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Putin Was With Her: Inside Russia’s Covert Effort to Undermine the Trump Campaign

Jacob Wohl

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Foreign interference in the 2016 Presidential election was not unique. Intelligence agencies have a long history of monitoring and interfering in foreign elections. The 2016 election was subject to collusion between the Clinton Campaign, the Obama Administration and the Russian Government. 

The financial records of opposition research firm Fusion GPS reveal that collusion between the Clinton Campaign and Russia runs much deeper than anyone has anticipated. 

Fusion GPS has a long history of working on behalf of the Kremlin and on behalf of Kremlin-linked Russian oligarchs. Fusion GPS’ team of operatives, which includes former British spies and Wall Street Journal investigative reporters, have been careful to avoid scrutiny from the mainstream media over the years. Fusion GPS’ combination of intelligence and media expertise puts them in a unique position to run effective smear-campaigns while avoiding the eyes of the media.  

Before working for the Clinton Campaign, Fusion GPS took on one job that would lead to their initial public exposure. In 2008, Fusion GPS was contacted by the Kremlin to run a smear campaign against British hedge fund manager Bill Browder, who has ruffled the wrong feathers over the course of his very successful investment career inside Russia. Browder and his firm Hermitage Capital Management went on a campaign to expose the Russia-Fusion GPS smear campaign, which included the jailing and eventual death of the firm’s lawyer, Sergey Magnitsky. 

Despite efforts by Congressional Democrats to stop him, Bill Browder eventually went on to give congressional testimony detailing the entire ordeal. The most glaring part of his testimony details the involvement of a particular Russian lawyer who worked for Fusion GPS on the matter. Her name was Natalia Veselnitskaya. 

Veseltnitskaya was the same Russian lawyer who spent months lobbying to meet with Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner inside Trump Tower. This meeting was reportedly was an effort by Veselnitskaya to lobby against the Magnitsky Act, a sanctions bill against Russia named for Bill Browder’s lawyer who eventually dies inside a Siberian prison. 

In that meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner, as well as other senior Trump Campaign officials Veselnitskaya was carrying a notepad with her. The logo at the top of Veselnitskaya’s notepad was that of Fusion GPS. 

Of course, at the time of this meeting inside Trump Tower, Fusion GPS had already been paid $12.2 million by the Clinton Campaign to dig up dirt against Donald Trump. The entire meeting was a setup to give the appearance that the Trump Campaign had colluded with Russia. 

The details of this meeting were left out of the now infamous and mostly discredited Steele Dossier, presumably because nothing substantive happened during the meeting. Other elements of the Steele Dossier reveal that the dossier’s author Christopher Steele, met with Russian FSB officials to receive information about Donald Trump, much of which has now been discredited as complete misinformation. 

Christopher Steele did not travel to Russia to recover information from members of Russia’s FSB. Instead, the FSB agents came to him. For the Russian intelligence, feeding misinformation about Donald Trump to Clinton’s opposition research firm was a task of very high priority, so much so that they came to him. According to leaked records, Steele met with Russian intelligence agents several times in London. 

Hillary Clinton funneled payments to Fusion GPS through her lawyer, Marc Elias, who works for the prominent Washington DC law firm Perkins Coie, LLP. Paying for Fusion GPS’ services through a lawyer allows Hillary Clinton and other campaign officials to make the argument that the details of this transaction are subject to attorney-client privilege. This technique of paying for unsavory smear campaigns through law firms is exactly the one implemented by Harvey Weinstein in his attempt to smear more than 90 of his alleged victims and many of the journalists and media executives attempting to publish their stories. 

Some portion of the money spend on Fusion GPS’ services was paid to media outlets by Fusion GPS. Although details on Fusion GPS’ interactions with the media remain scarce, court documents reveal that the firm did indeed pay at least four members of the media. Many speculate that Fusion GPS paid members of the media to publish the unverified (and mostly unverifiable) dossier.

Fridman v Fusion GPS Complaint


If collusive activities took place during the 2016 Presidential Election, while not necessarily illegal, the American people would like to know about it. When it comes to the Trump campaign, the only tangible piece of evidence that presented even the possibility of collusion is the infamous Trump Tower meeting. Of course, this meeting has now been revealed to be a half-baked sting operation. Fusion GPS’ financial records have revealed that the firm was paid more than $12 million by the Clinton Campaign. 

But how about Putin’s “Propaganda Machine”? The media has gone out of their way to promulgate the idea that Russian facebook ads, which consisted of only $100,000 worth of spending, aided Trump, and may have even handed him the White House.

Copies of these Facebook ads, leaked by Congressional sources, tell a very different story. These ads included ads supporting Black Lived Matter, Muslims for Hillary and Not-My-President Trump resistance rallies. This raises a simple question: If Russia wanted Trump to become President, why would they pay $100,000 for ads which opposed his campaign?

As Wikileaks revealed, The Clinton Campaign’s “propaganda machine” consists of CNN, NBC, ABC and CBS, along with virtually every mainstream Hollywood celebrity, and yet there are multiple Congressional investigations into $100K of Facebook ads. Copies of the actual ads reveal that Russian propaganda was actually pro-Clinton. 

There was one campaign who colluded with Russia and Russia-linked entities during the 2016 election. That campaign was the Clinton Campaign. 

 

 

Jacob Wohl is the CEO and Head of Fixed Income and Interest Rates for Montgomery Assets, a proprietary trading and asset management firm based in Los Angeles, CA. Jacob Wohl is the host of the Offended America Podcast

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