Malacandra.me

The art of the payoff

The art of the payoff

by digby



QOTD is by NBC news international correspondent Keir Simmons:

If you want to find the motivation around the world for many of the things that have been happening: make money. This is a president who telegraphed around the world, "I'm the guy you can do deals with, I'm the art of the deal" What oligarchs and property magnates around the world read that as is "bring your money and we can do deals." If you're Russian, we can do deals to get rid of these sanctions. If you're Ukrainian we can do deals to improve the image of Ukraine. If you're a property magnate in the Gulf, one that I sat down with who attended some of these inauguration activities and describes himself as a friend of president Trump, he's trying to do deals on property in his region. so it's not a surprise that the man who is the art of the deal is very attractive to people around the world who think they can make a lot of money doing deals."

This week, we learned that Trump badly needed money during the campaign and couldn't get another loan from Deutsche Bank....

Just saying.


This twitter thread is making the rounds and it's quite interesting, along these lines.

Morning epiphany: @emptywheel was right and the whole Carter Page - Man of Mystery - was an elaborate distraction, an illusion used by the magician to make us look for fake conspiracy instead of at the real one. The Russians were clearly onto Steele and fed...
Disinfo into the dossier. Once you remove that fog and dead ends of those pieces (Rosneft, pee tapes, etc.), the complexity of the conspiracy becomes simplified and crystal clear. It goes something like this and I'll start with Mike Flynn's texts to illustrate:
“Mike has been putting everything in place for us,” Copson told the informant, according to Cummings. “This is going to make a lot of wealthy people.”

That's the whole point. It was never about espionage. It was about money. Trump had one job: to lift sanctions when he became POTUS. Once the sanctions were lifted, every corrupt bastard in his orbit was going to make a lot of money...

Trump did not need to be involved or even know of each separate conspiracy and each criminal undertaking (Flynn's nuclear plant, Manafort's pay off to Deripaska, etc.). He had his own bribe: Trump Tower Moscow and he needed it, because once again...

He was near bankruptcy. A deal was made in which he would make a lot of money and all he had to do was run for POTUS. He would be helped along the way. He did not need to be read into how he would be helped. But he knew there was help and where it came from...
And then something unexpected happened. The USIC/USLE made public that Russia had hacked the DNC. Suddenly, team Trump realized the "how" of the help. They panicked... deals were being called off, a frenzy of meetings and discussions were had...

I think team Trump really did not grasp how deeply they were now compromised and that is why Trump began to insist that there was no collusion. In his mind, he did not know or tell the Russians to do what they did specifically. He does not realize (even now) ...

That by making the deal with the devil (regardless of not knowing the particular details of what the devil would do), he was already compromised and that everything the devil did implicates him. Not only that, everything every other crook ...

Did to profit off of the lifted sanctions also implicates him, even if he did not know of each crime or each criminal activity. Let me put it this way. Trump's job was to unlock the house for the thieves. He did not need to know what each thief was going to take...
Or what each thief was going to do or even who the thieves were. That is why there are so many side conspiracies that seem to involve every aspect of his personal and professional life. Like putting his name on a building, he need not know what goes on inside...
But by agreeing to the bribe (Trump Moscow) and taking the stolen keys (without even thinking where those keys came from) and by opening the door, he is responsible 4 everything that happened as a result. He believes "there was no collusion" in terms of what went...

On in the hypothetical house. He probably did not know about Flynn's little side deal or Manafort's side deal or Cohen's side deals. In his mind, he had nothing to do with any of this. But that is not true, is it? He unlocked the door in exchange for millions in property.

He committed the main crime from which all the other crimes were born.I woke up this morning marveling at the the elegant simplicity of all of this. It really is about the money and just the money. I really think he hoped to lose the election once things got real.


I don't know that this is the case, but it's certainly true that the money motive is becoming clearer.