Russia Behind Mike Flynn’s Work For Turkey: Report | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC


I GET A LITTLE JEALOUS.
I DO. ALL RIGHT.
THE LAST CZAR OF RUSSIA CAME TO POWER 1894.
HE WAS FORCED TO ABDICATE THE THRONE ABOUT TWO DECADES LATER,
THE BOLSHEVIK REVOLUTION. 1917, THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION.
WE’RE NOW A CENTURY ON FROM THAT.
BUT AS IT HAPPENED, IN 1917, THE CZAR AND HIS FAMILY WERE SCARED
OFF THE THRONE THAT YEAR. BUT THEN THE REVOLUTIONARIES
DIDN’T KILL THEM RIGHT AWAY. THEY KEPT THEM ALIVE FOR A
WHILE. THEY KEPT THEM FIRST IN ONE OF
THE RUSSIAN ROYAL PALACES JUST SOUTH OF ST. PETERSBURG.
EVENTUALLY THEY MOVED THE CZAR AND HIS FAMILY TO ANOTHER ROYAL
RESIDENCE IN YAKATARINBURG, NOW THE FOURTH LARGEST CITY IN
RUSSIA. IN THE SUMMER OF 1918, THE
RUSSIAN REVOLUTIONARIES, FIGHTERS HOLDING THE CZAR AND
HIS FAMILY IN THIS RESIDENCE, THEY WERE WORRIED THAT THE
COUNTERREVOLUTIONARIES, THAT THE LOYALISTS OF THE CZAR’S
FAMILIARLY WERE CLOSING IN ON YAKATARINBURG.
THEY WERE WORRIED THE CZAR AND HIS FAMILY MAY SOMEHOW BE
RESCUED BY THOSE COUNTERREVOLUTIONARY FORCES.
THEY WERE WORRIED THE REVOLUTION WOULD BE OVER, THE MONARCHY
WOULD BE RESTOERD AND THE PEOPLE HOLDING THE CZAR AND HIS FAMILY
KIND OF FREAKED OUT. THEY HELD A SECRET MEETING AND
APPARENTLY TOOK A VOTE AND DECIDED TO IMPOSE WHAT AMOUNTED
TO AN EXTRAJUDICIAL DEATH SENTENCE ON THE CZAR, BUT ALSO
ON HIS ENTIRE FAMILY. ON THE NIGHT OF JULY 16th, 1918,
THEY PUT THE CZAR AND HIS WIFE AND THEIR KIDS AND EVEN THEIR
SERVANTS, PUT THEM ALL IN THE BASEMENT OF THE HOUSE WHERE
THEY’D BEEN HOLDING THEM, AND THEY SHOT ALL OF THEM.
THEY KILLED THE WHOLE ROYAL FAMILY AND THE SERVANTS WHO
WORKED FOR THEM. OF DHOIRKS SOVIET UNION IS WHAT
ROSE FROM THE 1917 REVOLUTION BUT THE CZAR AND THE RUSSIAN
MONARCHY STILL HAD ITS FANS, EVEN IN SOVIET DAYS.
AND IT WAS A CONSTANT SOURCE OF WORRYING AND EVEN DISTRESS FOR
THE SOVIET UNION, FOR THE COMMUNIST PARTY DURING SOVIET
DAYS THAT THE SITE WAS A CONSTANT SOURCE OF WORRY FOR THE
COMMUNIST PARTY THAT THAT SITE IN THAT RUSSIAN CITY HAD BECOME
A PLACE OF REVERENCE. IT WASN’T FORMALLY A MEMORIAL OF
ANY KIND BUT IT BECAME A PILGRIMAGE SITE WHERE PEOPLE
WOULD COME TO REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED TO LAMENT WHAT
HAPPENED. AS THE SOVIET UNION AND
COMMUNIST PARTY GOT ANNOYED BY AND WORRIED ABOUT THAT, LOCAL
OFFICIALS IN AND AROUND YAKATARINBURG CAME UNDER
PRESSURE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
HE WAS RELUCTANT TO DO IT AND DIDN’T REALLY WANT TO DO IT, BUT
IN 1977, A LOCAL LEADER IN YEKATERINBURG, A LOCAL LEADER
NAMED BORIS YELTSIN DID WHAT THE PARTY IN MOSCOW TOLD HIM TO DO.
HE BULLDOZED THE HOUSE. HE BULLDOZED THATS NOW
YEKATERINBURG WHERE THE CZAR AND HIS FAMILY AND SERVANTS WERE
MACHINE GUNNED IN THE BASEMENT. THEY RIPPED IT ALL DOWN.
DESTROYED IT AS A SITE. BORIS YELTSIN WOULD LATER GO ON
TO BECOME THE FIRST POST-SOVIET LEADER OF THE NEW RUSSIA AFTER
THE COLLAPSE OF THE SOVIET UNION.
AND HE HAD LONG SAID THAT HE REGRETTED THAT DECISION BACK IN
YEKATERINBURG. IT WEIGHED ON HIM OVER THE
YEARS. HE REGRETTED IT.
ONCE HE BECAME PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA, HE RECTIFIED THAT
DECISION. YOU CAN’T UNBULLDOZE ANYTHING.
YOU CAN’T REBUILD WHAT HAS BEEN DESTROYED.
YOU CAN’T RE-CREATE HISTORY. BUT IN 1998, BORIS YELTSIN, THEN
AS PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA, G GAVE CZAR NICHOLAS II AND HIS FAMILY
A FUNERAL. GAVE THEM A PROPER RELIGIOUS
FUNERAL. AND THEN WITHIN A COUPLE YEARS,
THEY STARTED CONSTRUCTION ON A FAIRLY GRAND CHURCH ON SITE
WHERE THE FAMILY HAD BEEN MURDERED, WHERE YELTSIN HAD
PREVIOUSLY ORDERED THE HOUSE TO BE DESTROYED.
THIS STARTED THE WORK ON THAT CHURCH IN 2000.
IT WAS COMPLETED BY 2003. EVEN TODAY IF YOU GOOGLE
PICTURES OF YEKATERINBURG, WHAT POPS UP ARE PICTURES OF THAT
CHURCH. IT’S VERY GRAND.
IT’S COVERED IN GOLD DOMES, GIANT ORTHODOX CROSSES.
AND BECAUSE IT’S RUSSIA, IT HAS A FITTINGLY DRAMATIC RUSSIAN
NAME. IT’S CALLED THE CATHEDRAL ON THE
BLOOD. SO YEKATERINBURG IS AN
INTERESTING PLACE. THE BIGGEST DRAW IS THE
CATHEDRAL ON THE BLOOD. THAT SUPER DRAMATIC HISTORY.
THE FOURTH LARGEST CITY IN RUSSIA AFTER MOSCOW AND ST.
PETERSBURG AND NOVOSBURSK. IT’S TECHNICALLY IN SIBERIA,
ALTHOUGH THEY DON’T LIKE YOU TO SAY THAT.
THEY DON’T WANT TO SOUND THAT REMOTE.
DON’T SAY SIBERIA. FOR AMERICANS RIGHT NOW,
YEKATERINBURG HAS TURNED OUT TO BE OF INTEREST BECAUSE IT’S HOME
TO THE MAN WHO CLAIMS TO BE THE REPRESENTATIVE OF THEREPUBLIC
OF CALIFORNIA TO RUSSIA. THERE IS NO REPUBLIC OF
CALIFORNIA. THERE’S A STATE OF CALIFORNIA.
IT’S PART OF A LARGER COUNTRY YOU MIGHT HAVE HEARD OF CALLED
THE UNITED STATES. BUT RUSSIA HAS A LITTLE GLEAM IN
ITS EYE THAT IF THEY PLAY THEIR CARDS RIGHT, MAYBE SOME DAY THE
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA MIGHT BE SLIGHTLY LESS UNITED AND
SPECIFICALLY, IT MIGHT LOOK MORE LIKE THIS.
RUSSIA HAS A LITTLE GLEAM IN ITS EYE ABOUT THE IDEA THAT THE
UNITED STATES MIGHT SOMEHOW HIVE ITSELF OFF FROM A STATE THAT
REPRESENTS THE SIXTH LARGEST ECONOMY IN THE WORLD.
VLADIMIR PUTIN IS THE FOUNDING PATRON OF THE GENERIC SOUNDING
GROUP CALLED THE NATIONAL CHARITY FOUNDATION IN RUSSIA.
PUTIN’S NATIONAL CHARITY FOUNDATION FUNDS THE
ANTI-GLOBALIST MOVEMENT OF RUSSIA.
AND SOME OF THE THINGS THE ANTI-GLOBALIST MOVEMENT OF
RUSSIA DOES FLASH LIKE RED BEACON DANGER, DANGER FROM AN
AMERICAN PERSPECTIVE. FOR EXAMPLE, THE ANTI-GLOBALIST
MOVEMENT IN RUSSIA NAMED BASHAR AL ASSAD TO BE ONE OF THEIR
HONORARY MEMBERS. OKAY.
THEY ALSO NAMED MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD FROM IRAN.
THEY NAMED HIM TO BE AN HONORARY MEMBER.
THOSE ARE THE KINDS OF THINGS THE ANTI-GLOBALIST MOVEMENT OF
RUSSIA DOES THAT DON’T SIT WELL WITH AN AMERICAN AUDIENCE.
BUT THEY ALSO DO STUFF THAT’ TH DESIGNED TO SEEM MORE BENIGN OR
MAYBE EVEN QUIRKY AND INTRIGUING.
THAT SAME GROUP, THE ANTI-GLOBALIST MOVEMENT OF
RUSSIA RECENTLY LAST YEAR FUNDED SOMETHING CALLED THE DIALOGUE OF
NATIONS. IT WAS A CONFERENCE HOSTED IN
MOSCOW LAST YEAR. AND AT THAT CONFERENCE THEY PUT
DOWN ALL THE SUPPORTING ASSAD, SUPPORTING AHMADINEJAD STUFF TO
INSTEAD HOST THIS QUIRKY GOOD NATURED ASSEMBLAGE OF MINI
NATIONALIST GROUPS. MINI INDEPENDENCE MOVEMENTS FROM
AROUND THE WORLD. AND ONE OF THE GROUPS THEY
HOSTED AT THEIR DIALOGUE OF NATIONS GROUP WAS, YES,
CALIFORNIA. YES, CALIFORNIA.
YOU HEARD ABOUT THIS AFTER THE ELECTION.
THEY GOT A LITTLE FLURRY OF ATTENTION AFTER OUR PRESIDENTIAL
ELECTION. CALIFORNIA’S LEGISLATURE WAS
GETTING A LOT OF ATTENTION FOR HOW THAT STATE MIGHT TAKE AN
AGGRESSIVE, STRATEGIC APPROACH TO OUTFLANK THE NEW TRUMP
ADMINISTRATION ON POLICY STUFF, PARTICULARLY ON IMMIGRATION.
BUT BEYOND THAT, THERE WERE ALSO THESE ALMOST HUMAN INTEREST
POLITICS STORY ABOUT CALIFORNIA SECEDING.
THIS NEW TECH SAVVY SLICK, KIND OF APPEALING, VAGUELY LIBERAL
SOUNDING YES CALIFORNIA MOVEMENT.
THAT WAS CALLING FOR CALIFORNIA TO NOT JUST RESIST THE U.S.
GOVERNMENT UNDER TRUMP BUT FOR CALIFORNIA TO BECOME ITS OWN
COUNTRY. AND, IN FACT, YES CALIFORNIA
SUBMITTED LANGUAGE TO THE CALIFORNIA SECRETARY OF STATE SO
THEY COULD START COLLECTING SIGNATURES TO GET CALIFORNIA
SECESSION ON THE BALLOT FOR THE MIDTERMS FOR NOVEMBER 2018.
THEY MADE YES CALIFORNIA T-SHIRTS.
THEY STARTED GETTING MORE AND MORE MEDIA ATTENTION.
MORE AND MORE SOCIAL MEDIA ATTENTION.
MORE AND MORE SIGN-UPS ON THEIR WEBSITE.
THEN IT GOT WEIRD. OUR ELECTION WAS NOVEMBER.
IN DECEMBER, THIS HAPPENED. THEY OPENED UP AN EMBASSY FOR
THE REPUBLIC OF CALIFORNIA. SEE WHAT IT SAYS RIGHT THERE
UNDER THE WORD CALIFORNIA? AN EMBASSY FOR THE REPUBLIC OF
CALIFORNIA IN MOSCOW. NOW THEY INTERCHANGEABLY CALLED
IT AN EMBASSY OR PEOPLE’S EMBASSY OR CULTURE CENTER.
BUT THEY TOOK THEMSELVES VERY SERIOUSLY ABOUT IT.
THEY PUT OUT THIS STATEMENT. “TOGETHER WITH OUR PARTNERS AT
THE ANTI-GLOBALIZATION MOVEMENT OF RUSSIA, OUR FIRST CULTURE
CENTER WAS OPENED AT THE FOLLOWING ADDRESS.”
AND THEY GIVE YOU THAT ADDRESAD. IF YOU LOOK IT UP ON GOOGLE
EARTH IT’S NOT A SCENIC PLACE BUT IT IS A REAL PLACE.
REALLY IN MOSCOW. THEY ALSO WENT ON TO GIVE SOME
ODD ASSURANCES THAT YOU THINK THEY WOULDN’T HAVE TO REASSURE
PEOPLE ABOUT. LIKE THIS.
QUOTE, CONTRARY TO SOME REPORTS, THE CALIFORNIA CULTURE CENTER
AND PEOPLE’S EMBASSY IN MOSCOW DOES NOT SERVE ANY DIPLOMATIC
FUNCTION AT THIS TIME. OUR OFFICE MAKES CLEAR THAT
RUSSIANS PLANNING TO CALIFORNIA MUST FIRST OBTAIN A VISA THROUGH
THE AMERICAN EMBASSY IN MOSCOW OR ONE OF THEIR CONSULATES.
THEY ALSO WANT TO MAKE CLEAR THEY’RE NOT INSISTING THAT
CALIFORNIA SHOULD JOIN THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION LIKE CRIMEA
DID. OH, IS THAT WHAT CRIMEA DID?
THEY JOINED. THAT’S WHAT HAPPENED WHEN THEY
GOT INVADED BY RUSSIA. FROM THEIR PERCH IN MOSCOW, THE
FOLKS AT YES CALIFORNIA SAID THEY EXPLICITLY SUPPORT AND
ENCOURAGE CALIFORNIANS TO STAND UP AND TAKE DIRECTION ACTION TO
BE BOLD AND TO UNAPOLOGETICALLY DEMAND THE LIBERATION OF THE
PEOPLE OF CALIFORNIA FROM ITS CAPTORS.
ITS CAPTORS BEING AMERICA. BUT AGAIN, THEY WANT TO MAKE
CLEAR BECAUSE THEY THINK IT’S IMPORTANT TO GIVE THIS KIND OF
ASSURANCE. THEY WANT TO BE CLEAR THAT THEY
ARE NOT ASKING FOR CALIFORNIA TO BECOME PART OF THE RUSSIAN
FEDERATION, AND THEY ARE NOT ASKING FOR RUSSIAN MILITARY
HELP. AT LEAST NOT YET.
>>SO WE’RE NOT REQUESTING ANY KIND OF MILITARY ASSISTANCE FROM
RUSSIA. >>TO SEPARATE CALIFORNIA FROM
AMERICA. THAT’S NOT WHAT WE’RE DOING NOW.
SO IS THIS LIKE WEIRD TURN OF EVENTS, RIGHT?
ALL THIS COVERAGE IN THE UNITED STATES HOW THERE’S THIS ODD
SECESSION MOVEMENT IN CALIFORNIA IN RESPONSE TO DONALD TRUMP
GETTING ELECTED WHEN CALIFORNIA VOTED AGAINST HIM SO STRONGLY.
BUT THEN THAT LEADER OF THE YES CALIFORNIA MOVEMENT SAYS HE
HIMSELF VOTED FOR TRUMP. AND HE DOES KEEP TURNING UP IN
RUSSIA. SO PUTIN’S CHARITY — PUTIN’S
CHARITY GROUP FUNDS THIS ANTI-GLOBALIZATION MOVEMENT THAT
FUNDS THIS CONFERENCE AT WHICH THE YES CALIFORNIA GUY SHOWS UP.
SOON AFTER THE ELECTION THAT LEADS TO THE FOUNDING OF A
PHYSICAL CALIFORNIA EMBASSY IN MOSCOW WHERE THEY GO OUT OF
THEIR WAY TO MAKE CLEAR THEY’RE NOT REQUESTING RUSSIAN MILITARY
INTERVENTION TO BREAK CALIFORNIA OFF FROM THE UNITED STATES.
BUT THEN IT BECOMES CLEAR THAT THE YES CALIFORNIA GUY WAS NOT
JUST VISITING RUSSIA WHEN HE WENT TO THE INITIAL DIALOGUE OF
NATIONS CONFERENCE. NOR WAS HE JUST VISITING WHEN HE
APPEARED AT THE OPENING OF THE EMBASSY.
HE ACTUALLY LIVES IN RUSSIA. HE LIVES FULL TIME AND WORKS
FULL TIME IN YEKATERINBURG IN RUSSIA.
AND NOW THE STORY HAS COME FULL CIRCLE.
AT LEAST I HOPE THIS IS FULL CIRCLE AND WON’T TURN INTO A
SPIRAL. THE FOUNDER OF THE YES SECESSION
CALIFORNIA HAS ANNOUNCED HE’S NOT COMING BACK TO THE UNITED
STATES. HE SAYS, QUOTE, I HAVE FOUND IN
RUSSIA A NEW HAPPINESS. HE SAYS, QUOTE, I HAD LONG
PLANNED TO RETURN TO OCCUPIED CALIFORNIA TO STRUGGLE FOR HER
INDEPENDENCE FROM THE UNITED STATES BUT ALAS, NOW HE SAYS,
QUOTE, HE DOES NOT PLAN TO — HE DOES NOT PLAN TO RETURN TO
CALIFORNIA IN THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE.
HE SAYS EVEN THOUGH HE STILL BELIEVES THAT CALIFORNIA WILL
SOME DAY ACHIEVE ITS INDEPENDENCE FROM THE UNITED
STATES, HIS GROUP YES CALIFORNIA IS WITHDRAWING ITS BALLOT
LANGUAGE NOW FROM THE SECRETARY OF STATE’S OFFICE AND SO
BASICALLY, THAT YES CALIFORNIA MOVEMENT, THE CALIFORNIA
SECESSION MOVEMENT UNDER HIM IS NOW JUST THIS KID LIVING IN
YEKATERINBURG, RUSSIA. HAPPILY, AS A RUSSIAN NOW.
BUT NEVERTHELESS SAYING HE PLANS TO CONTINUE TO SERVE AS THE
REPRESENTATIVE OF THE REPUBLIC OF CALIFORNIA TO RUSSIA FROM HIS
PERCH IN YEKATURINBURG. ON THE BLOOD.
SO CONSEQUENCES OF THIS FOR US NOW, NUMBER ONE, SORRY TO
DISAPPOINT. CALIFORNIA SECESSION WILL LIKELY
NOT BE ON THE BALLOT IN NOVEMBER 2018.
BUT THIS IS ALSO A GOOD LITTLE DISPLAY OF HOW RUSSIA FUNDS
STUFF. HOW THEY DO STUFF IN THE WORLD.
RUSSIA IS PLAYING ALL OVER THE WORLD TRYING TO GET ITS WAY
THROUGH ALL SORTS OF DIFFERENT MEANS.
AND SOMETIMES THEY JUST FLAT OUT OPENLY GIVE TONS OF MONEY.
LIKE FOR EXAMPLE, WHAT THEY DID WITH MARINE LE PEN WHO IS NOW IN
THE RUNNING TO BE THE VERY, VERY, VERY, VERY, VERY FAR RIGHT
WING PRESIDENT OF FRANCE. PROMISING TO TAKE FRANCE BOTH
OUT OF EUROPE AND NATO WHICH WOULD MAKE PUTIN HAPPY.
THEY’VE BEEN HAPPY TO FUND MARINE LE PEN’S CAMPAIGN TO THE
TUNE OF MILLIONS OF EUROS. AND VLADIMIR PUTIN AND MARINE LE
PEN HAVE BEEN HAPPY TO BE SEEN TOGETHER.
THAT’S ONE TIME THEY DO IT. SOMETIMES IT’S NOT AS OUT IN THE
OPEN. SOMETIMES IT’S MORE LIKE THE
WACKY YES CALIFORNIA THING. PUTIN AS THE PATRON OF A CHARITY
FUNDING AN ORGANIZATION, A CONFERENCE AND SOMETHING THAT
LOOKS LIKE IT’S OTHERWISE A QUIRKY FACEBOOK PAGE OR SIDE BAR
HUMAN INTEREST STORY IN AMERICAN POLITICS ENDS UP OPERATING OUT
OF REAL FREE REAL ESTATE IN MISS
— MOSCOW RUNNING A FAKE EMBASSY.
ANOTHER WAY THAT PUTIN GETS HIS WAY AND SPREADS HIS INFLUENCE
AND USES HIS MONEY IS THROUGH THE OLIGARCH SYSTEM WHICH
BASECALLY ALLOWS PUTIN TO CREATE PROXIES ALL OVER RUSSIA AND
INCREASINGLY ALL OVER THE WORLD. IF YOU ARE A RUSSIAN IN PUTIN’S
FAVOR, OR HE WANTS TO CO-OPT YOU FOR HIS PURPOSES, THE TYPICAL
PATTERN WOULD BE FOR HIM TO DIRECT RESOURCES YOUR WAY.
TO MAKE STATE ASSETS AVAILABLE FOR YOU.
THAT’S WHY WE HAVE LIKE A RUSSIAN FERTILIZER OLIGARCH AND
A RUSSIAN ALUMINUM OLIGARCH. THESE GUYS DIDN’T WORK THEIR WAY
UP IN THE FERTILIZER AND ALUMINUM INDUSTRIES OR INHERIT
THESE FROM THEIR DADS, RIGHT? THIS IS POST-SOVIET RESOURCE
ALLOCATION FROM PREVIOUSLY STATE-RUN ENTERPRISES.
THESE GUYS WERE ALLOWED TO, WERE PROVIDED WITH THE MEANS TO TAKE
OVER BIG CHUNKS OF FORMALLY STATE-RUN INDUSTRIES FROM THE
FORMER SOVIET ERA HAS DIRECTED BY AND APPROVED BY PUTIN
HIMSELF. SO, FOR EXAMPLE, THERE’S A GROUP
CALLED THE SIBERIAN ENERGY GROUP.
THE SIBERIAN ENERGY GROUP HAS OBTAINED MINERAL RIGHTS AND OIL
EXPLORATION LICENSES IN A SPECIFIC PART OF SIBERIA IN
RUSSIA. YOU DON’T GET THAT KIND OF THING
WITHOUT A SPECIFIC KIND OF PERMISSION IN RUSSIA.
AND THAT PERMISSION HAS DIRECT AND INDIRECT CONSEQUENCES.
IT SETS UP, FOR EXAMPLE, THE HEAD OF THE SIBERIAN ENERGY
GROUP IN TERMS OF PROVIDING HIM WITH PERSONAL POWER AND PERSONAL
WEALTH. IT ALSO INDIRECTLY ESTABLISHES
YET ANOTHER MYSTERIOUSLY WEALTHY PUTIN-CONNECTED BUSINESSMAN WHO
SOMETIMES SEEMS TO BE TIED TO THINGS THAT PUTIN WANTS TO
HAPPEN IN THE WORLD. THIS IS SORT OF THE TRACES THE
OLIGARCHS LEAVE ALL OVER THE WORLD, RIGHT?
THE SIBERIAN ENERGY GROUP, I HIGHLIGHT THAT GROUP BECAUSE
THEY PLAY A STARRING ROLE IN A SCOOP AT POLITICO.COM.
THEY’VE DONE A DEEP DIVE INTO THE FINANCES OF THE SIBERIAN
ENERGY GROUP AND CONCLUDED THE SIBERIAN ENERGY GROUP’S DEALINGS
WERE CHARACTERISTIC OF THE KWEETS TRADES OFFSHORE FINANCING
SCHEMES AND CONSULTING AGREEMENTS THAT PUTIN’S ALLIES
HAVE USED TO PROTECT AND HIDE ASSETS.
POLITICO IS REPORTING ON THIS PARTICULAR TRAIL OF PUTIN MONEY
AND PUTIN INFLUENCE BECAUSE IT NOW APPEARS TO RELATE TO THE MAN
YOU SEE ON YOUR SCREEN HERE. IT NOW APPEARS TO RELATE TO THE
TRUMP WHITE HOUSE SPECIFICALLY TO THE FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY
ADVISER MICHAEL FLYNN. YOU REMEMBER THAT AFTER MIKE
FLYNN GOT FIRED AS NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER, ALLEGEDLY FOR
NOT DISCLOSING AND THEN LYING ABOUT THE CONTENT OF HIS
COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT, A FEW WEEKS AFTER HE
GOT FIRED, HE RETROACTIVELY REGISTERED AS A FOREIGN AGENT
WHO HAD BEEN WORKING ON BEHALF OF THE GOVERNMENT OF TURKEY.
WHAT POLITICO.COM REPORTS TODAY IS THAT WHILE IT IS CLEAR THAT
MIKE FLYNN TOOK MONEY TO ACT AS A FOREIGN AGENT, IT’S NOT CLEAR
THAT THE ORIGIN OF THOSE FUNDS IS DEFINITELY TURKEY.
THE THAFTD SIBERIAN ENERGY GROUP IS NOT A TURKISH GUY.
HE IS, AS POLITICO PUTS IT, A SOVIET-BORN FORMER EXECUTIVE IN
RUSSIAN ENERGY AND MINING COMPANIES.
ONE WHO HAS TIES TO VLADIMIR PUTIN.
HE’S NOT TURKISH. HE’S NOT A TURKISH CITIZEN.
DOESN’T LIVE IN TURKEY. HE’S NOT TURKISH.
HE HAS NEVERTHELESS FOUNDED A COUPLE OF VERY TURKISH SOUNDING
ORGANIZATIONS THAT OPERATE IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
THE TURKISH HERITAGE ORGANIZATION.
AND THE TURKISH INSTITUTE FOR PROGRESS.
BOTH OF THEM SET UP BY NOBODY TURKISH.
BOTH OF THEM SET UP BY A RUSSIAN ENERGY AND MINING EXECUTIVE WHO
HAS TIES TO PUTIN. THROUGH THOSE ORGANIZATIONS,
POLITICO REPORTS THAT HE HAS COORDINATED WHAT APPEAR TO BE
TURKISH LOBBYING EFFORTS IN D.C. HE APPEARS TO HAVE COORDINATED
THOSE EFFORTS WITH THE GUY WHO PAID FLYNN.
THE GUY WHOSE SHELL COMPANY PAID MIKE FLYNN OVER $600,000.
SO IN ADDITION TO — WE’RE TALKING ABOUT THE GUY WHO PAID
FLYNN. IN ADDITION TO HIS PARTNERSHIPS
WITH THE NOT AT ALL TURKISH GUY WHO IS CLOSE TO PUTIN, WHO IS
RUNNING THESE TURKISH LOBBYING EFFORTS, THE GUY WHO PAID FLYNN
HIMSELF ALSO IT TURNS OUT HAS HIS OWN BUSINESS TIES TO RUSSIA
AND TO PUTIN. INCLUDING PRETTY SIGNIFICANT
SIZED AVIATION DEALS RUN THROUGH A RUSSIAN STATE-RUN BANK.
A RUSSIAN STATE-RUN BANK THAT’S BEEN IMPLICATED IN RUSSIAN
INTELLIGENCE OPERATIONS IN THE PAST, AND HE HAS BEEN INVOLVED
IN DEALS THROUGH THAT BANK THAT HAVE BEEN PROVEN TO BE SIGNED
OFF ON BY PUTIN HIMSELF PERSONALLY.
ACCORDING TO COURT DOCUMENTS REVIEWED BY ISAAC ARNSDORF AT
POLITO COE. THE MULTIPLE CONNECTIONS TO
FLYNN’S LOBBYING CONTRACT RAISE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE AGENDA OF
THE PEOPLE WHO HIRED FLYNN AND, QUOTE, THE SOURCE OF THE FUNDS
USED TO PAY HIM. SO THIS IS A REMARKABLE THING,
RIGHT? AS WE COME UP ON THIS BENCHMARK
ROUND NUMBER OF 100 DAYS, AT WHICH WE ARE SUPPOSED TO ASSESS
HOW THE PRESIDENT AND HIS NEW ADMINISTRATION IS GOING, THERE
REMAINS, ALONGSIDE EVERYTHING ELSE THAT’S GOING ON AND
EVERYTHING ELSE THAT’S WORTH TALKING ABOUT, THERE REMAINS
THIS VERY WEIRD, VERY UNPRECEDENTED THING ABOUT THEM
FIRING THE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER AFTER ONLY 24 DAYS ON
THE JOB. IT’S STILL UNEXPLAINED, AND IT
IS STILL — IT IS ABSOLUTELY UNPRECEDENTED THAT A NATIONAL
SECURITY ADVISER WOULD BE FIRED THAT SOON INTO AN
ADMINISTRATION. THAT HE’D BE FIRED FOR LYING
ABOUT HIS CONTACTS WITH A FOREIGN GOVERNMENT, PARTICULARLY
AFTER THAT FOREIGN GOVERNMENT HAD BEEN PUBLICLY ACCUSED BY THE
U.S. INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY OF ATTACKING OUR PRESIDENTIAL
ELECTION. IT IS AS YET UNEXPLAINED AND
TOTALLY UNPRECEDENTED THAT THE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER WOULD
THEN RETROACTIVELY REGISTER AS HAVING BEEN ON THE PAYROLL OF A
FOREIGN GOVERNMENT DURING THE TIME HE WAS ADVISING THE
PRESIDENT AND SITTING IN ON THE PRESIDENT’S DAILY BRIEF AND
GETTING SUPPOSEDLY VETTED TO BE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER.
THE UNPRECEDENTED AND STRANGE AND STILL UNEXPLAINED NATURE OF
ALL OF THAT GOES TO ANOTHER LEVEL.
IF IT NOW TURBS OUT THAT THE MONEY MIKE FLYNN WAS TAKING FROM
FOREIGN SOURCES WHILE RUSSIA WAS ATTACKING OUR COUNTRY IS, IN
FACT, MONEY THAT CONCEIVABLY COULD HAVE COME FROM RUSSIA, NOT
FROM ANY OTHER GOVERNMENT. SO THAT’S ALL WEIRD AND
UNPRECEDENTED AND AS YET TOTALLY UNEXPLAINED.
PEOPLE TALK ABOUT GETTING TO THE BOTTOM OF THE TRUMP/RUSSIA
CONNECTION. THIS IS A BIG PART OF IT.
IT’S BEEN WEERD FROM THE VERY BEGINNING.
TODAY THE WEIRD WENT PRO THANKS TO AN UNEXPECTED FORMAL INQUIRY.
MOST OF WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE RUSSIAN ATTACK
ON ELECTION AND THE LINKS OF PEOPLE IN THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN.
MOST OF WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT THAT HAS BEEN LEARNED THROUGH
INVESTIGATE OF JOURNALISM. THE GOVERNMENT INVESTIGATION
INTO WHAT HAPPENED, THEY ARE ONGOING, BUT FOR LOTS OF
DIFFERENT REASONS THEY DON’T PARTICULARLY INSPIRE CONFIDENCE
RIGHT NOW. WE’VE HEARD HIDE NOR HAIR OF THE
HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE INVESTIGATION SINCE THE
REPUBLICAN CHAIRMAN OF THAT COMMITTEE RECUSED HIMSELF FROM
THE INVESTIGATION AND HIMSELF BECAME UNDER INVESTIGATION BY
THE HOUSE ETHSICES COMMITTEE FOR HIS STRANGE BEHAVIOR TOWARD THE
WHITE HOUSE WHILE SUPPORTEDLY RUNNING THIS INVESTIGATION.
THAT’S IN THE HOUSE. ON THE SENATE SIDE, THIS WEEK
WE’VE LEARNED THEY’VE ASSIGNED PRECISELY ZERO FULL-TIME
STAPPERS TO WORK ON THEIR INVESTIGATION.
THEY’VE ISSUED ZERO SUBPOENAS. THEY’VE MADE ZERO REQUESTS FOR
DOCUMENTS AND HAVE CONDUCTED NO MAJOR INTERVIEWS WITH ANYONE
LINKED TO TRUMP. THAT’S WHAT YOU’VE DONE WITH
YOUR MORE THAN THREE MONTHS WORKING ON THIS ALREADY.
AS FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND THE FBI INVESTIGATIONS, WE
LEARNED LAST WEEK THE CHIEF OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY DIVISION
AT JUSTICE, A WIDELY RESPECTED CAREER OFFICIAL WHO HAS BEEN
OVERSEEING THOSE MATTERS IS NOW STEPPING DOWN.
WE DO NOT KNOW WHO WILL REPLACE HER BUT IT WILL BE A CHOICE OF
THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION. WHOEVER IT IS.
TONIGHT THE SENATE CONFIRMED A NEW DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR
THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AS A WHOLE.
HE WILL NOW OVERSEE THE INVESTIGATIONS AT EVEN A HIGHER
LEVEL, AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL BECAUSE THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
HIMSELF IS RECUSED FROM THIS MATTER THANKS TO HIS OWN
UNDISCLOSED TIES TO THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT.
DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL ROD ROSENSTEIN WAS CONFIRMED BY THE
SENATE TONIGHT AS A TRUMP ADMINISTRATION APPOINTEE.
HE’LL BE THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF OVERSIGHT OVER THE TRUMP RUSSIA
INVESTIGATIONS INCLUDING THOSE AT THE FBI, AND IT WILL BE HIS
CALL AND HIS CALL ALONE AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THERE SHOULD
INSTEAD BE A SPECIAL COUNSEL CONDUBTING SOME OF THIS
INVESTIGATION INSTEAD OF KEEPING IT IN HOUSE UNDER HIS PURVIEW.
SO WHEN THOSE ARE THE THREE LEVELS OF INVESTIGATION GOING ON
INSIDE THE GOVERNMENT, YOU CAN SEE WHY PEOPLE WHO CARE VERY
MUCH ABOUT THIS STORY START TO FEEL A LITTLE WOBBLY, RIGHT,
ABOUT WHETHER WE’LL EVER GET TO THE BOTTOM OF IT.
BUT NOW A WHOLE DIFFERENT GROUP, THE HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE,
THEY JUMPED IN. THEY HAVE REQUESTED THAT THEY’D
LIKE TO SEE THE DOCUMENTS THAT MIKE FLYNN FILED TO UP HIS
SECURITY CLEARANCE WHEN HE CAME ON BOARD AS NATIONAL SECURITY
ADVISER. WHAT THEY FOUND IS ABSOLUTELY
FASCINATING AND MAY EXPLAIN WHY MIKE FLYNN IS ASKING FOR
IMMUNITY AS WELL ON HIS TESTIMONY ABOUT RUSSIA.
BUT THE MOST AMAZING THING THEY FOUND WAS A TOTAL SHOCK.
TOTALLY UNEXPECTED AND SOMETHING THAT I CANNOT BELIEVE WILL BE
ALLOWED TO STAND. BUT THAT CAME DIRECTLY FROM THE

World Cup pay gap: Here’s why it’s justified | FACTUAL FEMINIST


Critics are up in arms about the World Cup
gender gap. The prize money for women is far less than for men. Commentators attribute
the gap to sexism and what some call the grass ceiling. Could they be right? Let’s review the evidence.
Coming up next on the Factual Feminist. This summer, the U.S. women’s soccer team electrified
the nation when it defeated Germany 2–0 and then Japan 5–2 to win the World Cup.
Instead of celebrating the team’s brilliant play and the continuing growth of women’s
soccer, many in the media are fixating on what they see as a shameful “World Cup pay
gap.” The U.S. women’s team collected only $2 million in prize money for its victory
over Japan. But for the corresponding men’s competition in 2014, the winning German team
won $35 million—while the Americans, who lost in the round of 16, took home $8 million.
Spurred by the media reports, Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont introduced a resolution on
the floor of the U.S. Senate urging FIFA, the organization that sponsors the World Cup,
to “immediately eliminate gender pay inequity”: Here is where I think the Senator and the
media critics go wrong. The prize disparity has much more to do with sports economics than sexism. The women’s players are
formidable athletes and the Women’s World Cup is growing rapidly in popularity, especially
in the U.S., but it’s still nowhere near the men’s cup in terms of world popularity.
According to FIFA, the 2011 Women’s World Cup had an audience reach of less than 250 million viewers. For the men’s World Cup in, 2010 the figure was 2.2 billion. That same year, the men’s World Cup generated nearly $3.7 billion in revenue, while the women’s World
Cup generated about $73 million. Now FIFA may be a troubled organization, and sexism can probably be counted among its many vices—but the differences in its men’s and women’s prizes
are actually less than the differences in its revenues from the two competitions. Market forces, rather than sexism, appear to explain the pay gap in soccer. Well, the sports equity activists have heard all of this before, and they have a reply. “Why accept market forces?” they ask. After all, these forces were shaped by a culture that
has been hostile to women, traditionally. Shane Ferro, a feminist business reporter at Business
Insider says it this way: “Most of us have been socialized to accept men’s sports
as dominant, and somehow automatically more interesting.” And once society internalizes
a falsehood, she says, “it’s very hard to correct it.” Hard, but apparently not impossible because now there is now a call by sports equity activists to change the market by re-socializing fans.
“Sports fans, for the most part, will watch whatever you put in front of them,” says
Kavitha Davidson at Bloomberg News. She thinks we should highlight the women’s teams, and fan interest and
excitement will come. A recently published study by two feminist sociologists
comes to the same conclusion. The authors lament that women’s sports receive only
about 3% of network TV attention, down from 5% in 1989. Major sports media, they say,
is a “place set up by men for men to celebrate men’s sensational athletic accomplishments”
while giving short shrift to women’s achievements. They acknowledge that there are fewer female
teams, so they suggest for now the media increase coverage of women’s sports to 12–18%.
They also specify that the sportscasters should report on women’s sports with the same “enthusiasm”
as men’s sports. More coverage plus more enthusiasm will increase the fan base, and
that will drive up women’s salaries and prizes. Well, I think it might be the gender sociologists and the feminist journalists—not the sports fans— who have internalized a falsehood.
There are athletic competitions where women attract more fans than men—figure skating
and gymnastics, for example. And women’s tennis, while not as popular as men’s, certainly
has a large and devoted audience. But when it comes to team sports like basketball, football
and soccer, no amount of affirmative-action enthusiasm is going to even the score. Men
are stronger, faster, and bigger than women, both on average and at the extremes. Most
fans—not all, but most—want to see the sport they love played at the highest level.
Men’s professional team sports are a fascination to many millions of fans because they offer
extreme competition, performance, and heroics. Women’s team sports, however skilled and
admirable, rarely compare in Promethean drama. There is a fallacy at the heart of the sports
equity argument. The equity activists insist that male and female athletes should be treated
the same; while accepting that the sexes are different and must play on separate teams.
To be consistent, they should call for integrated teams and let men and women compete together for the same audiences and same prizes. That would end the career of most female athletes, but a
few would make it and, if it’s a popular sport like basketball or soccer, they would
likely become the richest and most famous athletes of all time. I doubt that politicians
and activist journalists will actually propose this—but it makes as much sense as insisting
that women’s teams with separate standards of performance must be given the same salary,
prizes, publicity, and enthusiasm that the men’s teams enjoy. My suggestion: let’s
take the gender politics out of sports altogether and just enjoy the games. If you found this
video to be valuable, please subscribe to the series, follow me on Twitter and Facebook
And thank you for watching the Factual Feminist.

The gender wage gap uses bogus statistics | FACTUAL FEMINIST


White House Spokesman Jay Carney tied himself
in knots this week trying to explain this inconvenient fact. I’ll tell you what he said,
coming up. This week we heard, over and over again from White House, from members of Congress, and
from journalists, that women earn 23 cents less than men for doing the same work. Today,
Congress argued over a bill called the Paycheck Fairness Act, and that bill is premised on
this 23-cent wage gap injustice. Well let’s do a little reality check. First of all, no
competent labor economist takes the 23-cent wage gap injustice claim seriously. There
was an analysis of more than 50 peer-reviewed papers, commissioned by the Department of
Labor, what they found that the so-called wage gap is mostly, and perhaps entirely,
an artifact of the different choices men and women make—different fields of study, different
professions, different balances between home and work. Wage-gap activists will argue that
even when you control for relevant variables, women still earn less. Well it always turns
out they omit one or two crucial variables. So, why play this game? A colleague of mine,
economist Mark Perry, has been blogging for several months about the gender pay gap at
the White House. It turns out that the median pay for female staffers is 88% of that of
male staffers. White House Spokesman Jay Carney created a fire storm of protestors among reporters
because he tap dancing around this embarrassing fact. He insisted on the one hand that oh
no, women earned equal pay for equal work in the Obama Administration—and he dismissed
the the 88 % figure as being an “aggregate of everyone on the staff, from junior to senior
levels.” What he essentially was saying is that the 88 cent gap is no proof of White
House discrimination since it leaves out so many variables. Well fine, that’s right. But
they why does the President use the 77 cent figure which is misleading in exactly the
same way? Reporters pressed Betsey Stevenson, a member
of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, they pressed her about the bogus factoid.
To her credit, she quickly acknowledged that, “There are a lot of things that go into that
77-cents figure, and many things contribute to it, and that no one was saying she said
it was about discrimination.” Well, yes they are. And activists and politicians have been
saying it for years. It is not my claim that women no longer face discrimination in the
US. There is no evidence that I can see, or most responsible economist can see of systemic
wage discrimination against women, but of course there are still workplaces where women
are being shortchanged. But here is the bottom line: Women who are struggling economically,
or coping with gender bias they’re going to be best served by truth, careful research.
Not hype, spin, factoids, advocacy data. We’ll l all be better served by truth. The White
House, members of Congress, journalists and–everyone else should stop using the specious wage gap
statistic. Just let it go. I am Christina Hoff Sommers, and thank you for joining me.
Leave your questions in the comments section below this video and we’ll try to address
them in a future episode. And if you hear a statistic on women that strains credulity,
post it in the comments so my team and I can check the facts. Then subscribe so you can
get an alert about our next video.