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Mueller Report says ‘multiple members’ of Trump transition approached foreign officials to stop UN resolution against Israeli settlements

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The Mueller Report was released today, and one section reveals that “multiple members” of the Trump transition team, led by Jared Kushner, the President’s son-in-law, “communicated with foreign government officials” in an effort to undermine the Obama White House’s decision to allow the passage of a UN Security Council resolution in December 2016 that was sharply critical of Israeli settlements.

We knew that Trump’s transition tried to block the resolution by reaching out to Russia; former national security adviser Mike Flynn has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about the matter.

The news here is that “multiple members” of the transition team reached out to other foreign countries. The report suggests that in order “to support Israel,” Jared Kushner issued an all points bulletin throughout the transition team. (The report confirms what the Wall Street Journal characterized as a “blitz” in its own investigation of the incident last year.)

From the report:

According to Flynn, the Trump Transition Team regarded the vote as a significant issue and wanted to support Israel by opposing the resolution. On December 22, 2016, multiple members of the Transition Team, as well as President-Elect Trump, communicated with foreign government officials to determine their views on the resolution and to rally support to delay the vote or defeat the resolution. Kushner led the effort for the Transition Team; Flynn was responsible for the Russian government. Minutes after an early morning phone call with Kushner on December 22, Flynn called [Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey] Kislyak. According to Flynn, he informed Kislyak about the vote and the Transition Team’s opposition to the resolution, and requested that Russia vote against or delay the resolution. Later that day, President-Elect Trump spoke with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi about the vote. Ultimately, Egypt postponed the vote.

On December 23, 2016, Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal, and Venezuela resubmitted the resolution. Throughout the day, members of the Transition Team continued to talk with foreign leaders about the resolution, with Flynn continuing to lead the outreach with the Russian government through Kislyak. When Flynn spoke with Kislyak, Kislyak informed Flynn that if the resolution came to a vote, Russia would not vote against it. The resolution later passed 14-0, with the United States abstaining.

It has been reported that Israeli officials initiated the action by the Trump team:

Despite no mention in [an earlier Mueller filing] document, the Trump team’s decision to contact Russia was made following requests by senior Israeli officials that they try to intervene.

Flynn’s guilty plea in 2017 says that he was directed by a “very senior” official, who it is reported was Kushner, to approach officials of foreign governments. But Flynn only mentioned Russia as a country he approached.

There was speculation that Kushner would get caught up in the Mueller probe. Though he has escaped indictment. The Guardian:

And while the identity of that “senior transition official” has not been revealed there have been hints, not least the Wall Street Journal’s report last month that special counsel Robert Mueller has been investigating the attempt by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner to block the passage of the resolution 2334 – the same effort that Flynn, it now appears, lied to the FBI about.

The fact that Trump called al-Sisi was known at the time.

The other Israel reference in the report is to George Papadopoulos and the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Finally, the Office investigated whether one of the above campaign advisors-George Papadopoulos-acted as an agent of, or at the direction and control of, the government of Israel.
While the investigation revealed significant ties between Papadopoulos and Israel (and search warrants were obtained in part on that basis), the Office ultimately determined that the evidence was not sufficient to obtain and sustain· a conviction under F ARA or Section 951.

Papadopoulos has said that he was investigated on this basis. He was working closely with energy businesses in Israel. Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his connections to “certain foreign nationals” with connections to Russian officials.

Thanks to Adam Horowitz and Allison Deger. 

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About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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20 Responses

  1. JWalters
    JWalters on April 19, 2019, 3:46 am

    More news about Israel the so-called “American” media steadfastly refuses to report.

  2. HarryLaw
    HarryLaw on April 19, 2019, 7:04 am

    Yes, and all against the Logan Act…. a United States federal law that criminalizes negotiation by unauthorized persons with foreign governments having a dispute with the United States. The intent behind the Act is to prevent unauthorized negotiations from undermining the government’s position. The Trump team were all unauthorized individuals working to undermine a very important US Government Foreign Policy. Are they too big to prosecute? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logan_Act

    • arihalli
      arihalli on April 19, 2019, 12:27 pm

      Harry, i don’t find this use of Loan Act, in this case, very convincing. The Trump team had won the election. Flynn was his NSA chief. He is talking to a Russian diplomat on the phone. Forign policy is being done by Trump and his team.

      Is Russia really having a dispute with the USA? We are both nuclear powers. And its important that talks take place.

      • HarryLaw
        HarryLaw on April 19, 2019, 3:01 pm

        arhalli, Obama’s second term did not end until 20th January 2017, the Trump team tried to defeat the UNSC Resolution [23 December 2016] on Israeli settlements at the request of the Israelis, Russia was approached but would not change their vote. The US only have one President at a time, the Logan Act although never used in modern times, is an entirely appropriate piece of legislation to have been used in this instance.

      • RoHa
        RoHa on April 19, 2019, 9:53 pm

        “The US only have one President at a time, …”

        You’d think a rich country like the US could afford several, to spread the load a bit. There is a lot to be done.

        In foreign affairs, there are allies to insult, regimes to overthrow, elections to interfere with, villages to bomb, treaties to renege on, and so forth.

        That alone should keep a couple of presidents busy.

        Two more would be needed to mismanage domestic affairs, and another whose sole job would be making idiotic comments.

        So five should be the minimum.

      • Donald
        Donald on April 20, 2019, 9:38 am

        “So five should be the minimum.”

        Yes, but changing the constitution is difficult, so in the meantime the noble tasks which you enumerate must be carried out by a single individual dedicated enough to do them all. Fortunately, there seems to be no shortage of such public spirited individuals.

    • Jackdaw
      Jackdaw on April 20, 2019, 4:09 am

      ” by unauthorized persons with foreign governments having a dispute with the United States”

      A ‘dispute’.

      Sounds so vague that nobody’s ever been convicted of violating the Logan Act and Flynn was never charged with that violation.

      So many sour grapes.

    • Keith
      Keith on April 20, 2019, 12:43 pm

      HARRY LAW- “Yes, and all against the Logan Act….”

      The Logan Act? The Logan Act of 1799? Do you actually think that the Logan Act of 1799 is even remotely relevant in our GLOBALIZED world of 2019 where transnational corporate and financial linkages require ongoing communication with foreign governments by countless private citizens working for these same corporations? The Logan Act is a relic only used for targeted harassment, nothing more. And Russiagate is Deep State propaganda designed primarily to demonize Russia and Putin in pursuit of Deep State objectives. Furthermore, the Democrats are now well to the right of the Republicans when it comes to warmongering, getting rid of Kelly and Tillerson resulted in Bolton and Pompeo and now Abrams. This Democratic Party Jihad against Russia is insane, Rachel Maddow making Tucker Carlson look good by comparison. Keith Olberman a raving lunatic. The Logan Act is a diversion from reality.

  3. echinococcus
    echinococcus on April 19, 2019, 9:21 am

    Thank you, Philip Weiss. You isolated the relevant facts that the media will try their best to make disappear. We, now, must try our best to have this summary republished wherever possible.

  4. Misterioso
    Misterioso on April 19, 2019, 9:47 am

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/18/the-guardian-view-on-the-mueller-report-now-we-see-it-what-next

    “The Guardian view on the Mueller report: now we see it. What next?” Editorial

    “It is no surprise that the document bears little resemblance to that portrayed by the Trump administration. It must not be allowed to draw a line beneath it.”

    “Finally we have heard from Robert Mueller himself. For two years, in the face of immense presidential pressure and outright attempts to have him fired, the special counsel and his team quietly pursued their mammoth inquiry. He remained silent too as the Trump administration falsely claimed his 400-plus page report as a vindication. Now it is – to a large degree – in the public domain. But this is not the last word.

    “Its length, and the complexity of matters with which it deals, means that it will take time to fully digest the document and understand its ramifications. The politicians and journalists frenziedly combing through it in Washington have already found plenty of meat. The bar had been set high by the shocking facts that had already emerged about Russia’s role in the 2016 election and the actions of Donald Trump and his campaign. There is no single new killer fact which transforms the picture and is likely to sway a dedicated Trump supporter. But the report is nonetheless damning, and a vital and necessary addition to the body of evidence already amassed. Mr. Mueller’s role allowed him to access evidence and press individuals as the media cannot. The report’s status as a formal, official record of events is also crucial, even if it will inevitably be assailed as partisan.

    “It details the ‘sweeping and systematic’ Russian interference. It lays out the multiple links between the campaign and those with ties to the Russian state, reminds us that it ‘expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts,’ and was at times receptive to Russian offers of help, even if conspiracy or coordination could not be established. It lists 11 possible instances of obstruction. It states that there was evidence which precluded the investigators from conclusively determining that the president did not commit a crime. Attempts to influence the investigation were mostly unsuccessful ‘largely because persons surrounding the president declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests.’

    “The document released on Thursday, however, is not the complete story. It is copiously redacted, often in striking places. There are valid legal reasons to excise material from such a text. But no confidence can be placed in the man overseeing the process, Mr Trump’s hand-picked attorney-general, particularly after his almost comical attempts to misrepresent the document. In William Barr’s world, the president’s refusal to be interviewed amounted to the White House’s ‘full cooperation.’ The entire tenor of his remarks implied that the matter was now done and dusted: ‘GAME OVER,’ as his boss posted on Twitter.

    “But all those who care about democracy in America must keep going, with all Mr. Mueller’s diligence and persistence but none of his reticence. First, they must press for members of Congress to have access to the full, unredacted version. Second, they must continue reminding voters that if Mr. Mueller was unable to judge whether the president obstructed justice based on facts and legal guidelines, Mr. Trump’s actions are nonetheless abnormal and appalling. So is the willingness of his supporters and the Republican party elite to stand by him given what was already known about his campaign’s relations with an adversary interfering in democratic elections in their country. Third, they must push for a concerted strategy to protect the US against further such attempts. This report is further proof that Mr. Trump is unfit for office, and of the methods which helped to place him there. Mr. Mueller took his time, but the matter could hardly be more urgent as the next presidential race approaches.”

    • arihalli
      arihalli on April 19, 2019, 12:33 pm

      I think the Mueller report is a vindication of Trump. And it states it doesn’t have evidence of conspiracy with any of the Trump team and Russia.

      Moreover, the Guardian and many other in the media have used a lot of their capitol stating that Trump is a Russian agent. And now that the counsel, that they had so much confidence in, has shown that to be wrong, these people seem to not want to let go.

      I think the Guardian, media in general, democrats have given Trump the gift that keeps giving. He can now crow that he was right he was a victim. And when the election comes, he can tell everyone not to believe the democrats because they have a bias.

      Better that the democrats drop this nonsense, which is just playing into Trumps strong suit — and — start providing a positive messages of reform in health care, energy, banking, anti-war. And especially, real responses to JOBS —- which is what most Americans care about.

      • Misterioso
        Misterioso on April 19, 2019, 3:07 pm

        @arihalli

        Dream on!!

        BTW, I’ve got a couple of bridges for sale!

      • Tuyzentfloot
        Tuyzentfloot on April 22, 2019, 11:36 am

        I also think the Mueller report is a vindication for Trump. The commission was established to look for collusion, and didn’t find it. That could well mean that the tables are turned, and that those who commissioned and promoted the Steele dossier and used it to launch investigations can come under fire.
        There are ways to maintain the momentum of Russiagate, it’s over 400 pages and people can continue discussing while ignoring the main conclusion. The report also does not bury the narrative of Russian influence on the election. That’s unfortunate because i consider it another garbage narrative. In normal circumstances whatever mediocre efforts the Russians may have done to have some influence wouldn’t even be worth talking about.
        You can call it the Russian Butterfly effect, which with minimal input manages to magically control everything in five dimensional chess space.
        In reality there are very big powers who manage in full view to set up Russia as an enemy, and that is something we should be looking at.

  5. James Canning
    James Canning on April 19, 2019, 12:11 pm

    Trump “supports Israel” by promoting continuing gross violations of international law, by Israel. Dangerous, and of course disgusting.

  6. Jejasalo
    Jejasalo on April 19, 2019, 1:17 pm

    Aside from being the colossal waste of time and energy that it was, the Mueller Report’s findings that “members of Trump’s transition team approached foreign officials to stop UN Resolution against Israeli settlements” are about as revealing as news that Israel is a US ally…

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso on April 19, 2019, 3:08 pm

      @Jejasalo

      Obviously, you are not yet very familiar with the details of the Mueller Report.

    • Kay24
      Kay24 on April 20, 2019, 8:09 am

      It is amusing, that after 2 years of careful investigations, by the countries top experts, the 445 pages of incriminating evidence, supported by hours of interviews, documents, witnesses, Trump’s own words, indictments, sentences, guilty pleas, correspondence, and Trump’s own members of staff giving information, can be called nothing and a waste of time. and the words of a liar, known to have lied over a 9000 times, and fact checked, is taken as the gospel truth. It is a strange world we live in.
      Today the country has been officially informed that Trump is corrupt and a liar.

      Israel has been known to interfere in US elections, and Netanayahu even campaigned for Romney against Obama, by participating in political ads in Florida, so yes, nothing about Israel and it’s dubious activities with various Americans, should surprise us.

  7. bcg
    bcg on April 19, 2019, 8:15 pm

    Since the Mueller report is being discussed, and since some folks think to think it shows that Trump is squeaky clean – this just in:

    Republicans for the Rule of Law, a conservative group whose stated purpose is “defending the institutions of our republic,” will run an advertisement on Fox News over the weekend to urge GOP lawmakers to hold Trump accountable for the findings in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election….While Mueller’s team did not accuse the president of a crime, it revealed ample evidence of wrongdoing by Trump and his inner circle, dating from his 2016 presidential campaign through his tenure in the Oval Office. …“The Mueller Report revealed multiple instances of President Trump lying and obstructing justice. Twenty years ago, Republicans denounced a Democratic president for lying and obstructing justice,” the 34-second advertisement’s opening reads, before cutting to old clips of GOP lawmakers condemning Clinton on Capitol Hill. “Republicans stood for the rule of law then. We should stand for the rule of law now,” the ad concludes.

    https://www.newsweek.com/republican-group-will-run-ad-fox-news-urging-gop-hold-trump-accountable-no-1400970?fbclid=IwAR0FZ5ZvjnHRhMvFmJZiQuYcQAdyCBEzPDefSHlAbDFU1rH7Q2f1aTvYDck

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