times, so that you know, but only know how to say it (however imperfectly). Then, when it came for you to write it down the first time (or may not have to the first time, but the first time someone more familiar with the area reads it), you didn’t get the spelling exactly right, and even confused it with any town.

  3. Jamie

    I think the stupidity is anyone on the left buying into this fake McCarthyite Russia scare — just because a racketeering war criminal lost the election. For one, Hillary took naked bribes from Russia. As Secretary of State, Hillary received millions in bribes to approve the transfer of 20% of our uranium assets to Russia:

    And the Podesta Group, founded by John Podesta, took money from Russia’s largest bank, Sherbank, just last year, to lobby for a lessening of sanctions:

    Secondly, Hillary’s post election pronouncements were absurd and contradictory to DNC talking points:

    “If you look at Facebook, the vast majority of the news items posted were fake. They were
    connected to, as we now know, the thousand Russian agents.”

    – Crooked Hillary

    “I would have won had I not been subjected to the unprecedented attacks by Comey and the Russians.”

    – Crooked Hillary

    Finally, the idea that the DNC was hacked by Russia is so flimsy, it makes the Bush WMD report look like the gold standard:

    1. cj51

      I won’t reciprocate and call you stupid Jamie but you do seem ignorant of the facts:
      I thought this was well known by now.

      “Finally, the idea that the DNC was hacked by Russia is so flimsy …”
      regardless of the fact that all major USA intelligence services have said Russia did hack DNC.
      google “Russia hacked DNC”.

      1. likbez

        IMHO the person who cites snopes is clearly a Hillary supporter.

        As for “all major USA intelligence services have said Russia did hack DNC.
        google “Russia hacked DNC” that’s a myth propagated by Hillary camp. There were handpicked analysts from three agencies who did the hatchet job as they were ordered to.

        This is a recipe from Sharp’s textbook (

        Such dirty tricks is how “color revolutions” are done in xUSSR space and ME, my Hillary-supporting friend.

        Now it is the USA turn ;-)

      2. HBE

        Hmm, so the Clinton foundation was not simply a tool to accept bribes for influence?

        I guess it was simply dedicated to helping the poor and underprivileged, but if that’s the case it seems strange donations dried up after Clinton lost her ability to directly influence policy. Unless you’re saying there are no longer any poor or underprivileged people do to the amazing work done by the foundation in places like Haiti?

        It’s almost as if donations were contingent on policy outcomes, and dried up once Clinton couldn’t provide them.

        regardless of the fact that all major USA intelligence services have said Russia did hack DNC.

        Really, when have intelligence agencies ever been known for their honesty and transparency?

        And have you actually read the original crowdstrike analysis and report, you know the actual source of that evidence?

        Because the original source isn’t very convincing (this all being besides the fact the wikileaks vault 7 release shows clearly accurate attribution is an impossibility).

        But you go right on ahead, letting snopes and tenous secondary sources do your critical thinking, and analysis for you.

      3. BoycottAmazon

        Oct 25th, 2016 is the date of the Snopes Article, while Wikileaks later showed that Clinton and Podesta were very much worried that this collusion was a weak point, and decided to gaslight Trump on Russia first as a preemptive counter measure.

    2. John Gilberts

      And then of course there’s this…
      Ukraine Oligarch ‘Top Cash Contributor’ to Clinton Foundation…
      “That places ukraine as the leading contributor among foreign donors to the Clinton Foundation.”

      Apparently, it’s only ‘meddling’ when the alleged culprits are Russia and the Trump team. Not Hillary. Not Ukraine. And certainly never Israel…

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        So Kushner is “unfit”…compared to whom? Bush’s people who believed anything Chalabi had to say? Or perhaps Colin Powell before the U.N.? Or maybe Obama’s man who perjured himself before Congress on America’s illegal domestic spying? Or perhaps the many dual US/Israeli citizens in the House and Senate? (When they “pledge allegiance, to the flag…” um which flag are they referring to?)

        And of course the complete irony of any hacking, obstruction of justice and double dealing for money charges is the boomerang effect back to: Hilary. Leaving aside her destruction of evidence after it had been subpoenaed, just peruse her lovely husband/Foundation’s activities in Haiti and Rwanda. Rwanda’s probably the worst: a sweetheart deal for Bubba’s pal for all gold mining rights, doled out by the bloodthirsty dictator (Bubba’s pal) for $50M, sold off 12 weeks later for $1.1B. Stealing from the poorest people on the planet? Par for the course. The transfer of funds? There for all to see on FedWire.

        Not only is the kettle black, it’s Vantablack. Anyone who cannot smell the steaming corruption of Team Clinton/Obama and the steaming irony of ANY corruption/collusion accusations should seek a professional consultation.

    3. different clue

      It is not stupidity. It is Jonestown-grade loyalty and Personality Cult Worship.

      The Clintonites worship their Dear Great Leader Hillary with all the pure unforced sincerity which the North Korea regime can only force the North Koreans to pretend to feel for the Dear Sweet Great Leaders Kim.

      Go read Riverdaughter’s blog The Confluence. They are not stupid people. What they are is Jonestowniform cult members who have drunk the koolaid years ago and are involved in a Mutual Suicide Pact of the Mind.

  4. Tomonthebeach

    I think that the average American reading this article would half-way through roll their eyes and say this is so micro nit-picky that there is no there there.

    1. Cujo359

      No kidding. My summary of the first objection: “Kushner would certainly known that his grandfather was from Novafreakingrad, Ukraine, not Novafrakingrad, Russia if the idiot hadn’t realized he was reading the wrong cyrillic alphabet.”

      Or something like that. I’m usually interested in trivia, but this strained my limit to the breaking point. Like Bill Smith said in his comment above, most of us would be hard pressed to know what country our forbears came from, let alone what city. I think if this is the dumbest thing Kushner writes or says while he’s working for the White House, he’ll be the best Director of the Office of American Innovation evah – even if every other President had at least two of them.

    2. ChrisPacific

      Seconded. The amount of meaning that Helmer hangs on a (still roughly phonetically accurate) misspelling of his grandparents’ home village is astounding, and should have been a red flag for the rest. I finished the article anyway hoping to find some evidence in support of the opening thesis (that Kushner was unfit to rule) but didn’t find it. Granted he might not be as informed about Russia as one might hope, but that probably describes most US politicians.

    3. Lambert Strether

      Presumably there are some readers who are not average Americans. That last para:

      .It is a traditional Jewish custom to bury the faithful with a phial of earth from the Holy Land. But Kushner, apparently not as faithful as he might be, says Gorkov gave him “a bag of dirt”. That phrase says everything.

      That’s killer oppo, which often turns on small, but revealing details. It’s absolutely killer. Of course, that’s not the business Helmer is in.

  5. clarky90

    God forbid that we talk to the Russians! Oh my. Far better to start a nuclear war that ultimately involves all of the nuclear powers, even the North Koreans. Then we can solve climate change by gifting the planet back to the extremophiles.

    Shake and bake. A billion years from now, Earth will be covered with multitudinous expressions of life.

    Millions of Americans colluded with the Russians and elected DJ Trump. IMO, largely because they are sick of this constant war-mongering. The second World War only lasted for 5 years!

    1. likbez

      “God forbid that we talk to the Russians!”

      Military industrial complex needs your money my friend. Nothing personal. This is strictly business :-)

      “Millions of Americans colluded with the Russians and elected DJ Trump. IMO, largely because they are sick of this constant war-mongering. The second World War only lasted for 5 years!”

      The last thing MIC cares is what millions of Americans, who elected Trump, want.

  6. Temporarily Sane

    If the members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, ostensibly on a fact finding mission re the Trump administration’s alleged collusion with Russian government officials and business people, take their assignment seriously they could use Helmer’s brisk, no-nonsense just the facts ma’am approach as a template for their proceedings. The key word being “if”…

    Reading the American and European press it’s striking how the reporting on countries in the ‘axis of MIC designated evildoers’ is almost always grossly, or hilariously, depending on your disposition, reductionist. While Western countries have a complex and multilayered system of government administration the “evil” countries are ruled by bad dudes with one name (North Korea’s Kim Jong-un excepted) – Putin, Assad, Saddam, Gadaffi – who have absolute control over civilians military alike. It really is a South Parkesque view of the world. One can imagine a Putin or Assad grimly overseeing a trembling clerk issuing licenses at a provincial DMV, because Leader Knows Best of course.

    Back in the real world this cartoonish dumbing down means every action – real, alleged or made up – the West doesn’t like is traced back to The Leader. If a military unit goes nuts and slaughters a bunch of non-combatants , a nasty but not uncommon occurrence in wartime, it must be because The Leader ordered it. The Syrian Arab Army, to name one example, becomes “Assad’s Army” and is composed of “soldiers loyal to Bashar al-Assad”. The media would never talk about a Western, or “allied” army like this.

    In the transcript Helmer cites, Gorkov’s gifts to Kushner, something that might only be an innocent overlooking of protocol, can easily be spun in such a way that it becomes part of that evil rascal Putin’s ploy to influence an American president. That’s why these committees and hearings are a joke that belong in a low-budget sequel to Dr. Strangelove. Every person with a functioning brain knows there is a double-standard at play here. Even the maniacal partisan nutjobs agitating for Cold War 2.0 would have to admit this if logic and reason still have any meaning.

    1. likbez

      Demonization of Putin is very profitable. This new round of McCarthyism enforced on the country proved to be the strategy chosen by neoliberal elite to return Dems to power and suppress populists within the party. Smash any critique of neoliberalism equating them with Russian agents, who are trying to undermine the state.

      There were rumors that original McCarthyism campaign partially was designed to suppress “leaks” about export of nazy scientist and spies in the USA after WWII that Communists and Trotskyites tried to expose.

      1. Rosario

        I’m coming to the conclusion that this type of foreign policy hand waving directed by US oligarch sycophants is exactly what the Putin led mob in Russia wants as well. The existential threat of the United States is just as much a boom for military business in Russia as in the US. Putin sure as hell didn’t make his phantom billions through principled, astute investment.

        The US political theater has gone completely post-modern after Trump got elected. Russia has been doing this for over a decade with the help of Vladislav Surkov, a post-modern Machiavelli. Now the two major parties in the US are playing a similar PR game full of alternate truths, half truths, pliable/selective facts. The riffraff, as always, are stuck in the middle.

  7. rps

    Talk about a nothing burger about Kushner and Russia other than his aficionado to be Bibi’s US puppet-in-law. If Trump has any Russian connections its through his first wife Ivana Trump. According to wikipedia, Ivana Trump nee Zelníčková was born February 20, 1949 in the Moravian town of Zlín, Czechoslovakia. From 1948 to 1990, Czechoslovakia was part of the Soviet bloc. Donald Jr speaks fluent Czech.

    Now the Clintons Russian connection of selling and buying ‘Merica uranium/speechifer/foundation grab bag of goodies makes the Trump Russian investigation look like its run by a whole buncha nut job congress critters who fell off the turnip truck conned into playing a shell game.

  8. Anti Schmoo

    On the one hand; maybe Helmer’s pedantism is showing itself.
    On the other hand; Helmer is showing the lack of intelligence, honesty, and maturity in the White House, which also has nuclear weapons.
    It’s tantamount to leaving a cocked and loaded .45 in an infant’s crib…

    1. McKillop

      Pedantry does make for dull reading to people who are titillated daily by revealing hyperbole and innuendo used to imply criminal and or traitorous wrongdoing. Even simple naughtiness.
      I’m myself often made impatient by articles that use charts to illustrate the various changes in economic conditions. And please don’t ask me to read insurance policies or warranty statements or the fine print that ends with the demand to click Yes/No concerning internet sites that could be demanding pounds of flesh or agreement to arbitration.
      Kushner is a powerful man of influence questioned by other powerful men. Devil’s in the details.

  9. Scott

    Pedantry, Pedantic, is a word I had to look up the other day after listening to my record because the word pedantic describes the Trump style of speaking.
    However the Pedantic person is supposed to be a nit picker because they know things about the subject.
    I am forced to wonder what it is that Trump knows and why does Pedantic apply to his speaking style.
    Far as Kushner, well, last I knew the most substantive action reports were that he & Ivanka were willing to go to the Russian Embassy in DC, or NYC, that building up there near the UN around what 66th on the West Side, so they could communicate directly with the Russians.
    Facts, facts appear to add up to this: Kushner wanted independent channel of communications with the Russians in Moscow, meaning Putin. Russians were directed to hack as much of the election infrastructure as they could. They did hack as much as they could. It was a lot of hack.
    Truth and lies were distributed in the Social Media in a targeted way that swayed the election result.
    The Trump Campaign did commission freelancers familiar with social media distribution methods.
    The conclusion from the circumstantial evidence I have seen is that Russians were directed to distribute truth & lies about the Clinton Unit to target audiences on social media.
    “I did not have sex with that woman.” -“Depends on how you define sex.”
    “Clinton is a weak candidate.” – Punditry.
    If anyone plays both sides off the middle it would be Kissinger sounds like to me. The middle being those that pay him.
    The GOP/C.S.A., at large, Burr, Rudabacker, Risch, Royce, Sessions, Flynn, Nunes, exist to aid and abet & protect the self loathing illegitimate criminal Trump. Trump becomes honorary Russian Oligarch. He governs as if the US is a Federation style “democracy”.
    What’s that scene in Casino when the Pesci character is going to be “made”?

    1. bronco

      That didn’t make a lot of sense , I read it twice , I can’t tell if you were being pedantic , ironic or sarcastic.

  10. Loblolly

    My mom is from a small village, one whose name I am not too clear on the spelling of.

    Where do I turn myself in?

    1. McKillop

      If you are willing to accept the proposition that stupidity is not a crime but rather a life sentence hen there is not need to surrender yourself to the authorities. On the other hand, if knowing your familial history is seen as a cultural obligation it would be best to learn accuracy. It’s a bit funny to confuse the two towns, like jumbling Sudbury in the U.S.A. with Sudbury in Canada or Sudbury in Great Britain (like talking about your dear friend, umm, umm, uhhmm.
      Perhaps Kushner gave as good as he got from his interrogators, Or was incapable of giving more.

Comments are closed.