|Jill Stein in Moscow, December 2015|
There is no evidence of collusion between Russia and any presidential campaign.Since, as a member of the Judiciary Committee, Senator Lee has expanded the question of Russian collusion beyond the Trump campaign to all the US president campaigns, maybe they should be investigating Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein to see if she coordinated with agencies controlled by Russian President Vladimir Putin to elect Donald Trump President of the United States.
This is not an insignificant question. We know that Jill Stein supporters in just three states, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, put Donald Trump in the White House when they casted a symbolic vote for Jill Stein, rather that voting to stop a white nationalist Putin fanboy from coming to power.
|Candidate||Count||%||Michigan ||Wisconsin ||Pennsylvania |
Some observers will complain that it's unfair to say Jill Stein gave the election to Donald Trump because there were so many factors that contributed to his victory: Hillary Clinton was a bad candidate, in both senses; there were the Wikileaks dumps, and James Comey's contributions. This is also true, but the bottomline is that Donald Trump only won the presidency by a hair. In point-of-fact, he lost the popular vote, and only 88,412 votes in three strategic states gave him the electoral victory, so every straw bears the weight of the camel's broken back. If Jill Stein had withdrawn her candidacy, and recommended a vote against Trump, he wouldn't be president now. If the US Greens had adopted the recommendation of European and Russian Greens, he wouldn't be president now. Remember that in the wars to come.
We know that the Jill Stein campaign received support from the Trump campaign:
Although the extent of that support is still unknown; the reason for it is clear. The Trump campaign was trying to elect Donald Trump president and they knew every vote for Jill Stein put them closer to that goal. Putin must have been thinking the same thing. He knew as well as Sean Spicer that a snowball had a better chance of surviving Hell, than Jill Stein had of becoming president, but he also knew, as did the Republican strategists, that Jill Stein was winning votes from Hillary Clinton to a far, far greater extent than she was taking them from Donald Trump.
She didn't even try to win votes from Trump, or focus much fire on him. This should surprize those with a simplistic "Left-Right" view of our politics. In fact, she generally made the argument that Trump was actually the lesser of two evils with regards to military aggression and the war danger. This is an area in which US Green Party propaganda has been tragically misleading, with new deaths caused by US soldiers under Trump's command in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, and Philippines. More than a thousand civilians were killed by US actions in March alone in Iraq and Syria.
Of her 10 December 2015 meeting with Putin, the US Green Party said:
Stein attended a dinner Thursday night, sitting at the table with Russian President Vladimir Putin. "While the objective of that dinner was not to engage in serious discussions, Putin did appear to respond in his formal remarks to the call for greater dialogue and collaboration made by myself and three other political figures on the foreign policy panel earlier that day."Of course Putin agreed with many of the speakers at the gala, but the "unexpected" part was a lie; he had paid them to be there, according to multiple sources.
Putin noted, "What I would like to say, something really unexpected, when I was watching this material. When I was listening to your comments, politicians from other countries, you know what I caught myself thinking about? I agree with them, on many issues."
Stein continued, "Tomorrow I will meet with the foreign affairs chair of the Duma, the lower house of the Russian Parliament, to explore whether Russia would be receptive to a more collaborative approach to foreign policy that I have been talking about in my presidential campaign."Some reports say the US is now killing more civilians than Russia, which is saying a lot, is that the "more collaborative approach to foreign policy" that Jill Stein was seeking?
|Jill Stein at dinner with Putin and Trump campaign representative Michael Flynn|
On her facebook page Chirikova posted:
Russian Environmentalists Slam U.S. Green Party Candidate For Putin Comments
By Mike Eckel
6 September 2016
Two prominent Russian Greens have criticized the presidential candidate for the U.S. Green Party, saying her positions on President Vladimir Putin and his policies are “deeply shocking.”
In the letter posted to Chirikova’s Facebook page on September 6, the two activists disparaged Stein for a visit to Moscow last year in which she appeared at a forum sponsored by the state-run satellite television channel Russia Today, now known as RT.
A news release posted on Stein’s campaign website highlighted her attendance and her calls for more cooperation between Washington and Moscow, particularly regarding the five-year civil war in Syria. The statement closely echoes comments voiced by the Kremlin and Russian officials about U.S. policies in the Middle East, North Africa, and elsewhere. More...
As environmentalists and human rights defenders, we often support Green candidates all over the world when they run for local, national or continental election. However, we are asking ourselves if we can support your candidature for the Presidency of the United States of America. We have carefully read your program and your website and we have to admit that we are deeply shocked by the position you expressed during your visit to Moscow and your meeting with Mr. Vladimir Putin.Other European Greens also saw problems with the Stein's coziness with Putin. In an article titled Foreign Greens Think the US Green Party Needs to Ditch Jill Stein, published by Vice the day before the vote, Mike Pearl reported:
After your visit to Moscow and your meeting with Vladimir Putin you said that “the world deserve[s] a new commitment to collaborative dialogue between our governments to avert disastrous wars for geopolitical domination, destruction of the climate, and cascading injustices that promote violence and terrorism.” We agree with you. But how can this new “collaborative dialogue” be possible when Mr. Putin has deliberately built a system based on corruption, injustice, falsification of elections, and violation of human rights and international law? How is it possible to have a discussion with Mr. Putin and not mention, not even once, the fate of Russian political prisoners, or the attacks against Russian journalists, artists, and environmentalists? Is it fair to speak with him about “geopolitics” and not mention new Russian laws against freedom of speech, restrictions on NGOs and activists, or the shameful law that forbids “homosexual propaganda”?
By silencing Putin’s crimes you are silencing our struggle. By shaking his hand and failing to criticize his regime you are becoming his accomplice. By forgetting what international solidarity means you are insulting the Russian environmental movement.
Dr. Stein, you still have several weeks before the elections in order to clarify your position on the anti-democratic and anti-environmental elements of Putin’s regime. We sincerely hope that our voices will be heard and that our questions will not go unanswered.
"Some of the points that Jill Stein makes are delusional, I have to say," Balthasar Glättli, a Green Party member of the Swiss National Council, told me. If he were in the US, he said, "personally, I wouldn't vote Stein. I would vote Hillary."In an attempt to excuse this US Green Party support for Putin and Jill Stein's attendance at the RT 10th anniversary gala, Louis Proyect, the unrepentant Marxist and Jill Stein supporter, wrote that as of 10 August 2016:
European Green Party member Reinhard Bütikofer, who serves on the European Parliament from Germany, told me some of Stein's remarks that Clinton would be more likely to start a nuclear war than Trump left him feeling "really astonished." Bütikofer is a member of one of the parties that coordinate internationally with the US Greens via a loose affiliation known as the Global Greens, but he described an overall need for the American Green Party to get more sensible.It is not a lie, #Jill, that you argued Hillary was worse on nuclear weapons than Donald. THAT IS COMPLETELY ABSURD! https://t.co/QqwSkKFs3q— Reinhard Bütikofer (@bueti) November 2, 2016
With respect to RT.com, it has published 105 articles in praise of Jill Stein so naturally she might have accepted an invitation to their conference.So this Green Party supporter justifies Jill Stein's support for RT as a kind of quid pro quo. Why does he think Moscow was supporting Jill Stein in the first place? They certainly didn't think she could win.
The dossier compiled by ex-spy Christopher Steele about Trump's connection to Russia mentions Jill Stein and gives us Moscow's rationale behind the dinner with Putin:
Educated US youth to be targeted as protest (against CLINTON) and swing vote in attempt to turn them over to TRUMPSince then, Michael Flynn has been forced to admit that he was paid $45,000, plus perks, by Russia for his attendance at the RT event. The Steele dossier says that Jill Stein was also paid by Russia for her attendance, but she has so far remained silent on this subject.
Kremlin engaging with several high profile US players, including STEIN, PAGE and (former DIA Director Michael Flynn), and funding their recent visits to Moscow
In its "Details" section, the Steele dossier associates Jill Stein with two other Americans that are currently being investigated for their suspicious ties to Putin, Michael Flynn and Carter Page, and puts her in the overall context of "the Russian operation":
4. Speaking separately, also in early August 2016, a Kremlin official involved in US relations commented on aspects of the Russian operation to date. Its goals had been threefold - asking sympathetic US actors how Moscow could help them, - gathering relevant intelligence; and creating and disseminating compromising information ("kompromat"). This had involved the Kremlin supporting various US political figures, including funding indirectly their recent visits to Moscow. S/he named a delegation from Lyndon LAROUCHE; presidential candidate Jill STEIN of the Green Party; TRUMP foreign policy adviser Carter PAGE and former DIA Director Michael Flynn, in this regard and as successful in terms of perceived outcomes.I'll bet. They got their guy in the White House.
With regards to that "asking sympathetic US actors how Moscow could help them," I wonder if they approached Democracy Now, and what Amy Goodman's response was? Or did they feel they were already getting pretty much what they wanted without the additional expenditure?
Oliver Stone says to Putin in his new fanboy "Why would he lie?" interview that if Putin expressed a preference in the US presidential campaign, that candidate would go down in the polls, as he gives the thumbs down sign and Putin nods in agreement. Just as Sean Spicer knew that he could only go so far in his open support for Jill Stein without raising eyebrows, Putin knew that his open support for Donald Trump was not likely to help their common cause. He could, however, openly support Jill Stein as the radical alternative to Hillary Clinton to the tune of tens of millions of dollars through his Russian propaganda outlets Russia Today and Sputnik, and although a search for "Jill Stein" on the Sputnik website turns up 174 hits, Putin expressed his support for the Jill Stein assault on Hillary Clinton most directly and effectively through his main English language propaganda instruments RT and RT/America, formerly named and more generally known as Russia Today.
Mediaite says about RT:
RT, however, is not cool. Far from some quirky left-wing media company, it is fully the mouthpiece of the Russian government. Formerly just Russia Today, its outlets and subsidiaries around the world regularly spew 21st century agitprop with the express aim of advancing Russia’s strategic interests.Sara Firth was a London based RT correspondent that decided to stop selling herself for Putin, and told the world on Twitter:
report from Director of National Intelligence “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections,” when into some detail about RT:
RT America TV, a Kremlin-financed channel operated from within the United States, has substantially expanded its repertoire of programming that highlights criticism of alleged US shortcomings in democracy and civil liberties. The rapid expansion of RT's operations and budget and recent candid statements by RT's leadership point to the channel's importance to the Kremlin as a messaging tool and indicate a Kremlin directed campaign to undermine faith in the US Government and fuel political protest. The Kremlin has committed significant resources to expanding the channel's reach, particularly its social media footprint. A reliable UK report states that RT recently was the most-watched foreign news channel in the UK. RT America has positioned itself as a domestic US channel and has deliberately sought to obscure any legal ties to the Russian Government.It tries to position itself as an alternative to mainstream media, as if the prefered alternative to neoliberalism is fascism.
The Kremlin staffs RT and closely supervises RT's coverage, recruiting people who canIt certainly was single-minded in its support for Jill Stein in the US presidential race.
convey Russian strategic messaging because of their ideological beliefs.
According to [RT editor-in-chief] Simonyan, the Russian Government sets rating and viewership requirements for RT and, "since RT receives budget from the state, it must complete tasks given by the state." According to [ parent company TV-Novosti director] Nikolov, RT news stories are written and edited "to become news" exclusively in RT's Moscow office (Dozhd TV, 11 July; AKT, 4 October).It is Putin's propaganda arm; there shouldn't be any confusion about that.
According to RT management, RT's website receives at least 500,000 unique viewers every day. Since its inception in 2005, RT videos received more than 800 million views on YouTube (1 million views per day), which is the highest among news outlets (see graphics for comparison with other news channels) (AKT, 4 October)The Russian propagandists really excel in their use of cyberspace. Their use of python AI bots has changed the political landscape of social media.
According to Simonyan, RT uses social media to expand the reach of its political reporting and uses well-trained people to monitor public opinion in social media commentaries (Kommersant, 29 September)One can only wonder how much of the RT budget of 2016 went towards promoting Jill Stein? Even 1.25% of the estimated $300 million the Kremlin spent in production and distribution for RT that year would have eclipsed Jill Stein's own campaign expenditures.
According to Nikolov, RT requires its hosts to have social media accounts, in part because social media allows the distribution of content that would not be allowed on television (Newreporter.org, 11 October)
The Kremlin spends $190 million a year on the distribution and dissemination of RT programming, focusing on hotels and satellite, terrestrial, and cable broadcasting.In addition to the Internet, RT has a large TV following.
RT states on its website that it can reach more than 550 million people worldwide and 85 million people in the United States; however, it does not publicize its actual US audience numbers (RT,10 December).While most domestic US news networks like CNN, MSNBC and FoxNews must sell advertising to pay expenses and make money, the Russian government pays for all of RT's expenses. It is the Infomercial model turned into a "news network." BBC, Al Jazeera and France24 are all similarly situated, and while they all reported on the US election, none of them so actively promoted a single US presidential candidate.
Only one other major news outlet, Fox News, was so singlemindedly dedicated to the promotion of one candidate in the last US presidential election. At least Fox News is a US media company and spoke honestly about who they wanted to win. Putin backed the same candidate as Fox News; he did it by backing a loser as a spoiler.
If, after taking into account depreciation and inflation, a picture is still worth a thousand words, this graphic from the DNI report speaks volumes about the Russian social media footprint that was put at the service of the Jill Stein campaign:
RT America formally disassociates itself from the Russian Government by using a Moscow-based autonomous nonprofit organization to finance its US operations. According to RT's leadership, this structure was set up to avoid the Foreign Agents Registration Act and to facilitate licensing abroad. In addition, RT rebranded itself in 2008 to deemphasize its Russian origin.So RT America can disguise its foreign meddling in US elections as just another US corporate play.
RT hires or makes contractual agreements with Westerners with views that fit its agenda and airs them on RT.
Full Disclosure: I entered into a lucrative license deal with RT that allowed it to broadcast my film, Vietnam: American Holocaust on virtually all media for one year. When you do a contract with RT it gets very complicated, but it also becomes clear pretty quickly that it is really the Russian government that is calling the shots; the contract is made with TV-Novosti.
A case study: RT support for the Jill Stein campaign on YouTube
A search on YouTube for "rt america jill stein" turns up "About 5,570 results," 2,750 in the past year, and RT/America averages more than 5,700,000 views a month on YouTube alone! RT/America is just 1 of the 88 members of RussiaToday [note the parent YouTube organization has not changed its name], which in total get an average of more than 133 million monthly views on YouTube. RT is another member of this family with mostly English content, and favorable to Jill Stein, that has an average monthly viewership of more than 28 million, Ruptly TV is a third Jill Stein fan brand with more than 14 million monthly viewers.
These are all professionally produced videos, and they aren't cheap to produce, so even though YouTube pays Russia Today as much as $274,000 a year for those views on RT/America alone, sustaining the channel has to be costing the Kremlin millions, but since RT has an annual budget of over $300 million, it is still small potatoes to them.
There have been over 190,000 views in the top 10 of those 2,750 RT/America videos supporting Jill Stein's candidacy. The view totals for all those videos is likely to range into the tens of millions. Taking just this one example of RT videos for Jill Stein and extrapolating that across all RT platforms, which in the US include cable, satellite, and broadcast TV, radio and all social media, not just YouTube, but facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as well, it's easy to conclude that since the Jill Stein campaign only raised $3,713,170, Putin probably spent more on the Jill Stein campaign than the campaign spent on itself. If this is true, it means that votes for a US presidential candidate supported largely by Russian resources put Donald Trump in the White House.
Jill Stein admitted:
"We look to RT for access to the American public."The website RT.com also played a big role in promoting the Jill Stein campaign. The eight images below represent just a tiny sample of the "About 416 results" Google finds for a search for "Jill Stein" on RT.com:
Jill Stein has been as resolute as Donald Trump in not criticizing Putin, and everything she did during the election and since served Putin's strategic interests. Even her much hyped recount efforts in the three states she gave to Trump served to create doubt about the very voting systems the Russians failed to hack, while distracting our attention away from the "in your face" way that she has been an instrument of Russian influence in the US election. Her Putin promoted propaganda went a long ways towards convincing the American voters to elect the greater of the two evils.
One last question:
If Sean Spicer tweets Jill Stein, and she likes it, is that collusion?
Syria is the Paris Commune of the 21st Century!