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Foreign Entanglements: Russia Edition

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I’m sorry that I haven’t been posting lately. Lots of travel and work. But I do have a shiny new episode of Foreign Entanglements—yes, I’ve joined the masthead there and thereby moved forward Rob’s plans for total LGM domination—in which I talk with Yuval Weber about Russia, Trump, and Syria. And yes, I can’t figure out how to embed the new video player.

Bonus: the roundtable that led me to ask Yuval to be my first guest on the channel.

…Update by Rob: Here we go!

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  • Bri2k

    I’m wondering when LGM is going to do a post on all the explosive events happening around the Trump/Russia stuff with three members of the administration supposedly seeking immunity to testify. At this point, it’s almost like such a discussion is being deliberately avoided.

    • dnexon

      I can only speak for myself, but…. the news is coming fast, incomplete, and sometimes questionably sourced. Thus, I’m wary of doing #hottakes

      • Bri2k

        I didn’t mean to come across as critical of any one poster and I greatly appreciate you taking the time to reply, Dan.

        As just your typical cube-farm working stiff I was hoping for insights from those more knowledgeable not only on the events themselves but also regarding the legal process, etc.

        Having lived during Watergate, this “Russia-Gate” seems magnitudes worse especially with three members of the admin. looking for immunity. I’m not sure if this means there’s a lot more awfulness to come out or if it’s some kind of head-fake…

        • djw

          I thought this is a good account of why we it might make sense to temper our enthusiasm about the Flynn immunity request:

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/03/31/why-michael-flynn-may-be-seeking-immunity/

          • gmack

            Right. My reading of the tea leaves (or more accurately, my reading of other people’s takes on this) is that it is quite unlikely that Flynn is going to get an immunity deal. What that means, of course, is hard to say. It’s possible, I suppose, that the refusal of immunity is an effort to strong arm Flynn into giving more information, or that it’s an effort to induce another participant to try to go for an immunity deal. But it’s also possible that Flynn (for whatever reason) just isn’t going to offer much information of interest, and that the request for immunity is simply his lawyer’s efforts to help his client and/or muddy any ongoing criminal investigations.

        • dnexon

          No worries. Didn’t take it that way at all.

    • At this point, it’s almost like such a discussion is being deliberately avoided.

      What would you expect, with half the front-pagers in the Witness Protection Program and the rest trying to put together their fares to Mother Russia?

      • los

        I occasionally wonder why Big Criminals don’t flee to Buenos Aires as soon as hearing of rumors of investigation…

        Habitual overconfidence? (“Trump Tower Boulangerie bakes the best judicial bribes.”)

        • smott999

          Plenty of polonium tea can be had in Buenos Aires.
          Only safe place right now would seem to be in an FBI safe house a la Flynn.

          • Ken

            That depends which side the FBI is on, doesn’t it?

          • Plenty of polonium tea can be had in Buenos Aires.

            Huh. I’d have thought polonium yerba mate.

    • los

      Barebones draft of categorizing…

      What, When, Who (plural). Documentation/recording. And maybe Why

      Three or four time periods: before election (before and while running); transition between election and inauguration; after taking office.


      Deals with oligarchs before running. Hard to indict those unless for non-political violations.
      Deals with oligarchs while running. Stinks, at least.
      Discussions with diplomats while running. Premature. Document those.

      Discussions with oligarchs during transition and after in office. Who in administration? Identify the “what” topics. Document those.

    • Ronan

      We’ll know somethings amiss when Erik Loomski starts writing long posts about the pleasures of vodka drinking.

    • Manju

      The first guy speaking in the vid has great freaking hair. Trump may very well break down if he were to encounter it.

      Put this guy on the Russia-Trump investigation committee somehow.

  • smott999

    Seth Abramson has some very good stuff on RussiaGate.
    This thread talks about Flynn’s bid for immunity. There’s much more on his TL.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/SethAbramson/status/847983447620694016

    I try not to get caught up in the spy-novel intrigue of this crazy time, but it seems like these guys are seriously afraid of being snuffed. There’s any number of dead Russians since the dossier came out, and Flynn appears to have noticed.

    • humanoid.panda

      Given his “Bernie is winning and anyone who says differently is a shill ” output during the primaries, I’d strongly urge people to avoid Abramson takes. Beware people peddling confirmation bias

      • djw

        Yeah, Abramson’s a clown. Anything he gets right will be entirely coincidental.

      • smott999

        What strikes you as incorrect?

        • humanoid.panda

          His entire method of speculating on stuff he has no information on. Even if his deductions are right, it’s a terrible mental habit

          • smott999

            Are you saying there’s no There there, or merely that SA is not a good source?

  • Simple Mind

    Thank you for this invaluable serious conversation with Yuval and his laying out of Russian views and goals, as well as the mass protests against The Oligarchy and opulent Medvedev foreign real estate holdings. Putin has amassed a cool $2 billion himself.

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