Former Trump foreign policy adviser: Ukraine, Crimea coverage is example of ‘fake news’

From RT

December 10, 2016

https://www.rt.com/news/369828-russia-america-relations-trump-advisor/video/
FILE PHOTO Carter Page © Anton Denisov / Sputnik

Carter Page, a businessman who advised Donald Trump on foreign policy matters during his presidential campaign, has arrived in Moscow to discuss strengthening business ties and normalizing relations between Russia and the United States.

Page, who arrived in Moscow on Thursday, said he would be in the city until December 13 to meet with “business leaders and thought leaders.” In an interview with RIA Novosti, Page said he believes it is extremely important to address the narratives that led to the sanctions stemming from the Ukraine crisis, and normalize relations between Russia and the West.

“The recent history of Ukraine in general and Crimea in particular over the past several years may be among the most egregious examples of ‘fake news’ in recent memory,” he told RIA Novosti.

“The level of misinformation which has guided related decisions by outside actors and their impact on this country is tragic. I am confident that there will be new possibilities to resolve these misperceptions and the wrong direction it has created for Ukraine.”

“It is my firm belief that the opportunities for private sector cooperation in the Russian economy have never been as great as they will be in the coming years. Although the failures of many hostile western policies as well as the inevitable, logical responses from Moscow have constrained such possibilities throughout recent decades, the possibilities today are unparalleled.”

Page also said he was keen for the Russian market to reopen for American investors who had been stopped from doing business by sanctions.

“US and European companies are very interested in returning to the Russian market,” he said. “Their interest cuts across a vast array of sectors.”

“The hostile efforts to punish Rosneft and their senior management team through western sanctions have primarily hurt western companies, rather than their intended target.”

Page, who claimed that he was no longer “directly involved” in any transition activities, nevertheless told RIA that according to his contacts in Washington, the process to mend Russo-American relations was going “exceptionally well.”

As an outsider with little political experience, Page, who has worked in Russia before on a number of business projects, is very much in the mold of Donald Trump. However, his close ties to Russia raised suspicions in some circles about supposed links between Trump’s campaign and the Russian government, as well as sanctioned individuals such as Igor Sechin. When the allegations surfaced, Page denied meeting with Russian officials but nevertheless took a leave of absence from the election campaign.

“This is in the best interests of the candidate,” he told Washington Post journalist Josh Rogin in September. When asked to comment on Page’s remarks, despite the apparent optimism Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov took a more measured approach.

“Moscow will continue to appreciate the official statements of Barack Obama and his administration until the end of January,” Peskov told RIA.

Carter Page is, most significantly, a businessman, who like Donald Trump, says there are “plenty of opportunities in Russia that should be pursued by Americans,” Daniel McAdams, the executive director at the Ron Paul Peace Institute told RT.

“On a pragmatic level, and I think Trump, if anything, is a pragmatic person. He understands that the people that are getting hurt are the American business people not allowed to do business with Russia,” McAdams said.

https://www.rt.com/news/369828-russia-america-relations-trump-advisor/

 

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U.S. House of Representatives quietly passes bill targeting “Russian propaganda” websites

Global Research, December 03, 2016
Zero Hedge 2 December 2016

On November 30, one week after the Washington Post launched its witch hunt against “Russian propaganda fake news”, with 390 votes for, the House quietly passed “H.R. 6393, Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017“, sponsored by California Republican Devin Nunes (whose third largest donor in 2016 is Google parent Alphabet, Inc), a bill which deals with a number of intelligence-related issues, including Russian propaganda, or what the government calls propaganda, and hints at a potential crackdown on “offenders.”

A quick skim of the bill reveals “Title V—Matters relating to foreign countries”,  whose Section 501 calls for the government to “counter active measures by Russia to exert covert influence … carried out in  coordination with, or at the behest of, political leaders or the security services of the Russian Federation and the role of the Russian Federation has been hidden or not acknowledged publicly.”

The section lists the following definitions of media manipulation:

  • Establishment or funding of a front group.
  • Covert broadcasting.
  • Media manipulation.
  • Disinformation and forgeries.
  • Funding agents of influence.
  • Incitement and offensive counterintelligence.
  • Assassinations.
  • Terrorist acts.

As ActivistPost correctly notes, it is easy to see how this law, if passed by the Senate and signed by the president, could be used to target, threaten, or eliminate so-called “fake news” websites, a list which has been used to arbitrarily define any website, or blog, that does not share the mainstream media’s proclivity to serve as the Public Relations arm of a given administration.

Curiously, the bill which was passed on November 30, was introduced on November 22, two days beforethe Washington Post published its Nov. 24 article citing “experts” who claim Russian propaganda helped Donald Trump get elected.

As we reported last week, in an article that has been widely blasted, the WaPo wrote that “two teams of independent researchers found that the Russians exploited American-made technology platforms to attack U.S. democracy at a particularly vulnerable moment, as an insurgent candidate harnessed a wide range of grievances to claim the White House. The sophistication of the Russian tactics may complicate efforts by Facebook and Google to crack down on “fake news,” as they have vowed to do after widespread complaints about the problem.”

The newspaper cited PropOrNot, an anonymous website that posted a hit list of alternative media websites, including Zero Hedge, Drudge Report, Activist Post, Blacklisted News, the Ron Paul Report, and many others. Glenn Greenwald penned an appropriate response two days later in “Washington Post Disgracefully Promotes a McCarthyite Blacklist From a New, Hidden, and Very Shady Group.”

PropOrNot has pushed a conspiratorial thesis, without any actual proof, that the listed websites have been either used directly or covertly by the Russians to spread propaganda.

While the bill passed the House with a sweeping majority, it is unknown if and when the bill will work its way through the Senate and be passed into law, although one would think that it has far higher chances of passing under president Obama than the President-Elect. It is also unclear if it will be used to shut down websites anonymously characterized as “useful idiots” or subversive elements used in disseminating supposed Russian propaganda.

Those interested can read the full “H.R. 6393: Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017″ at the following location” bill that may soon proclaim much of the internet to be criminal “Russian propaganda” at the following link.