Casey Michel Profile picture
Dictators and dirty money at @hrf | Author of AMERICAN KLEPTOCRACY ( | “Brilliantly clear” (The Atlantic), “Masterful” (FT)
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Sep 30, 2018 6 tweets 2 min read
“It has taken me a long time to understand that the expansion in the use of [tax havens] has a link to decolonization. It is a modern form of colonialism.” -@EvaJoly Bit on how U.S. firms helped flip Panama into the tax haven it eventually became:
Sep 24, 2018 5 tweets 2 min read
NEW: Maria Butina's lawyer appeared multiple times on Fox News to discuss the Mueller investigation—and didn't once disclose that he'd repped a client before Mueller's office.… Butina's lawyer was caught out a few weeks ago for appearing on Fox News to discuss Russia multiple times without disclosing his work on behalf of Butina:…
Sep 23, 2018 6 tweets 3 min read
New leaked chats reveal how a Texas militia planned to assault Islamic convention participants in Houston earlier this month:… The Texas Patriot Network isn't as prominent as some other Texas-based militias, but the rhetoric's all the same: anti-Islam bigotry, support for Texas secessionists, marching with white supremacists, etc.
Sep 20, 2018 7 tweets 3 min read
After spending a week in Moldova at the World Congress of Families conference, one question: Is America’s Religious Right turning its back on Russia?… It wouldn't necessarily be surprising: the U.S. Religious Right had a far easier time building ties in Russia under the Obama administration.

But with the Trump admin now responsible for sanctions? For expanding NATO? Not so much.…
Sep 19, 2018 6 tweets 4 min read
Good morning! The Trump administration's latest hire is a lobbyist for pro-Russian separatists in the Balkans.… HHS hired Mike Rubino as a "senior adviser." Rubino's still listed as working as a lobbyist for Bosnia's SNSD party, which is pushing for breaking up Bosnia wholesale—and whose leadership is sanctioned by the U.S.…
Sep 17, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
‘More than 1,000 Google employees, six U.S. senators and at least 14 human rights groups have written to the company expressing concern about its China ambitions.’… ‘Google bosses have tried to contain the anger by shutting down employee access to documents about the China search engine.’…
Sep 17, 2018 8 tweets 3 min read
It’s obviously not getting much play in Western/US press, but Moldova’s backsliding—annulled elections, postponed votes, riot police bashing peaceful protesters—over the course of just the past two months has been as striking as anything here. And Dodon’s happy to lean into it—the man’s about as pro-democracy as Trump—while trying to grab the title of Europe’s Leading Traditionalist from Orban along the way.
Sep 16, 2018 6 tweets 4 min read
Dancing babies and fake French princes. Sanctioned Russian officials and calls to remove individual rights entirely.

The first day of the far-right Russian-American religious conference here in Moldova was a trip down the rabbit-hole:… Two quotes in here that stuck out:

1. Alexey Komov, who works for a sanctioned Russian oligarch, on his pessimism about U.S.-Russian relations—and how things have actually gotten worse under Trump.
Sep 15, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
Some highlights from the second day of the World Congress of Families conference in Chisinau:

-Moldovan President Dodon with some of his younger constituents! -Finally getting to use portrait mode on sanctioned Russian official Yelena Mizulina!
Sep 14, 2018 7 tweets 3 min read
Good afternoon from Chisinau! I’ll be spending the next few days in Moldova covering the annual conference for the World Congress of Families—the leading Russian-American Religious Right/social conservative joint project—which kicked off today. Among the highlights thus far: Moldovan President Igor Dodon opening the conference, saying that LGBTQ rights should be “strongly discouraged, or even outlawed.”
Sep 10, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
Some more details on how a Russian billionaire helped transform Butina into a gun rights spokesperson who could eventually woo @NRA higher-ups:… ‘In a federal court filing, prosecutors allege that Butina has offered to flip on Erickson’…
Sep 6, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
Why do all of these Daily Caller reporters keep appearing on Russian propaganda channels?… A number of reporters/editors from the Daily Caller have appeared on Sputnik over the past month alone. (One of them was even there to discuss "journalistic practices.")…
Sep 5, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
Of course Scott Greer wrote for Richard Spencer's white supremacist site.… 'Chuck Ross, another Daily Caller staffer who worked under [Tucker] Carlson, had written a collection of racist essays and blog posts under the nom de plume Chuck Rudd.'…
Aug 23, 2018 7 tweets 4 min read
Something else we learned this week: Paul Manafort spent the mid-2000s working to get the U.S. military kicked out of Central Asia.… cc @AdamWeinstein
Aug 22, 2018 8 tweets 3 min read
Some more takeaways from yesterday's mass removal of fake Facebook pages:

1. Iran was behind "Free Scotland 2014," one of the most popular pro-Scottish independence Facebook pages.… 2. Some of the "news" sites tied to the fake Iranian Facebook accounts—targeting progressives, conspiracy theorists, etc.—are still up.…
Aug 21, 2018 7 tweets 4 min read
Meanwhile, Facebook just took down more fake pages than ever before designed to “disrupt the midterm elections”—some of which were based out of Iran (and Russia).… Facebook announcement:

-No coordination found between Iranian and Russian ops
-Iranian ops targeted audiences across the globe, not just the U.S.
-Iranian ops tied directly to Iranian @PressTV propaganda outlet…
Aug 21, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
Senate Banking Committee hearing on Russian sanctions:… Sen. @MikeCrapo leads things off by saying CAATSA will likely remain in place while Putin is in power. .@SenJohnKennedy: "I think Mr. Putin does own assets in the U.S., and I think that Treasury knows what those assets are. ... I would like us to have a frank and honest discussion about the ramifications of seizing those assets."
Aug 17, 2018 7 tweets 3 min read
For @PostOpinions, I wrote about how the U.S. has actually begun cleaning house when it comes to its role as a global offshore haven—thanks to Manafort (and Trump).… Three big reasons to be (suddenly!) optimistic about the U.S. ending its role as a kleptocrat's favorite destination:

1. The days of anonymous shell companies in the U.S. appear numbered.…
Aug 15, 2018 4 tweets 2 min read
NEW: Neo-Confederate white supremacists have officially launched their latest Russian outreach operation—and it's a doozy.… Gotta wonder how these Lost Cause cosplayers feel about fake Russian Twitter feeds pumping out anti-Confederacy material.…
Aug 15, 2018 6 tweets 2 min read
Amy Siskind thinks Russia is "sow[ing] dissent" on her Facebook post: "They are here to amplify even on this post."
Aug 14, 2018 5 tweets 2 min read
NEW: I spoke with Kline Preston, the lawyer that introduced the NRA to Russian officials, about the arrest of Maria Butina—who he first met in Moscow.… Preston, who told me he has "access to @MarshaBlackburn," says he doesn't see Butina as a spy, and that "her prosecution is not what it seems."…