Not really astounding
"It's fairly astounding, even in the modern age of public relations, that there is absolutely nothing in that statement that's true."
Is it really astounding? The corruption and deception by the tcom biggees is expected nowadays. And unfortunately, it will have no impact on the merger.
Government is bought and sold by these guys. As long as there's donation money to be had, any claims or actions contrary to blessing the deal is a sham and only for show.