What President Trump’s Foreign Policy Will Look Like

What President Trump’s Foreign Policy Will Look Like by David Ignatius, Washington Post

Donald Trump proclaimed “America First” on his way to his head-spinning victory in Tuesday’s presidential election, and the success of that message will rock many foreign capitals where leaders have feared that Trump would alter the basics of U.S. foreign policy.

Making predictions about Trump’s foreign policy is difficult, given his lack of experience. But the most likely bet is that as president he will seek to do what he promised during the campaign in breaking from current U.S. approaches to Russia, the Middle East, Europe and Asia…

A Trump foreign policy, based on his statements, will bring an intense “realist” focus on U.S. national interests and a rejection of costly U.S. engagements abroad. It will likely bring these changes:

A move to improve relations with a combative, assertive Russia…

A joint military effort with Russia and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to defeat the Islamic State…

A new push for European allies to pay more for their own defense…

An attempt to alter the terms of trade in Asia by renegotiating trade pacts and forcing China to revalue its currency…

Read on.

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Zhirinovsky on Russian TV says Trump and Russia can solve all problems in the world together.

State tv showing Russian Trump Zhirinovsky: we should all be in a good mood. Expect 'neutral' position on Ukraine, no NATO, no EU.

Zhirinovsky on RussianTV says Trump can deal with China and all Russia needs is to deal with borders of former USSR.

NOTICE the not so subtle threat to Baltics and Ukraine.....

AND the Trump Russian FP we already have seen in his tweets and public comments....

"We have some experts in Germany on building a wall - the experience is not very encouraging” - German finance minister Schauble on Trump

Can someone point me to the true adults in the room on Trump FP...this cannot be actually stated.....think about it and mull over what it means....

Incoming WH Chief of Staff @Reince "We are going to make the US great again first, and then we are going to go out there and help Greece"

I have often used the term "altered state of reality" when posting about Russian Ukrainian statements and actions...

Now it perfectly fits Trump and his so called team.....

Interestingly well put.....

Let's be clear: Trump's legitimacy is badly tarnished not by some shrewd Russian conspiracy—but by PEOTUS's stunningly inept crisis response

When we talk about Russia as a superpower ...a true superpower...has values..has an ideology and or philosophy lending it political power....is an ECONOMIC power and has military power and Russia is not yet a true ECONOMIC power ......

Friendly reminder that Russia's economy is
~1/14th the size of the EU
~1/3rd the size of Germany
~half of California (!)
~behind Canada

New York City has a larger economy, at $1.56 trillion, than the entire economy of Russia, at $1.27 trillion.

IF you exclude oil and gas revenues it would be a disaster.....

TAKEN from the just recently released CIA documents...
"The idea that the US and the USSR are both 'superpowers' [is] a primary goal of Soviet propaganda"

We see the same exact Putin drive in trying to get the US to "recognize" Russia as a superpower....

AND Trump plays straight into that drive...so who needs FP if it is driven by an underlying need to have people "like you" which we have seen a number of times in the Trump tweets....

Trump made a lot of promises about what he will do as president. We’ve documented 663 of them.
https://thinkprogress.org/trump-made-a-lot-of-promises-about-what-he-will-do-as-president-weve-documented-663-of-them-3d28f0131e7f#.2i38p335n 

Here in Germany on German TV station this morning their carried interviews with Trump voters....

1. well yes he has a "steep learning curve" but he is a highly successful great businessman and will make it....forgetting along the way his SEVEN bankruptcies
German response...this job is not where you "learn on it "...

2. second comment...you have to let Trump ease into it and he needs to calm down

It seems that all who voted for him apparently did realize that Trump had major baggage but they assumed that his claims of being this great businessman evidently outweighed their basic instincts that something was wrong....

Think about it.....663 confirmed and recorded promises....and he is a sane FP thinker with a plan and an ideology and or philosophy ????

How do you know when your supposed FP is a "farce"??????

When a local German radio station in Berlin/Brandenburg report during their hourly news....

1. there are still virtually no important government positions filled yet by Trump..US government is now led by a single person doing everything

2. used as a joke the Trump statement that he has assembled one of the smartest/brightest Cabinet in the US history....if so then why so many
"forgotten financial disclosures" during their hearings???

Joining Trump in his classified nuclear briefing could be nat'l security advisor Michael Flynn, who last year attended RT event with Putin.

Investigators on the Trump-Russia Beat Should Talk to This Man

Sergei Millian, the head of a Russian-American business group, claimed he helped Trump "study the Moscow market."

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/01/donald-trump-russia-sergei-m...

QUOTE
As part of its inquiry into Millian, the newspaper pointed to Millian's connection to Rossotrudnichestvo, a Russian government organization that promotes Russian culture abroad. In 2013, Mother Jones reported that Rossotrudnichestvo was under investigation by the FBI for using junkets to recruit American assets for Russian intelligence. Through cultural exchanges, Rossotrudnichestvo, which operates under the jurisdiction of the Russian Foreign Ministry, was bringing young Americans—including political aides, nonprofit advocates, and business executives—on trips to Russia. The program was run by Yury Zaytsev, a Russian diplomat who headed the Russian Cultural Center in Washington, DC.

Americans who participated in the exchange trips who were later questioned by FBI agents told Mother Jones that the agents' questions indicated the FBI suspected Zaytsev and Rossotrudnichestvo had been using the all-expenses-paid trips to Russia to cultivate Americans as intelligence assets. (An asset could be a person who directly works with an intelligence service to gather information, or merely a contact who provides information, opinions, or gossip, not realizing it is being collected by an intelligence officer.) After Mother Jones published a story on the FBI investigation, the Russian embassy in Washington issued a statement: "All such 'scaring information' very much resembles Cold War era. A blunt tentative is made to distort and to blacken activities of the Russian Cultural Center in DC, which are aimed at developing mutual trust and cooperation between our peoples and countries." (A year later, in November 2014, Zaytsev spoke at a Moscow press conference and said, in reference to the upcoming US presidential elections, "it seems to me that the Russian 'card' will certainly be played out." He added, "I think that this presidential election first of all will very clearly show a trend of further development" in US-Russia relations.)

Millian has collaborated with Rossotrudnichestvo. In 2011, he and the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce worked with Zaytsev and the Russian group to mount a 10-day exchange that brought 50 entrepreneurs to the first "Russian-American Business Forum" in Moscow and the Vladimir region, according to a letter Millian sent to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev after the initiative. In that letter, Millian praised Rossotrudnichestvo, and he added, "My entire staff, fellow participants, and I, here at the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce in the USA, very much look forward to assisting Rossotrudnichestvo with the preparations for next year's trip." (Millian now says, "We are not affiliated with [Rossotrudnichestvo] in any way.")

Toward the end of the presidential campaign Michael Cohen, the Trump lawyer, told the Financial Times that Millian's claims of working with Trump were "nothing more than a weak attempt to align himself with Mr. Trump's overwhelmingly successful brand." But the newspaper reported that Cohen "did not respond to questions about whether he interacted with Mr. Millian or why Mr. Millian is one of only 100 people he follows on Twitter." (Cohen no longer follows Millian on Twitter.) Hope Hicks, Trump's campaign spokeswoman, told the paper that Trump had "met and spoke" with Millian only "on one occasion almost a decade ago at a hotel opening."

Cohen, Hicks, Sean Spicer, Trump's designated White House press secretary, and the Trump presidential transition team did not respond to a request for information regarding Millian's interactions with Trump and his associates.

Millian, who is in his late 30s and won't say when he came to the United States or how he obtained US citizenship, is an intriguing and mysterious figure with a curious connection to Trump.

I am US citizen and do not have and never had Russian citizenship. I live and work in NYC."

He would not say when he left Belarus or explain how he became an American citizen. He would not discuss the details of the deal he previously claimed to have struck with the Trump Organization. He would not say how many times he worked on projects or exchanges with Rossotrudnichestvo. (His response seemed to suggest he had nothing to do with the Russian organization, yet the 2011 letter he wrote indicated his Russian-American Chamber of Commerce had collaborated with Rossotrudnichestvo.) He did not explain why references to the Trump organization had been scraped from the RACC's website and his bio. And he did not answer this question: "In the last year and a half, have you had any contacts with Donald Trump or any of his political or business associates?"
UNQUOTE

Kyle W. Orton
✔ @KyleWOrton How shocking.

"The [#Assad] regime’s purchases are helping sustain" #IS, now its "largest source of funds".

http://on.wsj.com/2iNsWsx

BUT WAIT...Trump wants to work with Assad...Putin...Hezbollah and Iran

Not bode well for Trump FP when this is planned for US internal affairs......

BREAKING: Trump team is planning to ELIMINATE the DOJ's 25 Violence Against Women grant programs (listed below). http://thehill.com/policy/finance/314991-trump-team-prepares-dramatic-cuts

If Donald #Trump really wants to "stick with the Kurds" in #Syria, both countries are heading for confrontation.
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/01/us-resumes-airstrikes-syria-support-turkey.html 

Those now in Brussels...Paris and Berlin after the recent interview with Trump now see that Trump relishes the possible collapse of EU...views Germany/EU as a direct competitor of US and no longer a true ally....

Amazing the disconnect of this man from reality and how the Republican Party in their drive for power simply looks the other way....

There's no time to treat USA as ally. Need to summon national security boards & set the path to repel attacks of USA
http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/01/trump-to-europe-drop-dead-214640 

BLUF...there will be no FP directions for the first 100 days as Trump has stated he will going to dismantle everything Obama did instead for setting his FP priorities for the next four years....

Translation: everything true in the Steele dossier the IC knew already.
Seems important.

Also, Steele dossier was effectively cover for the real TS intel which the IC uncovered on its own about Trump+RIS

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/article127231799.htm...

FBI, 5 other agencies probe possible covert Kremlin aid to Trump

By Peter Stone and Greg Gordon
McClatchy Washington Bureau

QUOTE
WASHINGTON
The FBI and five other law enforcement and intelligence agencies have collaborated for months in an investigation into Russian attempts to influence the November election, including whether money from the Kremlin covertly aided President-elect Donald Trump, two people familiar with the matter said.

The agencies involved in the inquiry are the FBI, the CIA, the National Security Agency, the Justice Department, the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and representatives of the director of national intelligence, the sources said.

Investigators are examining how money may have moved from the Kremlin to covertly help Trump win, the two sources said. One of the allegations involves whether a system for routinely paying thousands of Russian-American pensioners may have been used to pay some email hackers in the United States or to supply money to intermediaries who would then pay the hackers, the two sources said.
Continued.
UNQUOTE

NOTE: the use of Russian émigrés to funnel money to Trump campaign was in fact mentioned in the Steele report....

BLUF.....if you were the mere mortal that had this much government joint firepower looking at your actions...you would already be in jail.....

FIVE USG agencies do not simply react to just good ole rumors.....UNLESS the RUMINT has become verified HUMINT....

BY THE WAY....notice the utter silence on this article when Trump has had a vengeful twitter response lately to anything coming out of US IC....

Still nothing ... PEOTUS panic

Trump has been on IC radar for years for RIS/OC ties. Was being investigated long before the Steele dossier appeared. It's a distraction.

Trump is no more than an updated Armand Hammer -- if you get the analogy, you get the analogy -- who somehow managed to get elected POTUS.

When the full story of Trump's Kremlin ties comes out, there'll be many outraged Qs esp how so many knew awful truth but never went public.

No tweets about "Intelligence" from The Don since word leaked of IC task force on his case since the spring.

Talk about ruining the party.

Also, when full Trump+RIS story comes out, FBI, esp NYFO, has a scandal on its hands that'll make Whitey Bulger look like a routine error.

Part of the reason so few came forward with secrets about Trump was Obama's epic jihad against IC leakers. #Irony

Dossier is just cover. It's riddled with RIS deza.

NSA+FBI+CIA+DoJ+FinCEN have been looking into Trump's ties to Moscow for most of a year.

I'm sure they found nothing improper.

"Kushner…refused to meet with a senior French diplomat after a demand…that…Paris conference be canceled was ignored"

Israel as the Lights Go Out
Roger Cohen
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/17/opinion/israel-as-the-lights-go-out.h...

The shifting dynamics in Washington on Israel, is truly extraordinary.

"We oppose American neocon imperialism."
- Vladimir Putin, 19.7.2016
#Aleppo, #Syria, January 2017
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vxmYR6QQkI#

BUT WAIT...it is ok for us......

These are the long-term goals of Trump's chief strategist...
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/08/22/steve-bannon-trump-s-top-guy-told-me-he-was-a-leninist.html 

The New Yorker

@NewYorker
How is it possible, if these intelligence reports are true, to count the 2016 Presidential election as unsullied?
http://nyer.cm/u6W0vN0

Perfect example that shows many of the Trump Cabinet members took their jobs without really understanding them and or were hired to dismantle those agencies.....if that is I fact so..just how then does a government formulate and push a FP agenda with massive internal debates....and resistance from those that did not vote for Trump which was 48% of those 46% that voted....

Somebody really needs to let Rick Perry in on the secret that DoE is a nuclear weapons program pretending to be a cabinet department.

He thought he would be travelling the globe pushing US oil and gas......

The Trump admin has so far put fwd 'only 28 ppl for the 690 government jobs requiring senate confirmation'
http://bv.ms/2iJcDgr

This is what uncontrolled emotional and vengeful tweets will get you.........

Chinese paper warns Boeing, U.S. agriculture in crosshairs of Trump trade war
http://reut.rs/2jAYbek

FBI+5 agencies investigating if Kremlin used Russian-American pensions to pay hackers & covertly help Trump win
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/article127231799.html#storylink=cpy 

Even before Trump takes office his interviews and tweets have basically thrown FP overboard..depends largely now in his mood...anger and revenge drive.....and he has no idea how to handle these items

China says it's ready to hit back if Trump starts a trade war —
http://read.bi/2iTP33F

“China is a dragon. America is an eagle. … When the dragon wakes up, the others are all snacks.”
http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/01/donald-trump-and-chinas-year-of-the-hawk-214656 

Timely piece by @NYTimes on what the US gains from defending its allies & interests abroad:
http://goo.gl/vLUb9B

Russia invited Trump to Astana talks to snub Obama, but US can't say yet if they are sending someone, or who,
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/01/syria-peace-talks-astana-confusion-trump-iran-russia.html#ixzz4WA7TG22t 
BUT WAIT....Iran says no to US

North Korea may test-launch ICBM soon: South Korean media
http://reut.rs/2jBoNf9

Combination of May Brexit speech & Trump EU/NATO/Merkel interview makes it clear Europe & the Atlantic era as known is all but over

RFE/RL

@RFERL
.@PowerVertical: "Lavrov has mastered the dark art of diplomatic jujitsu, accusing the West of doing exactly what Russia is doing."
 

How bad is it really......???

1. no defined FP prior to taking unless FP is defined as tweets...interviews....
2. not a functioning and in place NSC
3. war with US IC
4. war with US MSM
5.war with WH Press Corp.....
6. virtually not much of anything hired yet for DoS
7. not all Cabinet nominations have fully cleared OGE.....
8. Trump himself has not fully and completely shown his businesses are in fact now under control of his son's and based on OGE he is Friday in conflict of interests...based on this...

Lowest favorability rating of any coming President ......this is not going well...

In retraction request to CNN, Team Trump confirms CNN story:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2017/01/18/in-retraction-request-to-cnn-trump-team-confirms-cnn-story/?utm_term=.e436931f7a3c 

THIS after attacking CNN and their reporter during the Trump PC....

Can things get even weider within the Trump transition team....this Individual has claimed he was the back channel to the WLs email dump on Podesta....

NOW this crazy claim..if it was then radiation poisoning he would be long dead....

BTW...with 19 he was a dirty tricks guy with Nixon and fired for it....

If so, he'd be dead.
http://www.mediaite.com/online/trump-advisor-roger-stone-claims-he-was-poisoned-with-radioactive-polonium/ 

On Tuesday, Roger Stone, best known as one of Donald Trump’s advisors, made quite the mammoth claim: That recently, he had been poisoned with polonium, the radioactive agent best known for being used to kill Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko in 2006. Stone made the announcement on Alex Jones’ InfoWars and also tweeted about his alleged diagnosis:

“I became extremely ill. This manifested itself in over 14 days of high fever, delirium, night sweats, I had lesions on my chest and my face,” Stone explained to Jones. “The general consensus is I was poisoned. I was poisoned with polonium or a substance that has the characteristics of polonium and this made me exceedingly ill.” Stone’s theory is that someone poisoned him because he has proof that Russia was not behind the hacks of the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta, “This is about stopping the Trump agenda,” he said. “I would blow the whistle on this whole bogus Russian narrative that they just won’t let go of.”

BTW
HE WAS ALSO mentioned as well in the Steele reports....AND is in the large scale link analysis database being conducted by Buzzfeed...

It's alarming to see, 2 days before inauguration, a near-empty National Security Council with almost no appointees.
http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/donald-trump-national-security-crisis-233732 

Team Trump = total #natsec amateur-hour car wreck.

If only there'd been signs ....

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/01/18/us/politics/trump-team-has-barely-engaged-with-national-security-council.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&referer=https://t.co/TILwkX9ZkO 

Mike Flynn will bring the arrogant, incompetent-yet-so-self-confident stupidity to the NSC+WH that he brought to DIA.

What could go wrong?

POST EDITORIAL: Trump’s Cabinet knows NATO is important. It’s not clear he agrees.
http://wpo.st/FdaS2

Don't let talk of "women of decreased social responsibility" distract you from what Putin really said with his stated support for Trump and against the US Maidan
https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/01/putin-trump-pr...

Independent Russian Analysts Argue Moscow Secretly Cooperating With ISIS
https://jamestown.org/program/independent-russian-analysts-argue-moscow-secretly-cooperating-islamic-state/ 

SO is Trump now going to work with Assad and Putin against IS...BUT WAIT if true then Trump is working together with IS...Russia...Assad and Iran... 

Trump's FP will be largely driven by his global businesses......

Buzzfeed has published "TrumpWorld" -- a dataset of 1,500+ people & companies -- and it wants you to mine the info
https://www.buzzfeed.com/johntemplon/help-us-map-trumpworld?utm_term=.xtopm8Jrn#.bg0ndV4AW 

Amazing link analysis not seen in US MSM as of yet...and largely explains just why Trump has not placed his businesses into a true blind trust.

US FP = business = conflict of interests

We wound up with the diagram you see above — a bird’s-eye view of what we call TrumpWorld. We spent two months building the dataset from public records, news reports, and other sources on the Trump family, his Cabinet picks, and top advisers — more than 1,500 people and organizations altogether. BuzzFeed News is the first news organization to publish such an exhaustive list of Trump’s business interests, and we hope it will help you, the public, better understand the new administration.

Anyone who fully understands link analysis will understand the major problem with Trump and his future FP....

Again if one understand link analysis then the Steele report and then this is not so far fetched....

Erik Prince, Rudy Giuliani, and Donald Trump conspired to intimidate FBI Director James Comey
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-domestic-conspiracy-that-gave-trump-the-election_us_587ed24fe4b0b110fe11dbf9…?

Spanish Police Arrest Dutch Lawyer of Telecoms Firm Related to Russian Oligarch Fridman Noted in Trump Dossier
http://www.interpretermag.com/russia-update-january-18-2017/#15960 

Trump's selections for DoS have been largely wealthy businessmen. And this hedge fund owner has no IR experience and distrusts science as well....

Now at Davos...making statements like...we could envision working with a Russian fund on projects..sadly sanctioned which he did not know about.....

THEN he can see an immediate meeting between Trump and Putin and then...

Economics adviser Anthony Scaramucci likens Trump tweets to candy cigarettes. 'They aren't that bad for you.'

Global FP is now being stood upon it's head.....

2017 barely started:
1. China=global free-markets champion
2. Putin advertised RU prostitutes as the world's best but Trump would not know that
3. Trump asked unused inauguration tics back

AND this is either a complete failure on the part of the Russian GRU and SVR......and they rarely fail on their HUMINT taskings....but it was known to many Americans as early as 1991 and most ever since 2011 on good Morning America.....

IF Putin wants to really lie he needs a far better speech writer.....

Yesterday, Putin: "How could we have known, in 2013, that Trump has presidential ambitions?"
Insulting, really,

If the US is suppose to support the WH on it's FP...then we urgently need a US President that has some idea what the word "truth"...means....as a lot of diplomacy depends on trust and right now the Chinese...Europeans...NATO...Germany cannot be faulted for not quite "trusting" Trump....just alone based on his tweets and statements...

BREAKING: Michael @Isikoff just found a OCT 2015 radio interview from October 2015 where Trump says he has met Putin.

Trump:
Has met Putin
Hasn't met Putin
Has a great relationship with Putin
Doesn't know Putin
Has met Putin
Suddenly won't comment

Finally the US MSM "get's it"....and not mentioned in this article is the underlying fact that they are now getting better at spotting "fake news" and disinformation....it will be an interesting next four years if Trump survives a coming possible impeachment....

Columbia Journalism review

An open letter to Trump from the US press corps
By Kyle Pope, CJR
January 17, 2017
Dear Mr. President Elect:

In these final days before your inauguration, we thought it might be helpful to clarify how we see the relationship between your administration and the American press corps.

It will come as no surprise to you that we see the relationship as strained. Reports over the last few days that your press secretary is considering pulling news media offices out of the White House are the latest in a pattern of behavior that has persisted throughout the campaign: You’ve banned news organizations from covering you.

You’ve taken to Twitter to taunt and threaten individual reporters and encouraged your supporters to do the same. You’ve advocated for looser libel laws and threatened numerous lawsuits of your own, none of which has materialized. You’ve avoided the press when you could and flouted the norms of pool reporting and regular press conferences. You’ve ridiculed a reporter who wrote something you didn’t like because he has a disability.

All of this, of course, is your choice and, in a way, your right. While the Constitution protects the freedom of the press, it doesn’t dictate how the president must honor that; regular press conferences aren’t enshrined in the document.

But while you have every right to decide your ground rules for engaging with the press, we have some, too. It is, after all, our airtime and column inches that you are seeking to influence. We, not you, decide how best to serve our readers, listeners, and viewers. So think of what follows as a backgrounder on what to expect from us over the next four years. 

is preferable, but not critical. You may decide that giving reporters access to your administration has no upside. We think that would be a mistake on your part, but again, it’s your choice. We are very good at finding alternative ways to get information; indeed, some of the best reporting during the campaign came from news organizations that were banned from your rallies. Telling reporters that they won’t get access to something isn’t what we’d prefer, but it’s a challenge we relish.

Off the record and other ground rules are ours—not yours—to set. We may agree to speak to some of your officials off the record, or we may not. We may attend background briefings or off-the-record social events, or we may skip them. That’s our choice. If you think reporters who don’t agree to the rules, and are shut out, won’t get the story, see above.

We decide how much airtime to give your spokespeople and surrogates. We will strive to get your point of view across, even if you seek to shut us out. But that does not mean we are required to turn our airwaves or column inches over to people who repeatedly distort or bend the truth. We will call them out when they do, and we reserve the right, in the most egregious cases, to ban them from our outlets.

We believe there is an objective truth, and we will hold you to that. When you or your surrogates say or tweet something that is demonstrably wrong, we will say so, repeatedly. Facts are what we do, and we have no obligation to repeat false assertions; the fact that you or someone on your team said them is newsworthy, but so is the fact that they don’t stand up to scrutiny. Both aspects should receive equal weight.

We’ll obsess over the details of government. You and your staff sit in the White House, but the American government is a sprawling thing. We will fan reporters out across the government, embed them in your agencies, source up those bureaucrats. The result will be that while you may seek to control what comes out of the West Wing, we’ll have the upper hand in covering how your policies are carried out.

We will set higher standards for ourselves than ever before. We credit you with highlighting serious and widespread distrust in the media across the political spectrum. Your campaign tapped into that, and it was a bracing wake-up call for us. We have to regain that trust. And we’ll do it through accurate, fearless reporting, by acknowledging our errors and abiding by the most stringent ethical standards we set for ourselves.

We’re going to work together. You have tried to divide us and use reporters’ deep competitive streaks to cause family fights. Those days are ending. We now recognize that the challenge of covering you requires that we cooperate and help one another whenever possible. So, when you shout down or ignore a reporter at a press conference who has said something you don’t like, you’re going to face a unified front. We’ll work together on stories when it makes sense, and make sure the world hears when our colleagues write stories of importance.

We will, of course, still have disagreements, and even important debates, about ethics or taste or fair comment. But those debates will be ours to begin and end.

We’re playing the long game. Best-case scenario, you’re going to be in this job for eight years. We’ve been around since the founding of the republic, and our role in this great democracy has been ratified and reinforced again and again and again.

You have forced us to rethink the most fundamental questions about who we are and what we are here for. For that we are most grateful.

Enjoy your inauguration.
—The Press Corps

Actually this is extremely important as the Trump spokesperson Spicer...Bannon and Trump really do not like MSM and want them out of the WH in order to drive their own version of the news controlled by them....

The US urgently needs the US MSM to get back to being the "Four Estate" as a control function for the truth which has been badly damaged by Russian influence operations...disinformation fakes news propaganda dn Russian trolling on social media...

BTW..Trump still basically rejects there ever being a Russian influence operation...to support his election...

"It’s just unfortunate the most powerful person in the world is trying to delegitimize journalism"- Zucker to NYMag

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/01/cnns-zucker-on-covering-trump-past-present-and-future.html?mid=twitter-share-di 

This CNN article does in fact mirror some serious thoughts by leading European politicians about Trump and his proRussian...anti NATO/Merkel comments....

He claims to be from a German background but riles against Germany at every turn...the core question is why???

There is with Trump a great IT term...WYSIWYG...what you see is what you get.....that fits like a glove.....

(CNN)Is Donald Trump preparing to surrender America's interests to Russia?

President-elect Donald Trump's interview with the Times of London and Germany's Bild on Monday was a punch in the gut to Europe.

He appeared to signal that the United States may turn its back on its allies, thereby weakening America and strengthening Russia, and throwing away what America helped build over three-quarters of a century.
Judging by what we have heard from Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin should not have been just satisfied with Trump's election. He should have been overjoyed. There are few issues of friction between Russia and the West in which Trump has not already indicated he plans to take Putin's side.

In Trump's astonishing statements to the newspapers, he described the European Union as an instrument of German domination. Germany and its leader, Chancellor Angela Merkel, one of America's most important allies, were a particular focus of Trump's thinly-veiled attacks.

Trump said he trusts Merkel and Putin equally, placing the leader of a country at the core of the trans-Atlantic alliance in the same category as the leader of a nation that has antagonized the United States at every turn. "I start off trusting both," he said dismissively, "but let's see how long it lasts." How Putin must have enjoyed this!

Trump repeated his claim that NATO is obsolete, and breezily declared he doesn't care what happens to the European Union, calling Britain's decision to leave "a great thing." That position is remarkable because since World War II every single US administration has supported European integration as a way to strengthen the Western alliance and promote its shared values.

The Russia file is politically charged for the President-elect. A new CNN/ORC poll shows 8 in 10 Americans say they're paying close attention to the issue. And although there is deep disagreement over the significance of recent intelligence reports, an area of overwhelming consensus is disapproval of Putin, with just 12% saying they have a positive view of the Russian president.

Let's pause here to recall: There is a reason why the US and Europe have been allies, while Putin's Russia has stood on the opposite side. Europe and the US share basic ideals about democracy, human rights and individual freedoms. Now Trump is increasingly aligning himself with the leader of a country that has steadily dismantled a fledgling democracy; one where and critics of the president die in mysterious circumstances, where government-sanctioned attacks against LGBT citizens have sent people fleeing, where opposition politicians run away for their lives.

Despite this, Trump has dismissed criticism of his Putin-friendly statements by arguing that it's better for America to have Russia as a friend than a foe. What he appears to be pursuing, however, is not simply restored relations with Moscow, but the overturning of decades of purposeful American policy in a way that fulfills the geopolitical aspirations of Putin's Russia. This is not the art of the deal, it is surrender.

Of course, we still don't know what Trump will do once in office, particularly since some of his own nominees disagree vehemently with his stance on Russia.

For example, Gen. James Mattis, the likely secretary of defense, got it right during his Senate confirmation when he explained that, "...the most important thing is that we recognize the reality of what we deal with (in) Mr. Putin." Putin, he said, "is trying to break the North Atlantic alliance." Mattis prescribed, "working with allies to defend ourselves where we must."

Indeed, if Putin aims to destroy the European Union and NATO, he won't need weapons. Trump will be doing it for him if his policies match his utterances, instead of the admonitions of key players like Mattis.
What might that look like? For one thing, Trump has repeatedly hinted at plans to lift sanctions imposed by the West after Russian forces seized the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine and sent unmarked Russian soldiers into eastern Ukraine to foment a civil war there.

This has raised anxiety among Russia's closest neighbors -- an alarm shared even in Western Europe. Europeans saw what Putin did in Ukraine and fear the US would do nothing to stop Putin from creating havoc in their countries.

Pro-Russian positions, it's worth noting, were hallmarks of the Trump presidential campaign. Back when the campaign was led by Paul Manafort --- who has close ties with the pro-Russian side of Ukrainian politics -- the Trump campaign forced the Republican Party to change its platform, removing both criticism of Russia and vows to support Ukrainian independence.)

Not surprisingly, Europe, is preparing for the possibility of life without the close ties with the United States, which were forged in the ashes of World War II. Merkel said, "There is no eternal guarantee for a close cooperation" in trans-Atlantic relations. "We Europeans," she declared, "have our fate in our own hands."

The possible fracturing of a 70-year-old alliance -- a mighty economic, political and military bloc -- would be a huge loss for Europe and a spectacular victory for Putin. But it would also constitute a historic loss for the United States.

America's strength derives not only from the size of its military forces, but also from the power of its alliances and its ideas. Trump, if he follows through on his disruptive threats, would make the United States a weaker country--one that does not enjoy the support of the greatest military alliance in history, which has put the US at the center of a powerful family of nations that share views on economic, social and political freedoms.

Sure, getting along with Putin would be nice, but not at the expense of America's values; not at the cost of weakening America. Not at the cost of betraying America's true friends.

Since Trump has not really bought into the Russian hacking and influence operations inside the US..he will presumably not engage in counter influence operations....

BUT right now the FSB/GRU still have a heavy hand in the US game.....

Hoax ads in two dozen cities offered protesters up to $2,500 to agitate at Trump inaugural -
http://go.shr.lc/2j4k9mK

Paying demonstrators to show up is the signature tactic of Russia in eastern Ukraine and Moscow these days....builds on the Trump paranoia of "professional demonstrators showing up at his rallies".....

People Are Sharing Fake Pictures Of Bikers For Trump Heading To The Inauguration
https://www.buzzfeed.com/tasneemnashrulla/bikers-for-trump-inauguration-fake-pictures?utm_term=.sxMxrePaY 

Result of a Trump tweet praising them....
 

Three areas that Trump absolutely has no FP on.....other than slogans and campaign rhetoric....

Trump nominee questions US funding of UN
http://dlvr.it/N7pDXH

Trump's adviser speaking to Russian state TV, in favor of lifting sanctions. I believe Trump will do that in a hurry
http://tass.com/world/925367

Libyan Army Commander Khalifa Haftar Signs $2 Billion Arms Deal With Russia Despite UN Sanctions
http://www.defenseworld.net/news/18245/Libyan_Army_Commander_Signs__2_Billion_Arms_Deal_With_Russia_Despite_UN_Sanctions#.WH7Z7PHv2FR.twitter 

More Putin overacting:
Those undermining legitimacy seem like they trained in Kyiv…to stage a Maidan in DC to keep Trump from taking office

Appears that Ukrainian Maidan has become for Putin his worst nightmare....as we see some beginnings of the Russian population starting to openly complain about low income...non payment of salaries...poor quality of food...recently the Russian government admitted that 70% of all Russian food is faked products....

Three work days till inauguration and still no DOD or State appointments below cabinet level.

Sign of behind-scenes infighting & gridlock?

National security scholars have called Donald #Trump the most pro-Russian candidate in modern American history.

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/9-things-trump-has-said-election-might-make-putin-smile-n707566 

John Bolton calls for rethinking One China policy, and stationing US military soldiers and assets in Taiwan!!!

Seems he missed also the latest Chinese warnings....

Why Vladimir Putin Hates Us
Western inability to grasp what motivates our enemies is nothing new

http://observer.com/2016/11/why-vladimir-putin-hates-us/#.WH4h7DGPZb4.tw...

He’s done it again. The honey badger in the Kremlin just moved more advanced missiles into position on Russia’s most westerly fringe to own the Baltic Sea. This week Moscow admitted it has deployed cutting-edge Bastion anti-ship missiles to the Kaliningrad exclave, north of Poland, plus equally advanced S-400 air defense systems to shoot down aircraft and missiles as far as 250 miles out.
With this move, the Kremlin has established control over the Baltic Sea, most of Poland and the Baltic republics—NATO members all. Russia now can exert anti-access and area denial—what the Pentagon calls A2AD for short—at will, meaning that any NATO aircraft or ships entering the region can be hit long before they get close to Kaliningrad. For Western military planners, this is nothing short of a nightmare, since Moscow can now block NATO reinforcements headed east to counter, say, Russian military moves on the vulnerable Baltic republics.
That scenario, wherein Moscow’s forces overrun a Baltic republic or two before NATO can meaningfully respond, is judged alarmingly plausible by Alliance planners, yet nobody should be surprised that Vladimir Putin has done this. One month ago, when he moved nuclear-capable Iskander-M ballistic missiles into Kaliningrad last month, initiating a Baltic version of the Cuban Missile Crisis, President Obama’s response was…nothing.
The outgoing commander-in-chief decided that he needed to appease the Kremlin one more time before leaving the White House, to the horror of our allies who live close to Russia. “We’re on our own until January 20, and maybe much longer,” was how a senior Alliance defense official in that neighborhood explained the reality of what Obama has done through his inaction.
For good measure, this week the Russian defense ministry indicated that the deployment of Iskander-M systems to Kaliningrad, which Moscow has said was merely part of a military exercise, will be staying there permanently. Since those missiles can launch nuclear or conventional warheads as far as 300 miles with stunning accuracy, Russia now holds a powerful military advantage over NATO in the Baltic region.
Predictably, the Kremlin maintains that moving state-of-the art missiles into Kaliningrad is a response to American ballistic missile defenses which have been deployed in Eastern Europe. As usual, Moscow depicts all its military moves, even ones which are destabilizing to regional security, as cosmically defensive, so great is the Western threat to Russia.
Russian remains an existential threat to the United States in a manner that jihadists simply are not, no matter what Islam-alarmists say.
Such brazen chessboard moves with cutting-edge weaponry are hardly surprising, since Putin has been challenging Western—especially American—power all around the world of late. The Kremlin cares so little about our reactions to its provocations that it’s admitted it played clandestine spy-games with our elections, conceding that Wikileaks is a Russian pawn. Simply put, President Obama’s consistent unwillingness to confront Putin’s bad behavior on the global stage has predictably led to more—and worse—of it.
Of course, why Putin is doing all this, playing dangerous games which could provoke a major war, looms as a big question here, albeit one that Western foreign policy gurus have trouble answering. Our academic international relations experts, who indulge in silliness like game-theory or realist fantasies to explain Putin’s increasingly aggressive policies, have difficulty explaining why the Kremlin—which after all in military or economic terms is vastly weaker than NATO—is acting so brazenly.
Western inability to grasp what motivates our enemies is nothing new. Fifteen years ago, in the aftermath of al-Qa’ida’s attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, everybody wanted to know “why they hate us.” President George W. Bush spoke the received Beltway wisdom when he explained that jihadists and Islamists hate us because of our “freedoms.”
Such escapism, while flattering to American self-perceptions, was completely wrong. The answer was right there since jihadists talk nonstop (especially online) about their worldview. Their hatred for Americans and the West has nothing to do with our freedoms, which radical Muslims care nothing about. It has everything to do with our policies—especially our support for Israel and our military presence in Muslim countries—plus our decadent way of life, particularly Western post-modern sexual mores, which jihadists see as literally invading their countries through media and entertainment.
Misunderstanding what makes our enemies tick is old hat in Washington. During the Cold War, our academic mavens, highly paid by the Pentagon to prognosticate about the Kremlin’s inner workings, paid little attention to Soviet public statements. Such aggressively anti-Western Marxist-Leninist pronouncements, often threatening nuclear war, were dismissed by our experts, academics plus Intelligence Community eggheads, who insisted that these ravings were just for show: in private, Soviet political and military leaders were calm and rational men just like us.
Of course, after the Cold War we learned that the Kremlin leadership said the same nutty things in private, dripping with Communist hatred for the capitalist West, that they yelled in Red Square. It’s tough enough for any person to maintain a completely different public persona than his private one, while for a whole regime it’s impossible. Therefore, pay attention to what your enemies state openly—there’s a good chance they believe it.
It’s not like Putin and his minions have been hiding what they believe. Putin himself is very much a KGB man—what Russians call a Chekist—cunningly conspiratorial to his bones. Yet over the last decade, he has become an open Russian nationalist with strong religious overtones. Regime outlets pontificate nonstop about the evils of the West, castigating our decadence and depravity, reflecting a nationalism that is deeply grounded in Orthodox Christianity.
Putin has talked warmly about what he calls “spiritual security“—which means keeping versions of Christianity other than Russian Orthodoxy out of the country—even stating that Russia’s “spiritual shield” is as important to her security as its nuclear shield. His inspiration for this comes from Orthodox thinkers, above all Ivan Ilyin, who hated the West with vigor and passion. This anti-Western worldview seems strange and even incomprehensible to most Americans, its reference points are utterly foreign to us, yet is grounded in centuries of Russian history and spiritual experience.
In this viewpoint, which I have termed Orthodox Jihadism, the West is an implacable foe of Holy Russia with whom there can be no lasting peace. For centuries—whether led by the Catholic Church, Napoleon, Hitler or the United States—the West has tried to subjugate Russia and thereby crush Orthodoxy, the one true faith. This is the Third Rome myth, which became very popular in 19th century Imperial Russia, postulating that it is Russia’s holy mission to resist the Devil and his work on earth.
Putin has reinvigorated such throwback thinking, making the Russian Orthodox Church—the de facto state religion—the ideological centerpiece of his regime. After Communism fell, the country needed a new ideological anchor, and Putinism found it in a potent amalgam of religion and nationalism which has far greater historical resonance with Russians than Communism ever did.
Western skeptics invariably note that Putin’s can’t really be an Orthodox believer and, besides, most Russians don’t bother to attend church regularly anyway. I have no idea what Putin actually believes—unlike Dubya I can’t see into his soul—but he certainly knows how to look like a real Orthodox, while the fact that regular church attendance in Russia isn’t particularly high doesn’t change that three-quarters of Russians claim to be Orthodox. The political reality is that Putinism has successfully convinced most Russians to go along with the official ideology, at least tacitly.
To get a flavor of what Putinism’s worldview looks like, simply listen to what Moscow says. It’s easy to find fire-breathing clerics castigating the West and its pushing of feminism and gay rights, which they openly term Satanic. The Russian “think tank” (in reality it’s just a website) Katehon is a Kremlin-approved outlet which offers heavy doses of geopolitics suffused with militant Orthodox nationalism. Significantly, its name comes from the Greek term for “he who resists the Antichrist”—and Katehon makes perfectly clear that the decadent, post-modern West is what they mean.
Then there’s Tsargrad TV, which is Russia’s version of Fox News, if Fox News were run by hardline Russian Orthodox believers. It’s the project of Konstantin Malofeev, a Kremlin-connected hedge funder-turned-religious crusader who wanted to give the country a news outlet that reflected traditional values. Its name is the traditional Slavic term for Constantinople—the Second Rome in Russian Orthodox formulation. A few months back, when Putin visited Mount Athos in Greece, one of Orthodox’s holiest sites, accompanied by Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Tsargrad TV gave it wall-to-wall live coverage.
The anti-Western animus of this ideology would be difficult to overstate. There are rational-sounding complaints—for instance, Russian harping on NATO expansion up to their borders—but much of it boils down to depictions of the post-modern West as Satan’s project designed to subvert traditional religion and family life. These complaints sound a lot like what hardline Muslims say about the West. Just like Islamists, Kremlin ideologists claim that, since the West is spiritually attacking Russia and Orthodoxy with feminist and LGBT propaganda, all of Moscow’s responses—including aggressive military moves—are therefore defensive.
To be fair to Putin and his ilk, we’ve been doing a good job of making their anti-Western polemics seem plausible. Under President Obama, the State Department really has pushed feminism and LGBT rights hard—including in Russia. Washington’s official effort to coerce small, impoverished countries like Macedonia into accepting our post-modern views of sexuality has raised Russian ire, not least because Macedonia is a majority-Orthodox country.
The bottom line is that Putin’s Russia is driven by a state-approved ideology which hates the post-modern West and considers us a permanent existential threat. President Obama’s insistence that we can’t be in a new Cold War with Russia because there’s no ideological component to the struggle is completely and utterly wrong. The Kremlin sees that spiritual-cum-ideological struggle clearly, and says so openly. Indeed, Putin explained it concisely, in public, before he seized Crimea, but nobody in Western capitals took him seriously:
Another serious challenge to Russia’s identity is linked to events taking place in the world. Here there are both foreign policy and moral aspects. We can see how many of the Euro-Atlantic countries are actually rejecting their roots, including the Christian values that constitute the basis of Western civilization. They are denying moral principles and all traditional identities: national, cultural, religious and even sexual. They are implementing policies that equate large families with same-sex partnerships, belief in God with the belief in Satan.
The excesses of political correctness have reached the point where people are seriously talking about registering political parties whose aim is to promote pedophilia. People in many European countries are embarrassed or afraid to talk about their religious affiliations. Holidays are abolished or even called something different; their essence is hidden away, as is their moral foundation. And people are aggressively trying to export this model all over the world. I am convinced that this opens a direct path to degradation and primitivism, resulting in a profound demographic and moral crisis.
The coming of Donald Trump to Washington, with his affection for Russia and its leader, gives some cause for optimism that things might improve between us and Moscow. There’s no doubt that the Kremlin thinks of Trump as a man with whom they can do business. However, the deep-seated conflict between Putinism and the post-modern West will remain. If Trump decides to get the State Department out of the business of exporting our sexual mores to countries where they’re not wanted, that might cool things down with Moscow somewhat. However, the hard-wired strategic rivalry between the West and Russia will remain, no matter what pleasantries get exchanged between our leaders.
It would be wise to counter Russian adventurism before it causes a major, perhaps nuclear war. Deterrence works, when applied properly. It would be even wiser to stop ignoring what Moscow says about its worldview—they probably mean it. Above all, stop provoking the Russians needlessly. This week, Senator John McCain rehashed his line that “Russia is a gas station run by the mafia masquerading as a country,” omitting that it’s a country with several thousand nuclear weapons. For this reason, Russian remains an existential threat to the United States in a manner that jihadists simply are not, no matter what Islam-alarmists say. A first step to dealing wisely with Putin would be actually understanding what makes his regime tick.

So, that idiot declared war on European Union & sets it in motion just because some trees got into his way somewhere in Northern-Ireland and the EU would not approve the destruction of an ancient for Ireland last forested area ...for his golf course....

Hey Don - if you could lay off the crazy tweets about the PRC for a while, that would be super.

So, this happened.

BREAKING: Chinese state-media editorial says Trump showing "strategic arrogance" and China must prepare for a "head-on confrontation"

Kremlin TV rejoicing over Trump's ostensible antagonism to Germany, the last pillar of the European order.
https://www.1tv.ru/news/2017/01/16/317915-a_schitannye_dni_do_inauguratsii_donald_tramp_delaet_gromkie_zayavleniya 

EU, including #Netherlands, #France & #Germany, are bracing themselves for #Russia|n "influence operations":

http://www.rferl.org/a/europe-russian-influence-operations/28236212.html 

BUT WAIT .....Trump denies this even happens especially in the US.....

BUT WAIT...does not Trump's close advisor Bannon via Breitbart.com have offices now in France/UK/Germany/Holland ...how can he work EU and then be a TS/SCI clearance holder in DC......conflict of interest...it sure is...if you are working two locations and earning salaries in two locations and if Trump is dealing with those same countries FP wise....

"Putin's friend" Le Pen to recognize Crimea Russian if she wins France elections
http://www.unian.info/politics/17277
31-putins-friend-le-pen-to-recognize-crimea-russian-if-she-wins-france-elections.html 

"Germany says NATO concerned about Trump 'obsolete' remark"

Trump's Russian friend Putin is hard at work.....

The Times of London ‏@thetimes

Russia will arm Libyan general Khalifa Hiftar who is fighting western-backed Tripoli government
http://thetim.es/2jQKDZ9

NOTICE the last paragraphs referencing Trump's election......

THE TIMES
Vladimir Putin’s murky plot to cleave Balkans from West

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news...c9f5efd3fc4bc0

Quote:
Quote:
In the ill-lit back room of an Orthodox church richly decorated with bone-white marble, a burly priest poured another shot of homemade brandy as he railed against attempts by the Montenegrin government to throw in its lot with the West.

“NATO is nothing but an occupying force,” said Momcilo Krivokapic, 71, dressed in black robes and with a large silver crucifix dangling at his chest.

Krivokapic, a senior cleric, is one of a colourful cast of characters who have turned his Mediterranean homeland into the flashpoint of a dangerous new Cold War that pits a resurgent Kremlin against a weakening West.

It has emerged that the multiple tentacles of Russian interference, which also includes a plot to overthrow the Montenegrin government — and to prevent the country’s planned accession to NATO next year — extended into Krivokapic’s church of St Nicholas in the port city of Kotor.

In a curious ceremony the priest, who sports a long white beard, gave his blessing to a shadowy Russian-backed paramilitary organisation, the Balkan Cossack Army, as members of President Vladimir Putin’s favourite motorcycle gang and a self-styled Russian “general” looked on.

Kotor’s deepwater port, which was built for large battleships and is coveted by the Kremlin and NATO, is one of the reasons this picturesque Mediterranean nation of just 620,000 people is at the centre of a tug of war between Russia and the West.

The Kremlin’s interest in the country is part of wider Russian muscle-flexing across southeastern Europe where it is sponsoring political parties, staging military manoeuvres and developing a mysterious “humanitarian” centre in Serbia that NATO suspects is a cover for espionage. In a further boost for the Kremlin, pro-Russian candidates won presi#dential elections last month in Moldova and Bulgaria.

Western concerns at the Kremlin’s activities in the Balkans, long seen as Europe’s weak underbelly, have been highlighted by a confidential report adopted by NATO last week that sounded the alarm about Russia’s “destabilising” activities in the region.

The report accuses Russia of forging ties with elites in targeted countries, supporting anti-Western groups and buying its way into the energy and media sectors. “As part of Russia’s effort to reassert itself on the world stage, there’s been an increase in activities in the western Balkans, including destabilising behaviour,” the report states.

NATO, it argues, should work with the EU to counter “Russian disinformation” and help Balkan nations increase their “resilience” to the Kremlin’s malign influence.

With just 2000 men under arms, Montenegro — the smallest of the six republics that once made up the socialist former Yugoslavia — will contribute little to NATO, many of whose members are under pressure from US president-elect Donald Trump to increase military spending to 2 per cent of their gross domestic product.

But the political and strategic significance of its accession — coupled with a parallel attempt to join the EU — is huge.

Montenegro is the only country on Europe’s Mediterranean coast outside NATO; a government source called it the “last piece” of “unclaimed real estate” left from Lisbon to the Syrian port of Latakia.

“The western Balkans could be Europe’s next conflict,” said Adam Thomson, until last month Britain’s ambassador to NATO and now director of the European Leadership Network, a think tank.

The importance to Russia of a friendly Mediterranean port became clear in October as its aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov struggled to find a berth to refuel en route from Russia to Syria.

It was against this background that the Balkan Cossack Army, made up of Russian paramilitaries and locals who fought in the Balkan civil wars of the 1990s and the present conflict in Ukraine, came to Krivokapic for a blessing.

The Night Wolves, a Russian motorcycle gang beloved of Putin, travelled almost 3000km from Moscow to attend the event, presided over by Viktor Zaplatin, a self-styled Russian general who fought in several murky conflicts instigated by the Kremlin.

He addressed the crowd in the name of Alexander Borodai, a suspected Russian war criminal targeted by international sanctions for his involvement in Ukraine.

Soon after the creation of the paramilitary outfit, which is now under investigation by authorities, Montenegro was shaken by claims of a Russian-backed plot to seize government institutions after parliamentary elections on October 16.

Two Russians, Eduard Shirokov and Vladimir Popov, who allegedly worked for GRU, Russia’s military intelligence, have been charged with plotting a coup.

Investigators claim the pair operated from Belgrade, capital of neighbouring Serbia, from where they are accused of masterminding a conspiracy to infiltrate fighters among Montenegrin police and security personnel on election night and cause bloodshed that would lead to a takeover by the pro-Russian opposition.

Their aim, it was alleged, was to capture or kill the then prime minister, Milo Djukanovic, who is credited with orchestrating Montenegro’s NATO application, and replace him with a Russian crony.

“We face an aggressive power which initiated this (plot) to stop the expansion of NATO,” thundered Djukanovic, who has since stepped down in favour of a close confidant, amid speculation he is contemplating a run for the presidency.

The Kremlin has warned Montenegro against joining the alliance but denies any involvement in the plot, which has led to the arrest of 20 people there and in Serbia.

Western officials, however, see the episode as a further sign of Putin’s determination to use a mixture of soft and hard power in Europe to weaken democratic governments and test Western resolve by expanding Moscow’s zone of influence.

A source in the Montenegrin cabinet claims the paramilitary groups and the attempted coup are part of an “unequivocal message” from the Kremlin that amounts to: “We are back and you belong to us.” The EU, he claims, has given up on integrating the Balkans because of concerns about migration, leaving a vacuum that Putin sees as an “open invitation”.

Montenegro’s prosecutors initially charged Aleksandar Sindjelic, a convicted criminal from Serbia who fought with Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, with leading the coup. He has since been declared a “protected witness” so he can testify against the Russians.

Sindjelic, who was deported from Serbia to Montenegro in dubious legal circumstances, told prosecutors of his links to the Russian defence ministry; he also recalled how the two Russian agents had hosted him in a luxury apartment in central Moscow and gave him €200,000 ($283,000) in cash to prepare logistics.

A cache of weapons was found in Serbia, from where the Russians operated, but Montenegro’s authorities failed to link it to the alleged coup. With no weapons yet found in Montenegro, prosecutors are being ridiculed by opposition and critics in the media who claim the plot was invented by Djukanovic.

The revelations have embarrassed Aleksandar Vucic, Serbia’s pro-Western Prime Minister, who is said to have known nothing about the plot, even though his secret service reportedly was aware of it.

Serbia, which maintains military neutrality but aspires to join the EU, has steered a pro-Western course since the fall of Slobodan Milosevic, its former leader and a staunch Moscow ally who died while on trial for war crimes in the conflicts that raged through the region in the 90s.

“The secret service monitored the Russians throughout their operation but Vucic was never told,” said a top Montenegrin government source who has been working with Serbian authorities. “When he found out he was furious … Serbia’s Prime Minister does not have his secret services under control.”

Asked about the plot during a visit to NATO headquarters in Brussels late last month, Vucic appeared to want to send a message to Russia. “Serbia will never be a stage for preparing criminal acts against other countries,” he said. During the visit Vucic sought help to combat the Kremlin’s “enormous pressure”, diplomats say.

Days after the story of the alleged coup attempt emerged, Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of Russia’s security council and a close aide of Putin, arrived on a sudden visit to Belgrade, offering an informal deal on security co-operation. Diplomats and local officials described the visit as “crisis management”.

NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg has pledged not to accept “any interference” in Montenegro’s accession to NATO, which needs the ratification of all 28 member states.

“I welcome the open investigation both in Montenegro and Serbia related to the attempted … coup,” he said during Vucic’s visit last month, urging alliance members to speed up the ratification process.

NATO officials had hoped the process could be completed before Trump took office next month, but the US Senate failed to ratify it before its legislative session ended last week. Trump’s admiration for Putin has alarmed Western #officials but delighted pro-Russian activists in the Balkans.

“The election of Donald Trump was a blessing — as if God extended his hand over us,” said Krivokapic, voicing hopes the new president will strike a deal with Putin and abandon the Balkans to Russia.

Continued.....

Russian government spokesman says Russia agrees with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump that NATO is obsolete.

Let's spell this out: the United States President-elect is actively working to increase the risk of military escalation and war in Europe.

Not a partisan comment: no politician who has ever held a history book in their hands—Rep or Dem—should consider such behavior acceptable.

Dear Allies: If you're confused since new SECDEF AND SoS strongly backs NATO but new POTUS does not, so are all Americans with an above-room-temp IQ

Hard to say how Trump's talking points on NATO, EU & Russia would be different if they were actually written by the Kremlin.

They'd be in Russian. Otherwise identical. As in verbatim.

Russia to unleash major war against Ukraine in Aug – Russian military expert
http://www.unian.info/politics/1725536-russia-to-unleash-major-war-against-ukraine-in-aug-russian-military-expert.html 

Schäuble on Trump: “Protectionism can afford short-term advantages but is almost always damaging in the long term.”
http://www.
wsj.com/articles/germa
n-finance-minister-wolfgang-schauble-warns-trump-administration-on-free-trade-russia-1484565184?tesla=y 

Trump sides with Le Pen, Wilders, Farage & seeks overthrow of European peace & security, according to Putin's wishes
https://www.ft.com/content/1f7c6746-db75-11e6-9d7c-be108f1c1dce 

Putin spokesman gives Trump interview a thumbs-up: "NATO really is a relic, we agree with that."
https://ria.ru/world/20170116/1485770321.html#

BUT WAIT...Trump said nothing about Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine nor about their military annexation of Crimea did he.....nor their theft of complete Ukrainian industries and shipping them back to Russia stolen out of Donbass....or their theft of Ukrainian drilling rigs...

OR creating 1.6M Ukrainian IDP refugees in their own country as they did in Syria....

PEOTUS @realDonaldTrump tells @KaiDiekmann that he would have preferred safe zones in Syria. Full interview @BILD:
http://m.bild.de/bild-plus/politik/a...dMobile.html#…

Trump says Putin's intervention in Syria is very bad, US should have enforced red line back then, Aleppo was awful.

All the Putin and Assad fanboys who were cheering on Trump won't like this

Is Trump saying he would have bombed Syria after the August 21st 2013 attacks and stopped Russia's invasion of Ukraine?

Noting that Trump is more critical of Angela Merkel, the leader of a treaty ally, than he has ever been of Vladimir Putin.
 

openDemocracy @openDemocracy
Kakistocracy is a term meaning a state or country run by the worst, least qualified, and most unscrupulous citizens.
https://www.opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/manuel-nunes-ramires-serrano/road-from-democracy-to-kakistocracy-and-back 

This is what happens when intel chief tells @realDonaldTrump something he doesn't want to hear. He doesn't listen; just shoots the messenger

Trump is now officially at war with the entire US Intelligence Community...a war he cannot possibly win and it will be one of a death by a thousand cuts as they sit on information over his last 30 years of Russian activities and his money laundering days with his casino's....and they will leak it...

Donald J. Trump ‏@realDonaldTrump 8h
8 hours ago

.@FoxNews "Outgoing CIA Chief, John Brennan, blasts Pres-Elect Trump on Russia threat. Does not fully understand." Oh really, couldn't do...

Donald J. Trump ‏@realDonaldTrump 8h
8 hours ago

much worse - just look at Syria (red line), Crimea, Ukraine and the build-up of Russian nukes. Not good! Was this the leaker of Fake News?

Trump is a great user of the Russian propaganda SIX Ds.....which are being used here.....DEFLECT...DISMISS....DISTORT...

Does Trump really think Dir CIA had the power to unilaterally decide US policy on Syria, Ukraine or could've reduced Russian arsenal!?