Trump’s Connections to WikiLeaks and a Russian Bank
Trump’s long friend and a Republican strategist Roger Stone, who carries Richard Nixon's face tattooed on his back, has told the Guardian in an interview that he knew in advance about the leaked Democratic emails.
There are also rumours, which Stone denies, of him meeting personally with Assange and boasting to a third person of how WikiLeaks would be “coming down like a ton of bricks” on Clinton.
Stone seems to have been aware of the leaked emails ahead of their release because of his comments and tweets. In August, before WikiLeaks released Podesta’s emails, Stone wrote on twitter: “Trust me, it will soon [be] Podesta’s time in the barrel.” But he admits that the FBI hasn’t contacted him.
Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta, told the media: “It’s a reasonable conclusion that Mr Stone had advanced warning and the Trump campaign had advanced warning about what Assange was going to do.”
Talking to a Florida audience in August, Stone said: “I actually have communicated with Assange. I believe the next tranche of his documents pertain to the Clinton Foundation but there’s no telling what the October surprise may be.”
Let’s not forget that Roger Stone might wear his fine Italian suits, but he is a “dirty trickster.” In 1972, at the young age of 19, he was working for Richard Nixon and involved in two scams during Nixon’s campaign. Whether involved in leaking documents to expose Nixon’s opposition, or comingling with the likes of Assange, Stone is “a fringe player” and “a little rat”, as Reagan’s first political adviser, Ed Rollins, described him.
If you have any doubts about why Stone is friends with Trump, then the following quote might reassure you. Stone told Jeffrey Toobin in 2008, “Remember, politics is not about uniting people, it’s about dividing people and getting your 51 percent.”
Alfa Bank and Trump servers
Alfa Bank was built by Ukrainian Mikhail Fridman who very quickly became Russia’s second richest man, valued by Forbes at $15.3 bn.
Alfa has been operating smoothly in the West and, in order to secure its position in Washington, hired Reagan’s administration official Ed Rogers. Also, Richard Burt who assisted Trump in his speech on foreign policy, serves on Alfa’s senior advisory board. While Putin doesn’t like Alfa’s billions of investments in US health care and Uber, he tolerates this because the bank promotes Russian interests.
Alfa Bank’s ties to Trump
The following information was released on Monday (31 Oct.) by Slate. When computer scientists were alerted to the fact that Russian hackers infiltrated the servers of the Democratic National Committee, they also started to think that Donald Trump’s servers might be under attack too. One of the academics said: “We wanted to help defend both campaigns, because we wanted to preserve the integrity of the election.”
In July, one of these scientists came across something that looked like malware coming from Russia. This, however, wasn’t an attack but a sign of human-level (and not simulated) communication between New York and Moscow. Trump’s name appeared, as well as a bank in Moscow which was pinging a server registered to the Trump Organisation on Fifth Avenue. The other two servers registered to Moscow’s Alfa Bank. The two organisations were communicating in a way that blocked other people out and obscured their connection.
While the scientists were researching, in the media, news of Russia’s interference and reports that Trump invited Russian hackers to hunt for Clinton’s emails or that Putin and Russian investors were backing him, triggered the computer scientists’ further interest.
As they examined the communication carefully, they were sure that this was authentic and was a clear connection between Alfa Bank and Trump. Moreover, the conversation seemed to happen at times when important political events were happening in the US. As one of the scientists wrote: “At election-related moments, the traffic peaked.”
But when The New York Times reporter Eric Lichtblau tried to get hold of the Trump campaign and Alfa, the Trump domain name stopped working. The scientists believe that the Trump Organisation terminated the server after Alfa was told that the Times could possibly reveal the connection between the two. After a few days, the Trump Organisation created a new host name to continue its communication with Alfa through a different route, but when the Times began asking questions any communication was cut off. It isn’t clear yet what the server’s purpose was, but it does raise questions about Russia’s connection to the Trump Organisation.