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Trump Speech Writer Richard Burt Contradicts Testimony of AG Sessions

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posted on Jun, 15 2017 @ 04:19 PM
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Well this is an interesting development. For those unfamiliar, Richard Burt is a Reagan-era diplomat, who held the post as US Ambassador to Germany from 1985 to 1989. He is also very well known for having been the chief negotiator of the START I Treaty ( Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) between the US and Russia. His counsel is frequently sought by politicians on matters of foreign policy and importantly, he is also well known for his Russian lobbying which includes lobbying for the Russian pipeline, Nord Stream II.

You may recognize his name more recently for his involvement with the Trump campaign.

Reuters - Former Reagan aide helped write Trump foreign policy speech


A former senior official in the Reagan administration and prominent Republican foreign policy insider told Reuters he provided input for the late-April foreign policy speech by Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

"I was asked to contribute material" for Trump's April 27 speech at the Center for the National Interest, a Washington, D.C., think tank, said Richard Burt.

Burt said he is not part of Trump's campaign.

"But I am happy to talk to people looking for advice on foreign policy issues," said Burt, a managing director of McLarty Associates, a Washington-based consulting firm co-founded by former President Bill Clinton's White House chief of staff and counselor Thomas "Mack" McLarty. Burt said he also would be willing to offer foreign policy advice to Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, if she asked for such advice, though he added, "She's not going to."


Burt was brought in by Manafort to help write the critical foreign policy speech delivered by then-candidate Trump — the speech at the Mayflower (yeah, that one). Because of his extensive Russian lobbying and ties to Russian interests, including having held a seat on an Alfa Bank advisory board, Burt's name comes up infrequently in discussions of possible links between the Trump campaign and Russia. It also bears mentioning that he was actively lobbying for Russia (for the Nord Stream II pipeline) at the time he contributed to the Trump speech, a contract for which he was paid $365k. However, given his apparently limited involvement with the campaign, he doesn't get a fraction of the attention of Manafort or Page.

Now that we've got a bit of background out of the way, here's the development from The Guardian:

Lobbyist for Russian interests says he attended dinners hosted by Sessions


An American lobbyist for Russian interests who helped craft an important foreign policy speech for Donald Trump has confirmed that he attended two dinners hosted by Jeff Sessions during the 2016 campaign, apparently contradicting the attorney general’s sworn testimony given this week.

“I did attend two dinners with groups of former Republican foreign policy officials and Senator Sessions,” Burt said.

Asked whether Sessions was unfamiliar with Burt’s role as a lobbyist for Russian interests – a fact that is disclosed in public records – or had any reason to be confused about the issue, Burt told the Guardian that he did not know.

It is also possible that Sessions was not fully aware of Burt’s lobbying history, although Burt’s affiliation with Russian interests is fairly well known in Washington circles.

The former ambassador is managing director of the Europe and Eurasia practice at McLarty Associates. In that role, he’s served as a lobbyist for the New European Pipeline AG, the company behind Nord Stream II. At the time the work started, Gazprom, the Russian state-owned oil company, owned a 50% stake, but it now owns the entire entity. The pipeline, which is seen as making Europe more dependent on Russian energy exports, was opposed by the Obama administration.


To refresh our memories, here is was the question asked by Sen. McCain and the response given by AG Sessions (source transcript):


MCCAIN: During that 2016 campaign season, did you have any contacts with any representative, including any American lobbyist or agent of any Russian company within or outside your capacity as a member of congress or a member of the armed services committee?

SESSIONS: I don't believe so.


While it's possible that Sessions was unfamiliar with Burt's Russian lobbying, it seems highly unlikely. After all, Burt is a well known lobbyist and expert on foreign policy, particularly Russia. (side note he was an advisor to the Rand Paul campaign in 2014)

It's also the case that Sessions invited him to two dinners that he (Sessions) hosted so it's not as though they're not acquainted. Is it possible that Sessions really just has a terrible memory or could it be he has some sort of politically expedient Russian-related-amnesia that causes him to forget these things?

Either way, his testimony was not accurate if Burt is to be believed and I can see no reason why the man would lie. I also wonder if McCain was aware of these dinner parties when he asked the question?
edit on 2017-6-15 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)




posted on Jun, 15 2017 @ 04:30 PM
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“I did attend two dinners with groups of former Republican foreign policy officials and Senator Sessions,”


So he was at the same dinner as sessions? Is this the type of dinner where there are a lot of people? Does that qualify as having contact? I don't think sessions even thought about a dinner where a bunch of politicos are rubbing shoulders when he was asked that question. When someone ask you if you've had contact you're probably thinking about personal conversations, phone calls, meetings, emails, etc. I don't see the contradiction here. It's kind of like saying you passed this guy in the hallway of the capital and said hello. There's contact.



posted on Jun, 15 2017 @ 04:36 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

So what?
With your Russiaphobia, I am sure you want to label this guy Richard Burt a traitor for being the chief negotiator on the START I treaty.
The dismal grasping at straws yet again by the deranged Leftists.



posted on Jun, 15 2017 @ 04:40 PM
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Seems to me that those dinners are set up to make contacts with all sorts of people representing different countries of the world. Who actually set up the list of who to invite? Check that person out for any money coming in from foreign entities.



posted on Jun, 15 2017 @ 04:40 PM
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While it's possible that Sessions was unfamiliar with Burt's Russian lobbying, it seems highly unlikely


No it is not unlikely.
Thinking Sessions knew EVERY lobbiest is ridiculous.
As is your theory.



posted on Jun, 15 2017 @ 04:43 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

Jesus who cares. Anti Trumpers grasping at anything, makes them look foolish and weak.
edit on 15-6-2017 by thunderfoot because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 15 2017 @ 04:49 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

How could Sessions possibly know who his own guests are and be aware of what their business interests are, at a party that he hosted?!




edit on 15-6-2017 by windword because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 15 2017 @ 04:51 PM
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a reply to: FauxMulder


So he was at the same dinner as sessions?


He attended two dinners hosted by Sessions. That's not quite the same thing as being "at the same dinner" as though they just happened to be at the same place at the same time. He describes the dinners in his own words as being attended by groups of GOP foreign policy officials so it seems more than possible that the purpose of the meetings was to discuss foreign policy.

I'm not implying that these were clandestine meetings for some nefarious purpose, including collusion.

Sessions doesn't even seem like a likely suspect for actual collusion to me. What troubles me is that he gave yet another inaccurate statement to a direct question related to this matter. Is it purposeful? If so, that's lying. If he's lying, why is he lying? Is he just trying to downplay any possible avenue of contact?

Or is he really just not remembering these things? These are questions everyone will have to answer for themselves I suppose. I'm mulling it over but on the balance, it's certainly not something I would consider a positive development.



posted on Jun, 15 2017 @ 04:52 PM
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a reply to: windword

Who cares who he talks with, it's a free country, you people are trying to take everyones rights of association away, how come? Does the government pick and choose who you can invite to your parties?



posted on Jun, 15 2017 @ 04:58 PM
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The guy has been well known as a foreign policy expert for decades. He was an ambassador to Germany. His involvement with the pipeline has been known since 2016. It's not exactly a "new development." In other words, he's the epitome of a Washington insider. But using his attendance at a couple of "dinner parties" to prove this secretive "Russian Collusion" is grasping at the thinnest of straws and shows just how desperate the leftists are to get Trump" at any cost. It's embarrassing really. What a bunch of bozos!



posted on Jun, 15 2017 @ 04:59 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

Sure, but was it a dinner like this? Do you think Sessions personally wrote the guest list and talked to everyone there?



Would be nice if someone could figure out when these dinners were and confirm he was there and they talked.



posted on Jun, 15 2017 @ 05:01 PM
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originally posted by: RazorV66
a reply to: theantediluvian

So what?
With your Russiaphobia, I am sure you want to label this guy Richard Burt a traitor for being the chief negotiator on the START I treaty.
The dismal grasping at straws yet again by the deranged Leftists.


Russiaphobia? Yawn. I'd say you're "grasping at straw men."

Listen. I'm trying really hard to dial back on the vitriol. Could you maybe help me out here a bit? I know you're not here for an actual discussion but rahther, out of a deep seated need to derail anything you perceive as negative to Trump — and I get that, I do — but I'm trying to have civil discourse here and right out of the gate, you're personally attacking me with this drivel?

Do you have anything to say about the issue at hand?



posted on Jun, 15 2017 @ 05:01 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian


MCCAIN: During that 2016 campaign season, did you have any contacts with any representative, including any American lobbyist or agent of any Russian company

Seems like a targeted question from McCain , perhaps he's sharper than I thought.



posted on Jun, 15 2017 @ 05:08 PM
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a reply to: rickymouse

No word about who set it up. As I said to FM, I don't think this is anyway related to some sort of collusion. I'm just wondering why Session's answer was inaccurate and what implications there are.

As for the make up of the guests, according to Burt, they were, "groups of former Republican foreign policy officials." There's no indication of who composed the guest list, only that the dinners were hosted by Sessions so I would assume that at the very least, he had input and approved his guest list.

Reportedly, it was Manafort who brought in Burt for the Mayflower speech. I wonder if Manafort was in attendance? Manafort is super shady. It's only speculation on my part but if anyone was actually coordinating with Russians from the Trump campaign, Manafort is top of my list.

He spent more than a decade working in Ukraine for Putin's lapdop. He is an admitted influence peddler. He's been caught participating in scams to generate propaganda for foreign governments. According to his own daughter's text messages — among a release of messages he confirmed — the money her father made was "blood money." He's an unsavory character. Is he a traitor? I can't say but he's a lot of other criminal things, some of them by his own admission.



posted on Jun, 15 2017 @ 05:10 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

You lefties will never prove collusion. The best thing usa could be doing now is lifting russian sanctions, Soviets are your friend not your enemy. Soviets are smart and don't let their country be divided. Crimea be theirs forever now. If you not be careful Turkey and Russia combine into unstoppable force, not even NATO can stop, best you be friends and lift sanctions.



posted on Jun, 15 2017 @ 05:10 PM
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a reply to: gortex

That was of course my thought too.

Though, then again, McCain was so not-sharp the other day, I as wondering (well let's be honest, a whole lot of people were wondering) if maybe he's suffering from sort of mental deterioration.



posted on Jun, 15 2017 @ 05:11 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

mccain is a tratior who tried to sink his own carrier and then stayed in hanoi hilton to give more intel against the americans.



posted on Jun, 15 2017 @ 05:12 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

Wouldn't it be a bigger deal that Trump had a Russian lobbyist help write his speech?

If this info has been available (whihc apparently it has) and a big deal wasn't made out of it, why would Sessions having dinner with him now be a shocking revelation.

I find it entirely plausible that Sessions did not know he was a lobbyists for a company that was half owned at the time by russians.

Now meanwhile, how is that investigation going into Tony Podesta getting $170,000 from Russia to lobby for lifting sanctions? Oh thats right, media like The Guardian are only concerned wit people on the right having chance encounters in public with russians, not Hillarys top people lobbying for them.



posted on Jun, 15 2017 @ 05:16 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

I watched the hearing and that was my thought too but his question would perhaps suggest otherwise if McCain already knew the answer.



posted on Jun, 15 2017 @ 05:22 PM
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a reply to: schuyler


The guy has been well known as a foreign policy expert for decades. He was an ambassador to Germany. His involvement with the pipeline has been known since 2016. It's not exactly a "new development." In other words, he's the epitome of a Washington insider.But using his attendance at a couple of "dinner parties" to prove this secretive "Russian Collusion" is grasping at the thinnest of straws and shows just how desperate the leftists are to get Trump" at any cost. It's embarrassing really. What a bunch of bozos!


Who made the claim that his attendance was proof of Russian collusion? I didn't. That doesn't even makes sense. That's not something I would ever say. So what are you talking about? I don't think you bothered to read the entire OP before spewing a diatribe that was really just a big fat straw man.

If you want to disppute something I've said, shouldn't it be something I actually said or is arguing more important to you than what you're arguing about?



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