Trump Wasn’t Putin’s First Puppet

First Published on: http://crooksandliars.com/2017/05/trump-wasnt-putins-first-puppet

Donald Trump wasn’t Vladimir Putin’s first bromance. That honor goes to Hungary’s Viktor Orban. Much like Trump, Orban is an egomaniac that would sell his soul and first born for money and power. And like Trump, Orban lets Putin get away with literal murder without ever saying a word.

In fact, the Orban/Putin story is almost identical to the Trump/Putin story!

Why Hungary

Hungary joined the European Union (EU) in 2003, and thus became highly attractive to Russia. If Putin could control Hungary, he could gain unfettered access to the EU countries. Russian FSB (former KGB) agents could enter the EU through Hungary. Once there, they could then travel throughout all EU member nations without having to go through any customs inspections.

Russia also needed to control Hungary because it required buyers for its oil and gas. EU members attempted to discover ways around using Russian fuel supplies. If they became dependent on Russian fuel, Russia would be able to control them easily. With Hungary under his wing, Putin would have an advocate for selling his oil and gas.

Easy Pickings

Hungary already had many Russian sympathizers in it’s government ranks since it was a former member of the Soviet Union. The Hungarian people however, were not as pro-Putin as some of their leaders. Changing their minds would involve changing their viewing habits. Specifically, their news viewing habits.

In 2007, Russian FSB (former KGB) agents worked with those sympathetic politicians to develop media outlets that promoted right wing, pro-Russian ideas. Orban, then prime minister of Hungary, and others would rail against the media saying that they were biased against the right. Like Trump, he refused to answer reporters he didn’t like and called them fake. Orban’s Fidesz party, just like the Republican party, would be given talking points to attack the media.

They would then have their members send complaints to the government about the media being partial to left leaning causes. This gave them the excuse to clamp down on the media. The Fidesz party then started fining news outlets that didn’t tow the line. Many were fined into bankruptcy. Many just gave in. Soon the airwaves and internet were filled with Fox News like stations and Breitbart organizations that claimed to be news organizations, but were really just fronts for pro-Russian propaganda. Russia also began controlling their internet.

Orban’s Strategy Mirrors Trump’s

In 2008, Ana Szilagyi studied the rise of Orban. This was a few years before he would be elected president. The methods used by Orban and the Fidesz party were exactly the same as Donald Trump and the Republican Party’s schemes used in the 2016 Election.

In 2007, Orban and his gang claimed to be the only party that could help the Hungarian people out of their recession. They threatened to jail their opponents, and called them “sick, pathological, psychologically unfit, neurotic and paranoid,” just as Trump did with Clinton. According to Szilagyi, the following is another Orban scheme that I noticed Trump uses time and time again:

“…they endow their rivals with the very attributes that are much more characteristic of themselves than of their rivals. This is a classic method of politics:
the one who frightens others acts as if he himself were threatened by those whom he threatens. An authoritarian politician who is beginning to build an undemocratic regime suddenly discovers a conspiracy against democracy by the very people who are trying to stop him in his efforts to do away with democracy.

She further pointed out that Orban always needed to seem stronger, bigger or more powerful than his opponents. Similar to how Trump would say that Clinton was not “presidential looking” or did not have the “stamina” to be president.

Orban began holding rallies in 2007 where his followers were encouraged to shout, “VIKTOR, VIKTOR, VIKTOR!!!” This had an effect of creating what seemed like an uncontrollable phenomena. He also would encourage violence at his rallies and courted the racist white supremacist crowd just like Trump did.

Orban and Trump both use speech that is more of a suggestion than an absolute. Neither men ever offer actual plans or policies for their goals. “Nothing is clearly defined in linguistics. If a certain phrase or a certain sentence implies a certain meaning, the answer can always be that it was simply misunderstood.” This tactic is not only used by both leaders but used by their parties and cabinet members. You can see this in con game at any one of Sean Spicer’s press briefings or any time KellyAnne Conway opens her mouth.

Another common ploy is the use of the nation or their followers as victims. Both Trump and Orban have used the rallying claim that their constituents cannot say racist things without being labeled racists. Both have claimed their countries are victims to other countries like the way Trump claims Mexico and China take advantage of the U.S. There’s always someone else to blame for their problems and always someone keeping them from succeeding in life.

Both presidents’ supporters will attack anyone saying anything negative about their leaders. Though Hungary is further along in strangling its press, Trump is not far behind as evidenced by the FCC now investigating comedian Stephen Colbert for making a joke about the sensitive leader. Szilagyi also stated that leaders like these two will show 2 sides of an issue to confuse their opponents on purpose. This explains why Trump will hire a cabinet full of anti-Semites even though his daughter and son-in-law are Jewish, or how one day he’s threatening nuclear war with North Korea and the next he says he’d be “honored” to meet its leader.

Orban and Trump both use anti-immigrant racist bait to strike fear into the hearts of their naive followers. Putin, of course, is the designer of this strategy. It is Putin’s actions in Syria that have caused a wave of innocent refugee families to flee to Europe. Many are landing in Hungary allowing Orban to stoke the terrorist fears though there’s been no evidence of refugees being terrorists. This can be seen on the Hungarian Ambassador’s Twitter page:

Kompromat

Orban was not always a fan of Russia. He was in fact openly anti-Russian until 2009 when he suddenly showed up in Moscow at a party for Putin. The former prime minister of Hungary, Ferenc Gyurcsany, has claimed that Putin has compromising material on Orban. This material is supposed to be so damning that Orban would do whatever Putin told him to do “5 times over.”

What the material may be is not known. Perhaps it is a pee pee tape like the one that rumors say Putin has on Trump. The only one who seems to know is Gyursany, and he has said publicly that Orban should sue him for making such statements so that he could then release the documents.

Trump Loves Hungary

Recently I wrote an article about the close ties between the Hungarian Embassy in D.C. and the Trump administration. It cannot be mere coincidence that both Trump and Orban use the exact same methods for manipulating their voters, that both have ties to Russia and Putin, that a top Trump adviser, Sebastian Gorka, is a Hungarian native and former Hungarian politician with anti-Semetic ties, etc. It’s no coincidence that the Trump administration celebrated their election at the Hungarian Embassy. There’s a reason why the Hungarian Ambassador tweets more praise for Trump than she does for her own country.

Too bad the Republican held congress is too busy twiddling their thumbs.

To follow politics in Hungary, please follow the Hungarian Spectrum.

 

Kushner Sells Visa Access to High-Roller Investors

First published on: http://crooksandliars.com/2017/05/no-extreme-vetting-kushners-investors

Yesterday my Twitter feed was filled with images of the Kushner family in Beijing. Most tweets either insinuated or flat out accused Jared Kushner, White House Innovations Director (whatever that is) and son-in-law to the president, of blatantly breaking conflicts of interest and ethics rules. But just because it says so on Twitter, doesn’t mean it’s true. Just look at Trump’s Twitter page, on any day, at any given time.

Then again, it is the Trump family.

The EB-5 Visa Program

The EB-5 Program was authorized by Congress under the Immigration Act of 1990. Every year, 10,000 visas are made available to wealthy foreign investors and their immediate family members. The investors must give $1 million either in cash or materials to business in the U.S. seeking to start a new project. The investment amount can be dropped to $500,000 if the new business is located in an approved targeted area in need of economic and job growth. All the money goes to the company. The U.S. government has no stake in the transaction.

If approved, the investors and their families receive a temporary visa for two years. After those two years, they are eligible for a permanent resident card and could conceivably become U.S. citizens through naturalization in years to come.

To call them investors is incorrect and misleading. The money is invested into the company, but they are essentially buying their visas.

Lack of Regulation

The requirements for the businesses boil down to it being a new project which must create 10 new jobs. Should the business fail to meet these obligations, the immigrant investor will be deported back to their country of origin. Businesses face no penalties.

This means that the immigrant investor assumes all liability in the EB-5 program. They must trust the company in the U.S. to do as it promises. In fact, most of the complaints filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) come from immigrants who gave their investments to companies that either did not start the project or finish it.

In the end, the business gets all the money and the immigrant is left hoping they keep their word. There is little oversight during the first two years, allowing scam artists to have their ways with these wealthy immigrants. Also troubling, there is no database for citizens to monitor these transactions. No transparency in who is buying these visas, where they are from or who is hiring them.

No Extreme Vetting Allowed

This is the one visa Trump will not try and ban. Susan Pai Law Offices suggests it is because 85% of EB-1 visas come from Chinese immigrants. Even though China is considered a threat to the U.S. by all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies, EB-5 visa applicants are given a waiver. The amount of vetting for these immigrants is no more than what every other immigrant receives. The benefit is that they are fast tracked through the system and don’t go to the back of the line.

EB-5 visas are big business. Not only are big investment dollars being used but huge amounts of money are being made by attorneys that assist American businesses in finding these wealthy foreigners. Between the client matching and immigration legalities, law firms are raking in the bucks.

Buying Congress

Recently, Congress has suggested ending the EB-5 because it is nothing more than buying U.S. citizenship. Add to that the security risks it imposes and many in congress are crying foul. But not everyone is. Some congressmen are being influenced to continue the program.

Conflicts of Interest

Susan Pai brought up another, more interesting reason why Trump is not likely to ban the EB-5 program: his son-in-law’s company, Kushner 1, is currently in negotiations for more investments. The New York Times reported that Jared’s sister, Nicole Meyer was the one in Beijing the other day making a presentation to Chinese nationals interested in buying their way to U.S. citizenship. The Kushner family business is looking to raise $150 million to invest in their Jersey City, One Journal Square property. Both Kushner and Trump have used the EB-5 program in past developments.

The question of conflicts of interest or ethics violations remains. Kushner claims to have cut his ties to the company, but what does that mean? Does that mean he no longer receives money from that organization or that he is not involved in the day to day operations? Much like his father-in-law, Kushner is not transparent about any of this.

It is extremely worrisome that a picture of Trump and congressional supporters was shown at the conference. Are they offering access to Kushner and Trump? Is the Trump family once again inviting foreign nationalists into our institutions for their own benefit, like they did with the Russians?

None of these questions are likely to get answers any time soon seeing as how the Republicans are refusing to investigate.

 

Tee Up the Remodel for Trump’s Third White House

First published in: http://crooksandliars.com/2017/05/tee-remodel-trumps-third-white-house

Mar-A-Lago is closing for the summer season as usual. Florida is not known for comfortable summers with its ungodly humidity and giant, flying insects. Plus, no one wants to see Trump sweat like that.

But never fear, for Trump has more courses to golf at. Golf courses that are much cooler during the summer months like Bedminster, New Jersey which is where he chose to go this weekend. According to Trump, it might even save us some money.

He’s probably talking about the flight being cheaper because it’s a shorter distance, but that’s not really what costs us taxpayers so much money. It’s the added security, medical staff, military, secret service, communications and his staff that has to be flown there. Then all those personnel must be housed and fed there at the club, which Trump will gladly charge to taxpayers and pocket the money.

Communication rooms and those secret SCIF rooms will have to be constructed. Quite possibly, though I’m not positive of this, there might need to be a helicopter pad as well. Who knows really? It’s not like they’ll tell us until after our money’s spent.

The property itself is about 535 acres with 2 18-hole courses. Armed security will have to cover all of this plus shut down the local airport so that no one can fly near the course.

Do you think he’ll have a fall golf course White House? Personally, I’m hoping so, because I have way too much money lying around as I’m sure you do as well.