- Liberal lobbying firm the Podesta Group will reportedly shut down by the end of the year, a victim of its entanglement with Paul Manafort, Ukraine, and Russia. The CEO of the Podesta Group, Kimberly Fritts, intends to start a new lobbying firm and will re-hire many of her former employees.
For some reason the American embassy in Moscow hired a company owned by a former head of the KGB’s counter-intelligence service to provide local guard services. You’d think such a move would have intelligence implications.
Reuters claims to have the inside story on what happened to former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri after his plane landed in Saudi Arabia:
Sources close to Hariri say Saudi Arabia has concluded that the prime minister – a long-time Saudi ally and son of late prime minister Rafik al-Hariri, who was assassinated in 2005 – had to go because he was unwilling to confront Hezbollah.
Multiple Lebanese sources say Riyadh hopes to replace Saad Hariri with his older brother Bahaa as Lebanon’s top Sunni politician. Bahaa is believed to be in Saudi Arabia and members of the Hariri family have been asked to travel there to pledge allegiance to him, but have refused, the sources say.
Hariri went to his Riyadh home. His family made their fortune in Saudi Arabia and have long had properties there. The source close to Hariri said the Lebanese leader received a call from a Saudi protocol official on Saturday morning, who asked him to attend a meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
He waited for about four hours before being presented with his resignation speech to read on television, the source said.