First, a few facts. Ivanka Trump is close friends with Wendi Deng Murdoch, the ex-wife of Rupert Murdoch:
And who is Deng dating? Rumor has it, Vladimir Putin. Granted, this was reported in US Magazine (back in March of 2016):Deng Murdoch was actually responsible for setting up Trump and Kushner.
“Everything she has is available to her friends, which, believe me, is not common,” [Ivanka] told Vogue earlier this summer of her friend. “There’s nothing that doesn’t interest her, and she can hit five topics in a 35-second conversation. It’s really a whirlwind with Wendi. I can’t recall the last time I had a conversation with her that didn’t conclude with her connecting me to four people who might become great friends or great business opportunities.”
The Daily Mail wrote in 2014 that Deng and Ivanka were friends long before Donald Trump announced his candidacy for President:How’s this for a new couple alert? The rumor circulating around the corridors of power — from Washington, D.C., to Europe and Asia — is that Vladimir Putin and Wendi Deng, Rupert Murdoch’s ex-wife, are dating. Reports of the pair have been floating around for years, ever since their respective divorces in 2014 and 2013. One insider close to the powerful leader tells Us Weekly the relationship is “serious.”
Murdoch, 85, filed for divorce from Deng, 47, after 14 years of marriage in June 2013 after he reportedly grew suspicious of her relationship with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. (A spokesperson for Blair denied the affair to The Hollywood Reporter in July 2013.) The businesswoman famously made headlines in 2011 when she jumped to Murdoch’s defense and slapped a protestor’s face after he tried to pie her husband during a meeting with parliament.
That apartment building, btw, is 834 Fifth Avenue, which is pretty much .001% central.Ivanka had close ties with Wendi when she was married to publisher Rupert, even joining them for a trip to Jordan to meet with Queen Rania in 2011. Wendi divorced billionaire publisher [Rupert] Murdoch last year and was said to have developed a flirtatious friendship with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
As part of her divorce settlement, Wendi, who is Rupert's third ex-wife, will receive a lavish Chinese mansion adjacent to Beijing's Forbidden City.
The luxurious property, which has never been open to the public, reportedly has a total floor area of 21,500 square feet, and is said to have an underground swimming pool, a simulated golf driving range and a billiards room.
The Chinese beauty will also retain the couple's three-story Fifth Avenue apartment in New York.
Vanity Fair picked up the US Magazine rumor and stated (also in March of 2016):
And, although Deng has denied any relationship with Putin (who wouldn't?), Vogue informs us that Deng is friends and business partners with Dasha Zhukova, wife of Roman Abramovich, so it's not just a one time romp on his yacht. Meaning that Deng would have had multiple occasions to meet Putin socially through her friendship with Abramovich's wife.It is difficult to imagine finding a fourth mate who could out-titan a media mogul, a king of technology, and a world leader, who, combined, are worth about $23 billion. But if there’s someone you want to bet on reaching that summit, it is Deng, who is now allegedly dating Russian president Vladimir Putin, according to the gossip magazine Us Weekly. Maybe Deng, then, is the lightning.
… The two have yet to be spotted together in public, because that level of self-serving malevolence in one single frame would likely crumble the earth onto itself. But US did report Deng was spotted earlier this week boarding the St. Barths–docked yacht of Russian businessman Roman Abramovich. After Putin’s election, the billionaire reportedly gifted him a $35 million yacht to add to his collection of playthings, according to the Daily Mail. This one degree of mega-yacht separation isn’t quite a confirmation, but it has to count for something, right?
Which is all to say, what a small world. But more importantly--and getting back to the meat of the conspiracy theory--who is Melania Trump? Didn't expect that turn did you? According to Wiki:
When did she meet PEOTUS? Pretty quickly...Melanija Knavs was born in Novo Mesto in the southeast of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia, part of Yugoslavia, on April 26, 1970.
She grew up in a modest apartment in a housing block in Sevnica, in Slovenia's Lower Sava Valley. She has a sister and an older half-brother, whom she reportedly has never met, from her father's previous relationship. Although Melania's family comes from a Roman Catholic background, her father, to the dismay of their relatives, wished for her to not receive the Christian sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion due to his commitment to Marxist-Leninist atheism. Melania, however, was later married in an Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea and has received Holy Communion there at Midnight Mass during her recent Christmas celebrations.
When she was a teenager, the family moved to a two-story house in Sevnica and as a high school student, she lived in a high-rise apartment in Ljubljana. Melanija attended the Secondary School of Design and Photography in Ljubljana, and studied at the University of Ljubljana for one year before dropping out. She speaks six languages: Serbo-Croatian, English, French, Italian, German, and her native Slovene.
She began modeling at age 5 and first commercials at 16, when she posed for the Slovenian fashion photographer Stane Jerko. At 18, she signed with a modeling agency in Milan, Italy. She was named runner-up in the 1992 Jana Magazine "Look of the Year" contest, held in Ljubljana, which promised its top three contestants an international modeling contract.
After attending the University of Ljubljana for one year, she modeled for fashion houses in Milan and Paris. She then relocated to New York City in 1996, her contract and visa negotiated by Italian businessman Paolo Zampolli. Through her lawyer, she has indicated she first entered the United States on a business visitor visa in August 1996. She obtained an H-1B visa in October 1996. After that, she regularly returned to Slovenia to obtain a series of four more one-year work visas because, at the time, Slovenians could only obtain one-year visas in the United States.
That's sweet. See where this is going yet?After moving to New York City in 1996, Melania met her future husband Donald at a Fashion Week party in New York City in September 1998, while he was still married to, but separated from, Marla Maples; Donald attended the event with another date, Celina Midelfart, and Melania initially refused to give Donald her phone number. Melania broke off the relationship shortly after it began, but the couple reconciled after a few months. Their relationship gained attention after a 1999 interview on The Howard Stern Show. In 2000, Melania appeared with Donald while he campaigned for that year's Reform Party presidential nomination. Their relationship gained additional publicity after the 2004 launch of Donald's business-oriented reality television show, The Apprentice. Donald described their long courtship in 2005: "We literally have never had an argument, forget about the word 'fight' ... We just are very compatible. We get along."
From a little known piece on Huff Post that I had read but thought ridiculous at the time (and there is still much about it I find more satirical than any kind of serious investigative piece, but there are bits that triggered which I'll highlight):
Pause a moment here to note that this is not the first time Ivana Trump (his first wife) has been accused of being a Russian spy or otherwise a "person of interest" to Russian intelligence along with Trump. In fact, The Guardian reported in December that:The Russians have a long-range plan to take over the American Presidency, but indirectly. Just make it toothless on the world scene, and have an agent in the White House. Who cares if the U.S. has the greatest military? If our Prez is a complete dunderhead, he’ll be neutralized and nobody will take America seriously. And if he fawns over whoever’s in power in Russia, well, so much the better.
So they start grooming a candidate years in advance. They don’t pick a politician. That might leave tracks and be too obvious. They choose someone totally unexpected: a loudmouth New York businessman. They set him up with a Czech wife who softens him up surreptitiously to admire the Russian way of life. Not that hard to do since he’s a bully anyway.
And where did all of those archived files from the StB go to? Well, little is known about Putin's KGB days (except for Dresden in the eighties; wait for it), but again turning to Wiki:The secret service of communist-era Czechoslovakia spied extensively on Donald Trump, it has emerged, with one informant alleging in 1977 that the future US president-elect “is completely tax-exempt for the next 30 years”.
The Státní bezpečnost or StB – the then communist state’s intelligence agency which dealt with any activity considered dangerous to the state or of western influence – spied on Trump and his Czechoslovak-born wife, Ivana, in the 1970s and 80s when she made regular trips back to visit her father, Miloš Zelníček.
Stamped “top secret” and bearing the code names “Slusovice”, “America” and “Capital”, the files detail the obsession Czech spies had in gathering as much information about the US property tycoon as possible.
Uncovered by Czech television and the German tabloid Bild...Another spy reported in 1977 that Trump’s businesses were “absolutely safe” because they received commissions from the state. The informant added: “Another advantage is the personal relationship [he has] with the American president [presumably Jimmy Carter] and the fact that he is completely tax-exempt for the next 30 years.”
During this year’s election campaign, the New York Times obtained tax records that the paper said showed Trump could have used a $916m loss reported on his 1995 tax return to avoid paying income tax for up to 18 years. Asked about the story during one of the presidential debates, Trump acknowledged that this was accurate.
In 1988 a further informant working under the cover name “Milos” reported that Trump was being put under considerable pressure to run for the US presidency. The Czech authorities should be made aware, he said, that Ivana was under pressure herself to not put a step wrong during visits to Czechoslovakia, or else she risked putting her husband’s potential candidacy in jeopardy.
“Any false step of hers will have incalculable consequences for the position of her husband who intends to run for president in 1996,” Milos wrote. He added that Trump was convinced he could win the presidency.
The StB went so far as to send a spy to the US to monitor Trump, believing that if he was to succeed in becoming US president it could have a significant impact on Czechoslovak-US relations. A note by an StB spy named “Al Jarda” of 10 October 1989 details a visit made to Trump by a delegation from a communist agricultural production cooperative from Slusovice, the village where Ivana Trump’s father lived.
“They were given a welcome by one of the richest men in New York, Mister Donald Trump. He got them to explain to him extensively about the work of the cooperative and its further plans in the field of trade,” Al Jarda wrote. At the end of the visit Trump was invited to visit Slusovice. It is not believed that he ever took them up on the offer.
Details of how the Trumps were to be spied on are also held in the StB’s archives. One order dated 1979 states that the phone calls between Ivana and her father are to be tapped at least once a year and their mail is to be constantly monitored. It is noted that Ivana speaks to her children in Czech even when she is in the US as well as detailing the friends and acquaintances of the Czech branch of her family.
A Czech historian said the fact that Ivana’s father was registered as an “StB confidant” did not mean he worked as an agent for them. “Rather the CSSR authorities forced him to talk to them because of his journeys to the US to see his daughter. If he hadn’t spoken to them he would not have been given permission to fly,” Tomáš Vilímek told Bild.
Donald and Ivana Trump were married in 1977 and divorced in 1992. They have three children.
The StB was dissolved following the collapse of communism in 1990.
Holy shit that's remarkable. From Lt. Colonel to Acting President in just three years. But of course the meat is that he was evidently active in the KGB throughout the years the StB (subordinate to the KGB) were spying on Ivana and Trump and in effect grew up politically at the same time as Trump's first forays into politics. And Ivana and Trump marry two years into Putin's service in the KGB.[Putin] then studied law at the Saint Petersburg State University, graduating in 1975. Putin was a KGB foreign intelligence officer for 16 years, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel before retiring in 1991 to enter politics in Saint Petersburg. He moved to Moscow in 1996 and joined President Boris Yeltsin's administration, rising quickly through the ranks and becoming Acting President on 31 December 1999, when Yeltsin resigned. Putin won the subsequent 2000 presidential election by a 53% to 30% margin, thus avoiding a runoff with his Communist Party opponent, Gennady Zyuganov. He was reelected President in 2004 with 72% of the vote.
We supposedly do know that Putin was in Germany in the eighties. The Atlantic describes him as an "outsider" within the still old-school KGB and his mission in Germany thus (emphasis mine):
So, if that last part in particular is true about what Putin's primary mission was, he would be well-versed in all of the ways to "contact, entrap, compromise, and generally recruit Westerners" long before becoming President and considering the fact that the StB was likewise engaged in tracking Trump's ascendancy at the same time Putin was apparently doing similar work in Dresden, it's not a great stretch to think those lines would either cross or converge and Putin would take over grooming such an asset if/when he became aware of the long-term surveillance carried out by the StB and/or whatever else was in play within the KGB at the time with regard to Trump.The accepted story about Putin's KGB service is that Dresden -- which was the third-largest city in the GDR with a population of about 500,000 -- was an unimportant backwater. Putin's work there has also routinely been described as unimportant and even unsuccessful. There is no official version of what Putin was doing in Dresden, and he has not offered much personal detail. Nor is there any concrete information about which directorate of the KGB Putin worked for. One suggestion is that he was in an operation, "Operation Luch" ("beam" or "ray"), to steal technological secrets. Another says that while he was indeed part of Operation Luch, the mission was in fact an undercover operation to recruit top officials in the East German Communist Party and secret police (Stasi). The goal was to secure their support for the reformist, perestroika, line of the Soviet leadership in Moscow against opposition from Honecker and his hardline East German allies. A third says simply that the goal of the KGB in Dresden was to contact, entrap, compromise, and generally recruit Westerners who happened to be in Dresden studying and doing business.
Back to Ivana and then Melania via the Huff Po piece (redacting the sillier parts; emphasis mine):
So go back for a moment to the Wiki on Melania. That bit about her dad refusing to baptize her due to his "commitment to Marxist-Leninist atheism." I thought that an odd thing for anyone to include in a Wiki profile, but then I started looking at the profile again and then found confirmation from the Daily Mail:[The Russians] are really smart. They make the marriage [to Ivana] fall apart in 1991, when Putin supposedly retires from the KGB...Eventually they throw him prize bait: a Slovenian supermodel even more enticing than the Czech agent—she’s a classic femme fatale not even James Bond could resist. Putin’s been President of Russia for one year by this point. Coincidence?
Fun fact: Only 5% of Slovenians were Communist Party members when she was growing up—and her father was in that cadre.
So the likelihood that the KGB would have known who Melania was through her father alone is pretty good, especially when you factor in her young modeling career--starting at five years old no less-- and the fact that she did popular commercials as well into her teens, before being made even more famous by a celebrity fashion photographer at age 17. Here is one of his pictures of her:For Melania Trump is also the daughter of a card-carrying Communist and was brought up in a Soviet-era apartment in a country which fell apart in a bloody frenzy of inter-ethnic violence.
Can anyone say "Mata Hari"?
Aside from being an "active" member of the Communist party in an area where evidently only 5% of the population were, according to the Daily Mail, Melania's father also "arranged for her to attend a technical high school before she went on to the University of Ljubljana." Technical high schools (or PTUs in Soviet-era Russia) were essentially trade schools for people who were not going to attend University. But Melania spoke six different languages and did go on to attend University (for one year before dropping out). So why the technical high school? And, more importantly, what kind was it? Well, I found this from the CIA no less:
In addition to politics, KGB recruiting and training of staff personnel emphasizes operational and area knowledge and experience from bottom to top. The main sources for new KGB officers are the institutes of International Affairs and Eastern Languages in Moscow. These institutions, which are better compared to the U.S. service academies than to other organizations of higher learning in America, prepare young Soviet citizens for careers abroad not only in the intelligence services, but for the foreign service, the Ministry of Foreign Trade, Radio Moscow, etc. Assignment of a student after graduation is worked out among the various consuming organizations. The students are under what amounts to military discipline and are required to accept the assignment given them. Few students,see much difference among the organizations these days except for differences in pay, length and location of overseas service and other practical matters.
In the course of their education the students learn two or three foreign languages well and study the history and culture of the area in which they specialize in considerable detail, although current politics is likely tobe a much weaker course than history. Access to native sources is still circumscribed. A substantial number of students go for a year or more as exchange students or as trainees with Soviet organizations working abroad. As a result, they often end up knowing the area, its language, its politics, customs, police systems, local geography and so on very well. Although the old-style Soviet intelligence officer who was raised in the shadow if not the institutions of the Komintern and could recruit agents through appeals to an international revolutionary ideology are long since past, the newest generation of Soviet intelligence officers can be quite effective by trading on their precise knowledge of target personalities and the problems and frustrations of the countries in which they operate.
It doesn't specify "technical schools" as a recruitment "go-to" but it does highlight the fact that the KGB did recruit from non-academic schools and Melania, due to her early success in modeling and commercials would have been on a higher frequency so to speak in regard to recruitment (i.e., not necessarily for average domestic operations, but more likely for more Mata Hari international "kompromat" operations).
Was she recruited by the FSB? Let's go back to the Huff Po piece:
Oh and just for a cherry on top, Trump will evidently meet Putin in Slovenia (Melania's home town) for their first summit. That's where President George W. Bush first met Putin in 2001 and as most of us know, Slovenia (nee Yugoslavia) has a prominent position in Putin's vision of reforming the USSR. And this from the CIA piece quoted earlier:Wife no. 3 helps strengthen Trump’s ties with Russia. Putin praises him and they develop a bromance—or so Trump thinks. Egomaniacs can sometimes be easily manipulated.
Melania suggests her husband proclaim that legal immigrants might be as dangerous as illegal ones. It’s a perfect way to throw suspicion off herself, as good as having a murky immigration story of her own, or faking her college degree when that can easily be discovered, or making sure her nude photos get into print, or stealing lines from the First Lady. How could anyone suspect her of anything nefarious?
I post that to show that Putin's training in the KGB would condition him to be much more "hands on" or direct in regard to any operational asset just in general. Now consider the fact that our intel says that it Putin was personally involved in the hacking:The phenomenon of marked disparity between formal rank and operational designation was probably more common during the period of considerable expansion of the First Chief Directorate's personnel ten and more years ago than it is today. At that time officers from other branches of the service were being brought into the First Chief Directorate more frequently than they are now. Nevertheless, the emphasis on operational experience and operational ability continues to be a marked element of the KGB style. The top officers in the service, for example, usually involve themselves directly in operations. They meet and develop agent candidates, they recruit and they handle agents.
In part this is a consequence of the strongly operational orientation of the KGB as a whole. A direct involvement in operations comes naturally to almost everyone in the organization. This operational orientation is manifest also in the concentration of relatively few cases per case officer. Generally, one man may handle four or five agents or targets under development. He is not expected to spread his range of intelligence activities further, although he may well be encouraged to develop a large circle of casual contacts from whom a relatively small number of serious targets may be selected.
Now let's add in the fact that Trump's US law firm (ironically handling his many conflicts of interest) has a significant presence in Russia (was in fact voted "Russian Law Firm of the Year"). As many know, Trump is well versed in the ways of the mafia as is Putin. "Mob" lawyers have a special place in lawyer hell, but one of the things they do that's legitimate is to operate as "mailboxes", which is to say a means of communication that is protected by client-attorney privilege, so essentially you can think of the US law office and the Moscow law office as a privileged pair of phone booths. But it would also serve as a way for Putin to assert his will/control/marching orders over Trump.U.S. intelligence officials now believe with "a high level of confidence" that Russian President Vladimir Putin became personally involved in the covert Russian campaign to interfere in the U.S. presidential election, senior U.S. intelligence officials told NBC News.
Two senior officials with direct access to the information say new intelligence shows that Putin personally directed how hacked material from Democrats was leaked and otherwise used. The intelligence came from diplomatic sources and spies working for U.S. allies, the officials said.
Much has been made about Michael Cohen as the subject of the MI6 report in that a Michael Cohen is a lawyer for Trump, but he swears he did not go to Prague and it's "fake news", etc. But I found a Steven M. Cohen (can't find what the "M" stands for, but Michael is probably the most likely) who is a prominent attorney with...? You guessed it. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, the law firm advising Trump on his conflicts with a branch in Moscow that was named "Russian Law Firm Of The Year."
Steven M. Cohen is a Partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius and is the:
The "mid-Atlantic region" for those who don't know is: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia, and West Virginia. Private equity investments are often real estate related, btw and all of the rest of his bio (found on the link provided) is weighted heavily toward emerging markets (aka, "Russia", though I found nothing specific in that regard) and "international strategic partnerships" which means he would likely travel a lot around the world (Prague perhaps?) in the course of his role as Partner in the firm which is in New Jersey. Chris Christie anyone?Chair of the firm’s emerging business and technology practice, Steven M. Cohen represents entrepreneurs, private equity investors, and venture capital funds. He advises clients in such industries as technology, life sciences, chemicals, consumer products, digital health, and fintech. Steve counsels mid-Atlantic region investors and emerging growth companies in a variety of business transaction including equity financing transactions, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), divestitures, initial public offerings (IPOs), joint ventures, and international strategic partnerships.
So why the stuff about Ivanka and Deng at the beginning and Steven and the like? Well, it all paints a very small international world of connections that transcend the business world and shows multiple avenues of communication, but also something far deeper and longer lasting than even I imagined, which is just exactly how far back and for how long Trump has been on Russian intelligence radar.
It also may help to explain why Trump bizarrely has declared (now that he won) that Melania is banished to her New York Tower and won't be allowed anywhere near the White House. I originally thought it was because Trump wanted to basically turn the WH into his bachelor pad (and I'm sure that's also the case), but now I'm starting to think it was his way of sending a message to Putin (i.e., "ok, I'm in and now I take back control" kind of thing). Which in turn lead to these memos and the golden shower videos suddenly becoming big news even though they have evidently been known by both sides throughout the election. Iow, Trump banishes Melania to the tower (finally) to send a message to Putin; Putin then sends a message back by making sure the world (not just a select few) knows that there are videos of Trump being pissed on by Russian whores (aka, FSB agents).
I think that should do for a fist salvo. Hopefully others will join in and add/subtract.