Trump Promotes Longtime Russia Hawk Just as Russiagate Loses Momentum

The fact-free and logic-challenged allegations of Trump-Russia collusion have further lost credibility with the appointment of a virulently anti-Russia hawk to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Caitlin Johnstone points out.

By Caitlin Johnstone

Rex Tillerson, whose hotly scrutinized ties to Russia have been a centerpiece of Rachel Maddow’s conspiratorial ravings for many months, has been fired. Replacing him as Secretary of State will be Mike Pompeo, who has been a consistent and longstanding Russia hawk for years, going so far as accusing President Obama of endangering America by simply agreeing to meet with Vladimir Putin in 2015.

Mike Pompeo speaking at the 2012 CPAC in Washington, D.C. February 2012. (Flickr Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Like pretty much everything that happens anywhere ever, this occurrence is being cited as evidence of collusion between Donald Trump and the Russian government.

“Tillerson Fired by Trump Hours After Blaming Russia for Chemical Attack in U.K.,” blared a headline from the increasingly pro-establishment Intercept, referring to a comment Tillerson had made about the plot hole-riddled claims of the UK government that a Russian double agent had been poisoned by the Kremlin.

“By firing Tillerson one day after he publicly stated that Russia behind a WMD attack on British soil, we now have proof Trump is colluding with Putin,” tweeted Vanity Fair editor and tentacle porn connoisseur Kurt Eichenwald. “I don’t know if he did in the election. But he is doing it NOW in front of our eyes. He is Kremlin-owned.”

“Interesting that Tillerson’s ouster came one day after he very publicly broke with the official WH line and said the poisoning of Sergei Skripal ‘clearly’ came from Russia,” said a popular tweet from The Atlantic‘s Natasha Bertrand.

“WH saying Tillerson was informed Friday, but State Dept statement today seems to indicate he just found out today. Which *really* makes one wonder about the role of the Russia statement yesterday,” chimed in MSNBC’s Chris Hayes.

This is plainly stupid, and the exact opposite is likely the case. Rex Tillerson had been making comments against Russia throughout his brief career as Secretary of State just like Pompeo and many others in Trump’s cabinet, recently blaming Moscow for chemical attacks in Syria and warning of future interference in US elections in the 2018 midterms. He was not replaced by a far more virulently anti-Russia hawk because he sided with the establishment narrative on Russia as he had many times before.

For his part, Trump told reporters “it sounds to me like it would be Russia” in response to questions about who was responsible for the UK poisoning, and cited differences with Tillerson on the Iran nuclear deal as a reason for his firing. If you take Trump on his word (not that I am suggesting anyone should ever do such a thing), his administration is likely to side with the UK on any escalations it chooses to make against the Russian Federation, and he fired Rex Tillerson because this administration and its allies want to advance a more aggressive agenda against Iran.

And that could very well be among the reasons for Tillerson’s firing; Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did reportedly talk “Iran, Iran, and Iran” in their recent meeting. It could also have something to do with the possibility that Pompeo is being groomed for a 2020 presidential candidacy, as sources have reportedly told WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange.

I think another possibility worth considering is the timing of the fatal blow the Russiagate narrative has suffered as House Intelligence Committee Republicans officially ended their investigation with the conclusion that there is no evidence of Trump-Russia collusion, and no evidence that Vladimir Putin tried to help Trump win the election. The Mueller investigation still continues, as does the Senate Intelligence Committee investigation, with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer stating that “We have a responsibility to get to the very bottom of what happened in the 2016 elections and to report on those findings in an unbiased way. If the House isn’t going to do it, the Senate must.”

But going by what we’re hearing from the Senate Intelligence Committee it looks like their investigation might be heading in the same direction, with Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr telling CNN on Monday that he’s seen no evidence of collusion either.

“I’ve read a lot about it, but haven’t seen any,” Burr said.

It is worth weighing the possibility that now that the American public has been paced into supporting new cold war escalations with Russia, the Russiagate psyop which was used to harness rank-and-file Democrats’ fear of Trump to inflame fears of Putin is no longer necessary, and is now being let go in place of more brazen hawkishness. As far as the US intelligence community and its allies are concerned, Russiagate’s only purpose has been to manufacture public support for escalations against Russia to secure strategic regions and ultimately hobble the Russia-China tandem, and that scaffolding can safely be removed if Russia hysteria no longer requires fear of Trump collusion to be sustained.

The soulless Mike Pompeo would be a fine overseer of that agenda, and as Secretary of State, the position Hillary Clinton used so effectively to spearhead the decimation of Libya, he’d be in an excellent position to do so.

Also noteworthy is the fact that Trump just promoted a torture supporter in Mike Pompeo and an actual torturer in his replacement as CIA Director Gina Haspel, yet leading Democrats are largely concerned that the administration won’t be “tough” enough.

“If he’s confirmed, we hope that Mr. Pompeo will turn over a new leaf and will start toughening up our policies towards Russia and Putin,” said Chuck Schumer, arguably the most powerful Democrat in America, who recently sparked controversy for citing religious voodoo in defense of the oppression and warmongering of the Israeli state.

This administration is continuing and expanding all of Bush and Obama’s most bloodthirsty agendas, and if it attacks Iran it will likely surpass both of them in terms of psychopathic bloodshed, and yet they’re worried he’s not “tough” enough. They criticize Trump for weakness over his willingness to meet for peace talks with Kim Jong Un after feigning shock at his obnoxious tweets about the North Korean leader, and they blast him for being too cuddly wuddly with Russia despite this administration’s already having caved to the longstanding neoconservative agenda to arm Ukraine against Russia, killed Russians in Syria as part of its insane regime change occupation of that country, adopted a Nuclear Posture Review with greatly increased aggression toward Russia and blurred lines between when nuclear strikes are and are not appropriate, sent war ships into the Black Sea “to counter Russia’s increased presence there,” forced RT and Sputnik to register as foreign agents, expanded NATO with the addition of Montenegro, assigned Russia hawk Kurt Volker as special representative to Ukraine, shut down a Russian consulate in San Francisco and thrown out Russian diplomats.

In short, both parties appear to be doing everything in their power to get as many people killed as possible, and nobody seems to have their foot anywhere near the brake pedal. Heads up.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium. Follow her work on FacebookTwitter, or her website. She has a podcast and a new book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. This article was re-published with permission.

57 comments for “Trump Promotes Longtime Russia Hawk Just as Russiagate Loses Momentum

  1. SteveK9
    March 17, 2018 at 11:13

    China had better step up soon, and offer more than abstentions in the Security Council in support of Russia. I honestly don’t know what Russia will do if we attack the Syrian Army. If the US can manage to force a retreat by Russia, then China will be next.

  2. Hans Zandvliet
    March 16, 2018 at 22:13

    Good article Caitlin, also (especially!) your article on Glenn Greenwald: it wasn’t the first time I heard dubious critique about him, but you made me delete my bookmark of The Intercept. Over and done with!
    So thanks Caitlin: some rogue journalists I do like ;-)

  3. March 15, 2018 at 09:31

    One important point Caitlin failed to make. The much under reported letter that some Sr. Senate democrats (i.e. Bernie Saunders,Diane Feinstein, Jeff Markley) had written to SOS Tillerson right before he was let go urging immediate negotiations with Russia on Nuclear arms reductions as a result of Putin’s latest speech announcing new weapon systems that make our anti-ballistic missile systems useless and insure a nuclear counter strike to the west. This has been almost totally blacked out by the main stream media.

    • David G
      March 15, 2018 at 11:29

      That letter from the senators was indeed refreshing, in the same sense that even the murkiest water will be more than welcome to the person dying of thirst.

      But having read the letter, along with analysis, here on CN a few days ago, I think it may be very optimistic to see it as a significant crack in the monolithic official hate campaign against Russia: that seems only to be gaining strength.

  4. March 14, 2018 at 18:52

    To the world’s peace activists young and old who’ve remained inactive but been observing events for signs pointing to the need to act …

    It’s time to get up off the couch.

  5. Delia Ruhe
    March 14, 2018 at 18:47

    “Rogue journalist” is right. I wish she would spend less time ranting and more time proofing her manuscripts for logic. Her non-sequiturs have got my head spinning. Parry set a standard in clarity. I wish she’d try some.

  6. Deniz
    March 14, 2018 at 15:04

    “Democracy is like a train: when you reach your destination, you get off” – Recep Tayyip Erdogan, current President of Turkey

  7. Tom Welsh
    March 14, 2018 at 13:58

    Kurt Eichenwald. Now that really is a lovely Aryan name.

  8. March 14, 2018 at 13:55

    February 9, 2018
    The Parade We Really Need

    The parade we really need should have past and present world “leaders”
    They should be dressed in orange prison issue jumpsuits because war criminal trials are needed
    They should be shackled hands and feet, no more expensive dresses or suits for them
    I am sure all of their victims still alive, would say to that: “Amen”

    The parade should also include the bloody profiteers of death and destruction
    The bankers, financiers, the corporate cannibals too, that profit from all the hellish productions
    The drone operators should also be included they have killed children as well
    These nine to five armchair operators that obey their satanic orders from hell

    The torturers and spy chiefs should also have their “pride of place”
    They are willing participants on what happens to the human race
    There also must be a place for all the “honourable” politicians
    Then as they walk the line, the watchers can shout their derision

    There should be giant screens showing all the refugee camps
    The “work” of the parade participants now in metal clamps
    The victims still alive of all the illegal wars, hopefully should get some satisfaction
    As they see the marching villains, ridiculed and heckled for all their diabolical actions

    The brainwashed that carry out orders, should be ordered to take part
    Without them obeying their instructions, many wars would not start
    Countries would still be whole, and not reduced to smoking rubble
    If only the willing participants had refused to create all this hellish trouble

    If I have failed to mention, some that should be there
    Hopefully they will be rounded up to show that we all “care”
    This parade should be one of remembrance for all of those that died and bleed
    So in my opinion here and now this is a parade we really need…
    [more info at link below]

  9. March 14, 2018 at 13:51

    Trump Gets His Unpopular Veterans Day Military Parade, Countermarch Planned
    By Walt Gelles
    Global Research, March 14, 2018

    A coalition of anti-war, peace and justice groups is organizing to oppose the parade [2]. Their goal is to bring hundreds of thousands of people to Washington, DC around Veterans Day weekend in November to protest the parade—and to call for solidarity actions around the world. November 11 marks the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I, and one of the coalition’s goals is to reclaim Veterans Day as Armistice Day, with emphasis on demilitarization and transforming the U.S. permanent war economy to one that serves human needs….
    [read more at link below]

  10. March 14, 2018 at 13:34

    February 20, 2018
    Perhaps a Nuclear War…

    Perhaps a nuclear war will finally bring “peace”
    All the ruling warmongers might get deceased
    Sadly millions of innocents will also die
    As the nuclear missiles rain down from a blood red sky

    Planet earth will be on fire; a burning, smoking funeral pyre
    The satanic “work” of our “leaders” nuclear desire
    Some “rulers” might survive in their bunkers underground
    Witnesses to their own madness with minds unsound

    Lunatic “warriors” entombed in a prison of their own making
    Perhaps they will get religion and finally start praying
    Will their prayers be answered for their slaughter of humanity?
    Will they be condemned forever for perpetrating nuclear insanity?

    Can they be stopped before all this happens?
    Will anybody arrest these war criminal demons?
    How can all this madness be made to cease?
    Will a nuclear war finally bring; a forever “peace”?…

    [more info at link below]

  11. Zachary Smith
    March 14, 2018 at 12:38

    I suppose I ought to have made a search for Pompeo’s religious beliefs. It’s not like he has tried to hide them.

    Meet Mike Pompeo, the far-right Christian zealot with Islamophobe ties who will lead Trump’s CIA

    The man belongs to the “Evangelical Presbyterian Church”.

    Megachurch Pastor Tackles Confusion over End Times Prophecies
    By Michelle A. Vu , Christian Post Reporter | Apr 8, 2011 3:29 PM

    A respected megachurch pastor addressed the confusion over end times prophecies in his new book by differentiating what the Bible clearly says about topics such as the rapture, the Antichrist, and the millennium rule of Jesus, and what is left to speculation.

    Dr. Jim Dixon, senior pastor of the 10,000-member Cherry Hills Community Church in Highlands Ranch, Colo., wrote Last Things Revealed with the aim to help Christians better understand the Bible’s core teachings about the last days, overcome their fears of the end times, grow in their faith, and share the love of God with others in the time they have left on Earth. The book is based on Dixon’s eight-part sermon series called “The Last Things.” Bestselling author and apologist Lee Strobel, who is a member of Cherry Hills Community Church, wrote the foreword to the book.

    “I think it is important for every generation to study eschatology, to study the events that are prophesized,” said Dixon, a respected scholar who helped found the Evangelical Presbyterian Church denomination in the 1980s, to The Christian Post on Thursday. “I am not saying that we are the last generation. [But] I think that I would be surprised if Christ doesn’t come back soon. By that I mean perhaps in my lifetime, perhaps in my children’s lifetime, or certainly in my grandchildren’s lifetime.

    From a 2008 sermon at Pompeo’s Kansas church:

    Today is the first Sunday in Advent. Advent is a season of anticipation and new beginnings. It is the season when we reflect upon our readiness to welcome Jesus; when we, as followers of Jesus, anticipate and long for his coming. “‘But in those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.” 1 Our text, on this first Sunday of Advent, aids us as we strive for personal spiritual renewal to welcome Jesus. The second coming of Jesus will be a new beginning.

    I doubt if Trump either knows or cares about any of this. But if the possibility of HIM being the very last – and of course the greatest – of all US Presidents as well as the guy who greeted Jesus, does anybody suppose he could resist the temptation?

    The Russia-Gate boys and girls are playing with matches – and ought not be surprised if some fire results.

    • Joe Wallace
      March 14, 2018 at 17:38

      Zachary Smith:

      “I doubt if Trump either knows or cares about any of this. But if the possibility of HIM being the very last – and of course the greatest – of all US Presidents as well as the guy who greeted Jesus, does anybody suppose he could resist the temptation?”

      Your reference to Trump is dead on: If God merits only a capital “H,” as in Him, it no doubt seems appropriate to Trump that HE should be referred to in all caps, as in HIM.

    • March 14, 2018 at 20:48

      Spot on. I’m sharing your research far and wide. People need to know this… BTW I heard Victoria Nuland interviewed on NPR today as if she were a reasomable expert…. hypying Russophobia of course.

  12. Brad Owen
    March 14, 2018 at 12:37

    The reigning global financial elite and their Deep State apparatus, its’ tentacles spread into nearly every major nation, is slowly losing its’ grip upon the World, because of The Intervention, which is the liberation of We The 99 Percenters. It has been a many-centuries-long subjugation, that is only now coming to an end. WWII and the atom bomb was the last and final straw, Earth Herself objecting with a… “Tooo Much”… and The Intervention couldn’t be delayed any longer. Relax though; those launching The Intervention don’t do collateral damage, and we shall be disabused of our centuries-long brain-washing into thinking that war and killing is normal, when its an outrageous obscenity in the rest of the universal humanoid family. We’ll be allowed out of our quarantine and meet our Kin, once The Intervention is completed. I know this will be wished away into the moderator’s cornfield. that’s OK, its for your eyes, mr moderator. Those of us “in the know” already know how the story ends…wonderfully (sorry to disappoint you World-Enders).

  13. Jeff
    March 14, 2018 at 12:27

    Yep. It looks like the US and Russia will tangle directly in Syria as the US attempts to keep the civil war there alive by protecting the rebel scum. And these guys want to take on Iran which won’t be a cakewalk like Iraq and would likely draw Russia in. And if you’re looking for China’s help in calming things down it would probably be best if we didn’t start a trade war with them which we did when we told them to reduce the US’s trade deficit with China by $100B. If I were the Chinese, I’d say, Fine. Buy less stuff from me. They already can’t buy much in the way of businesses in the US and they would be unwise to leave their money here.

    • Joe Tedesky
      March 14, 2018 at 12:50

      Yes Jeff all of this warring, as it’s all ahead full on continuing the implementation of the Oded Yinon Plan. Add in all of the provoking being aimed towards Russia, and the Russian President, makes me think that our military analysts aren’t taking Putin seriously. And most definitely Jeff when China rolls up to,the Fed’s bank withdraw window then that will be the day the U.S. dollar becomes worthless as compared to what it is today. Remember that high stock market number is based on a lot of speculative number crunching, as assets are inflated by a fiat piece of paper posing as a dollar…in other words the day is coming where the correction, and the lack of use, will bring the mighty dollar down….save your pennies they will be coming back in style. Joe

  14. Zachary Smith
    March 14, 2018 at 11:51

    The essay speaks of the many provocations the US has made regarding Russia, and in particular the killing of Russians in Syria. A Russian General has made it clear that if the warmongering birdbrain Nikki Haley manages to get the attack she has threatened in Syria, they – the Russians – are going to shoot back.

    Moscow is ready to respond if lives of the Russian servicemen are endangered, including by strikes on Damascus, head of Russia’s General Staff Valery Gerasimov said.

    “There are many Russian advisers, representatives of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides and [Russian] servicemen in Damascus and at Syrian defense facilities,” Gerasimov stated.

    In case lives of Russian military personnel are put in danger, the Russian Armed Forces will respond with certain measure to both “missiles” and “lauchers” which are delivering these projectiles.

    Apparently the General has spoken directly to Washington, so if the Trumpies try this, they’ll do it with their eyes open.

    On March 13, Chief of the Russian General Staff General of the Army Valery Gerasimov held a telephone conversation with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford.

    The sides discussed situation in the Syrian Arab Republic and the Eastern Ghouta.

    General of the Army Valery Gerasimov and General Joseph Dunford agreed on continuing bilateral contacts.

    You know, somebody ought to be asking if Pompeo is an End Timer.

  15. alley cat
    March 14, 2018 at 11:07

    “In the event of a threat to our military servicemen’s lives, Russia’s armed forces will take retaliatory measures to target both the missiles and their delivery vehicles,” [General] Gerasimov said, according to the state-run Tass Russian News Agency.”

    So now it all comes together, much sooner than anyone expected. No need to wait for a U.S. attack on Iran. The showdown is now, and the place is Damascus. After years of false flag chemical attacks, unending threats, sanctions, hysterical anti-Russian propaganda, direct and indirect U.S. support for ISIS crazies in Syria, and a U.S. strategy of ABM encirclement, the Russians have finally concluded that U.S. neocons are impervious to reason.

    But they’re not impervious to Russian mach 10 cruise missiles, which cannot be intercepted.

    General Gerasimov made it clear yesterday that Russia won’t hesitate to use them to destroy any “delivery vehicles,” meaning U.S. ships, bases or aircraft. Russia could sink a U.S. carrier strike group in a matter of minutes and there’s nothing the U.S. could do to stop it. If the U.S. ups the ante, the nuclear game is on, and all bets for humanity’s survival are off.

  16. March 14, 2018 at 11:05

    I believe the question is this:
    March 9, 2018
    “Are We Seeing Government By Gangsters”?

    There is evidence that a number of governments are financing, training and supporting terrorists? Surely, these types of actions based on the evidence qualify as rule by gangsters? See some of the evidence in the article: “The Treason and Treachery paid for with our tax dollars? [1]…
    [read more at link below]

    • Joe Tedesky
      March 14, 2018 at 12:08

      Stephen I read your linked article.

      At this moment I’m watching the student walk out protest over guns. So seeing these ambitious students shut our nation’s school system down, makes me think to how all of us adults should just walk out in mass, and shutting everything down ourselves. Imagine no commercial air flights departing and arriving, imagine no gasoline sales for one day per walk out, just try and imagine to how a huge citizen walk out could bring down the gangsters who run our helpless world. In fact get Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and England on board, and a citizen protest that would scare the hell out of the criminals who run our world. Joe

      • March 14, 2018 at 12:12

        Great idea Joe. Something has to be done, because I believe evil rules.

        • Joe Tedesky
          March 14, 2018 at 12:40

          Wasn’t a big thing because I’m good at doing nothing…just ask my wife. Joe

  17. Bob Gardner
    March 14, 2018 at 11:00

    Johnston is on the mark here. Trump is angling for conflict with Iran, maybe a war.

  18. March 14, 2018 at 10:56

    Collective insanity…it just needs a Greek Chorus

  19. Sally Snyder
    March 14, 2018 at 10:39

    As shown in this article, some members of Congress actually want to negotiate with Russia
    over the growing nuclear threat:

    Imagine that, Americans wanting to negotiate with the source of global evil.

    • Joe Tedesky
      March 14, 2018 at 11:50

      Sally that was an interesting link you provided, good on you.

      I found it very clever to how the U.S. tried to,persuade Russia to cut back on their strategic weapons, in other words the U.S. wants Russia to give up its defensive weapons while U.S. hardly has any. From all I can gather the U.S. opted to have a strong nuclear offense as opposed to strengthening the country’s defense. So should we Americans be upset with this strategy? Well, I’m one who isn’t to crazy about it, but on the other hand maybe having barely any defense could be good, because what would life be like after a nuclear war? Got me, but it is seriously sad that none of us citizens really have a say in any of this.

      Great comment post Sally. Joe

  20. Skip Scott
    March 14, 2018 at 10:09

    Twice in two days I’ve had my comment immediately disappear when I press the post comment button. Wassup wid dat?

    Anyway, I said:

    Don’t you realize that Trump is playing three dimensional chess? The swamp will be drained any day now, detente with Russia is right around the corner, Sessions is about to indict all the bad guys (and gals), and a REALLY BIG infrastructure project is going to get started any minute now.

    • Joe Tedesky
      March 14, 2018 at 10:18

      Skip that happened to me a couple of times. I now copy my comments before hitting the ‘Post Comment’. Joe

  21. March 14, 2018 at 09:52

    Dear Ms. Johnstone, your next to last paragraph makes my day and fills me with hope. You really have got to stop beating around the bush and tell it like it is.

    Seriously, unless we are all surprised when an epiphany occurs, your are right on the mark. Given the preponderance of folks who cheer our leaders on, don’t expect any celebrity status from your analysis, however.

    It is remarkable when we think about how those who recite our infamous foreign policy find their commentary so unassailable that the perpetrators seldom bother to refute it but drown it out with misdirection and lies. In the words of the latest celebrity, Ms. Kelly you are indulging in whataboutism as when confronted by Putin cited with our “meddling” in the foreign countries.

    An earlier contributor, Ms. Tennyson labeled it projection where everything we do we accuse Russia of doing. I think our leaders and their advisors learned a lot from the Bolsheviks who overthrew the Russian Government early in the nineteenth century.

    • ToivoS
      March 14, 2018 at 14:34

      That next to the last paragraph struck me also. Caitlyn Johnstone really does have the ability to put into few words good summaries. In short she is an excellent writer. CN should be commended for recognizing her talents and bringing her here.

      • Joe Tedesky
        March 14, 2018 at 14:42

        I’m in agreement with you ToivoS, Caitlin is great. Joe

  22. godenich
    March 14, 2018 at 09:51

    The media blitz is on for tax reform success with more jobs and higher pay in the short-term disregarding long-term debt, China militarism, Russian interference & aggression, some kind of “Space Force”[1] and now this poisoning incident. Tillerson is out, Pompei is in and Mattis is kibitzing in Kabul[2]. National debt awareness and Rand Paul’s auditing the Fed are being crowded out of the discussion. Weak logic, weak ethics and passionate rhetoric is coming out of Washington. There is amplified militaristic, patriotic and populist themes, harking back to the first half of the 20th century, beyond belief[3]. We have more hyping of huge guns & butter spending proposals, protectionist tariffs, fear-speech of internal & external threats and really big walls. It’s enough to make one’s head spin, horrifically. March 23rd is coming up fast. “The $1.3 trillion spending bill has not been approved by Congress”[4] and this is an election year.

    [1] Space Force| Youtube
    [2] Mattis in Kabul: We ‘look toward a victory in Afghanistan — not a military victory’ | Politico
    [3] “War of the Worlds” 1938 Radio Broadcast | Youtube
    [4] The Federal Budget, Shutdowns and a Pay Raise for Federal Employees | FedSmith | 2018

    • godenich
      March 14, 2018 at 16:33

      “Trump touts ‘4, 5 even 6 percent’ economic growth”[1]. ‘Not only will this tax plan pay for itself, but it will pay down debt,” Mnuchin declared in September'[2].

      “J.P. Morgan cut its forecast from 2.5 percent to 2 percent, while Goldman Sachs reduced its call from 2 percent to 1.8 percent. All of the reductions, including the Fed’s, came with the disappointing 0.1 percent drop in retail sales, the third straight month of declines.

      The original optimism from the Atlanta Fed specifically was based on a hot ISM manufacturing index survey, a mistake the tracker has made in the past.

      Projections soon started coming down, starting with a disappointing read in residential investment in mid-February and continuing through a space of readings that came in less than expected and sliced the Citi Economic Surprise Index about in half from its level at the beginning of the year. GDPNow had been showing a 3.5 percent reading as recently as March 1.” [3]

      [1] Trump touts ‘4, 5 even 6 percent’ economic growth | Fox Business | 2017
      [2] Trump’s budget balloons deficits, cuts social safety net | Chicago Tribune | 2018
      [3] All that optimism for hot first-quarter economic growth is rapidly fading away | CNN | 2018

  23. john wilson
    March 14, 2018 at 09:51

    They will prove Russia gate one way or another or they will just say its true and MSM will support them. Over here in the UK there has been a chemical poisoning of a double agent Russian spy and without any evidence whatsoever, our halfwit prime minster has passed all sorts of sanctions against Russia as she says they must have done it. No evidence of any kind, just more Russia bashing as usual. Even more frightening, not one member of our supine parliament even hinted that surely some kind of proof should be provided and our MSM predictably reported this rubbish as fact.

    • Realist
      March 14, 2018 at 13:16

      Tsk,tsk. That sounds like thought crime, citizen. You don’t properly love Big Sister.

    • David G
      March 14, 2018 at 21:41

      john wilson, over here in one of Britain’s hyperpituitary former North American colonies, I saw part of PMQs today, and in fairness, Jeremy Corbyn did have the temerity to ask a couple of questions about whether any rational investigative and diplomatic procedure is being followed in the Skripal case.

      Of course he was jeered by the Right Honourables (including by his own back benchers?) (I replayed the soundtrack in my mind as I read your disloyal comment: For shame, sir!)

      But I did see the nauseating spectacle of “opposition” leaders of the SNP (lefties, supposedly?) and the Lib Dems rallying to Theresa May’s bloodsoaked standard.

      Will Corbyn stay on the lonely shore of sanity, or plunge in with the other lemmings? If he stands fast, will the great British public support him?

  24. Michael Kenny
    March 14, 2018 at 09:46

    Note that Russiagate is now only about “Trump-Russia collusion”. Russian interference in the election is no longer denied. I have always seen Tillerson’s appointment as an attempt on Trump’s part to buy off Putin. Tillerson has done business with Putin and it would be very “Trumpian” to assume that everybody can be bought off. Thus, I would see Pompeo’s appointment as an acceptance by Trump that Putin cannot be bought off and will have to be stood up to.

  25. Joe Tedesky
    March 14, 2018 at 09:38

    This means war!

    • Al Pinto
      March 14, 2018 at 11:00

      Nah, it’s more likely a nuclear annihilation in the near future…

      • Joe Tedesky
        March 14, 2018 at 12:52

        And that’s not war?

        • Realist
          March 14, 2018 at 13:32

          Just the other day, after Putin announced Russia’s new arsenal of weapons, both Pompeo and Mattis publicly dismissed Putin’s remarks as empty braggadocio, saying he doesn’t really have those weapons or they don’t yet work. Perhaps that was the audition that won Pompeo the neocon seal of approval to fill the job as Secretary of State, which has morphed into a de facto Secretary of War ever since Hillary re-created the position. (Brits know it as the “Ministry of Peace” under loose canon Boris Johnson.) Sounds like Pompeo wants to test his claim as soon as possible, and the people of the world will be his test subjects.

          • Joe Tedesky
            March 14, 2018 at 14:39

            It’s like sending the kids on a field trip to the murky swamp, and telling them to do whatever the camp director says to do, knowing full well the camp director believes the kids can swim in the alligator infested swampy water. Yikes!

            I’m leaving a link to a Breibart article where Frank Gaffney is sounding thrilled with Tillerson’s removal. Gaffney doesn’t have the same love for Haspel as he does Pompeo, but his objections to Haspel has nothing do with her pass torture performances, in as much as Gaffney feels she is to much of the system. Read the Briebart article, and read some of the comments, and then put your feet up onto the porch railing crack open a cold one, and then give out a mighty hoorah, because America is great again.

            I’m putting on my Santa list a Kevlar vest. I know in case of a nuclear attack the Kevlar won’t help any, but I just want one. Hoorah! Joe


          • Realist
            March 14, 2018 at 14:55

            Theresa May has, for all practical purposes, declared war on Russia, not a shooting war yet, but what country would stand for the following set of actions she’s put in motion?

            “UK Prime Minister Theresa May accused Russia of using a chemical weapon on British soil, suggesting a set of measures to retaliate against Moscow. Those include the expulsion of 23 diplomats, limiting ties and freezing Russian state assets in the UK.” –from RT.

            May also feigned being in a huff over the fact that Russia wouldn’t allow NATO to steal the Russian naval base at Sevastopol, basically considering that a casus belli until the day that the Ukrainian fascists get all their Russian citizens back.

            The next step, severing all diplomatic relations, withdrawing all diplomats, seizing all property, is usually the prelude to a shooting war. When has it not been? This insane unjustified action came so easily for this puppet of Washington, I see no reason to believe that she, Britain, Washington or all of NATO will balk at starting the war they have been clearly planning for the past four+ years.

            The only reason people like these simulations of world leaders get away with such travesties is that the citizens are duped with propaganda, terrorised with fear and made to suffer endless economic downturns, which all of us here know because we are familiar with the handbook written in 1948 and called 1984.

          • Joe Tedesky
            March 14, 2018 at 16:00

            “Other than John F. Kennedy, Vladimir Putin is the greatest international statesman of our age. – Jeff Rense, legendary alt news radio host”


          • Joe Tedesky
            March 14, 2018 at 23:15

            Read what the Saker has to say on the weapons race.

            Be sure to read the part where the Saker speaks to how Russia still requires many more years of peace. Then think to yourself, if the U.S. will let Russia have that peace?


          • Dave P.
            March 15, 2018 at 03:21

            Joe, the article on The Saker is Interesting, good analysis. Thanks for the post.

          • March 15, 2018 at 08:54

            Joe, don’t miss the article that the Saker links in his first paragraph:

            I’ve been delving fairly deeply into Putin’s announcement of the new strategic weapons. It’s easily the biggest change in the strategic balance of power since Russia acquired nuclear weapons. The U.S. has wasted trillions of dollars on weapons systems suddenly obsoleted by Russian weapons that the U.S. can’t block. Which restores MAD. And it raises the question whether the U.S. will continue to fund weapons systems (and development of new ones) that are obsolete.

            It was only in January when Secretary Mattis said the Defense Dept. would shift its focus from counter-terrorism to great power contests (i.e., Russia and China). Which suggests to me that Mattis did not know about the weapons Putin announced other than the new Satan missile.

            My read is that the U.S. needs to drastically cut its defense budget and revitalize the State Department. The vision of a unipolar world commanded by the U.S. is dead.

          • Joe Tedesky
            March 15, 2018 at 17:03

            Paul thanks for the link. I agree with the article that Putin made this announcement over Russia’s weaponry advancement to urge the U.S. to the table.

            There was an article written by the Saker about a year ago that I was going to give you a link to, but then I thought of posting this…..


            Apparently the Brookings Institute wasn’t to impressed.

        • Al Pinto
          March 14, 2018 at 14:53

          Well, not in the “traditional” sense. It’ll be short, but will eclipse the combined casualties of previous wars…

          • Joe Tedesky
            March 14, 2018 at 16:01

            I understand, thanks for your reply. Joe

        • Annie
          March 14, 2018 at 20:29

          Joe, I think this certainly means the treat of war. Nut job, Avigdor Lieberman will speak in April in New York City at the annual conference of the Jerusalem Post. The title is, quote: “The new war with Iran.” With Pompeo at the helm, anti-Iran very pro Israel, and Trump, they very well may drag us into a war with Iran. It’s been the Zionist agenda for years.

    • Annie
      March 14, 2018 at 20:48

      Joe, I think this certainly is an omen. Nut job, Avigdor Lieberman will speak in April in New York City at the annual conference of the Jerusalem Post. The title is, quote: “The new war with Iran.” With Pompeo at the helm, who is against the Iran deal, and very pro Israel which is in alignment with Trump’s position, Israel may very well drag us into a war with Iran. It’s been the Zionist agenda for years. Perhaps Syria will be the drive through, since Israel is firmly entrenched there, along with Saudi Arabia and others, and with our total support. That of course will lead to a possible confrontation with Russia, and Russia has threatened that if Russian troops are attacked in Syria they will strike back. I think the main reason Trump dumped Tillerson was because he didn’t back him on the issue of Iran. The handwriting is on the wall, as they say.

      • Joe Tedesky
        March 15, 2018 at 02:07

        I hear you Annie, as Iran is a goal, and digging out a route through Syria seems to be eminent. To only add to the madness of the U.S. & U.K. who are throttling Putin trying to pour hot fuel on blowing out his nerves, and taking advantage of the Russian President while he runs for re-election is like playing chicken on the freeway, and you increasingly become so enraged you forget you got the weaker demolition car, but you are so out of tune you just jump on the pedal to the metal all the more….this condition is certifiable, but who the hell cares, because the exceptional U.S. & the historically superior U.K. are behind the wheel.

        If your not in that crowd then you may wish to provoke Russia moreso as to attack Russia before it produces more success with their conventional & nuclear defense capability. Now, this is where the moneys made. Little is the American public aware (under reported & under interested) that Russia advanced its weapon power to possibly beyond ours, but the real nasty secret to Russia’s advancement is that they did all this on less than 10th the budget of the U.S. with their Russian frugal defense budget. But don’t spread the word to soon, because this may harm the ongoing approval process of increasing our own MIC purchasing power, and that would be where for some like congress people who’s represented MIC businesses would certainly cry they loss the war. Remember this industry ploy is like a broken record, it’s like they have no plan B. There is no alternative. It’s the beast that needs fed and all the while while still eating it demands more food.

        I quit predicting what Trump is going to do on a lot of things, but after his recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital I definitely don’t want to commit myself. Adelson, Netanyahu or Uncle Bibi to Jared, and just plain old ‘get it done’ Trump…hmmm, I think War is possible.

        Watch Sean Hannity and suddenly Pompeo, and Haspel, are great Americans. Sadly a large majority of Americans believe Iran is bad, and torture is necessary…. we don’t lose wars, period.

        The even scarier part is that if you watch what’s called liberal in American I swear when I listen to Rachel that after I digest what she said all about evil Russia I can see people becoming afraid and out of fear they develop a hate for Putin and his Russia….. we have loss our minds. The people in our trusted (gag) institutions are either crooks or careerist, and our morality shows it.

        Our media is very disingenuous, and that hurts our nation’s critical thinking, and it robs us citizens of proper perspectives to these evolving geopolitical events. In the American mind Putin doesn’t exist, because he has been made into a media stereotype, so his existence is only animated…he isn’t real, and through the filter of the MSM neither is Russia real nor her brand new nukes. There will never be a war, because who is crazy enough to want and mess with us, the U$A.

        That last part was sarcasm with loads of exceptional attitude.

        Okay. Joe

  26. Mike Morrison
    March 14, 2018 at 09:38

    Is this what was discussed in last week’s meeting between Pompeo and Poroshenko?

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