Photo Credit: Courtesy Aaron Klein
Aaron Klein

Fusion GPS Co-Founder Offers Bizarre
Testimony On Putin’s Ties To Diaspora Jewry

Glenn R. Simpson, the co-founder of the controversial opposition research firm Fusion GPS, espoused a conspiracy theory claiming that Vladimir Putin “essentially took over the Russian Jewish community,” and that Putin uses “the Jewish Diaspora” as a route for Russian influence.

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Simpson’s outlandish claim was made in November 14 testimony before the House Select Committee on Intelligence, a transcript of which was released two weeks ago. His statements, which arguably contain anti-Semitic undertones, were almost entirely ignored by the news media.

The claims may offer a window into the conspiratorial thinking of the firm behind the infamous, largely discredited 35-page anti-Trump dossier alleging unsubstantiated collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

During testimony, Simpson stated, “I am sort of thinking back to one of the other questions that Congressman Schiff asked about, things to look at.” Simpson was referring to requests from Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, who repeated asked the Fusion GPS co-founder during the testimony for recommendations on whom to subpoena or items to investigate as part of the Russia collusion probe.

Simpson then delved into his Putin-Jewish conspiracy. “And it’s kind of an uncomfortable. I don’t know really how to put it, but there is a lot of – Putin seems to be very interested in the Jewish Diaspora.”

“And there seems to be, especially, the sort of Orthodox or ultra-religious or conservative, and there is a definitely something interesting to all that,” Simpson stated. “Chabad, in particular, is a subject that is curious and interesting.

“And Putin essentially took over the Russian Jewish community and the leadership of the Russian Jewish community. And appears, for reasons I can’t fully explain to be – this appears to be a very interesting route for the Russians.”

“And again, I think there are many routes for the Russians,” he added. “They use trade groups, they use ethnic association groups, and at least and they use religious groups.”

The anti-Trump dossier itself claims that the Russian FSB intelligence agency was engaged in attempts to approach “U.S. citizens of Russian [Jewish] origin on business trips to Russia” to utilize as agents.

Simpson did not substantiate his allegations and he did not explain his singling out of Chabad as a “subject that is curious and interesting.” The main goal of Chabad, headquartered in New York, is to strengthen the ties of Jewish people to Judaism.

In October, the Washington Post reported that in April 2016, attorney Marc E. Elias and his law firm, Perkins Coie, retained Fusion GPS to conduct the firm’s anti-Trump work on behalf of both Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Clinton’s campaign and the DNC both were clients of Perkins Coie.

The BBC reported that the information in the dossier served as a “roadmap” for the FBI’s investigation into claims of coordination between Moscow and members of Trump’s presidential campaign.

Last April, CNN reported that the dossier served as part of the FBI’s justification for seeking the FISA court’s reported approval to clandestinely monitor the communications of Carter Page, the American oil industry investor who was tangentially and briefly associated with Trump’s presidential campaign.

That purported FISA warrant is reportedly mentioned in a surveillance memo described as alleging FISA surveillance abuses under the Obama administration. On Monday night, the House Intelligence Committee voted to release the memo, giving Trump give days to weigh in with any objections before the memo can be publicly released.

 

Beyond The Controversial
Obama-Farrakhan Photo

Amid reports that a 2005 photograph of Barack Obama posing with Louis Farrakhan, the notorious anti-Semitic, anti-American leader of the Nation of Islam, was deliberately suppressed, it may be instructive to recall the former two-term president’s larger ties to Farrakhan, radical associations that run deeper than one picture from 13 years ago.

On January 20, the Trice Edney News Wire published the 2005 photo of Obama with Farrakhan. The news agency quoted photographer Askia Muhammad as saying that after the picture was snapped at a meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus, Muhammad was approached by a caucus member who asked him not to use the image. Muhammad further said that the Congressional Black Caucus expressed concern the photo could harm Obama’s future presidential aspirations.

As far back as May 2008, this reporter documented Obama’s connections to Farrakhan, which largely ran through the former president’s pastor and spiritual advisor for 20 years, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Jr.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama distanced himself from Wright months after soundbites of the pastor making anti-American and racist remarks first surfaced in the news media. Obama sat in the pews of Wright’s Trinity United Church for nearly two decades despite the pastor’s openly extremist positions.

Obama’s face was featured on the cover of Wright’s Trumpet magazine alongside Farrakhan and Nation of Islam founder Elijah Muhammad for a 2006 issue titled, “The legacy lives on.” The issue was first discovered by BizzyBlog.com.

At the time of the discovery, Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign did not return a request from this reporter seeking comment on whether the politician was aware that his face had appeared on the cover of Wright’s magazine alongside Farrakhan’s image.

Obama was featured on the cover of Wright’s magazine at least three times, including once with his arm around Wright, and Obama gave an interview to the radical publication.

 

Besides gracing the cover of Trumpet with Farrakhan’s image, Obama in 1995 discussed attending the Million Man March, which was organized by Farrakhan.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, a 2004 picture surfaced showing Michelle Obama attending an event hosted by Jesse Jackson’s Citizenship Education Foundation. Michelle Obama was photographed there with Farrakhan’s wife Mother Khadijah Farrakhan and five other women.

During that year’s presidential campaign, this reporter also documented the ties of David Axelrod, who served as chief strategist to Obama’s presidential campaigns and a White House senior adviser, to a church that was closely aligned with Farrakhan. Axelrod sat on the finance committee of St. Sabina, the Chicago Catholic parish that was led by controversial pastor Michael Pfleger, an outspoken Farrakhan supporter who hosted the Nation of Islam chief at his parish several times.

The Archdiocese of Chicago temporarily removed Pfleger from his duties at St. Sabina in 2008 following a well-publicized guest sermon at Trinity church in which Pfleger claimed Hillary Clinton cried in public because she thought being white entitled her to the Democratic presidential nomination.

Pfleger hosted Farrakhan at his church several times, including one May 2007 sermon that was Farrakhan’s first public appearance since he announced in 2006 he had been suffering from prostate cancer and was seriously ill.

According to reports, Pfleger spent hours with the Nation of Islam chief during his illness. Pfleger previously enlisted Farrakhan’s support for several of his initiatives, including an anti-gun protest in 2007.

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Aaron Klein is the Jerusalem bureau chief for Breitbart News. Visit the website daily at www.breitbart.com/jerusalem. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 970 AM Radio on Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern. His website is KleinOnline.com.