Saturday, 2 December 2017

Is Trump a Fascist?

Chris Menahan
Dec. 01, 2017
Jared Kushner told Michael Flynn to call Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak to advance the interests of Israel, not Russia, according to a new report from Buzzfeed.
From Buzzfeed:
WASHINGTON — Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law, called Michael Flynn in December 2016 and told him to call members of the UN Security Council in an effort to stop a vote on a resolution critical of Israeli settlement policy, according to a person who was present in the room when Flynn took the call.
Flynn then called Russia’s then-ambassador to the United States to seek his assistance, and later lied to the FBI about having done so, according to documents filed in federal court Friday by special counsel Robert Mueller that explained Flynn’s guilty plea on two counts of lying to federal agents.
The documents do not say on whose behalf Flynn contacted Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, identifying the person only as “a very senior member of the Presidential Transition Team.”
But a Trump transition official who was in the room where Flynn took a call regarding the upcoming UN Security Council vote said Flynn identified the caller as Kushner.
“Jared called Flynn and told him you need to get on the phone to every member of the Security Council and tell them to delay the vote,” the person said.
If confirmed, that call would bring prosecutors one step closer to Kushner, who also serves as a senior adviser to Trump.
Kushner, the source said, told Flynn during the phone call that “this was a top priority for the president.”
The source says Flynn took the call at the Trump transition team’s offices in the General Services Administration headquarters in northwest Washington. After hanging up, Flynn told the entire room that they’d have to start pushing to lobby against the UN vote, saying “the president wants this done ASAP.”
The Obama administration let the UN vote condemning Israeli settlements go through unimpeded.
Nothing Kushner has ever done has been successful.
The Guardian has more:
One reason that conversation is important – and potentially highly problematic for Trump and his inner circle – is because of comments made to CNN on 23 December the day after Flynn spoke to Kislyak – by an anonymous Israeli official.
That official admitted that Israel – and reportedly the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, himself – had contacted Trump to seek his assistance in killing the resolution.
The official – in comments that may come back to haunt the White House – said that Israel had “implored the [Obama] White House not to go ahead and told them that if they did, we would have no choice but to reach out to President-elect Trump”.
“We did reach out to the president-elect,” the official added, “and are deeply appreciative that he weighed in, which was not a simple thing to do.”
Trump himself not only spoke out to condemn the resolution ahead of the vote – highly unusual for a president-elect – but his incoming national security adviser Flynn was also lobbying Moscow to act against then US foreign policy.
While the timeline remains circumstantial, it is highly suggestive. At a time when Israel was asking the Trump transition team to intervene to derail the resolution, the question is whether Flynn would have approached Kislyak on his own initiative.
Flynn’s own answer to that question – in his guilty plea – is now on the record, alleging that a senior member of the Trump transition team “directed” him to make contact with Russian officials in December 2016.
And while the identity of that “senior transition official” has not been revealed there have been hints, not least the Wall Street Journal’s report last month that special counsel Robert Mueller has been investigating the attempt by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner to block the passage of the resolution 2334 – the same effort that Flynn, it now appears, lied to the FBI about.
We can be certain no one in the US media will demand a thorough investigation into collusion between US officials and Israel. Currently, 51 Senators — from both parties — are signed on to a bill which would make boycotting the state of Israel a criminal offense, First Amendment be damned.
Buzzfeed in their own piece suggested these revelations could only “potentially be relevant to Mueller’s investigation into allegations of collusion between Russian officials and Trump campaign staffers.”

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