Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #920 The Trumpenkampfverbande, Part 3: The Underground Reich Emerges Into Plain View

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This broad­cast was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment.

MeinKampfthinkbignkickassIntro­duc­tion: For many yearswhat Mr. Emory terms “The Under­ground Reich” has been a fun­da­men­tal point of dis­cus­sion and analy­sis in these broad­casts and posts. In the third pro­gram ana­lyz­ing the Don­ald Trump cam­paign, we exam­ine the “Trumpenkampfver­bande,” its polit­i­cal antecedents and adher­ents.

Exem­pli­fy­ing, and net­work­ing with, gen­er­a­tions of fas­cists and fas­cist orga­ni­za­tions, the Trumpenkampfver­bande embod­ies the emer­gence of the Under­ground Reich into plain view.

In FTR #‘s 918 and 919, we exam­ined Trump’s pro­nounce­ments about Rus­sia, NATO and Ukraine in the con­text of tra­di­tion­al Ger­man “Ost­poli­tik.” Far from being the “dupe/agent/stooge” of “Putin/Russia/the Krem­lin” that our (to a large extent will­ful­ly) igno­rant media and polit­i­cal estab­lish­ments label Trump, he appears to be a sig­nal ele­ment, herald­ing a “bid­ding war” between East and West that will yield tremen­dous ben­e­fits for a Ger­many that has real­ized its long-stand­ing goal of a uni­fied Europe and is now build­ing a new, EU-wide mil­i­tary struc­ture that threat­ens to replace NATO.

Fur­ther­more, secur­ing a “win­ning bid” from Rus­sia may yield a Ger­man-dom­i­nat­ed trade orga­ni­za­tion “stretch­ing from Lis­bon to Vladi­vos­tok.”

In this regard, we feel that Trump is func­tion­ing in a man­ner anal­o­gous to the “Open Let­ter to Stal­in” pub­lished in the Buerg­er Zeitung.

A sig­na­ture ele­ment of Trump’s cam­paign is his resus­ci­ta­tion of the “Amer­i­ca First” slo­gan and con­cept, a man­i­fes­ta­tion both of his thin­ly-veiled appeal to Nazi and white suprema­cist ele­ments and his will­ing­ness to cede dom­i­nance over world affairs to a Ger­man-dom­i­nat­ed “third pow­er bloc.”

Just as Amer­i­ca First–in its 1930s man­i­fes­ta­tion–favored keep­ing Amer­i­ca from becom­ing involved in Europe, there­by giv­ing Ger­many an unchal­lenged posi­tion in its hege­mon­ic designs, so, too, Trump’s pro­nounce­ments about NATO her­ald iso­la­tion­ist posi­tion for the U.S. that will ben­e­fit the EU/Germany.

In addi­tion, the Amer­i­ca First con­cept mobi­lizes pow­er­ful feel­ings among those feel­ing over­whelmed and left behind by polit­i­cal and eco­nom­ic devel­op­ments glob­al­ly and in the Unit­ed States.

The “orig­i­nal” Amer­i­ca First was financed by Nazi Ger­many.

On the sub­ject of Amer­i­ca First:

  • “. . . . The busi­ness­man [Trump] has also adopt­ed the ral­ly­ing cry ‘Amer­i­ca First’, which became famous as a slo­gan of the famous avi­a­tor Charles Lind­bergh and iso­la­tion­ists in the 1930s and ear­ly 1940s. Lind­bergh, who was wel­comed in Nazi Ger­many sev­er­al times before the sec­ond world war, wrote about ‘racial strength’ and said civ­i­liza­tion depend­ed ‘on a west­ern wall of race and arms which can hold back either a Genghis Khan or the infil­tra­tion of infe­ri­or blood’. . . .”
  • “. . . . It is no acci­dent that ‘Amer­i­ca First’s’ actu­al his­tor­i­cal prog­en­i­tor is a 30s-era Nativist, anti-Semit­ic qua­si-iso­la­tion­ism which was effec­tive­ly allied with Nazi Ger­many. The real mean­ing of ‘Amer­i­ca First’ has always been that Amer­i­ca is being tak­en advan­tage of, being exploit­ed and exposed. . . .”
  • ” . . . . the [pro-Nazi Ger­man Amer­i­can] Bund had so antag­o­nized most Amer­i­cans by its swasti­ka-heil­ing phase that orders came from Berlin to cut out pub­lic singing of the Horst Wes­sel Lied, shelve the Sam Browne belts and march­ing boots and ‘go Amer­i­can.’ The par­ty line changed, as a buck­et of red-white-and-blue paint was applied to make overnight ‘patri­ots’ of the Nazis. The Deutsch­er Weck­ruf became The Free Amer­i­can. And no longer pro­fess­ing to con­vert the Unit­ed States to Nation­al-Social­ism, the Bund became nation­al­ist and iso­la­tion­ist, showed great con­cern for the wel­fare of the Repub­lic and adopt­ed the slo­gan: Amer­i­ca First. . . .”
  • “. . . Mussolini’s fas­cist sys­tem was first described as ‘nation­al­ist.’ The French fas­cist orga­ni­za­tion Croix de Feu, which devel­oped into a Vichy instru­ment was called ‘nation­al­ist.’ The Nazi par­ty is the Nation­al-Social­ist Par­ty. The Japan­ese War Par­ty is a ‘nation­al­ist’ par­ty. All these coun­tries had their ‘Ger­many First,’ ‘France First’ and ‘Spain First’ par­ties. Recall that the mot­to of Sir Oswald Mosley’s Black­shirts was ‘Britain First’ and Stahrenberg’s slo­gan of the Amer­i­can Nation­al-Social­ist Par­ty was ‘Amer­i­ca First, Last and Always.’ ‘Amer­i­ca First’ can be no dif­fer­ent in its con­no­ta­tion and ulti­mate out­come despite the sin­cere intents of some of those who mouth it. ‘Amer­i­ca First’ is a cry unwit­ting­ly used by Liberty’s hang­men. . . .”
  • “. . . . Only sec­ond sec­re­tary in the embassy, von Gien­anth main­tained a fright­en­ing grip over his fel­low diplo­mats. He was an under­cov­er SS man, the ears and eyes of the ‘Reichsmin­istry of Prop­er Enlight­en­ment and Pro­pa­gan­da,’ charged with keep­ing watch over its secret Amer­i­can oper­a­tions. He was, in short, the Gestapo chief in Amer­i­ca. . . . He devot­ed him­self to chang­ing Goebbels’ gold into dol­lars, and those dol­lars into laun­dered ‘dona­tions’ to the Amer­i­ca First Com­mit­tee, where unwit­ting isolationists–Abram [Verei­de] allies such as Sen­a­tor Arthur Van­den­berg and Amer­i­ca First Pres­i­dent Robert M. Hanes among them–stumped for recog­ni­tion of the ‘fact’ on Hitler’s inevitabil­i­ty. . . .”

After review­ing some of Trump’s asso­ci­a­tions with fas­cists and Nazis, past and present, the pro­gram turns to the sub­ject of Joseph E. Schmitz, one of Trump’s advis­ers on for­eign and nation­al secu­ri­ty pol­i­cy.

“Obsessed with all things Ger­man . . . . and Von Steuben,” Schmitz’s Ger­manophil­ia and “Von Steubenophil­ia” (to coin a term) appears to beto­ken a Nazi-style polit­i­cal ori­en­ta­tion.

” . . . . Daniel Mey­er, a senior offi­cial with­in the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty, described Schmitz’s remarks in his com­plaint file. ‘His sum­ma­ry of his tenure’s achieve­ment report­ed as ‘…I fired the Jews,’ ’ wrote Mey­er, a for­mer offi­cial in the Pen­ta­gon inspec­tor general’s office whose griev­ance was obtained by McClatchy. . . . In his com­plaint, Mey­er said [John] Crane also said Schmitz played down the extent of the Holo­caust. . . . In his final days, he alleged­ly lec­tured Mr. Crane on the details of con­cen­tra­tion camps and how the ovens were too small to kill 6 mil­lion Jews,” wrote Mey­er, whose com­plaint is before the Mer­it Sys­tems Pro­tec­tion Board (MSPB). . . .”

Sig­nal­ing the pro­found Trump cam­paign affil­i­a­tion with Nazis and white suprema­cists, the pro­gram high­lights the appoint­ment of Bre­it­bart chief Steve Ban­non to run Trump’s cam­paign. Ban­non has “main­streamed” Nazis and “white nation­al­ists.”

Waffen SS-clad World War II reenactors, in original photo used by Trump

Waf­fen SS-clad World War II reen­ac­tors, in orig­i­nal pho­to used by Trump

Fur­ther devel­op­ing Trump’s links with what media have termed “the alt right.” we note the Trump’s tweet­ing of a cam­paign ad fea­tur­ing Waf­fen-SS-clad World War II re-enac­tors. Tweet­ing fas­cist images and con­cepts is some­thing Trump does with great fre­quen­cy.

After tweet­ing an anti-Semit­ic por­tray­al of Hillary Clin­ton beside a Star of David, Trump attempt­ed to deflect crit­i­cism by claim­ing it was a “sher­if­f’s star.” The tweet orig­i­nat­ed on an “alt right” mes­sag­ing board, and its sub­stance was endorsed by David Duke.

Although not dis­cussed in the audio record­ing, we note in this descrip­tion that Trump kept a col­lec­tion of Hitler’s speech­es by his bed.

In pol­i­tics, it is an axiom that one should “fol­low the mon­ey.” Sup­ple­ment­ing dis­cus­sion from FTR #919, in which we ana­lyzed a New York Times arti­cle high­light­ing Don­ald Trump’s alto­geth­er opaque real estate devel­op­ments and evi­dence that those projects had sig­nif­i­cant links to ele­ments of the Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work, we set forth the pri­ma­ry role of Deutsche Bank in financ­ing Trump’s real estate projects. ” . . . While many big banks have shunned him, Deutsche Bank AG has been a stead­fast finan­cial backer of the Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial candidate’s busi­ness inter­ests. Since 1998, the bank has led or par­tic­i­pat­ed in loans of at least $2.5 bil­lion to com­pa­nies affil­i­at­ed with Mr. Trump, accord­ing to a Wall Street Jour­nal analy­sis of pub­lic records and peo­ple famil­iar with the mat­ter. That doesn’t include at least anoth­er $1 bil­lion in loan com­mit­ments that Deutsche Bank made to Trump-affil­i­at­ed enti­ties. The long-stand­ing con­nec­tion makes Frank­furt-based Deutsche Bank, which has a large U.S. oper­a­tion and has been grap­pling with rep­u­ta­tion­al prob­lems and an almost 50% stock-price decline, the finan­cial insti­tu­tion with prob­a­bly the strongest ties to the con­tro­ver­sial New York busi­ness­man. . . .”

The fact that Deutsche Bank is the pri­ma­ry finan­cial backer of “Trump Incor­po­rat­ed” is of pri­ma­ry impor­tance. The bank is cen­tral to the Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work.

“. . . . When Bor­mann gave the order for his rep­re­sen­ta­tives to resume pur­chas­es of Amer­i­can cor­po­rate stocks, it was usu­al­ly done through the neu­tral coun­tries of Switzer­land and Argenti­na. From for­eign exchange funds on deposit in Swiss banks and in Deutsche Sudamerikan­ishe Bank, the Buenos Aires branch of Deutsche Bank, large demand deposits were placed in the prin­ci­pal mon­ey-cen­ter banks of New York City; Nation­al City (now Citibank), Chase (now Chase Man­hat­tan N.A.), Man­u­fac­tur­ers and Hanover (now man­u­fac­tur­ers Hanover Trust), Mor­gan Guar­an­ty, and Irv­ing Trust. Such deposits are inter­est-free and the banks can invest this mon­ey as they wish, thus turn­ing tidy prof­its for them­selves. In return, they pro­vide rea­son­able ser­vices such as the pur­chase of stocks and trans­fer or pay­ment of mon­ey on demand by cus­tomers of Deutsche bank such as rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Bor­mann busi­ness orga­ni­za­tions and and Mar­tin Bor­mann him­self, who has demand accounts in three New York City banks. They con­tin­ue to do so. The Ger­man invest­ment in Amer­i­can cor­po­ra­tions from these sources exceed­ed $5 bil­lion and made the Bor­mann eco­nom­ic struc­ture a web of pow­er and influ­ence. The two Ger­man-owned banks of Spain, Ban­co Ale­man Transat­lanti­co (now named Ban­co Com­er­cial Transat­lanti­co), and Ban­co Ger­man­i­co de la Amer­i­ca del Sur, S.A., a sub­sidiary of Deutsche Bank served to chan­nel Ger­man mon­ey from Spain to South Amer­i­ca, where fur­ther invest­ments were made. . . .”

Trump’s deep indebt­ed­ness to Deutsche Bank has been sup­ple­ment­ed by finan­cial sup­port from George Soros. As we have not­ed in the past, Soros got his start in busi­ness “Aryaniz­ing” Jew­ish prop­er­ty in Hun­gary dur­ing World War II. In the past, we have not­ed that Soros may well be a “Bor­mann Jew.”

Pro­gram High­lights Include:

IlDuceIlDouche1a. A sig­na­ture ele­ment of Trump’s cam­paign is his “Amer­i­ca First” ral­ly­ing slo­gan, which harkens back direct­ly to the “Amer­i­ca First” of the pre-World War II peri­od.

“Don­ald Trump and Allies Forced to Answer Ques­tions about Anti-Semi­tism” by Alan Yuhas; The Guardian; 7/25/2016.

. . . . The busi­ness­man has also adopt­ed the ral­ly­ing cry “Amer­i­ca First”, which became famous as a slo­gan of the famous avi­a­tor Charles Lind­bergh and iso­la­tion­ists in the 1930s and ear­ly 1940s. Lind­bergh, who was wel­comed in Nazi Ger­many sev­er­al times before the sec­ond world war, wrote about “racial strength” and said civ­i­liza­tion depend­ed “on a west­ern wall of race and arms which can hold back either a Genghis Khan or the infil­tra­tion of infe­ri­or blood”. . . .

1b. More about Amer­i­ca First, not­ing the ide­o­log­i­cal and rhetor­i­cal res­o­nance between the pro-Nazi group of the pre-Word War II peri­od and the Trumpenkampfver­bande.

“Putting Amer­i­ca First” by Josh Mar­shall; Talk­ing Points Memo; 4/30/2016.

 . . . . It is no acci­dent that “Amer­i­ca First’s” actu­al his­tor­i­cal prog­en­i­tor is a 30s-era Nativist, anti-Semit­ic qua­si-iso­la­tion­ism which was effec­tive­ly allied with Nazi Ger­many. The real mean­ing of ‘Amer­i­ca First’ has always been that Amer­i­ca is being tak­en advan­tage of, being exploit­ed and exposed. . . .

1c. In his land­mark text Under Cov­er, John Roy Carl­son high­light­ed the rhetor­i­cal and ide­o­log­i­cal res­o­nance between Amer­i­ca First and oth­er fas­cist move­ments of the time.

Under Cover–My Four Years in the Nazi Under­world in Amer­i­ca by John Roy Carl­son; E.P. Dut­ton [HC]; 1943; pp. 113–114, 498–499 .

. . . . In the mean­while, the Bund had so antag­o­nized most Amer­i­cans by its swasti­ka-heil­ing phase that orders came from Berlin to cut out pub­lic singing of the Horst Wes­sel Lied, shelve the Sam Browne belts and march­ing boots and ‘go Amer­i­can.’ The par­ty line changed, as a buck­et of red-white-and-blue paint was applied to make overnight ‘patri­ots’ of the Nazis. The Deutsch­er Weck­ruf became The Free Amer­i­can. And no longer pro­fess­ing to con­vert the Unit­ed States to Nation­al-Social­ism, the Bund became nation­al­ist and iso­la­tion­ist, showed great con­cern for the wel­fare of the Repub­lic and adopt­ed the slo­gan: Amer­i­ca First. . . .

. . . Mussolini’s fas­cist sys­tem was first described as ‘nation­al­ist.’ The French fas­cist orga­ni­za­tion Croix de Feu, which devel­oped into a Vichy instru­ment was called ‘nation­al­ist.’ The Nazi par­ty is the Nation­al-Social­ist Par­ty. The Japan­ese War Par­ty is a ‘nation­al­ist’ par­ty. All these coun­tries had their ‘Ger­many First,’ ‘France First’ and ‘Spain First’ par­ties. Recall that the mot­to of Sir Oswald Mosley’s Black­shirts was ‘Britain First’ and Stahrenberg’s slo­gan of the Amer­i­can Nation­al-Social­ist Par­ty was ‘Amer­i­ca First, Last and Always.’ ‘Amer­i­ca First’ can be no dif­fer­ent in its con­no­ta­tion and ulti­mate out­come despite the sin­cere intents of some of those who mouth it. ‘Amer­i­ca First’ is a cry unwit­ting­ly used by Liberty’s hang­men.” . . .

1d. Baron Ulrich von Gien­anth, the Gestapo chief of the Ger­man embassy in Wash­ing­ton and a mem­ber of the SS, laun­dered funds to under­write the activ­i­ties of Amer­i­ca First.

The Fam­i­ly by Jeff Sharlet; Harp­er Peren­ni­al (SC); Copy­right 2008 by Jeff Sharlet; ISBN 978–0‑06–056005‑8; pp. 147–148

. . . . Only sec­ond sec­re­tary in the embassy, von Gien­anth main­tained a fright­en­ing grip over his fel­low diplo­mats. He was an under­cov­er SS man, the ears and eyes of the “Reichsmin­istry of Prop­er Enlight­en­ment and Pro­pa­gan­da,” charged with keep­ing watch over its secret Amer­i­can oper­a­tions. He was, in short, the Gestapo chief in Amer­i­ca. While Zapp wor­ried about his legal prospects in the Indi­an Sum­mer of 1940, von Gien­anth was like­ly wait­ing for news of a major oper­a­tion in New Jer­sey: the det­o­na­tion of the Her­cules gun­pow­der plant, an explo­sion that on Sep­tem­ber 12 killed forty-sev­en and sent shock­waves so strong that they snapped wind into the sails of boaters in far-off Long Island Sound. . . .

. . . . Von Gien­an­th’s ini­tia­tives were whim­si­cal by com­par­i­son. Once for instance, he paid a pilot to dump pro-Nazi anti­war fliers on the White House lawn. He devot­ed him­self to chang­ing Goebbels’ gold into dol­lars, and those dol­lars into laun­dered “dona­tions” to the Amer­i­ca First Com­mit­tee, where unwit­ting isolationists–Abram allies such as Sen­a­tor Arthur Van­den­berg and Amer­i­ca First Pres­i­dent Robert M. Hanes among them–stumped for recog­ni­tion of the “fact” on Hitler’s inevitabil­i­ty. . . .

1e. In a tran­si­tion ele­ment from the first two shows about Don­ald Trump, we note that one of his top advis­ers on for­eign affairs–Joseph E. Schmitz–has been accused of anti-Semi­tism and Holo­caust denial. This is the same Schmitz who was “obsessed” with “all things Ger­man” and “all things Von Steuben.”

“Trump Advis­er Accused of Mak­ing Anti-Semit­ic Remarks” by Marisa Tay­lor and William Dou­glas; McClatchy News Bureau; 8/18/2016.

Alle­ga­tions of anti-Semi­tism have sur­faced against one of Don­ald Trump’s for­eign pol­i­cy advis­ers, rais­ing fur­ther ques­tions about the guid­ance the Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee is receiv­ing.

Joseph Schmitz, named as one of five advis­ers by the Trump cam­paign in March, is accused of brag­ging when he was Defense Depart­ment inspec­tor gen­er­al a decade ago that he pushed out Jew­ish employ­ees.The rev­e­la­tions feed two themes that his oppo­nent Hillary Clin­ton has used to erode Trump’s cred­i­bil­i­ty: That he is a for­eign pol­i­cy neo­phyte, and that his cam­paign, at times, has offend­ed Jews and oth­er minori­ties.

Schmitz, who is a lawyer in pri­vate prac­tice in Wash­ing­ton, says the alle­ga­tions against him are lies. All three peo­ple who have cit­ed the remarks, includ­ing one who tes­ti­fied under oath about them, have pend­ing employ­ment griev­ances with the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment.

Daniel Mey­er, a senior offi­cial with­in the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty, described Schmitz’s remarks in his com­plaint file.

“His sum­ma­ry of his tenure’s achieve­ment report­ed as ‘…I fired the Jews,’ ” wrote Mey­er, a for­mer offi­cial in the Pen­ta­gon inspec­tor general’s office whose griev­ance was obtained by McClatchy.

Mey­er, who declined to com­ment about the mat­ter, cit­ed in his com­plaint anoth­er for­mer top Pen­ta­gon offi­cial, John Crane, as the source and wit­ness to the remarks. Crane worked with Schmitz, who served as inspec­tor gen­er­al between April 2002 and Sep­tem­ber 2005.

In his com­plaint, Mey­er said Crane also said Schmitz played down the extent of the Holo­caust.

“In his final days, he alleged­ly lec­tured Mr. Crane on the details of con­cen­tra­tion camps and how the ovens were too small to kill 6 mil­lion Jews,” wrote Mey­er, whose com­plaint is before the Mer­it Sys­tems Pro­tec­tion Board (MSPB). . . .

. . . . Though Schmitz left the gov­ern­ment in 2005, he has insert­ed him­self in pub­lic affairs often through writ­ing edi­to­ri­als and giv­ing speech­es.

Schmitz spoke to law stu­dents in March 2015 at South­ern Methodist Uni­ver­si­ty in Dal­las in a forum about com­mu­nism and its impact on soci­ety.

Ren­wei Chung, a stu­dent who took notes of Schmitz’s speech, said it appeared to him that Schmitz was call­ing Oba­ma a com­mu­nist. He described how Schmitz held up the book: “The Com­mu­nist: Frank Mar­shall Davis – The Untold Sto­ry of Barack Obama’s Men­tor” and said to the forum, “The Chi­nese wor­ship Mao. They have pic­tures of Mao every­where. Do you know who the sec­ond most pop­u­lar per­son in Chi­na is? Oba­ma. … Why is that?”

Jef­frey Kahn, a pro­fes­sor who also spoke at the forum, said the encounter with Schmitz left him “chilled.”

Kahn wrote in an opin­ion piece pub­lished in July in the Dal­las Morn­ing News that “I had wit­nessed a ghost from McCarthy’s staff,” a ref­er­ence to for­mer Sen. Joseph McCarthy, who was obsessed with expos­ing com­mu­nists in the 1950s.

“What for­eign pol­i­cy advice will Schmitz whis­per into Trump’s ear?” Kahn wrote. “I shud­der to think what he might do in such a posi­tion of pow­er.”

1f. In our dis­cus­sions with Peter Lev­en­da, we not­ed that an ele­ment com­mon to fas­cism of var­i­ous kinds is a pre­oc­cu­pa­tion with, and desire to return to, a myth­i­cal, ide­al­ized past.

The Hitler Lega­cy by Peter Lev­en­da; IBIS Press [HC]; Copy­right 2014 by Peter Lev­en­da; ISBN 978–0‑89254–210‑9; pp. 85–89.

. . . . Both the Amer­i­can Nazi and the Klan move­ments want­ed Amer­i­ca to go back to the way it was before the Great Depres­sion, before the First World War, to a time that nev­er real­ly exist­ed the way they thought it did: a time before the advent of Com­mu­nist states like the Sovi­et Union; a time before blacks and Jews could be con­sid­ered equal cit­i­zens of the nation. Like many of today’s extreme right pro­tes­tors, the Nazis and Klans­men of the 1920s and 1930s want­ed to “take their coun­try back,” in this case–and pos­si­bly in the present case also–“back” meant “back in time.” . . . .

. . . . This focus on puri­ty could be seen as a desire to return to a more prim­i­tive time–in illo tempore–when the world was pris­tine. That this time prob­a­bly nev­er exist­ed did not occur (or was not accept­able) to those pro­mot­ing this “return to nature” and “return to our roots” phi­los­o­phy. Leg­ends of ancient Greece and Rome were con­flat­ed with leg­ends con­cern­ing Atlantis and Thule: the lat­ter the pre­sumed ancient home­land of the Aryans. With the com­ing of West­ern civilization–according to this theory–much of human­i­ty’s basic good­ness and inher­ent phys­i­cal and psy­chic pow­ers were lost, a kind of Sam­son and Delilah moment when the vir­ile and pure Sam­son is shorn of his hair and thus los­es his poten­cy and strength to the Lev­an­tine, Semit­ic seduc­tress. . . . It is also an implic­it acknowl­edg­ment of fail­ure. This yearn­ing for a return to some oth­er state in the dis­tant past indi­cates an inca­pa­bil­i­ty of deal­ing with present-day issues in any oth­er way. It rep­re­sents a desire to wipe the slate clean and start over, which may be attrac­tive as a fan­ta­sy but not prac­ti­ca­ble in life. . . .

2. GOP front-run­ner Don­ald Trump has gar­nered much atten­tion for his pro­nounce­ments in the racist/xenophobic vein. We note his close asso­ci­a­tion with Nor­man Vin­cent Peale and for­mer Joe McCarthy aide Roy Cohn. In AFA #2, we not­ed that promi­nent Ger­man-Amer­i­cans such as Hitler sym­pa­thiz­er Wal­ter Har­nischfager backed McCarthy. Trump’s polit­i­cal her­itage stretch­es back to the Nazi fifth col­umn in this coun­try.

“The USFL’s Trump Card” by Robert Boyle; Sports Illus­trat­ed; 2/13/2015.

. . . . As might be expect­ed, the Trumps trav­el in rar­efied cir­cles. Dr. Nor­man Vin­cent Peale is their pas­tor, Roy Cohn their attor­ney. “Don­ald Trump is an extra­or­di­nary young man,” says Peale. “He has the ele­ments of genius.” Cohn says Trump is “one of the most enter­pris­ing, inge­nious busi­ness­men on the Amer­i­can scene...a mir­a­cle man who can’t seem to make a mis­take even if he tries.” . . . .

3. Trump is close to Helene Von Damm, the Otto von Bolschwing pro­tege who select­ed the per­son­nel for Ronald Rea­gan’s cab­i­net. Von Damm became Rea­gan’s Ambas­sador to Aus­tria. It would not be unrea­son­able to ask if Trump’s busi­ness deal­ings are involved with the Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work.

“Helene Von Damm’s Vien­nese Waltz” by William Drodzi­ak; The Wash­ing­ton Post; 3/5/1985.

. . . . She would like to divide her time between Vien­na and New York, where her cam­paign days reaped sev­er­al close friend­ships in big busi­ness cir­cles, notably with con­struc­tion mag­nate Don­ald Trump. . . .

4. Among the Chris­t­ian prelates oper­at­ing on behalf of the Nazi cause was The Rev­erend Nor­man Vin­cent Peale. Best known as the expo­nent of “the pow­er of pos­i­tive think­ing,” Peale long graced the pages of pub­li­ca­tions like Reader’s Digest and his name became syn­ony­mous with whole­some, main­stream Amer­i­cana in the post­war years. Pri­or to and dur­ing the war, how­ev­er, Peale front­ed for Edward A. Rume­ly, a spy and agi­ta­tor for Ger­many dur­ing both World Wars. Like so many oth­ers, Rume­ly, too, ben­e­fit­ed from his asso­ci­a­tion with Hitler bene­fac­tor Hen­ry Ford. Note that anoth­er of Rumely’s fel­low trav­el­ers in the Fifth Col­umn move­ment was Frank Gan­nett, founder of the news­pa­per chain that bears his name.

Under Cover–My Four Years in the Nazi Under­world in Amer­i­ca by John Roy Carl­son; E.P. Dut­ton [HC]; 1943; pp. 474–475.

. . . . Rume­ly is boss of the Com­mit­tee for Con­sti­tu­tion­al Gov­ern­ment and sec­ond in com­mand to Frank E. Gan­nett, pub­lish­er of a string of news­pa­pers and founder of the com­mit­tee in 1937. As soon as the Sen­a­to­r­i­al inves­ti­ga­tion was over, Rume­ly lit­er­al­ly went under­ground and erased his name from the Com­mit­tee sta­tionery. But he con­tin­ued to run it by appoint­ing a docile Protes­tant cler­gy­man as ‘act­ing chair­man and sec­re­tary’ who vis­it­ed the office only occa­sion­al­ly. He was the Rev­erend Nor­man Vin­cent Peale, once a joint speak­er with [Amer­i­can fas­cist] Mrs. Eliz­a­beth Dilling and the Rev­erend Edward Lodge Cur­ran [key aide to Father Cough­lin] at a ‘pro-Amer­i­can mass meet­ing spon­sored by more than 50 patri­ot­ic orga­ni­za­tions’ at the Hotel Com­modore in New York. . . . Rumely’s friend­ship with Hen­ry Ford dat­ed pri­or to the sum­mer of 1918 when Ford rushed to Wash­ing­ton in an unsuc­cess­ful attempt to save Rume­ly from being indict­ed. . . .

5. Review­ing part of the polit­i­cal his­to­ry of McCarthy­ism, we detail “The Pond”–an intel­li­gence net­work run by John “Frenchy” Grom­bach. A por­tion of the his­tor­i­cal depth to the devel­op­ment of Amer­i­can fas­cism is con­tained in this analy­sis. The New York Times–predictably–does not dis­cuss dynam­ics like this.

SS gen­er­al Karl Wolff began feed­ing infor­ma­tion to “Frenchy” Grom­bach, a for­mer mil­i­tary intel­li­gence agent who formed a net­work of oper­a­tives who fed infor­ma­tion to the CIA, among oth­ers. As indi­cat­ed here, one of Grombach’s major sources in his efforts was Wolff.

Blow­back by Christo­pher Simp­son; Col­lier [Macmil­lan] {SC}; Copy­right 1988 by Christo­pher Simp­son; ISBN 0–02-044995‑X; p. 236.

. . . One of Grom­bach’s most impor­tant assets, accord­ing to U.S. naval intel­li­gence records obtained under the Free­dom of Infor­ma­tion Act, was SS Gen­er­al Karl Wolff, a major war crim­i­nal who had gone into the arms trade in Europe after the war. . . . Grom­bach worked simul­ta­ne­ous­ly under con­tract to the Depart­ment of State and the CIA. The ex-mil­i­tary intel­li­gence man suc­ceed­ed in cre­at­ing ‘one of the most unusu­al orga­ni­za­tions in the his­to­ry of the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment,’ accord­ing to CIA Inspec­tor Gen­er­al Lyman Kirk­patrick. ‘It was devel­oped com­plete­ly out­side of the nor­mal gov­ern­men­tal struc­ture, [but it] used all of the nor­mal cov­er and com­mu­ni­ca­tions facil­i­ties nor­mal­ly oper­at­ed by intel­li­gence orga­ni­za­tions, and yet nev­er was under any con­trol from Wash­ing­ton.’ By the ear­ly 1950s the U.S. gov­ern­ment was bankrolling Grom­bach’s under­ground activ­i­ties at more than $1 mil­lion annu­al­ly, Kirk­patrick has said. . . .

6. Among the pri­ma­ry recip­i­ents of Grombach’s and Wolff’s infor­ma­tion was Sen­a­tor Joseph McCarthy, who uti­lized dirt giv­en him by the net­work to smear his oppo­nents.

Blow­back by Christo­pher Simp­son; Col­lier [Macmil­lan] {SC}; Copy­right 1988 by Christo­pher Simp­son; ISBN 0–02-044995‑X; p. 236.

. . . Grom­bach banked on his close con­nec­tions with Sen­a­tors Joseph McCarthy, William Jen­ner, and oth­er mem­bers of the extreme Repub­li­can right to pro­pel him to nation­al pow­er. . . .Grom­bach’s out­fit effec­tive­ly became the for­eign espi­onage agency for the far right, often serv­ing as the over­seas com­ple­ment to McCarthy’s gen­er­al­ly warm rela­tions with J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI at home . . . . U.S. gov­ern­ment con­tracts bankrolling a net­work of for­mer Nazis and col­lab­o­ra­tors gave him much of the ammu­ni­tion he need­ed to do the job. Grom­bach used his net­works pri­mar­i­ly to gath­er dirt. This was the Amer­i­can agen­t’s spe­cial­ty, his true pas­sion: polit­i­cal dirt, sex­u­al dirt, any kind of com­pro­mis­ing infor­ma­tion at all. ‘He got into a lot of garbage pails,’ as Kirk­patrick puts it, ‘and issued ‘dirty linen’ ‘reports on Amer­i­cans. ‘Grom­bach col­lect­ed scan­dal, cat­a­loged it, and used it care­ful­ly, just as he had done dur­ing the ear­li­er McCor­ma­ck inves­ti­ga­tion. He leaked smears to his polit­i­cal allies in Con­gress and the press when it suit­ed his pur­pos­es to do so. Grom­bach and con­gres­sion­al ‘inter­nal secu­ri­ty’ inves­ti­ga­tors bartered these dossiers with one anoth­er almost as though they were boys trad­ing base­ball cards. . . .

7. Trump has a new cam­paign chief exec­u­tive: Bre­it­bart chief Steve Ban­non, patron media saint of the Alt-Right!

“Alt Right Rejoic­es at Don­ald Trump’s Steve Ban­non Hire” by Best­sy Woodruff and Gideon Resnick; The Dai­ly Beast; 8/17/2016.

As Breitbart’s chief, Steve Ban­non did a lot to nor­mal­ize the racist, anti-Semit­ic world of the alt right. Now they rejoice as he joins the cam­paign of their king.

Don­ald Trump’s cam­paign is under new man­age­ment—and his white nation­al­ist fan­boys love it.

The campaign’s new chief exec­u­tive, Stephen Ban­non, joins from Bre­it­bart News—where he helped main­stream the ideas of white nation­al­ists and resus­ci­tate the rep­u­ta­tions of anti-immi­grant fear-mon­gers.

White nation­al­ists today invest a lot of ener­gy wor­ry­ing about grow­ing His­pan­ic and Mus­lim pop­u­la­tions in the U.S. Turns out, Bre­it­bart News spends a lot of time wor­ry­ing about those things, too. And in Ban­non, they see a media-friend­ly, eth­no-nation­al­ist fel­low trav­el­er.

“Lat­ter­ly, Bre­it­bart emerged as a nation­al­ist site and done great stuff on immi­gra­tion in par­tic­u­lar,” VDARE.com edi­tor Peter Brimelow told The Dai­ly Beast.

VDare is a white suprema­cist site. It’s named after Vir­ginia Dare, the first white child born to British colonists in North Amer­i­ca. Brimelow said he and Ban­non met briefly last month and exchanged pleas­antries about each other’s work.

“It’s irri­tat­ing because VDARE.com is not used to com­pe­ti­tion,” Brimelow added. “I pre­sume that is due to Ban­non, so his appoint­ment is great news.”

Brimelow isn’t the only promi­nent white nation­al­ist to praise the Ban­non hire. Richard Spencer, who heads the white suprema­cist think tank Nation­al Pol­i­cy Insti­tute, said he was also pleased. Under Bannon’s lead­er­ship, Bre­it­bart has giv­en favor­able cov­er­age to the white suprema­cist Alt Right move­ment. And Spencer loves it.

“Bre­it­bart has elec­tive affini­ties with the Alt Right, and the Alt Right has clear­ly influ­enced Bre­it­bart,” he said. “In this way, Bre­it­bart has act­ed as a ‘gate­way’ to Alt Right ideas and writ­ers. I don’t think it has done this delib­er­ate­ly; again, it’s a mat­ter of elec­tive affini­ties.”

Spencer said Bre­it­bart and Ban­non have helped Alt Right ideas gain legitimacy—and, more impor­tant­ly, expo­nen­tial­ly expand their audi­ences. He cit­ed the work of Milo Yiannopou­los as evi­dence of this.

“As is evi­dent with Milo’s piece on the Alt Right, Bre­it­bart has peo­ple on board who take us seri­ous­ly, even if they are not Alt Right them­selves.”

Yiannopou­los wrote a piece on March 29, 2016, about the Alt Right, prais­ing its mem­bers as “dan­ger­ous­ly bright,” and cheer­ing the VDARE and Amer­i­can Renais­sance sites as an “eclec­tic mix of rene­gades.” Amer­i­can Renais­sance is helmed by Jared Tay­lor, who advo­cates for vol­un­tary racial seg­re­ga­tion and says African Amer­i­cans are genet­i­cal­ly pre­dis­posed to be crim­i­nals.

Yiannopou­los defend­ed Brimelow and Tay­lor by say­ing they “don’t want to com­mit any pogroms,” which is… not a very com­fort­ing sen­ti­ment.

Reached for com­ment, Yiannopou­los referred The Dai­ly Beast to Bre­it­bart edi­tor-in-chief Alexan­der Mar­low. He has not returned a request for com­ment.

The Clin­ton cam­paign imme­di­ate­ly pounced on the announce­ment in a con­fer­ence call on Wednes­day after­noon, not­ing Bannon’s Alt Right ties. “After sev­er­al failed attempts to piv­ot into a more seri­ous and pres­i­den­tial mode, Don­ald Trump has decid­ed to dou­ble down on his most small, nasty and divi­sive instincts by turn­ing his cam­paign over to some­one who’s best known for run­ning a so-called news site that ped­dles divi­sive, at times racist, anti-Mus­lim, anti-Semit­ic con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries,” Clin­ton cam­paign man­ag­er Rob­by Mook told reporters.

The Clin­ton cam­paign did not respond to a fol­low-up email ask­ing if they will con­tin­ue to pro­vide press cre­den­tials to Bre­it­bart reporters.

Ban­non didn’t just make Bre­it­bart a safe space for white suprema­cists; he’s also wel­comed a schol­ar black­list­ed from the main­stream con­ser­v­a­tive move­ment for argu­ing there’s a con­nec­tion between race and IQ. Bre­it­bart fre­quent­ly high­lights the work of Jason Rich­wine, resigned from the con­ser­v­a­tive Her­itage Foun­da­tion when news broke that his Har­vard dis­ser­ta­tion argued in part that His­pan­ics have low­er IQs than non-His­pan­ic whites.

Ban­non loves Rich­wine. On Jan. 6 of this year, when Rich­wine was a guest on the radio show, Ban­non called him “one of the smartest brains out there in demo­graph­ics, demog­ra­phy, this whole issue of immi­gra­tion, what it means to this coun­try.”

One for­mer Bre­it­bart work­er puts it a lit­tle dif­fer­ent­ly. Kurt Bardel­la, who had the site as a client until quit­ting this year, said Ban­non reg­u­lar­ly made racist com­ments dur­ing inter­nal meet­ings.

“I woke up and the world came to an end,” he told The Dai­ly Beast. “They have put in place some­one who is a dictator-bully—a fig­ure whose form of man­age­ment is ver­bal abuse and intim­i­da­tion.

“He made more off-col­or com­ments about minori­ties and homo­sex­u­als than I can recount,” he added.

Bardel­la, who lives in Vir­ginia and was for­mer­ly a Repub­li­can Hill staffer, said this Novem­ber, for the first time in his life, he will vote for a Demo­c­rat: Hillary Clin­ton. . . .

8. Ear­li­er this year, a con­tro­ver­sy emerged when old news­pa­per arti­cles about arrests at a 1927 Klan ral­ly in Queens (New York City) men­tioned a “Fred Trump” as among the “ber­obed marchers” arrest­ed at the event.

Although the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of Trump’s father as one of the Klan par­tic­i­pants has not been defin­i­tive­ly estab­lished, The Don­ald lied when con­front­ed with the address of the arrest­ed Fred Trump.

” . . . . asked if his father had lived at 175–24 Devon­shire Road—the address list­ed for the Fred Trump arrest­ed at the 1927 Klan rally—Donald dis­missed the claim as “total­ly false.”

“We lived on Ware­ham,” he told Horowitz. “The Devonshire—I know there is a road ‘Devon­shire,’ but I don’t think my father ever lived on Devon­shire.” Trump went on to deny every­thing else in the Times’ account of the 1927 ral­ly: “It shouldn’t be writ­ten because it nev­er hap­pened, num­ber one. And num­ber two, there was nobody charged.”

Bio­graph­i­cal records con­firm that the Trump fam­i­ly did live on Ware­ham Place in Queens in the 1940s, when Don­ald was a kid. But accord­ing to at least one archived news­pa­per clip, Fred Trump also lived at 175–24 Devon­shire Road: A wed­ding announce­ment in the Jan­u­ary 22, 1936 issue of the Long Island Dai­ly Press, places Fred Trump at that address, and refers to his wife as “Mary MacLeod,” which is Don­ald Trump’s mother’s maid­en name. . . .”

It seems alto­geth­er prob­a­ble that The Don­ald’s father was the “Fred Trump” arrest­ed at the ral­ly for “fail­ing to dis­perse,” but Fred Trump’s spe­cif­ic activ­i­ties at the Klan Ral­ly have not been estab­lished.

In the con­text of assess­ing the deep pol­i­tics sur­round­ing Trump, the pos­si­bil­i­ty of Klan par­tic­i­pa­tion by his father is inter­est­ing and pos­si­bly rel­e­vant. In Under Cov­er (avail­able for down­load for free on this web­site), the exten­sive net­work­ing between dom­i­nant ele­ments of the KKK and var­i­ous Fifth Col­umn orga­ni­za­tions in this coun­try is cov­ered at length.

One of those Fifth Col­umn orga­ni­za­tions was Amer­i­ca First–again, Trump has appro­pri­at­ed that name.

Also of inter­est in the con­text of the “Fred Trump” arrest­ed at the Klan Ral­ly is the fact that David Duke has been an enthu­si­as­tic sup­port­er of Trump, who was alto­geth­er hes­i­tant about dis­avow­ing Duke’s sup­port.

All the Evi­dence We Could Find About Fred Trump’s Alleged Involve­ment with the KKK” by Mike Pearl; Vice News; 3/9/2016.

Late last month, in an inter­view with Repub­li­can fron­trun­ner Don­ald Trump, CNN host Jake Tap­per asked the can­di­date whether he would dis­avow an endorse­ment from long­time Ku Klux Klan leader and white nation­al­ist celebri­ty David Duke. Trump declined. “I don’t know any­thing about David Duke,” he said. Moments lat­er, he added, “I know noth­ing about white suprema­cists.”

Trump has since walked back his com­ments, blam­ing his hes­i­tance to con­demn the Klan on a “bad ear­piece.” The mat­ter has now been filed away into the ever-grow­ing archives of volatile state­ments Trump has made about race and eth­nic­i­ty dur­ing the cur­rent elec­tion cycle—a list that includes kick­ing off his pres­i­den­tial cam­paign by call­ing Mex­i­cans rapists, call­ing for the “‘total and com­plete shut­down of Mus­lims enter­ing the Unit­ed States,” and com­ment­ing that per­haps a Black Lives Mat­ter pro­test­er at one of his ral­lies “should have been roughed up.”

But the par­tic­u­lars of the David Duke inci­dent call to mind yet anoth­er news sto­ry, one that sug­gests that Trump’s father, the late New York real estate titan Fred Trump, once wore the robe and hood of a Klans­man.

Ver­sions of this sto­ry emerged last Sep­tem­ber when Boing Boing dug up an old New York Times arti­cle from May of 1927 that list­ed a Fred Trump among those arrest­ed at a Klan ral­ly in Jamaica, Queens, when “1,000 Klans­men and 100 police­men staged a free-for-all,” in the streets. Don­ald Trump’s father would have been 21 in 1927 and had spent most of his life in Queens.

As Boing Boing point­ed out, the Times account sim­ply names Fred Trump as one of the sev­en indi­vid­u­als arrest­ed at the ral­ly, and it states that he was released with­out charges, leav­ing room for the pos­si­bil­i­ty that he “may have been an inno­cent bystander, false­ly named, or oth­er­wise the vic­tim of mis­tak­en iden­ti­ty dur­ing or fol­low­ing a chaot­ic event.”

A few weeks after Boing Boing unearthed that 88-year-old scoop, the New York Times asked Don­ald Trump about the pos­si­bil­i­ty that his father had been arrest­ed at a Klan event. The younger Trump denied it all, telling inter­view­er Jason Horowitz that “it nev­er hap­pened” four times. When Horowitz asked if his father had lived at 175–24 Devon­shire Road—the address list­ed for the Fred Trump arrest­ed at the 1927 Klan rally—Donald dis­missed the claim as “total­ly false.”

“We lived on Ware­ham,” he told Horowitz. “The Devonshire—I know there is a road ‘Devon­shire,’ but I don’t think my father ever lived on Devon­shire.” Trump went on to deny every­thing else in the Times’ account of the 1927 ral­ly: “It shouldn’t be writ­ten because it nev­er hap­pened, num­ber one. And num­ber two, there was nobody charged.”

Bio­graph­i­cal records con­firm that the Trump fam­i­ly did live on Ware­ham Place in Queens in the 1940s, when Don­ald was a kid. But accord­ing to at least one archived news­pa­per clip, Fred Trump also lived at 175–24 Devon­shire Road: A wed­ding announce­ment in the Jan­u­ary 22, 1936 issue of the Long Island Dai­ly Press, places Fred Trump at that address, and refers to his wife as “Mary MacLeod,” which is Don­ald Trump’s mother’s maid­en name.

More­over, three addi­tion­al news­pa­per clips unearthed by VICE con­tain sep­a­rate accounts of Fred Trump’s arrest at the May 1927 KKK ral­ly in Queens, each of which seems to con­firm the Times account of the events that day. While the clips don’t con­firm whether Fred Trump was actu­al­ly a mem­ber of the Klan, they do sug­gest that the rally—and the sub­se­quent arrests—did hap­pen, and did involve Don­ald Trump’s father, con­trary to the candidate’s denials. A fifth arti­cle men­tions the sev­en arrestees with­out giv­ing names, and claims that all of the indi­vid­u­als arrested—presumably includ­ing Trump—were wearing Klan attire.

The June 1, 1927, account of the May 31 Klan ral­ly print­ed in a defunct Brook­lyn paper called the Dai­ly Star spec­i­fies that a Fred Trump “was dis­missed on a charge of refus­ing to dis­perse.” That arti­cle lists sev­en total arrests, and states that four of those arrest­ed were expect­ed to go to court, and two were paroled. Fred Trump was the only one not held on charges.

The Klan’s reac­tion to the alleged police bru­tal­i­ty at the ral­ly was the sub­ject of anoth­er arti­cle, pub­lished in the Queens Coun­ty Evening News on June 2, 1927, and titled “Klan Plac­ards Assail Police, As War Vets Seek Parade Con­trol.” The piece is main­ly about the Klan dis­trib­ut­ing leaflets about being “assault­ed” by the “Roman Catholic police of New York City” at that same ral­ly. The arti­cle men­tions Fred Trump as hav­ing been “dis­charged” and gives the Devon­shire Road address, along with the names and address­es of the oth­er six men who faced charges.

Yet anoth­er account in anoth­er defunct local news­pa­per, the Rich­mond Hill Record, pub­lished on June 3, 1927, lists Fred Trump as one of the “Klan Arrests,” and also lists the Devon­shire Road address.

Anoth­er arti­cle about the ral­ly, pub­lished by the Long Island Dai­ly Press on June 2, 1927, men­tions that there were sev­en arrestees with­out list­ing names, and claims that all of the indi­vid­u­als arrest­ed were wear­ing Klan attire. The sto­ry, titled “Meet­ing on Parade Is Called Off,” focus­es on the police actions at the ral­ly, not­ing crit­i­cism of the cops for bru­tal­ly lash­ing out at the Klan sup­port­ers, who had assem­bled dur­ing a Memo­r­i­al Day parade.

While the Long Island Dai­ly Press doesn’t men­tion Fred Trump specif­i­cal­ly, the num­ber of arrestees cit­ed in the report is con­sis­tent with the oth­er accounts of the ral­ly. Sig­nif­i­cant­ly, the arti­cle refers to all of the arrestees as “ber­obed marchers.” If Fred Trump, or anoth­er one of the atten­dees, wasn’t dressed in a robe at the time, that may have been a report­ing error worth cor­rect­ing.

Accord­ing to Rory McVeigh, chair­man of the soci­ol­o­gy depart­ment at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Notre Dame, the ver­sion of the Klan that would have been active in Queens dur­ing the 1920s may not have nec­es­sar­i­ly par­tic­i­pat­ed in stereo­typ­i­cal KKK activ­i­ties like fiery cross­es and lynch mobs.

“The Klan that became very pop­u­lar in the ear­ly 1920s did advo­cate white suprema­cy like the orig­i­nal Klan,” McVeigh told VICE in an email. “But in that respect, [its views were] not too much dif­fer­ent from a lot of oth­er white Amer­i­cans of that time peri­od.” In New York, McVeigh added, “the organization’s oppo­si­tion to immi­gra­tion and Catholics prob­a­bly held the biggest appeal for most of the peo­ple who joined.”

None of the arti­cles prove that Fred Trump was a mem­ber of the Klan, and it’s pos­si­ble that he was, as Boing Boing sug­gest­ed, just a bystander at the ral­ly. But while Don­ald Trump is absolute­ly right to say that his father was not charged in the 1927 inci­dent, the candidate’s oth­er claims—that Fred Trump nev­er lived at 175–24 Devon­shire Road, and more impor­tant­ly, that his involve­ment in a Klan ral­ly “nev­er happened”—appear to be untrue.

The Trump cam­paign did not respond to mul­ti­ple requests for com­ment. . . .

9a. As his cam­paign was gain­ing momen­tum in July of 2015, Don­ald Trump tweet­ed a cam­paign ad that fea­tured a pic­ture of uni­formed Waf­fen SS troop­ers in the low­er right-hand cor­ner. A pho­to­graph of Waf­fen SS-clad World War II reen­ac­tors, the pic­ture was blamed on “an intern.” This has become a famil­iar sort of dodge by Trump when caught tweet­ing open­ly racist, anti-Semit­ic and/or pro-Nazi material–“Who, Me?”

In FTR #882, we not­ed some of Trump’s “inter­est­ing” asso­ci­a­tions, from SS offi­cer Otto Von Bolschwing pro­tege and Rea­gan staffer Helene Von Damm, to Joe McCarthy aide Roy Cohn, to for­mer Axis spy Nor­man Vin­cent Peale. Those alle­giances are recapped above in the descrip­tion for this pro­gram.

We won­der if Trump is linked to, or part of, the Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work?

In FTR #894, we under­scored the long and pro­found asso­ci­a­tion of the GOP with Nazis and SS war crim­i­nals via the Gehlen orga­ni­za­tion, the over­lap­ping Cru­sade For Free­dom, and the for­mer World Anti-Com­mu­nist League.

We won­der if the use of Waf­fen SS-clad troop­ers is a polit­i­cal “dog whis­tle” to Under­ground Reich/Nazi/white suprema­cist adher­ents?

Inter­est­ing­ly, and per­haps sig­nif­i­cant­ly, the broth­er of the pho­tog­ra­ph­er who snapped the orig­i­nal pic­ture had also had a pic­ture of SS-clad World War II reen­ac­tors used by Tim Spear, a GOP state leg­is­la­tor in North Car­oli­na, in his 2010 cam­paign.

Worth con­sid­er­ing in this con­text is the fact that it is VERY sim­ple to come up with pic­tures of Amer­i­can sol­diers in uni­form. Any cam­paign seek­ing to cloak a can­di­date in “patri­ot­ic garb” would find it VERY easy to do that with­out resort­ing to the same pair of broth­ers’ pho­tographs of Waf­fen-SS-clad WWII reen­ac­tors.

“I have pho­tos of Amer­i­can sol­diers as well,” Cairns said. “But for some rea­son, [Amer­i­can GOP] politi­cians seem to be down­load­ing Nazis.” . . .

Also: in right-wing and some mil­i­tary peri­od­i­cals, the WWII Nazi mem­o­ra­bil­ia, gear and reen­act­ment milieu has been described as among the pos­si­ble entry por­tals avail­able to some­one who wants to move from play­ing with toys to actu­al Nazi activism.

Are we see­ing that here?

“Don­ald Trump Just Tweet­ed a Cam­paign Ad Fea­tur­ing What Look Like Nazi Sol­diers” by Ben Drey­fuss; Moth­er Jones; 7/14/2015.

UPDATE: We spoke to the dude who took this Nazi pho­to and he told us some­thing that makes this whole sto­ry even more hilar­i­ous.Read here.

Not long ago, Don­ald Trump sent out the fol­low­ing tweet:

The tweet is now delet­ed. Why did Trump delete it? Maybe it has some­thing to with those the sol­diers march­ing next to The Don­ald’s shoul­der:

#MEGAFAIL ===> Yes, those aren’t just WW2 Ger­mans, they’re Waf­fen-SS in the Trump cam­paign pic https://t.co/BSFNuNrK6R

— John Schindler (@20committee) July 14, 2015

Yes, Trump (or his graph­ic design min­ions) appar­ent­ly includ­ed a pho­to of sol­diers from the Waf­fen-SS, the noto­ri­ous mil­i­tary wing of the Nazi SS, in the image. John Schindler, who seems to know his World War II Ger­man uni­forms, has been detail­ing the Trump cam­paign’s pho­to-research fail:

100% cer­tain Waf­fen-SS ID on the Trump pic....if media want an explain­er how I am cer­tain, ask me https://t.co/b3pwWmdwHY

— John Schindler (@20committee) July 14, 2015

.@charles_gaba@MichaelNiemerg@realDonaldTrump they’re wear­ing Waf­fen-SS cuff titles, FFS...dude on left has late-war SS “dot” camo uni­form

— John Schindler (@20committee) July 14, 2015

Notice the late-war Waf­fen-SS “dot” camo tunic, with SS eagle on left arm as in the Trump pic https://t.co/b3pwWmdwHYpic.twitter.com/ulScwicbZU

— John Schindler (@20committee) July 14, 2015

See also Waf­fen-SS tunic with unit cuff title & SS eagle on left arm, as in Trump pic https://t.co/b3pwWmdwHYpic.twitter.com/IdQlwcIebJ

— John Schindler (@20committee) July 14, 2015

It’s not clear what the source of the pho­to in the Trump tweet is; the sol­diers in the pho­to could be mod­ern-day World War II reen­ac­tors. Accord­ing to the most recent poll from Suffolk/USA Today, Trump leads the GOP field by three points.

Update, Tues­day 3:40pm ET: And the answers begin to trick­le in...

Found @realDonaldTrump’s ger­man sol­dier stock image here (searched “world war II sol­diers”) http://t.co/GKkcNTUKpmpic.twitter.com/ysWGeePZIr

— Reed F. Richard­son (@reedfrich) July 14, 2015

Update 2, Tues­day 3:46pm ET: This GIF, by our own Ivylise Simones, is per­fect:

GIF: Ivylise Simones

Update 3, Tues­day 4:00pm ET: The Trump cam­paign says an intern did it:

Trump cam­paign responds: An intern did it. pic.twitter.com/oZBJAtwffl

— Eric Geller (@ericgeller) July 14, 2015

9b. “In an almost impos­si­bly bizarre coin­ci­dence . . . . George’s broth­er John is also a stock pho­tog­ra­ph­er, and took the image of Nazi reen­ac­tors that was acci­den­tal­ly used in a fli­er for the cam­paign of North Car­oli­na state leg­is­la­tor Tim Spear in 2010. . . .”

“The Insane Sto­ry Behind Don­ald Trump’s Delet­ed Nazi Tweet” by Tim McDon­nell; Moth­er Jones; 7/14/2015.

. . . . Cairns is a British free­lance stock pho­tog­ra­ph­er and pho­tog­ra­phy instruc­tor who says he fre­quents war reen­act­ments as good loca­tions to pick up real­is­tic-look­ing stock images—not just of Nazis, but also of Amer­i­can GIs and oth­er sol­diers. . . .

. . . . In an almost impos­si­bly bizarre coin­ci­dence, this isn’t the first time the Cairns fam­i­ly has been caught up in a pho­to ker­fuf­fle involv­ing Nazis and Amer­i­can politi­cians. George’s broth­er John is also a stock pho­tog­ra­ph­er, and took the image of Nazi reen­ac­tors that was acci­den­tal­ly used in a fli­er for the cam­paign of North Car­oli­na state leg­is­la­tor Tim Spear in 2010.

“I have pho­tos of Amer­i­can sol­diers as well,” Cairns said. “But for some rea­son, [Amer­i­can GOP] politi­cians seem to be down­load­ing Nazis.” . . .

10a. Some­times, things aren’t all that hard to fig­ure out and don’t need a lot of expla­na­tion. The GOP, in gen­er­al, has used dog whis­tles to ener­gize peo­ple who nor­mal­ly should not vote for a par­ty of the rich, which the Repub­li­cans most sure­ly are.

A recent tweet by “The Don­ald” attack­ing Hillary speaks for itself. Just check this out!

This sparked an online Fuhrer, er, furor!

We already knew that Don­ald Trump kept a book of Hitler’s speech­es by his bed, accord­ing to a 1990 inter­view of Ivana Trump.

It is not sur­pris­ing that the tweet did not orig­i­nate with Trump, but with a Nazi online mes­sage board.

David Duke has endorsed Trump’s re-tweet, but­tress­ing its anti-Semit­ic mes­sage.

“Trump Sparks Online Firestorm with Anti-Clin­ton Tweet Fea­tur­ing Star of David” by Caitlin Dick­son; Yahoo News; 7/02/2016.

Pre­sump­tive Repub­li­can nom­i­nee Don­ald Trump drew wide­spread rebuke on Sat­ur­day with a tweet fea­tur­ing a Star of David while accus­ing rival Hillary Clin­ton of cor­rup­tion.

The star, a sym­bol of Judaism, was on a back­drop of $100 bills and paired with a Fox News poll in which a major­i­ty of respon­dents described Clin­ton as cor­rupt. Next to Clinton’s face was a red Star of David bear­ing the words “Most Cor­rupt Can­di­date Ever!” . . . .

10b. It is not sur­pris­ing that the tweet did not orig­i­nate with Trump, but with a Nazi online mes­sage boardTrump has made this a sig­na­ture maneu­ver of his cam­paign.

“Don­ald Trump’s “Star of David” Hillary Clin­ton Meme Was Cre­at­ed by White Suprema­cists” by Antho­ny Smith; News.Mic; 7/03/2016.

Don­ald Trump tweet­ed a meme Sat­ur­day that used dog-whis­tle anti-Semi­tism to announce that his polit­i­cal rival, “Crooked Hillary,” had “made his­to­ry.” The meme Trump tweet­ed promi­nent­ly fea­tured the Star of David — a holy sym­bol of the Jew­ish reli­gion that Nazis attempt­ed to per­vert by forc­ing Jews over the age of 6 to sew it onto their cloth­ing dur­ing Hitler’s reign.

Embla­zoned onto the Star of David in Trump’s meme are the words “Most Cor­rupt Can­di­date Ever!”

The star lies atop a giant pile of mon­ey.
[see tweet]
Mic dis­cov­ered Sun­day that Don­ald Trump’s Twit­ter account wasn’t the first place the meme appeared. The image was pre­vi­ous­ly fea­tured on /pol/ — an Inter­net mes­sage board for the alt-right, a dig­i­tal move­ment of neo-Nazis, anti-Semi­tes and white suprema­cists new­ly embold­ened by the suc­cess of Trump’s rhetoric — as ear­ly as June 22, over a week before Trump’s team tweet­ed it.
[see alt-right forum image]
Though the thread where the meme was fea­tured no longer exists, you can find it by search­ing the URL in Archive.is, a “time cap­sule of the inter­net” that saves unal­ter­able text and graph­ic of web­pages. Doing so allows you to see the thread on /pol/ as it orig­i­nal­ly exist­ed.

Of note is the file name of the pho­to, HillHistory.jpg, poten­tial­ly a nod to the Neo-Nazi code for “HH,” or “Heil Hitler,” which the alt-right is fond of hid­ing in plain sight.

The water­mark on the low­er-left cor­ner of the image leads to a Twit­ter account that reg­u­lar­ly tweets vio­lent, racist memes com­ment­ing on the state of geopo­lit­i­cal pol­i­tics.
[see image]
Oth­er exam­ples of images tweet­ed by this account include vio­lent pro­pa­gan­da about Mus­lims and refugees and racist images of Clin­ton:
[see tweet]
[see image]
[see image]
Mic pre­vi­ous­ly report­ed white suprema­cists ral­ly on the inter­net to expose what they believe to be a vast anti-white con­spir­a­cy, cen­turies old, in which Jews have paid off politi­cians and infil­trat­ed the media to under­mine West­ern soci­ety from the top down. The Clin­ton meme Trump tweet­ed — which first appeared on per­haps the biggest bas­tion of the anti-Semit­ic alt-right — has brought that same hate­ful para­noia into the main­stream.

One rela­tion­ship of par­tic­u­lar impor­tance to their “anti-White con­spir­a­cy” is that between Jew­ish reporters and Hillary Clin­ton, whom they believe to be work­ing in tan­dem to under­mine the West­ern world, pre­vent­ing nations like the U.S. from becom­ing more like their vision of utopia — a nation with racial puri­ty among its core val­ues.
[see image]
On Sat­ur­day, Trump delet­ed his orig­i­nal tweet of the meme and in its place uploaded an alter­ation that replaces the Star of David with a cir­cle.
[see tweet]
In Novem­ber, Trump retweet­ed a meme per­pet­u­at­ing the racist lie explic­it­ly that black peo­ple com­mit­ted more vio­lent crimes against white peo­ple than any oth­er race. That was found to have orig­i­nat­ed from the alt-right inter­net as well.

10c. David Duke has endorsed Trump’s re-tweet, but­tress­ing its anti-Semit­ic mes­sage.

“Ex-KKK Leader David Duke Loved Trump’s Star Of David Tweet” by Kather­ine Krueger; Talk­ing Points Memo Livewire; 7/05/2016.

Avid Don­ald Trump sup­port­er and for­mer Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke was a big fan of the pre­sump­tive GOP nominee’s con­tro­ver­sial tweet over the week­end, which was wide­ly read as anti-Semit­ic.

After the Trump camp pulled an anti-Hillary Clin­ton tweet that includ­ed a six-point star and post­ed an edit­ed ver­sion, Duke tweet­ed Sat­ur­day that he wel­comes the expo­sure of “the hid­den hand.”

Trump’s orig­i­nal tweet fea­tured a meme, appar­ent­ly plumbed from a cor­ner of the white suprema­cist inter­net, label­ing Clin­ton the “most cor­rupt can­di­date ever,” inside a six-point star and over­laid on a bed of mon­ey.
Trump lat­er claimed the image was a “sheriff’s star” and blamed the “dis­hon­est media” for label­ing the image a Star of David. . . . .

11a. Check out Don­ald Trump’s bank of choice: Deutsche Bank! As the arti­cle below points out, it’s a long rela­tion­ship going back to the ear­ly 90’s, with at least $2.5 bil­lion lent. But there have been past dif­fer­ences too, espe­cial­ly fol­low­ing the crash of 2008 when Trump tried to wrig­gle out of his debt by claim­ing the crash was an act of god. And as a con­se­quence of all the the com­mer­cial lend­ing arm of Deutsche Bank basi­cal­ly wants noth­ing to do with Trump. But that’s ok, since the Pri­vate Bank branch has decid­ed Trump is an ok cus­tomer. Or at least a good enough cus­tomer to lend Trump $300 mil­lion in recent years:

“When Don­ald Trump Needs a Loan, He Choos­es Deutsche Bank” by Anupree­ta Das; The Wall Street Jour­nal; 3/20/2016.

Despite some clash­es, the Repub­li­can front-run­ner has been a reg­u­lar client of the Ger­man lender

One of Don­ald Trump’s clos­est allies on Wall Street is a now-strug­gling Ger­man bank.

While many big banks have shunned him, Deutsche Bank AG has been a stead­fast finan­cial backer of the Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial candidate’s busi­ness inter­ests. Since 1998, the bank has led or par­tic­i­pat­ed in loans of at least $2.5 bil­lion to com­pa­nies affil­i­at­ed with Mr. Trump, accord­ing to a Wall Street Jour­nal analy­sis of pub­lic records and peo­ple famil­iar with the mat­ter.

That doesn’t include at least anoth­er $1 bil­lion in loan com­mit­ments that Deutsche Bank made to Trump-affil­i­at­ed enti­ties.

The long-stand­ing con­nec­tion makes Frank­furt-based Deutsche Bank, which has a large U.S. oper­a­tion and has been grap­pling with rep­u­ta­tion­al prob­lems and an almost 50% stock-price decline, the finan­cial insti­tu­tion with prob­a­bly the strongest ties to the con­tro­ver­sial New York busi­ness­man.

But the rela­tions at times have been rocky. Deutsche Bank’s giant invest­ment-bank­ing unit stopped work­ing with Mr. Trump after an acri­mo­nious legal spat, even as anoth­er arm of the com­pa­ny con­tin­ued to loan him mon­ey.

Oth­er Wall Street banks, after doing exten­sive busi­ness with Mr. Trump in the 1980s and 1990s, pulled back in part due to frus­tra­tion with his busi­ness prac­tices but also because he moved away from real-estate projects that required financ­ing, accord­ing to bank offi­cials. Cit­i­group Inc., J.P. Mor­gan Chase & Co. and Mor­gan Stan­ley are among the banks that don’t cur­rent­ly work with him.

At Gold­man Sachs Group Inc., bankers “know bet­ter than to pitch” a Trump-relat­ed deal, said a for­mer Gold­man exec­u­tive. Gold­man offi­cials say there is lit­tle over­lap between its core invest­ment-bank­ing group and Mr. Trump’s busi­ness­es.

Deutsche Bank’s rela­tion­ship with Mr. Trump dates to the 1990s. The bank, eager to expand in the U.S. via com­mer­cial-real-estate lend­ing, set out to woo big New York devel­op­ers such as Mr. Trump and Har­ry Mack­lowe.

One of the bank’s first loans to Mr. Trump, in 1998, was $125 mil­lion to ren­o­vate the office build­ing at 40 Wall Street. More deals soon fol­lowed, with the bank agree­ing over the next few years to loan or help under­write bonds worth a total of more than $1.3 bil­lion for Trump enti­ties.

By 2005, Deutsche Bank had emerged as one of Mr. Trump’s lead­ing bankers. That year, the Ger­man bank and oth­ers lent a Trump enti­ty $640 mil­lion to build the 92-sto­ry Trump Inter­na­tion­al Hotel and Tow­er in Chica­go. Deutsche Bank offi­cials bad­ly want­ed the deal because it came with a $12.5 mil­lion fee attached, said a per­son famil­iar with the mat­ter.

Mr. Trump charmed the bankers, fly­ing them on his pri­vate Boe­ing 727 jet, accord­ing to peo­ple who trav­eled with him.

But when the hous­ing bub­ble burst, the rela­tion­ship frayed.

In 2008, Mr. Trump failed to pay $334 mil­lion he owed on the Chica­go loan because of lack­lus­ter sales of the building’s units. He then sued Deutsche Bank. His argu­ment was that the eco­nom­ic cri­sis con­sti­tut­ed a “force majeure”—an unfore­seen event such as war or nat­ur­al disaster—that should excuse the repay­ment until con­di­tions improved.

His lawyers were inspired to invoke the clause after hear­ing for­mer Fed­er­al Reserve chair­man Alan Greenspan describe the cri­sis as a “once-in-a-cen­tu­ry cred­it tsuna­mi,” accord­ing to a per­son who worked on the case for Mr. Trump.

Mr. Trump also attacked Deutsche Bank’s lend­ing prac­tices and said that as a big bank, it was par­tial­ly respon­si­ble for caus­ing the finan­cial cri­sis. He sought $3 bil­lion in dam­ages.

Deutsche Bank in turn sued Mr. Trump, say­ing it was owed $40 mil­lion that the busi­ness­man had per­son­al­ly guar­an­teed in case his com­pa­ny was unable to repay the loan.

Deutsche Bank argued that Mr. Trump had a cav­a­lier his­to­ry toward banks, quot­ing from his 2007 book, “Think Big And Kick Ass In Busi­ness And Life.”

“I fig­ured it was the bank’s prob­lem, not mine,” Mr. Trump wrote, accord­ing to the law­suit. “What the hell did I care? I actu­al­ly told one bank, ‘I told you you shouldn’t have loaned me that mon­ey. I told you that god­damn deal was no good.’”

The court reject­ed Mr. Trump’s argu­ments but the suit forced Deutsche Bank to the nego­ti­at­ing table. The two sides agreed to set­tle their suits out of court in 2009. The fol­low­ing year, they extend­ed the orig­i­nal loan by five years. It was paid off in 2012—with the help of a loan from the Ger­man firm’s pri­vate bank.

While Deutsche Bank didn’t lose mon­ey on the deal, the fra­cas soured its invest­ment bankers on work­ing with Mr. Trump. “He was per­sona non gra­ta after that,” said a banker who worked on the deal.

But not every­one with­in Deutsche Bank want­ed to sev­er the rela­tion­ship. The company’s pri­vate-bank­ing arm, which caters to ultra­rich fam­i­lies and indi­vid­u­als, picked up the slack, lend­ing well over $300 mil­lion to Trump enti­ties in the fol­low­ing years.

11b. The fact that Don­ald Trump recent­ly bor­rowed a large sum a mon­ey to one of the finan­cial world’s biggest ser­i­al reg­u­la­to­ry vio­la­tors does seem like the kind of thing that could become an issue in the 2016? At least it’s seems very pos­si­ble. Espe­cial­ly since Deutsche Bank still faces mul­ti­ple inves­ti­ga­tions, still real­ly, real­ly wants to see the post-cri­sis reg­u­la­tions go away, and Trump still has at least $100 mil­lion that it’s wait­ing for Trump to pay back:

“Trump Has a Con­flict-of-Inter­est Prob­lem No Oth­er White House Can­di­date Ever Had” by Russ Choma and David Corn; Moth­er Jones; 6/01/2016.

He owes at least $100 mil­lion to a for­eign bank that’s bat­tled with US reg­u­la­tors.

In his most recent finan­cial dis­clo­sure state­ment, Don­ald Trump notes he has bil­lions of dol­lars in assets. But the pre­sump­tive GOP nom­i­nee also has a tremen­dous load of debt that includes five loans each over $50 mil­lion. (The dis­clo­sure form, which pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates must sub­mit, does not com­pel can­di­dates to reveal the spe­cif­ic amount of any loans that exceed $50 mil­lion, and Trump has cho­sen not to pro­vide details.) Two of those mega­loans are held by Deutsche Bank, which is based in Ger­many but has US sub­sidiaries. And this prompts a ques­tion that no oth­er major Amer­i­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date has had to face: What are the impli­ca­tions of the chief exec­u­tive of the US gov­ern­ment being in hock for $100 mil­lion (or more) to a for­eign enti­ty that has tried to evade laws aimed at cur­tail­ing risky finan­cial shenani­gans, that was recent­ly caught manip­u­lat­ing mar­kets around the world, and that attempts to influ­ence the US gov­ern­ment?

11c. George Soros led a group of three hedge funds that lend­ed Trump $160 mil­lion in high-inter­est loans which was on top of the ~$650 mil­lion from Deutsche Bank. And we already know what hap­pened to those Deutsche Bank loans (it was paid off with a new loan from Deutsche Bank’s pri­vate bank).

But what about that $160 mil­lion high-inter­est mez­za­nine loan Soros helped finance? Well, it’s not easy to find much infor­ma­tion on that, but it turns out some­one cre­at­ed a blog, apt­ly named trumpsoroschicago.wordpress.com, with just a sin­gle post ded­i­cat­ed sole­ly to elu­ci­dat­ing what hap­pened from pub­lic sources. And it sure looks like that high-inter­est loan was also for­giv­en in 2012 and there’s no indi­ca­tion it was for­giv­en by issu­ing a new loan, but instead just for­giv­en. In past dis­cus­sion and analy­sis, we not­ed that Soros got his start in busi­ness “Aryaniz­ing” Jew­ish prop­er­ty in Hun­gary dur­ing the Holo­caust. This may well have been a spring­board to oper­at­ing as what we have termed “a Bor­mann Jew.”

If Trump was indeed unable to pay back both his Deutsche Bank and mez­za­nine loans, that sounds cir­cum­stan­tial­ly odd. It would be an odd time for mas­sive loan for­give­ness when the high-end Chica­go sky­scraper mar­ket was look­ing pret­ty good in 2012. The con­do units on the Trump Tow­er were basi­cal­ly sold out by 2014, so busi­ness was clear­ly pret­ty good in the wake of that round of loan for­give­ness.

All in all, it’s a very strange busi­ness sto­ry.

“Did George Soros Free Don­ald Trump of a $312 Mil­lion Debt?” by sorostrumpchica­go; Trumpsoroschicago.wordpress.com; 3/19;2016.

* In 2005 Trump start­ed con­struc­tion on his sky­scraper the Trump Inter­na­tion­al Hotel and Tow­er (Chica­go)
* To build the tow­er, Trump received a loan from Deutsche Bank for $650 mil­lion
* Trump also received a $160 mil­lion mez­za­nine loan* from a group of pri­vate investors includ­ing George Soros, Fortress Invest­ment Group and Black­acre Cap­i­tal (The loan was esti­mat­ed by the Wall Street Jour­nal of hav­ing a total val­ue as high as $360 mil­lion with accrued inter­est)
* By Octo­ber 2008 Trump had sold near­ly $600 mil­lion in con­do and con­do-hotel units, more than half of the total val­ue of all the units in his tow­er
* After sev­en years (2005–2012) Trump was on his way to pay­ing off his main con­struc­tion loan to Deutsche Bank
* For rea­sons unex­plained to the pub­lic, the major­i­ty of Trump’s mez­za­nine loan was qui­et­ly for­giv­en by the loan’s orig­i­nal lenders
* No media out­let cov­er­ing the deal has put togeth­er the pieces and told the pub­lic that George Soros let Don­ald Trump off the hook for what has been val­ued between $82 and $312 mil­lion in debt
* Why would Soros give what amounts to a mas­sive debt relief to Trump dur­ing a finan­cial­ly suc­cess­ful peri­od in Trump’s life? Are these men friends, ene­mies or busi­ness part­ners?

We have come across infor­ma­tion relat­ed to a long and bizarre finan­cial deal between Don­ald J. Trump, George Soros, Fortress Invest­ment Group and Black­acre Cap­i­tal, a deal dis­cov­ered by fol­low­ing a spe­cif­ic on-going mon­ey trail and like­ly part­ner­ship between these enti­ties.

In 2005, when Trump began financ­ing the con­struc­tion of the tallest res­i­den­tial tow­er on the North Amer­i­can con­ti­nent the Trump Inter­na­tion­al Hotel and Tow­er (Chica­go), he need­ed more than just the basic loan he had received from Deutsche Bank. Trump need­ed what is called a “mez­za­nine loan”, a loan which is far more expen­sive than a reg­u­lar bank loan. This kind of loan needs to be paid off more quick­ly to avoid high inter­est pay­ments. It also needs to be paid back in full to keep the lender from tak­ing own­er­ship of the under­ly­ing asset.

“Mez­za­nine financ­ing is basi­cal­ly debt cap­i­tal that gives the lender the rights to con­vert to an own­er­ship or equi­ty inter­est in the com­pa­ny if the loan is not paid back in time and in full…

…Since mez­za­nine financ­ing is usu­al­ly pro­vid­ed to the bor­row­er very quick­ly with lit­tle due dili­gence on the part of the lender and lit­tle or no col­lat­er­al on the part of the bor­row­er, this type of financ­ing is aggres­sive­ly priced with the lender seek­ing a return in the 20–30% range.” 1

Soros along with Fortress and Black­acre came to Trump with just such a loan at a cost­ly $160 mil­lion prin­ci­pal*. The The Wall Street Jour­nal had val­ued the loan at as much as $360 mil­lion, depend­ing on the length of time it accrued inter­est.

“Don­ald Trump has lined up three New York hedge funds, includ­ing mon­ey from bil­lion­aire George Soros, to invest $160 mil­lion in his Chica­go sky­scraper, a key piece in per­haps the largest con­struc­tion financ­ing in the city’s his­to­ry, accord­ing to real estate sources and pub­lic doc­u­ments… The mas­sive financ­ing, which sources say also will include a $650 mil­lion con­struc­tion loan from Deutsche Bank…” 2

“Big names back Trump tow­er” Chica­go Tri­bune – Octo­ber 28, 2004

“A loan doc­u­ment says Mr. Trump could have to pay Fortress as much as $360 mil­lion, depend­ing on how long the loan accrues inter­est. Com­bined with the Deutsche Bank senior loan, he would owe more than $1 bil­lion in total.” 3

“In Chica­go, Trump Hits Head­winds” The Wall Street Jour­nal – Octo­ber 29, 2008

By Octo­ber 2008, the tow­er was almost com­plete and Trump had sold near­ly $600 mil­lion in con­do and con­do-hotel units, more than half of the total val­ue of all units in the tow­er.

“So far, Mr. Trump has lined up buy­ers for a bit less than $600 mil­lion of con­do units and con­do-hotel units in a res­i­den­tial mar­ket that has vir­tu­al­ly seized up… He has closed around $200 mil­lion in sales so far, with rough­ly $380 mil­lion still in con­tract.”3

“In Chica­go, Trump Hits Head­winds” The Wall Street Jour­nal – Octo­ber 29, 2008

In 2012, Trump con­tin­ued to owe mon­ey to his lenders but sales of his con­do­mini­ums had picked up and his tow­er had a 69% occu­pan­cy rate. As Crain’s Chica­go put it: “The region’s hous­ing and con­do mar­ket is still mired in a his­toric slump. But when it comes to buy­ing and sell­ing in Chicago’s high-end con­do mar­ket, life is sur­pris­ing­ly good… Con­do­mini­um own­ers at the $850 mil­lion Trump Inter­na­tion­al Hotel & Tow­er and oth­er new­er top-end build­ings have, more often than not, expe­ri­enced val­ue appre­ci­a­tion when they sold in recent years.”4

While Trump was not yet mak­ing a prof­it on his tow­er, his sales and val­ue appre­ci­a­tions were such that his build­ing was gen­er­at­ing sig­nif­i­cant rev­enue, more than enough rev­enue to pay back to his lenders large por­tions of his loans. As for­mer New York real estate devel­op­er David Rose writes in his arti­cle “How to pay off a Sky­scraper”:

“After a num­ber of years have passed, sev­er­al things are like­ly to have hap­pened: 1) the mort­gage has been sig­nif­i­cant­ly paid down; 2) the val­ue of the under­ly­ing build­ing has increased; and 3) the own­er has wait­ed for a time in the eco­nom­ic cycle where mort­gage rates are low. At that point [they] will ‘refi­nance’ the orig­i­nal mort­gage, and put the bal­ance to work some­where else where it can make even more mon­ey.”5

“How Long Does It Take To Pay Off a Sky­scraper?” Slate – July 12, 2012

(For­tu­nate­ly for Trump, favor­able finan­cial con­di­tions exist­ed in 2012. 6By all accounts, includ­ing his own, Trump was ready and able to pay off the loans for his Chica­go tow­er. 7)

Yet Trump did not have to wor­ry about pay­ing back the major­i­ty of his mez­za­nine loan. A spe­cial group of lenders came in and erased a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of this oblig­a­tion.

That group was the orig­i­nal mez­za­nine loan lenders: Soros, Fortress and Black­acre; all of whom decid­ed to for­give Trump’s future inter­est pay­ments on the loan, sell­ing it to him at the mas­sive­ly reduced price of $48 mil­lion. To put that in stark­er terms, Soros and the oth­ers effec­tive­ly gave Trump pos­si­bly hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars in debt for­give­ness, while cut­ting down the prin­ci­pal of his loan by $82 mil­lion**. Basi­cal­ly, Soros and the oth­ers for­gave Trump as much as $312 mil­lion for no appar­ent rea­son.

“Don­ald Trump has paid $48 mil­lion to buy out junior cred­i­tors on his 92-sto­ry Chica­go con­do­mini­um and hotel project… The New York devel­op­er says he bought the debt, which had a face val­ue of $130 mil­lion, back from a group of cred­i­tors led by Fortress Invest­ment Group.” 8

“Trump buys out tow­er cred­i­tors” Crain’s Chica­go Busi­ness– March 28, 2012

In a fur­ther twist to the sto­ry, in the same arti­cle from Chica­go Busi­ness revealed: “After buy­ing out the junior debt [the mez­za­nine loan], Mr. Trump says he now owes about $120 mil­lion on the build­ing that comes due in 1½ years.”8

The afore­men­tioned shows us that in 2012 Trump had already paid off most of the Deutsche Bank loan before Soros, etc. came in and wiped out most of his mez­zai­n­ine debt. This rais­es the ques­tion, why wasn’t Trump expect­ed by Soros, Fortress and Black­acre to pay back their riski­er, high-inter­est mez­za­nine loan? Also, how was Trump able to pay down his Deutsche Bank loan – demon­strat­ing the means to pay off all his loans – yet still have Soros and the oth­ers give him some­where between $82 mil­lion and $312 mil­lion in debt for­give­ness?

Addi­tion­al­ly to that, why have we heard almost noth­ing about this gigan­tic give­away to Trump? And why were Soros and Black­acre, two of the three main investors in the mez­za­nine loan, scrubbed from media’s cov­er­age of the final debt for­give­ness deal? What back­room agree­ments were made con­cern­ing this mez­za­nine loan?

And indeed, not only was this deal made in a cloaked man­ner, it may have been the most gen­er­ous amount of debt for­give­ness ever giv­en on a mez­za­nine loan to a bor­row­er who was in good finan­cial health and who had a steadi­ly appre­ci­at­ing asset, as was Trump and his Chica­go tow­er.

Foot­notes:

*Two arti­cles quote the total for the mez­za­nine loan at $130 mil­lion, how­ev­er due to the lim­it­ed cov­er­age of the deal we do not know at this time which is the true fig­ure. 67

**If we were to rely on the orig­i­nal fig­ure of the $160 mil­lion prin­ci­pal, this would be $112 mil­lion give­away on the loan’s prin­ci­ple to Trump

Sources:

1. “Mez­za­nine Financ­ing” Investo­pe­dia:http://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/mezzaninefinancing.asp
2. “Big names back Trump tow­er” Chica­go Tri­bune – Octo­ber 28, 2004:http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2004–10-28/news/0410280265_1_donald-trump-soros-fund-management-blackacre-institutional-capital-management
3. “In Chica­go, Trump Hits Head­winds” The Wall Street Jour­nal – Octo­ber 29, 2008:http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB122523704293478077
4. “Trumped up: Tro­phy tow­ers’ con­dos rise above hous­ing slump” Crain’s Chica­go Busi­ness – April 14, 2012:http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20120414/ISSUE01/304149974/trumped-up-trophy-towers-condos-rise-above-housing-slump
5. “How Long Does It Take To Pay Off a Sky­scraper?” Slate – July 12, 2012:http://www.slate.com/blogs/quora/2012/07/12/how_long_does_it_take_to_pay_off_a_skyscraper_.html
6. “Mort­gage rates sink to new record low” CNN Mon­ey – June 7, 2012:http://money.cnn.com/2012/06/07/real_estate/mortgage-rates/
7. “The 400 Rich­est Amer­i­cans – #134 Don­ald Trump” Forbes – Sept. 17, 2008:http://www.forbes.com/fdc/welcome_mjx.shtml
8. “Trump buys out tow­er cred­i­tors” Crain’s Chica­go Busi­ness – March 28, 2012:http://www.chicagobusiness.com/realestate/20120328/CRED03/120329769/trump-buys-out-tower-creditors
9. “Trump sues lenders for more time to pay off loan on Tow­er” Chica­go Real Estate Dai­ly – Novem­ber 07, 2008:http://www.chicagobusiness.com/realestate/20081107/CRED03/200031749/trump-sues-lenders-for-more-time-to-pay-off-loan-on-tower

11d. We con­clude with review of the pro­found rela­tion­ship of the Bor­mann cap­i­tal net­work and Deutsche Bank:

Mar­tin Bor­mann: Nazi in Exile; Paul Man­ning; Copy­right 1981 [HC]; Lyle Stu­art Inc.; ISBN 0–8184-0309–8; pp. 139, 205.

. . . . When Bor­mann gave the order for his rep­re­sen­ta­tives to resume pur­chas­es of Amer­i­can cor­po­rate stocks, it was usu­al­ly done through the neu­tral coun­tries of Switzer­land and Argenti­na. From for­eign exchange funds on deposit in Swiss banks and in Deutsche Sudamerikan­ishe Bank, the Buenos Aires branch of Deutsche Bank, large demand deposits were placed in the prin­ci­pal mon­ey-cen­ter banks of New York City; Nation­al City (now Citibank), Chase (now Chase Man­hat­tan N.A.), Man­u­fac­tur­ers and Hanover (now man­u­fac­tur­ers Hanover Trust), Mor­gan Guar­an­ty, and Irv­ing Trust. Such deposits are inter­est-free and the banks can invest this mon­ey as they wish, thus turn­ing tidy prof­its for them­selves. In return, they pro­vide rea­son­able ser­vices such as the pur­chase of stocks and trans­fer or pay­ment of mon­ey on demand by cus­tomers of Deutsche bank such as rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Bor­mann busi­ness orga­ni­za­tions and and Mar­tin Bor­mann him­self, who has demand accounts in three New York City banks. They con­tin­ue to do so. The Ger­man invest­ment in Amer­i­can cor­po­ra­tions from these sources exceed­ed $5 bil­lion and made the Bor­mann eco­nom­ic struc­ture a web of pow­er and influ­ence. The two Ger­man-owned banks of Spain, Ban­co Ale­man Transat­lanti­co (now named Ban­co Com­er­cial Transat­lanti­co), and Ban­co Ger­man­i­co de la Amer­i­ca del Sur, S.A., a sub­sidiary of Deutsche Bank served to chan­nel Ger­man mon­ey from Spain to South Amer­i­ca, where fur­ther invest­ments were made. . . .

. . . . The [FBI] file revealed that he had been bank­ing under his own name from his office in Ger­many in Deutsche Bank of Buenos Aires since 1941; that he held one joint account with the Argen­tin­ian dic­ta­tor Juan Per­on, and on August 4, 5 and 14, 1967, had writ­ten checks on demand accounts in first Nation­al City Bank (Over­seas Divi­sion) of New York, The Chase Man­hat­tan Bank, and Man­u­fac­tur­ers Hanover Trust Co., all cleared through Deutsche Bank of Buenos Aires. . . .

Discussion

7 comments for “FTR #920 The Trumpenkampfverbande, Part 3: The Underground Reich Emerges Into Plain View”

  1. Josh Mar­shall has a write up of last night’s big immi­gra­tion speech by Don­ald Trump, which was expect­ed to be a big let down for the ardent xeno­phobes in Trumps’ base after all the hints in recent weeks that Trump would be water­ing down his mass depor­ta­tion plans. So was it the kind of speech that left his base want­i­ng? Oh yes. Want­i­ng more. Much more:

    Talk­ing Points Memo Edi­tor’s Blog

    Blood and Race and Trump

    By Josh Mar­shall
    Pub­lished Sep­tem­ber 1, 2016, 12:43 AM EDT

    We’ve now heard Trump’s big immi­gra­tion pol­i­cy speech.

    Let me start with a gen­er­al com­ment on tone. This was as wild and as unbri­dled a speech as I’ve seen from Trump. Even if you couldn’t under­stand Eng­lish, it would be stun­ning to watch the slash­ing hand ges­tures, the red face, the yelling. It’s hard to imag­ine any pres­i­den­tial can­di­date in liv­ing mem­o­ry giv­ing such a speech. And again, this is if you didn’t know what the words even meant.

    As the speech was unfold­ing, I said some­thing on Twit­ter that I’m sure many will find extreme or beyond the pale. But watch­ing this speech, com­pared to the press con­fer­ence today in Mex­i­co City, what kept com­ing to my mind was the con­trast between Hitler’s uni­formed ral­ly speech­es from the hus­tings and the suit­ed, states­man Hitler we see in the old news reels in Munich and at oth­er icon­ic moments in the late 1930s. Hitler is sui gener­is, of course. His crimes are incom­pa­ra­ble. But the dem­a­gog­ic style, the fren­zied invo­ca­tion famil­ial blood sac­ri­ficed to bar­bar­ic out­siders – these are not unique to him. When we see this lurid, stab-in-the-back incite­ment, the wild hyper­bole, the febrile rail­ing against out­siders who will make us no longer a coun­try – the sim­i­lar­i­ties are real. More than any­thing, per­haps the most chill­ing part of this day is the con­trast between the two men – a mea­sured, calm states­man fig­ure we saw this after­noon and this rail­ing, angry dem­a­gogue fig­ure who cap­tured the emo­tion­al tenor of Klan ral­ly. As I said, the abil­i­ty to shift from one per­sona to the oth­er is a sign of dan­ger in itself.

    With that, let me go to the specifics. On bal­ance, Trump dou­bled-down on just about every­thing.

    He’ll build the Wall and Mex­i­co will pay for the Wall. Check and check. Its almost a cat­e­chism.

    On mass depor­ta­tion, there was more obfus­ca­tion than change. Trump said every­one with­out prop­er doc­u­men­ta­tion is sub­ject to depor­ta­tion – the vio­lent and the patri­ot­ic, the pro­duc­tive and the depen­dent are all togeth­er. He said there are some two mil­lion alien crim­i­nals in the coun­try who will be deport­ed imme­di­ate­ly. On top of that, he said there is a large but unspec­i­fied num­ber of addi­tion­al aliens who are also crim­i­nals and they’ll be deport­ed imme­di­ate­ly too.

    I believe the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment actu­al­ly puts that num­ber between 600k and 700k. So Trump’s num­ber is rough­ly three times the actu­al num­ber and then many more on top of that. One mil­lion more? Five mil­lion more? You can take your pick depend­ing on your mood and what you want to hear. Wild fab­u­la­tion about num­bers and facts was a sig­na­ture of the speech.

    Notably, Trump also said that the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment has no idea how many undoc­u­ment­ed immi­grants are in the coun­try. It could be 3 mil­lion or 30 mil­lion, he said. These remarks have only two pur­pos­es – to deep­en the sense of chaos and to kick dust into any spe­cif­ic dis­cus­sion or exam­i­na­tion of just what Trump pro­pos­es to do.

    He has appar­ent­ly dropped the “depor­ta­tion force” in favor of a “depor­ta­tion task force” cre­at­ed with­in ICE to speed mass depor­ta­tion. Again, obfus­ca­tion not dif­fer­ence.

    Final­ly he made clear there is no path to cit­i­zen­ship or legal res­i­den­cy for any undoc­u­ment­ed immi­grants. The only path is to leave the coun­try and return through nor­mal chan­nels. And this can only hap­pen after tighter stric­tures are placed on legal immi­gra­tion. Even under cur­rent law this amounts to decades out of the coun­try.

    This is all cer­tain­ly a more com­pli­cat­ed expla­na­tion of his pol­i­cy than what Trump said in the pri­maries – that all 11 mil­lion will have to be deport­ed and fast. But sub­stan­tive­ly, it sounds like the same pol­i­cy, with more obfus­ca­tion, more bows to pri­or­i­ti­za­tion and some cog­nizance of the scale of the task. But sub­stan­tive­ly it’s the same.

    We’ve been at this for two or three weeks – drop­ping his hard­line posi­tions, pick­ing them back up, briefly going a la carte. If this is the final state­ment, we’re basi­cal­ly where we start­ed, just with a few gar­nish­es about our love for the Mex­i­can peo­ple and the won­ders of immi­gra­tion that hap­pened in the past. The flur­ry of bogus specifics is meant to obscure the big pic­ture: every­one has to go.

    ...

    “As the speech was unfold­ing, I said some­thing on Twit­ter that I’m sure many will find extreme or beyond the pale. But watch­ing this speech, com­pared to the press con­fer­ence today in Mex­i­co City, what kept com­ing to my mind was the con­trast between Hitler’s uni­formed ral­ly speech­es from the hus­tings and the suit­ed, states­man Hitler we see in the old news reels in Munich and at oth­er icon­ic moments in the late 1930s. Hitler is sui gener­is, of course. His crimes are incom­pa­ra­ble. But the dem­a­gog­ic style, the fren­zied invo­ca­tion famil­ial blood sac­ri­ficed to bar­bar­ic out­siders – these are not unique to him. When we see this lurid, stab-in-the-back incite­ment, the wild hyper­bole, the febrile rail­ing against out­siders who will make us no longer a coun­try – the sim­i­lar­i­ties are real. More than any­thing, per­haps the most chill­ing part of this day is the con­trast between the two men – a mea­sured, calm states­man fig­ure we saw this after­noon and this rail­ing, angry dem­a­gogue fig­ure who cap­tured the emo­tion­al tenor of Klan ral­ly. As I said, the abil­i­ty to shift from one per­sona to the oth­er is a sign of dan­ger in itself.”

    That was nice of him to keep any non-Eng­lish-speak­ing fans in mind by using so much non-ver­bal Hiter­lian flour­ish. And based on the ver­bal Hiter­lian flour­ish it sure doesn’t sound like the kind of speech that let any of his hard­core sup­port­ers down. And, lo and behold, his hard­core sup­port­ers were enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly not let down:

    Talk­ing Points Memo Editor’s blog

    Top White Suprema­cists & Anti-Semi­tes React to Trump

    By Josh Mar­shall
    Pub­lished Sep­tem­ber 1, 2016, 12:23 AM EDT

    A sam­pling of lead­ing white suprema­cists and anti-semi­tes react­ing to Trump’s speech. Pre­view: They loved it!

    David Duke

    Excel­lent speech by Don­ald Trump tonight. Deport crim­i­nal aliens, end catch and release, enforce immi­gra­tion laws & Amer­i­ca First.— David Duke (@DrDavidDuke) Sep­tem­ber 1, 2016

    Jared Tay­lor

    #TrumpAZ Hell of a speech. Almost per­fect. Log­i­cal, deeply felt, and pow­er­ful­ly deliv­ered. Now watch how the media twists it.— Jared Tay­lor (@jartaylor) Sep­tem­ber 1, 2016

    Kevin Mac­Don­ald

    Great Trump speech! Deport not just crim­i­nals, but wel­fare users. Ille­gals can’t work; immi­gra­tion in the inter­ests of cit­i­zens,— Kevin Mac­Don­ald (@TOOEdit) Sep­tem­ber 1, 2016

    #TrumpAZ Hell of a speech. Almost per­fect. Log­i­cal, deeply felt, and pow­er­ful­ly deliv­ered. Now watch how the media twists it.”

    So that’s the big expect­ed “soft­en­ing” of Trump’s immi­gra­tion plan: any doubts about Trump’s alle­giance to their agen­da has clear­ly soft­ened amongst white nation­al­ist like David Duke or Jared Tay­lor.

    In alter­nate-uni­verse-relat­ed news, Don­ald Trump talked about how his speech last night rep­re­sent­ed a “soft­en­ing” of his immi­gra­tion plan today:

    Talk­ing Points Memo Livewire

    Words Don’t Mat­ter: Trump Claims There Was ‘Soft­en­ing’ In Immi­gra­tion Plan!

    By Lau­ren Fox
    Pub­lished Sep­tem­ber 1, 2016, 10:42 AM EDT

    Don­ald Trump told con­ser­v­a­tive talk show host Lau­ra Ingra­ham Thurs­day that there has been a “soft­en­ing” on his immi­gra­tion plan.

    After deliv­er­ing a hard­line speech on immi­gra­tion enforce­ment that includ­ed grue­some accounts of mur­dered Amer­i­cans at the hands of undoc­u­ment­ed immi­gra­tions, Trump seems to be a bit con­fused about the def­i­n­i­tion of “soft­en­ing.”

    “Look, we do it in a very humane way, and we’re going to see with the peo­ple who are in this coun­try. Obvi­ous­ly, I want to get the gang mem­bers out, the drug ped­dlers out. We’ve got a lot of peo­ple in this coun­try that you can’t have, and those peo­ple you can’t have,” Trump said. “And then we’re going to make a deci­sion at a lat­er date once every­thing is sta­bi­lized. I think you’re going to see there is quite a bit of soft­en­ing.”

    Trump’s speech had been billed as an oppor­tu­ni­ty for the can­di­date to try and expand his base of sup­port from the fringe right and base sup­port­ers to a wider swath of the Repub­li­can Par­ty. When he got to the mic, how­ev­er, Trump was true to his pri­ma­ry self.

    “Look, we do it in a very humane way, and we’re going to see with the peo­ple who are in this coun­try. Obvi­ous­ly, I want to get the gang mem­bers out, the drug ped­dlers out. We’ve got a lot of peo­ple in this coun­try that you can’t have, and those peo­ple you can’t have…And then we’re going to make a deci­sion at a lat­er date once every­thing is sta­bi­lized. I think you’re going to see there is quite a bit of soft­en­ing.”

    That’s right, the scary man who just gave a red-faced speech filled with Hiter­lian flour­ish on the per­ils posed to the US by Lati­no immi­grants wants you to know that he’s total­ly going to soft­en his stance on this issue and be much more humane than peo­ple expect. He’s not sure how much more humane or how much he’ll “soft­en”, but he wants to you know it’s total­ly com­ing. Trust him! *wink*

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 1, 2016, 7:22 pm
  2. @ Pter­rafractyl–

    Indeed! Note Mar­shal­l’s obser­va­tion: ” . . . But watch­ing this speech, com­pared to the press con­fer­ence today in Mex­i­co City, what kept com­ing to my mind was the con­trast between Hitler’s uni­formed ral­ly speech­es from the hus­tings and the suit­ed, states­man Hitler we see in the old news reels in Munich and at oth­er icon­ic moments in the late 1930s. Hitler is sui gener­is, of course. His crimes are incom­pa­ra­ble. But the dem­a­gog­ic style, the fren­zied invo­ca­tion famil­ial blood sac­ri­ficed to bar­bar­ic out­siders – these are not unique to him. When we see this lurid, stab-in-the-back incite­ment, the wild hyper­bole, the febrile rail­ing against out­siders who will make us no longer a coun­try – the sim­i­lar­i­ties are real. More than any­thing, per­haps the most chill­ing part of this day is the con­trast between the two men – a mea­sured, calm states­man fig­ure we saw this after­noon and this rail­ing, angry dem­a­gogue fig­ure who cap­tured the emo­tion­al tenor of Klan ral­ly. As I said, the abil­i­ty to shift from one per­sona to the oth­er is a sign of dan­ger in itself. . . .”

    The com­par­i­son is apt and is by no means coin­ci­den­tal:

    http://www.vanityfair.com/magazine/2015/07/donald-ivana-trump-divorce-prenup-marie-brenner

    ” . . . .Last April, per­haps in a surge of Czech nation­al­ism, Ivana Trump told her lawyer Michael Kennedy that from time to time her hus­band reads a book of Hitler’s col­lect­ed speech­es, My New Order, which he keeps in a cab­i­net by his bed ... Hitler’s speech­es, from his ear­li­est days up through the Pho­ny War of 1939, reveal his extra­or­di­nary abil­i­ty as a mas­ter pro­pa­gan­dist,” Marie Bren­ner wrote. . . In the ‘Van­i­ty Fair arti­cle,’ Ivana Trump told a friend that her hus­band’s cousin, John Wal­ter ‘clicks his heels and says, ‘Heil Hitler,’ when vis­it­ing Trump’s office. . . .”

    Ain’t we got fun!

    Stay Tuned,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | September 1, 2016, 7:32 pm
  3. From SPLC’s Extrem­ist Files “The Alter­na­tive Right is a
    term coined in 2008 by Richard Bertrand Spencer, who
    heads the nation­al­ist think tank known as the Nation­al
    Pol­i­cy Insti­tute…” And fur­ther down “Trump is a hero
    to the Alt-Right.” Con­sid­er­ing white nation­al­ists hate
    every­thing “polit­i­cal­ly cor­rect” it’s amus­ing, in an iron­ic
    way, that they’ve come up with such a PC label as Alt-
    Right, albeit PC for fas­cists.
    Dave in FTR #533 The Flori­da Argen­tine Con­nec­tion
    you pre­sent­ed a stun­ning fact regard­ing the wife of
    Jeb Bush. “Colum­ba Bush’s sis­ter is mar­ried to John P.
    Schmitz, a ben­e­fi­cia­ry of the fel­low­ship pro­grams
    sub­sumed under the Carl Duis­berg Gesellschaft and
    the broth­er of Joseph Schmitz…”
    While it’s appar­ent that the Alter­na­tive Right net­work­ing
    of Stephen Ban­non, Richard Spencer, Jared Tay­lor etc.
    con­sti­tutes a fas­cist fifth col­umn in the U.S. (aug­ment­ing
    old hands like David Duke) I won­der to what extent the
    Berlin Brigade of Lau­ra Poitras, Jakob Apple­baum and
    Sarah Har­ri­son might be receiv­ing finan­cial sup­port from
    the Carl Duis­berg Soci­ety. All three are for­eign nation­als
    resid­ing in Berlin, much like Mohammed Atta, though
    based in Ham­burg, was involved in a joint Amer­i­can-
    Ger­man effort that traf­ficked him around Syr­ia, Turkey
    and his home coun­try Egypt pri­or to 911.

    Posted by Dennis | September 5, 2016, 6:06 pm
  4. @Dennis–

    Yes, indeed!

    Don’t for­get a cou­ple of things: John P. Schmitz was work­ing with Matthias Wiss­man under his Robert Bosch fel­low­ship, a Ger­man MP involved with the CDU fund­ing scan­dal and the first Ger­man coun­sel work­ing with Wilmer, Cut­ler, and Pick­er­ing when the firm was rep­re­sent­ing Ger­man and Swiss defen­dants in Holo­caust-com­pen­sa­tion law­suits.

    Two oth­er mem­bers of the WikiLeaks/Snowden “op” team in Ger­many are Peter Sunde, founder of the Carl Lund­strom-fund­ed Pirate Bay site, on which Wik­iLeaks first held forth and Sarah Har­ri­son, the Wik­iLeak­er who guid­ed Snow­den from Chi­na to Rus­sia.

    I’ll be com­ing back to the high-pro­file hacks in FTR #922.

    One more about the Trumpenkampfver­bande.

    One thing dri­ving me nuts is the fact that the media are cov­er­ing for Trump–particularly the so-called “pro­gres­sive’ media, which con­tin­ue to dis­sem­i­nate the unten­able posi­tion that there is no dif­fer­ence between the Democ­rats and the Repub­li­cans.

    That is not just wrong, but EVIL.

    Just check out “Con­sor­tium News,” which has done some great work on Ukraine and U.S. sup­port for jihadists.

    They are attack­ing Hillary day and night, often with mul­ti­ple arti­cles on the same sub­ject on the same or adja­cent days.

    Paul Krug­man had a great col­umn today, (Labor Day/Monday–9/5).

    The media are doing the same thing to Hillary that they did to Al Gore.

    This is infu­ri­at­ing, dis­gust­ing, depress­ing and more than a lit­tle evil. (Can evil even be “lit­tle”?)

    It is rem­i­nis­cent of the Ger­man Com­mu­nist Par­ty, which urged its mem­bers to vote for Hitler and the Nazis in the 1932 elec­tions, because they felt Hitler’s ascen­sion would push Ger­many to the left and because “the social democ­rats are worse than Hitler.”

    Famous last words.

    Best,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | September 5, 2016, 6:57 pm
  5. I con­cur com­plete­ly. The man­ner in which the pres­i­den­tial cam­paign is unfold­ing resem­bles Gore Bush 2000 with such an air of inevitabil­i­ty I’m almost afraid the debates will be anti­cli­mac­tic. The email non- scan­dal has Clin­ton mired in quick­sand sim­ply because MSM and pro­gres­sives have triv­i­al­ized and mis­rep­re­sent­ed the truth. For exam­ple no emails were com­posed and sent by Clin­ton. For­mer CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien just accused the media, in their false equiv­a­len­cy of the Trump and Clin­ton cam­paigns, of “soft­en­ing the ground for white suprema­cy.” Final­ly a thought­ful remark got through on CNN.

    Posted by Dennis | September 5, 2016, 8:10 pm
  6. So, is the Trump cam­paign actu­al­ly super proud of the fact that his cam­paign found 88 for­mer gen­er­als who are will­ing to pub­licly endorse the cam­paign? Or is Trump just excit­ed to get anoth­er excuse to blow a neo-Nazi dog-whis­tle by tout­ing the 88 for­mer gen­er­als back­ing the cam­paign? Well, as the arti­cle below notes, 88 gen­er­als is actu­al­ly far, far below the sup­port of 500 for­mer gen­er­als that Mitt Rom­ney received in 2012. So, since this is the Trump cam­paign we’re talk­ing about here, it’s look­ing like the lat­ter:

    Moth­er Jones

    Trump Announces 88 Top For­mer Mil­i­tary Offi­cials Back­ing Him. Rom­ney Had 500.
    A YUGE drop!

    David Corn
    Sep. 6, 2016 10:28 AM

    Remem­ber the Demo­c­ra­t­ic con­ven­tion, when Hillary Clin­ton was ring­ing­ly endorsed by a squad of top for­mer mil­i­tary offi­cials, led by retired Gen­er­al John Allen, who deliv­ered one of the more rous­ing speech­es of the week? That event and a host of sub­se­quent endorse­ments from for­mer mil­i­tary lead­ers and for­eign pol­i­cy experts have made it seem that Clin­ton has the edge over Don­ald Trump in draw­ing nation­al secu­ri­ty pro­fes­sion­als to her cause. (Last month, a group of 50 GOP nation­al secu­ri­ty wonks signed a let­ter declar­ing that Trump “would be a dan­ger­ous Pres­i­dent and would put at risk our country’s nation­al secu­ri­ty and well-being.”) Now Trump is fight­ing back. On Mon­day, he released a list of 88 for­mer gen­er­als and admi­rals who back his pres­i­den­tial bid.

    The New York Times notes that a hand­ful of these Trumpers are “known for mak­ing con­tro­ver­sial state­ments. The paper cites retired Lt. Gen­er­al William Boykin, “who was crit­i­cized by Pres­i­dent George W. Bush for describ­ing the bat­tle against Islamist ter­ror­ists as a reli­gious proxy fight between a ‘Chris­t­ian nation’ and the ‘idol’ of Islam.” It also points out that retired Lt. Gen. Thomas G. McIn­er­ney, a Fox News ana­lyst who is on the list, “has pre­vi­ous­ly sub­mit­ted court doc­u­ments chal­leng­ing Pres­i­dent Oba­ma’s eli­gi­bil­i­ty to serve as pres­i­dent, accus­ing him of not hav­ing been born in the Unit­ed States, an accu­sa­tion Mr. Trump him­self once raised.” (Once raised? How about cham­pi­oned like a con­spir­a­cy-the­o­ry wingnut?)

    It’s no sur­prise that a Repub­li­can can­di­date who has bashed the Iran nuclear deal and called for spend­ing more mon­ey on the mil­i­tary could round up this band of for­mer gen­er­als and admi­rals. But here’s the real sto­ry: Mitt Rom­ney, dur­ing the 2012 cam­paign, had 500 retired gen­er­als and admi­rals on his side. That group took out an ad in the Wash­ing­ton Times to show their sup­port for the then-Repub­li­can nom­i­nee. And the Rom­ney crew had much more star pow­er than Trump’s posse. As the Wash­ing­ton Times then report­ed, “The [Rom­ney] list con­tains a num­ber of promi­nent four-star admi­rals and gen­er­als, includ­ing five for­mer mem­bers of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.”

    So as Trump preps—or does­n’t prep—for a can­di­dates forum on nation­al secu­ri­ty host­ed by NBC and MSNBC on Wednes­day night, the news real­ly isn’t that he found four score and eight retired mil­i­tary offi­cers to back him; it’s that this is a sig­nif­i­cant drop from the amount of sup­port that the last GOP nom­i­nee attract­ed from retired mil­i­tary big­wigs. In fact, it’s a huge retreat.

    “So as Trump preps—or does­n’t prep—for a can­di­dates forum on nation­al secu­ri­ty host­ed by NBC and MSNBC on Wednes­day night, the news real­ly isn’t that he found four score and eight retired mil­i­tary offi­cers to back him; it’s that this is a sig­nif­i­cant drop from the amount of sup­port that the last GOP nom­i­nee attract­ed from retired mil­i­tary big­wigs. In fact, it’s a huge retreat.”

    So have we moved past the white suprema­cist retweet­ing phase of the Trump cam­paign’s neo-Nazi dog-whistling and are now at the neo-Nazi numerol­o­gy phase? Or was this just a coin­ci­dence? It’s cer­tain­ly pos­si­ble it’s a coin­ci­dence. That’s going to hap­pen even in the midst of a neo-Nazi dog-whis­tle cam­paign. It’s pos­si­ble that the cam­paign’s deci­sion to pub­lish the list with num­bers next to each name, as opposed to just pub­lish­ing one big long list names, was­n’t at all intend­ed to high­light that exact­ly 88 peo­ple signed the doc­u­ment. It’s pos­si­ble. It’s also pos­si­ble that a cam­paign that has made neo-Nazi dog-whis­tles its spe­cial­ty total­ly did­n’t real­ize that it was once again flirt­ing with a neo-Nazi dog-whis­tle by high­light­ing pre­cise­ly 88 mil­i­tary back­ers behind Trump’s vision. It’s pos­si­ble.

    That’s the thing about a sto­ichas­tic neo-Nazi dog-whis­tle cam­paign: When the cam­paign’s sig­nal is hid­den in the noise, you’re inevitably going to hear a lot of noise along the way. Maybe you’re hear­ing a neo-Nazi dog-whis­tle. Or maybe it’s just the wind blow­ing through the trees. But when there’s a major neo-Nazi dog-whis­tle cam­paign going on, it sort of does­n’t mat­ter whether or not a par­tic­u­lar whis­tle you’re hear­ing was some sort of neo-Nazi shout-out or not. You’re whistling past the grave­yard either way.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 6, 2016, 3:04 pm
  7. With a con­clu­sion for the US mid-terms just hours away, here’s a reminder that whether it’s a ‘Blue wave’ rebuke to Don­ald Trump that results in the Democ­rats gain­ing con­trol of one (or both) cham­bers of con­gress, or a ‘Red rip­ple’ that sees the GOP hold onto con­gres­sion­al pow­er, there’s one polit­i­cal vic­to­ry that these mid-terms have already ensured: the overt takeover of the Repub­li­can Par­ty by Don­ald Trump’s and the for­mer­ly ‘fringe’ ele­ments of the Repub­li­can coali­tion (the Alex Jones/Breitbart eth­nona­tion­al­ist) is com­plete. Sure, it’s the case that Trump cam­paigned in 2016 on a mixed plat­form of rapid eth­nona­tion­al­ism com­bined with pledges to pro­tect enti­tle­ments and pro­vid­ed a ‘bet­ter and cheap­er’ form of Oba­macare. He cam­paigned like a racist Demo­c­rat in a lot of ways. But it’s also the case that the poli­cies he’s backed since assum­ing office are almost entire­ly in line with the whims of the GOP mega-donors like the Koch broth­ers. So the GOP mega-donors are still the biggest vic­tors in the Trump rev­o­lu­tion of the Repub­li­can Par­ty. But in terms of who con­trols the hearts and minds of the Repub­li­can vot­ing base, it’s unde­ni­ably the case that Trump’s brand of trolling and overt non-stop eth­nona­tion­al­ist dog-whistling has won the par­ty faith­ful over. When Repub­li­can vot­ers are giv­en a choice between a Trump-brand politi­cian and the more clas­sic Repub­li­can (who dog-whis­tled a lit­tle more qui­et­ly while repeat­ing plat­i­tudes about faith, fam­i­ly, and small gov­ern­ment), the Repub­li­can vot­ers over­whelm­ing­ly pre­fer Trump. Beyond that, Trump has suc­cess­ful­ly installed him­self as the human embod­i­ment of that new face for the Repub­li­can Par­ty and every oth­er GOP­er is now force to ‘kiss the Trump ring’ or get pri­maried out of office. Trump is the Repub­li­can God King. And that trends is almost cer­tain­ly going to con­tin­ue with­in the Repub­li­can Par­ty even if the Democ­rats have a ‘Blue wave’ and take con­trol of one or both cham­bers of con­gress. After all, if the Democ­rats win big that will almost cer­tain­ly mean they took out the hand­ful of remain­ing ‘mod­er­ate Repub­li­cans’, leav­ing the GOP even more rapid­ly pro-Trump and ‘fringe’ than before. And if the GOP can pull off a ‘Red rip­ple’, it’s going to be seen as a val­i­da­tion of the suc­cess of Trump’s deci­sion to triple-down on immi­grant-bash­ing, fear­mon­ger­ing about ‘the car­a­van’, and cul­tur­al wedge issues in the final month of the cam­paign. Win or lose, it’s a win-win sit­u­a­tion for the Trumpian bat­tle to con­trol the hearts and minds of the Repub­li­can Par­ty:

    The Atlantic

    Trump Already Won the Midterms

    Even if Repub­li­cans lose the House on Tues­day, it’s unlike­ly that the president’s grip on his par­ty will loosen any­time soon.

    McK­ay Cop­pins
    11/06/2018 6:00 AM ET

    Regard­less of how the midterm elec­tions turn out Tues­day night, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump will have at least one thing to cel­e­brate: His mis­sion to remake the Repub­li­can Par­ty in his own image has been an unequiv­o­cal suc­cess.

    The MAGA-fica­tion of the GOP that Trump first set in motion three years ago has con­tin­ued apace this cam­paign sea­son—with dis­loy­al Repub­li­cans get­ting pri­maried and purged, for­mer­ly fringe media out­lets gain­ing main­stream influ­ence, and key par­ty insti­tu­tions mutat­ing into weapons of pres­i­den­tial cul­ture war. There’s lit­tle sign these trends will abate with a defeat at the bal­lot box.

    Trump’s most vivid tri­umphs in reor­ga­niz­ing the par­ty around him­self came ear­li­er this year, dur­ing a wave of pri­ma­ry con­tests. In one race after anoth­er, more tra­di­tion­al Repub­li­cans were wiped out by the president’s imi­ta­tors and allies. Those who sur­vived did so, for the most part, by bear-hug­ging Trump and his agen­da.

    In South Car­oli­na, Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Mark Sanford—one of the few House Repub­li­cans who reg­u­lar­ly crit­i­cized the pres­i­dent—suf­fered a stun­ning upset to a Trump-backed can­di­date.

    In Alaba­ma, Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Martha Roby—who said she wouldn’t vote for Trump in 2016—was forced into a runoff, and final­ly won after empha­siz­ing her record of sup­port for the “Make Amer­i­ca Great Again” agen­da.

    In both Kansas and Geor­gia, Trump’s favored guber­na­to­r­i­al can­di­dates defeat­ed Repub­li­cans who were seen as more pol­ished and elec­table. And in Min­neso­ta, the attempt­ed come­back of the one-time GOP dar­ling Tim Paw­len­ty went bust when he lost his pri­ma­ry.

    ...

    Of course, many of the vic­to­ri­ous can­di­dates like­ly would have won with­out Trump’s sup­port. But by bend­ing over back­wards to get it, they have ensured that they’ll be behold­en to the pres­i­dent once they’re in office.

    Mean­while, some of Trump’s most promi­nent Repub­li­can crit­ics in Wash­ing­ton are exit­ing the stage. Sen­a­tors Bob Cork­er and Jeff Flake—whose run­ning con­dem­na­tions and cri­tiques have served as irri­tants to the White House, if noth­ing else—are retir­ing. And the death ear­li­er this year of Sen­a­tor John McCain stripped the par­ty of a respect­ed elder states­man who often stood up in defense of the old guard’s tra­di­tions and norms.

    Head­ing into Elec­tion Day, some com­men­ta­tors have argued that the best way to de-Trumpi­fy the GOP would be to hand the par­ty a sting­ing defeat by flip­ping con­trol of the House. That’s cer­tain­ly pos­si­ble. But the same elec­toral dynam­ics that have placed that goal with­in reach could also, coun­ter­in­tu­itive­ly enough, end up tight­en­ing Trump’s grip on the cau­cus that remains.

    With so many of this year’s cam­paign bat­tle­grounds locat­ed in sub­ur­ban dis­tricts that are trend­ing blue, it stands to rea­son that the Repub­li­cans who lose their seats Tues­day will be those whose con­stituents don’t demand absolute feal­ty to the pres­i­dent. The result, in this sce­nario, could be a small­er Repub­li­can cau­cus, yes—but one pop­u­lat­ed almost entire­ly by die-hard Trump­ists.

    As Trump has turned to cul­ture war and con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries in the final weeks of the elec­tion, estab­lish­ment groups like the Nation­al Repub­li­can Con­gres­sion­al Com­mit­tee and the Con­gres­sion­al Lead­er­ship Fund have dili­gent­ly ampli­fied his mes­sage. In some alter­na­tive polit­i­cal dimen­sion, these orga­ni­za­tions might be laser-focused on the boom­ing econ­o­my. Instead, they are run­ning attack ads link­ing Demo­c­ra­t­ic can­di­dates to Col­in Kaeper­nick, the black quar­ter­back known for kneel­ing in protest dur­ing the nation­al anthem, and warn­ing dark­ly of an immi­grant car­a­van march­ing toward the bor­der that’s alleged­ly full of crim­i­nals and gang mem­bers.

    Help­ing to shape these nar­ra­tives are pop­ulist right-wing web­sites like Bre­it­bart News, which now play an impor­tant role in any Republican’s press strat­e­gy. Not long ago, one GOP strate­gist told me, it was com­mon for can­di­dates and law­mak­ers to assign spe­cial­ized staffers to deal with these unseem­ly ele­ments of the con­ser­v­a­tive media. They were to be appeased when nec­es­sary, but kept at arm’s length. Now, he said, they’re so influ­en­tial and omnipresent that press sec­re­taries are on the phone with them every day.

    Back in 2015, The Wash­ing­ton Post pub­lished an essay adapt­ed from my book about the Repub­li­can Par­ty, in which I argued that Trump had suc­ceed­ed in the pri­maries by cir­cum­vent­ing tra­di­tion­al GOP insti­tu­tions and har­ness­ing the pow­er of what I called the “Fringe Estab­lish­ment.” At the time, it was clear that this loose coali­tion of con­ser­v­a­tive-pop­ulist media and pres­sure groups was gain­ing pow­er over par­ty leaders—but it still exist­ed out­side the respectable estab­lish­ment.

    Three years lat­er, Trump’s con­quest of the Repub­li­can Par­ty is com­plete, and the for­mer “fringe” has become so thor­ough­ly inter­twined with the “estab­lish­ment” that the two are vir­tu­al­ly indis­tin­guish­able. Trump will leave office one day, and a new gen­er­a­tion of Repub­li­cans may come along and try to dis­en­tan­gle these ele­ments. But for now, this is the par­ty that Trump built—and that’s a lega­cy that will live on past Tues­day.

    ———-

    “Trump Already Won the Midterms” by McK­ay Cop­pins; The Atlantic; 11/06/2018

    “The MAGA-fica­tion of the GOP that Trump first set in motion three years ago has con­tin­ued apace this cam­paign sea­son—with dis­loy­al Repub­li­cans get­ting pri­maried and purged, for­mer­ly fringe media out­lets gain­ing main­stream influ­ence, and key par­ty insti­tu­tions mutat­ing into weapons of pres­i­den­tial cul­ture war. There’s lit­tle sign these trends will abate with a defeat at the bal­lot box.”

    Yep, the sto­ry of the rise of Trump is the sto­ry of the rise of the ‘for­mer­ly fringe’ fac­tions of the con­ser­v­a­tive moment. Along with the sto­ry of the col­lapse of every Repub­li­can who did­n’t embrace these changes. In order to even win in a pri­ma­ry these days, Repub­li­can politi­cians basi­cal­ly com­pete to demon­strate unques­tioned loy­al­ty to Trump:

    ...
    Trump’s most vivid tri­umphs in reor­ga­niz­ing the par­ty around him­self came ear­li­er this year, dur­ing a wave of pri­ma­ry con­tests. In one race after anoth­er, more tra­di­tion­al Repub­li­cans were wiped out by the president’s imi­ta­tors and allies. Those who sur­vived did so, for the most part, by bear-hug­ging Trump and his agen­da.

    ...

    Of course, many of the vic­to­ri­ous can­di­dates like­ly would have won with­out Trump’s sup­port. But by bend­ing over back­wards to get it, they have ensured that they’ll be behold­en to the pres­i­dent once they’re in office.

    Mean­while, some of Trump’s most promi­nent Repub­li­can crit­ics in Wash­ing­ton are exit­ing the stage. Sen­a­tors Bob Cork­er and Jeff Flake—whose run­ning con­dem­na­tions and cri­tiques have served as irri­tants to the White House, if noth­ing else—are retir­ing. And the death ear­li­er this year of Sen­a­tor John McCain stripped the par­ty of a respect­ed elder states­man who often stood up in defense of the old guard’s tra­di­tions and norms.
    ...

    If the ‘Blue wave’ does mate­ri­al­ize, that’s just going to cre­ate more ‘mod­er­ate’ blood in the GOP’s waters. The ‘Blue wave’ will effec­tive­ly dou­ble as a Repub­li­can purge of any remain­ing non-Trump acolytes:

    ...
    Head­ing into Elec­tion Day, some com­men­ta­tors have argued that the best way to de-Trumpi­fy the GOP would be to hand the par­ty a sting­ing defeat by flip­ping con­trol of the House. That’s cer­tain­ly pos­si­ble. But the same elec­toral dynam­ics that have placed that goal with­in reach could also, coun­ter­in­tu­itive­ly enough, end up tight­en­ing Trump’s grip on the cau­cus that remains.

    With so many of this year’s cam­paign bat­tle­grounds locat­ed in sub­ur­ban dis­tricts that are trend­ing blue, it stands to rea­son that the Repub­li­cans who lose their seats Tues­day will be those whose con­stituents don’t demand absolute feal­ty to the pres­i­dent. The result, in this sce­nario, could be a small­er Repub­li­can cau­cus, yes—but one pop­u­lat­ed almost entire­ly by die-hard Trump­ists.

    As Trump has turned to cul­ture war and con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries in the final weeks of the elec­tion, estab­lish­ment groups like the Nation­al Repub­li­can Con­gres­sion­al Com­mit­tee and the Con­gres­sion­al Lead­er­ship Fund have dili­gent­ly ampli­fied his mes­sage. In some alter­na­tive polit­i­cal dimen­sion, these orga­ni­za­tions might be laser-focused on the boom­ing econ­o­my. Instead, they are run­ning attack ads link­ing Demo­c­ra­t­ic can­di­dates to Col­in Kaeper­nick, the black quar­ter­back known for kneel­ing in protest dur­ing the nation­al anthem, and warn­ing dark­ly of an immi­grant car­a­van march­ing toward the bor­der that’s alleged­ly full of crim­i­nals and gang mem­bers.
    ...

    And even when Trump even­tu­al­ly leaves office, the ‘for­mer­ly fringe’ media like Bre­it­bart News or Info Wars is going to remain and con­tin­ue the process of rad­i­cal­iz­ing the Repub­li­can vot­er base. The rise of Trump was pre­ced­ed by the rise of the far right ‘fringe’ media and as long as that media puts out con­tent con­ser­v­a­tive vot­ers pre­fer this par­ty is going to remain the par­ty of the now-main­streamed far right ‘fringe’:

    ...
    Help­ing to shape these nar­ra­tives are pop­ulist right-wing web­sites like Bre­it­bart News, which now play an impor­tant role in any Republican’s press strat­e­gy. Not long ago, one GOP strate­gist told me, it was com­mon for can­di­dates and law­mak­ers to assign spe­cial­ized staffers to deal with these unseem­ly ele­ments of the con­ser­v­a­tive media. They were to be appeased when nec­es­sary, but kept at arm’s length. Now, he said, they’re so influ­en­tial and omnipresent that press sec­re­taries are on the phone with them every day.

    Back in 2015, The Wash­ing­ton Post pub­lished an essay adapt­ed from my book about the Repub­li­can Par­ty, in which I argued that Trump had suc­ceed­ed in the pri­maries by cir­cum­vent­ing tra­di­tion­al GOP insti­tu­tions and har­ness­ing the pow­er of what I called the “Fringe Estab­lish­ment.” At the time, it was clear that this loose coali­tion of con­ser­v­a­tive-pop­ulist media and pres­sure groups was gain­ing pow­er over par­ty leaders—but it still exist­ed out­side the respectable estab­lish­ment.

    Three years lat­er, Trump’s con­quest of the Repub­li­can Par­ty is com­plete, and the for­mer “fringe” has become so thor­ough­ly inter­twined with the “estab­lish­ment” that the two are vir­tu­al­ly indis­tin­guish­able. Trump will leave office one day, and a new gen­er­a­tion of Repub­li­cans may come along and try to dis­en­tan­gle these ele­ments. But for now, this is the par­ty that Trump built—and that’s a lega­cy that will live on past Tues­day.
    ...

    “Three years lat­er, Trump’s con­quest of the Repub­li­can Par­ty is com­plete, and the for­mer “fringe” has become so thor­ough­ly inter­twined with the “estab­lish­ment” that the two are vir­tu­al­ly indis­tin­guish­able.”

    And this long-term change in the Repub­li­can par­ty won’t just have an impact on domes­tic US pol­i­tics and poli­cies for years to come. It also means that the US’s rep­u­ta­tion and alliances on the world stage are inevitably going to be impact­ed. ‘Amer­i­ca First’ is the Repub­li­can Par­ty’s new slo­gan, after all, and it’s hard to imag­ine that this won’t have long-term con­se­quences on the glob­al stage if one of the US’s two major par­ties makes a per­ma­nent shift in an ‘Amer­i­ca First’ direc­tion. For exam­ple, in response to Trump’s deci­sion to pull the US out of the Inter­me­di­ate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, Emmanuel Macron just reit­er­at­ed his calls for a “Euro­pean Army”. Not just on the grounds that Europe can no long view the US as a depend­able mil­i­tary ally, but also on the grounds to poten­tial­ly defend Europe against the Unit­ed States. And while Macron cit­ed Trump’s errat­ic behav­ior on the INF Treaty as his jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for this move, one of the con­se­quences of the Trumpian takeover of the hearts and minds of Repub­li­can Par­ty’s base is that there’s no rea­son to assume this kind of rogue behav­ior on the inter­na­tion­al stage is just a tem­po­rary thing spe­cif­ic to Trump. The Repub­li­can Par­ty is now the Bre­it­bart Par­ty and the Info Wars Par­ty and ‘Alt Right’ par­ty just as much as its Trump’s par­ty and these now-main­stream ‘fringe’ forces are going to out­live Trump. And when one of the major par­ties in a bipar­ti­san sys­tem ‘goes rogue’, that more or less means that coun­try is going to ‘go rogue’. So as it becomes increas­ing­ly clear that the GOP is ‘going rogue’ for the fore­see­able future, we should expect the rest of the world to respond:

    The Inde­pen­dent

    Emmanuel Macron calls for cre­ation of a ‘true Euro­pean army’ to defend against Rus­sia and the US

    French pres­i­dent makes new appeal for force in run-up to First World War Armistice cen­te­nary

    Jon Stone
    Europe Cor­re­spon­dent
    Tues­day 6 Novem­ber 2018, 09:45

    Emmanuel Macron has called for the cre­ation of a “true Euro­pean army” to allow the EU defend itself from threats rang­ing from Don­ald Trump to Vladimir Putin.

    The French pres­i­dent has pushed for clos­er EU defence union since com­ing to pow­er last year but has been so far met with lim­it­ed suc­cess amid foot-drag­ging by oth­er mem­ber states.

    “We have to pro­tect our­selves with respect to Chi­na, Rus­sia and even the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca,” Mr Macron told France’s Europe 1 radio in an inter­view.

    “When I see Pres­i­dent Trump announc­ing that he’s quit­ting a major dis­ar­ma­ment treaty which was formed after the 1980s euro-mis­sile cri­sis that hit Europe, who is the main vic­tim? Europe and its secu­ri­ty.”

    The French pres­i­dent con­tin­ued: “We will not pro­tect the Euro­peans unless we decide to have a true Euro­pean army.

    “We need a Europe which defends itself bet­ter alone, with­out just depend­ing on the Unit­ed States, in a more sov­er­eign man­ner.”

    Mr Macron was speak­ing in Ver­dun, north­east France, as part of a week-long tour of bat­tle­fields lead­ing up to First World War Armistice cen­te­nary com­mem­o­ra­tions on Sun­day.

    The French head of state will receive world lead­ers includ­ing Don­ald Trump and Vladimir Putin for com­mem­o­ra­tion cer­e­monies in Paris on Remem­brance Sun­day.

    The elec­tion of Mr Trump to the White House appears to have giv­en more urgency to the cause of boost­ing the EU’s defence capa­bil­i­ties, with lead­ers warn­ing they can­not sim­ply rely on the Unit­ed States.

    Euro­pean Com­mis­sion pres­i­dent Jean-Claude Junck­er said last year that “def­er­ence to Nato can no longer be used as a con­ve­nient ali­bi to argue against greater Euro­pean efforts”.

    France is the strongest and most vocal pro­po­nent of an EU army but Ger­many has also ten­ta­tive­ly endorsed Mr Macron’s pro­pos­als for a joint com­mand struc­ture for mil­i­tary inter­ven­tions.

    A num­ber of pro­pos­als have been put on the table for how EU nations could coop­er­ate more close­ly on defence. The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion says clos­er defence coop­er­a­tion “is not about cre­at­ing an EU army”.

    ...

    Under the new “Per­ma­nent Struc­tured Coop­er­a­tion” (Pesco) ini­tia­tive leg­is­lat­ed for in 2009 and acti­vat­ed in 2017, 25 of the 28 armed forces are in the process of step­ping up coop­er­a­tion between their mil­i­taries. Den­mark, Mal­ta and the Unit­ed King­dom have decid­ed to opt out of the vol­un­tary sys­tem.

    ———-

    “Emmanuel Macron calls for cre­ation of a ‘true Euro­pean army’ to defend against Rus­sia and the US” by Jon Stone; The Inde­pen­dent; 11/06/2018

    ““We have to pro­tect our­selves with respect to Chi­na, Rus­sia and even the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca,” Mr Macron told France’s Europe 1 radio in an inter­view.”

    Europe needs an army to pro­tect itself against Rus­sia, Chi­na, and the Unit­ed States. That was the argu­ment Macron just made to con­vince Euro­peans of the need to build a “tru­ly Euro­pean Army”, point­ing out how Trump’s deci­sion to pull out of the INF treaty actu­al­ly harmed Europe’s secu­ri­ty far more than the Unit­ed States’ secu­ri­ty (because it’s a treaty cov­er­ing inter­me­di­ate-range mis­siles). This is, of course, on top of all of the talk Trump has pre­vi­ous­ly giv­en about not respect­ing the NATO alliance:

    ...
    “When I see Pres­i­dent Trump announc­ing that he’s quit­ting a major dis­ar­ma­ment treaty which was formed after the 1980s euro-mis­sile cri­sis that hit Europe, who is the main vic­tim? Europe and its secu­ri­ty.”

    The French pres­i­dent con­tin­ued: “We will not pro­tect the Euro­peans unless we decide to have a true Euro­pean army.

    “We need a Europe which defends itself bet­ter alone, with­out just depend­ing on the Unit­ed States, in a more sov­er­eign man­ner.”
    ...

    And, of course, Emmanuel Macron is just one of the lead­ers in Europe keen­ly inter­est­ed in the cre­ation of an EU army, a move that would implic­it­ly weak­en NATO even if it did­n’t for­mal­ly dis­solve:

    ...
    The elec­tion of Mr Trump to the White House appears to have giv­en more urgency to the cause of boost­ing the EU’s defence capa­bil­i­ties, with lead­ers warn­ing they can­not sim­ply rely on the Unit­ed States.

    Euro­pean Com­mis­sion pres­i­dent Jean-Claude Junck­er said last year that “def­er­ence to Nato can no longer be used as a con­ve­nient ali­bi to argue against greater Euro­pean efforts”.

    France is the strongest and most vocal pro­po­nent of an EU army but Ger­many has also ten­ta­tive­ly endorsed Mr Macron’s pro­pos­als for a joint com­mand struc­ture for mil­i­tary inter­ven­tions.
    ...

    Recall that Angela Merkel has backed Junck­er’s EU army ini­tia­tives, so this is an idea with exten­sive high lev­el back­ing in Europe. They just need to get the pub­lic on board. And it’s hard to imag­ine a more effec­tive argu­ment lead­ers like Macron can make to con­vince the EU pub­lic that they can no long view the Unit­ed States as an ally than to point out that the Repub­li­can Par­ty has gone per­ma­nent­ly insane in the era of Trump.

    And Macron’s recent call for an EU army to poten­tial­ly defend Europe against the Unit­ed States is just one exam­ple of fray­ing alliances that we should expect as a con­se­quence of the Repub­li­can Par­ty ful­ly embrac­ing the ‘for­mer­ly fringe’ under Trump’s lead­er­ship. When Bre­it­bart and InfoWars and the ‘Alt Right’ become the guid­ing lights of one of the two major par­ty’s in the US, the US’s allies are going to take notice. And those allies have undoubt­ed­ly noticed one of the key lessons we’ve already learned from the 2018 mid-terms: Trump and the ‘for­mer­ly fringe’ own the GOP because they own the hearts and minds of the GOP’s core base. Even if Trump is impeached, that rad­i­cal­ized base will still be there in the post-Trump era of the GOP.

    So now that the 2018 mid-term elec­tion cycle has made it unam­bigu­ous­ly clear that the Repub­li­can Par­ty is offi­cial­ly the ‘F*ck You, World!’ par­ty, and there’s no rea­son to believe it isn’t going to remain the ‘F*ck You, World!” par­ty for the fore­see­able future long after Trump is gone, it’s going to be inter­est­ing to see how the rest of the world responds to that fore­see­able ‘F*ck You, World!’ future. Few­er alliances with Amer­i­ca seems like a like­ly out­come.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | November 6, 2018, 2:21 pm

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