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Helsinki Summit: Trump and Putin Respond to Mueller Indictments

Eric Zuesse

Trump and Putin at joint press conference in Helsinki, July 16th 2018.

In the July 16th joint press conference between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the question arose of U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s recent indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officials for allegedly having engineered the theft of computer files from the Democratic National Committee and from John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman. Here is that part of the press conference, in a question that was addressed to both Presidents (and I boldface here the key end part of Putin’s presentation, and then I proceed to link to two articles which link to the evidence — the actual documents — that Putin is referring to in his response):

REPORTER (Jeff Mason from Reuters): For President Putin if I could follow up as well. Why should Americans and why should President Trump believe your statement that Russia did not intervene in the 2016 election given the evidence that US Intelligence agencies have provided? Will you consider extraditing the 12 Russian officials that were indicted last week by a US Grand jury.

TRUMP: Well I’m going to let the president [meaning Putin] answer the second part of that question.

As you know, the concept of that came up perhaps a little before, but it came out as a reason why the Democrats lost an election, which frankly, they should have been able to win, because the electoral college is much more advantageous for Democrats, as you know, than it is to Republicans. [That allegation from Trump is unsupported, and could well be false.] We won the electoral college by a lot. 306 to 223, I believe. [It was actually 304 to 227.] That was a well-fought battle. We did a great job.

Frankly, I’m going to let the president speak to the second part of your question. But, just to say it one time again and I say it all the time, there was no collusion. I didn’t know the president. There was nobody to collude with. There was no collusion with the campaign. Every time you hear all of these 12 and 14 — it’s stuff that has nothing to do — and frankly, they admit, these are not people involved in the campaign. But to the average reader out there, they are saying, well maybe that does. It doesn’t. Even the people involved, some perhaps told mis-stories. In one case the FBI said there was no lie. There was no lie. Somebody else said there was. We ran a brilliant campaign. And that’s why I’m president. Thank you.

PUTIN: As to who is to be believed, who is not to be believed: you can trust no one. Where did you get this idea that President Trump trusts me or I trust him? He defends the interests of the United States of America and I do defend the interests of the Russian Federation. We do have interests that are common. We are looking for points of contact.

There are issues where our postures diverge and we are looking for ways to reconcile our differences, how to make our effort more meaningful. We should not proceed from the immediate political interests that guide certain political powers in our countries. We should be guided by facts. Could you name a single fact that would definitively prove the collusion? This is utter nonsense — just like the president recently mentioned. Yes, the public at large in the United States had a certain perceived opinion of the candidates during the campaign. But there’s nothing particularly extraordinary about it. That’s the normal thing.

President Trump, when he was a candidate, he mentioned the need to restore the Russia/US relationship, and it’s clear that certain parts of American society felt sympathetic about it and different people could express their sympathy in different ways. Isn’t that natural? Isn’t it natural to be sympathetic towards a person who is willing to restore the relationship with our country, who wants to work with us?

We heard the accusations about it. As far as I know, this company hired American lawyers and the accusations doesn’t have a fighting chance in the American courts. There’s no evidence when it comes to the actual facts. So we have to be guided by facts, not by rumors.

Now, let’s get back to the issue of this 12 alleged intelligence officers of Russia. I don’t know the full extent of the situation. But President Trump mentioned this issue. I will look into it.

So far, I can say the following. Things that are off the top of my head. We have an existing agreement between the United States of America and the Russian Federation, an existing treaty that dates back to 1999. The mutual assistance on criminal cases. This treaty is in full effect. It works quite efficiently. On average, we initiate about 100, 150 criminal cases upon request from foreign states.

For instance, the last year, there was one extradition case upon the request sent by the United States. This treaty has specific legal procedures we can offer. The appropriate commission headed by Special Attorney Mueller, he can use this treaty as a solid foundation and send a formal, official request to us so that we could interrogate, hold questioning of these individuals who he believes are privy to some crimes. Our enforcement are perfectly able to do this questioning and send the appropriate materials to the United States. Moreover, we can meet you halfway. We can make another step. We can actually permit representatives of the United States, including the members of this very commission headed by Mr. Mueller, we can let them into the country. They can be present at questioning.

In this case, there’s another condition. This kind of effort should be mutual one. Then we would expect that the Americans would reciprocate. They would question officials, including the officers of law enforcement and intelligence services of the United States whom we believe have something to do with illegal actions on the territory of Russia. And we have to request the presence of our law enforcement.

For instance, we can bring up Mr. Browder in this particular case. Business associates of Mr. Browder have earned over $1.5 billion in Russia. They never paid any taxes. Neither in Russia nor in the United States. Yet, the money escapes the country. They were transferred to the United States. They sent huge amount of money, $400 million as a contribution to the campaign of Hillary Clinton. [He presents no evidence to back up that $400 million claim.] Well, that’s their personal case. It might have been legal, the contribution itself. But the way the money was earned was illegal. We have solid reason to believe that some intelligence officers guided these transactions. [This allegation, too, is merely an unsupported assertion here.] So we have an interest of questioning them. That could be a first step. We can also extend it. There are many options. They all can be found in an appropriate legal framework.

REPORTER (Jeff Mason from Reuters): Did you direct any of your officials to help him [Trump] do that [find those ‘options’]?

PUTIN: Yes, I did. Yes, I did. Because he talked about bringing the US/Russia relationship back to normal.

The evidence regarding that entire matter, of Bill Browder and the Magnitsky Act, can be seen in the links and the other evidences that are presented in two articles that I published on that very subject, earlier this year. One, titled “Private Investigations Find America’s Magnitsky Act to Be Based on Frauds”, summarizes the independently done private investigations into the evidence that is publicly available online regarding Bill Browder and the Magnitsky Act. The Magnitsky Act was the basis for the first set of economic sanctions against Russia, and were instituted in 2012; so, this concerns the start of the restoration of the Cold War (without the communism etc. that were allegedly the basis of Cold War I).

The other article, “Russiagate-Trump Gets Solved by Giant of American Investigative Journalism”, provides further details in the evidence, and connects both the Magnitsky Act and Bill Browder to the reason why, on 9 June 2016, the Russian lawyer Nataliya Veselnitskaya, met privately at Trump Tower, with Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner — the reason was specifically in order to inform them about the documentation on this case, so that Trump, if elected, would be aware of the contents of those documents. She had used the promise of dirt on Hillary so as to enable Trump, who effectively became the Republican nominee on 26 May 2016, to learn about the actual documents in this crucial case.

The Russian government has been legally pursuing Mr. Browder, for years, on charges that he evaded paying $232 million taxes that were due to the Russian government. These private investigations into this matter — regarding whether or not the Magnitsky Act was based on fraudulent grounds — have all found that Mr. Browder has clearly falsified and misrepresented the actual documents, which are linked to in those two articles I wrote. These might be the very same documents that she was presenting on June 9th.

So: this is a matter of importance not only to the validity (or not) of the Magnitsky Act economic sanctions against Russia, but to the Russiagate accusations regarding U.S. President Donald Trump. In my two articles, the general public can click right through to the evidence on the Magnitsky case.

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010 and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

39 Comments

  1. Kathy says

    The minds of a large proportion of the western population appears to be fragmenting in this rabbit hole looking glass reality . Years of failed education, mind warping dumbed down T.V and radio have hijacked the psyci of the masses. A majority of the people seem to be far more obsessed with their physical appearance then how their governments are behaving both in their own country and abroad. The people really aught to be very awake and very worried right now about the way they are being misled. Instead it appears that they have been well and truly hypnotized and the media are leading the charge. This repetition on all sides of the mass media onslaught demands full obedience. Any concept of free thinking is being eradicated and trusting your own instincts is discouraged. Zombies sleep walking towards Armageddon. How hard was it to bring so many to hate and vitriol towards any idea of a peaceful world. In what sort of a world are we now in if the ability to talk through differences and difficulties and to give peace a chance has become heretical and treasonous. Thank god that the more pervasive this mindset becomes the more others are waking up and resisting this brainwashing and searching for truths and alternative views. Thank god their are some in the world who are prepared to push against the war drumming and call for peace in the world.

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  2. vexarb says

    http://thesaker.is/the-ticking-time-bomb/

    President Putin has just handed the POTUS a weapon to protect the U$A against its enemies inside the Democratic Party. But will the POTUS be man enough to hurl it against the Klingons?

    But one thing is now certain: Putin really is the best friend of Trump — and of the U$ People.

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  3. ron says

    like most anti establishment site – i can’t post comments

  4. MichaelK says

    People within the Labour Party routinely call it a ‘tribe.’ We appear to be moving into a period where identification with and loyalty to a ‘tribe’ and in partisan opposition to other ‘tribes’, in taking over… big time. Like one is part of the anti-Trump tribe, or the Guardian tribe, or the Brexit tribe; the list is growing and seemingly endless. This has serious implications, too many to go into here, but it means we are abandoning ‘rationality’ in favour of an emotional attachment to ideas, facts and the objective world around us. This is a troubling and dangerous political and cultural shift.

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    • I am a proud member of the Labour Party in the West Midlands, and I have never heard us referred to as a tribe, internally or externally.

      The attempt to return us to a medieval world in which everyone believes whatever someone in “authority” says, regardless of reason or facts are The Fail and the S*n and the Guardian whose articles are aimed solely at eliciting and emotional response with the express purpose of blocking rational thought.

      Hating people takes no intellectual effort, only an emotional response. Who shall we hate today? Immigrants? Black people? Muslims? The Scots? The Welsh? Gays? And, of course, The Russians!

      No problem! Job done! It’s what “journalists” train for and it’s what they are paid for!

      • MichaelK says

        Ed Miliband? Is that ‘Labour’ enough for you? Not that I’m particularly critical of the Labour Party. It was merely an example.

        • Mulga Mumblebrain says

          If it was Milipede, he was referring to another ‘tribe’ to which he belongs, and perhaps an ambition to make UK Labour an appendage of that tribe, a campaign that is still proceeding.

  5. uncle tungsten says

    Putin calling the warmongers bluff with Browder was brilliant! The Clinton Foundation will be apoplectic as will their subsidiary company, the FBI and Justice Department. Meanwhile AG Jeff Sessions meanders around like Mr Magoo looking for dope plants in the forest and waiting for Hillary, Bill and Chelsea to dash across the statute of limitations finishing line. And then if the Awan family espionage scandal ever gets fully illuminated it will be a good day.

    What a disgraceful circus the USSA has become and its Department of Justice gets the 1984 gold logie award.

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  6. Baron says

    The Donald has had close to two years to put together a case against at least a few of the members of the Swamp, take them to court, have them punished. That would have helped to silence the rest.

    If he procrastinates any further, they’ll bury him rather than the other way round. Tucker Carlson gets it right:

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    • Frankly Speaking says

      !!! Tucker calling the Deep State out for what they are!!!!
      Unfortunately they’ll almost be sure to silence him now.
      This video needs to go out far and wide people.

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    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      The Fraudian dung-heap is FAR more interested in driving the fraudulent accusations of ‘antisemitism’ to destroy Corbyn and UK Labour. As anyone with any experience of the Zionist ‘antisemitism’ lynch-mob in action knew, with absolute certainty, this campaign will NEVER cease, and will move from one outburst of hysterical abuse to the next-it is their modus operandi. When you have Labour MPs shrieking abuse at Corbyn, in the Parliamentary chamber, vilely accusing him of being an ‘antisemitic racist’, then reaching for the ‘my relatives died in the gas-chambers’ card, and then expecting, indeed DEMANDING, that no action be taken against them, you can see that the rabid pack is moving in for the kill.

      • bevin says

        The rabid pack is not moving in for the kill. It is finally recognising that its strategy is failing. And that makes its members feel very frustrated. They are not used to people calling their bluff. But that is what has happened in this case- the ‘anti semitism’ campaigns will continue but their credibility is shot. Calling Corbyn an anti-semitic racist was idiotic: its net effect was to signal an end to the campaigners’ credibility, anywhere outside Revisionist Zionist and media circles.

        • Seems like it has a way to go yet.

          I’m guessing that the big split will come if the open selection motion gets passed in September, mass resignations of the Zionist Right. The media depiction of the Labour Party from there on will be like that of Venzuela/ Cuba et al.
          The establishment will seek to form a single party as opposition ?

          • Mulga Mumblebrain says

            It’s starting. The Israel First, Last and Always Lobby’s house journal, the Fraudian sewer, has an article today outlining how Blairite Quislings are going to force an incorporation of the despicable IHRA ‘definition’ of ‘antisemitism’, which outlaws ALL criticism of Israel, any Jew anywhere and support for the Palestinians. The support for the Corbyn position by numerous Jewish organisations is, of course, utterly suppressed, and the screeching of the Zionist elite groups, allies of the Tories and dedicated enemies of Corbyn and his ‘Leftwing policies’ is presented as the position of the entire Jewish community. As I’ve noted, and history tells us, these creatures DEMAND TOTAL obeisance and obedience, and will never cease their agitation. They have UNLIMITED finance and fakestream media support and unbounded hatred of those who dare get in their way, like Palestinian children, or who refuse to obey them, totally and without question. All occurring while Holy Israel moves rapidly to full apartheid conditions, inside Israel itself, and prepares for a new Holy Massacre in Gaza. One that all the Izzards of the Blairosphere will demand we support, and all those who oppose it will be vilely denounced as ‘antisemites’.

        • Mulga Mumblebrain says

          I think your sanguine approach is misplaced. I watched a video today outlining the fanatic determination of the Netanyahu regime, and the elite Zionist organs in the Western diaspora, to destroy ALL support for the Palestinians, ALL opposition to Israeli barbarity and the BDS movement in particular. The litany of legislation being passed by stooges in the West, to outlaw BDS, and even criminalise it, as in France, is gob-smacking. And the campaigns of intimidation and vilification in schools and colleges, and among private groups that support BDS, the widespread spying on individuals, the compiling of dossiers, the career-ending accusations of, you guessed it, ‘antisemitism’ and the vicious legal actions launched to pauperise the victims and terrify others into submission is staggering. And these campaigns have UNLIMITED finance and planning from Israel and the MOSSAD, in selecting victims, as well. They WILL get Corbyn, or destroy Labour-you can bank on that.

          • vexarb says

            Mulga, I am with Bevin on the side of optimism and a return to Labour’s roots — especially if Mog’s forecast proves correct. As for BDS, being Sount African born, I foresee less success for a boycott against Apart-Hate in Israel. South African Apart-Hate was the policy of an Afrikaaner Nationalist government, which had set up its own Afrikaaner banks and a giant Industrial corporation which showed every sign of supplanting the Anglo American ownership of South Africa’s huge mineral wealth. Thus our idealistic Boycott found itself supported by the MSM, by several Anglo American corporations, and by a capitalist attack on the South African currency. That] level of support will not be given to BDS; few AZC corporations will dare to move against Rothschild’s pet project in the Holy Land.

            • Mulga Mumblebrain says

              My heart is with you, but my head, and my experience, tells me that the Zionists, who control the ONLY weapon that counts in the West, money power, will destroy any opposition to their terrorist ethno-state. The only hope is that the growing opposition among Diaspora Jews, particularly the young, will have an effect, but Judaism and organised Jewry has always, in my opinion, been a criminal modus operandi working for the elite only, and the opinions of the mass of Jews are irrelevant to the religious and secular fascist elites.

              • Mulga Mumblebrain says

                Actually, I nearly choked on my porridge this morning, seeing a pro-Corbyn article in the Fraudian defending the decision NOT to completely surrender to the Zionists’ definition of ‘antisemitism’ as everything but groveling adoration. Written, of course, by a Jewish fellow, a goy doing so being, naturally, insufferable to the ‘antisemitism’ industry, but eminently sensible. No doubt he is a ‘self-hating Jew’. The comments were, to begin, very supportive, but then the Zionist thugs began swarming, hissing and spitting abuse like rabid geese.

  7. Francis Lee says

    It was Oscar Wilde who wittily intoned: ”There is only one thing worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”

    This could be applied to the current hysteria in liberal circles in the US:

    There is only one thing worse than Trump and that is the ‘Resistance’ to Trump.

    A mindless ranting mob composed of a coalition of media, the MIC, the Democratic and increasingly Republican parties, think-tanks all speaking in one voice reminiscent of the ‘Two Minutes Hate’ in Orwell’s 1984. These people are just out-of-control fanatics, a truly hideous visage sounding like the screaming inside of a Monkey House.

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    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      They have plainly learned their tactics from the Zionist hasbara hate industry.

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  8. MichaelK says

    Here’s an interview where Trump once again asks awkward and heretical questions about the role of NATO and the idea that the US should really allow itself to be dragged into WW3 to defend some Liliput state like Montenegro if they get into a conflict with a powerful neighbour? Shouldn’t they adjust their policies to reflect reality and not rely on the US?

  9. Tunde says

    China done it. Russia was scapegoated.
    Perhaps the Chinese were not so enamoured with Obama’s pivot to Asia grand stratagem. Why GCHQ/SIS would get involved via Steele/Skripal/Miller et al is the mystery. Trump comes to the UK knowing fully well that elements of the UK deep state sided against him. Of course he’d spear May with the BoJo jibe.
    Marine Le Pen was right. Trump will liberate Europe from US hegemony.
    I reckon Trump will dissolve NATO and then face down the EU On its trade negotiations with the US. By the time all this unfolds, we’ll have the multipolar world Chirac wanted post Iraq invasion. Win win all round.

    • The UK GCHQ & MI6 are interested because they are the EU-end of the Washington Swamp. They manipulated the French election to get plastic-wrapped bankster Macron elected. Theresa May is a mouse who’s been told to toe the line despite her party having backed Brexit. Hence the Salisbury pantomime to demonstrate to Brexiteers that the UK must stay in Europe – to keep to the globalists’ plan.

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  10. MichaelK says

    It seems obvious that very powerful forces inside the US Establishment, or ruling elite, want some kind of conflict with Russia designed to topple Putin and open Russia to US interests. This seems to be an incredibly dangerous strategy which could lead to nuclear war. It’s remarkable that so many within the western ruling elite are so sanguine about this terrible outcome, which follows logically from the anti-Russian trajectory we’re on. Why has the prospect of war become so ‘normal’ in the West?

    A big question is, is China going to simply stand by and watch the West attack Russia without lifting a finger in response? The Chinese leadership must know that they are the real, immediate challenge to the US Empire, not Russia. Knock out Russia and China becomes very isolated indeed. All its plans about linking and developing trade routes and markets between China, Asia and Europe, are dashed, with the Americans in charge in Russia and blocking the entire Chinese strategy. And after Russia, it’ll be China’s turn and they’ll have to face the might of the western empire… alone, with no powerful allies.

    That the US grand strategy for ‘dealing with’ China and Russia, is… insane, because Russia won’ surrender and has the capacity and will to resist and fight back, doesn’t mean that the US elite aren’t going to pursue it and confront Russia, regardless of the dangers inherent in the plan.

    The Chinese need to become far more assertive, a dangerous strategy, and step up and stand shoulder to shoulder with Russia and say that their ‘vital interests’ are threatened by any western attack on Russia, which they will regard as an attack on China too and act accordingly and in self-defence.

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    • Francis Lee says

      ”The Chinese leadership must know that they are the real, immediate challenge to the US Empire, not Russia. Knock out Russia and China becomes very isolated indeed.”

      Of course the Chinese know, a blind man could see this. Moreover, the Americans know that they know. Russia and China have closed ranks against the Hegemonist behemoth in what is basically a military/economic marriage of convenience. But the American threat is weakening both internally and externally and the Eurasian counter-hegemonic bloc is strengthening.

      From the American viewpoint it is imperative that they split the Russo-Chinese alliance, my guess is by trying to court Russia and woo her away from China. If they are unable to do this then they will be faced by a war on two fronts against China and Russia; wars on two fronts are rarely won.

      There used to be an old Confederate Song ‘Richmond is a hard road to travel.’ by which the Army of the Potomac was taunted in their unsuccessful assaults on the Southern Capital. Contextualising this date wise you could say that Moscow is a hard road to travel. Just ask, Hitler, Hindenburg, the Armies of Intervention, Napoleon, King Charles XII of Sweden, The Poles, The Tatars

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    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      Here in Austfailure, a TOTAL US stooge state, one MP, in my opinion quite a loathsome reactionary, a climate destabilisation denier, and a big fan of burning more coal (perhaps to get things over with more quickly)somehow said something sensible yesterday. In defending Trump meeting Putin he said that we ought to overlook ‘Russian crimes’ like MH17 (a COMPLETE lie, of course)in the interests of global safety, because the two thermo-nuclear giants ought not be at logger-heads.
      That rare outbreak of commonsense was met by the now usual frenzy of hysterical denunciation and vilification. The relatives of victims of MH17 were wheeled out to abuse the sad sack, and Russia and Putin of course, The hate campaign has, predictably, moved back to the original proposition that Russia shot the plane down deliberately in an act of diabolical wickedness that only the monster Putin could commit. The thousands of civilians killed in the Donbass by the Ukronazi regime, the two million made refugees, the eighty slaughtered in Odessa, the Roma being terrorised by Ukronazi lynch-mobs, of course DO NOT EXIST, as far as the presstitute vermin of the media hate-machine are concerned. Undoubtedly the great success of the World Cup has driven the scum to launch a new campaign of vicious and villainous hatred, and exploiting the MH17 tragedy for foul advantage is only to be expected.

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  11. Analysis by Pepe Escobar of Asia Times:

    http://www.atimes.com/article/a-walk-on-the-wild-side-as-trump-meets-putin-at-finland-station

    Pepe noted a smart counter-proposal from Syrian President Dr.Assad:

    “No “grand bargain” on Iran seems to be in the cards. The top adviser to Ayatollah Khamenei, Ali Akbar Velayati, was in Moscow last week. The Moscow-Tehran entente cordiale seems unbreakable. In parallel, as Asia Times has learned, Bashar al-Assad has told Moscow he might even agree to Iran leaving Syria, but Israel would have to return the occupied Golan Heights. So, the status quo remains.”

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  12. Antonyl says

    Is Mr. Browder above any law or independent investigation? Mr. Trump isn’t.

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    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      Of course Browder is-for him to face justice in Russia would be utterly ‘antisemitic’.

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    • We could start here in the UK by asking how has Browder the power to stop Parliament viewing the film “The Magnitsky Act”?

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  13. Antonyl says

    Look at the opportunities! IF the US reciprocate they can question say Edward Snowden about NSA leaks through sub contractors inside Russia.
    Big IF: action – reaction, no one way street.

    • Antonyl says

      Russia could start to question Lisa Page and her lover Stork in the US: she said that China hacked HRC home closet server containing a lot of State department mail. That is what said in a closed hearing to a House committee. FBI’s Stork (and others) knew this, ignored it and proceeded to harass Trump with the “Russia” story.

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      • Mulga Mumblebrain says

        No doubt the Chinese used those ‘Mongol maps’ for world conquest that you mentioned at Craig Murray’s blog.

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