Author Topic: United States of Russia?  (Read 57267 times)

Glenstache

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #750 on: July 26, 2017, 10:40:47 AM »

Yes, there's lots of smoke, but the source of the smoke is debatable.

LMAO, what? The source of the smoke is Trump's own family and his campaign. Oh we forgot we met with the Russians last year, in Trump tower, in an attempt to obtain information detrimental to Clinton, of which Trump had a big announcement that very day!! They already admitted to collusion. The question isn't where the smoke is coming from. It's how much gasoline is this administration going to continue pouring on the fire?

The other possibility is that they were simply incompetent rubes who didn't know better and were roped in by the Russians. I think that for people with experience like Manfort, this explanation simply has no credibility. None.

And as to whether or not the Russians attempted to interfere, there's always this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2Pi_UAmZpE

Here's the quote from Comey: ""There should be no fuzz on this whatsoever. The Russians interfered in our election during the 2016 cycle," he said. "They did it with purpose, they did it with sophistication, they did it with overwhelming technical efforts and it was an active measures campaign driven from the top of that government. There should be no fuzz on that."

Also, many within the GOP establishment including ethics lawyers from the Bush administration have said that the appropriate responses to Russians calling up offering incriminating information about Clinton ranged from ignoring it to calling the FBI.

If your response to this is "so what", then we have a very different view of what is acceptable behavior. Politics is a bare-knuckle fight, but there are still boundaries.

MDM

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #751 on: July 26, 2017, 10:52:35 AM »
If your response to this is "so what", then we have a very different view of what is acceptable behavior.
Yup.  Let's hear it for diversity!

Of course, we might need to discuss what "this" we are responding to.

sol

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #752 on: July 26, 2017, 11:16:27 AM »
Politics is a bare-knuckle fight, but there are still boundaries.

Anyone who has been trained to fight, in any discipline, will tell you that the key to victory is learning which rules you can bend, and which you can break.  People who want to play by all the rules are destined to lose, and that's true in the ring (ask Tyson), or the football field (ask Brady), or in Congress (ask McConnell).

BookValue

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #753 on: July 26, 2017, 11:25:46 AM »
Politics is a bare-knuckle fight, but there are still boundaries.

Anyone who has been trained to fight, in any discipline, will tell you that the key to victory is learning which rules you can bend, and which you can break.  People who want to play by all the rules are destined to lose, and that's true in the ring (ask Tyson), or the football field (ask Brady), or in Congress (ask McConnell).

Aside here, but there is no evidence that Brady cheated. He shouldn't be mentioned in the same context as Tyson

sol

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #754 on: July 26, 2017, 11:47:56 AM »
Aside here, but there is no evidence that Brady cheated. He shouldn't be mentioned in the same context as Tyson

While I disagree that deflategate left Brady unbesmirched (he did get suspended after all), I was just using his name as a stand in for the oft-fined cheater Patriots he led.

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BookValue

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #755 on: July 26, 2017, 11:59:19 AM »
Aside here, but there is no evidence that Brady cheated. He shouldn't be mentioned in the same context as Tyson

While I disagree that deflategate left Brady unbesmirched (he did get suspended after all), I was just using his name as a stand in for the oft-fined cheater Patriots he led.

yourteamcheats.com/NE

Yeah, those cheating cheaters who cheat.
I don't like people perpetuating the myth of Brady cheating, when there is no evidence of such. Reading something other than ESPN reporting will show what a witch hunt that whole case was.

MasterStache

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #756 on: July 26, 2017, 12:22:47 PM »
...we met with the Russians last year, in Trump tower, in an attempt to obtain information detrimental to Clinton, of which Trump had a big announcement that very day!!
In all seriousness - so what?

People met and meet with Russians all the time.

Nice false equivalence

Quote
Politicians look for information detrimental to their opponents all the time.

So essentially to you the release of a pussy grabbing tape is the same as setting up meetings with foreign adversaries to illegally obtain detrimental information to an opposing campaign, and then lie about it. Wow, just wow!


DarkandStormy

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #757 on: July 26, 2017, 12:56:45 PM »
^Cult45 is mastering the art of moving the goal posts.
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DoubleDown

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #758 on: July 26, 2017, 01:35:27 PM »
Politicians look for information detrimental to their opponents all the time. 

No, they don't, not in this way. They do not "look for" information illegally hacked from a rival's political committee, especially hacked and stolen by a foreign f*cking hostile government. And meeting with them to discuss what they could get is the definition of conspiracy.

Here is just one example: Al Gore's campaign once received a packet of information stolen by an insider from the Bush campaign. Their response was to hand it over, unopened, to the FBI. That was information taken from within the campaign, literally delivered to their laps, by a US campaign insider -- and yet the Gore campaign did not exploit it, let alone express interest in receiving it. Compare that to the Trump campaign willingly seeking information hacked and stolen from U.S. computer systems by a hostile foreign power, which is magnitudes of order worse.

Here's another thing: Anyone claiming that Trump's actions are "business as usual, everyone does it" clearly is not paying attention. There's nothing usual about Trump, including the collusion with Russia. Presidents don't usually invite Russia to hack into U.S. computer systems or to hack their rival, they don't usually fire the FBI Director for not pledging "loyalty" and killing the investigation, they don't usually go on a public and nasty campaign against their own appointed Attorney General for not quashing the investigation, they don't usually repeat obvious lies every day (such as about crowd sizes to name just one), they don't usually call Senate, House, and FBI inquiries "hoaxes" and "witch hunts," and so on.
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MDM

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #759 on: July 26, 2017, 03:14:01 PM »
Nice false equivalence
I was waiting for that one - seems to be de rigueur to say at some point in these discussions. ;)

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...setting up meetings with foreign adversaries to illegally obtain detrimental information to an opposing campaign, and then lie about it. Wow, just wow!
Again, when leading Democrats (Feinstein et al.) start saying there is real evidence, that could be worth paying attention to.  Until then, not so much.

And meeting with them to discuss what they could get is the definition of conspiracy.
Gosh, a meeting.  How awful.

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Here is just one example: Al Gore's campaign once received a packet of information stolen by an insider from the Bush campaign. Their response was to hand it over, unopened, to the FBI. That was information taken from within the campaign, literally delivered to their laps, by a US campaign insider -- and yet the Gore campaign did not exploit it, let alone express interest in receiving it.
Good for Gore's campaign.  Seriously - no sarcasm.

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Compare that to the Trump campaign willingly seeking information hacked and stolen from U.S. computer systems by a hostile foreign power, which is magnitudes of order worse.
Not according to Assange - of course, one needs to decide whether/what to believe about him.

Quote
Here's another thing: Anyone claiming that Trump's actions are "business as usual, everyone does it" clearly is not paying attention. There's nothing usual about Trump, including the collusion with Russia. Presidents don't usually invite Russia to hack into U.S. computer systems or to hack their rival, they don't usually fire the FBI Director for not pledging "loyalty" and killing the investigation, they don't usually go on a public and nasty campaign against their own appointed Attorney General for not quashing the investigation, they don't usually repeat obvious lies every day (such as about crowd sizes to name just one), they don't usually call Senate, House, and FBI inquiries "hoaxes" and "witch hunts," and so on.
I'm on record agreeing that Trump is not normal, so I agree with you about that.

MasterStache

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #760 on: July 26, 2017, 03:48:18 PM »
Nice false equivalence
I was waiting for that one
So you knew your response was a fallacy yet proceeded to type it anyways. Weird admission, but ok.   

MDM

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #761 on: July 26, 2017, 04:04:28 PM »
Nice false equivalence
I was waiting for that one
So you knew your response was a fallacy yet proceeded to type it anyways. Weird admission, but ok.
Uh, no.  I'd be happy to discuss salient issues but debate technique minutiae holds no attraction.

MasterStache

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #762 on: July 26, 2017, 06:06:41 PM »
Nice false equivalence
I was waiting for that one
So you knew your response was a fallacy yet proceeded to type it anyways. Weird admission, but ok.
Uh, no.  I'd be happy to discuss salient issues but debate technique minutiae holds no attraction.

No you didn't type or no it's not a fallacy? If you don't believe it's a false equivalence then feel free to explain how "people meet with Russia all the time" is equivalent to the meeting we were discussing.

DoubleDown

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #763 on: July 26, 2017, 07:37:02 PM »
Gosh, a meeting.  How awful.

You realize that a meeting with employees to discuss Q4 revenue is different than a guy having a meeting with a hitman to discuss having his wife killed, right? Would that defense fly when prosecuted for conspiracy to commit murder, saying, "Golly, it was just a meeting. A presidential campaign (the most senior members on the campaign, no less) meeting with representatives of a foreign government (including former and possibly still active intelligence agents!) to discuss the promised compromising information on his political opponent is a real big, fat, ugly problem.
"Not all quotes on the internet are accurate" -- Abraham Lincoln

MDM

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #764 on: July 26, 2017, 09:26:51 PM »
Nice false equivalence
I was waiting for that one
So you knew your response was a fallacy yet proceeded to type it anyways. Weird admission, but ok.
Uh, no.  I'd be happy to discuss salient issues but debate technique minutiae holds no attraction.

No you didn't type or no it's not a fallacy? If you don't believe it's a false equivalence then feel free to explain how "people meet with Russia all the time" is equivalent to the meeting we were discussing.
No it wasn't a fallacy.

Just as the onus was on the birthers to prove that Obama wasn't born in the US (and of course they failed to do so), the onus on someone accusing Trump of whatever Trump is being accused of is to prove that case.  What specifically is it you suspect Trump of doing with Russia?  Note that I'll give you "being a loose cannon, self-contradictory, and not making sense on many things" for free, because I think that also - but those aren't the topic of this thread.

MDM

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #765 on: July 26, 2017, 09:29:34 PM »
You realize that a meeting with employees to discuss Q4 revenue is different than a guy having a meeting with a hitman to discuss having his wife killed, right? Would that defense fly when prosecuted for conspiracy to commit murder, saying, "Golly, it was just a meeting.
No comment. ;)

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A presidential campaign (the most senior members on the campaign, no less) meeting with representatives of a foreign government (including former and possibly still active intelligence agents!) to discuss the promised compromising information on his political opponent is a real big, fat, ugly problem.
Exactly what problem?  Legal?  "Looks bad"?  Other?

DavidAnnArbor

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #766 on: July 26, 2017, 10:08:13 PM »
It's not yet clear if a law was broken, but further investigations by Mueller and other investigators might yet find conspiracy to violate election law.

Donald Trump Jr. and Russia: What the Law Says
https://nyti.ms/2vaFUqI

MDM

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #767 on: July 26, 2017, 10:16:51 PM »
It's not yet clear if a law was broken, but further investigations by Mueller and other investigators might yet find conspiracy to violate election law.

Donald Trump Jr. and Russia: What the Law Says
https://nyti.ms/2vaFUqI
Agreed - they might, they might not.

Or, as my Magic 8-Ball might advise, "Reply hazy try again" or "Ask again later".

MasterStache

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #768 on: July 27, 2017, 05:55:36 AM »
Nice false equivalence
I was waiting for that one
So you knew your response was a fallacy yet proceeded to type it anyways. Weird admission, but ok.
Uh, no.  I'd be happy to discuss salient issues but debate technique minutiae holds no attraction.

No you didn't type or no it's not a fallacy? If you don't believe it's a false equivalence then feel free to explain how "people meet with Russia all the time" is equivalent to the meeting we were discussing.
No it wasn't a fallacy.

I'll help you out. False Equivalence - A common way for this fallacy to be perpetuated is one shared trait between two subjects is assumed to show equivalence, especially in order of magnitude, when equivalence is not necessarily the logical result. False equivalence is a common result when an anecdotal similarity is pointed out as equal, but the claim of equivalence doesn't bear because the similarity is based on oversimplification or ignorance of additional factors.

You've established the shared trait (meetings with Russia), but stopped short of proving how all meetings are precisely the same. As in all meetings with Russia relate to obtaining dirt on an opposing candidate. Obviously you cannot (but certainly try), otherwise you wouldn't be tossing in birther comments.

So try again?
« Last Edit: July 27, 2017, 06:12:50 AM by MasterStache »

deadlymonkey

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #769 on: July 27, 2017, 06:43:53 AM »
Nice false equivalence
I was waiting for that one
So you knew your response was a fallacy yet proceeded to type it anyways. Weird admission, but ok.
Uh, no.  I'd be happy to discuss salient issues but debate technique minutiae holds no attraction.

No you didn't type or no it's not a fallacy? If you don't believe it's a false equivalence then feel free to explain how "people meet with Russia all the time" is equivalent to the meeting we were discussing.
No it wasn't a fallacy.

Just as the onus was on the birthers to prove that Obama wasn't born in the US (and of course they failed to do so), the onus on someone accusing Trump of whatever Trump is being accused of is to prove that case.  What specifically is it you suspect Trump of doing with Russia?  Note that I'll give you "being a loose cannon, self-contradictory, and not making sense on many things" for free, because I think that also - but those aren't the topic of this thread.

It is a fallacy and you are digging a hole for yourself that you can't escape.  If the sitting president meets with Russia, or a Senator, or any other government official, meets with their Russian counterpart to discuss, say Nuclear disarmament or something.  That meeting is documented on their calendar, there are readouts, there are official translators etc...  They are Proper. 

A meeting without any of the above, by people who are legally not able to represent the US (candidates and their staff.....even the POTUS elect has no authority for internatonal decisions) is a problem and in no way equivalent. 

The independent investigation is trying to prove the case like you said, that's their job.  Lots of people in this thread and elsewhere have specifically said what they suspect happened.  There is significant evidence supporting that assertion, unlike the birth certificate fiasco.

DavidAnnArbor

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #770 on: July 27, 2017, 07:27:14 AM »
"The further Mr. Mueller progresses, the more Mr. Trump panics. His reactions betray his motives. No reasonable observer could conclude that Mr. Trump is willing to open his books. Having refused to release his tax returns, he risks a constitutional crisis to stop US law enforcement officers from looking into his business dealings. The two are obviously connected. Sooner or later, serious investigators end up following the money. Mr. Mueller is nothing if not thorough. Mr. Trump is nothing if not ruthless."

John Harwood, journalist CNBC.

GreenEggs

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #771 on: July 27, 2017, 07:41:28 AM »
"Can I pardon myself?"  That's the question you don't want to hear from a president. 

 

DarkandStormy

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #772 on: July 27, 2017, 07:50:02 AM »
This thread absolutely destroys Trump's transgender "ban" - https://twitter.com/MichaelSkolnik/status/890362449446264832

-Eleven personal trips this year by Trump to Mar-A-Lago: $29 million
Medical services for transgender people in the military: $8.4 million

-61 days of protecting Melania living in Trump Tower cost more than the medical services for all 15,000 transgender members of the military.

-"US taxpayers will pay more for Trump's 18 day Aug. vacation than for the medical services for 15,000 transgender soldiers for entire year"

-In 2016 the DOD spent abt $5M on healthcare for transgendered service members(2015 spent $41M on  Viagra & $84M for erectile dysfunction tx)
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MDM

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #773 on: July 27, 2017, 10:07:32 AM »
I'll help you out....
It is a fallacy....
Again, discussion of debate lingo may be interesting to some but it's not relevant to what Trump did or didn't do "with Russia." 

If/when actual evidence (e.g., something that Sen. Feinstein would label "evidence") comes out then we'll see what we'll see.  Until then it seems much ado about nothing.

Unless you are talking about things Russia did independent of Trump.  There does seem plenty of evidence in that area.

JLee

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #774 on: July 27, 2017, 10:11:57 AM »
I'll help you out....
It is a fallacy....
Again, discussion of debate lingo may be interesting to some but it's not relevant to what Trump did or didn't do "with Russia." 

If/when actual evidence (e.g., something that Sen. Feinstein would label "evidence") comes out then we'll see what we'll see.  Until then it seems much ado about nothing.

Unless you are talking about things Russia did independent of Trump.  There does seem plenty of evidence in that area.

Discussion of "debate lingo"...that violates the terms of intelligent discourse and also the forum rules. Brush it off all you want, but that won't change the facts.

MDM

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #775 on: July 27, 2017, 10:16:27 AM »
...that won't change the facts.
"Facts about what Trump did or didn't do" is indeed on topic.  Unless we're talking only about what Russia did or didn't do...?

dividendman

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #776 on: July 27, 2017, 10:21:29 AM »
Maybe a bit off topic, but can the president give the military orders via tweet? I guess so right?

Dabnasty

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #777 on: July 27, 2017, 10:24:23 AM »
...that won't change the facts.
"Facts about what Trump did or didn't do" is indeed on topic.  Unless we're talking only about what Russia did or didn't do...?
Dude... I've read a lot of forum debates and seen a lot of cases where the person in the wrong was able to move the goalposts and never really get pegged down. But this? Just admit that you made a false equivalency on the meeting thing.

In all seriousness - so what?

People met and meet with Russians all the time.  Politicians look for information detrimental to their opponents all the time.  As wenchsenior noted, in 2012 it was Obama criticizing Romney for being obsessed with Russia.  Now the Republicans say the Democrats are obsessed with Russia.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.
People meet with Russians all the time. That statement means nothing. The context and the topic of the meeting mean everything.

Edit: And I'll also add that just because you made one poor argument doesn't mean anything else you've said is wrong. As far as I'm concerned, admitting a mistake will only give more credibility to everything else you say. Denying it tells a different story.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2017, 10:28:14 AM by Dabnasty »
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MasterStache

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #778 on: July 27, 2017, 10:28:54 AM »
...that won't change the facts.
"Facts about what Trump did or didn't do" is indeed on topic.  Unless we're talking only about what Russia did or didn't do...?

Thus your original comment was off topic and indeed a fallacy (since others meeting with Russia has no bearing on Trump or the meeting we were discussing). Admit it or continue to shift the goalpost. It really doesn't matter. I think your comment now belongs more appropriately under the topic "OP is the only who doesn't see it."

sol

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #779 on: July 27, 2017, 11:07:55 AM »
MDM seems to be looking for specific evidence of legal collusion, so let's review what we know.

The Russian government attempted to interfere with and undermine American democracy.  Donald Trump's campaign knew this was happening, and gave both explicit consent and public endorsement of this process.  Campaign staffers met secretly with Russian intelligence operatives on multiple occasions, to discuss how they could establish a quid pro quo with the Russians for their help with the election, for example by lifting sanctions, changing the GOP platform plank about Russia, and establishing secret backchannel communications to avoid US intelligence monitoring.  These compromised campaign staffers were then appointed to positions of power in the US government that required security clearances, and they lied to security investigators and concealed their foreign contacts, sometimes in front of the US Senate, in order to hide their complicity. 

The national security advisor (Flynn) was forced to resign over these lies.  The campaign manager (Manafort) was forced to resign because he was literally being paid by the Russians to advance Russian interests, and subsequently had to register as a foreign agent.  The white house senior advisor (Kushner) was recruited by Russian intelligence, agreed to circumvent official protocols in order to assist Russia, and is now under investigation.  The Attorney General (Sessions) lied to congress about meeting with the Russians and had to recuse himself in order to save his job.

None of that is evidence of collusion by Trump, personally, so it basically won't affect him if he just fires all of those people.

But we also know that Trump had received millions of dollars from Russian oligarchs closely tied to Putin, ostensibly as "investments" in failing real estate deals.  These look like bribes, but are probably legal.  There is no law against accepting ridiculous sums of money from Putin for items of nominal value.

And we know that Trump knew about the Russian hacks of the DNC, but so far we don't have any public evidence that Trump or his campaign assisted in the release and dissemination of that information, like on Facebook, other than making public statements that it should be leaked.

And lastly, Trump publicly admitted to obstruction of justice.  He said he tried to squash the Russia investigation internally, and then fired FBI Director Comey over it when he wouldn't do it.  That's about as clear cut of a case as I think can be made.

The Trump Jr. meeting in which he solicited opposition research on Clinton will probably warrant a fine but no jail time.  It's illegal, but not very illegal.  More importantly, it demonstrates that the campaign was actively seeking to collude.

And in the middle of all of this, while Trump continued to deny any connection with the Russians even as six of his top staffers admitted to it, Trump invited the lead Russian spy in the US for a private meeting in the Oval Office.  That was a pure troll move, I think, designed to send the clear message that he considers himself above the law.  It was "I could shoot someone in the middle of 5th Ave and get away with it" all over again.

So what else do we really need?  What additional forms of collusion would reach the legal threshold required to convict of collusion?

And for the record, comparing this list to the birther conspiracy is laughably absurd.  There was never any evidence to support that theory other than "he's black" and it was promptly and completely debunked right up front.  There was no long list of high level staffers being fired over it.  Nobody ever had to admit any part of it was true after lying about it to congress and federal investigators.  No foreign government ever confirmed it.  It's fine to ask for evidence, but let's not pretend that the evidence of Russian collusion is as non-existent as was the evidence for Obama being born in Kenya.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2017, 11:24:15 AM by sol »

MDM

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #780 on: July 27, 2017, 11:09:16 AM »
Just admit that you made a false equivalency on the meeting thing.
...
People meet with Russians all the time. That statement means nothing. The context and the topic of the meeting mean everything.

Edit: And I'll also add that just because you made one poor argument doesn't mean anything else you've said is wrong. As far as I'm concerned, admitting a mistake will only give more credibility to everything else you say. Denying it tells a different story.
Thus your original comment was off topic and indeed a fallacy (since others meeting with Russia has no bearing on Trump or the meeting we were discussing). Admit it or continue to shift the goalpost. It really doesn't matter. I think your comment now belongs more appropriately under the topic "OP is the only who doesn't see it."

Opinions differ.

You may choose to believe that something improper happened.  And I suspect you're smart enough to realize the difficulty in proving something improper didn't happen - even in normal circumstances, let alone when Trump is involved.

But a meeting with Russians is not prima facie evidence of anything improper, regardless of who was or wasn't in the room, what was publicized or not, etc.  If anything, the false equivalence lies in equating "a meeting happened" to "Trump is guilty".  The "context and topic" are indeed more relevant, but still aren't evidence of actual wrongdoing - at least according to what I've seen, but then IANAL.

MDM

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #781 on: July 27, 2017, 11:12:34 AM »
MDM seems to be looking for specific evidence of legal collusion, so let's review what we know.
...
sol, thanks for bringing this back to relevant issues.  Good summary!

deadlymonkey

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #782 on: July 27, 2017, 11:27:18 AM »
MDM seems to be looking for specific evidence of legal collusion, so let's review what we know.

The Russian government attempted to interfere with and undermine American democracy.  Donald Trump's campaign knew this was happening, and gave both explicit consent and public endorsement of this process.  Campaign staffers met secretly with Russian intelligence operatives on multiple occasions, to discuss how they could establish a quid pro quo with the Russians for their help with the election, for example by lifting sanctions, changing the GOP platform plank about Russia, and establishing secret backchannel communications to avoid US intelligence monitoring.  These compromised campaign staffers were then appointed to positions of power in the US government that required security clearances, and they lied to security investigators and concealed their foreign contacts, sometimes in front of the US Senate, in order to hide their complicity. 

The national security advisor (Flynn) was forced to resign over these lies.  The campaign manager (Manafort) was forced to resign because he was literally being paid by the Russians to advance Russian interests, and subsequently had to register as a foreign agent.  The white house senior advisor (Kushner) was recruited by Russian intelligence, agreed to circumvent official protocols in order to assist Russia, and is now under investigation.  The Attorney General (Sessions) lied to congress about meeting with the Russians and had to recuse himself in order to save his job.

None of that is evidence of collusion by Trump, personally, so it basically won't affect him if he just fires all of those people.

But we also know that Trump had received millions of dollars from Russian oligarchs closely tied to Putin, ostensibly as "investments" in failing real estate deals.  These look like bribes, but are probably legal.  There is no law against accepting ridiculous sums of money from Putin for items of nominal value.

And we know that Trump knew about the Russian hacks of the DNC, but so far we don't have any public evidence that Trump or his campaign assisted in the release and dissemination of that information, like on Facebook, other than making public statements that it should be leaked.

And lastly, Trump publicly admitted to obstruction of justice.  He said he tried to squash the Russia investigation internally, and then fired FBI Director Comey over it when he wouldn't do it.  That's about as clear cut of a case as I think can be made.

The Trump Jr. meeting in which he solicited opposition research on Clinton will probably warrant a fine but no jail time.  It's illegal, but not very illegal.  More importantly, it demonstrates that the campaign was actively seeking to collude.

And in the middle of all of this, while Trump continued to deny any connection with the Russians even as six of his top staffers admitted to it, Trump invited the lead Russian spy in the US for a private meeting in the Oval Office.  That was a pure troll move, I think, designed to send the clear message that he considers himself above the law.  It was "I could shoot someone in the middle of 5th Ave and get away with it" all over again.

So what else do we really need?  What additional forms of collusion would reach the legal threshold required to convict of collusion?

And for the record, comparing this list to the birther conspiracy is laughably absurd.  There was never any evidence to support that theory other than "he's black" and it was promptly and completely debunked right up front.  There was no long list of high level staffers being fired over it.  Nobody ever had to admit any part of it was true after lying about it to congress and federal investigators.  No foreign government ever confirmed it.  It's fine to ask for evidence, but let's not pretend that the evidence of Russian collusion is as non-existent as was the evidence for Obama being born in Kenya.

All of the above, but I would add, that Donald Trump who claims to be very hands on and so in control of his business that he refused to release ownership or control to others was completely in the dark while every one of his advisors conducted these interactions with Russians.  We are somehow supposed to believe, that coincidently all of his advisors, acting under their own direction, sought out and engaged in these meetings/interactions, without absolutely any instruction or knowledge on the part of Trump.  Sounds legit.

MasterStache

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #783 on: July 27, 2017, 11:35:58 AM »
If anything, the false equivalence lies in equating "a meeting happened" to "Trump is guilty".

No one made that claim thus it's a straw-man fallacy. And it's an improper use of false equivalence. You are drawing a conclusion not comparing two opposing arguments. Perhaps we found the problem.

Quote
The "context and topic" are indeed more relevant, but still aren't evidence of actual wrongdoing - at least according to what I've seen, but then IANAL.

Yet that has been explained numerous times as evidence of your fallacy that you still keep denying. Kind of like you are arguing against yourself. Ah well, you can lead a horse to water.....

MDM

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #784 on: July 27, 2017, 11:52:42 AM »
If anything, the false equivalence lies in equating "a meeting happened" to "Trump is guilty".
No one made that claim thus it's a straw-man fallacy. And it's an improper use of false equivalence. You are drawing a conclusion not comparing two opposing arguments. Perhaps we found the problem.
Quote
The "context and topic" are indeed more relevant, but still aren't evidence of actual wrongdoing - at least according to what I've seen, but then IANAL.
Yet that has been explained numerous times as evidence of your fallacy that you still keep denying. Kind of like you are arguing against yourself. Ah well, you can lead a horse to water.....

Let's go back to the original(?) post that seems to bother you (if you have a different one in mind, please advise):
...we met with the Russians last year, in Trump tower, in an attempt to obtain information detrimental to Clinton, of which Trump had a big announcement that very day!!
In all seriousness - so what?

People met and meet with Russians all the time.  Politicians look for information detrimental to their opponents all the time.  As wenchsenior noted, in 2012 it was Obama criticizing Romney for being obsessed with Russia.  Now the Republicans say the Democrats are obsessed with Russia.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

Was "met with the Russians last year, in Trump tower, in an attempt to obtain information detrimental to Clinton" not put forth as evidence Trump did something wrong?  Perhaps I misinterpreted what you were trying to say?

MasterStache

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #785 on: July 27, 2017, 12:10:35 PM »
If anything, the false equivalence lies in equating "a meeting happened" to "Trump is guilty".
No one made that claim thus it's a straw-man fallacy. And it's an improper use of false equivalence. You are drawing a conclusion not comparing two opposing arguments. Perhaps we found the problem.
Quote
The "context and topic" are indeed more relevant, but still aren't evidence of actual wrongdoing - at least according to what I've seen, but then IANAL.
Yet that has been explained numerous times as evidence of your fallacy that you still keep denying. Kind of like you are arguing against yourself. Ah well, you can lead a horse to water.....

Let's go back to the original(?) post that seems to bother you (if you have a different one in mind, please advise):
...we met with the Russians last year, in Trump tower, in an attempt to obtain information detrimental to Clinton, of which Trump had a big announcement that very day!!
In all seriousness - so what?

People met and meet with Russians all the time.  Politicians look for information detrimental to their opponents all the time.  As wenchsenior noted, in 2012 it was Obama criticizing Romney for being obsessed with Russia.  Now the Republicans say the Democrats are obsessed with Russia.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

Was "met with the Russians last year, in Trump tower, in an attempt to obtain information detrimental to Clinton" not put forth as evidence Trump did something wrong?  Perhaps I misinterpreted what you were trying to say?

Actually my original comment was "The source of the smoke is Trump's own family and his campaign." I only stated Trump himself had a big announcement because of the sheer timing of it looks suspicious. I made no conclusion of guilt either way on Trump himself.

The source of your response was surrounding the meeting itself, which as far as we know, didn't include Trump Sr. But it sure showed at the very least, collusion. The fallacy lies with your desire to insinuate it's like all other meetings, which of course it is not. It's been beaten into the ground by myself an others.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2017, 12:18:39 PM by MasterStache »

DavidAnnArbor

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #786 on: July 27, 2017, 01:42:25 PM »
MDM seems to be looking for specific evidence of legal collusion, so let's review what we know.

The Russian government attempted to interfere with and undermine American democracy.  Donald Trump's campaign knew this was happening, and gave both explicit consent and public endorsement of this process.  Campaign staffers met secretly with Russian intelligence operatives on multiple occasions, to discuss how they could establish a quid pro quo with the Russians for their help with the election, for example by lifting sanctions, changing the GOP platform plank about Russia, and establishing secret backchannel communications to avoid US intelligence monitoring.  These compromised campaign staffers were then appointed to positions of power in the US government that required security clearances, and they lied to security investigators and concealed their foreign contacts, sometimes in front of the US Senate, in order to hide their complicity. 

The national security advisor (Flynn) was forced to resign over these lies.  The campaign manager (Manafort) was forced to resign because he was literally being paid by the Russians to advance Russian interests, and subsequently had to register as a foreign agent.  The white house senior advisor (Kushner) was recruited by Russian intelligence, agreed to circumvent official protocols in order to assist Russia, and is now under investigation.  The Attorney General (Sessions) lied to congress about meeting with the Russians and had to recuse himself in order to save his job.

None of that is evidence of collusion by Trump, personally, so it basically won't affect him if he just fires all of those people.

But we also know that Trump had received millions of dollars from Russian oligarchs closely tied to Putin, ostensibly as "investments" in failing real estate deals.  These look like bribes, but are probably legal.  There is no law against accepting ridiculous sums of money from Putin for items of nominal value.

And we know that Trump knew about the Russian hacks of the DNC, but so far we don't have any public evidence that Trump or his campaign assisted in the release and dissemination of that information, like on Facebook, other than making public statements that it should be leaked.

And lastly, Trump publicly admitted to obstruction of justice.  He said he tried to squash the Russia investigation internally, and then fired FBI Director Comey over it when he wouldn't do it.  That's about as clear cut of a case as I think can be made.

The Trump Jr. meeting in which he solicited opposition research on Clinton will probably warrant a fine but no jail time.  It's illegal, but not very illegal.  More importantly, it demonstrates that the campaign was actively seeking to collude.

And in the middle of all of this, while Trump continued to deny any connection with the Russians even as six of his top staffers admitted to it, Trump invited the lead Russian spy in the US for a private meeting in the Oval Office.  That was a pure troll move, I think, designed to send the clear message that he considers himself above the law.  It was "I could shoot someone in the middle of 5th Ave and get away with it" all over again.

So what else do we really need?  What additional forms of collusion would reach the legal threshold required to convict of collusion?

And for the record, comparing this list to the birther conspiracy is laughably absurd.  There was never any evidence to support that theory other than "he's black" and it was promptly and completely debunked right up front.  There was no long list of high level staffers being fired over it.  Nobody ever had to admit any part of it was true after lying about it to congress and federal investigators.  No foreign government ever confirmed it.  It's fine to ask for evidence, but let's not pretend that the evidence of Russian collusion is as non-existent as was the evidence for Obama being born in Kenya.

A well written summation of events and really helps to put things in perspective.

MDM

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #787 on: July 27, 2017, 03:26:27 PM »
Actually my original comment was "The source of the smoke is Trump's own family and his campaign." I only stated Trump himself had a big announcement because of the sheer timing of it looks suspicious. I made no conclusion of guilt either way on Trump himself.

The source of your response was surrounding the meeting itself, which as far as we know, didn't include Trump Sr. But it sure showed at the very least, collusion. The fallacy lies with your desire to insinuate it's like all other meetings, which of course it is not. It's been beaten into the ground by myself an others.
Ah, thank you, that makes the point to which you are objecting clearer.

There is a difference between saying "all meetings are identical, thus Trump is innocent" (to which I disagree) vs. "the fact that a meeting occurred with Trump (or his staff) and some Russians means Trump (or his staff) is guilty of something" (to which I disagree).

Regarding "collusion" and other charges, see the article DavidAnnArbor linked in https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/off-topic/united-states-of-russia/msg1639075/#msg1639075.  From what I know, that is a fair recap of events to date.  Do we agree on that?


MasterStache

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #788 on: July 27, 2017, 05:37:35 PM »
Actually my original comment was "The source of the smoke is Trump's own family and his campaign." I only stated Trump himself had a big announcement because of the sheer timing of it looks suspicious. I made no conclusion of guilt either way on Trump himself.

The source of your response was surrounding the meeting itself, which as far as we know, didn't include Trump Sr. But it sure showed at the very least, collusion. The fallacy lies with your desire to insinuate it's like all other meetings, which of course it is not. It's been beaten into the ground by myself an others.

There is a difference between saying "all meetings are identical, thus Trump is innocent" (to which I disagree) vs. "the fact that a meeting occurred with Trump (or his staff) and some Russians means Trump (or his staff) is guilty of something" (to which I disagree).

Regarding "collusion" and other charges, see the article DavidAnnArbor linked in https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/off-topic/united-states-of-russia/msg1639075/#msg1639075.  From what I know, that is a fair recap of events to date.  Do we agree on that?


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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #790 on: July 27, 2017, 07:09:52 PM »

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #791 on: July 28, 2017, 08:56:17 AM »
Maybe Trump should ask Putin how to fix healthcare, now that congressional Republicans have apparently given up on the idea?  I hear that the universal coverage in Russia works pretty well.

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #793 on: July 28, 2017, 11:52:32 AM »
http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a56666/russia-putin-oligarchs/?src=social-text

More Senate testimony yesterday
Great share. Thanks.

It really puts in perspective the story that Obama was weak on Russia/ignored Russian threats.  It seems that the Magnitsky Act was a really big problem for Putin and backed him into a corner.  Obama and Trump are such studies in opposites.  Obama was content to pursue a quiet end goal.  Trump is only interested in the headlines and could care less if the end goal is reached.

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #794 on: July 28, 2017, 12:18:01 PM »
I'm not prone to hyperbole.  I believe the Russian rhetoric can be over the top at times.  I'm perfectly content letting Mueller conduct his investigation and accepting the results.  For the sake of argument let's assume that Trump/his campaign/his family didn't collude with Russia.  Let's assume that Mueller conducts his investigation and determines that it was all just a bunch of smoke.  Let's assume that changing the Republican platform to be more pro-Russia was just happenstance.  Assuming all of that, we still have a serious problem in my humble opinion.

Donald Trump became the Republican nominee in July.  The Russians hacked the DNC in June.  The Russians attempted to hack into the election software that manages voter rolls in August 2016.  The Russians attempted to target local election officials in October 2016.  Presumably Donald Trump/Pence/Flynn would have been briefed on this info by as part of the presidential daily briefs beginning in July.  Despite the intelligence community being unanimous in the belief that Russia interfered/attempted to interfere in our election, Donald Trump has bent over backwards to sow seeds of doubt with the American public.  He did this while still a candidate for office during the presidential debates and he has continued to do it as the President of the United States. 

Maybe he did/does it because of election insecurity and not because of an underlying crime/conspiracy.  Maybe there was no collusion. But think about what that means.  The President of the United States is purposefully disparaging our intelligence community and misleading the American public for no reason at all.  That does not make me feel better.   

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #795 on: July 29, 2017, 06:57:09 PM »
I'm not prone to hyperbole.  I believe the Russian rhetoric can be over the top at times.  I'm perfectly content letting Mueller conduct his investigation and accepting the results.  For the sake of argument let's assume that Trump/his campaign/his family didn't collude with Russia.  Let's assume that Mueller conducts his investigation and determines that it was all just a bunch of smoke.  Let's assume that changing the Republican platform to be more pro-Russia was just happenstance.  Assuming all of that, we still have a serious problem in my humble opinion.

Donald Trump became the Republican nominee in July.  The Russians hacked the DNC in June.  The Russians attempted to hack into the election software that manages voter rolls in August 2016.  The Russians attempted to target local election officials in October 2016.  Presumably Donald Trump/Pence/Flynn would have been briefed on this info by as part of the presidential daily briefs beginning in July.  Despite the intelligence community being unanimous in the belief that Russia interfered/attempted to interfere in our election, Donald Trump has bent over backwards to sow seeds of doubt with the American public.  He did this while still a candidate for office during the presidential debates and he has continued to do it as the President of the United States. 

Maybe he did/does it because of election insecurity and not because of an underlying crime/conspiracy.  Maybe there was no collusion. But think about what that means. The President of the United States is purposefully disparaging our intelligence community and misleading the American public for no reason at all. That does not make me feel better.

While constantly calling out "fake news" as well.

GuitarStv

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #796 on: July 29, 2017, 09:05:18 PM »
When facts are very heavily slanted against you, you're not going to win by focusing on the truth.  It's far more effective to play smoke and mirror games in an attempt to discredit the facts.

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #797 on: July 30, 2017, 01:15:19 AM »
When facts are very heavily slanted against you, you're not going to win by focusing on the truth.  It's far more effective to play smoke and mirror games in an attempt to discredit the facts.

Yes.  Anyone wanting Trump to shut up about Russia and fake news and get on with being President and implementing policy doesn't understand that it's an approach that will lead to eventual disaster for Trump and his minions, when Mueller makes his report and the prosecutions/impeachment begin. 

Trump's strategy for long-term survival is 1) to disrupt, delay and discredit the investigations, and 2) cry "fake news" and "Hilary" and "conspiracy" often enough that there is a sizeable proportion of the US population to object to any action being taken against him and his people, so that it becomes difficult for Congress to proceed against him and any legal cases can be tied up for years.  Chaos is Trump's only strategy, now that he understands (I think) that he can't buy or bully his way out on this one the way he's bought or bullied his way out of all the other legal cases against him over the years.
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gentmach

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #798 on: July 30, 2017, 12:16:13 PM »
I'm not prone to hyperbole.  I believe the Russian rhetoric can be over the top at times.  I'm perfectly content letting Mueller conduct his investigation and accepting the results.  For the sake of argument let's assume that Trump/his campaign/his family didn't collude with Russia.  Let's assume that Mueller conducts his investigation and determines that it was all just a bunch of smoke.  Let's assume that changing the Republican platform to be more pro-Russia was just happenstance.  Assuming all of that, we still have a serious problem in my humble opinion.

Donald Trump became the Republican nominee in July.  The Russians hacked the DNC in June.  The Russians attempted to hack into the election software that manages voter rolls in August 2016.  The Russians attempted to target local election officials in October 2016.  Presumably Donald Trump/Pence/Flynn would have been briefed on this info by as part of the presidential daily briefs beginning in July.  Despite the intelligence community being unanimous in the belief that Russia interfered/attempted to interfere in our election, Donald Trump has bent over backwards to sow seeds of doubt with the American public.  He did this while still a candidate for office during the presidential debates and he has continued to do it as the President of the United States. 

Maybe he did/does it because of election insecurity and not because of an underlying crime/conspiracy.  Maybe there was no collusion. But think about what that means.  The President of the United States is purposefully disparaging our intelligence community and misleading the American public for no reason at all.  That does not make me feel better.

Actually, most of the moderates and conservatives I know have this pegged as smoke and mirrors. Even the paranoid hippy/druid guy doubts it.

But the hard core liberals I know foam at the mouth about this. One offered up "She won the popular vote" as the thing that convinced him of Russian hacking.

You can point to your articles and all your red string as evidence. The initial evidence is still too vague to change people's minds. And liberals reactions immediately after the election (riots, safe space crying, the hippy I mentioned above said his town entered a "day of mourning") just makes the entire hacking crisis look like pouting.
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JLee

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Re: United States of Russia?
« Reply #799 on: July 30, 2017, 12:50:41 PM »
I'm not prone to hyperbole.  I believe the Russian rhetoric can be over the top at times.  I'm perfectly content letting Mueller conduct his investigation and accepting the results.  For the sake of argument let's assume that Trump/his campaign/his family didn't collude with Russia.  Let's assume that Mueller conducts his investigation and determines that it was all just a bunch of smoke.  Let's assume that changing the Republican platform to be more pro-Russia was just happenstance.  Assuming all of that, we still have a serious problem in my humble opinion.

Donald Trump became the Republican nominee in July.  The Russians hacked the DNC in June.  The Russians attempted to hack into the election software that manages voter rolls in August 2016.  The Russians attempted to target local election officials in October 2016.  Presumably Donald Trump/Pence/Flynn would have been briefed on this info by as part of the presidential daily briefs beginning in July.  Despite the intelligence community being unanimous in the belief that Russia interfered/attempted to interfere in our election, Donald Trump has bent over backwards to sow seeds of doubt with the American public.  He did this while still a candidate for office during the presidential debates and he has continued to do it as the President of the United States. 

Maybe he did/does it because of election insecurity and not because of an underlying crime/conspiracy.  Maybe there was no collusion. But think about what that means.  The President of the United States is purposefully disparaging our intelligence community and misleading the American public for no reason at all.  That does not make me feel better.

Actually, most of the moderates and conservatives I know have this pegged as smoke and mirrors. Even the paranoid hippy/druid guy doubts it.

But the hard core liberals I know foam at the mouth about this. One offered up "She won the popular vote" as the thing that convinced him of Russian hacking.

You can point to your articles and all your red string as evidence. The initial evidence is still too vague to change people's minds. And liberals reactions immediately after the election (riots, safe space crying, the hippy I mentioned above said his town entered a "day of mourning") just makes the entire hacking crisis look like pouting.

I'm firmly convinced that there are some Trump supporters that will continue to support him regardless of anything that could happen.  Trump knows it, too. http://insider.foxnews.com/2016/01/25/donald-trump-i-could-shoot-somebody-and-not-lose-any-voters