Well done, Mitch. Or should I say, “Mitch McConnell-a,” as it was pronounced on Russian state TV.
In a segment called 60 Minutes Hot Off, (60 минут по горячим следам), McConnell-a was featured along with seven other GOP senators for giving Russia, as well as Putin’s close friend, one hell of a payday.
The GOP’s man of the hour, Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, is described as “Putin’s favorite industrialist.” If you want to know how bad a hombre this guy is, all you need to do is read the U.S. Treasury report on him.
He has been investigated for everything from money laundering, extortion, and racketeering—and then it gets less fun. There are even allegations that he ordered the murder of a rival businessman. His links to organized crime are so obvious, the State Department had refused him visa entry.
Naturally, he’s in Trump’s orbit. In fact, Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign manager, offered to give him “private briefings.” It might have something to do with that $10 million loan Paul took from him.
It seems the GOP is getting more dependent on Russian oligarch money. (Les Blavatnik has donated millions through a shady firm to GOP PACs that have helped finance campaigns for Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham.) And since the GOP seemingly doesn’t care anymore about hiding their treason, they decided that in the midst of the longest shutdown in history, billionaire Oleg Deripaska was in dire need of our attention.
TSA agents and Coast Guard defenders are being told to “paint houses,” “babysit,” “pawn goods,” and “hold garage sales” to survive without a paycheck, while Mitch McConnell steadfastly refuses to hold a vote just to pay them for their work.
Yet he made sure to hold a vote to pay the companies of Putin’s favorite oligarch.
Oleg’s Russian companies have done absolutely nothing to deserve having their sanctions lifted. Even Marco Rubio had to admit Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was full of it. (The other Florida senator, Rick Scott, not so much). Mnuchin tried to justify lifting the sanctions by saying Deripaska has lost stock in his companies, yet he still keeps control of them through his voting shares, Putin’s bank, and a partnering company with a long history of corruption.
Don’t worry, Ollie’s going to get paid. His steel companies now stand to make billions.
On the other hand, Trump declared he was proud to take away the paychecks of 800,000 government workers. What is sickening is that when he said that, he was also pushing hard to ensure that the GOP Senate Leader would not stall legislative approval giving Putin’s key ally a windfall. Even more disturbing is how quickly McConnell agreed to it. As Rolling Stone points out, the ever-growing influence of Russia over the current GOP Congressional leadership is downright “alarming.”
Sadly, I have a feeling that before the next election, as they continue to do Russia’s bidding, I’ll have learned how to pronounce most of their names in Russian.