Trump's close buddies

Trump's close buddies

by digby

This piece by Jonathan Schwartz at The Intercept is just plain creepy:
CARTER PAGE, BRIEFLY a foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, sent a peculiar, rambling letter this week to the Department of Justice, asking it to review “the severe election fraud in the form of disinformation, suppression of dissent, hate crimes and other extensive abuses led by members of Mrs. Hillary Clinton’s campaign and their political allies last year.”

Page is reportedly one of several targets of a counterintelligence investigation by the FBI into possible links between Trump associates and Russian officials.

Page provided the lengthy letter to The Intercept when asked whether he would support President Trump using his power as president to declassify any government material to disclose any intercepted conversations between Page and Russian officials. He did not say. Instead he forwarded the letter, which is well-formatted, heavily footnoted, grammatically correct and has no spelling mistakes. However, its content is bizarre.

To begin with, it is addressed to the voting section of the Justice Department’s civil rights division, which is charged exclusively with enforcing federal laws that protect the right to vote.

It then makes the grandiose claim that “the actions by the Clinton regime and their associates may be among the most extreme examples of human rights violations observed during any election in U.S. history since Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was similarly targeted for his anti-war views in the 1960’s.”

Page repeatedly describes as “outrageous” the news coverage claiming that he has significant connections to Russian officials and what he says was the Clinton campaign’s hidden hand behind it.

The Clinton campaign, says Page, engaged in “human rights violations,” “illegal activities,” “unlawful deceptions,” “Obstruction of Justice — the charge upon which President Nixon was impeached,” spreading “False Evidence,” and “an obviously illegal attempt to silence me on an important issue of national and international consequence in violation of my Constitutional rights.”

Page also states that he was targeted by the Clinton campaign because he is Catholic, a military veteran, and a man.

In addition to the letter, Page included three appendices: A July 2016 speech he delivered at the New Economic School in Moscow; a response to the director of national intelligence’s report claiming that Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian government to intervene in the 2016 election to help Trump; and a September 15 letter to FBI Director James Comey asking him to close any inquiry into Page.

In his response to the DNI report, Page addresses the report’s statement that “Putin’s chief propagandist Dmitriy Kiselev used his flagship weekly newsmagazine program this fall to cast President-elect Trump as an outsider victimized by a corrupt political establishment.”

Page writes that “Both as a world-class journalist and as a human being, [Kiselev] is an exceptionally competent, kind and fair individual with the highest level of personal integrity,” whose broadcast views “closely align with the perspectives held by tens of millions of hard-working, patriotic Americans.”

In addition being a television host, Kiselev is head of the Russian government news agency Rossia Segodnya. He is notorious for saying on air in 2012: “I think banning gays from distributing propaganda to children is not enough. … I think they should be banned from donating blood or sperm, and if they die in a car crash, their hearts should be burnt or buried in the ground as unsuitable for the continuation of life.”

There's more at the link. Yikes ...

He was one of Trump's earliest foreign policy advisers. And he's right in the middle of this Russian business.