Category Archives: Trump & Russia

Putin: World Class Troll

Overshadowed by the appointment yesterday of a Department of Justice special counsel 1 2 to look into the 2016 Trump presidential campaign’s (putative) ties to Russia was the following bit of world class trolling by Putin:

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday he would be willing to provide the U.S. Congress a record of President Trump’s meeting with top Russian envoys, bringing scoffs on Capitol Hill that the Kremlin could help shed light on the disclosures of reportedly highly classified intelligence.

The provocative offer for the Kremlin to share evidence with U.S. oversight committees about the Oval Office meeting came with the caveat that the request for the transcript would have to come from the Trump administration.

Presenting a transcript is the Kremlin’s latest gambit in denying that Trump shared classified secrets last week with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russia’s ambassador to the United States during an Oval Office meeting.

But the tactic may have more to do with attempts to sow further chaos in Washington than assuage suspicions about the talks.

Say what you will about Putin, but the only way he could have slagged OMP any harder would been have to have tweeted the offer…

Putin: World Class Troll

Show 2 footnotes

  1. Seriously overdue, but…I’d feel better with an independent counsel; the Deputy AG may be in the acting-AG position because he is beholden to Trump. Yeah, right – go figure! And ultimately the acting-AG is the one that will receive Mueller’s final report, and then make recommendations about consequences…if any. Moreover, we, the public, may never learn of the special counsel’s findings – there’s no law that says the report must be made public. I hate to be so cynical as to suggest this appointment is merely window dressing, but look at what has happened since OMP took office; to my mind, I’m not being cynical enough.
  2. In fact! There is a deeply dark cynicism still at work, niggling at a portion of my brain, whispering “The whole election was a set-up!; none of the standard GOP candidates, much less Mike Pence, had anywhere near a shot at beating Clinton. So the ReThugs concocted this scheme to get the most conservative GOPer into the White House on OMP‘s coattails. The only thing wrong with their plan was the fact that it is taking longer than expected for OMP to step on his dick so bad he has to be removed from office. Genius!!!! And now And now And now!!!! We’ll have an ‘investigation” that turns up some ‘suspicious’ deaths (Ailes!!! Ailes!!!!), with a few minor players sent off to Federal Kiddie Camps and perhaps, just perhaps, the Big Cheese suffering a “heart attack” in office. Yep, I AM that cynical.

Impeach Him

It’s as though a tiny portion of OMP‘s brain is acutely aware he’s drowning in the White House, and occasionally sends out SOSes (in the form of totally inappropriate behavior) in the vain belief the GOP will man up and impeach him. Won’t happen of course; there’s not a single man in the GOP caucus with the balls to do what’s right. 1 2

It never stops. It. Never. Stops. In the latest installment of the daily scandal machine that is the Trump administration, the Washington Post dropped a stunning story late Monday reporting that President Trump disclosed highly classified information to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during their visit to the Oval Office last week.

The story was confirmed later in the evening by Reuters and the New York Times.

And it wasn’t just any classified information. This was what is known as “code-word information,” one of the highest classification levels used by American spy agencies. The information the president reportedly passed on about a plot being hatched by the Islamic State was shared with Washington by an ally who did not authorize its distribution to anyone but a small circle in Washington. Or as one administration official said, Trump “revealed more information to the Russian ambassador than we have shared with our own allies.”

Pushback. Top administration is denying the reports. Or at least is denying something. National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster delivered a quick statement Monday saying, “I was in the room — it didn’t happen.” He added, “at no time — at no time — were intelligence sources or methods discussed, and the president did not disclose any military operations that were not already publicly known.” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson issued a similar statement. Problem is, none of the stories claimed that sources and methods were exposed.

And then on Tuesday morning, Trump dive-bombed McMaster’s statement that “it didn’t happen,” when he took to Twitter to confirm that in fact he did share classified information with the Russians via Twitter. Trump said he has the “absolute right” to share with top Russian officials information about an Islamic State threat. McMaster is slated to brief the press in the White House Briefing Room this afternoon.


Impeach Him

Show 2 footnotes

  1. Totes unsure about GOP women; they may or may not have the balls.
  2. They have to be congratulating themselves in the White House, saying stuff like “Who knew we could get away with so much? If you told me we could so totally FUBAR the presidency last fall I’d have told you you’re crazy; SOMEONE would have stood up and started impeachment hearings. This is just so off the hook!”

A Trump & Russia Primer

Yet the jaw-dropping revelations were just beginning. Two days after the House hearing, on March 22, The Associated Press revealed that in 2005, Paul Manafort, Trump’s erstwhile campaign manager, had signed a $10 million-a-year contract with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska to “influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and former Soviet republics to benefit President Vladimir Putin’s government.” This comes on top of Manafort’s already disclosed work on behalf of Viktor Yanukovych, the deposed Ukrainian leader who is a close Kremlin ally. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s clumsy attempts to distance the president from Manafort — he claimed that Trump’s former campaign manager played only a “very limited role for a very limited amount of time” — simply served to signal how serious this revelation actually is.

And, of course, Manafort is hardly the only current or former Trump associate with suspiciously close ties to Moscow. We have only recently learned that Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security advisor, made $68,000 while serving as a consultant to Russian firms in 2015. Campaign foreign-policy advisor Carter Page maintained close ties with the Kremlin and its state-owned oil companies. Longtime Trump advisor Roger Stone has admitted to communicating with “Guccifer 2.0,” the moniker used by Russian intelligence to leak damaging information about Hillary Clinton, and with Julian Assange, the head of WikiLeaks, another Russian front organization. “Trust me, it will soon [be] the Podesta’s time in the barrel,” Stone tweeted on Aug. 21, 2016, weeks before WikiLeaks began leaking emails stolen from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

Even Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, it now emerges, met before the inauguration not just with Russia’s ambassador to Washington but also with Sergey Gorkov, who is close to Putin, was trained by Russian intelligence, and runs a state-owned bank that has been placed on a U.S. sanctions list. No one knows what they discussed, but it’s possible that Kushner, whose family real estate firm is desperate for foreign financing, was hoping to get an investment from this Russian bank to supplement the hundreds of millions of dollars it has sought from Chinese companies closely connected to the leadership in Beijing. (One wonders how Kushner has time to not only deal with Russia policy — but also to broker peace in the Middle East; advise on relations with China, Mexico, and Canada; and reorganize the whole U.S. government. Clearly Ivanka Trump married a man of prodigious and hitherto unsuspected talents.)

A Trump & Russia Primer