Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

With Rex Tillerson, friend of Putin and former Exxon Mobil CEO who wanted to drill the Arctic as US Secretary of State, the tip of the iceberg takes on a secondary meaning. The iceberg is melting fast in more ways than one.
Polar Bear and Baby  NOAA Polar Bear and Baby NOAA

Russian officials hope the new U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will work to improve relations between the two countries despite the resignation of Michael Flynn, the national security advisor… Flynn was often seen as President Trump’s key contact with Moscow. In 2015, he was paid by Russia to attend a dinner for Russia Today, a state-funded television network. He sat next to Russian President Vladimir Putin during the event…. As the former head of the oil company ExxonMobil, Tillerson developed close business ties with Russia. In 2013, Putin even gave him the Order of Friendship. Tillerson is to meet this week with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.” (VOA News: “Russia Looks to Tillerson after Flynn Resignation“, February 14, 2017: http://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/russia-hopes-meeting-with-new-us-secretary-of-state-will-lead-to-improved-relations/3724067.html )

Putin Goose-step not in sync C-Span 1 Dec, 2016
Goose-step not in sync as Putin arrives to speak – 1 Dec. 2016

Russia’s government-owned Rosneft and ExxonMobil had made an agreement which would essentially create a MegaCartel, but the sanctions against Russia are blocking the way. Nonetheless, ExxonMobil through a Russian subsidiary is apparently still operating the Sakhalin I project, as well as partial owner, certainly in violation of the spirit of the sanctions and possibly in violation of the sanctions if they are illegally diverting equipment (possibly via subsidiaries), presumably including parts for repair.

Waters on Flynn Resignation: ‘It’s Only the Tip of the Iceberg’
February 14, 2017 Press Release
Washington D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters issued the following statement in response to the resignation of General Michael Flynn as National Security Advisor:
 
“Michael Flynn’s resignation last night is just the tip of the iceberg for an Administration careening toward disaster.  What is most concerning about the resignation is that it appears the Trump Administration was either unaware that Flynn had discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador, or that the President only removed Flynn after the Administration was caught in yet another lie.  What we do know now is that Acting Attorney General Sally Yates did warn the Trump Administration that Flynn may have been compromised and may be susceptible to blackmail by Russian operatives.
 
“Michael Flynn’s resignation only adds to many unanswered questions about the Trump Administration’s connection to Vladimir Putin and the Russian government.  Why did the Trump Administration ignore Sally Yates’ warnings and appoint Flynn to the sensitive and vital position of National Security Advisor? Was Flynn acting on Trump’s orders when he discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador?   What is the extent of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s relationship with the Kremlin and the Ukraine?  How much did Manafort and Flynn know about Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and the Russian cyberattacks?  How much did President Trump himself know, and how much did his campaign staff and other associates know? 
 
“It is because of these unanswered questions that I am pushing legislation, H.Con.Res. 15, demanding a thorough investigation of any collusion between President Trump, his associates, and the Russian government to influence the outcome of the 2016 election.
 
“I believe the answers to these critical questions could lead to revelations that would be grounds for impeachment.
https://waters.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/waters-flynn-resignation-it-s-only-tip-iceberg (Recall that impeachment isn’t necessarily removal, but rather former charges: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impeachment_in_the_United_States )

NY Times says Trump campaign had repeated contact with Russian intelligence Posted:Wed, 15 Feb 2017 09:19:50 +0530 (Reuters) – Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, the New York Times reported on Tuesday, citing four current and former U.S. officials. http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/INworldNews/~3/rYNMg9uzhOw/usa-trump-russia-idINKBN15U0BS

An excerpt from Earlier allegations. These are only allegations, but which warrant investigation. Some make sense (e.g. Rosneft):
Carter Page Sechin Rosneft Allegations p. 9
https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3259984-Trump-Intelligence-Allegations.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carter_Page Some appear silly.

Who is next?
1 Dec. 2016 C-Span awaiting Putin
Both c-span pictures from here: https://www.c-span.org/video/?419311-1/russian-state-nation-address