What kind of “America First” Government is this?

Keeping track on what is going on with the Russian scandal in the White House is not easy.  Using simply publicly report information, we present this handy reference chart to track which members of the Trump Administration appear to be playing on team Russia rather than on team USA. If you are a glutton for punishment, you can go to Trump Truth Hiders to see which of the Republicans in Congress are enabling Trump’s lies and destruction by going along with his nefarious actions.

The investigation that the FBI has been doing since early 2016 is clearly massive and likely involves many of the key members of the Trump Administration and Congress.  We know it will take quite some time for them to sort out the evidence to convict those who are complicit.  Update: as of May 9th, Trump realized his imminent danger and summarily dismissed FBI Director James B. Comey, who was leading the investigation. Given this provocation to our system of justice, we fully expect the gloves to come off quickly and charges to be leveled. We think impeachment cannot be far off now . . . !

What’s going on with Trump is not normal.  “Normal” Americans are extremely upset about evidence showing Russian intrusions into our electoral process and government. We want to know how many of those involved with the Trump campaign were complicit in the plan for Russians to use their well-honed “cyber warfare tactics” to interfere in our elections and what the payback is.  With so many high-ranking American officials having such deep ties to Russia, it is not possible that this was just coincidence. Here we present some evidence for which of administration officials are playing on “team Russia” and which are not.  It also appears that Trump is allied with a group of religious extremists/white supremacists who also view Putin favorably, due to his opposition to homosexuality, Islam and minorities.  We group these individuals as ALT-RIGHT, as they call themselves.

NAME ROLE WHOSE SIDE?
EVIDENCE
EXECUTIVE BRANCH
Donald Trump U.S. President RUSSIA See the Trump-Russia Dossier for a fairly complete explanation of Trump’s tit-for-tat bargain with Putin. We suspect that there are more ways that Trump expects to profit from his “Devil’s Bargain” with the Russians. Trump has repeatedly denounced allegations that Russians hacked the election on his behalf and instead blasts the intelligence community for their findings.

Mike Pence Vice President ALT-RIGHT Unclear what his knowledge of or involvement in Trump’s pro-Russian activity is. He’s not calling for an independent investigation. He was unwilling to assert American moral superiority over Russia and supports Trump’s claims about Russia when asked repeatedly. Pence is scary for his non-scientific, extreme psuedo-religious beliefs (ie hostile, hate-filled, scape-goating and uncharitable), we are forced to group him with a growing sub-faction that can only be described as Christian-Militarist-Wackos, who seem to support fascist-style regime control to prevent social contamination from minorities, gays, and non-Christians.

Steve Bannon Chief Strategist ALT-RIGHT
Bannon is a “traditionalist” leader of the “Alt-Right” movement (alt-Russian?), which is a white supremacist, neo-Nazi group, philosophically similar to those in political power in Russia. Considered to be a Leninist, seeking to destabilize democracy in favor of Judeo-Christian form of anti-Islam fascism.

Jeff Sessions Attorney General RUSSIA Forced to recuse himself from investigations related to the 2016 presidential campaign, which would include any Russian interference in the electoral process, and now under pressure to resign, because of lies he told to the Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearing denying having met with any Russians, when he met several times with the Russian Ambassador.

Michael Flynn (Former) National Security Adviser RUSSIA Flynn attended a meeting with Russian ambassador Kislyak and Kushner but lied about the content of those meetings to Pence. Forced to resign from his appointment.

Wilbur Ross Secretary of Commence RUSSIA During the Clinton administration, Ross served on the board of the U.S.-Russia Investment Fund, working to bolster businesses in post-Cold-War Russia. During his confirmation, questions arose about his ownership of a bank on Cyprus that, according to Kevin Hall, “caters to wealthy Russians.” Oh, yeah, then he brokered a deal for Trump with a wealthy Russian oligarch that gave Trump a $40 million profit and Manafort used his Cyprus bank for dozens of transactions on behalf of his Ukraine and Russian clients.

Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster National Security Adviser USA A battle-tested veteran of both the Persian Gulf war and the second Iraq war, General McMaster is considered one of the military’s most independent-minded officers, sometimes at a cost to his own career. Unlike with his predecessor Flynn, McMaster does not support normalizing relations with Russia. McMaster sees Russia as a “hostile revisionist power” that “annex(es) territory, intimidates our allies, develops nuclear weapons, and uses proxies under the cover of modernized conventional militaries.”

Rex Tillerson Secretary of State (Former CEO of ExxonMobil) RUSSIA As the head of ExxonMobil, Tillerson helped negotiate a massive agreement between the Russian government and ExxonMobil-Rosneft, a partnership between the two companies. Tillerson was subsequently awarded the “Order of Friendship” by Putin and appeared to be extremely friendly with Putin. He stands to personally earn hundreds of millions from loosening US sanctions on Russia, which are holding up completion of that deal valued at $50 billion.

General Jim Mattis Secretary of Defense USA President Trump’s choice for secretary of defense, General Jim Mattis, was a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution until being confirmed as the 26th United States Secretary of Defense. He studied national security issues, specifically strategy, innovation, the effective use of military force and the Middle East while writing a book on leadership. Mattis placed Russia first among principal threats facing the United States, arguing for greater American support for European allies to counter what he said were Moscow’s attempts to shatter the North Atlantic security alliance. One of the authors of “A Blueprint For American Security” published while at the Hoover Institution, Mattis is well aware of the challenges the U.S. faces from such antagonists as Russia, China, continuing wars in the Middle East and “metastasizing” terrorism.

Betsy DeVos Secretary of Education ALT-RIGHT Married to Amway fortune heir and daughter to ultra-conservative, extremist wackos, who use their wealth to advance psuedo-religious beliefs that essentially further their fortunes. Sister to Erik Prince, founder of Blackwater, a far-right mercenary group. DeVoses want to kill public education and teach psuedo-science like “creationism.” Investigators traced secretive communications between the Trump Organization and servers in Alfa Bank, a Russian bank with connections to Putin, to a server owned by Spectrum Health in Michigan. The DeVos family helped fund Spectrum Health and Betsy’s husband is chairman of the board. It seems that within the Spectrum nexus, well-placed Trump and/or Russian operatives are doing certain IT work on behalf of Trump and Putin, using the hospital resources that are available to them.

Paul Manafort (Former) Campaign Manager RUSSIA Manafort “made a career out of stealthily reinventing the world’s nastiest tyrants as noble defenders of freedom” and most recently worked on the “campaign” for Putin puppet, deposed Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych. Manafort is now under Human-Right investigation for the murder of protesters during the demonstrations, which led to Yanukovych’s ouster. Given how well linked Manafort is with Russian interests, his role changing the Republican platform to soften its support of Ukraine against the Russian incursion, and his client lists, which have included Philippine strongman Ferdinand Marcos and despots from the Dominican Republic, Nigeria, Kenya, Equatorial Guinea, and Somalia among others (which the Center for Public Integrity detailed in a report called “The Torturers’ Lobby) it would frankly seem downright remarkable if Manafort wasn’t actually working directly for Putin.

Donald Trump Jr. Son RUSSIA Benefiting from a lot of Russian investments. Stated in 2008, “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets” and “We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”

Ivanka Trump Daughter RUSSIA Ivanka has a close friendships with Dasha Zhukova, the art-collector wife of oligarch Roman Abramovich, one of the richest men in Russia. Abramovich isn’t just the owner of the Chelsea soccer club; he’s reportedly a member of Putin’s inner circle. Ivanka is also friends with the ex-wife of Rupert Murdoch, Wendi Deng, who at one point was rumored to be dating Russian President Vladimir Putin.  Also, appears to be attempting to help enable Russian tracking of American citizens, by promoting SkyGuru, a phone app produced by the Russian spy agency.

Jared Kushner Advisor (and Son-in-Law) to the President RUSSIA Has considerable Russian business connections, including having Yuri Milner invest in a stake in a Kushner real estate investment company and a “friendship” with oligarch Roman Abramovich, close friend of Putin’s and owner of Evraz, a steel manufacturer, which may benefit from Trump’s removal of the provision requiring TransCanada to use American steel for its KeystoneXL pipeline.   Has been reportedly discovered having had a secretive meeting with Russian Ambassador Kislyak, sneaking him in the back door of the Trump Tower.

Kellyanne Conway Counselor to the President RUSSIA It turns out that Kellyanne’s husband, George Conway, represented a client accused of bribing Russian officials in order to secure a contract with the prosecutor general of Russia, we learned recently. Furthermore, she has not condemned any aspect of the Russian interference in the election and castigated Gen. Flynn not for his covert meetings with the Russian Ambassador but only for mis-characterizing his conversation to Vice President Pence, both of which caused him to be fired.

Roger Stone Longtime Advisor RUSSIA During the campaign, Stone drew attention for having inside knowledge on the WikiLeaks document releases — releases linked to Russian interests by the government. First he tweeted about his connection, then he denied it: why? The Times reports that Stone is possibly under investigation by the U.S. government for his links to Russia.

Carter Page (Former) Advisor RUSSIA Page served briefly as part of Trump’s National Security team but Trump has tried to distance himself from Page, especially after Page’s visit to Russia a week before the Russian hacking of the DNC services came to light. Under pressure, Page admitted that he met with Kislyak last year during the Republican convention in Cleveland. He also has repeatedly addressed Russian business groups in that country, including twice in 2016 in which he criticized the U.S. Page worked in Russia as an investment banker for nearly a decade.

Donald F. McGahn White House Counsel RUSSIA McGahn is quite familiar with corruption, dark money flows and hiding Russian investments in campaigns. In the 2000’s he defended Tom DeLay when he was indicted for funneling campaign contributions into a PAC. McGahn also defended DeLay regaring contributions made by Russian oil tycoons to the U.S. Family Network (an early alt-right front group). He served as in-house counsel for the NRCC from 1999-2008 and during his tenure, it was investigated by the FBI and its treasurer convicted of embezzelment. He later represented former Rep. Aaron Schock, while Schock was investigated for misuse of federal funds. He has also represented the Koch brothers-funded Freedom Partners.

J.D. Gordon (Former) Advisor RUSSIA Gordon also served as part of Trump’s national security advisory team, was a onetime Pentagon spokesman who also served as an adviser to the campaign. Gordon, like Page, reportedly spoke with Kislyak in Cleveland.

Erik Price Secret Advisor ALT-RIGHT Betsy DeVos’s brother, Erik Prince, the founder of the mercenary firm Blackwater, has been quietly advising Trump’s transition team, including helping vet Cabinet picks. Allies with Robert Mercer, the billionaire hedge funder, and contributor to his pro-Trump super PACs Make America Number 1 super PAC, Erik is seen as advocating for a revival of a brutal kill/capture program, like one conducted in Vietnam that targeted the Viet Cong as a military force, to be directed towards to the funders of Islamic terror.

Joseph Schmitz Foreign Policy Advisor ALT-RIGHT Trump selected Joseph Schmitz, a former Pentagon inspector general with ties to the Center for Security Policy, as a foreign policy advisor. Schmitz is described as a “radical Christian supremacist with an ‘insane worldview'” who was forced out of his job on accusations that he protected officials in the George W. Bush administration who were suspected of wrongdoing. He is closely associated with Erik Prince and is a former executive with Blackwater.

Reverend Franklin Graham Inauguration Prayer RUSSIA Graham visited Russian in 2015 where he met with Vladimir Putin and heaped praise including calling him a hero for his defense of Christianity and his hostility to Muslims and LGBTQ folk. Graham slammed President Obama for supporting “policies that contradict the teachings of God” and praised the Russian president for “protecting Russian young people against homosexual propaganda.” Graham reportedly said, “I call for prayers for the president of Russia, who is protecting traditional Christianity.” Graham also praised Russian involvement in Syria, which the Russian Orthodox Church has called a “holy battle.” Putin receives support from many conservative Christians in the U.S., including like Evangelical leader Franklin Graham, National Organization for Marriage leader Brian Brown, and American Family Association spokesperson Bryan Fischer. Bryan Fischer called Putin a “lion of Christianity” and called upon U.S. lawmakers to adopt similar speech prohibitions; Matt Barber marveled that Putin was able to “out-Christian our once-Christian nation”; Sam Rohrer called Putin “the moral leader of the world”; Scott Lively lavished praise on Putin for “ championing traditional marriage and Christian values ”; and Rush Limbaugh applauded Putin for stopping “a full-frontal assault on what has always been considered normalcy.”

LEGISLATIVE BRANCH: SENATE
Mitch McConnell Senate Majority Leader (R-Kentucky)
RUSSIA McConnell personally opposed and obstructed the disclosure by American Intelligence and Obama of Russian hacking prior to the election, as requested by Obama and members of the Intelligence community, so that voters could know the extent of illegal activity. McConnell continues to reject bipartisan calls for a special committee to investigate Russian interference in the U.S. election, as requested by Senators McCain, Graham, Schumer, Reed, Cardin, Feinstein, Leahy and more. Claims that the Senate Intelligence Committee can handle the investigation.

Richard Burr
Senator (R-North Carolina), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee
USA While Senator Burr acquiesced to Trump requests to that he attempt to discredit unfavorable coverage of Russian contacts with the Trump campaign by CNN and The New York Times, he has subsequently established a strong lead of impartiality and determination to get to the bottom of the Trump Russia connection as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation. He has expressed a commitment to work in a bipartisan way together with Adam Schiff, the ranking member of the committee, to conduct a thorough and vigorous investigation of Trump and whether he colluded with the Russians to influence the outcome of the election.

John McCain Senator (R-Arizona), Chairman of the Armed Services Committee
USA McCain supports continued investigations into Russian hacking. In early January, along with Senator Lindsey Graham, Senator McCain urged Trump to punish Russia for its role in interfering with the election. “We need to come to grips with it and get to the bottom of it and overall come up with a strategy in this new form of warfare that can basically harm our economy, harm our elections, harm our national security,” he said.

Rand Paul Senator (D-Maryland), Senate Foreign Relations Committee
RUSSIA Senator John McCain had this to say about Rand Paul. “You are achieving the objectives of Vladimir Putin . . . trying to dismember this small country which has already been the subject an attempted coup. . . . If [a senator objects to actions which strengthen NATO], they are now carrying out the desires and ambitions of Vladimir Putin and I do not say that lightly.” If Senator McCain accuses Rand Paul of being on Russia’s side, that’s enough for us.

Benjamin L Cardin Senator (D-Maryland), Senate Foreign Relations Committee
USA As the Ranking Democrat, Cardin introduced legislation in January calling for the creation of an independent, non-partisan commission, similar to the 9/11 Commision, to comprehensively investigate allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Dianne Feinstein Senator (D-California) USA Called for the creation of an independent, non-partisan commission to comprehensively investigate allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Patrick J. Leahy Senator (D-Vermont) USA Called for the creation of an independent, non-partisan commission to comprehensively investigate allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

LEGISLATIVE BRANCH: HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) House Speaker
RUSSIA Ryan “condemned state-sponsored cyberattacks on our democratic process” but stopped short of calling for a congressional investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election. He has not joined in calling for a “bipartisan, independent commission” to investigate Russian hacking.

Nancy Pelosi (D-Cal.) House Minority Leader USA Pelosi supports a proposal to form a bipartisan, independent commission to investigate Russian hacking into our election. “The U.S. intelligence community has determined that Russia interfered in U.S. elections,” Pelosi said. “There must be no equivocation or ignoring the seriousness of the intelligence community’s conclusion about Russia’s actions. Regardless of the outcome of the election, the American people deserve to know the truth and a commitment to protect our democracy from foreign meddling.”

Jason Chaffetz
(R-Utah) Chair of the House Oversight Committee
RUSSIA Chaffetz, already under an ethics cloud because of inappropriately tweeting about an internal letter from FBI Director Comey, Chaffetz has refused to investigate clear conflicts of interest between Trump or any number of Trump’s cabinet and foreign leaders.

Darrell Issa (R-Cal.) Member of the House Judiciary Committee USA Issa became one of the few Republican representatives to state publicly the need for an independent investigation into Russia’s reported election meddling.

Devin Nunes (R-Cal.) Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, also served on Trump’s National Security Transition team RUSSIA Nunes is responsible for leading the House’s investigation of Russian meddling but he has shown that he is compromised. There is now reason to believe that Nunes is colluding with Trump, in that through an extraordinary violation of protocol, he reported Intelligence information to Trump, without the approval of the committee which is akin to a prosecutor taking evidence from the plaintiff and reporting on it to the defendant.

Adam Schiff (D-Cal), Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee
USA Concerned and critical of the way Rep. Devin Nunes is handling and mismanaging the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation of Russian interference as the chair of that committee. Believes that Devin Nunes was attempting to distract from the Russia investigation with claims that members of Trump’s transition team were subjects of “incidental” collection during routine surveillance targeting suspected foreign spies, among other things.

 

 

Reference Links and Articles:

1.
The Guardian, “What we know – and what’s true – about the Trump-Russia dossier” by Luke Harding, January 11, 2017
2.
The Washington Post, “Mike Pence’s awkward — and telling — response to whether the U.S. is ‘morally superior’ to Russia” by Aaron Blake, February 6, 2017
3.
Quartz, “Want to understand what Trump and Bannon are up to? Look to the Russian Revolution of 1917” by Anastasia Edel
4.
Time, “John McCain and Lindsey Graham Urge Donald Trump to Punish Russia Over Hacking” by Madeline Farber, January 8, 2017
5.
Salon, “Trump’s Russia woes continue: Jared Kushner also had undisclosed Russian meeting” by Matthew Rozsa, March 3, 2017
6.
PoliticusUSA, “Opinion: Trump Lies and a Russian Profits As Keystone XL Will Not Use American Steel” by Rmuse, Mar. 8, 2017
7.
Mercury News, “Ivanka Trump, the Russia scandal and her billionaire’s social network” by Martha Ross, March 6, 2017
8.
New York Times: “Senate and House Leaders Call for Inquiry of Russian Hacking in Election” By Jennifer Steinhauer, Dec. 12, 2016
9.
Snopes “Hack Job” by Bethania Palma
10.
Huffington Post “Paul Ryan’s Bizarre Response To Russian Meddling In The Presidential Election” by Matt Fuller, Dec. 12, 2016
11.
PoliticusUSA, “Ethics Complaint Filed Against Rep. Jason Chaffetz for Releasing Comey Clinton Email Letter” Jason Easley, Oct. 31, 2016
12.
The Washington Post, “Top Republican says special prosecutor should investigate Russian meddling in Trump’s election” by Amy B. Wang, February 25, 2017
13.
Mother Jones, “Can Republicans Be Trusted to Investigate Trump’s Russia Scandal?” by David Corn, February 27, 2017
14.
Salon, “Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr reeling from phone call on behalf of Trump” by Matthew Rozsa, February 28, 2017
15. New York Times, “Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence” by Michael S. Schmidt, Mark Mazzetti and Matt Apuzzo, Feb. 14, 2017
16. The Washington Post, “Attorney General Jeff Sessions will recuse himself from any probe related to 2016 presidential campaign” by Karoun Demirjian, Ed O’Keefe, Sari Horwitz and Matt Zapotosky, March 2, 2017
17. Bluedot Daily, “Kellyanne Conway Now Discovered to Have Russian Bribes Connection” by cpowell, March 4, 2017
18. The Rachel Maddow Show, “New Commerce Secretary at nexus of lucrative Trump Russian deal” Feb. 27, 2017
19. Huffington Post, “Former Trump Adviser Roger Stone Admits Collusion With WikiLeaks, Then Deletes It” by Marina Fang, March 5, 2017
20. MMO Champion, “Russia hacks Trump during campaign using Devos-controlled company” by Mlztickow, March 3, 2017
21. New York Times, “Trump Choose s H.R. McMaster as National Security Adviser” by Peter Baker and Michael R. Gordon, February 20, 2017
22. CounterPunch, “McMaster Takes Charge: Trump Relinquishes Control of Foreign Policy” by Mike Whitney, February 24, 2017
23. Slate “The Quiet American” by Franklin Foer, April 28, 2016
24. Heatstreet, “EXCLUSIVE: FBI ‘Granted FISA Warrant’ Covering Trump Camp’s Ties To Russia by Louise Mensch, November 7, 2016
25 Washington Post, “Never Trump’ Republicans join call for select committee to investigate Russia and Trump“, Josh Rogin, March 14, 2017
26. NCRM, “Franklin Graham Goes To Russia, Praises Putin, Slams America, Attacks Obama, Denigrates Gay People” by David Badash, 11/03/15
27. New York Magazine, “Why the Christian Right Shares Trump’s Affection for Putin
28. RightWingWatch, “The Religious Right Shares Trump’s Putin Crush” by Peter Mongomery, September 9, 2016
29. The Washington Post, “Placing Russia first among threats, Defense nominee warns of Kremlin attempts to ‘break’ NATO” by Missy Ryan and Dan Lamothe, January 12, 2017
30. Hoover Institution at Stanford University, “General Jim Mattis: Biography
31. Center for American Progress, “The DeVos Dynasty: A Family of Extremists” by Catherine Brown and Ulrich Boser, January 23, 2017
32. Democracy Now!, “Scahill: Blackwater Founder Erik Prince, the Brother of Betsy DeVos, Is Secretly Advising Trump” by Jeremy Scahill and Amy Goodman, January 18, 2017
33. Democracy Now!, “Donald Trump’s Top Foreign Adviser, Joseph Schmitz, is a Former Blackwater Executive” transcript of interview by and between Jeremy Scahill and Amy Goodman, January 18, 2017
34. Buzzfeed, “Ivanka Trump’s Website Promotes A Russian App That Quietly Tracks Your Location by Anthony Cormier, january 26, 2017
35. Buzzfeed, “Betsy DeVos’s Brother, The Founder Of Blackwater, Is Setting Up A Private Army For China, Sources Say” by Aram Roston, February 16, 2017
36. DailyKOS, “Fireworks In The Senate: John McCain Is Livid And Just Accused Rand Paul Of Working For Putin” by ursulafaw, March 15, 2017
37. LA Times Editorial: “Nunes’ freelancing threatens an investigation into Russian meddling” by the LA Times Editorial Board, March 24, 2017
38.  Wikipedia: “Don McGahn
39. Bloomberg News, “Trump Needs a Strong Lawyer: White House Counsel Don McGahn has been conspicuously absent,” by Paul Barrett, February 16, 2017
40. Huffington Post, “Adam Schiff: Trump’s Use Of The Word ‘Fake’ Should ‘Set Off Alarm Bells’ by Paige Lavender, April 2, 2017
Updated: 4/3/17