Trump and Russia
1h, 13 tweets, 3 min read
(IMPORTANT) I have something I must say, but I must say it carefully and ethically because I teach journalism, believe in journalism, and believe journalists must respect their roles. What I have to say will take a few tweets, but at the end you'll see it's important. Nationally.
(1) I am a curatorial journalist—a metajournalist. I compile, curate, and connect reliable major-media investigative reporting from around the world and going back decades. I do that job ethically. I am not a reporter. I do not wish to be a reporter. I will not become a reporter.
(2) Since I began writing the Proof series, I have been inundated with leads. Requests to connect by encrypted messaging. 99% of these were clearly dead ends, but it didn't matter because—again—I'm a curatorial journalist, not a reporter. And I told those who contacted me that.
(3) I do not have—and have never claimed to have—my own sources. As a curatorial journalist, my sources are (again) reliable major-media investigative journalism that has in many cases slipped through the cracks, been forgotten about, published abroad, and so on. That is my role.
(4) Apart from *one* exception I made in one chapter in Proof of Collusion (2018), I do not report the news—though curatorial journalism sure as hell *feels* to readers like I'm reporting the news, because the stories I'm connecting most people never saw when they were published.
(5) I'm won't report the news. But I have the ability to distinguish—as an attorney and former criminal investigator—between useful/useless leads and more/less reliable ones. But as a curatorial journalist I must wait until a story has been properly vetted, edited, and published.
(6) The secret to Trump-Russia collusion has been found. It is known. I've written about the parts of it I can ethically write about publicly because they have been vetted, edited, and published by reliable major-media sources. I will now repeat the information to which I refer.
(7) As Michael Cohen has now confirmed, Donald Trump believes that in 2008 Vladimir Putin personally directed one of his oligarchs, Dmitry Rybolovlev, to make a payment to Trump in the sum of $54 million (in net profit to Trump) on a Palm Beach property that no one wanted to buy.
(8) Donald Trump doesn't have the amount of money he says—and in 2008 his finances were collapsing. Trump believes that Vladimir Putin *gave* him $54 million via a pretextual real estate transaction that was actually a political bribe in expectation of a Trump presidential run.
(9) Trump was indeed contemplating a 2012 presidential run in 2008. Trump was indeed rescued financially by the $54 million in profit he got—he believed—from Putin. And within 60 months of that transaction another Russian oligarch would approach Trump promising even *more* money.
(10) Trump believed the 2013 Agalarov deal—which arrived 150 days *after* he informed Roger Stone he'd be running for president in 2016—was another gift from Putin, but this one far bigger than the one before: indeed, the Agalarov deal would have been the richest of Trump's life.
(11) Donald Trump developed his Russia policy pre-election; his predilection for Putin; and his post-inaugural pro-Kremlin policies—including slow-walking or blocking sanctions—because of past eight-figure payments from Putin and *anticipated future nine- or ten-figure payments*.
(12) All of this is public, even though we still have people who haven't written books on these matters going on cable news daily saying "one day we'll learn" what Putin "has on" Trump (as DNI Coats and CIA director Brennan have said) or what Trump expects from him. No—we *know*.
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