Lion of the Blogosphere

The Trump Russia conspiracy theory

If Trump had a secret agreement with Putin, or other officials in the Russian government, that in exchange for hacking into Democratic emails he would do stuff to benefit Russia after he becomes President, then you’d have a good case to impeach Trump.

But that story is ludicrous and there’s absolutely no evidence for it.

That there are some people who worked for Trump who had previously had dealings with Russians is absolutely meaningless and completely non-suspicious. Russia is no longer an enemy of the United States. The Cold War ended 25 years ago. U.S. citizens are free to visit Russia and talk to Russians, just as they are free to talk to people from any other nation in the world, with the possible exception of Iran and the Islamic State.

Do liberals who are making a big deal about the Trump-Russia thing really believe that no one involved in a presidential campaign should have ever talked to anyone from another country? How would an administration ever conduct any foreign policy if no one in the administration has ever left the United States or ever talked to a foreigner?

If anyone is likely to have insufficient loyalty to the United States because he had too much contact with a foreign country, that would be Obama who spent a good part of his childhood growing up in Indonesia.

Bill Clinton was paid $500,000 for a speech he gave in Moscow. Does that mean that the Clintons are also secret Russian agents? And right-wing websites have documented additional connections between Russia and the Clintons.

On the side of who did the hacking, no one has ever presented proof that it was directed by the Russian government. As far as I can tell, because the CIA thinks that Putin doesn’t like Hillary Clinton, and because there are clues — but nothing super-definite — that the hackers are Russian, this automatically means that it was a Russian government operation.

I still consider it a likely possibility that hackers in Russia, acting independently from the Russian government, were Trump supporters because they liked him better, and they enjoyed making mischief and reading about it in the world’s newspapers.

Liberals are clearly into the Russian conspiracy because they can’t believe that Trump won the election without nefarious help. If liberals had only bothered to leave Manhattan for a day and take the ferry to Staten Island, they would have seen Trump lawn signs all over the place and realized that Trump was very popular with people who don’t live in Manhattan.

Furthermore, I don’t see much evidence that the email leak made any difference to the outcome of the election. The liberal-controlled media did a great job of ignoring it. The only people who knew much about it before the election were people who read right-wing websites, and those people were voting for Trump anyway. The announcement from Comey a week before the election, that Anthony Weiner may have had classified emails on his laptop computer, objectively had a much greater impact because it was all over the mainstream news.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 14, 2017 at 1:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

87 Responses

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  1. Excellent post, Lion. In a saner world, this would be the starting point for the mainstream media. “Yeah, it’s *possible* that Trump and the Russians XYZ, but in the absence of any compelling evidence…” Instead, story after story jumps off with “Today’s shocking new development builds on what everybody already knows, that Trump and the Russians XYZ…”

    > U.S. citizens are free to visit Russia and talk to Russians, just as they are free to talk to people from any other nation in the world, with the possible exception of Iran and the Islamic State.

    I know a number of people with family connections to Iran. Excepting the recent travel ban, the impression I get is one of relative normalcy, as far as communications, visits, and the like. (I’m sure there are issues e.g. no direct flights, visas, currency, but they don’t loom as Yuge in casual conversations.) And there are a lot of naturalized citizens and green card holders who are from that country.

    amac78

    May 14, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    • Russia is no longer an enemy of the United States. The Cold War ended 25 years ago. U.S. citizens are free to visit Russia and talk to Russians,

      Bernie the Commie went to the USSR during the cold war in the 1970s!

      Russia is still the Fake Enemy because the US military-industrial-CIA complex needs a super villain to justify their careers and contracts.

      Muslim criminals are not enough.

      The announcement from Comey a week before the election, that Anthony Weiner may have had classified emails on his laptop computer, objectively had a much greater impact because it was all over the mainstream news.

      And that is why Comey is a Great American! But I hope Michael Luttig is his replacement with John Pistole as deputy.

      The Russians just want to join the capitalist West on their own terms.

      The problem isn’t Putin its Merkel, Nato, the EU and sterile open borders White degenerates running Western Europe.

      Like these people:

      Rifleman

      May 15, 2017 at 1:16 am

      • “Russia is still the Fake Enemy because the US military-industrial-CIA complex needs a super villain to justify their careers and contracts.”

        Here is what people omit in the analysis.

        Russia is still the Real Enemy of the Ghey Industrial Complex.

        Putin forbidding gay marriage and jailing moronic Pussy Rioters is the real subcontext for all this. The Leftists have loved Russia for years. And the Tom Friedmanesque sector just loves to squee with delight at a command economy like Putin has. So what has changed now?

        The press would like to conflate the whole idea of Russian Hacking Menace to HIllary’s emails in the public perception. But that simply isnt true. The RHM had nothing at all to do with Hillary’s server and of course before the summer of 2016 the press treated it as fanciful that the her emails would ever have been targeted by hackers.

        Really all that the RHM is responsible (if it is) for is revealing the perfidy of the DNC. It seems like a gigantic leap to call the revelation of malfeasance “undermining democracy”. The interesting thing about the DNC leaks is how much scoping up money from the gay mafia drives the planning of the DNC.

        Lion of the Turambar

        May 15, 2017 at 9:45 am

      • This is already an old story. Nothing is going to change. Whatever good the “alt right” did in pointing out these outrages is being dissipated by their LARPing with the antifas and their obsession with Confederate statues.

        gothamette

        May 15, 2017 at 10:47 am

      • “Russia is still the Real Enemy of the Ghey Industrial Complex.”

        The left was pro-Soviet (for the most part) and was pro-Russia until about six years ago. Putin’s opposition to the gay rights movement and his backing of the Russian Orthodox Church have been central to the left’s turning on Russia. Putin’s annexation of Crimea and his crackdown on journalists would be forgiven by the left if he wasn’t “homophobic.”

        Lewis Medlock

        May 16, 2017 at 2:06 pm

  2. That there are some people who worked for Trump who had previously had dealings with Russians is absolutely meaningless and completely non-suspicious. Russia is no longer an enemy of the United States.

    Yes.

    Also, advisers like Manafort and Carter Page (and it’s unclear if Page even counts as an adviser) had business dealings with Russia before Trump started his campaign in 2015. If these advisers did something legally questionable with Russia before 2015 it probably involved some fault isolated to themselves, such as not reporting income on their taxes or not filing proper foreign agent forms with the State Department.

    The Undiscovered Jew

    May 14, 2017 at 1:33 pm

  3. If Trump had a secret agreement with Putin, or other officials in the Russian government, that in exchange for hacking into Democratic emails he would do stuff to benefit Russia after he becomes President, then you’d have a good case to impeach Trump.

    The vast majority of liberals I’ve talked to about this refuse to tell me just what it was they think Trump did, only that he and his staff are acting as “pawns” and “puppets” of Vladimir Putin and that “we need to find out.” They have never articulated anything as concrete as the scenario you’ve presented.

    It is surprising to see educated, respected members of the community lower themselves to this level. They have no idea what Trump did and no evidence that he did it, but they’re convinced that impeachment proceedings are just around the corner. Trump’s election has confirmed to me that liberals always, in every situation, put their politics above keeping the peace and staying on good terms with others. Without hesitation, they bring up this subject at the most inappropriate times and become hostile and irrational when someone disagrees with them.

    Stealth

    May 14, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    • Trump is a direct threat to the status of nice white upper middle class liberals. His presidency seeks to lower their status and raise the status of the white middle and working classes. That’s why the left is screaming like banshees.

      Andrew E.

      May 14, 2017 at 10:45 pm

      • The left and much of the mainstream right believe that Trump is a threat to the ruling ethos of the U.S. Unfortunately they’re probably wrong.

        Lewis Medlock

        May 16, 2017 at 2:14 pm

  4. Here is the smoke I see with Trump/Russia:

    1. Trump is heavily involved with Russian banks, but because Trump refuses to release his finances we don’t know how much financial leverage the Russians have over him.

    2. Trump hired Russian mafia fixer Paul Manafort to run his campaign for a time, and Manafort saw to it that the Republican party platform was changed to be more accommodating to Russian annexation of the Ukraine. That was the only part of the platform that the Trump campaign touched.

    3. Trump refuses to ever criticize Putin and always starts using moral equivalence bad things about the Putin regime get brought up.

    4. Sessions and Kushner both failed to properly disclose contacts they have had with the Russians.

    5. It is well known that Russia provides propaganda and even financial support to far right movements all over Europe, and it is likewise well known that Russia strongly desired a Trump victory and their were celebrations in the Russian parliament when Trump won.

    That being said, apparently Comey has testified beyond closed doors that neither Trump nor his closest associates is being investigated for colluding with Russia visa vi the election. So that settles that.

    Otis the Sweaty

    May 14, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    • “It is well known that Russia provides propaganda and even financial support to far right movements all over Europe.”

      What happened to the old days when Russia provided propaganda and financial support to far-left movements? (But you were called a paranoid “red baiter” McCarthyite if you ever brought it up.)

      • 1. What happened? The cold war ended. The Soviet Union cracked up, leaving gigantic Russia as the most important constituent of the Russian Federation, which is a black sinkhole of corruption.

        2. Paranoid red baiter – Well, a lot of them were paranoid Red Baiters, Lion. They saw Reds in their soup, the way the Jew-haters see us (and there was a lot of overlap, as now). But there were grains of truth in the mix. Alger Hiss really had been a Commie, and really had been a Commie spy. And it’s also the case that Russia does Otis’s #5. And that these movements have some genuine grievances, but that they are also made up of thugs. Please get real about this.

        3. Heard about the LARPing in Richmond?

        gothamette

        May 14, 2017 at 3:13 pm

      • Gothamette,

        The “grains of truth” were the size of boulders. The Democrat Party since Roosevelt was neck deep in Soviet agents. See the Venona Decrypts for the extent of Soviet infiltration of the Democrat Party.

        In fact, I would not be surprised if the entire Democrat Party is basically a rogue KGB operation that decoupled from the Soviets when the Soviets collapsed.

        map

        May 14, 2017 at 5:06 pm

      • “(But you were called a paranoid “red baiter” McCarthyite if you ever brought it up.)”

        Moldbug says America is and always has been controlled by a Puritan Universalist cult that helped put the Soviets in power and helped keep them there. This cult will engage in fake wars with Leftist states (USSR) but seeks to destroy any state to the Cult’s political right.

        Curle

        May 14, 2017 at 9:38 pm

      • Russia still provides financial support to the far-left. Russia certainly supported Jill Stein, and probably provided covert assistance to Sanders supporters. Russia Today gives air time to far left whackos and also takes far left positions on issues like shale oil drilling. Russia has no vested interest in Trump or anyone, they just want to sow chaos and dissension in the US.

        Peter Akuleyev

        May 15, 2017 at 2:37 am

      • Moldbug is a whacko. A better read is Colin Woodard, author of AMERICAN NATIONS. The Puritans run things because they’re smart and good businessmen. Oh Jesus, I sound like an anti-Semite talking about Jews!!!, LOL.

        “In fact, I would not be surprised if the entire Democrat Party is basically a rogue KGB operation that decoupled from the Soviets when the Soviets collapsed.”

        Jesus. Would you read some history, or am I shouting at the wind? Read about the Democrat/Copperhead party during the Civil War. So when did this party become taken over by the Rooshanz?

        gothamette

        May 15, 2017 at 10:50 am

      • “So when did this party become taken over by the Rooshanz?”

        The FDR administration which was top to bottom communists. Whether they were Soviet agents or fellow travelers depended on the individual.

        Steve Johnson

        May 16, 2017 at 12:13 am

    • Trump is heavily involved with Russian banks

      Huh?? You sound like a deranged liberal.

      Andrew E.

      May 14, 2017 at 6:19 pm

      • Trump’s involvement with Russians is extremely minor relative to the size of his company and his much greater involvement with many other foreign countries including Israel, Indonesia, Canada, Turkey, Dubai, Panama, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, the Philippines, India, Uruguay and Brazil.

  5. Way OT, Lion, and possibly inappropriate for that reason, but since you’ve blogged about cameras before…

    I just bought a Sony mirrorless camera so I could make good photos and videos without having two devices (P&S and camcorder), but both the auto-mode photos and the videos aren’t worth a damn. Both are really awful, as a matter of fact.

    Time to put it on Ebay?

    Stealth

    May 14, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    • The Sony “Alpha” cameras are good cameras, if the pictures are bad it’s because you don’t know how to use it.

      • “because you don’t know how to use it.”

        Ebay it is.

        Stealth

        May 14, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    • It’s been a long time since my last Sony camera, but I have the Hasselblad X1d, which has a Sony sensor. Except for the biggest size, the sensor has the same capabilities (in terms of dynamic range, etc) and it blows my Canon 5dsr out of the water in terms of IQ. I’m sure Sony is top notch. Just learn how to use it

      Zack

      May 14, 2017 at 8:06 pm

  6. If he’s so embarrassed by the Russian hacking and the fact that it may have swung a close election to his favor that he covers it up and prevents the FBI from investigating it that’s pretty bad.

    Magnavox

    May 14, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    • Investigate what? It’s more like a witch hunt than an investigation.

      • The investigation doesn’t have to be real to make real damage and put pressure on Trump in many ways

        Zack

        May 14, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    • In the real world, an investigation is used to dig up dirt, harass and derail an administration’s agenda. This is nothing more than a partisan attempt to undermine Trump’s administration.

      Investigations are not benign, well-intentioned affairs. When Comey investigated Martha Stewart for insider trading she was cleared of that charge but still convicted of obstruction. Arthur Anderson was bankrupted by a malicious special prosecutor over something they didn’t even do.

      destructure

      May 14, 2017 at 3:27 pm

      • Yeah and the republicans did all sorts of congressional investigations of Clinton and Obama. The Lewinsky scandal and impeachment came out of white water. I don’t know whether the FBI was involved in any of those investigations but I’m sure republicans would have gotten the FBI involved if they could of.

        I would like a more friendly relationship with Russia and less exploitative relationships with our so called allies, but we really can’t tolerate Russia illegally influencing our election. And it’s also masterful politics on the the part of the Democrats because it drives a wedge between Trump and so much of the GOP.

        Magnavox

        May 14, 2017 at 5:02 pm

      • “we really can’t tolerate Russia illegally influencing our election”

        So it’s OK if they spy on us, as long as they don’t let American citizens know what secrets were stolen. Because that crosses some kind of line.

      • Excellent point. When the federal law enforcement machine gets rolling it generally doesn’t stop until they get somebody for something. That is what is so terribly dangerous about this whole mad thing.

        Two in the Bush

        May 14, 2017 at 8:22 pm

      • but we really can’t tolerate Russia illegally influencing our election

        VP Henry Wallace was effectively a Soviet agent. FDR knew exactly what Alger Hiss was doing which is why Hiss wasn’t really a traitor. Wilson pulled the rug out from underneath the Whites to give the win to the Bolsheviks. And then there’s sketchy Armand Hammer.

        The USSR was a partial US client for its entire history and now, when Russia starts leaning reactionary, we get concerned? Moldbug is right, the US is run by a Puritan universalist cult.

        Curle

        May 14, 2017 at 9:24 pm

      • So it’s OK if they spy on us, as long as they don’t let American citizens know what secrets were stolen. Because that crosses some kind of line.

        We tacitly accept that all sorts of countries spy on us and they accept that we spy on them. So allowing Russia to do that is holding them to the same standards as everyone else. The hacking the emails and releasing them (which I’m not saying Russia definitely did) is not comparable to anything other countries have done.

        Magnavox

        May 14, 2017 at 9:49 pm

      • Right, RELEASING the stolen information to the world so that it can be free and American citizens can know what their own country’s leaders are doing crosses some kind of sinister and evil line, but as long as only the KGB (or its successor) has access to the stolen information, no problem!

      • It’s not no problem but it’s something where you could legitimately argue that Russia is being unfairly targeted if we all of a sudden made a big deal out of it.

        You need to be honest with yourself and recognize that you’re reaction would be totally different if this was done against the candidate you supported.

        Magnavox

        May 14, 2017 at 11:57 pm

      • The release of the emails to wikileaks had no effect on the election because the media did not advertise what was stolen and it provided no coverage of the material contained.

        How many people do you know who actually bothered to read anything about Podesta and then made a decision about whom to vote for?

        map

        May 15, 2017 at 2:33 am

      • “The Lewinsky scandal and impeachment came out of white water.”

        Whitewater was a legitimate investigation. This isn’t.

        “but we really can’t tolerate Russia illegally influencing our election.”

        Whoever released the emails didn’t illegally influence our election anymore than Mark Felt aka “Deepthroat” did. In both cases, they simply released valid but compromising information to the public. Personally, I think whoever released those emails did America a service. They could have sat on them and used them to blackmail her. Instead, they told American how crooked she was.

        “And it’s also masterful politics on the the part of the Democrats because it drives a wedge between Trump and so much of the GOP.”

        No. It actually makes the GOP base less hostile to Russia. If you don’t understand that then you don’t understand human nature.

        destructure

        May 15, 2017 at 11:31 am

    • If wishes were horses…..

      gda

      May 15, 2017 at 2:08 am

    • The issue is not really Russian hacking, it is that Trump is embarassed how dependent he is on foreign capital to finance his failing businesses.

      Peter Akuleyev

      May 15, 2017 at 2:39 am

  7. Excellent post Lion. There is a deliberate effort by the anti Trump crowd, including the media, to conflate Russian government officials, Russian businessman, Russian hackers, etc., referring to them all as “The Russians”. Any and all contact ever between Trump people and anything Russian can then be put forward as evidence of conspiracy warranting investigation.

    Steve@steve.com

    May 14, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    • Remember back in the day when being friendly with the USSR was the best and most important thing ever? Me neither.

      Vinvent

      May 15, 2017 at 12:20 am

  8. Strangely enough, we hear nothing about Mexican “hacking” or meddling in our elections, which actually goes on. What do you think all those dozens of consulates are for? Not to mention that the New York Times, the newspaper of record as it is called, is controlled by the richest man in Mexico, who undoubtedly has the Mexican president’s ear and certainly has an agenda.

    So let’s review: Ted Kennedy asking the USSR to help unseat Reagan in 1984, no problem. Corrupt Dems and GOPe types look the other way while Mexico meddles in multiple US elections, that’s OK too. Trump unexpectedly defeats Clinton, and the sky is falling.

    Sgt. Joe Friday

    May 14, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    • That is probably because most Americans don’t realize that Mexico actually has a significant population of highly educated people capable of manipulating elections. Most people hear “Mexican hacking” and think of a couple of cholos chopping up a stolen car. In this case negative stereotypes about Mexicans play into their favor. Russia has the opposite problem. For 70 years the right wing was telling us that Russians are an almost omnipotent malevolent force capable of turning children into gay atheists and secretly controlling the Democratic Party. It isn’t hard to resurrect those latent fears to turn them against Trump.

      Peter Akuleyev

      May 15, 2017 at 2:45 am

  9. Just for the sake of context, realize that “Slick” William Jefferson Clinton fired the FBI director in the midst of the Whitewater investigation the day before Vince Foster was found dead in Fort Marcy Park.

    Two in the Bush

    May 14, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    • And was the FBI actually involved int the white water investigations when that happened? Not from what I’ve read.

      Magnavox

      May 14, 2017 at 11:59 pm

      • I thought they were, but maybe it was just the SEC. It was definitely before Ken Starr was appointed.

        Two in the Bush

        May 15, 2017 at 8:12 am

  10. There are a number of academics who vote Democrat but think the USSR was an utter human rights catastrophe. You have to wonder if they’ll start winking and nudging that, hey, you know, Putin wasn’t the first Russian to try to affect U.S. policy by playing with our politics!

    Sid

    May 14, 2017 at 10:27 pm

  11. While this whole issue has been dragging on for at least six months now, I have yet to read an allegation regarding a specific form this “hacking” took. Was there any interference with the vote count through software viruses, for example? If nothing concrete, then there’s nothing to see here, and it’s just the media that won’t let go because their preferred candidate blew it.

    sestamibi

    May 14, 2017 at 11:21 pm

  12. I think you have just created straw man arguments.

    It was clear that Putin supported Trump before the election. Russian media in Russia wrote positive stories about Trump and negative stories about his opponents. The positive press for Trump continued after the election and inauguration. The positive stories on Trump in the Russian press ended the day after Flynn was fired. There were a number of people that reported an order had come from the Kremlin to tone down the coverage of Trump.

    That timing is suspicious, but does not prove anything. Flynn was an early member of the Trump campaign and was almost Trump’s whole foreign policy team for most of the campaign. Were the Russians expecting Flynn to steer Trump’s foreign policy to their favor and decided after he was fired that was no longer possible? Flynn was paid $500,000 by a Turkish business man with Russian ties for some consulting work, was that really a bribe from the Russians?

    Paul Manafort is another suspicious figure. He had worked as a political consultant for Russian and other Eastern European Oligarchs. It is known the Manafort was paid millions of dollars for this work. The money was laundered through banks in Cyprus and Manafort bought real estate in NYC for cash, probably with those funds. Manafort worked as Trump’s campaign manager for no salary. Manafort is just not the kind of guy that works for nothing. People are suspicious that Manafort was being secretly paid by some Russian Oligarch for his work on the Trump campaign.

    Roger Stone is another suspicious figure in the Trump campaign. Stone claimed to have exchanged messages with the DNC hacker, Guccifer 2.0, and established a back-channel with Julian Assange to obtain information on Hillary Clinton. There are some people that claim that Stone appeared to have advanced knowledge about releases of hacked DNC material.

    These Trump campaign figures are probably the main targets of the Russia probe. It certainly appears that some of Flynn’s behavior was illegal (lying to the FBI, failing to disclose large payments from foreign sources). Manafort behavior looks suspicious. It seems worth investigating if Manafort was being paid by someone else to work on the Trump campaign. Roger Stone has always been a bit sketchy.

    What was Trump aware of? Who knows. It is perfectly plausible that Trump is so self-centered that he never realized what these people were doing during his campaign. The strongest indication that Trump did know is his firing of the FBI director in a desperate attempt to shut down the FBI investigation of these campaign. figures. If Trump was totally innocent, he would not care what the investigation showed.

    mikeca

    May 14, 2017 at 11:31 pm

    • “Suspicious” like the Vince Foster suicide?

      • Vince Foster in his resignation letter/suicide note said “I was not meant for the job or the spotlight of public life in Washington. Here ruining people is considered sport.”

        Vince Foster came to Washington from Arkansas to work with the Clintons. He was overwhelmed by how opponents spun mistakes that he made into scandals. He felt that he had failed the Clintons and in his depression committed suicide.

        There were six official investigations of Vince Foster’s death. They all concluded he committed suicide. Kenneth Starr, the White Water Independent Counsel, wrote a 137 page report on Vince Foster’s death that concluded he committed suicide. Bill Clinton never fired anyone to try to stop any of these investigations.

        Vince Foster was driven to suicide by how conspiracy theorist could turn minor screw ups into scandals. Those same conspiracy theorist then turned Vince Foster suicide into a scandal.

        Vince Foster’s death has been investigated over and over. The conclusion is always the same. I think it is time to let Vince Foster rest in peace.

        mikeca

        May 15, 2017 at 10:18 am

      • The Vince Foster suicide was investigated and exploited for political purposes, exactly what you’re objecting to in regards to the Russia ties.

        Magnavox

        May 15, 2017 at 10:44 am

      • It was clear that Putin supported Trump before the election.

        That isn’t illegal.

        That timing is suspicious, but does not prove anything.

        Not only does that not prove anything (the first honest thing you’ve said about this non issue) but you can’t even come up with a convincing connection towards how any of this amounts to illegal activity on Trump’s part.

        Flynn was paid $500,000 by a Turkish business man with Russian ties for some consulting work, was that really a bribe from the Russians?

        What was illegal about taking $500,000 from this Turk aside from the tax reporting issues?

        Paul Manafort is another suspicious figure. He had worked as a political consultant for Russian and other Eastern European Oligarchs.

        Manafort did work in Eastern Europe years BEFORE Trump ran for President in 2015. If his political relations involved anything legally questionable, it would have NOTHING to do with Trump since no one, including Manafort, could have known Trump would be poised to win the 2016 GOP nomination when Manafort was active in Eastern Europe.

        The reason Manafort was brought on to the campaign for a few months was because he is one of the only Republican consultants in the country to have experience handling a contested convention (the ’76 nomination floor fight between Ford and Reagan).

        There are some people that claim that Stone appeared to have advanced knowledge about releases of hacked DNC material.

        No different than mainstream press leaking information from hacked emails.

        What was Trump aware of? Who knows.

        If you don’t have proof the Trump campaign committed some sort of crime (indirect contacts his advisers had with Russians is not illegal) then the investigation should be closed.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        May 15, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    • If Trump was totally innocent, he would not care what the investigation showed.

      This shows a real misunderstanding of human behavior. If he was totally unaware the people he hired were Russian agents that makes him look terrible. Even if there was no collusion with his campaign, if Russia illegally helped him win the election that makes him look really bad.

      Magnavox

      May 15, 2017 at 10:49 am

    • This is all a big nothing.

      Again, Turkey and Russia are not enemies. It is not illegal to do business with these nations. It is not even required to be a registered foreign agent when representing these countries. So, what is the big deal?

      The problem with the DNC emails is not that they were hacked. It is that they revealed exactly what Hillary was like and what a destructive and unfit candidate she was. That information was extremely important for Americans to know, especially if transparency is valued.

      The Democrat Party argues like a woman in these matters. A man discovers his wife is having an affair by perusing text messages on her phone. She immediately turns it around and complains about him violating her privacy.

      map

      May 15, 2017 at 1:31 pm

  13. In terms of parsimony, it’s more likely the Russians would just aid Trump’s chances of electoral victory rather than risk collaboration. The payoff for collaboration is that they could try to blackmail the president, but actually releasing such information would hurt them even more, a kind of mutually assured destruction. Trump’s probably innocent on this front, but he’s so stupid and impulsive that he insists on behaving as though he’s guilty. Sad!

    Vince

    May 15, 2017 at 2:11 am

  14. Trump’s real issue is that he has demonstrable connections to Russian organized crime and people like Felix Sater. This has been obvious for years and is hardly a “conspiracy theory”. The fact that most of Trump’s known Russian connections are Jewish makes the story problematic both for the “Trump is a Nazi” left wing and the “Trump is a white nationalist” useful idiots on the right.

    Trump also seems to genuinely respect and admire Putin, which shows a terrific lack of judgement on Trump’s part and is arguably an anti-American and disturbing attitude to have towards a murderous thug who has wrecked his own country’s manufacturing base and whose stated aim is to undermine US global influence. But if the American people want to elect an anti-democratic, wanna-be gangster who enjoys hanging out with gangsters that is their God given right.

    Trump is also clearly in impeachment territory for violating the emoluments clause but almost no one seems to care. Thus the Dems resort to “election hacking” claims, which are far more emotional.

    Peter Akuleyev

    May 15, 2017 at 3:07 am

    • you are delusional. emoluments..mobsters…Trump’s inner thoughts about Putin

      Andrew E.

      May 15, 2017 at 9:36 am

    • Peter,

      It sure is nice to have the internet.

      Emoluments Clause:

      “No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.
      History[edit]”

      Lawrence Tribe must think that nobody has access to the internet and thus can’t look up what this clause actually is.

      And exactly how is Trump in violation of this clause? In fact, how is Hillary Clinton not in violation of this clause when her husband’s charity was getting donations from foreign governments on her watch? Or Barack Obama’s payoffs after leaving office? Half the sitting Congress if probably in violation of this clause.

      What Trump really needs to do is change the funding of universities, push for price controls on tuition and allow students to discharge their student loans in bankruptcy. He should also make it illegal for companies to require a college degree for a job when there is no demonstrable need for a college degree. This will drain the swamp in which frogs like Lawrence Tribe live. It is also time to start applying EEOC rules to big tech companies. I’m not seeing a lot of women and minorities at Apple and Google.

      Tribe should realize that impeachment is a political act, which means the matter is up to Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell.

      Time to stop listening to this bull-sh*tter.

      map

      May 15, 2017 at 1:48 pm

      • Why do you think demonstrating Hilary’s guilt makes Trump innocent? Throw them both and Obama in jail. Fine with me. The corruption at the top is really out of control, pretty soon we will just have Presidents auctioning off political offices.

        Peter Akuleyev

        May 16, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    • Trump’s real issue is that he has demonstrable connections to Russian organized crime and people like Felix Sater.

      Russian oligarchs have been buying up Western real estate for decades, especially in New York and London. If Trump made real estate deals with wealthy Russians that would just be normal international business for someone like Trump who has operations across the globe.

      The Undiscovered Jew

      May 15, 2017 at 7:08 pm

      • Sure. That’s why we should avoid electing real estate magnates to political office. It is one of the least ethical and most corrupt businesses around. Trump has ties to all sorts of unsavory people in Russia, Saudi, China, on and on. He is certainly less compromised, than say, the Reuben brothers, but still an odd choice to lead the country.

        Peter Akuleyev

        May 16, 2017 at 12:46 pm

      • That’s why we should avoid electing real estate magnates to political office. It is one of the least ethical and most corrupt businesses around. Trump has ties to all sorts of unsavory people in Russia, Saudi, China, on and on. He is certainly less compromised, than say, the Reuben brothers, but still an odd choice to lead the country.

        Fair enough point about real estate developers generally speaking.

        But Trump wasn’t exactly elected under normal circumstances. I wouldn’t worry about real estate mogul Presidents becoming a long term trend after Trump’s second term.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        May 16, 2017 at 7:31 pm

  15. “Russia is no longer an enemy of the United States. The Cold War ended 25 years ago. U.S. citizens are free to visit Russia and talk to Russians, just as they are free to talk to people from any other nation in the world, with the possible exception of Iran and the Islamic State.”

    Russia is no longer the same threat is was 25 years ago. Putin has transformed Russia into an authoritarian state. He promotes himself as the savior of white Christianity and morality. He has used the power of the state to jail many of his political opponents and the ones he has not jailed frequently end up dead.

    When Georgia proposed to join NATO in 2008, Putin had the Russian army invade South Ossetia and Abkhazia and detach them from Georgia. Georgia dropped talk of joining NATO. Likewise when Ukraine overthrew the pro-Russian president and declare its intention to join NATO, Putin invaded Crimea and annexed it to Russia. He also sent Russian military personnel and equipment to create a rebellion in Eastern Ukraine. Putin has repeatedly threatened the Baltic Republics that are NATO members on the Russian border.

    Now Republicans seem to admire Putin’s authoritarian ways. Donald Trump would like to use the same kind of authoritarian policies in the USA. He is trying to promote the concept that loyalty to the USA means personal loyalty to Trump. The USA government is designed with lots of checks and balances to prevent this kind of authoritarian take over of the government, but Trump is trying to just blow up those checks and balances. The Comey firing is part of Trump’s effort to destroy the check and balances the have prevented authoritarian one man rule in the USA for the last 200+ years.

    mikeca

    May 15, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    • Clinton also fired his FBI director.

      • When Bill Clinton took office the out going Bush Attorney General and Justice Department presented a report that the FBI director had misused government resources for person purposes, such as using FBI planes for visits with his family. The Clinton Justice Department pressured him to resign, but he refused Bill Clinton then fired him.

        There was an ongoing investigation of Comey’s behavior in the Hillary Clinton investigation, but Trump did not wait for that investigation to finish.

        mikeca

        May 15, 2017 at 5:09 pm

      • Whatever. There are hundreds of executive-level government employees that the President is lawfully allowed to fire for any reason he wants, and the FBI Director is one of them. Previous Democratic presidents have also replaced a lot of people with their own appointees.

      • Donald Trump would like to use the same kind of authoritarian policies in the USA.

        Corrupt authoritarian tendencies such as Hillary pressuring James Comey to not indict her for illegally storing classified information on her computer?

        The Undiscovered Jew

        May 15, 2017 at 7:09 pm

      • Previous Democratic presidents have also replaced a lot of people with their own appointees.

        If Clinton had won she would have fired Comey the day she was sworn in and no Democrat would have complained since they hated him for reopening the server investigation a week before the election.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        May 15, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    • Moron, checks and balances refer always and only to the three branches of the federal government. The FBI and the President are both part of the SAME branch so ‘checks and balances’ is meaningless. High school civics 101.

      Andrew E.

      May 15, 2017 at 2:41 pm

      • Congress established the current maximum 10 year term for the FBI director in large part because of the abuses of J. Edgar Hoover who was director from 1935 until in died in 1972. In the wake of Watergate it was revealed the Hoover had extensively used illegal wire taps and other methods to create an extensive collection of black mail material on almost every political figure. He use that black mail material to stay FBI director until he died. After this revelation Congress decided that FBI directors should not be allowed to serve for more than 10 years and should be approved by the Senate. (Note: Obama asked Congress to allow then director Mueller to stay on for 2 years after the 10 year term and Congress approved).

        In the US system there is really nothing to stop the president from ordering the FBI to arrest all members of Congress on some fabricated charge. The president could also order the arrest of any member of the press that challenged the WH. Courts might resist keeping these people in jail, but the President could order the arrest of any judges and appoint judges that would do whatever the president asked. Congress might try to impeach the president, but the president could probably arrest all member of Congress faster than they could remove him from office.

        The only thing that really prevents this is tradition. By tradition the law enforcement arm of the executive branch is suppose to be independent. That is not written in the Constitution, but it a understood traditional norm. The Justice Department is suppose to tell the president that what he wants to do is illegal or inappropriate.

        When Sally Yates was confirmed by the Senate as an Obama appointment she was asked by the Republican member of the committee at her hearing: if the president orders you to do something you think is illegal will you refuse to do it. She said she would refuse to do anything she thought was illegal. When she refused to enforce the Muslim travel ban because she thought it was illegal, Republicans were not happy, but she was just doing what she had promised Republicans she would do.

        If you blow up the norm that the Justice Department must act independently and not just take orders from the president, then nothing stands in the way of the president simply arresting all member of Congress and all the judges and doing what ever he pleases.

        mikeca

        May 15, 2017 at 5:00 pm

      • The Constitution prevents arrests without a warrant. Not tradition.

      • You’re just being absurd. Whatever, you should be scared. A real FBI Director will stop sitting on investigations that have been stonewalled and the indictments will come pouring in.

        Andrew E.

        May 15, 2017 at 5:22 pm

      • In the US system there is really nothing to stop the president from ordering the FBI to arrest all members of Congress on some fabricated charge.

        But after Hillary lost Mikeca said Comey should be fired.

        If she had won you would be cheering her when Clinton fired Comey on the first day of her administration for threatening her campaign by reopening the server investigation one week before election day.

        You hypocrite.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        May 15, 2017 at 7:11 pm

      • mikeca,

        What you are writing is not reality.

        In reality, Democrats have seeded so much of the government with their allies and fellow travelers that any form of constitutional checks and balances and “tradition” is largely lost whenever some Democrat is caught with any wrongdoing. Witness James Comey refusing to have Hillary Clinton arrested on charges that would have put anyone else under arrest, under the theory that Loretta Lynch would not have pressed charges against Clinton. Witness judges making up laws willy nilly to thwart the legal application of the President’s constitutional powers, like declaring that Muslims have the right to be in America simply because they want to be in America.

        Exactly who do you think you are fooling?

        We’ve been living under a left-wing tyranny for at least 50 years. The incompetence and arrogance of this leftist system is finally seeing some enormous pushback and we’re supposed to derail it to maintain “tradition,” something Democrats never seem to bother with before.

        I would have no problem if a partisan Trump FBI director had leftists judges and leftists members of Congress arrested. That would be a good thing. It would prevent them from sicing IRS agents on you for simply starting a Tea Party…or did you forget about that?

        Sorry…the “parade of horribles” argument simply doesn’t fly.

        map

        May 15, 2017 at 8:06 pm

      • “The Constitution prevents arrests without a warrant. Not tradition.”

        A person can also be arrested on probably cause but cannot be held more than 24 hr unless they are brought before a judge for hearing at which the government must show probable cause.

        The president appoints the judges. The president would only need to find one judge to approve warrants for the arrest of Congress. The Congress would then be in extended recess and the president could have all non-co-operating judges arrested.

        I’m not suggesting anything like this is likely, but there is nothing in the constitution that prevents the law enforcement branches from being used this way except for the courts. Trump is laying the ground work for an attack on the courts as well with his criticism of court rulings.

        It is only tradition and norms that grant the FBI and other enforcement organization some measure of independence from political interference. Trump is trying to blow up those traditions and norms.

        mikeca

        May 15, 2017 at 8:06 pm

      • “Witness James Comey refusing to have Hillary Clinton arrested on charges that would have put anyone else under arrest, ”

        You mean like Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice? They both had classified email in their gmail/AOL mail accounts.

        “We’ve been living under a left-wing tyranny for at least 50 years.”

        So Ronald Regan was a left-wing tyrant?

        “It would prevent them from sicing IRS agents on you for simply starting a Tea Party…or did you forget about that?”

        I never forgot about that, because it didn’t happen.

        What actually happened is that the IRS selected some political groups applying for 501c4 status for extra scrutiny. The selection criteria used keyword based and targeted both right and left leaning groups. Republicans claim a higher percentage of right leaning groups were targeted but Democrats dispute that. There were far more right leaning groups applying than left leaning ones. No right leaning groups were turned down for 501c4 status, but a couple of left leaning groups were turned down. It is not necessary for the IRS to approve a 501c4 application for a group to start raising and spending money. The worse that can happen is the 501c4 application is turned down, the organization will be forced to reveal its donors.

        The truth is that none of these organization should be given 501c4 status. The IRS was looking for some kind of non-partisan criterion for deciding which to deny. After this scandal, the IRS is now afraid to deny almost any group 501c4 status.

        mikeca

        May 15, 2017 at 11:16 pm

      • “But after Hillary lost Mikeca said Comey should be fired.”

        I never said that.

        mikeca

        May 15, 2017 at 11:22 pm

      • I never said that.

        Sure you did.

        Why is it that you are ok with a President Hillary firing Comey but not a President Trump firing Comey?

        The Undiscovered Jew

        May 15, 2017 at 11:58 pm

      • Mikeca,

        “You mean like Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice? They both had classified email in their gmail/AOL mail accounts.”

        I would be perfectly ok with Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice going to jail for that…except they did not have such classified material in their emails. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton has an entire server set up to re-route mail traffic outside of the State Department network.

        Think about it…if the Powell/Rice email issue were actually true, do you think the liberal media would not have pounced to get rid of these two and wound the Bush administration? Remember when Bush was Hitler?

        “So Ronald Regan was a left-wing tyrant?”

        Reagan was an acceptable branch of the Overton window…nothing more. The Overton window is oppression.

        “What actually happened is that the IRS selected some political groups applying for 501c4 status for extra scrutiny.”

        Riiighhhttt…extra scrutiny…in the crucial months of an election…delaying just enough to thwart fund-raising and messaging. And they just…happened…to do this…you know, just suddenly deciding to be thorough.

        “The worse that can happen is the 501c4 application is turned down, the organization will be forced to reveal its donors.”

        And there is the rub…the donors are revealed and the IRS can target them…I’m sure they would use keyword criteria like “Romney,” “Tea Party,” “Conservative.”

        Right?

        map

        May 16, 2017 at 1:00 am

      • “I would be perfectly ok with Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice going to jail for that…except they did not have such classified material in their emails.”

        Ok, this article only Colin Powell and Condeleeza Rice’s aids.

        “Riiighhhttt…extra scrutiny…in the crucial months of an election…delaying just enough to thwart fund-raising and messaging.”

        A 501c4 is suppose to be a charitable social welfare organization, not a political fund raising and messaging organization. The fact that theses groups consider the election so crucial clearly indicates they were not charitable social welfare organization.

        “And there is the rub…the donors are revealed and the IRS can target them…”

        If you donate money to political campaigns or political parties, the donations become public record. These organizations are simply trying to create more dark money to fund political campaigns.

        Oh, and there is absolutely zero evidence of the IRS targeting people for political donations.

        mikeca

        May 16, 2017 at 9:20 am

    • Suddenly, Democrats are all concerned about checks and balances and states’ rights…concerns they never had when Obama was ruling by executive order.

      Their dream of a left-wing totalitarian state has been put on hold so now they are grasping at straws.

      map

      May 15, 2017 at 7:50 pm

      • Obama could have fired Comey for his investigation of Hillary Clinton, but he did not. As far as we know, he never even considered it.

        mikeca

        May 16, 2017 at 9:32 am

  16. “Do liberals who are making a big deal about the Trump-Russia thing really believe that no one involved in a presidential campaign should have ever talked to anyone from another country?”

    They do now. Get it?

    Vincent

    May 16, 2017 at 1:29 am

  17. This isn’t anything groundbreaking in this article. It just summarizes what we should all know from common sense. And sometimes that’s worth doing.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/loose-lips-sink-presidencies-1494977056

    I know leftists, msm, etc are out to undermine Trump’s agenda at best and overturn a democratically elected president at worst. They’ve shown they’ll lie, cheat, smear and incite riots to do it. Deep state have demonstrated they think they’re above the law with criminal leaks. And of course the RINOs and TruCon trash ever wanted him in the first place. So I don’t consider any of them to have ant credibility. I discount everything they say as part and parcel of a politically motivated smear campaign.

    HOWEVER, I’m losing patience with Trump’s undisciplined shit show. Don’t misunderstand. I don’t blame him for the mud being slung at him. It was expected and only makes me despise them all the more. But I’m fed up with him pouring gas on the fire and giving his enemies (our enemies) ammunition. He needs to shut the hell up, get his shit together and focus on his agenda. Doing that will require hm to act presidential, plug the leaks in his own administration and hire an FBI director who will investigate and purge the deep state leaks. And he can’t do that if he spends all his time strutting around, running his mouth and throwing tantrums. His fate is still up to him not his detractors. But I believe he’s nearing a point where, if he doesn’t cut it out, it will no longer be up to him. And that’s frustrating.

    destructure

    May 17, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    • I agree most of Trump’s problems are self-inflicted. Of course he has critics attacking him, but he keeps giving his critics more and more material to use.

      Trump is going to Saudi Arabia this weekend and is planning to give a speech on Islam. Think about that. Trump, who proposed a complete travel ban on all Muslims entering the US during his campaign, is going to give a speech on Islam in Saudi Arabia.

      If you think that is sketchy, it gets worse. The speech is being written by the 31 year old, Islamophobe Stephen Miller, most famous as the author of Trump’s travel ban. I mean what could possibly go wrong with two world famous Islamophobes working together on speech about Islam to be given in Saudi Arabia, the guardian of Islam’s most holy site.

      I plan to fill up all my cars with gasoline this weekend just in case the price jumps up to $10 a gallon after Trump’s speech.

      mikeca

      May 17, 2017 at 10:52 pm

  18. Anyone remember back in the spring of 2016 when a lot of old school Republicans were claiming that Trump was a RINO Clinton plant sent to destroy the GOP? Maybe they were right after all…

    Peter Akuleyev

    May 18, 2017 at 4:14 am

  19. […] That aside, American citizens are free to visit Russia and talk to Russians, including Russian government employees, just as free as we are to talk to Australians, Brazilians, or Cambodians. As the Lion said on his blog: […]


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