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FTR #931 The Trumpenkampfverbande, Part 10: Echoes From the Past, Visions of the Future

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained HERE [1]. The new dri­ve is a 32-giga­byte dri­ve that is cur­rent as of the pro­grams and arti­cles post­ed by ear­ly win­ter of 2016. The new dri­ve (avail­able for a tax-deductible con­tri­bu­tion of $65.00 or more.) (The pre­vi­ous flash dri­ve was cur­rent through the end of May of 2012.)

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This broad­cast was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment [5].

Intro­duc­tion: The first pro­gram record­ed after the elec­tion of Don­ald Trump, this broad­cast updates aspects of the Trumpenkampfver­bande cov­ered in past shows and looks ahead to the gath­er­ing storm.

(We note that, for a num­ber of weeks to come, we will be read­ing into the record much of a short, excel­lent biog­ra­phy [6] of Trump by David Cay John­son. We can’t rec­om­mend the book strong­ly enough.)

Begin­ning with a clos­ing ad [7] run by the Trump cam­paign, we note its anti-Semit­ic nature: “ . . . . From a tech­ni­cal and the­mat­ic per­spec­tive it’s a well made ad. It’s also packed with anti-Semit­ic dog whis­tles, anti-Semit­ic tropes and anti-Semit­ic vocab­u­lary. I’m not even sure whether it makes sense to call them dog whis­tles. The four read­i­ly iden­ti­fi­able Amer­i­can bad guys in the ad are Hillary Clin­ton, George Soros (Jew­ish financier), Janet Yellen (Jew­ish Fed Chair) and Lloyd Blank­fein (Jew­ish Gold­man Sachs CEO). . . . This is an anti-Semit­ic ad every bit as much as the infa­mous Jesse Helms ‘white hands’ ad [8] or the Willie Hor­ton ad [9] were anti-African-Amer­i­can racist ads. Which is to say, real­ly anti-Semit­ic. You could even argue that it’s more so, giv­en cer­tain lin­guis­tic sim­i­lar­i­ties with anti-Semit­ic pro­pa­gan­da from the 1930s. But it’s not a con­test. This is an ad intend­ed to appeal to anti-Semi­tes and spread anti-Semit­ic ideas. . .”

making-of-trump [10]This comes as no sur­prise, as Trump’s cam­paign man­ag­er, Stephen K. Ban­non embod­ies the fas­cism dom­i­nant in the Trump cam­paign:  ” . . . . Trump has elec­tri­fied anti-Semi­tes and racist groups across the coun­try. His own cam­paign has repeat­ed­ly found itself speak­ing to anti-Semi­tes, tweet­ing their anti-Semit­ic memes [11], retweet­ing anti-Semi­tes [12]. His cam­paign man­ag­er, Steven Ban­non, is an anti-Semi­te. . . .”

 Much of the pro­gram focus­es on the evo­lu­tion of these forces as a Trump admin­is­tra­tion takes form:

Return­ing to sub­ject mate­r­i­al cov­ered in FTR #906 [15], the pro­gram also updates cov­er­age of the FBI’s direct inter­fer­ence in the cam­paign and the sto­ry of the pro­pa­gan­da book Clin­ton Cash, writ­ten by Koch broth­ers pro­tege and Breitbart/Bannon asso­ciate Peter Schweiz­er.

The two focal points of that pro­gram have dovetailed–Comey’s last minute inter­fer­ence in the cam­paign may well have tipped the bal­ance in favor of Trump. Many of the agents serv­ing under Comey have been moti­vat­ed by the Schweiz­er text [16]! ” . . . . In August the F.B.I. grap­pled with whether to issue sub­poe­nas in the Clin­ton Foun­da­tion case, which . . . was in its pre­lim­i­nary stages. The inves­ti­ga­tion, based in New York, had not devel­oped much evi­dence and was based most­ly on infor­ma­tion that had sur­faced in news sto­ries and the book “Clin­ton Cash,” accord­ing to sev­er­al law enforce­ment offi­cials briefed on the case. . . .”

Appar­ent­ly, the Trumpenkampfver­bande has pen­e­trat­ed the bureau [17] to an alarm­ing extent: ” . . . . ‘The FBI is Trum­p­land,’ said one cur­rent agent. . . . The cur­rent­ly serv­ing FBI agent said Clin­ton is ‘the antichrist per­son­i­fied to a large swath of FBI per­son­nel,’ and that “the rea­son why they’re leak­ing is they’re pro-Trump.’ . . .”

Tak­en in con­junc­tion with the stun­ning acquit­tal [18] of Ammon Bundy and com­pa­ny for their occu­pa­tion of the Mal­heur Nation­al Wildlife Refuge in Ore­gon, the fact of a major por­tion of the FBI work­ing for the Trumpenkampfver­bande should fright­en hon­est cit­i­zens.

Such anx­i­ety is par­tic­u­lar­ly well-found­ed since Trump is appar­ent­ly com­pil­ing an ene­mies list [19].

In FTR #930 [20], we exam­ined links between Alfa Bank and the Trump cam­paign [21]. Far from being “Putin/Russia/Kremlin,” this is part and par­cel to the Ger­man Ost­poli­tik we dis­cussed in FTR #‘s 918 [22] and 919 [23]. PLEASE exam­ine the pro­grams and descrip­tions to flesh out your under­stand­ing. Dis­missed as invalid by the FBI and the media, the Alfa/Trump con­nec­tion not only appears sol­id, but the links [24] between Alfa and Marc Rich [25] on the one hand, and James Comey’s inves­ti­ga­tions [26] of Marc Rich and Bill Clin­ton’s par­don of Rich may well have influ­enced the FBI’s non-inves­ti­ga­tion of the Trump/Alfa link. Again some of the main con­sid­er­a­tions in this regard:

One won­ders if the Comey/Rich inves­ti­ga­tions link may have influ­enced James Comey’s uncon­scionable announce­ment days before the elec­tion about a new inves­ti­ga­tion of the Hillary Clin­ton e‑mail non-scan­dal?

Pro­gram High­lights Include:

1a. Trump’s last major cam­paign ad was overt­ly anti-Semit­ic.

“ . . . . From a tech­ni­cal and the­mat­ic per­spec­tive it’s a well made ad. It’s also packed with anti-Semit­ic dog whis­tles, anti-Semit­ic tropes and anti-Semit­ic vocab­u­lary. I’m not even sure whether it makes sense to call them dog whis­tles. The four read­i­ly iden­ti­fi­able Amer­i­can bad guys in the ad are Hillary Clin­ton, George Soros (Jew­ish financier), Janet Yellen (Jew­ish Fed Chair) and Lloyd Blank­fein (Jew­ish Gold­man Sachs CEO). . . .

“Trump Rolls Out Anti-Semit­ic Clos­ing Ad” by Josh Mar­shall; Talk­ing Points Memo Editor’s Blog ; 11/5/2016. [7]

Take a moment to look at this clos­ing ad from Don­ald Trump.

From a tech­ni­cal and the­mat­ic per­spec­tive it’s a well made ad. It’s also packed with anti-Semit­ic dog whis­tles, anti-Semit­ic tropes and anti-Semit­ic vocab­u­lary. I’m not even sure whether it makes sense to call them dog whis­tles. The four read­i­ly iden­ti­fi­able Amer­i­can bad guys in the ad are Hillary Clin­ton, George Soros (Jew­ish financier), Janet Yellen (Jew­ish Fed Chair) and Lloyd Blank­fein (Jew­ish Gold­man Sachs CEO).

The Trump nar­ra­tion imme­di­ate­ly pre­ced­ing Soros and Yellin pro­ceeds as fol­lows: “The estab­lish­ment has tril­lions of dol­lars at stake in this elec­tion. For those who con­trol the levers of pow­er in Wash­ing­ton [start Soros] and for the glob­al [start Yellen] spe­cial inter­ests [stop Yellen]. They part­ner with these peo­ple [start Clin­ton] who don’t have your good in mind.”

For Blank­fein: “It’s a glob­al pow­er struc­ture that is respon­si­ble for the eco­nom­ic deci­sions that have robbed our work­ing class, stripped our coun­try of its wealth and put that mon­ey into the [start Blankein] pock­ets of a hand­ful of large cor­po­ra­tions [stop Blank­fein] and polit­i­cal enti­ties.”

These are stan­dard anti-Semit­ic themes and sto­ry­lines, using estab­lished anti-Semit­ic vocab­u­lary lined up with high pro­file Jews as the only Amer­i­cans oth­er than Clin­ton who are appar­ent­ly rel­e­vant to the sto­ry. As you can see by my tran­scrip­tion, the Jews come up to punc­tu­ate spe­cif­ic key phras­es. Soros: “those who con­trol the levers of pow­er in Wash­ing­ton”; Yellen “glob­al spe­cial inter­ests”; Blank­fein “put mon­ey into the pock­ets of hand­ful of large cor­po­ra­tions.”

This is an anti-Semit­ic ad every bit as much as the infa­mous Jesse Helms ‘white hands’ ad [8] or the Willie Hor­ton ad [9] were anti-African-Amer­i­can racist ads. Which is to say, real­ly anti-Semit­ic. You could even argue that it’s more so, giv­en cer­tain lin­guis­tic sim­i­lar­i­ties with anti-Semit­ic pro­pa­gan­da from the 1930s. But it’s not a con­test. This is an ad intend­ed to appeal to anti-Semi­tes and spread anti-Semit­ic ideas. That’s the only stan­dard that real­ly mat­ters.

This is inten­tion­al and by design. It is no acci­dent.

Trump has elec­tri­fied anti-Semi­tes and racist groups across the coun­try. His own cam­paign has repeat­ed­ly found itself speak­ing to anti-Semi­tes, tweet­ing their anti-Semit­ic memes [11], retweet­ing anti-Semi­tes [12]. His cam­paign man­ag­er, Steven Ban­non, is an anti-Semi­te. The Bre­it­bart News site he ran and will con­tin­ue run­ning after the cam­paign has become increas­ing­ly open in the last year with anti-Semit­ic attacks and pol­i­tics [32].

Beyond that, this shouldn’t sur­prise us for a broad­er rea­son. Author­i­tar­i­an, xeno­pho­bic polit­i­cal move­ments, which the Trump cam­paign unques­tion­ably is, are dri­ven by trib­al­ism and ‘us vs them’ exclu­sion of out­siders. This may begin with oth­er groups – Mex­i­can immi­grants, African-Amer­i­cans, Mus­lims. It almost always comes around to Jews.

1b. In our dis­cus­sion of the Trumpenkampfver­bande, we have not­ed that what we have called the Under­ground Reich is now com­ing into plain view and trans­formed into a mass move­ment. That move­ment has now tri­umphed. The New York Times had a few thoughts on Trump’s extrem­ist sup­port­ers.

“Even if Trump Los­es, His Can­di­da­cy Has Embold­ened Extrem­ist Sup­port­ers” by Jonathan Mahler and Julie Turke­witz; The New York Times; 11/7/2016. [13]

. . . . “Trump has shown that our mes­sage is healthy, nor­mal and organ­ic — and mil­lions of Amer­i­cans agree with us,” said Matthew M. Heim­bach, a co-founder of the Tra­di­tion­al­ist Youth Net­work, a white nation­al­ist group that claims to sup­port the inter­ests of work­ing-class whites. It also advo­cates the sep­a­ra­tion of the races.

What­ev­er hap­pens on Nov. 8, Mr. Trump’s can­di­da­cy has brought groups like Mr. Heimbach’s out of the shad­ows, and they say they have no inten­tion of return­ing.

“For racists in this coun­try, this cam­paign has been a com­plete affir­ma­tion of their fears, wor­ries, dreams and hopes,” said Ryan Lenz, the edi­tor of the Hate­watch blog at the South­ern Pover­ty Law Cen­ter, which tracks such groups from its head­quar­ters in Mont­gomery, Ala. “Most things they believe have been legit­imized, or have been giv­en the stamp of approval, by main­stream Amer­i­can pol­i­tics to the point now where it’s no longer shame­ful to be a racist.”

The biggest ben­e­fi­cia­ry may well be the so-called alt-right, the once obscure and now ascen­dant white nation­al­ist move­ment with close ties to Bre­it­bart News, the web­site oper­at­ed by Mr. Trump’s cam­paign man­ag­er, Stephen K. Ban­non. . . .

. . . . In short, they say they believe that Mr. Trump’s cam­paign has turned them into a force that the Repub­li­can estab­lish­ment can­not ignore.

“What you can’t say is that we’re just a bunch of mar­gin­al loons,” Mr. Spencer said. “The truth is that we have a deep­er con­nec­tion with the Trumpian forces and Trumpian pop­ulism than the main­stream con­ser­v­a­tives do. They’re going to have to deal with us.” . . . .

. . . . To mem­bers of the alt-right, Mr. Trump is a trans­for­ma­tive fig­ure. It has been a long time since a main­stream politi­cian, let alone a pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee, talked about the mass depor­ta­tion of undoc­u­ment­ed immi­grants and warned about “inter­na­tion­al banks” plot­ting “the destruc­tion of U.S. sov­er­eign­ty.” Mr. Trump has giv­en them the legit­i­ma­cy they long craved. . . .

. . . . “I basi­cal­ly agree with every­thing Don­ald Trump advo­cates,” Mr. Anglin wrote in an email. He went on to say Mr. Trump has made it “social­ly accept­able” to talk about thing that were once off lim­its, such as “the glob­al­ist Jew­ish agen­da.” . . .

3a. Richard Burt is a mem­ber of Alfa’s senior advi­so­ry coun­cil. He’s also a lob­by­ist for the Nord Stream II pipeline, which will send nat­ur­al gas from Rus­sia to Ger­many via the Baltic Sea, bypass­ing Ukraine and Belarus. Burt is craft­ing Trump’s for­eign pol­i­cy. [33]

In FTR #930 [20], we exam­ined links between Alfa and the Trump cam­paign. Far from being “Putin/Russia/Kremlin,” this is part and par­cel to the Ger­man Ost­poli­tik we dis­cussed in FTR #‘s 918 [22] and 919 [23]. PLEASE exam­ine the pro­grams and descrip­tions to flesh out your under­stand­ing.

“Trump and Rus­sia: All the Mogul’s Men” by James Miller; The Dai­ly Beast; 11/07/2016. [33]

Why do so many of Trump’s cam­paign staffers have dodgy ties to Russ­ian ener­gy com­pa­nies or Russ­ian state clients? . . . .


Richard Burt is the chair­man of the advi­so­ry coun­cil for The Nation­al Inter­est, the in-house jour­nal of the Cen­ter for the Nation­al Inter­est, where Trump deliv­ered his maid­en for­eign-pol­i­cy speech last April. He is also a mem­ber of the senior advi­so­ry board of Russia’s Alfa Bank, a major Moscow finan­cial insti­tu­tion which, thus far, has escaped West­ern sanc­tions over the war in Ukraine.

Burt was recruit­ed by Paul Man­afort to help the Trump cam­paign write a speech that tried to define his for­eign-pol­i­cy vision. Burt has also repeat­ed­ly defend­ed Trump’s for­eign-pol­i­cy ideas, includ­ing dur­ing peri­ods of time when Trump was under attack for not hav­ing enough sup­port from well-respect­ed for­eign-pol­i­cy experts.enough sup­port from well-respect­ed for­eign-pol­i­cy experts [34]

On Oct. 31, reporter Franklin Foer broke the sto­ry that a group of cyber­se­cu­ri­ty experts had tracked reg­u­lar inter­net [35] com­mu­ni­ca­tions between Don­ald Trump’s orga­ni­za­tion and Alfa Bank.

Accord­ing to experts inter­viewed by Foer, Trump’s orga­ni­za­tion reg­is­tered a serv­er in 2009 that was most­ly respon­si­ble for send­ing mass emails. Recent­ly, how­ev­er, the server’s traf­fic was reduced to a sus­pi­cious­ly small amount of data—smaller than what a sin­gle per­son would receive via email in a sin­gle day. The serv­er appears to have been designed to allow com­mu­ni­ca­tions only between Trump’s orga­ni­za­tion and two oth­er orga­ni­za­tions, with 87 per­cent of those com­mu­ni­ca­tions tak­ing place with one of two servers belong­ing to Alfa Bank.

Alarm­ing­ly, the com­mu­ni­ca­tions pat­terns appeared to many experts who spoke with Foer to be human-to-human com­mu­ni­ca­tion, rather than auto­mat­ed mail. But the fre­quen­cy of the mes­sages also seemed to cor­re­spond to the news cycle’s focus on the con­nec­tion between Trump and Rus­sia. Fur­ther­more, after jour­nal­ists con­tact­ed Alfa Bank, Trump’s serv­er was shut down, poten­tial­ly indi­cat­ing that Alfa warned Trump’s office that the serv­er was fac­ing scruti­ny. Four days lat­er, a new serv­er was set up by the Trump orga­ni­za­tion.

Both Alfa and the Trump cam­paign deny that Trump’s com­put­ers [36] were in con­tact with the Russ­ian bank.

The FBI report­ed­ly spent weeks inves­ti­gat­ing these alle­ga­tions but con­clud­ed that there could be oth­er expla­na­tions for the com­mu­ni­ca­tions, includ­ing mass mar­ket­ing or spam emails [37]. It remains unclear whether the FBI was able to use the exis­tence of these com­mu­ni­ca­tions to obtain a war­rant. It is pos­si­ble that this is noth­ing more than spam emails sent between two large finan­cial insti­tu­tions.

Burt, how­ev­er, has oth­er ties to the Russ­ian gov­ern­ment that are con­cern­ing.

Accord­ing to Politi­co, he was paid $365,000 in the first half of 2016 for work he did to lob­by for the build­ing of a new nat­ur­al-gas pipeline, Nord Stream II, which would sup­ply more gas to Europe while bypass­ing Ukraine and Belarus. The plan is opposed by the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion and the Pol­ish gov­ern­ment because it would allow Rus­sia to fur­ther inter­fere in the inter­nal domes­tic pol­i­tics of Ukraine with­out fear that Ukraine could cut off Russia’s gas sup­plies or take the gas for itself. At the start of 2016, the Russ­ian state ener­gy giant Gazprom owned 50 per­cent of the com­pa­ny that wants to build the pipeline, but since the Euro­pean part­ners have pulled out, Gazprom now owns 100 per­cent.

All in all, Burt’s major con­tri­bu­tion to the Trump cam­paign is evi­dent in that first major for­eign-pol­i­cy address, which set the stage for greater eco­nom­ic, polit­i­cal, and mil­i­tary coop­er­a­tion between the U.S. and Rus­sia.

3b. As not­ed above, one of Alfa’s senior advi­sors is the guy behind Trump’s for­eign pol­i­cy vision. He is also a lob­by­ist for a major Russian/German pipeline. The pipeline that is cur­rent­ly 100 per­cent owned by Gazprom, but was 50 per­cent owned by Euro­pean investors until they all pulled out of the project in August after a Pol­ish reg­u­la­to­ry agency raised antitrust ques­tions about the project [38]. That’s an impor­tant point because, while the focus in on Burt’s ties to Rus­sia, he was lob­by­ing for Nord Stream II. In that ontext he was lob­by­ing for Euro­pean giants like [39]BASF (for­mer­ly a mem­ber of I.G. Far­ben), E.ON, ENGIE, OMV, and Shell too. [40]

It’s also with not­ing that Burt was a for­mer US ambas­sador to Ger­many [30]:

“Lob­by­ist Advised Trump Cam­paign while Pro­mot­ing Russ­ian Pipeline” by Ben Schreckinger and Julia Ioffe; Politi­co; 10/07/2016. [30]

Richard Burt helped shape the candidate’s first for­eign-pol­i­cy speech while lob­by­ing on behalf of a Moscow-con­trolled gas com­pa­ny.

A Repub­li­can lob­by­ist was earn­ing hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars to pro­mote one of Vladimir Putin’s top geopo­lit­i­cal pri­or­i­ties at the same time he was help­ing to shape Don­ald Trump’s first major for­eign pol­i­cy speech.

In the first two quar­ters of 2016, the firm of for­mer Rea­gan admin­is­tra­tion offi­cial Richard Burt received $365,000 for work he and a col­league did to lob­by for a pro­posed nat­ur­al-gas pipeline owned by a firm con­trolled by the Russ­ian gov­ern­ment, accord­ing to con­gres­sion­al [41] lob­by­ing [42] dis­clo­sures [42] reviewed by POLITICO. The pipeline, opposed by the Pol­ish gov­ern­ment and the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion, would com­ple­ment the orig­i­nal Nord Stream, allow­ing more Russ­ian gas to reach cen­tral and west­ern Euro­pean mar­kets while bypass­ing Ukraine and Belarus, extend­ing Putin’s lever­age over Europe.

Burt’s lob­by­ing work for New Euro­pean Pipeline AG, the com­pa­ny behind the pipeline known as Nord Stream II, began in Feb­ru­ary. At the time, the Russ­ian state-owned oil giant Gazprom owned a 50 per­cent stake in New Euro­pean Pipeline AG. In August, five Euro­pean part­ners pulled out and Gazprom now owns 100 per­cent.

This spring, Burt helped shape Trump’s first major for­eign pol­i­cy address, accord­ing to Burt and oth­er sources. Burt rec­om­mend­ed that Trump take a more “real­ist,” less inter­ven­tion­ist approach to world affairs, as first report­ed by Reuters [43]. Trump’s April 27 speech sound­ed those themes and called for greater coop­er­a­tion with Rus­sia.

All the while, Burt con­tin­ued to be paid for his Nord Stream II lob­by­ing work, which is ongo­ing. Asked about the simul­ta­ne­ous lob­by­ing and advis­ing, both sides down­played the rela­tion­ship.

“We have no knowl­edge of this,” wrote Trump spokes­woman Hope Hicks in an email. “In fact, our team can­not ver­i­fy his self-pro­claimed con­tri­bu­tions to Mr. Trump’s speech and, I don’t believe Mr. Trump or our pol­i­cy staff has ever met Mr. Burt. To our knowl­edge he had no input in the speech and has had no con­tact with our pol­i­cy team.”

For his part, Burt, a for­mer Rea­gan State Depart­ment offi­cial and U.S. ambas­sador to Ger­many, said he does not con­sid­er him­self an advis­er to the cam­paign and that he would pro­vide Hillary Clin­ton with advice if asked. Burt said that while he has dis­cussed Trump with Russ­ian offi­cials, his work for Nord Stream II has only involved con­tact with the project’s Euro­pean staff in Zug, Switzer­land. He said his firm, McLar­ty Asso­ciates – head­ed by for­mer Pres­i­dent Bill Clinton’s ex-chief of staff Mack McLar­ty – was referred the Nord Stream II work by a finan­cial PR firm in New York.

Accord­ing to con­gres­sion­al dis­clo­sures signed by Burt and anoth­er mem­ber of the firm, the lob­by­ing work con­sists of “mon­i­tor­ing and sup­ple­ment­ing Wash­ing­ton dis­cus­sion of EU ener­gy secu­ri­ty.”

Ini­tial­ly, when asked about his input on the Trump cam­paign, Burt said it was lim­it­ed to input on the April speech.

Burt’s con­nec­tions to Rus­sia go back many decades. In 1989, for­mer Pres­i­dent George H.W. Bush appoint­ed Burt to nego­ti­ate the Strate­gic Arms Reduc­tion Treaty with the USSR, which was con­clud­ed in 1991. In recent years, the 69-year-old Burt said he has advised Russia’s Alfa Bank, and he con­tin­ues to work with the bank’s co-founder, Mikhail Frid­man. Burt has also reg­is­tered for recent lob­by­ing work on behalf of the Ukrain­ian con­struc­tion firm TMM [44], the Pol­ish gov­ern­ment-owned air­line LOT [45]and the Cap­i­tal Bank of Jor­dan [46].

Russia’s incur­sions in Ukraine, as well as its stepped-up efforts to under­mine West­ern democ­ra­cies and the Euro­pean Union by fund­ing fringe nation­al­ist par­ties and dis­in­for­ma­tion cam­paigns, have stiff­ened resis­tance to Nord Stream II. In Amer­i­can for­eign pol­i­cy cir­cles, Burt’s work on behalf of the pipeline is a source of con­ster­na­tion.

The pipeline would under­mine Poland’s hopes of devel­op­ing its own shale gas sec­tor, and it would strength­en Europe’s depen­dence on Rus­sia as its main provider of ener­gy. Unlike an exist­ing pipeline, Nord Stream II would bypass Ukraine and Belarus, two for­mer Sovi­et republics, thus dimin­ish­ing their impor­tance to Europe and help­ing to keep them with­in Moscow’s sphere of influ­ence.

Burt is not alone in his ties to Russia’s state oil giant. Carter Page, whom Trump named as a for­eign pol­i­cy advis­er in March, has said he advised Gazprom on some of its biggest deals from 2004 to 2007, when he lived in Moscow. In Sep­tem­ber, after months of scruti­ny from the press, Con­gress, and Amer­i­can intel­li­gence offi­cials, Page said he had final­ly divest­ed him­self of a stake he held in Gazprom.

In recent years, the Krem­lin has made influ­enc­ing West­ern think tanks a more promi­nent com­po­nent of its soft pow­er strat­e­gy. And in recent weeks, Burt has gone to work on the think tank cir­cuit, pitch­ing the pipeline in pri­vate ses­sions in Wash­ing­ton and Europe.

“He’s a tremen­dous­ly sophis­ti­cat­ed oper­a­tor. He comes across as a tremen­dous­ly pol­ished, knowl­edge­able doyen of the for­eign ser­vice,” said a per­son who wit­nessed Burt sell the pipeline at a meet­ing at the Atlantic Coun­cil last month and spoke on the con­di­tion of anonymi­ty because the ses­sion was meant to remain pri­vate. “There are huge holes in what he’s say­ing, but I can imag­ine that to many con­gress­men, sen­a­tors and offi­cials, it’s all very con­vinc­ing.”

Burt described his work on behalf of Nord Stream II as, “Mak­ing sure the client under­stands what’s going on in the debate here and pro­vid­ing infor­ma­tion to peo­ple in the admin­is­tra­tion on Nord Stream’s views.”

“If we want to speak to peo­ple in the Unit­ed States, he helps us set up meet­ings with peo­ple,” said Jens Mueller, a spokesman for the pipeline project, who said the meet­ings were with “the nor­mal stake­hold­ers involved in the debate: think tanks, embassies.” He said only Burt’s firm is work­ing on the pipeline’s behalf in the Unit­ed States.

3c. Note that the above arti­cle described Burt’s work as lob­by­ing Wash­ing­ton DC, pre­sum­ably because of US oppo­si­tion to the pipeline, and that, until the recent pull out of Euro­pean investors, the Ger­man gov­ern­ment had been a staunch defend­er of the pipeline over grow­ing crit­i­cism as ten­sions between the West and Rus­sia grew and sanc­tions were put in place [47]. All in all, it’s not hard to see why he was cho­sen to be a Rus­sia-to-Ger­many nat­ur­al gas pipeline lob­by­ist. Burt was Reagan’s ambas­sador from 1985 to 1989, dur­ing the pre­lim­i­nary stages for Ger­man reuni­fi­ca­tion [31].

Sum­ming up: one of the fig­ures craft­ing Don­ald Trump’s for­eign pol­i­cy vision is Reagan’s for­mer ambas­sador to Ger­many, cur­rent­ly a senior advi­sor to Alfa and a lob­by­ist for a Rus­sia-to-Ger­many pipeline that, until recent­ly, had major Ger­many ener­gy com­pa­nies as investors and back­ing by the Ger­many gov­ern­ment.

Again, we see Trump as a her­ald of Ger­man Ost­poli­tik. He is not a “Russian/Kremlin/Putin” dupe/agent of any kind.

FTR #‘s 918 [22], 919 [23], 929 [48] go into this at length.

“Richard R. Burt Senior Advis­er (Non-res­i­dent)”; Cen­ter for Strate­gic & Inter­na­tion­al Stud­ies [31]

Richard Burt serves as senior advis­er to CSIS. He is chair­man of Inter­na­tion­al Equi­ty Part­ners, a Wash­ing­ton-based invest­ment bank­ing and advi­so­ry ser­vices firm focus­ing on devel­op­ment and con­sult­ing in major emerg­ing mar­kets. Before leav­ing gov­ern­ment, Burt served as ambas­sador and chief nego­tia­tor in the Strate­gic Arms Reduc­tion Talks (START) with the for­mer Sovi­et Union, and as U.S. ambas­sador to the Fed­er­al Repub­lic of Ger­many from 1985 to 1989, dur­ing the pre­lim­i­nary stages of Ger­man reuni­fi­ca­tion. Before serv­ing in Ger­many, he was assis­tant sec­re­tary of state for Euro­pean and Cana­di­an affairs from 1983 to 1985. Burt has also worked as the nation­al secu­ri­ty cor­re­spon­dent for the New York Times and at the Inter­na­tion­al Insti­tute for Strate­gic Stud­ies in Lon­don.

3d. No soon­er was Trump elect­ed than Jean-Claude Junck­er, the head of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion, renewed his call for an all-EU army. In FTR #‘s 918 [22], 919 [23], 929 [48], we opined that this was a major goal of the Trumpehkampfver­bande. Nigel Farage’s “Brex­it” removed a major obsta­cle to the cre­ation of an EU army. Farage is also a sup­port­er of Trump and a col­league of Trump cam­paign chief Stephen K. Ban­non.

Note that Jean-Claude Junck­er has deep con­nec­tions to the Under­ground Reich, as dis­cussed in FTR #802 [49].

“EU Chief Mounts Fresh Call for Euro­pean Army Claim­ing ‘Amer­i­cans Won’t Pro­tect Us For­ev­er” by Dave Burke; Dai­ly Mail; 11/10/2016. [50]

Don­ald Trump’s elec­tion as US Pres­i­dent has sparked fresh call for an EU army, amid a warn­ing that the con­ti­nent will not always be able to rely on Amer­i­can pro­tec­tion.

The pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion, Jean-Claude Junck­er, voiced his con­cerns after the Republican’s sur­prise vic­to­ry was announced.

He said a ‘com­mu­ni­ty of defence’ is required.

Junck­er said: ‘We need more secu­ri­ty in Europe, and I do not mean just the anti-ter­ror fight.

‘Talk­ing about secu­ri­ty we need a dif­fer­ent way of orga­niz­ing a Euro­pean defense.’

He said that the French Nation­al Assem­bly pre­vent­ed a pro­posed Euro­pean com­mu­ni­ty of defence being cre­at­ed in 1954 – a move that could have seen an army cre­at­ed, but was reject­ed amid con­cerns about nation­al sov­er­eign­ty.

Junck­er said: ‘We need it now. The idea that the Amer­i­cans will eter­nal­ly see to… Euro­pean secu­ri­ty is not true.

‘Inde­pen­dent of the out­come of the US elec­tion, the Amer­i­cans will not see to Europe’s secu­ri­ty for­ev­er. We have to do it our­selves.

‘And this is why we need a new approach to the Euro­pean com­mu­ni­ty of defense, includ­ing a Euro­pean army.’

In July, Trump cast doubts over his com­mit­ment to Nato agree­ments, telling the New York Times: ‘We have many Nato mem­bers that aren’t pay­ing their bills.’

And he added: ‘You can’t for­get the bills. They have an oblig­a­tion to make pay­ments.

‘Many NATO nations are not mak­ing pay­ments, are not mak­ing what they’re sup­posed to make. That’s a big thing. You can’t say for­get that.’

His com­ments echo remarks made by Ger­man Defence Min­is­ter Ursu­la von der Leyen, who has called on the EU should match Nato.

She declared she was in ‘deep shock’ after Trump’s win, say­ing the Pres­i­dent-elect has cast doubt on Nato’s mutu­al defence pact. . . .

. . . . British Defence Sec­re­tary Michael Fal­lon rub­bished the idea of a shared Euro­pean army last month, stat­ing: ‘We con­tin­ue to oppose any new mil­i­tary struc­ture that would intro­duce a sec­ond lay­er of com­mand and con­trol. Com­mand and con­trol is a mat­ter for the mil­i­tary, it is a mat­ter for Nato.

4. In FTR #906 [15], we not­ed the use of the book Clin­ton Cash to stoke the anti-Clin­ton media fires. We also not­ed FBI direc­tor James Comey’s par­ti­san func­tion as head of the FBI–Comey was a sup­port­er of Mitt Rom­ney in 2012.

It turns out the FBI field agents who have been aggres­sive­ly push­ing the FBI to inves­ti­gate the Clin­ton Foun­da­tion we’re bas­ing their sus­pi­cions on “Clin­ton Cash”, the dis­cred­it­ed book writ­ten by Breitbart’s edi­tor-at-large [16]:

“FBI Takes a Page from Bre­it­bart: Far-right “Clin­ton Cash” Book Used in Foun­da­tion Inves­ti­ga­tion” by Gary Legum; Salon; 11/03/2016. [16]

The New York Times report on the FBI’s Clin­ton Foun­da­tion inves­ti­ga­tion reveals a pret­ty sketchy infor­ma­tion source

The Fed­er­al Bureau of Inves­ti­ga­tion has gone full Bre­it­bart.

OK, not real­ly. But this nugget from a New York Times sto­ry [51] on how the bureau kept two inves­ti­ga­tions under wraps this sum­mer so as not to appear to be med­dling in the pres­i­den­tial cam­paign could lead you to won­der.

In August . . . the F.B.I. grap­pled with whether to issue sub­poe­nas in the Clin­ton Foun­da­tion case, which . . . was in its pre­lim­i­nary stages. The inves­ti­ga­tion, based in New York, had not devel­oped much evi­dence and was based most­ly on infor­ma­tion that had sur­faced in news sto­ries and the book “Clin­ton Cash,” accord­ing to sev­er­al law enforce­ment offi­cials briefed on the case.

Oh, neat, “Clin­ton Cash,” the par­ti­san hit job pub­lished last year by Breitbart’s edi­tor-at-large, Peter Schweiz­er, and lat­er adapt­ed into a doc­u­men­tary [52] that was exec­u­tive pro­duced by for­mer Bre­it­bart chair­man and cur­rent Trump cam­paign CEO Stephen Ban­non. Next the FBI will tell us that Roger Stone was the spe­cial agent in charge of the inves­ti­ga­tion.

If you have for­got­ten about “Clin­ton Cash,” Dig­by laid out a nice case against it and Schweiz­er [53]. The short ver­sion is that the book was one in a long, long line of thin­ly sourced tales about the Clin­tons that have made mil­lions of dol­lars for var­i­ous right-wing writ­ers and pub­lish­ing hous­es since the ear­ly 1990s. For that mat­ter, these tales sold a lot of copies of the Times as well, when it went all in chas­ing White­wa­ter sto­ries ear­ly in Bill Clinton’s pres­i­den­cy.

“Clin­ton Cash,” pub­lished just as Hillary Clin­ton was announc­ing her own cam­paign for the pres­i­den­cy, is an obvi­ous effort to cash in ear­ly to what will like­ly be four to eight years’ worth of sala­cious and worth­less inves­ti­ga­tions of her upcom­ing admin­is­tra­tion. It imme­di­ate­ly ran into the same prob­lem that dozens of anti-Clin­ton books have encoun­tered over the years: It con­tained more bull­shit [54] than a waste pond on a cat­tle ranch. The pub­lish­er had to make revi­sions [55] to the book’s lat­er edi­tions. Schweiz­er was forced to admit [56] in both inter­views and in the con­clu­sion of his book that he had not quite made the case he was try­ing to present.

Senior FBI and Jus­tice Depart­ment offi­cials came to the same con­clu­sion, much to the appar­ent dis­sat­is­fac­tion of some agents, as the Times report­ed:

In meet­ings, the Jus­tice Depart­ment and senior F.B.I. offi­cials agreed that mak­ing the Clin­ton Foun­da­tion inves­ti­ga­tion pub­lic could influ­ence the pres­i­den­tial race and sug­gest they were favor­ing Mr. Trump. . . . They agreed to keep the case open but wait until after the elec­tion to deter­mine their next steps. The move infu­ri­at­ed some agents, who thought that the F.B.I.’s lead­ers were rein­ing them in because of pol­i­tics.

And if it can’t get the GOP what it wants? Just this week Rep. Eli­jah Cum­mings, rank­ing Demo­c­rat on the House Over­sight Com­mit­tee, men­tioned the pres­sure that Repub­li­cans on the com­mit­tee have been putting on the FBI [57] to turn up some­thing — any­thing — on Hillary Clin­ton regard­ing her pri­vate email serv­er and sug­gest­ed the GOP is going to start inves­ti­gat­ing the bureau and its direc­tor, James Comey, over the agency’s fail­ure.

This lat­est blowup is sim­ply the newest chap­ter in bet­ter than two decades of Repub­li­cans co-opt­ing the FBI and oth­er inves­tiga­tive agen­cies in ser­vice of chas­ing what­ev­er dark Clin­ton­ian shad­ows they can con­jure from the fever swamps of right-wing media and web­sites. No charge is too spu­ri­ous or absurd, which is how the nation wound up with the specter in the 1990s of a Repub­li­can con­gress­man shoot­ing can­taloupes in his back­yard [58] to “prove” that Vince Fos­ter could not have com­mit­ted sui­cide.

It is not new, of course, for right-wing dem­a­gogues to use the FBI [59] to chase down false and inflam­ma­to­ry garbage. But even with its his­to­ry, one of the ways the bureau main­tains legit­i­ma­cy as an insti­tu­tion is by giv­ing the appear­ance of a non­par­ti­san actor. If its agents are so deter­mined to base inves­ti­ga­tions on right-wing con jobs that their boss­es do have to rein them in, then it will lose what­ev­er moral author­i­ty it wants to claim.

5. The FBI is appar­ent­ly heav­i­ly pop­u­lat­ed with extreme par­ti­sans of the Trumpenkampfver­bande.

” . . . . The cur­rent­ly serv­ing FBI agent said Clin­ton is ‘the antichrist per­son­i­fied to a large swath of FBI per­son­nel,’ and that ‘the rea­son why they’re leak­ing is they’re pro-Trump.’ . . .”

 “‘The FBI is Trum­p­land’: Anti-Clin­ton Atmos­phere Spurred Leaks, Sources Say” by Spencer Ack­er­man; The Guardian ; 11/3/2016. [17]

High­ly unfa­vor­able view of Hillary Clin­ton inten­si­fied after James Comey’s deci­sion not to rec­om­mend an indict­ment over her use of a pri­vate email serv­er

Thurs­day 3 Novem­ber 2016 14.02 EDT Last mod­i­fied on Thurs­day 3 Novem­ber 2016 16.26 EDT

Deep antipa­thy to Hillary Clin­ton exists with­in the FBI, mul­ti­ple bureau sources have told the Guardian, spurring a rapid series of leaks dam­ag­ing to her cam­paign just days before the elec­tion.

Cur­rent and for­mer FBI offi­cials, none of whom were will­ing or cleared to speak on the record, have described a chaot­ic inter­nal cli­mate that result­ed from out­rage over direc­tor James Comey’s July deci­sion not to rec­om­mend an indict­ment over Clinton’s main­te­nance of a pri­vate email serv­er on which clas­si­fied infor­ma­tion tran­sit­ed.

“The FBI is Trum­p­land,” said one cur­rent agent.

This atmos­phere rais­es major ques­tions about how Comey and the bureau he is slat­ed to run for the next sev­en years can work with Clin­ton should she win the White House.

The cur­rent­ly serv­ing FBI agent said Clin­ton is “the antichrist per­son­i­fied to a large swath of FBI per­son­nel,” and that “the rea­son why they’re leak­ing is they’re pro-Trump.”

The agent called the bureau “Trum­p­lan­dia”, with some col­leagues open­ly dis­cussing vot­ing for a GOP nom­i­nee who has gar­nered unprece­dent­ed con­dem­na­tion [60] from the party’s nation­al secu­ri­ty wing and who has pledged to jail Clin­ton [61] if elect­ed.

At the same time, oth­er sources dis­pute the depth of sup­port for Trump with­in the bureau, though they uni­form­ly stat­ed that Clin­ton is viewed high­ly unfa­vor­ably.

“There are lots of peo­ple who don’t think Trump is qual­i­fied, but also believe Clin­ton is cor­rupt. What you hear a lot is that it’s a bad choice, between an incom­pe­tent and a cor­rupt politi­cian,” said a for­mer FBI offi­cial.

Sources who dis­put­ed the depth of Trump’s inter­nal sup­port agreed that the FBI is now in par­lous polit­i­cal ter­ri­to­ry. Jus­tice depart­ment offi­cials – anoth­er cur­rent tar­get of FBI dis­sat­is­fac­tion – have said the bureau dis­re­gard­ed long­stand­ing rules [62] against per­ceived or actu­al elec­toral inter­fer­ence when Comey wrote to Con­gress to say it was review­ing new­ly dis­cov­ered emails [63] relat­ing to Clinton’s per­son­al serv­er.

Comey’s vague let­ter to Con­gress, prompt­ly leaked [64]by Repub­li­can con­gress­man Jason Chaf­fetz, said the bureau would eval­u­ate com­mu­ni­ca­tions – sub­se­quent­ly iden­ti­fied as com­ing from a device used by dis­graced ex-con­gress­man Antho­ny Wein­er, whose estranged wife Huma Abe­din is a Clin­ton aide – for con­nec­tions to the Clin­ton serv­er. Comey’s allies say he was placed in an impos­si­ble posi­tion after pre­vi­ous­ly tes­ti­fy­ing to Con­gress it would take an extra­or­di­nary devel­op­ment for him to revis­it the Clin­ton issue. Through­out the sum­mer and fall, Trump has attacked the FBI as cor­rupt for not effec­tive­ly end­ing Clinton’s polit­i­cal career.

A polit­i­cal firestorm erupt­ed, with Comey and the bureau com­ing under with­er­ing crit­i­cism, includ­ing a rebuke on Wednes­day [65] from Barack Oba­ma. Even some con­gres­sion­al Repub­li­cans, no friends to Clin­ton, have expressed dis­com­fort [66]with Comey’s last-minute inser­tion of the bureau into the elec­tion.

The rel­e­vance of the com­mu­ni­ca­tions to the Clin­ton inquiry has yet to be estab­lished, as Comey issued his let­ter before obtain­ing a war­rant to eval­u­ate them. Clin­ton sur­ro­gates con­tend that Comey has issued innu­en­do rather than evi­dence, pre­vent­ing them from mount­ing a pub­lic defense.

Some feel Comey needs to address the crit­i­cism and pro­vide reas­sur­ance that the bureau, with its wide-rang­ing inves­tiga­tive and sur­veil­lance pow­ers, will com­port itself in an apo­lit­i­cal man­ner. Yet since Fri­day, Comey has main­tained his silence, even as both Clin­ton and Trump have called for the bureau to dis­close more of what it knows.

Leaks, how­ev­er, have con­tin­ued. Fox News report­ed [67] on Wednes­day that the FBI is inten­si­fy­ing an inves­ti­ga­tion into the Clin­ton Foun­da­tion over alle­ga­tions – which both the foun­da­tion and the Clin­ton camp deny – it trad­ed dona­tions for access to Hillary Clin­ton when she was sec­re­tary of state. The Wall Street Jour­nal report­ed [68] that jus­tice depart­ment offi­cials con­sid­ered the alle­ga­tions flim­sy [68].

The leaks have not exclu­sive­ly cast asper­sions on Clin­ton. Paul Man­afort, Trump’s for­mer cam­paign man­ag­er, is the sub­ject of what is said to be a pre­lim­i­nary FBI inquiry into his busi­ness deal­ings in Rus­sia [69]. Man­afort has denied any wrong­do­ing.

The Dai­ly Beast report­ed [70] on Thurs­day on ties between Trump sur­ro­gate Rudy Giu­liani, the for­mer New York may­or, and the FBI’s New York field office, which report­ed­ly pressed the FBI to revis­it the Clin­ton serv­er inves­ti­ga­tion after begin­ning an inquiry into Weiner’s alleged sex­u­al tex­ting with a minor. The web­site report­ed that a for­mer New York field office chief, high­ly crit­i­cal of the non-indict­ment, runs a mil­i­tary char­i­ty that has received sig­nif­i­cant finan­cial dona­tions from Trump.

Comey’s deci­sion to tell the pub­lic in July that he was effec­tive­ly drop­ping the Clin­ton serv­er issue angered some with­in the bureau, par­tic­u­lar­ly giv­en the back­ground of ten­sions with the jus­tice depart­ment over the Clin­ton issue. A sig­nif­i­cant com­pli­ca­tion is the appear­ance of a con­flict of inter­est regard­ing Loret­ta Lynch, the attor­ney gen­er­al, who met with Bill Clin­ton [71] this sum­mer ahead of Comey’s announce­ment, which she acknowl­edged had “cast a shad­ow” over the inquiry.

“Many FBI agents were upset at the direc­tor, not because he didn’t [rec­om­mend to] indict, but they believe he threw the FBI under the bus by tak­ing the heat away from DoJ [Depart­ment of Jus­tice],” the for­mer bureau offi­cial said.

All this has com­pound­ed pres­sure on Comey, with lit­tle end in sight.

Jim Wedick, who retired from the bureau in 2004 after 35 years, said that if Clin­ton is elect­ed, she and Comey would prob­a­bly find a way to work togeth­er out of a sense of prag­ma­tism. He recalled both his own occa­sion­al clash­es with fed­er­al pros­e­cu­tors and Bill Clinton’s uneasy rela­tion­ship with his choice for FBI direc­tor, Louis Freeh.

“Each one will find a way to pick at the oth­er. It’s not going to be good and it’s not going to be pret­ty. But they’ll both have to work with each oth­er,” he said.

6. The par­ti­san­ship with­in the FBI should be viewed against the back­ground of the acquit­tal of Ammon Bun­day and com­pa­ny after their ille­gal occu­pa­tion of the Mal­heur Nation­al Wildlife Refuge.

“Anti-Gov’t Activists See Vin­di­ca­tion In Acquit­tal Of Ore­gon Occu­piers” by Alle­gra Kirk­landTalk­ing Points Memo Muck­rak­er; 10/28/2016. [18]

Mili­tia groups and anti-gov­ern­ment activists rejoiced at the news that sev­en defen­dants charged in the armed occu­pa­tion ear­li­er this year of a remote fed­er­al wildlife refuge in Ore­gon were acquit­ted of all charges [72] late Thurs­day.

The stun­ning ver­dict in the high-pro­file tri­al has con­vinced those who see it as their duty to take up arms against what they view as gov­ern­ment over­reach that their cru­sade is a just one.

“Tonight we have vin­di­ca­tion for the life, for­tune and sacred hon­or we all promised to give and for which many have giv­en already,” Cen­tral Ore­gon Con­sti­tu­tion­al Guard leader B.J. Sop­er wrote in a Face­book post [73], adding that he’d had tears in his eyes all night.

While the Oath Keep­ers, a so-called patri­ot group made up of cur­rent and for­mer mil­i­tary and law enforce­ment per­son­nel, crit­i­cized the occu­piers’ deci­sion to take over a fed­er­al build­ing, founder Stew­art Rhodes told TPM that the jury’s deci­sion rep­re­sent­ed “a vic­to­ry for due process.”

“In the big pic­ture, they’re right,” Stew­art Rhodes said of the occu­piers in a Fri­day phone call. “West­ern lands are being stolen from the Amer­i­can peo­ple. It’s not just white ranch­ers, it’s also the Native Amer­i­cans too. It’s hap­pen­ing right now at the pipeline. So it’s the entire west.” . . . .

7a. Not sur­pris­ing­ly, fas­cists are poised to move into both elect­ed and appoint­ed polit­i­cal office under Trump.

“Trump’s White Nation­al­ist Back­ers Train Their Eyes On Elect­ed Office, Admin Posts” by Alle­gra Kirk­land; Talk­ing Points Memo Muck­rak­er; 11/10/2016. [14]

In the wake of Don­ald Trump’s upset pres­i­den­tial win, the small yet vocal cohort of white nation­al­ists who sup­port­ed his cam­paign are refo­cus­ing their efforts from trolling lib­er­als online to run­ning for elect­ed office.

Their rea­son­ing: If a can­di­date who appealed to the tide of anti-immi­grant, anti-Mus­lim sen­ti­ment surg­ing on the country’s right could win over vot­ers, why not one who is open­ly “pro-white”?

“I have been very sur­prised that we have not seen attrac­tive, well-spo­ken, racial­ly aware can­di­dates run­ning for local office,” Jared Tay­lor, head of the white nation­al­ist Amer­i­can Renais­sance pub­li­ca­tion and annu­al con­fer­ence, told TPM in a Wednes­day phone call. “I think this will be inevitable, and I think that Trump will have encour­aged this. That our peo­ple will run for school board, city coun­cil, may­or, all that I antic­i­pate cer­tain­ly.”

Oth­ers are think­ing in the short-term and train­ing their eyes, per­haps more quixot­i­cal­ly, on pos­si­ble posi­tions in a Trump admin­is­tra­tion.

William John­son arguably did the most to advo­cate for the real estate mogul’s cam­paign through tra­di­tion­al polit­i­cal chan­nels. The Los Ange­les-based lawyer and chair of the white nation­al­ist Amer­i­can Free­dom Par­ty found­ed the pro-Trump Amer­i­can Nation­al super PAC, bankrolled robo­calls on his behalf, and was list­ed to serve as a Trump del­e­gate at the Repub­li­can Nation­al Con­ven­tion until media out­cry forced the Trump cam­paign to remove his name and attribute his inclu­sion to a “data error.”

John­son told TPM his plan now is to “whee­dle my way into a Trump admin­is­tra­tion.” He said he’d love a posi­tion as ambas­sador to Japan or the Philip­pines, coun­tries home to many of his legal clients, or under sec­re­tary of Agri­cul­ture, as he runs a small per­sim­mon farm. These like­ly remain pipe dreams, giv­en that the Trump cam­paign has said in the past that it “strong­ly con­demns” Johnson’s rhetoric.

“Right now because the elec­tion is over and there’s going to be no elec­tion for anoth­er two years, we’re not focused on peo­ple run­ning for office,” John­son said. “We’re focused on get­ting peo­ple into the admin­is­tra­tion and work­ing with­in the sys­tem. But in anoth­er year or so when elec­tions start gear­ing up, we will put our can­di­dates into place.”

Mean­while, civ­il rights groups are keep­ing a wary eye on the slow creep of white nation­al­ists and the alt-right from mar­gin­al­ized con­fer­ences and online mes­sage boards into walk­ing, wak­ing polit­i­cal life. Oren Segal, direc­tor of the ADL’s Cen­ter on Extrem­ism, believes that the “big­otry and anti-Semi­tism and hatred” that vot­ers saw come out dur­ing the cam­paign was just the begin­ning. Trump’s extrem­ist sup­port­ers, he told TPM, “feel reward­ed for their bad behav­ior.”

“The alt-right in par­tic­u­lar which was this very loose­ly orga­nized online move­ment, we’re going to see if it tries to become more of a real world move­ment,” he added.

This nor­mal­iza­tion effort is already under­way. The alt-right held what amount­ed to a press con­fer­ence at the Willard Hotel in down­town Wash­ing­ton, D.C. in Sep­tem­ber, and Segal men­tioned an upcom­ing Nation­al Pol­i­cy Insti­tute event with “known anti-Semi­tes” like Cal­i­for­nia State Uni­ver­si­ty pro­fes­sor Kevin Mac­Don­ald.

These in-per­son meet-ups in con­ven­tion­al set­tings, Segal said, “speak to a devel­op­ment from an online phe­nom­e­non to a real-world one.”

White nation­al­ists aspired to office even before Trump launched his cam­paign. For­mer Ku Klux Klan grand wiz­ard David Duke served one term in the Louisiana House in the late 1980s and made sev­er­al stabs at elect­ed office in the fol­low­ing years. This year, he launched a failed bid for a Louisiana Sen­ate seat and direct­ly tied him­self to a Trump tick­et.

The younger gen­er­a­tion has been known to take the same tack. A recent Wash­ing­ton Post pro­file of Derek Black, son of the founder of the white nation­al­ist Storm­front web­site and a dar­ling of the move­ment until he pub­licly broke away from it, explained the strat­e­gy Black employed when he was still part of that inner cir­cle.

“The way ahead is through pol­i­tics,” Black told atten­dees at a 2008 white nation­al­ist con­fer­ence, accord­ing to the Post. “We can infil­trate. We can take the coun­try back.”

He was 19 years old at the time and had already won a GOP com­mit­tee seat in Palm Beach Coun­ty, Flori­da.

Peter Brimelow, the edi­tor of anti-immi­gra­tion site Vir­ginia Dare, said Trump’s win would make main­stream politi­cians “see that these are win­ning issues.” Although Brimelow doubts that any self-described white nation­al­ists will “be allowed into pub­lic life,” he point­ed to politi­cians like Rep. David Brat (R‑VA) as “break­throughs” who he said share very sim­i­lar views to those of the white nation­al­ist com­mu­ni­ty.

Tay­lor, of Amer­i­can Renais­sance, point­ed to Sen. Jeff Ses­sions (R‑AL), Kansas Sec­re­tary of State Kris Kobach and for­mer New York City May­or Giuliani—all of whom are already work­ing close­ly with the Trump team—as the kind of offi­cials white nation­al­ists would like to see in the next admin­is­tra­tion.

Civ­il rights groups are close­ly mon­i­tor­ing which offi­cials Trump names to key admin­is­tra­tion posts, and these are the kinds of names that give them pause.

“When [Bre­it­bart Chair­man Steve] Ban­non is the CEO of your cam­paign and also some­one who has made a place for the alt-right, the prospects are scary,” said Richard Cohen, legal direc­tor for the South­ern Pover­ty Law Cen­ter. “On the immi­gra­tion front you’ve got peo­ple like Kobach, the archi­tect of the country’s harsh­est immi­gra­tion laws, SB1070 in Ari­zona and HB56 in Alaba­ma, on his tran­si­tion team for immi­gra­tion. You have peo­ple con­nect­ed to the Fam­i­ly Research Coun­cil, a hard-line anti-gay group, who are play­ing a role in his tran­si­tion team.”

“So far we haven’t seen any effort on his part to dis­tance him­self from the peo­ple who brought him to the par­ty,” Cohen added. “He’s still danc­ing with them.” . . .

7b. Trump is report­ed­ly strong­ly con­sid­er­ing Steve Ban­non to be his chief of staff!

“Trump Strong­ly Con­sid­er­ing Steve Ban­non for Chief of Staff” by Jere­my Dia­mond, Dana Bash and Evan Perez; CNN; 11/11/2016. [74]

Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump is strong­ly con­sid­er­ing nam­ing his cam­paign CEO Steve Ban­non to serve as his White House chief of staff, a source with knowl­edge of the sit­u­a­tion told CNN on Thurs­day.

The White House chief of staff is typ­i­cal­ly tasked in large part with ensur­ing that all wheels are spin­ning in the com­plex White House orga­ni­za­tion, and the source said that some peo­ple in Trump’s orbit do not think Ban­non, the exec­u­tive chair­man of Bre­it­bart News who joined Trump’s cam­paign in August, is the best fit for that posi­tion.

Trump’s con­tem­pla­tion of Ban­non as chief of staff comes as his pres­i­den­tial tran­si­tion team is fever­ish­ly ramp­ing up its efforts to build out an admin­is­tra­tion after his sur­pris­ing win Tues­day. . . .

Ban­non has also been a major force behind some of Trump’s more con­tro­ver­sial stunts, includ­ing when Trump held an impromp­tu press event with women who had accused for­mer Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton of sex­u­al assault and mis­con­duct. Ban­non was spot­ted in the back of the room smil­ing as reporters were led in for the debate night sur­prise.

8. The Trumpenkampfver­bande is already keep­ing an ene­mies list. a la Richard Nixon.

“If [Gra­ham] felt his inter­ests was with that can­di­date, God bless him,” Mani­gault remarked. “I would nev­er judge any­body for exer­cis­ing their right to and the free­dom to choose who they want. But let me just tell you, Mr. Trump has a long mem­o­ry and we’re keep­ing a list.

Omarosa Hints at a Don­ald Trump Ene­mies List: “It’s So Dreat Our Ene­mies Are Mak­ing Them­selves Clear” by Matthew Rozsa; Salon; 11/09/2016. [19]

The Trump admin­is­tra­tion may be pret­ty vin­dic­tive

Fore­shad­ow­ing the pos­si­bil­i­ty that the worst fears of Don­ald Trump’s crit­ics have mer­it, Omarosa Mani­gault — who met Trump while com­pet­ing on “The Appren­tice” and has cam­paigned for him in this elec­tion — has dis­cussed how the Repub­li­can vic­tor has been keep­ing an ene­mies list.

“It’s so great our ene­mies are mak­ing them­selves clear so that when we get in to the White House, we know where we stand,” Mani­gault told Inde­pen­dent Jour­nal Review at Trump’s elec­tion night par­ty on Wednes­day.

She also ref­er­enced a tweet sent by South Car­oli­na Sen. Lind­sey Gra­ham on Tues­day after­noon.

I vot­ed @Evan_McMullin [75] for Pres­i­dent. I appre­ci­ate his views on a strong Amer­i­ca and the need to rebuild our mil­i­tary. #3— Lind­sey Gra­ham (@LindseyGrahamSC) Novem­ber 8, 2016 [76]

“If [Gra­ham] felt his inter­ests was with that can­di­date, God bless him,” Mani­gault remarked. “I would nev­er judge any­body for exer­cis­ing their right to and the free­dom to choose who they want. But let me just tell you, Mr. Trump has a long mem­o­ry and we’re keep­ing a list.”