Trump: Russia Investigation (2)

This thread was getting too long, so I’m starting a new one. (The first thread can be read here)

When I read the following thread, my heart sank a little–mainly because of the impression it creates of the GOP.

I can’t believe the Republicans would confirm this guy. Durbin is a Democrat, and a part of me hopes what he’s saying is inaccurate or at least misleading–that the reality isn’t as bad as Durbin claims. But given what I’ve seen so far from Republicans, I have little hope for that. Essentially, the Republicans would be willing to appoint someone who would be there to protect Trump, versus actually prosecute him if that was the appropriate decision. If this is true, it’s just one of many indications that they’re rotten to the core, and no longer remain politically viable or responsible party.

7/13/2018

GOP confirmed him. That’s what Ornstein is referring to below.

Ornstein’s commenting on the tweet below:

I feel like the outrage by Flake, Corker, and Sasse and other Republicans are a sham. Or I’m really ignorant of some crucial information.

7/6/2018

Why it Matters if Trump Received Money from Russians

14 thoughts on “Trump: Russia Investigation (2)

  1. New Indictments from Mueller Investigation

    (FYI: GRU= Russian military intelligence agency)

    Tweet from July 2016:

    Also,

    Important message from Rosenstein, where he emphasizes the pursuit of people who interfered with 2016 election should be non-partisan; that we have to remain united as a country as enemies try to exacerbate divisions.

    7/13/2018

    Edit

    1. Interesting thread highlighting aspects about the forensics mentioned in the indictment. Here are a few tweets from the thread that stood out.

      Read this:

      At least this gives me some hope our guys are good:

      1. Two threads related to the above, involving warnings to Putin that US would be able to discover what they did, and thoughts on Putin’s decision to proceed anyway.

    2. The thread speculates if Trump campaign used some of information stolen by Russia from DNC to direct ad spending. I would take what’s said with a huge grain of salt. It could be true, but I think this moves towards conspiracy thinking. I’d need more evidence to take this seriously. Still, it’s worth keeping in the back of one’s mind.

    3. This is worth watching.

      I always felt like Trump sounded really panicky when Clinton used the “puppet” line; it’s almost like she startles him with a true statement. That’s just speculation, though. In any event, this exchange is noteworthy in light of the recent indictments.

    4. Trump said this a year ago, and at the idea seems ill-advised at best at the time. It seems much worse given the recent indictment. Surprising that he would say this publicly as well.

  2. Trump’s Comments About the Russia Investigation

    From yesterday, July 13, 2018

    An example of Orwellian double-speak. Here, Trump is at least tacitly acknowledging that the Russians actually interfered in the election–ostensibly because it provides a way for him to criticize Obama. At other times, he denies or casts doubt on whether the Russians interfered in the election.

    Edit

    Some things others have pointed out with regard to Trump’s tweet above:

    (Trump also praised wikileaks during the campaign. Trump Jr. communicated with wikileaks via email about campaign strategy during the campaign as well.)

    Edit

    Edit

    1. Trump Calling the Press the “Enemy of the People” Again

      I also find his example of success–Russia giving him cities (Moscow or St. Petersberg)–very odd on many levels. He defines success in terms of power, status, and wealth going to himself, not in terms of enhancing U.S. interests. It adds to the authoritarian charge of the press being the enemy of the people, which I believe was a phrase that Stalin used. (See below.)

      Also, blaming the press and the Democrats seems to fit with his attempts to use resentment against both to fuel his supporters. I think Trump’s political power is based on resentment and fear—towards liberals, the press, immigrants, Muslims, etc. Trump has to continually stoke these fires.

      One other thing: The press is not always accurate, and the quality of news is not always good. Bias can contribute to the latter, including negative feelings that journalists have towards Trump. But none of this is constitutes being an “enemy of the people.” Trump could be trying to implicitly equate himself with the people, but large numbers of the people oppose him, and he lost the popular vote, so the idea is not substantive.

      Comments from others:

      Edit

      Another key aspect for Trump to maintain power is to get more people to perceive the press as untrustworthy, so he keeps pushing the “Fake News” narrative.

    2. More Sycophancy for Putin

      And he’s doing this two days after indictment, detailing the way Russian intelligence stole information and used it to influence the U.S. election.

      Dan Coast, Trump’s Director of National Intellience, also said “Today, the digital infrastructure that serves this country is literally under attack” and “…Russia the “most aggressive foreign actor, no question. And they continue their efforts to undermine our democracy.”

      Two British citizens were recently poisoned by Russian nerve agents.

      Putin has been known to kill journalists.

      Trump is meeting Putin with no U.S. advisors.

      Edit

      I didn’t see or hear Trump calling the EU a “foe,” but if he did, man. If Putin installed a puppet in the White House, how would that person differ from Trump?

      Here it is:

    3. I wonder how many are buying this narrative. Trump accused the election of being rigged before it even ended; he played coy about whether he’d accept the results if he lost; he denied Russian interference.

      Obama did mention the Russian interference, but I also think he was justified in being wary of saying or even doing more during the campaign–Trump’s comments above was one factor, as was McConnell warning that he would cry foul if Obama pushed this. Also, I do think the fact that Clinton expecting to win was a factor, but not necessarily in the way Trump claims. If Obama made a bigger deal about Russian interference and Hillary won, what’s the chances that Trump, many Republicans and the GOP would claim that Obama unfairly tipped the scales? Given their behavior, I’m almost sure they would do this, and I would guess Obama (and Comey) knew this.

    4. If the Russians hadn’t invade Ukraine and Georgia, waged information warfare, especially during 2016, hadn’t killed journalists and Putin critics, including with nerve agents and radioactive material, I think our relationship with them would be a whole lot better.

      Comments from others:

  3. Reaction to Trump’s Helsinki Press Conference with Putin

    Reactions

    Former Republican Congressman:

    1. More Reactions

      Thread. Extreme, but not unreasonable. It’s not clear if this is the best move or not. I wish it were clearer.

      I have less ambivalence about lower level officials resigning en masse–namely, they should do it. If the person below is a lower level official, they should resign.

      This person as well:

      This sounds delusional to me:

      Conversation between two political scientists about the press conference:

  4. Trump’s Attempt to “Clarify” Comments at Helsinki Press Conference

    (You can jump to 1:50 mark.)

    Trump is ostensibly supposed to show that a) he really supports and believes in the U.S. intelligence community, and b) Russia interfered with the election.

    He failed in two rather remarkable ways:

    1. While acknowledging that Russia interfered, he can’t help but add in that, “could be other people. A lot of people out there.” He’s almost literally incapable of blaming Russia or Putin. What could plausibly explain this beside Russia having some compromising material on him?

    2. Giving a silly explanation about actually intending to say “wouldn’t.” It’s a terrible explanation, and it’s worrisome if he believes it was a good one.

    Also:

    Kat Tur makes a good point: If the President misspoke, why did it take so long for his advisers to correct this?

    Edit

    Best case scenario: Not trying to burn bridges with Trump and Trump supporters. But it’s still lame.

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