Double False Pretense and the Birth of an Intel Operation

July 10, 2017

A visible framework is starting to emerge about how and why President Trump became entangled with Russian interests in his pursuit for the Oval Office. Sometimes in life we find ourselves in a place without understanding how we arrived. The President of the United States is a Russian spy, but where it all began has been elusive and difficult to ascertain. There have been many theories, and to be quite honest many of them have been quite imaginative, if not outright wishful thinking. Misunderstandings and selective awareness have given birth to many shallow hypotheses. Such things are dangerous as they become a new form of birtherism.

While many hypotheses have emerged they have largely been based on imagination, wishful thinking, misunderstandings, and selective awareness of the facts. The theory that President Trump has been the subject of blackmail from the beginning is entirely unsubstantiated. There has never been anything more than scant evidence to imply this idea, and furthermore it is a recklessly gratuitous concept because it would mean that the President is in fact a victim. Such a scenario sets up a dangerous sleight-of-hand that makes the likes of Louise Mensch so alarming when she peddles those allegations, because a true “team Deza” would hope to lead you down exactly that kind of diversionary route.

The blackmail hypothesis stems from the Steele Dossier story, filled in with many assumptions. While intelligence agencies believe that Russia has collected sensitive information that could be used in an attempt to compromise President Trump, nobody ever reached the conclusion that blackmail was actually occurring. In fact, the entire purpose of briefing then President Obama and then President-elect Trump was a fear that Putin would reserve this kompromat for a key moment in the future. Blackmail is a tool of last resort after all. Only a desperate amateur would open coercive attempts with blackmail threats as if taking cues from cheap pulp fiction. Once you play a blackmail card you lose it forever. Any blackmail that may have entered the equation would be more Revelation than Genesis.

It appears that Don Jr's description of the Veselnitskaya meeting as a false pretense is more or less accurate, but superficial. It seems to be that there was a double false pretense at work. Veselnitskaya sought the meeting under the false pretense of having damaging information against Clinton, but the reason Veselnitskaya requested the meeting had nothing to do with international adoption policy. The false pretense given was itself bait to test the campaign's receptiveness to accepting collaborative assistance from the Russian government.

We base this on information we have gained, some recently but some over time. One particular datum that stands out, though it was not well understood at the time, relates to Kushner's ongoing problems with disclosures on his national security questionnaire. When omissions were reported in April there was a particular conversation that involved the President, Kushner, Priebus, Spicer, and a few others, during which the omissions story was discussed. The President asked Kushner whether he'd disclosed a meeting with that lady lawyer, to which Kushner responded in the affirmative. Offhandedly Reince asked what the meeting was about which prompted the President to ask Kushner, with theatrical flair, for a reminder of what the meeting had been. Kushner curtly mumbled Adoption laws as if he were trying to shut down the discussion. The President then expressed his feeling that this particular meeting should not have been disclosed and described it as a loose end, which made Reince and Sean uneasy. Reince pointed out that all meetings had to be disclosed while Sean continued observing silently, probably contemplating what sins in a past life could have possibly landed him in this mess. Kushner, tinged with impatience and annoyance, commented that it was a safe disclosure because nobody would want to question an interest helping orphans. Afterward Kushner tried to explain away President Trump's comment as allegedly meaning that the President didn't feel the meeting should have to be disclosed, but Reince later explained that the President's meaning was clear.

The significance of this exchange is to highlight that this meeting was clearly sensitive and a cause for anxiety for the President and his most inner of circles. The fact that they wanted to keep the details of the meeting secret from Priebus and Spicer is a clear indication that the meeting was of an incriminating nature regarding the President's connections with Russian influence. While this conversation was nothing more than an unexplained oddity back in April, it takes on a new light as we learn how the meeting was convened.

This meeting with Veselnitskaya therefore seems to be the acorn from which the oak has grown. Thanks to this meeting the Russian government was able to determine that the Trump campaign was open to overt and collaborative assistance in the election. The Russian plans for intervention may have turned a corner as a result, evolving from an attempt to install a useful fool into the cultivation of a willing partner. The President is once again holding most of his staff at arm's length to address this matter, which is consistent with issues regarding Russia that bear truth. These times are known as the family business. The President is very secretive on the whole and relies heavily on family and a few exceptionally close associates (including his lawyer) as his most inner of circles. It's part of the reason it's so difficult to get anything done in the West Wing. President Trump expects things to be done according to his precise line of thinking, but will not allow most people to be privy to his precise line of thinking. Responding to the report of this meeting is being primarily treated as a matter of family business and if anyone attempts to ask the President about it family business is the only reply they'll receive, at least at the moment.

We believe that after this meeting with Veselnitskaya indirect communications began shortly thereafter. The exact nature of those communications remains a matter of family business, but we are increasingly convinced that there is no single factor to explain how and why President Trump became a Russian spy. The setting seems to have been incidentally set through years of business contacts and relationships. That lent avenues for contact, and possibly intelligence gathering by the Kremlin. When he became more outspokenly political during President Obama's term Russian interest probably was piqued and resulted in early intel gathering. By late 2015 Putin was likely open to the possibility of attempting to install candidate Trump, who may have become aware that he was favored by Putin through various channels. While some have speculated that direct financial pressure may have been leveraged somewhere along the way, we believe it is far more likely that flattery alone would have been sufficient to prime the pump. By June 2016 then candidate Trump was foolishly willing to accept overt assistance. Not only that but he probably believed that he could later use a threat of publicizing Russian assistance as his own blackmail leverage against Russian officials. (Remember, this is the person who first became politically outspoken as revenge for Obama refusing to accept bribes from him, whose earliest reason for running for President was as a weird proxy revenge against Obama, who has bragged ad nauseum about repeatedly bribing and blackmailing politicians as a business tactic, and who wasn't seriously seeking election until his ego took over and pressed the accelerator to the floor.) By willfully accepting Russian assistance the President sandwiched himself into a multifaceted vise where the greatest pressure comes from the conflicts in his own objectives.

Had he lost the election the collaboration with Russia would not have mattered. Nothing more than an academic curiosity would have resulted, had it been discovered that the loser of an election had been aided by Russia. No legal questions would have been raised, no significant consequences would have resulted, other than having gained some possible connections and/or leverage for favorable Russian business dealings. However, by winning the election the President became obliged to sate his ego, which now demands that his Presidency be viewed favorably, and without the shadow of his actions. Meanwhile, his campaign was supposed to only be bragging rights to use in business negotiations so now turning his Presidency into a business success has become an objective. Instead of having leverage against the Russian government, he is not leveraged. So he has to seek alternative routes, such as cooperating with Russian interests from the Oval Office while looking to supplant his business interests in Russia with other opportunities in China.

During his campaign then candidate Trump once said that his primary adviser for foreign policy was himself because he allegedly is very smart and has a very good brain. Yet one false pretense to hide another false pretense, neither of which was particularly convincing, has proven to be a massive miscalculation. Through it all, the President still doesn't understand that the pretext within the false pretense of adoption policy was the core issue of sanctions against Russia. Think of the children.