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The Russia influence story just crashed into the Israel influence story

on 23 Comments

The news from Washington is that two years ago Republican megadonor Paul Singer paid for the hiring of an opposition research firm to dig up dirt on Donald Trump– and this firm ultimately produced the famous Russia file that said that Russia had compromising information on Donald Trump (from loans to prostitutes) and could therefore play him. But when Trump won the election, Paul Singer turned around and supported Trump.

Here’s the sequence. The Free Beacon, a pro-Israel website funded by Singer, hired the firm, called Fusion GPS in 2015 to dig up stuff on Trump. Then in May 2016, when Trump had gotten the Republican nomination, the Free Beacon told the firm to stop investigating Russian ties.

And the Clinton campaign picked the firm up, and the famous file was produced.

The Free Beacon informed the House Intelligence Committee of its role yesterday, because that committee is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.

So Paul Singer was once part of the Never Trump movement, and a backer of Marco Rubio. But after the election, the hedge fund manager gave $1 million to the Trump inaugural committee and began making regular trips to the White House. In fact, he was one of the three pro-Israel Jewish billionaires, along with Sheldon Adelson and Bernard Marcus, who seem to have influenced Trump’s recent decertification of the Iran Deal.

The New York Times account of these shenanigans mentions Russia eight times, and Israel zero. But Israel obviously plays a part here. The Free Beacon is all about the so-called Jewish democracy, and so is Paul Singer; he gives millions to Israel causes: to the AIPAC arm that sends our congresspeople to Israel every summer; to Birthright, the program that sends American Jews under 26 to Israel for free so they’ll become advocates for Israel; to the neoconservative Foundation for the Defense of Democracies that pushes regime change in Iran, and, in league with Israeli government officials, to the anti-boycott campaign. To name just a few.

But no, we’re not going to talk about the Israel lobby as a significant force in the mainstream press. We can talk about Russia till we’re blue in the face, though.

The simple question arises: Why would Paul Singer and the Free Beacon work to expose Trump as a national security threat and a threat to the libertarian values Singer holds. And then switch over to support that threat a year later?

Remember that the “Steele dossier” comes to the worst conclusions about Trump. As Buzzfeed summarized it:

A dossier making explosive — but unverified — allegations that the Russian government has been “cultivating, supporting and assisting” President-elect Donald Trump for years and gained compromising information about him has been circulating among elected officials, intelligence agents, and journalists for weeks.

The dossier, which is a collection of memos written over a period of months, includes specific, unverified, and potentially unverifiable allegations of contact between Trump aides and Russian operatives, and graphic claims of sexual acts documented by the Russians.

Something is driving Paul Singer to turn his back on a possible national security threat he helped uncover. Yes, a lot of other Republicans abandoned their opposition to Trump. Lindsey Graham and Rubio, to name two. But they didn’t pay for dirt to be dug up on Trump; and Trump doesn’t have the same political suasion over Singer that he has over mainstream Republicans; and I believe that Singer’s flipflop is motivated by concern for Israel.

This is how the lobby functions: It wants no daylight between the government of Israel and the U.S. government, so it cultivates politicians. It doesn’t care in the end who is sitting in the Oval Office, it is prepared to work with him. The neocons left the Democratic Party in the ’70s over Israel and became Reaganites. Then they abandoned George H.W. Bush in the ’90s and switched to Bill Clinton after Bush took on Israel over the settlements. Bush blamed his loss in part on the Israel lobby. Then they switched to his son George W. Bush in 2000, as Bush filled his administration with neocons.

Singer overcame his disgust for Trump and befriended him because of his core issue (which goes unmentioned in the Times). And it’s already paid off for Singer. Trump is decertifying the Iran deal under his influence, and sounding more and more like a hawk.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of

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23 Responses

  1. Jackdaw on October 28, 2017, 1:52 pm

    Phil said:

    “The news from Washington is that two years ago Republican megadonor Paul Singer paid for the hiring of an opposition research firm to dig up dirt on Donald Trump– ”

    Rep. Marco Rubio was Singer’s choice to be the Republican nominee, and Focus GPS was hired to find dirt on ALL THE OTHER Republican candidates.

    “and this firm ultimately produced the famous Russia file that said that Russia had compromising information on Donald Trump (from loans to prostitutes) and could therefore play him..”

    The Free Beacon said its research ended before Fusion GPS hired a former British intelligence officer, Christopher Steele, to produce a series of reports alleging links between Russia and those close to Trump. That occurred after the firm was retained by a lawyer for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

    “None of the work product that the Free Beacon received appears in the Steele dossier,’’ said the statement from Free Beacon.

    C’mon Phil.

    • annie on October 28, 2017, 3:31 pm

      neither of those statements are wrong. Focus GPS was hired to find dirt on trump, that they were (allegedly) hired to find dirt on the other gop candidates too doesn’t make the first statement wrong. and the firm did ultimately produced the famous Russia file.

      once trump was the nominee, that beacon turned the fruits of their labors over to clinton to continue the smearing doesn’t erase their role in the initiation of the project. besides, free beacon is hardly a beacon of truth, they are smear merchants. so whatever their denials i’m not compelled to believe a word they say.

      but that’s just my personal opinion. i have not really been following the russia thing and think it’s primarily just distracting dnc/clinton bs. reminds me of the monica scandal. hilary trying to take down trump. squabbling politicians neither of whom i respect.

      we all know why these people (singer/free beacon) spend their money, to influence who is in power for the benefit of israel. the bigger the storm the more we’re supposed to forget the little tails wagging the big dog.

      • Paranam Kid on October 29, 2017, 9:20 am

        Good reply Annie.

      • Tuyzentfloot on October 30, 2017, 6:18 pm

        Trump put out a book ‘ The Art of the Sellout’ . That explains how he may well survive. He thought he could make a deal with Russia and North Korea. He learned since that the real players to deal with are the Pentagon (done) and the CIA (todo). If he does what they want why would they want to replace him?

  2. Emory Riddle on October 28, 2017, 2:21 pm

    Never, ever, use the word Israel in any kind of negative context in the mainstream media.

    Other than to belittle and vilify anyone who does so.

  3. Jackdaw on October 29, 2017, 1:16 am

    Paul Singer is a big financial donor to of LGBT causes too, but this support didn’t have anything to do with Free Beacon hiring Fusion GPS.

    Or did it?


  4. Jackdaw on October 29, 2017, 1:19 am

    “Singer overcame his disgust for Trump and befriended him because of his devotion to Israel ”

    Phil is talking out of his hat, for a change.

    Singer befriended Trump for one reason and on reason only. $$Money$$.

    • Paranam Kid on October 29, 2017, 9:23 am

      You putting the horse behind the cart. Singer’s issue is Israel, and Israel only, so 1st he donated to Trump, which then put him in a position to befriend Trump. Singer does not need money from Trump, so does not need to befriend for that.

      • MHughes976 on October 29, 2017, 10:30 am

        For activities of – and conflicts between – Mr. Singer and certain others in the religious pro-Israel Movement, see Mark Chancey – ‘When Hobby Lobby Tours the Holy Land’ on the Bible and Interpretation website.

      • Jackdaw on October 29, 2017, 3:36 pm

        Singer does not need money from Trump. Singer needs a White House that will support Wall Street.

        Mondoweiss is obsessed with Israel, not Paul Singer.

      • MHughes976 on October 29, 2017, 4:50 pm

        Well, Jackdaw, it seems to me that Singer is, as he has every right to be, person of strong ideology, both in respect of the Israeli and the gay cause, not just a money man.

      • Danaa on October 30, 2017, 4:27 pm

        jackdaw – in Singer’s mind – his two passions – israel and money – are one and the same. One begets the other. The first lays the highway that siphons money (tax payer’s and private) from the Empire’s heart to its unruly outpost, and the second needs to be protected from any tax-grabbing government, so more will be left over to fund the first.

        On another level, people like Singer and Addelson are the kind of Oligarchs now in charge of US policy, just as their fellow oligarchs are nearly completing their ascendancy in israel. When both israel and the US are gavel-to-gavel plutocracies, then the final unification of the 0.1% can begin in earnest.

        The only remaining question is whether the Chinese plutocrats (now rising in the east) will be willing to wheel and deal, or whether they’ll form their own -trans-pacific oligarchy that can then fight the club Singer belongs to – the Atlantic oligarchs.

      • Keith on October 30, 2017, 5:15 pm

        JACKDAW- ” Singer needs a White House that will support Wall Street.”

        Singer is a vulture capitalist who buys Third World debt obligations from failed economies and then uses the empire to extract as much blood money as possible, frequently involving installing a right wing government. I provide a quote from Greg Palast along with a link to the interview on Democracy Now.

        “Well, what happened is, is that Paul “The Vulture” Singer, who we’ve been—I’ve been following him for BBC and for Democracy Now! for about nine years. This is the guy who does—he’s called “The Vulture” not just by Argentina; he’s known by that by his friends in the banking industry. He grabs old debts of dying nations, dying companies, even dying people, and when there’s a famine or a war, for example, in Argentina, during the military dictatorship when Argentina went broke, he bought up old bonds for $50 million, just sold them back to the government of Argentina, a government he helped place in power, for two-and-a-half billion dollars. And he does this—he did this through what the Argentine government and the United States Treasury call extortion. He says, “If you don’t pay me, I’m going to stop you from borrowing money. I’m going to choke your nation to death.” He even seized an Argentine naval ship on the high seas. I mean, he’s basically a privateer or pirate.” (Greg Palast)

    • Emory Riddle on October 30, 2017, 6:07 pm

      The headline on October 29, 2017 from the Times Israel. “Trump dossier triggered by website funded by Jewish GOP mega-donor”.

  5. Citizen on October 29, 2017, 2:20 am

    Washington Free Beacon Lies About Its Role in Trump Dossier Share to Twitter

  6. Ossinev on October 29, 2017, 9:16 am

    “Phil is talking out of his hat, for a change.

    Singer befriended Trump for one reason and on reason only. $$Money$$”

    Putting my hat to one side for the moment can you please follow through on this and explain exactly what you mean or what you are claiming. Are you saying that Singer a billionaire was going through a bad financial patch at the time and needed the help of a fellow billionaire albeit a goyim billionaire ?

    • JosephA on October 29, 2017, 12:14 pm

      I believe, grammatically, you should have said “albeit a goy billionaire “.

  7. NorthCascadian on October 29, 2017, 11:46 am

    Portland is being inundated by high level Zio activists patching together their latest talking points.
    ” Kenneth Waltzer, He is currently executive director of the Academic Engagement Network, a faculty organization of more than 500 members concerned about the delegitimization of Israel on campuses, about free speech and academic freedom in higher education, and about antisemitism where it appears.
    Here is the spin that he is bringing….
    Global Diversity & Inclusion Presents
    “The Politics of Division and Fear: The Challenges of Finding Common Ground”
    Amidst broad and sharp polarization in our politics and the escalation of illiberal responses to “others” on and off campuses, this talk will explore the challenges of hearing and knowing, finding grounds for constructive dialogue, and working politically with those of different views. The politics of division and fear must call forth more than “resistance,” it demands a constructive counter-politics, coalition building, and creative cooperation.”
    There will be at least a muted protest at PSU. The protestors are scared of saying zionist or even simply “Boycott Israhell.” The amount of actual Israeli nationals or dual nationals at PSU is getting more extreme and their efforts at totally controlling the political space increases.

  8. Hemlockroid on October 29, 2017, 3:46 pm

    Between Weinstein and Free Beacon, this sheets gotta stop. Not making or keeping any friends oh Zioz.

  9. Ronald Johnson on October 30, 2017, 10:58 am

    The story here is about the corruptibility of the Electorate. Paul Singer relies on old knowledge: that the people of any nation can be induced to acts of self-destruction at amazingly low prices paid to its elected representatives or to the tyrant of the day.

    Too lazy to calculate what is in their own collective interest, the people awaken one day, in the US example, to discover that both parties have been sold to Paul Singer, et al.

    Democracies end badly.

  10. ritzl on October 30, 2017, 11:12 am

    On the other hand, imo, the “But Russia!!!” hysteria is inviting comparisons AND commentary about the truer and vastly more prevalent and enduring “But Israel!!!!!!” story.

    Another Lobby backfire (along with the anti-BDS/free speech effort). The Israeli Lobby in the US seems to be at its acme. It can’t do anything to seal its truth leaks that will not invite more negative attention.

    It’s really hard to tell if the downward slope/wane of that influence will be steep or gradual, but the pervasive, zero-sum, completely self-interested Israeli influence is out in the open inviting comment and criticism. Incredulous criticism at that (i.e. the glaring double standard between Israel and Russia).

  11. James Canning on October 30, 2017, 12:57 pm

    Rich American Jews are encouraging Trump to attempt to wreck the nuclear deal with Iran? And to create further chaos in the Middle East, to benefit Israel?

  12. genesto on October 30, 2017, 4:21 pm

    Trump has no use for the Palestinians, nor any other predominantly Muslim people for that matter, and he really doesn’t give a damn about Jews either. That leaves it up to his son-in-law, Kushner, and the billionaire Zionist donors mentioned to fill this ’empty vessel’ with whatever they want towards creating a foreign policy with a heavily pro-Israel bent. Unless, and until, someone or some group can convince him that his bending to Israel’s wishes to such a great extent will hurt him politically, we can expect the rest of the Trump presidency to be the friendliest, most accommodating, towards Israel that we have ever seen.

    We can also expect this to result in the expenditure of even more blood and treasure in the Middle East with the goal of hegemony in the region for the Jewish state.

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