Saturday, March 24, 2018
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Friday, January 05, 2018
Tulsi Gabbard Hires Russian Agent to Keep Hawaii Media in Check
By Andrew Walden @ 6:55 PM :: 5694 Views :: Ethics, First Amendment, Politicians

Tulsi Gabbard Hires Russian Agent to Keep Hawaii Media in Check

by Andrew Walden

Russia has lots of experience in media censorship.  So perhaps it is logical that Rep Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI-2) hires an agent of the Russian government as a ‘consultant’ to keep Hawaii media under control.

But Gabbard’s consultant, Chris Cooper of the Potomac Square Group, is no ordinary Russian agent.  Cooper is allegedly one of seven identified as being at the center of illegal Russian lobbying efforts reaching into the Trump campaign and Congress.

Inquiries with Gabbard’s DC office last June by reporter Christine Gralow—then stringing an article for Honolulu Magazine--must have piqued the attentions of the numerous Hare Krishna cultists employed there.  Within 24 hours a letter from Cooper, identifying himself as “a consultant to Rep. Tulsi Gabbard,” riddled with misspellings and inaccuracies, landed in the in-box of Honolulu Magazine’s editors. 

It worked.  Honolulu Magazine suddenly lost interest in Gralow’s articles – which she eventually published on her own website,  And confirming its obsequience, on November 20, Honolulu Magazine characterized a Gabbard cult expose in the New Yorker as “another project in otherizing Gabbard’s faith journey.”

Gralow says she became aware of the Cooper letter in November when a source sent her a copy.  She posted the letter on her website December 31, 2017.  Cooper—who has not previously been publicly known to be tied to Gabbard—is one of seven people named by Hermitage Capital Management CEO William Browder in a July 15, 2016 memo to the US Department of Justice identifying unregistered agents working illegally in the US “under the direction/control/influence of the Russian Government.”  The seven are seeking repeal of the now-famous 2012 Magnitsky Act signed into law by President Obama in response to the imprisonment and 2009 murder of Hermitage’s anti-corruption investigator, Sergei Magnitsky, by agents of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.

Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya is also among the seven agents cited by Hermitage.  Repeal of the Magnitsky Act was the subject of a well-known June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Veselnitskaya and Trump campaign officials.  This meeting is a focus for numerous Trump-Russia conspiracy investigations. 

The interests of Russia’s Syrian client-dictator Bashar al-Assad were front and center when Gabbard met personally with then President-elect Trump November 21, 2016.  Gabbard afterwards told reporters, “I shared with (Trump) my grave concerns that escalating the war in Syria by implementing a so-called no fly/safe zone would be disastrous for the Syrian people, our country, and the world.”  In January, 2017, Gabbard travelled to Syria and met with Assad in a highly criticized trip organized by a pro-Assad political party.  Gabbard has repeatedly argued that President Obama was arming ISIS and al-Qaeda via his support of anti-Assad rebels.

Gabbard’s Hare Krishna guru Chris Butler seeks recognition from mainstream Hinduism in India.  Gabbard has developed close ties with the Hindu nationalist government of India.  India’s foreign policy is traditionally aligned with Russia.  The Hindu nationalists are anti-Islamist.  By aligning with India’s foreign policy, Gabbard’s work relating to Russia and Syria dovetails with Butler’s drive for recognition from India.

International intrigue is nothing new for the Butler Cult.  Cult followers were convicted in New Zealand in 2008 and 2010 for trafficking 240 tonnes of hashish into the US--in part from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.

According to Hermitage, Cooper arranged a June 13, 2016 Washington, DC showing of an anti-Magnitsky Act ‘documentary’ along with Rinat Akhmetshin “a former member of the Russian military intelligence services (GRU).”  Hermitage continues: “…the day after the Newseum event, Congressman Royce chaired a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on U.S. policy towards Putin’s Russia… attended by…Natalia Veselnitskaya and Rinat Akhmetshin.” 

Cooper’s website informs readers that he “help(s) clients define and disseminate their narratives” and “client work focuses on interests in the US and Europe and countries that include Russia….”

The New York Times buttonholed Cooper at the documentary showing and reports: “Mr. Cooper rented the theater in the Newseum and declined to say who was paying his company.” 

Asked who paid him to write the letter to Honolulu Magazine, Cooper likewise did not respond to Hawai’i Free Press.

Gabbard’s FEC records and the Congressional Statement of Disbursements for the timeframe show no payment of campaign funds or Congressional office funds to Cooper or Potomac Square.  Neither Gabbard nor her office responded to our query.


PDF: Cooper Letter to Honolulu Magazine 

PDF: Hermitage Letter


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940


ACA Signups Hawaii



Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Conservative Alliance

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii



Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A'ole Eradication

A Place for Women in Waipio

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

Conservative Forum for Hawaii

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Friends of Lanai

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America


Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Families for Educational Choice

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii Open Budget

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Senate Informer

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Hawaii Votes

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling


Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu TEA Party

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube


Hump Day Report

Hunting, Farming and Fishing Assoc.

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

Judgepedia Hawaii

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes


Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii


National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

No Hawaii Beverage Tax

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii

OHA Lies

Ohana Policy Group

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Salvage The Rail

Save the Plastic Bag

School Choice in Hawaii

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

TEA Party Maui

TFB Micronesia

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

United Veterans Hawaii

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

YAL UH Hilo 





Maui TEA Party
Maui TEA Party