Author Topic: United States of Russia?  (Read 266587 times)

Kris

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1850 on: April 20, 2019, 02:14:23 PM »
No way will Trump accept an electoral loss.  He will deny the vote, claim cheating, and refuse to step down.  Of course, vote suppression and actual cheating are going to be factors as well, particularly in the states where the Republicans have control of the voting systems.

In the last election he refused to state whether he would respect the vote.  No way will he quietly step down and into an indictment.  He will cling to power unless he is bodily removed from the office.  And he will whip up his alt right base to fight for him too.

You should always take this claim with a large grain of salt. People always say this about the other side's president. In 2016 mother-in-law was claiming Obama was going to somehow subvert the constitution and install himself as king.

However, given this time we're talking about Trump, I'm pretty worried about this possibility too.

It was said about Bush too.

However, neither Bush nor Obama were warning their supporters ahead of the election that there was a good chance that the election would be stolen. Neither Bush nor Obama declared after the election that there was massive voter fraud.

Neither of them suggested publicly that their supporters would not accept it if the election went for Their opponent. Neither of them refused to say, when asked, whether they would accept the election results if their opponent were elected.

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1851 on: April 22, 2019, 09:33:41 AM »
So, I'm currently only about 40 pages into the Mueller Report. Mueller has definitely gone out of his way to give Trump Co. the benefit of the doubt. However, the picture clearly emerges of a campaign that absolutely knew that Russia was conducting an operation to influence the US election and made the choice to just let that happen because it benefited them rather than report to the FBI. This is consistent with reporting I've seen about Trump that he believes that everyone else is cheating so he should just so also at baseline.

At least one defense of the Trump Org has been that they simply didn't understand the law well enough to know that they were breaking it. This seems a very generous read by Mueller. However, when it comes to the counterintelligence elements of this, I think there is a pretty clear line that the Trump Org was made aware of and willingly crossed. To the point, the FBI specifically told them that there was a potential for foreign influence.
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/fbi-warned-trump-2016-russians-would-try-infiltrate-his-campaign-n830596

Not a slam dunk, but sure as hell does seem like "aid an comfort".
Quote
    Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
    Article III, Section 3, Clause 1
 

GuitarStv

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1852 on: April 22, 2019, 09:41:40 AM »
So, I'm currently only about 40 pages into the Mueller Report. Mueller has definitely gone out of his way to give Trump Co. the benefit of the doubt. However, the picture clearly emerges of a campaign that absolutely knew that Russia was conducting an operation to influence the US election and made the choice to just let that happen because it benefited them rather than report to the FBI. This is consistent with reporting I've seen about Trump that he believes that everyone else is cheating so he should just so also at baseline.

At least one defense of the Trump Org has been that they simply didn't understand the law well enough to know that they were breaking it. This seems a very generous read by Mueller. However, when it comes to the counterintelligence elements of this, I think there is a pretty clear line that the Trump Org was made aware of and willingly crossed. To the point, the FBI specifically told them that there was a potential for foreign influence.
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/fbi-warned-trump-2016-russians-would-try-infiltrate-his-campaign-n830596

Not a slam dunk, but sure as hell does seem like "aid an comfort".
Quote
    Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
    Article III, Section 3, Clause 1


Is Russia officially an enemy of the US?

I think that the argument can be made that they're not (although they often work in opposition to American interests, the same can be said of many countries).  If that's the case, then I don't see how you could convict for treason.

talltexan

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1853 on: April 22, 2019, 09:43:41 AM »
Would appreciate some honest reaction to this take on the Mueller report (note: author formerly worked for McConnell, so I am aware it's an "opinion" piece with a capital 'O'):

https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/19/opinions/mueller-report-obama-jennings/index.html

Kris

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1854 on: April 22, 2019, 09:49:35 AM »
Would appreciate some honest reaction to this take on the Mueller report (note: author formerly worked for McConnell, so I am aware it's an "opinion" piece with a capital 'O'):

https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/19/opinions/mueller-report-obama-jennings/index.html

Hmmm... Mitch McConnell's former employee tries to point the finger at Obama and conveniently buries/tries to discredit that Obama wanted to go public with this information but Mitch McConnell wouldn't go along with it.

Shocking.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2019, 09:57:35 AM by Kris »

JLee

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1855 on: April 22, 2019, 09:52:29 AM »
Would appreciate some honest reaction to this take on the Mueller report (note: author formerly worked for McConnell, so I am aware it's an "opinion" piece with a capital 'O'):

https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/19/opinions/mueller-report-obama-jennings/index.html

Seems right out of the GOP playbook.

Blame Obama, check.
Say other people are doing X (that your party is guilty of), check.
Say we should investigate someone else, check.

Really the only thing it's missing is blaming Hillary for something.

JLee

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1856 on: April 23, 2019, 09:47:59 AM »
https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/19/opinions/mueller-report-obama-jennings/index.html

The whole Mueller investigation is a farce.   We live in a republic and not a democracy.  With that both the Dems and the Reps showed how much vile stuff they could make up against each other within the two party system.  I have begun to loath CNN when that was the first website I ever went to.

The Mueller’s report doesn’t just look back for Obama it looks bad for all politicians including Hillary.  If wikileaks has taught us nothing…  It has shown the US, Russia, and China are meddling in more democracies than comprehendible.

What is demonstrably incorrect about the contents of the report?

Poundwise

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1857 on: April 23, 2019, 10:09:55 AM »
"A unique aspect of the Mueller Report story is that the primary source of it is available to everyone, and because of its written report format, fairly constitutes both “the center” and the highest standard for “original fact reporting.” That is, you could actually place the report itself at the top middle of the chart. This is not the case with all stories. The most neutral, fact reporting journalism about this would be a news source providing a copy of the report, which many of these sources, to their credit, have done today.

From there, the degree to which outlets select facts to report, and what context to provide about them, indicates various levels of quality and bias."

Here's a really interesting website that shows how this issue has been portrayed in headlines across the media. And do take a look at their media bias chart.
https://www.adfontesmedia.com/the-mueller-report-headlines-across-the-spectrum-illustrating-how-junk-news-keeps-us-in-parallel-universes/

Here is the direct link to the actual report, with redactions. I haven't had a chance to peruse it yet or even follow the news closely (Easter week busy) but am determined to start today. Skimming the table of contents suggests quite the fascinating read.
https://apps.npr.org/documents/document.html?id=5955997-Muellerreport

nereo

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1858 on: April 23, 2019, 10:38:12 AM »


I stated the whole Mueller investigation is a farce...  The 25-40 million dollars paid due to the investigation. \

Frarce: a comic dramatic work using buffoonery and horseplay and typically including crude characterization and ludicrously improbable situations.

I'm not sure how I understand your assertion that it has been a farce. To date it has resulted in the criminal conviction of no less than 5 high-ranking individuals, including a retired Army General, the head of the Trump Campaign and the president's personal lawyer.  I'm not sure how this is comical.

JLee

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1859 on: April 23, 2019, 10:38:37 AM »
https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/19/opinions/mueller-report-obama-jennings/index.html
The whole Mueller investigation is a farce.
What is demonstrably incorrect about the contents of the report?

I stated the whole Mueller investigation is a farce...  The 25-40 million dollars paid due to the investigation.  The countless news media reports speculating on the outcome of the investigation.  The lies and ruffling of feathers.  Fear mongering by politicians.
https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2019/mar/26/mueller-investigation-cost/

Hillary could have won the election and the same Russian collusion & investigation would have taken place.


Quote
farce
/färs/
noun
a comic dramatic work using buffoonery and horseplay and typically including crude characterization and ludicrously improbable situations.

You're claiming the investigation was a farce, and your reasons behind that are because:

1) It was expensive
2) News media speculation
3) Lies
4) Ruffling of feathers
5) Fear mongering by politicians
6) Parties "making stuff up" re: each other

Out of that list, only 1) is actually the report itself and that is arguably incorrect because the Mueller investigation has effectively paid for itself with seizures.

Using your criteria, it seems more appropriate to label the Trump presidency as a farce. His Twitter account basically knocks the definition of "farce" out of the park.  Mueller report? Not so much.

Kris

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1860 on: April 23, 2019, 10:39:19 AM »
https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/19/opinions/mueller-report-obama-jennings/index.html
The whole Mueller investigation is a farce.
What is demonstrably incorrect about the contents of the report?

I stated the whole Mueller investigation is a farce...  The 25-40 million dollars paid due to the investigation.  The countless news media reports speculating on the outcome of the investigation.  The lies and ruffling of feathers.  Fear mongering by politicians.
https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2019/mar/26/mueller-investigation-cost/

Hillary could have won the election and the same Russian collusion & investigation would have taken place.

1) The cost of an investigation, when an investigation has to be done, is irrelevant if the cost is appropriate.

2) The media's reaction to the investigation, and the politicians' attempts to skew public opinion about the investigation, are not the investigation itself.

3) I honestly don't know what you mean about "the same Russian collusion & investigation would have taken place." Are you saying Hillary's campaign was colluding? Are you saying the Republicans would have sought to conduct an investigation on her regardless of whether there was any evidence of wrongdoing? Quite honestly, that last statement seems like utter nonsense.

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gentmach

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1862 on: April 25, 2019, 01:57:25 AM »
https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/19/opinions/mueller-report-obama-jennings/index.html
The whole Mueller investigation is a farce.
What is demonstrably incorrect about the contents of the report?

I stated the whole Mueller investigation is a farce...  The 25-40 million dollars paid due to the investigation.  The countless news media reports speculating on the outcome of the investigation.  The lies and ruffling of feathers.  Fear mongering by politicians.
https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2019/mar/26/mueller-investigation-cost/

Hillary could have won the election and the same Russian collusion & investigation would have taken place.

1) The cost of an investigation, when an investigation has to be done, is irrelevant if the cost is appropriate.

2) The media's reaction to the investigation, and the politicians' attempts to skew public opinion about the investigation, are not the investigation itself.

3) I honestly don't know what you mean about "the same Russian collusion & investigation would have taken place." Are you saying Hillary's campaign was colluding? Are you saying the Republicans would have sought to conduct an investigation on her regardless of whether there was any evidence of wrongdoing? Quite honestly, that last statement seems like utter nonsense.

The line of thinking is "If you investigate any high ranking politician intenesly enough you will find foreign contacts. The media will create a framework can make such meetings sound normal or insidious."

Then the people will have to interpret it. The word "Collusion" is perfect for this. It sounds ominous. It is also vague. It will be left up to individual interpretation. The Mueller Report was never going to be the end. Everyone was going to pick out the evidence that supported their worldview and keep rolling along. Even if Mueller testified before Congress, there will still be wiggle room for people to keep believing.

That is more a human failing than an investigative failing.

former player

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1863 on: April 25, 2019, 03:25:16 AM »
It appears that one of the reasons that Trump may have assumed he was being blackmailed by Comey when he was told after his election about the salacious allegations in the Steele dossier is that just before the election a Russian contact of Michael Cohens emailed to say "don't worry about the photos from your Miss Universe trip to Moscow, I've stopped them coming out of Russia".  As detailed in Mueller (Vol. II, footnote 112), and further in Bloomberg News.

sol

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1864 on: April 25, 2019, 09:08:35 AM »
It appears that one of the reasons that Trump may have assumed he was being blackmailed by Comey when he was told after his election about the salacious allegations in the Steele dossier is that just before the election a Russian contact of Michael Cohens emailed to say "don't worry about the photos from your Miss Universe trip to Moscow, I've stopped them coming out of Russia".  As detailed in Mueller (Vol. II, footnote 112), and further in Bloomberg News.

Yes, this has been widely reported.  Such photos were supposedly in the possession of a Russian real estate mogul that Trump interacted with while in Russia.  Remember the peepee tape?  The President's lawyers was in communication with Russians about it, and gladly accepted Russian help on this topic.  But accepting Russian help and paying for Russian help are two different things, and as long as Trump maintains that his pro-Russia policy stances and the easing of sanctions were coincidental, and not "payment" for Russia's help in getting him elected, then he's off the hook for criminal conspiracy.  That's basically the root of his conspiracy defense, that he conspired with Russia because he honestly loves Russia and not because he was trying to break the law.  The fact that Russia has spent decades cultivating Donald Trump's love with financial support for his failing businesses is apparently not relevant, though I would call that a classic KGB tactic.

So despite Trump and his campaign being aware of the Russian efforts to help him, seeking out that help, and expecting to benefit from that help, Mueller decided it wasn't criminal because he was ignorant of the laws making it a crime.  If you can't prove criminal intent, you can't successfully prosecute a conspiracy case.  Not that Mueller thought he could prosecute a president anyway, for anything at all.

The peepee tape stuff is just another example of the ways the Russians tried to help him, just like the promised dirt on Hillary at the Trump Tower meeting.  Also just like the Trump Tower meeting, the specific offer in that case (stopping the release the hotel photos with the peepee hookers) turned out to be a farce, an effort by the Russians to gain influence over Trump without actually doing anything.  It looks like they didn't actually have the pictures, just like they didn't actually have new dirt on Clinton.  But they told Trump that they did, to cultivate his support, and for that purpose whether or not you can actually deliver on your promises is irrelevant.

Cultivating a foreign asset is all about building loyalty and support.  It's about managing people's expectations, currying their favor, and building on their allegiances by appealing to their motivating desires and guiding principles.  For Trump, that means a) money, and b) insulting and denigrating his perceived enemies.  Russia squarely nailed both of those.

Sadly, republicans seem to think that Russian interference in the American election is fine, but that investigating that interference is a crime against the country.  Giuliani has repeatedly gone on TV to say there's nothing wrong with accepting help from the Russians, and Kushner says that the investigation into that interference is "way more harmful" than the interference itself.  You know your country has lost when a foreign power convinces part of the country to hate the other part more than their shared enemies.

talltexan

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1865 on: April 26, 2019, 02:08:03 PM »
Indeed a basic problem with Trump is that he simply does not vet the people around him as rigorously as most other politicians would; in addition, many fewer people would like to work for him because--frankly--he seems like a bad boss. This resulted in him accepting grifters and people with little moral compass into his orbit, many of whom (Papadapolous, Cohen, Manafort) are paying the price in jail.

We knew this before the Mueller report was released.

GuitarStv

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1866 on: April 26, 2019, 02:30:56 PM »
Indeed a basic problem with Trump is that he simply does not vet the people around him as rigorously as most other politicians would; in addition, many fewer people would like to work for him because--frankly--he seems like a bad boss. This resulted in him accepting grifters and people with little moral compass into his orbit, many of whom (Papadapolous, Cohen, Manafort) are paying the price in jail.

We knew this before the Mueller report was released.

The Mueller report kinda proved the opposite though.  By ignoring the crazier direct orders of their commander in chief, several of the people that Trump hired ended up saving him from committing obstruction of justice despite how badly he wanted to.

Kris

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1867 on: April 26, 2019, 02:39:54 PM »
Indeed a basic problem with Trump is that he simply does not vet the people around him as rigorously as most other politicians would; in addition, many fewer people would like to work for him because--frankly--he seems like a bad boss. This resulted in him accepting grifters and people with little moral compass into his orbit, many of whom (Papadapolous, Cohen, Manafort) are paying the price in jail.

We knew this before the Mueller report was released.

The Mueller report kinda proved the opposite though.  By ignoring the crazier direct orders of their commander in chief, several of the people that Trump hired ended up saving him from committing obstruction of justice despite how badly he wanted to.

That’s true... except most of those people are gone now. So going forward, there are fewer people around him who might actually know enough to refuse him... and more yes men/women who are there because they are more willing than the last people to just agree with whatever he wants.

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1868 on: April 26, 2019, 02:47:09 PM »
Indeed a basic problem with Trump is that he simply does not vet the people around him as rigorously as most other politicians would; in addition, many fewer people would like to work for him because--frankly--he seems like a bad boss. This resulted in him accepting grifters and people with little moral compass into his orbit, many of whom (Papadapolous, Cohen, Manafort) are paying the price in jail.

We knew this before the Mueller report was released.

The Mueller report kinda proved the opposite though.  By ignoring the crazier direct orders of their commander in chief, several of the people that Trump hired ended up saving him from committing obstruction of justice despite how badly he wanted to.

Correction: Trump's commissino of obstruction is independent of whether his underlings complied with his request. Some of them may have saved themselves indictments/convictions, true.

nereo

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1869 on: May 10, 2019, 04:11:59 AM »
Senator Richard Burr (R) has subpoenaed Trump Junior to testify again before the senate intelligence committee about his dealings with Russia.  Burr - who has said he will not run for re-election in 2022 - issued the subpoena the day after McConnell said he considered the Russia investigation closed. Several other Republicans who sit on the committee have expressed support for the subpoena, including Collins (R-ME).

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1870 on: May 10, 2019, 08:13:47 AM »
Also, Giuliani is literally off to Ukraine to ask them to investigate conspiracy theories related to 2016 (aka support a Trump pet political project).

sol

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1871 on: May 10, 2019, 08:55:01 AM »
Also, Giuliani is literally off to Ukraine to ask them to investigate conspiracy theories related to 2016 (aka support a Trump pet political project).

No collusion, though.  We're just sending the President's personal lawyer to go ask the Ukrainian government to publicly interfere in the 2020 election.  Maybe hack some emails, maybe push some conspiracy theories against his opponents, maybe get a more favorable US diplomatic treatment in return.  That's totally legit, right?

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #1872 on: May 10, 2019, 09:43:25 AM »
Also, Giuliani is literally off to Ukraine to ask them to investigate conspiracy theories related to 2016 (aka support a Trump pet political project).

No collusion, though.  We're just sending the President's personal lawyer to go ask the Ukrainian government to publicly interfere in the 2020 election.  Maybe hack some emails, maybe push some conspiracy theories against his opponents, maybe get a more favorable US diplomatic treatment in return.  That's totally legit, right?
Clearly, this is the only logical explanation:
https://politics.theonion.com/white-house-says-mueller-report-must-be-kept-private-be-1833813865