The Art of the Fake

A few days ago, we were told that Donald Trump had signed a $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia. Details were not made available to the press immediately, but we were assured that this was a Big Deal.

“That was a tremendous day. Tremendous investments in the United States,” The so-called president said. “Hundreds of billions of dollars of investments into the United States and jobs, jobs, jobs.”

I’ve been keeping an eye out for analysis of what jobs might be created, or whether Congress actually would approve it. but it turns out there’s nothing to approve.

That’s right; the Brookings Institution is reporting that there is no arms deal.

I’ve spoken to contacts in the defense business and on the Hill, and all of them say the same thing: There is no $110 billion deal. Instead, there are a bunch of letters of interest or intent, but not contracts. Many are offers that the defense industry thinks the Saudis will be interested in someday. So far nothing has been notified to the Senate for review. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the arms sales wing of the Pentagon, calls them “intended sales.” None of the deals identified so far are new, all began in the Obama administration.

The author, Bruce Riedel, says that it’s doubtful the Saudis could pay for a $110 billion arms deal, anyway, given the price of oil these days.

So what was that dog and pony show in Riyadh about, anyway? I’ll bet you can guess, but here’s a hint:

The Trump International Hotel received about $270,000 from a lobbying campaign tied to the government of Saudi Arabia last year, according to a filing submitted to the Justice Department last week.

The filing from the MSLGroup, a public relations firm, shows that the group spent about $270,000 at the Trump International Hotel while conducting lobbying efforts on behalf of the Saudi Arabian government. MSLGroup was helping Saudi Arabia with several lobbying efforts, including opposing the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), which allows the families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia.

Yes. The so-called president insults the mayor of London for allegedly being soft on terrorism; meanwhile, he’s been in bed with a group trying to prevent the Saudis from owning up to their role in 9/11. An attack on Trump’s city. What a guy.

7 thoughts on “The Art of the Fake

  1. Alice, is through a looking-glass within the first looking-glass she went through…

    Maybe this whole situation would make more sense if I still did acid, ‘shrooms, purple mesc, and smoked pot – all while chasing shots of tequila with beer.
    And I mean, at one time.
    I never tried all of those together.
    Largely, because I wanted to get just a little high in the Nixon-Ford-Carter-Reagan years.
    But I never wanted to get to a permanent or even temporary psychotic stage.
    Now, I’m not so sure I’m not already in one…………..

  2. “Comey’s testimony is a political Super Bowl — with television networks interrupting regular programming to air it, and some Washington offices and bars making plans for special viewings”.

    I’m gonna be practicing my cheers…How’s this:
    Ali whacker, paddy whacker, sis boom bah..James Comey, James Comey, rah , rah , rah!

  3. And don’t forget Jared Kushner picking up the phone to facilitate getting the deal done.

    “Yeah listen, it’s Jared Kushner, Don Trump’s son in law here. I’m working a deal for some friends of mine for your missile defence system and I want to bring it in and close at about the 100 billion dollar mark give or take. So what can you do for me in the way of a friends of Trump discount so I can get this deal done?”

  4. Don’t forget the speculation that Trump will be live tweeting during Comey’s session. I’m betting he will if he hears something that makes him MAD. Of course, I mean madder than usual. Doesn’t he have work to do?

  5. Context: Did the Trump team coordinate with the Russians? As I see it, that’s the pivotal question. If Trump was trying to protect his people, when his people had worked with a foreign power to affect the outcome <b. regardless of whether or no that interference changed the outcome you are talking about obstruction of justice.

    If Trump was working for Russia, planning to lift sanctions either because they have incriminating evidence or because they promised Trump compensation – we are talking about criminal treason.

    We will not hear it tomorrow, but Comey may KNOW the preliminary answers to both of those questions – was there coordination with the Russians, and did the Russians apply pressure through blackmail or inducements to have Trump do their bidding?

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