Bombshell Report Alleges Payments From Russian Oligarch, AT&T And Novartis Made To Michael Cohen

By Karoli Kuns  5/08/18 3:56pm — UPDATED: 5/08/18 4:29pm

5 hours ago by Karoli Kuns

Ari Melber broke news on his show about Michael Avenatti’s allegations that a $500,000 payment from a Russian oligarch was made to the same bank account that paid Stormy Daniels for her silence.
Lost in the news of the oligarch, however, were payments made by high-profile corporate entities to Cohen’s shell corporation, Essential Consultants, LLC.
According to Avenatti, Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg paid Essential Consultants $500,000 via a company called Columbus Nova, LLC, owned by his cousin Andrew Intrater. The payments began in January 2017 and continued through August 2017, at least.Essential Consultants, LLC (EC, LLC) also received payments of $399,920 from Novartis, a pharmaceutical corporation whose executives then scored a meeting with Trump at Davos earlier this year.
The shell corporation also received $200,000 in $50,000 installments, beginning in late 2017 and ending in early 2018.
Korea Aerospace Industries, Ltd. also paid the corporation $150,000 on November 27, 2017.
In addition, Elliott Broidy paid Cohen’s shell corporation $187,000. Payments from Broidy were immediately transferred to Michael D. Cohen & Associates’ bank account.
The purpose of these payments is unknown, nor is there a clear trail of where the funds went after they arrived in EC, LLC’s bank account, with the exception of the Broidy payments, which did land in Cohen’s account.
It should be noted that Cohen testified in court that he had three clients at this time: Trump, Broidy, and Sean Hannity. Therefore, none of these corporations or oligarchs were Cohen’s client, which leaves the question hanging in the air: Why were these transfers made and what were they for?
As I was completing this, Ari Melber reports that AT&T confirms they paid Cohen $200,000 in order to get an “understanding of the new Trump administration.”
Their full statement reads as follows:
“Essential Consulting was one of several firms we engaged in early 2017 to provide insights into understanding the new administration. They did no legal or lobbying work for us, and the contract ended in December 2017.”
You decide if that smells right. It doesn’t smell at all right to me, particularly in light of the fact that there is no record of those payments being transferred to another Cohen account.


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Russia warns ‘we are being threatened’ after U.S. missile strike on Syria

Oren Dorell, USA TODAY Published 10:29 p.m. ET April 13, 2018 | Updated 11:37 p.m. ET April 13, 2018

President Donald Trump spoke to the nation late Friday on U.S. missile strikes against the Assad regime in response to its purported chemical weapons attack against Syrian civilians. (April 13) AP

Syria’s President Bashar Assad announced after a U.S. military strike that his country would respond, while Russia’s ambassador to Washington warned of unspecified “consequences.”
“Good souls will not be humiliated,” Assad said on his official Twitter account.
President Trump on Friday announced that a series of strikes were launched by the United States, France and Britain on Assad’s chemical weapons facilities in Syria. Trump said the attack would be sustained to ensure that Syria does not use chemical weapons to attack civilians.
After the Pentagon said the strikes were over, Russian ambassador Anatoly Antonov issued a statement on Twitter accusing the allies of “a pre-designed scenario” against Russia and Syria.
“Again, we are being threatened. We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences,” Antonov said. “All responsibility for them rests with Washington, London and Paris.”
He added: “Insulting the president of Russia is unacceptable and inadmissible. The U.S. — the possessor of the biggest arsenal of chemical weapons — has no moral right to blame other countries.”

Russian military and diplomatic officials warned before Trump ordered a military strike on Syria that they would counter any attack on Syrian forces in retaliation for an alleged chemical attack on April 7.
Russia’s ambassador to Lebanon on Tuesday had told Lebanon’s Al Manar TV that any U.S. missiles fired at Syria would be shot down and the launch sites targeted, Reuters reported.
Russian Ambassador to Beirut Alexander Zasypkin cited orders by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“If there is a U.S. missile attack, we — in line with both Putin and Russia’s chief of staff’s remarks — will shoot down U.S. rockets and even the sources that launched the missiles,” Zasypkin told al Manar.
Russian submarines

On Friday, before Trump’s announcement, Russia’s government news site Tass reported that the Russian Navy was monitoring U.S. and NATO ships in the eastern Mediterranean.
Warships and submarines of the Russian naval task force were keeping track at a close distance of U.S. and NATO assault ships and submarines in the area, Tass said, citing military and diplomatic sources.
The Russian navy ships were ordered to monitor the underwater, surface and air situation in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea, including approaches and maneuvering of foreign ships in the area near Syria’s Tartus, a port city where Russia has its only foreign base outside of Europe.

Russia in the past week also sought to counter U.S. diplomatic efforts to marshal international support for its condemnation of the Syrian government led byAssad, who the U.S. has concluded ordered the chemical attack that killed dozens of Syrian civilians in the East Goutha suburb of Damascus.
Russia’s diplomats and military officers issued numerous contradictory statements about the chemical attack, saying it didn’t happen, that it launched by Syrian rebels on themselves, and that British intelligence ordered it as a provocation.
Iran’s Fars News Agency reported Friday that Russian fighter jets were patrolling Syrian air space to defend against any attackers.
The Russian aircraft were scrambled in response to reports of seven U.S. spy planes near the coastal regions of Tartus and Lattakia.
The U.S. aircraft were reported flying along the coast near Russia’s Humeimim Military Airport in the southwestern Lattakia province, Fars reported.


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Trump’s erratic tweeting about Russia perfectly mirrored this morning’s episode of Fox & Friends

April 11, 2018

President Trump started his Wednesday morning, as he so often does, on Twitter. But it appears that he was multitasking.
The president tweeted out some conflicting views on Russia — sent just 30 minutes apart — that just so happened to align with a couple of segments on one of his most regularly-watched shows, Fox & Friends.
“Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria,” the president tweeted. “Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!”” Just half an hour before Trump challenged Russia to an missile fight, Fox & Friends discussed Russia’s pledge to shoot down any U.S. missiles in Syria.
Later in the morning talk show, host Brian Kilmeade described the effects of U.S. sanctions against Russian oligarchs and hackers who were involved in Moscow’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. The show described the struggles of the Russian economy, mentioning market drops and the decreasing value of the ruble. Half an hour later, Trump shared his thoughts, seemingly a quick change of heart from his previous tough tone: “Our relationship with Russia is worse now than it ever has been, and that includes the Cold War. There is no reason for this. Russia needs us to help with their economy,” he tweeted. Fox & Friends doesn’t end until 10 a.m., so stay sharp, everyone. Summer Meza

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The NRA Received Donations From Russian Nationals

The group received about $2,512 from people with Russian addresses since 2015.
By Polly Mosendz
‎April‎ ‎11‎, ‎2018‎ ‎1‎:‎51‎ ‎PM‎ ‎EDT Updated on ‎April‎ ‎11‎, ‎2018‎ ‎3‎:‎09‎ ‎PM‎ ‎EDT
The National Rifle Association received donations from about two dozen individuals with Russian addresses, an attorney for the firearms lobby said in a letter dated April 10. The letter was released by Senator Ron Wyden, the ranking Democrat on the Finance Committee.  The organization received about $2,512 from those with Russian addresses between 2015 and April 2018, the NRA said in the letter. Some of those addresses may be linked to American citizens living in Russia, it said. Of the $2,512, “about $525 was from two individuals who made contributions to the NRA,” the letter, signed by NRA general counsel John C. Frazer, said. “The rest consisted of routine payments from about 23 individuals for membership dues and additional magazine subscriptions.” It’s unclear whether the two contributors are counted among the 23 individuals.  Wyden, of Oregon, has been exchanging letters with the NRA for the last few weeks. He has previously written to the NRA to ask about its fundraising efforts, specifically related to Russia.
U.S. authorities are reportedly investigating if the group funneled Russian funds into the 2016 presidential election. The NRA spent more than $50 million on political campaigns in 2016, including $30 million to support Donald Trump for president, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.  On March 27, Wyden requested additional information about the group’s campaigning, communications and funding. The senator also sought more information about Alexander Torshin, a Russian lawmaker and ally of President Vladimir Putin. Torshin has paid dues to the NRA as a member, the April 10 letter stated, “but has not made any contributions, and is therefore not a member of any major donor program.” The NRA is reviewing its “responsibilities with respect to him” because Torshin was placed on a U.S. list of sanctioned individuals on April 6.
According to a Wyden aide, the senator plans to refer his correspondence with the NRA to the Federal Election Commission.
Frazer, the NRA attorney, said the group wouldn’t respond to any more Wyden requests, citing their “extraordinarily time-consuming and burdensome nature.”


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