When the nation’s founders selected what is now the District of Columbia to serve as the capital of the United States, engineers and architects were faced with the task of building a capital city on what was essentially a swamp. Donald Trump and his cronies and grifters have done their damnedest to turn Washington back into a swamp, one inhabited by slimy and scaly denizens eager to cash in on government access and control.
Avenue Strategies Global is but one example of the current swamp. Co-founded by Trump 2016 campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and Barry Bennett, manager of current Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson’s presidential run—the firm now sells political advice abroad. Avenue Strategies, which is situated on a corner across from the White House, recently signed a lucrative contract with former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. It is obvious that Avenue Strategies is helping Tymosheno position herself for a future presidential run in Ukraine. And it is quite convenient that the firm, from which Lewandowski has since departed for greener lobbying pastures, is close, both geographically and politically, to the offices of Trump administration key officials, including National Security Adviser John Bolton.
Lewandowski is associated with another political advice consultancy, Turnberry Solutions, LLC of Washington, DC. Perhaps not coincidentally, Trump Turnberry is the name of Trump’s Scottish golf resort. Yet another Lewandowski-linked firm, Washington East West Political Strategies LLC, which dissolved in 2017, had been advising political candidates in Albania and Kosovo, as well as others in the Middle East, Canada, and Central America. Lewandowski’s links with the Amsterdam Group, another Washington lobbying firm, puts him in the same orbit as former YUKOS oil head Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a client of Amsterdam Group and someone who has been working from the United States, Europe, and Israel to oust Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government.
Of more concern is Lewandowski’s links to the Boston, Massachusetts-based social media analytics firm, Crimson Hexagon, which stands accused of manipulating Facebook data to affect election outcomes. The threat posed by the intersection of political advisory firms, “big data” manipulators, and NGOs cannot be underestimated.
As the weeping over the death of Senator John McCain subsides, it should be remembered that his pride and joy, the election-meddling International Republican Institute, and his former campaign manager, Rick Davis, had longstanding organizational ties to Paul Manafort. Manafort is Trump’s former campaign manager, who replaced Lewandowski during the 2016 campaign. Manafort now sits in a jail cell in Alexandria, Virginia, convicted on eight counts of fraud and awaiting trial in Washington, DC, on additional criminal counts. The Trump administration wasted no time in immersing itself deep into this political swamp to help market American political snake oil to unsuspecting countries around the world.
Long after Trump is gone, the perils of “Trumpism” will continue to plague the world, thanks to the likes of Lewandowski and other Trump snake oil salesmen.
Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.
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Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).