Read

User menu

Search form

Evidence Mounts That Russia Covertly Swayed Brexit Just Like the U.S. Election

Evidence Mounts That Russia Covertly Swayed Brexit Just Like the U.S. Election
Thu, 7/5/2018 - by Ursula Faw
This article originally appeared on Daily Kos

There were so many extraordinary occurrences that took place with respect to the Brexit referendum in Great Britain and the United States presidential election that, taken as a whole, simply cannot be coincidences.

First and foremost, both events were ultimately determined in a manner which was advantageous to Vladimir Putin. Second, both Brexit and the U.S. election featured Cambridge Analytica and its founders, Robert and Rebekah Mercer, as key players. Cambridge Analytica harvested over 50 million Facebook files and interfaced with members of the Trump campaign, and Russian bots that showed up in crucial Rust Belt states masquerading as politically aware next door neighbors.

Now yet another piece in the puzzle of Russian dominion over the two elections is fitting into place. U.K. financier Aaron Banks financed Brexit with the largest donation in British history after he just happened to have been offered a “sweetheart” deal on Russian gold and diamond mining projects which were only offered to a “restricted number of investors.” New York Magazine reported on Friday (emphasis added):

In both countries, the right-wing pro-Russian populists indignantly insist there is no more incriminating information to be found beyond what was known at any given moment, even as the bounds of what is known at any moment continues to expand. In Britain, billionaire businessman Arron Banks financed the Brexit referendum with the largest donation in British history. Initially, he copped to having one meeting with Russian officials. After the Guardian obtained secret documents blowing up this claim, he admitted there were actually three meetings. Now the Times has even more information, and Banks concedes the number of covert meetings has grown to four. [...]

Banks’s defense of his behavior to the Times is so absurdly suspicious it almost reads like a winking, dada joke: “The idea that things were dangled as some sort of carrots for me to be involved with the Russians is very far-fetched,” he said. “I wonder what the Russians wanted from me?” What they wanted was perfectly obvious: Banks funded a political referendum in which Russia had a strong interest in passing. Russia could not directly finance the referendum, but Banks could. Therefore, what they would want is for him to use some of the money they were dangling before him to support Brexit, which he did. At this point, it seems virtually certain that Russia did use Banks, perhaps in conjunction with Mellon, as a pass through to covertly finance the Brexit referendum.

Meanwhile, back in the United States, Donald Trump and many members of his inner circle have a long trail of financial ties to Russia. The overt behavior looks remarkably similar. Trump and his cronies refuse to disclose their precise financial connections (by, for instance, following the established norm of a presidential candidate publishing his tax returns.) They continuously lie about the number and nature of their covert contacts with Russian officials, then keep insisting with each new disclosure that there is no more to disclose and the whole question is a witch hunt. Meanwhile, they continue to deliver a policy outcome payoff to Putin.

There’s an old aphorism: first time is happenstance, second time is coincidence, third time is enemy action. There is no happenstance or coincidence with Vladimir Putin. He cuts straight to the chase all the time, every time. With respect to both Brexit and the US election, Occam’s Razor is the only tool you need. What is your gut reaction to hearing that Aaron Banks has a Russian-born wife and a vanity license plate, “X MI5 SPY,” a reference to the British intelligence agency, MI5? Or this, from the New York Times:

On Nov. 12, 2016, Mr. Banks met President-elect Trump in Trump Tower. Upon his return to London, Mr. Banks had another lunch with the Russian ambassador where they discussed the Trump visit.

“From what we’ve seen, the parallels between the Russian intervention in Brexit and the Russian intervention in the Trump campaign appear to be extraordinary,” said Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.

Thought so.

 
 

Sign Up

Article Tabs

It might sound like common sense that poverty affects our overall health – but did you know that income inequality catalyzes wear and tear on a micro molecular level?

2018 midterms, Deep South elections, Stacey Abrams, Brian Kemp, Donald Trump, voter fraud, absentee ballots, Florida recount, Georgia recount

Future elections in the closely watched states of Florida, Georgia and Texas could be within grasp of Democrats as suffrage expands across the region.

border walls, Trump, Mexico-U.S. wall, Sahara wall, Spain migration, E.U. migration

Displaying his minimal understanding of geography and foreign policy, he suggested that Spain build a wall across the vast Sahara desert to stop the flow of migrants.

Illustration by Grace Alton

For millions of renters in the U.K., a robust set of policies around rental law would be life-changing. But the bill making its way through Parliament has to be done right.

Public Bank LA, public banking, public finance, city owned banks, Public Banking Institute, cooperative economics, mass movements

What does the disappointing loss on L.A.’s public banking initiative tell us about the future of cooperative economics?

It might sound like common sense that poverty affects our overall health – but did you know that income inequality catalyzes wear and tear on a micro molecular level?

2018 midterms, Deep South elections, Stacey Abrams, Brian Kemp, Donald Trump, voter fraud, absentee ballots, Florida recount, Georgia recount

Future elections in the closely watched states of Florida, Georgia and Texas could be within grasp of Democrats as suffrage expands across the region.

climate financing, green banks, clean energy investments, big banks, Wall Street, fossil fuel industry, funding fossil fuels, fossil fuel subsidies, tar sands, coal industry, renewable energy, climate catastrophe

Despite regularly claiming new commitments to "green finance," the big banks continue to funnel billions of dollars into the fossil fuel industry every year.

poverty in America, poor Americans, rising poverty, rising inequality

34 million American adults, or 1 in 7, are among the world's poorest 10%. How is that possible? In a word, debt.

border walls, Trump, Mexico-U.S. wall, Sahara wall, Spain migration, E.U. migration

Displaying his minimal understanding of geography and foreign policy, he suggested that Spain build a wall across the vast Sahara desert to stop the flow of migrants.

ICE detention centers, ICE abuse, immigrant arrests, Corecivic, Geo Group, General Dynamics, immigrant detentions

ICE does business with a lot of companies that are making big, big money imprisoning children. Now, Geo Group, Corecivic and General Dynamics are coming under increasing scrutiny.

Posted 6 days 21 hours ago
Public Bank LA, public banking, public finance, city owned banks, Public Banking Institute, cooperative economics, mass movements

What does the disappointing loss on L.A.’s public banking initiative tell us about the future of cooperative economics?

Posted 5 days 19 hours ago
gerrymandering, partisan redistricting, National Conference of State Legislatures

Colorado and Michigan voters – and possibly in Utah as well – called for the creation of independent commissions to decide congressional and legislative district boundaries.

Posted 6 days 21 hours ago
women of color, #Houston19, black women judges, judicial reform

Looking for some great news after Tuesday's midterms? Meet the #Houston19.

Posted 5 days 19 hours ago
border walls, Trump, Mexico-U.S. wall, Sahara wall, Spain migration, E.U. migration

Displaying his minimal understanding of geography and foreign policy, he suggested that Spain build a wall across the vast Sahara desert to stop the flow of migrants.

Posted 1 day 22 hours ago
poverty in America, poor Americans, rising poverty, rising inequality

34 million American adults, or 1 in 7, are among the world's poorest 10%. How is that possible? In a word, debt.

women of color, #Houston19, black women judges, judicial reform

Looking for some great news after Tuesday's midterms? Meet the #Houston19.

Trump, Armistice Day, Trump nationalism, white nationalism, America First

Amid Armistice Day events in France, the president stands at the outskirts of the world stage.

Illustration by Grace Alton

For millions of renters in the U.K., a robust set of policies around rental law would be life-changing. But the bill making its way through Parliament has to be done right.

2018 elections, mid-term elections, local elections, local power, local control

Record turnout in the midterm elections shows there’s a strong desire for change. Here’s where it’s happening.