So what was wrong with that Trump Moscow project? Oh nothing...

So what was wrong with that Trump Moscow project? Oh nothing...

by digby

Here's another example of the kind of graft and corruption that Trump and his cronies think is just fine and "anyone would do it."

Austria appeared on Saturday to be headed for snap elections after the country’s far-right vice chancellor resigned over a secretly filmed video that showed him promising government contracts to a woman claiming to be the niece of a Russian oligarch. The episode raised questions about whether Russia has a direct line to a government in the heart of Europe.

The Austrian national news agency A.P.A., citing information from Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache’s Freedom Party, reported that a snap election was being called. A government official did not confirm that report, but said that snap elections were likely. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz was expected to make an announcement on Saturday evening.

The video was the worst in a series of missteps that have threatened the stability of Austria’s governing coalition. It has also raised concerns about whether the Freedom Party has been helping Mr. Kurz govern with an active agenda to undermine liberal democracy in the country.

The latest Austrian scandal comes at a big political moment in the European Union. Across the Continent, far-right, populist leaders are campaigning hard before next week’s elections for the European Parliament and seem poised to increase their share in the chamber. Many of Europe’s populists share the agenda of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia: fragmenting the Continent’s political landscape and weakening the European establishment’s power in Brussels.

Not long ago, these far-right parties were on the fringes of European politics, but like Austria’s Freedom Party, several are now part of coalition governments. Some populist leaders, particularly in the Scandinavian countries and Poland, are wary of Russia, but others are outspoken in their desire for closer ties to the Kremlin.

The Freedom Party has longstanding ties with Russia and a formal cooperation agreement with Mr. Putin’s United Russia party. The video of Strache’s meeting, which was filmed in a villa on the Spanish island of Ibiza three months before the 2017 election, exposed in a raw fashion Mr. Strache’s apparent eagerness to help Russia with unethical promises for government contracts in exchange for donations to his party.

There's new info about Russian Brexit funding too.

This is an international campaign by Russia and the far right. And we're right in the middle of it with our law enforcement having its hands tied by Trump and his cronies. It's right in front of our eyes.