Monday, February 3, 2020

Trump, Ukraine and Weaponized Diasporas

Ukraine immigration Nazi corruption politics Trump diaspora

I’ve been in Russia for the release of the Russian-language edition of Surveillance Valley and haven’t been able to follow the latest iteration of the Trump-Ukraine meddling scandal — this one about Hunter Biden’s shady work in Ukraine — as closely as I would like. But I’ve been watching the larger story around this develop for a few years now and one thing that’s interesting about it is that it has a very big weaponized immigrant component.

Donald Trump’s been trying to twist Ukraine’s arm into providing dirt on Joe Biden and his son Hunter for almost as long as he’s been president. And he’s been stepping up the effort as the 2020 election approaches. Trump knows how to play the angles, and he obviously sees this as a perfect opportunity to showcase the hypocrisy and corruption of the Democratic Party. And it looks like it’s working. Already, the Democratic apparatus is rushing to defend Hunter Biden and trying hard to play down his kleptocratic jet-setting lifestyle. It’s embarrassing. I mean, the brat got booted out of the Navy Reserve for doing coke only to land a $50,000 a month gig with a Ukrainian oligarch at the moment that, according to the New York Times, the oligarch was trying to curry political favor with American officials.

But the Trump-Ukrainian meddling story is bigger than just the Bidens.

It all goes back to the 2016 election and “RussiaGate” — the belief that Donald Trump and his people colluded with Vladimir Putin to steal the election. For nearly three years, this was taken as God’s truth by just about every mainstream news media outlet. Then, last April, the news cycle got doused with a bit of cold reality. Robert Mueller wrapped up his much-awaited investigation and delivered, well, nothing. As a stunned New York Times headline put it: “MUELLER FINDS NO TRUMP-RUSSIA CONSPIRACY.”

There were a lot of shady sources that helped fuel the RussiaGate narrative. But what people forget today is that a big chunk of that “intel” was procured and spread around by Ukrainian-American political operatives.

That’s right: Ukrainian-Americans worked with Ukrainian government officials, political activists, and journalists to generate kompromat calculated to hurt Trump and then fed that disinformation into America’s political ecosystem.  (more...)

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