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Gaslit Nation

Nov 18, 2023

Welcome to the George Santos Tribute Episode, lasting as long as his tenure in Congress.The Russian-linked Ponzi Scheme is on his way out. He lavishly spent campaign cash on his honeymoon in Las Vegas, spa treatments, luxury shopping sprees, Botox (he’s 35!), and the naughty fun time site OnlyFans. We have questions, mostly: Did his Russian-linked backers get their money’s worth by having major American embarrassment Santos in Congress? The answer is yes.

On an oddly related note, super mogul Len Blavatnik, whom you're not allowed to call a Russian oligarch (or else he might sue you), owns Warner Music Group. The industry giant is developing a creepy and dangerous A.I.-generated Edith Piaf biopic. Blavatnik, whose cousin Andrea got into a screaming match with at the start of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, throws his money around, including to the Democratic Party and the Council on Foreign Relations. As explained in this episode, this is reputation laundering and influence peddling, given Blavatnik's well-documented ties to Putin’s court of oligarchs.

Are you ready for this? Blavatnik is a longtime friend and business partner of notorious sanctioned “Putin wallet” Viktor Vekselberg in various oligarchy-type ventures like Rusal, Russia’s largest aluminum company owned by Oleg Deripaska, that thug who won the aluminum wars during the car bomb 1990s in Russia. (Paul Manafort was on the hook to Deripaska for a bunch of money in a media venture gone wrong, and made it up to him by running Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016…for free). Blavatnik’s friend/business partner Vekselberg has a seemingly unlucky cousin named Andrew Intrater, a financier who gave George Soros $625,000 to invest in a Florida based fund that turned out to be a Ponzi scheme. Despite losing all that money, Intrater went on to put his full trust in Santos by pumping his Congressional campaign full of cash. A campaign that turned out to be…you guessed it, a Ponzi scheme. It should be noted that longtime friends and associates Intrater, Vekselberg, and Blavatnik all gave heavily to Trump’s inaugural committee–otherwise known as a Russian victory lap. 

This week’s bonus episode includes questions from listeners on topics ranging from white rage extremism and who’s tracking it, to how to stay hopeful during these dark times. If you didn’t hear your question answered this week, look out for it soon! Next week’s bonus episode will be the Make Art Workshop–a thank you to our community and a way for us to build up our resilience and fight back with joy. Thank you to everyone who supports the show – we could not make Gaslit Nation without you! 

Show Notes:

Get your ‘Tis the Season to Prosecute Treason T-shirt featuring an original design by Hamish Smyth here:

68-percent of Americans support a ceasefire in Gaza

Israeli opposition leader says time has come to replace Netanyahu

Hamas leader being grilled on live TV and lying

Santos Won’t Seek Re-election After House Panel Finds Evidence of Crimes The findings, which were referred to prosecutors, are likely to prompt another attempt to expel the embattled congressman from the House.

A Soviet-Born Billionaire Is Buying Influence at US Institutions. Anti-Corruption Activists Are Worried. The Council on Foreign Relations is under fire for accepting Len Blavatnik’s gifts thanks to his tie to oligarchs and Russian corruption.

Music’s Mystery Mogul: Len Blavatnik, Trump and Their Russian Friends Len Blavatnik is not only a backer of films and potential buyer of a Hollywood studio but also reportedly on the fringe of the Russia probe thanks to GOP giving and links to oligarchs with ties to Putin.

How an Investor Lost $625,000 and His Faith in George Santos Andrew Intrater, a wealthy businessman, has been in touch with the S.E.C. about Mr. Santos’s dealings on behalf of a company accused in a Ponzi scheme.

NY Fund Manager Linked to Russian Oligarch Invested Big With Santos. Now He Claims He Was Conned.

A Putin-Friendly Oligarch’s Top US Executive Donated $285,000 to Trump The head of Viktor Vekselberg’s American affiliate helped finance Trump’s inauguration.

‘It’s shameful’: Russian-linked billionaires have given enormous sums of money to the West’s leading educational and cultural institutions

Oleg Deripaska: Putin ‘favourite’ with strong ties to UK politics