Revenge Is a Rotten Way to Run a Country

by Michael Winship – Yielding to one of the basest of human impulses, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin are subverting Western society and democracy. Looking back at the last tumultuous year, to me, one of the saddest aspects of the Trump candidacy and presidency is that both in part were built from one of the basest of human impulses: revenge. We’re taught that ideally, the desire to run for office should reflect a commitment to public service. And we know that the reality is far too often otherwise, running to slake a thirst for power and money that overpowers the greater good. Yet to seek elected office for revenge, to use it to get back at someone or inflict harm on them or anyone associated with them seems in some ways even worse; shabby, petty and immoral. Examine the roots of the Trump campaign and you see two men eager to...

Read More...


Trump Returned to Twitter to Defend His Meeting With Putin. It Didn’t Go Well

by Zack Ford – If he thought he was clarifying himself, he didn’t. President Trump is back from the G20 and back on Twitter. In a stream of tweets Sunday morning, he attempted to clarify his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but he raised more questions than he answered and directly contradicted his own spokespeople. First, Trump claimed that he did press Putin about Russia’s interference in the 2016 election — “meddling” as Trump called it — but he stopped short of addressing whether he accepted Putin’s denial. Donald J. Trump   ✔@realDonaldTrump I strongly pressed President Putin twice about Russian meddling in our election. He vehemently denied it. I’ve already given my opinion….. 7:31 AM – 9 Jul 2017 The problem with Trump claiming he already gave his opinion is that his “opinion” is self-contradictory. Indeed, according to Trump’s own words, he holds every possible opinion about Russia’s interference: He thinks it’s Russia, he thinks it...

Read More...


Trump’s Disturbing, Incoherent Press Conference in Poland

by Judd Legum – A gift to Vladimir Putin on the eve of their first meeting. On the eve of his first meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump held a press conference in Poland and declared that “nobody really knows” who meddled in the 2016 election. Trump’s assessment breaks sharply from the U.S. intelligence community, which has pinned the blame squarely on Russia. Trump was asked: “Will you once and for all, yes or no, say that Russia definitive interfered with the 2016 election.” He refused to do so, saying that “it could have been other people in other countries.” Strangely, as Trump cast doubt on whether Russia was involved, he also sharply criticized Obama for not taking action against Russia during the campaign. Trump said that Obama refused to act because he thought Hillary Clinton would win — an implicit acknowledgement not only that Russia intervened but that Russia’s purpose was to help...

Read More...


Evidence Of Trump Campaign Collusion Is Massive And Growing

by m2c4 – The incidents of direct collusion between the Russians and not only the Trump campaign but down-ballot Republicans in the 2016 continue to grow. Today’s revelation is that intercepts of Russian hackers indicate they were attempting to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails and then pass that information on to Trump adviser Mike Flynn. According to the Wall Street Journal story, “Those investigators have examined reports from intelligence agencies that describe Russian hackers discussing how to obtain emails from Mrs. Clinton’s server and then transmit them to Mr. Flynn via an intermediary.” The speculation in the story is that the intermediary might have been a Republican operative named Peter Smith. Smith had shown interest in getting hackers to uncover Clinton’s emails that he, for some unexplained reason, believed had already been hacked by the Russians. According to the Journal, “‘He said, ‘I’m talking to Michael Flynn about this — if you find...

Read More...


What We Now Know About Russia’s Cyber Attack on America (VIDEOS)

by Frank Vyan Walton – There has been a lot of news about Russia lately and it’s worth while to put that information in some level of perspective. It’s now been confirmed by the Washington Post that Vladimir Putin personally ordered this attack, a fact that was first hinted at on January 6th when U.S. intel first published their report on the Russian attack.  We now understand that there were multiple layers and fronts involved in this fairly wide-ranging attack. 1) Email and confidential files from the DNC, DCCC, RNC, the Clinton Foundation and Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta were hacked and stolen. 2) That data obtained was then laundered through Guccifer 2.0 to DCLeaks and Wikileaks and released with specific timing to create rumors and innuendos that would do the most damage to the Clinton campaign, exacerbating rifts with the Sanders and Stein campaigns and provide the greatest amount of cover and support for Donald Trump’s campaign. 3) Cyber bots imitating...

Read More...


GOP Strategist Admits He Colluded With Russian Hackers to Hurt Hillary Clinton, Democrats

by Eyesbright – I’ll quote the first three paragraphs of the article and provide the link to the whole thing.  Note that it actually originated from the Wall Street Journal but is behind a paywall.  The quotes are from Salon: The U.S. intelligence community has long since concluded Russia meddled in the 2016 election, and it was reported shortly after the 2016 presidential election that a GOP SuperPAC linked to Paul Ryan used illegally hacked material to attack Democratic House candidates. But a bombshell report published on Thursday confirms that Republican political operatives were working with the Russian government to hurt Hillary Clinton and Democrats during the election — the first direct evidence of so-called collusion. The Wall Street Journal reported that hacked information was posted on a blog run by Aaron Nevins, the political operative, and then passed along to top Trump adviser Roger Stone during the campaign. The Republican...

Read More...


In a Time of Madness, Sally Yates Is a Profile in Courage

by MICHAEL WINSHIP – The fired acting attorney general proved this week that there are still a few in Washington who believe in truth and the law. Let us now praise a class act. Amidst the turmoil of another chaotic week in Trump world, the Comey firing and a pandemic of Washington spinelessness, there was a certain righteous symmetry that occurred Sunday night and Monday afternoon. On Sunday, former President Barack Obama received the 2017 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award from the Kennedy Presidential Library Foundation. In his acceptance speech, Obama reflected on those public servants who, in the face of opposition, hold onto their principles and somehow keep alive their resolve, he said: “… To maintain a reputation for integrity that is stronger than a desire to maintain office, a conscience, personal standard of ethics, integrity, morality that is stronger than the pressures of public disapproval or party...

Read More...


Carter Page says He’s the Real Victim of the Trump-Russia Scandal

by Esther Yu Hsi Lee – He previously compared himself to Martin Luther King Jr. Former Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page considers himself a “victim” of a civil rights violation because the U.S. government is looking into his alleged ties with Russian intelligence and the Kremlin. Page — who was investigated for his connections to Russian intelligence — claimed Tuesday that U.S. surveillance on him was based on a “dodgy dossier” a federal judge used to find probable cause to issue a warrant of surveillance. The “dodgy” source comes from the now-infamous intelligence dossier that includes explosive allegations about President Donald Trump and his campaign. U.S. investigators have been able to corroborate some details of the dossier, including about a dozen conversations between senior Russian officials and other Russian individuals, CNN reported, on the same days and locations described in the 35-page document written by an ex-British spy. “Chris, the main reason is the fact...

Read More...


Trump Builds a Watergate All His Own

by MICHAEL WINSHIP – Like the scandal that brought down Richard Nixon, the attempted cover-up of the president’s relationship with Russia is slowly falling apart. It’s déjà vu all over again. As the Trump Russia story continues to stutter forward, comparisons to Watergate are everywhere — and justifiably so. The revelations and denials, the slow unraveling of deception, the critical role of a free and independent press challenging the cover-up and digging for the truth are all very familiar, especially to those of us who actually were in Washington back during those peculiar days and nights of Richard Nixon. But another inside-the-Beltway, historic parallel struck me last week when reports emerged of House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA) suddenly jumping from his Uber car into another and covertly racing to the White House grounds, where he met with who-knows-who about who-knows-what. (The New York Times reported on Thursday that White...

Read More...


‘There’s a Smell of Treason in the Air’

by MICHAEL WINSHIP – FBI and NSA chiefs verify a Russia probe and refute the president’s claims as Republicans scramble to pretend the “drip, drip, drip” hasn’t started. Monday’s hearing of the House Intelligence Committee was proof positive of the absolute need for both a special prosecutor and an independent, bipartisan commission with subpoena power to conduct a full investigation of the Trump campaign’s connections with Russian intelligence — as well as Russia’s multipronged attack on our elections and Trump’s business connections with that country’s oligarchs. And it’s proof more than ever that even if we get that prosecutor and inquiry, a free and independent press may be the only real way to ever get to the bottom of what ranking committee member Adam Schiff said may represent “one of the most shocking betrayals of our democracy in history.” Just as FBI Director James Comey officially revealed for the very first...

Read More...


Paul Ryan’s Role in Russian Espionage Against Democrats in 2016 House Races

by SemDem – Paul Ryan is everywhere these days hocking Trumpcare.  It infuriates me because there is almost no one politician I have as little respect for as Ryan. He is smarmy, but thinks of himself as a stud.  He tells everyone he’s a “policy wonk”, but doesn’t understand fundamental concepts–like how insurance works.  He fancies himself a master politician, but has never once been able to build a coalition to get, well, anything passed.  If I count that one post office he named in 2000 or that one tax modification on hunting arrows in 2004, I can bring his grand legislative successes to….. two.  Somehow I doubt Trumpcare will be his third. As a politician, Paul Ryan is a complete and utter failure. But he’s so much more than just another failed politician.  And it’s way past time for Democratic politicians to start calling him what he truly is: Paul Ryan is damn...

Read More...


Obama’s Secret Gift To The American People Could Save Our Democracy

by Wendy Gittleson – In light of the Russian hacking scandal that interfered in our nation’s election, it seemed to many that the Obama administration was taking it lying down. It wasn’t, at least according to a ground breaking report by the New York Times that says that in his final days, the President worked to create a trail leading directly from Russia to Donald Trump. In the Obama administration’s last days, some White House officials scrambled to spread information about Russian efforts to undermine the presidential election — and about possible contacts between associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump and Russians — across the government. Former American officials say they had two aims: to ensure that such meddling isn’t duplicated in future American or European elections, and to leave a clear trail of intelligence for government investigators. Intelligence officials had suspected something fishy as early as last summer, but the...

Read More...


As the Wheels of the Trump Juggernaut Come Off

by TODD GITLIN – Cracks in Republican Senate servility are beginning to show, while right-wing media hang tough. Say this for Donald Trump: He sets records. It took more than a year of Warren G. Harding’s administration before the Teapot Dome scandal of 1921-22 brought down his Interior secretary for taking a massive oil company bribe. A half-century later, it took two years to expose the immensity of the Watergate crimes and force the conspirators out of their White House holes. It took almost that long for the Reagan administration Iran-Contra revelations to pour forth in the mid-‘80s, though that scandal left the enfeebled incumbent in place. Now, congressional Republicans’ marriage of convenience to the crackpot showman of Fifth Avenue shows signs of post-honeymoon stress. For in just four weeks, Trump has breathlessly caught up with his predecessors in power abuse. Having crashed into a big, beautiful wall, he is, by...

Read More...


The Trump Resistance Plan: Step 3

by STEVEN HARPER – It’s time for the real American majority to demonstrate its unity and mobilize. Time makes more converts than reason — THOMAS PAINE, COMMON SENSE (1776) Stay on message. The Trump Resistance Plan focuses on two messages that are central to our democracy: “Russia interfered” and “Presidential corruption matters.” This installment covers the first one: “Russia interfered.” In a joint interview with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Jan. 7, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) described the stakes: “What Putin did poses a threat to the very fundamentals of our democracy…” Sen. Graham emphasized that this is not a partisan issue: “We should get to the bottom of all things Russia when it came to the 2016 election, period. Wherever it leads in whatever form…” Trump and Russia Putin engaged successfully in a sophisticated cyberattack on a cherished American right — voting. Among other methods, Russia used WikiLeaks to distribute emails that it...

Read More...


Report: 6 Federal Agencies Investigating Possible Kremlin Financial Support of Trump

by Aaron Rupar – But with Trump about to be sworn in, how long will they stay on the case? On Wednesday, the McClatchy Washington Bureau, citing multiple unnamed sources, broke news that “the FBI and five other law enforcement and intelligence agencies have collaborated for months in an investigation into Russian attempts to influence the November election, including whether money from the Kremlin covertly aided President-elect Donald Trump.” According to McClatchy, the involved agencies are the FBI, CIA, National Security Agency, Justice Department, Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, and representatives of the Director of National Intelligence. The news is not altogether unexpected. During a hearing before a Senate panel last week, FBI director James Comey refused to answer questions about whether the bureau has investigated links between the Trump campaign and Russia. A day later, Trump himself dodged a reporter’s question about whether he or his campaign had any contact...

Read More...


Carl Bernstein Blasts Kellyanne Conway: She’s Trump’s Great ‘Propaganda Minister’ and ‘Anonymous Source’

by Leslie Salzillo – It started with Anderson Cooper of CNN’s 360 calling out Kellyanne Conway Wednesday night as she tried once again to deflate and deny the truth. It’s her thing. But it’s been a trying time for Conway especially after the latest information regarding her boss’s Russian ties leaked out this week. The special  counselor to Donald Trump (who specializes on how to be a better liar) is quite good at her job. But her gig seems to be getting harder as the media’s intolerance for her bullshit grows. Later Wednesday night, Cooper talked with Carl Bernstein who along with Bob Woodward investigated and ultimately broke the Watergate scandal which ultimately caused former President Richard Nixon to resign in shame.  Bernstein would like to see the same happen to Trump.  When Kellyanne Conway’s name came up Bernstein let loose. Here is the short YouTube of clip via Sarah Burris/Raw Story followed by the transcript.  Transcript: Carl Bernstein: “Let’s talk about what reporting is. It’s the best obtainable version of the truth. That’s what that story is — the best obtainable version of the truth is that the chief intelligence officials of the United States of America...

Read More...


Trump Dodges Question about Whether his Campaign Colluded with Russia

by Aaron Rupar – He quite simply ignored the question. Buried in the middle of CNN’s report about an intelligence dossier that says Russia has “compromising personal and financial information” about President-elect Donald Trump is an explosive bit that alleges collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. CNN writes that the dossier, which is unverified but reportedly regarded as credible by the CIA, includes “allegations that there was a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government.” This news comes on the heels of Trump repeatedly denigrating the U.S. intelligence community in an apparent attempt to downplay agencies’ consensus conclusion that Russia was behind cyberattacks intended to manipulate the presidential election in his favor. The dossier’s allegations about collusion are consistent with comments made days after the presidential election by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov. Ryabkov told the Interfax news agency...

Read More...


Trump’s Plan to Warm Relations with Russia is Getting Harder

by Justin Salhani – Trump wanted to improve relations with Putin, but Senate Republicans may complicate his plans. President-elect Donald Trump’s plans to warm relations with Russia are set to be complicated by new sanctions placed on Russia’s top intelligence agencies and Obama’s decision to expel a number of Russian emissaries. Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that he will not expel American diplomats, despite the Obama administration’s jettison of 35 Russians from the United States over accusations of hacking and election interference. “While we reserve the right to respond, we will not drop to this level of irresponsible diplomacy, and we will make further steps to help resurrect Russian-American relations based on the policies that the administration of Trump will pursue,” Putin said in a statement published on the Kremlin’s website. Putin said the expulsion was a provocation but chose not to immediately retaliate, despite suggestions to do so from Russian...

Read More...


Putin Involved in Election Hack & Trump May Have Known

by Egberto Willies – This story is getting bigger, and it would not surprise me if it ultimately becomes the 21st century Watergate. There are just too many Russian and Vladimir Putin connections. CIA evidence continues to point to Putin’s involvement in the 2016 election hack. Worse, Trump may have known about the Russian involvement. The New York Times article titled “The Perfect Weapon: How Russian Cyberpower Invaded the U.S.” provides a chronology of the Russian hacking into the DNC. The following passage is prescient and should worry the GOP and Donald Trump. What started as an information-gathering operation, intelligence officials believe, ultimately morphed into an effort to harm one candidate, Hillary Clinton, and tip the election to her opponent, Donald J. Trump. Like another famous American election scandal, it started with a break-in at the D.N.C. The first time, 44 years ago at the committee’s old offices in the Watergate complex,...

Read More...


Where’s the Proof? Calls Grow to Declassify Evidence of Alleged Russian Hack

by Deirdre Fulton – “There is a disturbing trend emerging that dictates that if you simply demand evidence for this tremendously significant allegation, you must be a Trump apologist or a Soviet agent.” “Let’s have some proof.” That’s what some observers are demanding of President Barack Obama, urging him to declassify as much evidence as possible to support CIA claims that Russia interfered in the U.S. elections to bolster President-elect Donald Trump’s candidacy. Ten members of the Electoral College have signed an open letter asking Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to provide them with classified briefings on Russia’s alleged hacking during the campaign. “The Electors require to know from the intelligence community whether there are ongoing investigations into ties between Donald Trump, his campaign or associates, and Russian government interference in the election, the scope of those investigations, how far those investigations may have reached, and who was involved in...

Read More...