Author Topic: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.  (Read 6102 times)

secondcor521

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3973
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Boise, Idaho
  • Big cattle, no hat.
    • Age of Eon - Overwatch player videos
Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« on: February 19, 2018, 11:59:16 AM »
Hi,

In an effort to be a reasonably informed person and voter but keep my blood pressure in check, I try to follow the news but not get too wrapped up in it as most of it is outside my circle of control and even outside my circle of influence.

My request:  Can someone please give me the basic outline of the "Trump Russia election collusion" story?

I understand, for example, the 25th amendment argument:  Trump is mentally unfit because he writes crazy tweets and says crazy things and so should be removed under the 25th amendment.  I understand the emoluments clause argument that Trump owns some hotels that foreign government officials stay in, and that could be seen as him receiving emoluments from foreign governments in violation of the Constitution.  I understand the obstruction of justice argument about Trump firing Comey.

I know about the Mueller investigation.  I've read about the indictment of the Russian nationals who allegedly tried to influence the election.  I've read that the Russians managed to access our voting systems in multiple states.  I know the conservative story about the FISA court and the Steele dossier and Carter Page.

What I'm missing is the specifics of the allegation in this story:  Who in Trump's campaign did what with which Russians?  Right now it feels like I'm playing Clue with an empty envelope - The headline is someone got murdered, but I'm missing the "Mr. Green in the Library with the Wrench" part of it.

Anyway, if anyone knows the answer and would be willing to briefly spell it out for me, I would appreciate it a bunch.

Since this touches on a political subject, I know this thread is quite likely going to devolve into a wasteland of argument.  I'm not looking for that; I'm just looking to be educated with some basic information that I haven't been able to get through my usual news sources (and I am willing to read stuff from all sides of the debate).  I will read all replies, but I will also try not to get sucked into any political debate or argument.  I will try to post a thank you to anyone who does actually answer my question.  I will try to answer any clarifying queries if my question isn't clear.

Thanks.

Miss Piggy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1378
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2018, 12:24:21 PM »
I try to follow the news but not get too wrapped up in it as most of it is outside my circle of control and even outside my circle of influence.

I'm a bit like you in this regard. And it seems that the further we get from the "beginning" of the story, the less detail we get in the news. So if I really wanted to know what's going on, I'd have to do a lot of digging for details. I suppose that's what you're after with this thread, and I totally get it.

On the other hand, I haven't clicked on a "Russia" news story in quite a while, with the exception of the doping Olympic curling guy news that came out today (I think). I guess I've decided when it comes to Trump and Russia, I just...well...don't care. I probably should, but I don't. Blood pressure will rise for many, many people, but that's about all it will amount to, I have very little doubt.

Sorry I can't answer your question. Just felt compelled to share my thoughts.

ysette9

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7782
  • Location: Bay Area at heart living in the PNW
    • The Best Is Yet To Come
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2018, 12:52:34 PM »
When I need a good basic overview of a topic I think Wikipedia does a good job of giving me what I need to feel reasonably well-informed. I can’t speak for this particular subject, but I’d give it a try in your shoes.

secondcor521

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3973
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Boise, Idaho
  • Big cattle, no hat.
    • Age of Eon - Overwatch player videos
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2018, 01:05:25 PM »
When I need a good basic overview of a topic I think Wikipedia does a good job of giving me what I need to feel reasonably well-informed. I can’t speak for this particular subject, but I’d give it a try in your shoes.

Thanks.  I found this article to be helpful.  It had a lot of stuff I already knew but some stuff that I did not:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_interference_in_the_2016_United_States_elections#Links_between_Trump_associates_and_Russian_officials

Candace

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 582
  • Age: 55
  • Location: Hampton Roads, Virginia
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2018, 01:14:08 PM »
The Trump-Russia story is complicated. It can't be summarized in one sentence or even in one paragraph. If you want to get a good feel for some of the sub-stories (e.g., Trump Tower Moscow being one of Trump's biggest ambitions, Russians knowing Trump was going to run for President in 2013, Don Jr. and Eric both stating that their father is rich because of Russia, Trump directing a unilateral change of the Republican Party platform in favor of Russia after one of his campaign workers revealed himself to be working with them, lots of ties to money launderers who have ties to Russia, etc. and much more), I recommend Seth Abramson's Twitter account. He's a former criminal investigator and criminal defense attorney. He doesn't like Trump. His Twitter account is at twitter.com/SethAbramson, and his bio is at http://www.sethabramson.net/bio.

I don't intend to hang around this thread, because of, as you say, blood pressure.

secondcor521

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3973
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Boise, Idaho
  • Big cattle, no hat.
    • Age of Eon - Overwatch player videos
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2018, 01:35:22 PM »
The Trump-Russia story is complicated. It can't be summarized in one sentence or even in one paragraph. If you want to get a good feel for some of the sub-stories (e.g., Trump Tower Moscow being one of Trump's biggest ambitions, Russians knowing Trump was going to run for President in 2013, Don Jr. and Eric both stating that their father is rich because of Russia, Trump directing a unilateral change of the Republican Party platform in favor of Russia after one of his campaign workers revealed himself to be working with them, lots of ties to money launderers who have ties to Russia, etc. and much more), I recommend Seth Abramson's Twitter account. He's a former criminal investigator and criminal defense attorney. He doesn't like Trump. His Twitter account is at twitter.com/SethAbramson, and his bio is at http://www.sethabramson.net/bio.

I don't intend to hang around this thread, because of, as you say, blood pressure.

Thank you, Candace.  The fact that it is sort of a forest story made up of lots of trees is part of what has been missing in what I had heard to date.

Candace

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 582
  • Age: 55
  • Location: Hampton Roads, Virginia
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2018, 02:10:33 PM »
Okay, I came back ;-). Hopefully this is the last time. I hate talking about this stuff, but it's important, and I really appreciate your OP.

A few of the most important tree trunks are:

* Unilateral softening of sanctions against Russia, plus recent refusal to enforce the sanctions that are left, combined with lots of reasons to think Russian money ended up in Trump's pocket from 2012 onward, combined with refusal to release tax returns.
* Lots of money laundering connections between Trump and Russian oligarchs, which are the same as their government.
* Every top official who's involved with the Trump-Russia organization has either been fired or come under public attack by Trump. And they're (almost) all Republicans.
* Multiple lies in the administration about meetings with Russians or Russian-connected "businessmen". The pattern is clear: lie, then when you're caught, minimize, deflect or discredit.
* Repeated, public attempts to discredit the American intelligence community who is investigating him. Whatever the outcome of the investigation, the US needs the FBI/CIA/NSA etc. to have credibility in the world and at home.
* Recent confirmation that Trump is susceptible to blackmail over sex (Stormy Daniels), and also that he will attempt to cover up the blackmail.
* More and more of the Steele Dossier being confirmed by independent sources. The Dossier is largely about money laundering, contrary to what the MSM would have us all believe.
* Russians started tweeting about Trump's Presidential run in 2013, after a meeting he held in Russia. Seven days later, he registered the MAGA trademark. A couple of weeks later, the Miss Universe pageant, a Trump property, was awarded to Russia. Trump had an MOU for Trump Tower Moscow for more than a couple of years, which was only de-activated after he took office.
* A huge campaign by Russians to interfere with the 2016 election, and Trump's reluctance to admit such.
* Last but not least, four indictments of U.S. citizens who were on the campaign, with three deals made for pleas out of the four. And the recent indictments of Russian people and entities showing *some* of the election interference. This should be the beginning.

In general the MSM has done a truly incompetent job of reporting what's going on. I wouldn't even bother with CNN (hell no), NYT, or MSNBC except for a few good pieces here and there. If you watch Fox, you would barely know there's an issue with the President, but you might be convinced that Hillary Clinton is a threat. The Guardian does a good job, but they're a needle in a haystack. Similar the BBC. Seth Abramson just makes connections between stories that are well-sourced, and uses his experience as a criminal defense lawyer and a prosecutor to analyze what we know so far. He's biased, but he's rigorous and logical.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2018, 02:13:15 PM by Candace »

mozar

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3462
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2018, 02:35:42 PM »
To make it even simpler, I think this is what happened:

1. Trump's team may have financial ties with Russia.
2. This is separate from Russian trolls interfering with the election by promoting conservative news stories on Facebook.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1941
  • Location: Noo Zilind
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2018, 02:59:52 PM »
Why not look on some international news sites for a differing approach to Trump and Trump's issues? Al Jazeera, BBC, that sorts of thing. Before some people get all wound up about a news site with an arabic name, it's based in Qatar and has become one of the best international news sites on the planet.

Edit to add that you won't be guaranteed to find an anti-Trump message on these sites, but you will find perhaps a more balanced analysis of some things than you might find on some American news sites.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2018, 03:01:47 PM by AnnaGrowsAMustache »

thunderball

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 79
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2018, 03:18:50 PM »
I'm not a huge fan of Trump, and there may very well be fire beneath this smoke...  However, the media seemed far less interested in presidential candidates' ties to Russia when they linked to Hillary, Bill, their foundation, uranium, etc.

I'd like to see the truth come out but don't see much objectivity in the media.  Far from it, actually.

wenchsenior

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3077
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2018, 03:21:58 PM »
To make it even simpler, I think this is what happened:

1. Trump's team may have financial ties with Russia.
2. This is separate from Russian trolls interfering with the election by promoting conservative news stories on Facebook.

Right, and Mueller's indictments last week related only to number 2.  Trump's team is trying to spin that to say it means he and his team were 'cleared', which is inaccurate.  There might be no indictments against Trump, etc., in the end for their dealings with Russia, but Mueller's team has not made any statements about that subject as of yet.

retireatbirth

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 260
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2018, 03:24:04 PM »
I think it's similar to the "Obama was born in Kenya" story. Let's throw dirt for as long as possible and just keep "asking questions" and aim for slow political damage in the long term.

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6806
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2018, 03:30:31 PM »
I'm not a huge fan of Trump, and there may very well be fire beneath this smoke...  However, the media seemed far less interested in presidential candidates' ties to Russia when they linked to Hillary, Bill, their foundation, uranium, etc.

I'd like to see the truth come out but don't see much objectivity in the media.  Far from it, actually.

You mean this uranium story?

Quote
Among the ways these accusations stray from the facts is in attributing a power of veto or approval to Secretary Clinton that she simply did not have. Clinton was one of nine cabinet members and department heads that sit on the CFIUS, and the secretary of the treasury is its chairperson. CFIUS members are collectively charged with evaluating proposed foreign acquisitions for potential national security issues, then turning their findings over to the president. By law, the committee can’t veto a transaction; only the president can.

All nine federal agencies were required to approve the Uranium One transaction before it could go forward. According to The New York Times, Clinton may not have even directly participated in the decision. Then-Assistant Secretary of State Jose Fernandez, whose job it was to represent the State Dept. on CFIUS, said Clinton “never intervened” in committee matters. Clinton herself has said she wasn’t personally involved.

I'm exceedingly confident that Russia did not use Facebook and Twitter to interfere in the 1992 and 1996 elections that resulted in the Clinton presidency.

Ultimately, we're probably never going to see the full extent of the investigation.  It will probably continue for years, and most of what's uncovered is not likely to be made public knowledge.

aspiringnomad

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 946
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2018, 03:31:45 PM »
The Trump-Russia story is complicated. It can't be summarized in one sentence or even in one paragraph. If you want to get a good feel for some of the sub-stories (e.g., Trump Tower Moscow being one of Trump's biggest ambitions, Russians knowing Trump was going to run for President in 2013, Don Jr. and Eric both stating that their father is rich because of Russia, Trump directing a unilateral change of the Republican Party platform in favor of Russia after one of his campaign workers revealed himself to be working with them, lots of ties to money launderers who have ties to Russia, etc. and much more), I recommend Seth Abramson's Twitter account. He's a former criminal investigator and criminal defense attorney. He doesn't like Trump. His Twitter account is at twitter.com/SethAbramson, and his bio is at http://www.sethabramson.net/bio.

I don't intend to hang around this thread, because of, as you say, blood pressure.

Of all the possible charges/allegations floating out there I think what I've bolded above is the most likely to stick to the Trump Organization, though of course I have no idea if there is a smoking gun linking Trump himself to it.

NPR's Embed podcast did a series of excellent, in-depth, facts-only reporting on all the Russian ties to Trump - and they are quite significant, whether legal or otherwise. Money laundering is pretty easy to trace (especially in the pre-Bitcoin era) with a dedicated staff of investigators. If you want to know more specifically about the Magnitsky Act and why Russia sought a meeting with Trump and family in regards to that I recommend an NPR Planet Money podcast on that subject. It really is fascinating and scary (if you allow yourself to worry about stuff outside your control).

Also pre-emptively bowing out of this discussion in the event it turns into what the OP feared it would.

thunderball

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 79
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2018, 03:47:44 PM »
No JLee, this uranium story: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us/cash-flowed-to-clinton-foundation-as-russians-pressed-for-control-of-uranium-company.html

I wasn't referring to President Clinton's terms, rather Mrs. Clinton's run and the lack of vigor exhibited by the media at the time. 

Nor am I defending Trump - just highlighting the degrees to which the media pursues allegations, depending on the candidate.


ReadySetMillionaire

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1688
  • Location: The Buckeye State
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2018, 04:07:00 PM »
I gave up watching the news for Lent due to similar concerns of OP. But as a conservative (generally) who voted for Romney in 2012 and Hillary in 2016 who loathes the current administration (I think I'm independent?), here's my take on current things.

The basic analysis of the current news and political climate is this: it's reached a breaking point of unbearableness because (1) the Trump administration is laughably incompetent, leading to one unbelievable story after the next; (2) there's an insane amount of government employees leaking to the press right now; and (3) the media actively despises the Trump administration.  I think people are taking sides and thinking only one of these can be true, but these statements aren't really mutually exclusive.

It's quite clear by now that Trump and his campaign, transition team, and current staff are laughably in over their heads.  They frequently make rash decisions without contemplating the fallout or consequences; they don't seem to know how governance/separation of powers works; they fudge facts and flat out lie more than past administrations; they don't understand America's place in the world, who are enemies and allies are, etc.; on and on and on. 

And at the head of it is Trump, whose oxygen is attention.  He blusters and he rages and he talks like a fourth grader--AND THE MEDIA CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF IT.

So while the media is quite actively covering how surreal the Trump administration is, they hyperventilate and lose their minds over every single crumb that comes out of the administration.  It seems to me that the media has started with a conclusion--that Trump colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election--and worked their way backwards.  So every story that comes out--BREAKING: Russian agent took large poop at Trump Tower in 2014--gets shoved into this paradigm. This leads to an unstoppable waterfall of BREAKING and SOURCES that make it feel like it's impossible to know what's important and what's not.

On top of that, and to defend the media a bit, there seems to be an absolutely immense amount of people within the federal government leaking things to the press.  I personally think it's great because we deserve this level of transparency, but good Lord, this amount seems to me to be unprecedented.  And so this, too, leads to more BREAKING and SOURCES.

Ultimately, all of this has led to a news and political climate that is confusing, frustrating, and undesirable. And thus, we're left with either trying to sort through this maze of horseshit or just tune out.  I've opted to tune out. 

I guess I didn't answer OP's question, but I have nowhere else to vent about this, so there's my thoughts.  Cheers.

secondcor521

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3973
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Boise, Idaho
  • Big cattle, no hat.
    • Age of Eon - Overwatch player videos
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2018, 04:34:16 PM »
Okay, I came back ;-). Hopefully this is the last time. I hate talking about this stuff, but it's important, and I really appreciate your OP.

A few of the most important tree trunks are:

* Unilateral softening of sanctions against Russia, plus recent refusal to enforce the sanctions that are left, combined with lots of reasons to think Russian money ended up in Trump's pocket from 2012 onward, combined with refusal to release tax returns.
* Lots of money laundering connections between Trump and Russian oligarchs, which are the same as their government.
* Every top official who's involved with the Trump-Russia organization has either been fired or come under public attack by Trump. And they're (almost) all Republicans.
* Multiple lies in the administration about meetings with Russians or Russian-connected "businessmen". The pattern is clear: lie, then when you're caught, minimize, deflect or discredit.
* Repeated, public attempts to discredit the American intelligence community who is investigating him. Whatever the outcome of the investigation, the US needs the FBI/CIA/NSA etc. to have credibility in the world and at home.
* Recent confirmation that Trump is susceptible to blackmail over sex (Stormy Daniels), and also that he will attempt to cover up the blackmail.
* More and more of the Steele Dossier being confirmed by independent sources. The Dossier is largely about money laundering, contrary to what the MSM would have us all believe.
* Russians started tweeting about Trump's Presidential run in 2013, after a meeting he held in Russia. Seven days later, he registered the MAGA trademark. A couple of weeks later, the Miss Universe pageant, a Trump property, was awarded to Russia. Trump had an MOU for Trump Tower Moscow for more than a couple of years, which was only de-activated after he took office.
* A huge campaign by Russians to interfere with the 2016 election, and Trump's reluctance to admit such.
* Last but not least, four indictments of U.S. citizens who were on the campaign, with three deals made for pleas out of the four. And the recent indictments of Russian people and entities showing *some* of the election interference. This should be the beginning.

In general the MSM has done a truly incompetent job of reporting what's going on. I wouldn't even bother with CNN (hell no), NYT, or MSNBC except for a few good pieces here and there. If you watch Fox, you would barely know there's an issue with the President, but you might be convinced that Hillary Clinton is a threat. The Guardian does a good job, but they're a needle in a haystack. Similar the BBC. Seth Abramson just makes connections between stories that are well-sourced, and uses his experience as a criminal defense lawyer and a prosecutor to analyze what we know so far. He's biased, but he's rigorous and logical.

Thanks again for this.  What has been confusing to me, and part of why I titled my post the way I did, was that I expected that press outlets who were not supportive of Trump would do a workmanlike job of explaining the collusion story.  As you note in your last paragraph, it seems (to me also, BTW) they haven't.  I am not sure why.

The list of items you give certainly paints a negative picture of Trump in general.  The last two items (and the fourth) certainly come the closest - to my mind, anyway - of being circumstantial evidence of a collusion case regarding the election.  Again, what is confusing me here is that the story I kept hearing was "Trump's campaign colluded with the Russians to throw the election" and now the story seems to have generalized from that to "Trump and his campaign had bad ties with Russia" and "The Russians threw the election".

These last two statements to me are sort of two legs of a three legged stool, with the third missing leg being, say, a memo from Donald Trump Junior to Putin saying, "Hey, here's $10M to fund that disinformation campaign on Facebook we talked about on the phone last Friday" or some such similar smoking gun.  I'm sure Mueller's looking for that, and Representatives Shiff and Pelosi (and Senator Shumer) are hoping for that and believe it exists.  When I add the emphatic and repeated certainty of belief that collusion happened to the not-yet-found smoking gun situation, I end up unsure what the truth is.

Thanks also to everyone else who posted.  Especially thanks to those who have kept the discussion on topic and whose replies have been on an even keel (which is most of them).  I've read them all as well.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2018, 04:36:01 PM by secondcor521 »

Mr. Green

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3220
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Wandering
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2018, 04:39:16 PM »
Hi,

In an effort to be a reasonably informed person and voter but keep my blood pressure in check, I try to follow the news but not get too wrapped up in it as most of it is outside my circle of control and even outside my circle of influence.

My request:  Can someone please give me the basic outline of the "Trump Russia election collusion" story?

I understand, for example, the 25th amendment argument:  Trump is mentally unfit because he writes crazy tweets and says crazy things and so should be removed under the 25th amendment.  I understand the emoluments clause argument that Trump owns some hotels that foreign government officials stay in, and that could be seen as him receiving emoluments from foreign governments in violation of the Constitution.  I understand the obstruction of justice argument about Trump firing Comey.

I know about the Mueller investigation.  I've read about the indictment of the Russian nationals who allegedly tried to influence the election.  I've read that the Russians managed to access our voting systems in multiple states.  I know the conservative story about the FISA court and the Steele dossier and Carter Page.

What I'm missing is the specifics of the allegation in this story:  Who in Trump's campaign did what with which Russians?  Right now it feels like I'm playing Clue with an empty envelope - The headline is someone got murdered, but I'm missing the "Mr. Green in the Library with the Wrench" part of it.

Anyway, if anyone knows the answer and would be willing to briefly spell it out for me, I would appreciate it a bunch.

Since this touches on a political subject, I know this thread is quite likely going to devolve into a wasteland of argument.  I'm not looking for that; I'm just looking to be educated with some basic information that I haven't been able to get through my usual news sources (and I am willing to read stuff from all sides of the debate).  I will read all replies, but I will also try not to get sucked into any political debate or argument.  I will try to post a thank you to anyone who does actually answer my question.  I will try to answer any clarifying queries if my question isn't clear.

Thanks.
My weapon of choice is the candlestick, just for the record. ;)

Scortius

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 475
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2018, 05:10:26 PM »
Okay, I came back ;-). Hopefully this is the last time. I hate talking about this stuff, but it's important, and I really appreciate your OP.

A few of the most important tree trunks are:

* Unilateral softening of sanctions against Russia, plus recent refusal to enforce the sanctions that are left, combined with lots of reasons to think Russian money ended up in Trump's pocket from 2012 onward, combined with refusal to release tax returns.
* Lots of money laundering connections between Trump and Russian oligarchs, which are the same as their government.
* Every top official who's involved with the Trump-Russia organization has either been fired or come under public attack by Trump. And they're (almost) all Republicans.
* Multiple lies in the administration about meetings with Russians or Russian-connected "businessmen". The pattern is clear: lie, then when you're caught, minimize, deflect or discredit.
* Repeated, public attempts to discredit the American intelligence community who is investigating him. Whatever the outcome of the investigation, the US needs the FBI/CIA/NSA etc. to have credibility in the world and at home.
* Recent confirmation that Trump is susceptible to blackmail over sex (Stormy Daniels), and also that he will attempt to cover up the blackmail.
* More and more of the Steele Dossier being confirmed by independent sources. The Dossier is largely about money laundering, contrary to what the MSM would have us all believe.
* Russians started tweeting about Trump's Presidential run in 2013, after a meeting he held in Russia. Seven days later, he registered the MAGA trademark. A couple of weeks later, the Miss Universe pageant, a Trump property, was awarded to Russia. Trump had an MOU for Trump Tower Moscow for more than a couple of years, which was only de-activated after he took office.
* A huge campaign by Russians to interfere with the 2016 election, and Trump's reluctance to admit such.
* Last but not least, four indictments of U.S. citizens who were on the campaign, with three deals made for pleas out of the four. And the recent indictments of Russian people and entities showing *some* of the election interference. This should be the beginning.

In general the MSM has done a truly incompetent job of reporting what's going on. I wouldn't even bother with CNN (hell no), NYT, or MSNBC except for a few good pieces here and there. If you watch Fox, you would barely know there's an issue with the President, but you might be convinced that Hillary Clinton is a threat. The Guardian does a good job, but they're a needle in a haystack. Similar the BBC. Seth Abramson just makes connections between stories that are well-sourced, and uses his experience as a criminal defense lawyer and a prosecutor to analyze what we know so far. He's biased, but he's rigorous and logical.

Thanks again for this.  What has been confusing to me, and part of why I titled my post the way I did, was that I expected that press outlets who were not supportive of Trump would do a workmanlike job of explaining the collusion story.  As you note in your last paragraph, it seems (to me also, BTW) they haven't.  I am not sure why.

The list of items you give certainly paints a negative picture of Trump in general.  The last two items (and the fourth) certainly come the closest - to my mind, anyway - of being circumstantial evidence of a collusion case regarding the election.  Again, what is confusing me here is that the story I kept hearing was "Trump's campaign colluded with the Russians to throw the election" and now the story seems to have generalized from that to "Trump and his campaign had bad ties with Russia" and "The Russians threw the election".

These last two statements to me are sort of two legs of a three legged stool, with the third missing leg being, say, a memo from Donald Trump Junior to Putin saying, "Hey, here's $10M to fund that disinformation campaign on Facebook we talked about on the phone last Friday" or some such similar smoking gun.  I'm sure Mueller's looking for that, and Representatives Shiff and Pelosi (and Senator Shumer) are hoping for that and believe it exists.  When I add the emphatic and repeated certainty of belief that collusion happened to the not-yet-found smoking gun situation, I end up unsure what the truth is.

Thanks also to everyone else who posted.  Especially thanks to those who have kept the discussion on topic and whose replies have been on an even keel (which is most of them).  I've read them all as well.

I find this really interesting because by all accounts, several of the news organizations you just named have attempted to do exactly that. Yet when we talk about them, all the discussion is about how crazy CNN or the Times or the Post are right now. I think part of it is that you have to really separate their editorial content from their news content. I've found that the Times and the Post have put out countless good editorial-free articles that do go into the very depth that you seem to desire, only for other people to simply dismiss them as overly partisan. I encourage you to read some of their non-editorial content with a critical eye (as anyone should). I think you'll find that they try very hard to provide background and context for their material. Meanwhile, here's some of the easy to find content that people seem to claim isn't there. These are simple Google results.

https://www.cnn.com/2017/03/29/politics/russia-investigation-cast-of-characters/index.html

http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2017/politics/trump-russia-connections/

https://www.cnn.com/2016/12/26/us/2016-presidential-campaign-hacking-fast-facts/index.html

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/12/10/us/politics/trump-and-russia.html

https://www.politico.com/trump-russia-ties-scandal-guide/timeline-of-events

http://billmoyers.com/story/trump-russia-timeline/

I post them as is as we're not really here for a debate, just a listing of information. These links from the sources dismissed earlier do a fairly comprehensive job summarizing most of the 'fun'.

« Last Edit: February 19, 2018, 05:14:27 PM by Scortius »

RetiredAt63

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 15815
  • Location: Eastern Ontario, Canada
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2018, 05:13:41 PM »


On the other hand, I haven't clicked on a "Russia" news story in quite a while, with the exception of the doping Olympic curling guy news that came out today (I think).

What?!?  The Olympic Athletes for Russia are participating under the aegis of the Olympic Committee since Russia was banned because of doping.  To then use drugs is not only stupid but an insult to their sponsors.  And curling?  The drug of choice for curlers is alcohol, after the game (and in very fun bonspiels, during).  Must go to CBC.
Oh, sorry to go OT.  But this is MAJOR  (Yes, I am Canadian, and a retired curler).

secondcor521

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3973
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Boise, Idaho
  • Big cattle, no hat.
    • Age of Eon - Overwatch player videos
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #20 on: February 19, 2018, 06:36:44 PM »
Okay, I came back ;-). Hopefully this is the last time. I hate talking about this stuff, but it's important, and I really appreciate your OP.

A few of the most important tree trunks are:

* Unilateral softening of sanctions against Russia, plus recent refusal to enforce the sanctions that are left, combined with lots of reasons to think Russian money ended up in Trump's pocket from 2012 onward, combined with refusal to release tax returns.
* Lots of money laundering connections between Trump and Russian oligarchs, which are the same as their government.
* Every top official who's involved with the Trump-Russia organization has either been fired or come under public attack by Trump. And they're (almost) all Republicans.
* Multiple lies in the administration about meetings with Russians or Russian-connected "businessmen". The pattern is clear: lie, then when you're caught, minimize, deflect or discredit.
* Repeated, public attempts to discredit the American intelligence community who is investigating him. Whatever the outcome of the investigation, the US needs the FBI/CIA/NSA etc. to have credibility in the world and at home.
* Recent confirmation that Trump is susceptible to blackmail over sex (Stormy Daniels), and also that he will attempt to cover up the blackmail.
* More and more of the Steele Dossier being confirmed by independent sources. The Dossier is largely about money laundering, contrary to what the MSM would have us all believe.
* Russians started tweeting about Trump's Presidential run in 2013, after a meeting he held in Russia. Seven days later, he registered the MAGA trademark. A couple of weeks later, the Miss Universe pageant, a Trump property, was awarded to Russia. Trump had an MOU for Trump Tower Moscow for more than a couple of years, which was only de-activated after he took office.
* A huge campaign by Russians to interfere with the 2016 election, and Trump's reluctance to admit such.
* Last but not least, four indictments of U.S. citizens who were on the campaign, with three deals made for pleas out of the four. And the recent indictments of Russian people and entities showing *some* of the election interference. This should be the beginning.

In general the MSM has done a truly incompetent job of reporting what's going on. I wouldn't even bother with CNN (hell no), NYT, or MSNBC except for a few good pieces here and there. If you watch Fox, you would barely know there's an issue with the President, but you might be convinced that Hillary Clinton is a threat. The Guardian does a good job, but they're a needle in a haystack. Similar the BBC. Seth Abramson just makes connections between stories that are well-sourced, and uses his experience as a criminal defense lawyer and a prosecutor to analyze what we know so far. He's biased, but he's rigorous and logical.

Thanks again for this.  What has been confusing to me, and part of why I titled my post the way I did, was that I expected that press outlets who were not supportive of Trump would do a workmanlike job of explaining the collusion story.  As you note in your last paragraph, it seems (to me also, BTW) they haven't.  I am not sure why.

The list of items you give certainly paints a negative picture of Trump in general.  The last two items (and the fourth) certainly come the closest - to my mind, anyway - of being circumstantial evidence of a collusion case regarding the election.  Again, what is confusing me here is that the story I kept hearing was "Trump's campaign colluded with the Russians to throw the election" and now the story seems to have generalized from that to "Trump and his campaign had bad ties with Russia" and "The Russians threw the election".

These last two statements to me are sort of two legs of a three legged stool, with the third missing leg being, say, a memo from Donald Trump Junior to Putin saying, "Hey, here's $10M to fund that disinformation campaign on Facebook we talked about on the phone last Friday" or some such similar smoking gun.  I'm sure Mueller's looking for that, and Representatives Shiff and Pelosi (and Senator Shumer) are hoping for that and believe it exists.  When I add the emphatic and repeated certainty of belief that collusion happened to the not-yet-found smoking gun situation, I end up unsure what the truth is.

Thanks also to everyone else who posted.  Especially thanks to those who have kept the discussion on topic and whose replies have been on an even keel (which is most of them).  I've read them all as well.

I find this really interesting because by all accounts, several of the news organizations you just named have attempted to do exactly that. Yet when we talk about them, all the discussion is about how crazy CNN or the Times or the Post are right now. I think part of it is that you have to really separate their editorial content from their news content. I've found that the Times and the Post have put out countless good editorial-free articles that do go into the very depth that you seem to desire, only for other people to simply dismiss them as overly partisan. I encourage you to read some of their non-editorial content with a critical eye (as anyone should). I think you'll find that they try very hard to provide background and context for their material. Meanwhile, here's some of the easy to find content that people seem to claim isn't there. These are simple Google results.

https://www.cnn.com/2017/03/29/politics/russia-investigation-cast-of-characters/index.html

http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2017/politics/trump-russia-connections/

https://www.cnn.com/2016/12/26/us/2016-presidential-campaign-hacking-fast-facts/index.html

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/12/10/us/politics/trump-and-russia.html

https://www.politico.com/trump-russia-ties-scandal-guide/timeline-of-events

http://billmoyers.com/story/trump-russia-timeline/

I post them as is as we're not really here for a debate, just a listing of information. These links from the sources dismissed earlier do a fairly comprehensive job summarizing most of the 'fun'.

Thank you Scortius for the links.  I read a lot of the content there but nowhere near all of it as it is quite extensive.  To my eye, most if not all of the content falls under the first two legs of the stool that I mentioned in my previous post, namely, that Trump and people in his circle have ties to Russia, and that the Russians meddled in our election.  I was unable to find anything of the third leg of the stool, with the possible exceptions of some of the material on Mr. Papadopoulos and Mr. Stone.  With them, though, what is still missing is evidence showing that they were directed by the campaign rather than independent actors (which is how they strike me, by the way, as they seem not too bright).  One can take this, again, as evidence that the smoking gun is there and simply hasn't been found yet, or that it isn't there.  (There are assertions that it exists by Representative Shiff and unnamed officials, but nobody has yet provided evidence that is anything beyond their sincerely held opinion.)

Surprisingly, some of the content I found exculpatory and beneficial to President Trump and his supporter's point of view.  (I say surprisingly because I thought your intent was to provide evidence for President Trump's guilt.)  Among other things, it weakens my previous conclusion above starting with "The last two items (and the fourth)..."  The plea deals don't seem to relate directly to the alleged election collusion.  From the first CNN link:  "The charges [against Manafort and Gates] do not cover any activities related to the campaign, though it's possible Mueller could add additional charges."  And the Flynn and Papadopoulos convictions are about lying to the FBI about Russia, not about collusion with Russia, although obviously the two could be linked.

Strategically, asserting collusion without presenting the evidence could succeed in two ways - either it turns out to be true or you can convince people that it's true (or even possibly true, which in a campaign might be good enough) simply through repetition.  It probably won't fail, because it's easy to stretch allegations over years, easily to and past the next several elections - our recent history is full of examples.  Looking at it through that lens, it doesn't surprise me that opponents of Trump chose not to go with the story of "Trump and Russia have connections and Russia is bad, therefore Trump is bad" or "Russia interfered with our election and Trump ended up winning and that's bad"  To me at least, the latter two don't have the oomph of collusion (or obstruction, which I think would be an easier argument to make).

aspiringnomad

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 946
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #21 on: February 19, 2018, 06:49:31 PM »
I'll again recommend NPR. They've always been more focused on reportage and have fewer opinion pieces than other outlets. More importantly, the format of their podcasts (notably Embed) is well suited for this complex subject. Their reporting on Trump/Russia has gone largely under the radar which is probably both frustrating and helpful in this era of shooting the messenger when the message contravenes your political leaning.

secondcor521

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3973
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Boise, Idaho
  • Big cattle, no hat.
    • Age of Eon - Overwatch player videos
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #22 on: February 19, 2018, 07:14:55 PM »
Thank you aspiringnomad, I'll try to listen to some of that.

On a tangentially related note, I guess I'm also surprised and dubious that the collusion story gets as much emphasis as it does from a political-strategic point of view.  It seems to be a long, complicated, difficult-to-articulate and difficult-to-prove story.  It makes sense to press every advantage one has, but if I were king of political strategy I would probably emphasize the simpler, shorter, easier-to-demonstrate stories more.  I'm curious why the play is for fairly hefty doses of the collusion item.

Scortius

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 475
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #23 on: February 19, 2018, 07:44:18 PM »
I actually agree that collusion isn't so clear cut at this point. I do feel that Trump has shown an uncomfortable closeness to Russian oligarchs and has basically admitted to obstruction on national tv. A lot of the so called collision can be explained by general incompetence and basic unethical behavior. There do seem to be a few smoking guns, some detailed above. 

First, Trump hires Manafort for no salary. Manafort's previous experience is advising the pro-Russian Ukrainian political party on how to maintain power after a popular revolution inside Ukraine. Upon winning the Republican nomination, Trump updates the GOP policy to support Russia's military occupation of Ukraine. Not collision directly, but evidence of a possible quid pro quo.

Second, Trump Jr's meeting in Trump tower with Russian representatives regarding the exchange of removing the Maginsky Act sanctions on Russia in exchange for dirt on Hilary. Obtaining dirt on Hillary directly from Russian sources would be collusion, but it's not clear if they ever did receive direct dirt. That said, Russia hacking did leak DNC emails and once in office, Trump did try unsuccessfully to drop the Maginsky Act sanctions.  Trump also called on Russia to leak Hillary's emails live during a national debate, suggesting he knew about the Russian hacks on the DNC server.  Since then, Congress has passed a bill requiring more sanctions on Russia (which Trump signed and passed into law), but the Trump administration has refused to enact them. Strange that an administration so adamant in demonstrating no link to Russia would refuse to enforce sanctions against them passed by the Republican controlled House and Senate.

Finally there is Trump's continued refusal (until this week) to accept the analysis of our intelligence agencies that Russia tried to meddle in our election process. It is not normal for the president to side with a political adversary over the intelligence community tasked with defending the country, but this could be explained by him simply not wanting to admit that Russia tried to help him (as it might take some luster away from his victory).

In the end, if there was clear collision, it would have happened out of the public eye. Thus, the only way we'll really figure it out is if and when Mueller releases the results of his investigation. Until then there is simply an awful lot of smoke surrounding Trump's financial ties to Russia and Russia's clear intent to get Trump elected President.

secondcor521

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3973
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Boise, Idaho
  • Big cattle, no hat.
    • Age of Eon - Overwatch player videos
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #24 on: February 19, 2018, 07:45:00 PM »
Further comment:  I assumed I knew what the word "collusion" meant, and I thought it was synonymous with conspiring or plotting.  But it can mean simple cooperation, which still seems difficult to prove but is definitely a lower bar.  In other words, I was looking for some activity where someone from the Trump campaign was actively planning something with the Russians:  "Hey, Russians, let's leak DNC emails!".  But it seems collusion could be as simple as the Trump campaign and the Russian actors knowing of each other's aims and acting in such a way as to support each other's actions; it could conceivably be done without any direct communication of any kind between the parties.  A circumstantial example of this might be the leaking of Podesta emails hours after the Billy Bush tape surfaced.

I'm now curious what the legal standard is for collusion, except I think that this is not generally intended as a legal question to be determined by a court of law but a political question to be determined by public opinion and voting in the next election(s).

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6806
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #25 on: February 19, 2018, 07:45:29 PM »
Thank you aspiringnomad, I'll try to listen to some of that.

On a tangentially related note, I guess I'm also surprised and dubious that the collusion story gets as much emphasis as it does from a political-strategic point of view.  It seems to be a long, complicated, difficult-to-articulate and difficult-to-prove story.  It makes sense to press every advantage one has, but if I were king of political strategy I would probably emphasize the simpler, shorter, easier-to-demonstrate stories more.  I'm curious why the play is for fairly hefty doses of the collusion item.

Is collusion getting pressed that hard?  I don't watch television news and mostly see headlines on news sites, but generally I see Trump claiming "no collusion" while the FBI is pursuing indictments on other criminal matters. "FBI investigating XYZ for ABC offense" is followed by Trump shouting "NO COLLUSION, FAKE NEWS". The investigation into election tampering seems to make the news, but I don't recall seeing news sites claiming that Trump colluded.

Maybe I'm just not watching enough news to pick up on it.

I'm now curious what the legal standard is for collusion, except I think that this is not generally intended as a legal question to be determined by a court of law but a political question to be determined by public opinion and voting in the next election(s).
I'm not sure if "collusion" is even a crime. I'd expect far more specific charges to be levied by the FBI's investigation.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2018, 07:47:52 PM by JLee »

aspiringnomad

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 946
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #26 on: February 19, 2018, 07:55:17 PM »
Collusion is not a crime. Therefore, believe it or not, Mueller is not investigating collusion. Like I mentioned upthread, if I were Trump I'd not be worried about that but instead about the potential for a close associate or family member being indicted for money laundering. I can even imagine that if/when those charges are filed Trump will tweet: "See!! I told you ALL. Their was NO COLLUSION! Waist of time AND money. Sad."

secondcor521

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3973
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Boise, Idaho
  • Big cattle, no hat.
    • Age of Eon - Overwatch player videos
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #27 on: February 19, 2018, 08:08:29 PM »
@JLee, I seem to hear about it a lot.

As far as the legal definition of collusion, one of Google's top hits on "is collusion a crime?" is this reasonably accessible article.  Note that it is 7 months old:

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/07/12/what-is-collusion-215366

(This article actually does a good job too of answering my original question:  Trump Jr met with a Russian lawyer in June 2016 and had an implicit quid pro quo of reduced sanctions in exchange for political dirt on Secretary Clinton in violation of election law - OR - Unknown Trump campaign officials - maybe Stone - aided or abetted the Russian hacks of the DNC emails in violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act - OR - maybe something else...)

Zola.

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 409
  • Location: UK
  • Let's do this.
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #28 on: February 20, 2018, 01:56:20 AM »
Theres a saying where I come from

"It's as well his daddy was born before him"

The man is a fool, with zero compassion or awareness.

vivian

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 87
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #29 on: February 20, 2018, 06:14:16 AM »
What we know about collusion comes down to Don Jr. His meeting that appeared to offer reduced sanctions for dirt on Clinton, and his messages with WikiLeaks during the campaign. This contact, and statements by both Don Jr and Pres Trump himself, suggests they knew the Clinton campaign emails had been hacked before they were released.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

wenchsenior

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3077
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #30 on: February 20, 2018, 07:36:20 AM »
1.  Collusion is not a crime, AFAIK.  I don't think that's what Mueller's team is investigating. They would most likely be investigating conspiracy and/or obstruction of justice in relation to Trump.

2.  Several posters have repeatedly said 'the media' is pushing collusion, or 'they keep hearing about collusion' as if the third leg of the stool described above is the focus of most stories reported by hard news outlets.  But I have mainly followed this news story from the beginning on NPR, and while they have mentioned possible collusion occasionally as part of their stories, they have never reported actual confirmed [IMPORTANT EDIT]collusion conspiracy, nor have they ever implied that Trump et al would be indicted for itcollusion. 

So,  I wonder if this idea that "Collusion is the smoking gun that will bring down the Trump administration" is an impression people are getting from e.g., Facebook/political discussions with liberals/the general 'ether', rather than actual reputable reports such as were listed in the links above.  Personally, I have noticed among my liberal friends some tendency to conflate collusion and conspiracy, and an (IMO) silly certainty that Mueller is going to indict Trump or someone very close to him for something related to Russia that will end Trump's presidency. 

Is it that kind of impression the OP and some others on this thread have been getting? If so, I don't think you are getting it from actual reputable reporters, only pundits and the somewhat ill-informed public talking among themselves.

Pundits are certainly speculating on collusion between Trump et al. and Russia.  If that happened, it would certainly be interesting and damning of Trump et als general moral character, but I still don't think it would result in any legal action. 
« Last Edit: February 20, 2018, 07:39:09 AM by wenchsenior »

talltexan

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4526
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #31 on: February 20, 2018, 09:10:24 AM »
Trump's team made only one modification to the GOP platform at the GOP convention in Summer 2016: abandoning Ukraine to Russian aggression.

https://www.npr.org/2017/12/04/568310790/2016-rnc-delegate-trump-directed-change-to-party-platform-on-ukraine-support

We do not know why Trump directed this (or if it was even Trump, could have just been Manafort). But the financial ties are speculated to constitute a motive, i.e. Russian financing on many of his properties was keeping him solvent.

secondcor521

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3973
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Boise, Idaho
  • Big cattle, no hat.
    • Age of Eon - Overwatch player videos
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #32 on: February 20, 2018, 09:32:26 AM »
1.  Collusion is not a crime, AFAIK.  I don't think that's what Mueller's team is investigating. They would most likely be investigating conspiracy and/or obstruction of justice in relation to Trump.

2.  Several posters have repeatedly said 'the media' is pushing collusion, or 'they keep hearing about collusion' as if the third leg of the stool described above is the focus of most stories reported by hard news outlets.  But I have mainly followed this news story from the beginning on NPR, and while they have mentioned possible collusion occasionally as part of their stories, they have never reported actual confirmed [IMPORTANT EDIT]collusion conspiracy, nor have they ever implied that Trump et al would be indicted for itcollusion. 

So,  I wonder if this idea that "Collusion is the smoking gun that will bring down the Trump administration" is an impression people are getting from e.g., Facebook/political discussions with liberals/the general 'ether', rather than actual reputable reports such as were listed in the links above.  Personally, I have noticed among my liberal friends some tendency to conflate collusion and conspiracy, and an (IMO) silly certainty that Mueller is going to indict Trump or someone very close to him for something related to Russia that will end Trump's presidency. 

Is it that kind of impression the OP and some others on this thread have been getting? If so, I don't think you are getting it from actual reputable reporters, only pundits and the somewhat ill-informed public talking among themselves.

Pundits are certainly speculating on collusion between Trump et al. and Russia.  If that happened, it would certainly be interesting and damning of Trump et als general moral character, but I still don't think it would result in any legal action.

Emphasis added.

Here are the kind of stories I see and have been seeing.  I am not sure what people think of these news sources (except that Fox is generally regarded as pro-Trump and their article below could be seen as a political-counter-dodge that both sides do with regularity):

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/feb/19/trump-russia-collusion-investigation-adam-schiff

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/02/17/trump-russia-collusion-narrative-is-dead.html

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/02/14/adam-schiff-there-ample-evidence-collusion-between-trump-campaign-russians/336786002/

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/trump-denies-collusion-again-tweets-sparks-concerns-among-lawmakers-n849181

You can find many more examples with a Google news search on "Trump Russia collusion election".

My main focus has been to understand what people who refer to these stories are actually talking about.  Whether this will be President Trump's Watergate-style downfall is something I've heard from my liberal friends and acquaintances as something they hope for.  As alluded to in previous posts, I think there are lots of arguments against Trump and in my view some have more heft than others, some have more validity than others, and some are easier to understand than others.  I don't think the collusion story has been most or even the main part of the arguments, but it certainly has been one that has come up with regularity so it is a part of the story.

Thanks again to all who have posted, it has helped me understand this part of the news landscape better.

Malloy

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 403
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #33 on: February 20, 2018, 09:47:30 AM »
This is a good read:

https://www.wired.com/story/bob-muellers-investigation-is-largerand-further-alongthan-you-think/

"We speak about the “Mueller probe” as a single entity, but it’s important to understand that there are no fewer than five (known) separate investigations under the broad umbrella of the special counsel’s office—some threads of these investigations may overlap or intersect, some may be completely free-standing, and some potential targets may be part of multiple threads. But it’s important to understand the different “buckets” of Mueller’s probe."

1. Preexisting Business Deals and Money Laundering.
2. Russian Information Operations.
3. Active Cyber Intrusions.
4. Russian Campaign Contacts.
5. Obstruction of Justice.

We don't know what the Mueller team knows, but we do know that three high level Trump operatives have now been indicted.  He may not face any charges.  But at some point people will have to reckon with the fact that the guy they thought would run the country like a business and hire "the best" people is, charitably, a disinterested and uninformed executive who hired a bunch of sketchy people who coincidentally all have ties to Russian money launderers. I think that, so far, Trump has been able to maintain separation between himself and the indicted in the public eye.  If something comes down on Kushner, he may have trouble continuing to do so.
 
From my point of view, the biggest "wtf" moment for me came withe the GOP platform change mentioned upthread.  You've got a candidate whose biggest policy platform is "The Wall," but his only amendment to the GOP platform has to do with Ukraine? OK, seems legit.


the_fixer

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1180
  • Location: Colorado
  • mind on my money money on my mind
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #34 on: February 20, 2018, 04:31:06 PM »
I try to stay objective and look at information from all sources and my take is that the left is doing an amazing job of creating a massive amount chaos and FUD to slow down and stop any progress until they can level the playing field.

 It is truly amazing what they are accomplishing yet sad that our government is in the middle of a ideological civil war.

I DO think they will find tampering by the Russians but do not think it will be tied back to Trump. I am not sure why we would expect anything less from them as we have meddled in plenty of governments it just so happens that the Russians did an amazing job of harnessing social media and driving a wedge between two already angry parties.

In the mean time the investigators will try to use the investigation to disrupt the current administration as much as possible and throw anyone they can under the bus for whatever they can find.

As far as the lack of detailed media coverage... I guarantee that they would be screaming from the highest of high if they had anything to report.

And for the record I am pissed at all of the politicians particularly the ones at the extremes because they are doing a disservice to the American people



Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk


JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6806
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #35 on: February 20, 2018, 04:40:24 PM »
I try to stay objective and look at information from all sources and my take is that the left is doing an amazing job of creating a massive amount chaos and FUD to slow down and stop any progress until they can level the playing field.

 It is truly amazing what they are accomplishing yet sad that our government is in the middle of a ideological civil war.

I DO think they will find tampering by the Russians but do not think it will be tied back to Trump. I am not sure why we would expect anything less from them as we have meddled in plenty of governments it just so happens that the Russians did an amazing job of harnessing social media and driving a wedge between two already angry parties.

In the mean time the investigators will try to use the investigation to disrupt the current administration as much as possible and throw anyone they can under the bus for whatever they can find.

As far as the lack of detailed media coverage... I guarantee that they would be screaming from the highest of high if they had anything to report.

And for the record I am pissed at all of the politicians particularly the ones at the extremes because they are doing a disservice to the American people



Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

By that I'm sure you mean "I acknowledge and recognize that it is undisputed fact that they have found evidence of Russian interference in our election process" -- because there's no question about this. At all. Your language is ambiguous, but the way you phrased this post you are indicating that "the left" is looking into the Russian issue.  "They" are not. It's the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is not a political party.

To clarify- you are claiming that the FBI is attempting to use this investigation to disrupt the current administration as much as possible?
« Last Edit: February 20, 2018, 04:43:56 PM by JLee »

aspiringnomad

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 946
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #36 on: February 20, 2018, 05:13:54 PM »
I try to stay objective and look at information from all sources and my take is that the left is doing an amazing job of creating a massive amount chaos and FUD to slow down and stop any progress until they can level the playing field.

 It is truly amazing what they are accomplishing yet sad that our government is in the middle of a ideological civil war.

I DO think they will find tampering by the Russians but do not think it will be tied back to Trump. I am not sure why we would expect anything less from them as we have meddled in plenty of governments it just so happens that the Russians did an amazing job of harnessing social media and driving a wedge between two already angry parties.

In the mean time the investigators will try to use the investigation to disrupt the current administration as much as possible and throw anyone they can under the bus for whatever they can find.

As far as the lack of detailed media coverage... I guarantee that they would be screaming from the highest of high if they had anything to report.

And for the record I am pissed at all of the politicians particularly the ones at the extremes because they are doing a disservice to the American people



Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

By that I'm sure you mean "I acknowledge and recognize that it is undisputed fact that they have found evidence of Russian interference in our election process" -- because there's no question about this. At all. Your language is ambiguous, but the way you phrased this post you are indicating that "the left" is looking into the Russian issue.  "They" are not. It's the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is not a political party.

To clarify- you are claiming that the FBI is attempting to use this investigation to disrupt the current administration as much as possible?

Not to be pedantic, but the Special Counsel is not part of the FBI, but a separate office within the Justice Department that reports directly the Deputy Attorney General (because the Attorney General has recused himself from involvement in the investigation).

Also, while I personally trust his ability to be apolitical while serving as Special Counsel (or in any civil service role), Mueller is a Republican, intially appointed to lead the FBI by George W. Bush. He is also a war hero with a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star, whose professional bona fides and personal character was universally lauded by Republicans prior to the start of this investigation. Of course, in this era of shoot the messenger, some Republicans closest to Trump have started to change their tune about him.


the_fixer

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1180
  • Location: Colorado
  • mind on my money money on my mind
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #37 on: February 20, 2018, 05:49:05 PM »
I do not think the the FBI or DOJ is politically motivated to target the Trump administration specifically. I am sure they all have their own opinions and political leanings and I hope that they are professional enough to not act on them otherwise that is a scary situation.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk


JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6806
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #38 on: February 20, 2018, 06:23:52 PM »
I try to stay objective and look at information from all sources and my take is that the left is doing an amazing job of creating a massive amount chaos and FUD to slow down and stop any progress until they can level the playing field.

 It is truly amazing what they are accomplishing yet sad that our government is in the middle of a ideological civil war.

I DO think they will find tampering by the Russians but do not think it will be tied back to Trump. I am not sure why we would expect anything less from them as we have meddled in plenty of governments it just so happens that the Russians did an amazing job of harnessing social media and driving a wedge between two already angry parties.

In the mean time the investigators will try to use the investigation to disrupt the current administration as much as possible and throw anyone they can under the bus for whatever they can find.

As far as the lack of detailed media coverage... I guarantee that they would be screaming from the highest of high if they had anything to report.

And for the record I am pissed at all of the politicians particularly the ones at the extremes because they are doing a disservice to the American people



Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

By that I'm sure you mean "I acknowledge and recognize that it is undisputed fact that they have found evidence of Russian interference in our election process" -- because there's no question about this. At all. Your language is ambiguous, but the way you phrased this post you are indicating that "the left" is looking into the Russian issue.  "They" are not. It's the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is not a political party.

To clarify- you are claiming that the FBI is attempting to use this investigation to disrupt the current administration as much as possible?

Not to be pedantic, but the Special Counsel is not part of the FBI, but a separate office within the Justice Department that reports directly the Deputy Attorney General (because the Attorney General has recused himself from involvement in the investigation).

Also, while I personally trust his ability to be apolitical while serving as Special Counsel (or in any civil service role), Mueller is a Republican, intially appointed to lead the FBI by George W. Bush. He is also a war hero with a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star, whose professional bona fides and personal character was universally lauded by Republicans prior to the start of this investigation. Of course, in this era of shoot the messenger, some Republicans closest to Trump have started to change their tune about him.

Ahh touche, my bad on that! Thanks for the correction.

In the mean time the investigators will try to use the investigation to disrupt the current administration as much as possible and throw anyone they can under the bus for whatever they can find.

[...]

I do not think the the FBI or DOJ is politically motivated to target the Trump administration specifically.

Okay, now I'm confused.

secondcor521

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3973
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Boise, Idaho
  • Big cattle, no hat.
    • Age of Eon - Overwatch player videos
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #39 on: February 20, 2018, 06:27:46 PM »
OP here.  I have gotten what I wanted from the thread - thanks again to all those who helped me - so I am out.

Feel free to turn this thread into whatever.

the_fixer

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1180
  • Location: Colorado
  • mind on my money money on my mind
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #40 on: February 20, 2018, 06:31:23 PM »
Probably because I suck at explaining stuff on the internet :)



Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk


DoubleDown

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2076
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #41 on: February 21, 2018, 01:13:19 PM »
I wanted to add that a likely reason many are left wondering exactly whether there's actual "fire" and not just a bunch of smoke is because the Mueller investigation has, for the most part, held what they are doing very closely. They have only announced indictments strategically, as it suits their purposes (for example, to put pressure on witnesses to cooperate in order to catch bigger fish). So, the public is just left at this point to wonder whether it's all mostly smoke, as nothing has yet been definitively tied to Trump or his campaign in regards to election interference or cooperation with hacking against the DNC and other targets. I mean, the excellent summaries above such as by @Candace gives plenty of damning evidence for a reasonable person to conclude that Trump and his campaign did plenty of bad sh*t, but not enough yet for an actual indictment or impeachment against Trump.

It is pretty well a certainty that the Mueller team has gathered very damaging information against bigger fish, and is continuing to determine if there's a case to be made against Trump himself for obstruction of justice, if not active cooperation with foreign agents in regard to the election. We don't get to know that yet, though.

Samuel

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 619
  • Location: the slippery slope
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #42 on: February 27, 2018, 12:27:09 PM »
It is pretty well a certainty that the Mueller team has gathered very damaging information against bigger fish, and is continuing to determine if there's a case to be made against Trump himself for obstruction of justice, if not active cooperation with foreign agents in regard to the election. We don't get to know that yet, though.

Exactly this. Relatively little about the case has been made public. All the media hoopla on both sides comes from a relatively small part of the actual story. Conservatives seizing on each new nugget that doesn't directly implicate President Trump as a vindication kind of has the feel of someone who is falling off a building and saying to themselves on the way down, "so far so good...so far so good..."  Might be an airbag at the bottom or there might not be, but we don't know until we get there.

That said, I think it's entirely possible Trump himself will escape this mess with his office and without charges. I think it's possible, if not probable, that Manafort, Flynn, and the others saw Trump the same way Putin did/does, as a vainglorious political neophyte ripe for manipulation. They had their goals and saw a hot airship they could ride.

SpeedReader

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 167
  • Age: 56
  • Location: Lynnwood, WA
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #43 on: March 13, 2018, 08:18:56 PM »
As someone said recently on TV regarding crime, "We prosecute the intent, not the result."  (Think attempted murder, attempted burglary, etc.) 
With that said, it's pretty hard for me to imagine how Don Jr. can be cleared of collusion after setting up the Trump Tower meeting on the premise of obtaining dirt on Clinton from the Russians -- whether the "dirt" was ever produced or not.

Also hard to see how Trump can be cleared of obstruction of justice when he is on record telling the Russians in the Oval Office that he fired Comey because of the pressure about Russia. 

Just Joe

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4814
  • Age: 126
  • Location: In the middle somewhere....
  • Here to learn.
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #44 on: March 14, 2018, 08:57:49 AM »
Maybe Mueller is delaying until the mid-term elections when presumably there will be more Dems in office?

DarkandStormy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1444
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Midwest, USA
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #45 on: March 14, 2018, 09:39:35 AM »
Maybe Mueller is delaying until the mid-term elections when presumably there will be more Dems in office?

Delaying...what?

His investigation is moving among the fastest (at least in terms of indictments and pleas) since 1979 - sort of the start of special counsel probes.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-russia-investigation-is-moving-really-freaking-fast/

talltexan

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4526
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #46 on: March 16, 2018, 09:30:29 AM »
I've been anti-Trump all along, but I couldn't help but notice the cognitive dissonance surrounding Tillerson:

When Tillerson was hired, the story was that he was Putin's man (what with the Russian Medal of Friendship and all). Now that Tillerson has been forced out, the story was that it was for criticizing Russia's alleged cyber-attack. Seems like trying to have it both ways to me.

BlueHouse

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3663
  • Location: WDC
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #47 on: March 18, 2018, 12:46:15 PM »
The Trump-Russia story is complicated. It can't be summarized in one sentence or even in one paragraph. If you want to get a good feel for some of the sub-stories (e.g., Trump Tower Moscow being one of Trump's biggest ambitions, Russians knowing Trump was going to run for President in 2013, Don Jr. and Eric both stating that their father is rich because of Russia, Trump directing a unilateral change of the Republican Party platform in favor of Russia after one of his campaign workers revealed himself to be working with them, lots of ties to money launderers who have ties to Russia, etc. and much more), I recommend Seth Abramson's Twitter account. He's a former criminal investigator and criminal defense attorney. He doesn't like Trump. His Twitter account is at twitter.com/SethAbramson, and his bio is at http://www.sethabramson.net/bio.

I don't intend to hang around this thread, because of, as you say, blood pressure.

I second the seth abramson twitter feed.  When a complex document is released and nunes or other puppets tell us "see, no collusion!", Abramson reviews the entire document and posts a thread explaining all the important points.  Even if I had the fortitude to read the entire documents, I wouldn't really be able to make sense of them without a legal degree.  Seth can identify the important points and tell us what they mean and why they're important.  Very informative. 

talltexan

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4526
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #48 on: March 20, 2018, 05:36:14 AM »
I follow Seth, but I also remind myself that he spent months claiming that prosecution was imminent for Sec. Clinton and that didn't come to fruition. Frankly, I think Trump is willing to break more things to keep his family and himself in power.

BlueHouse

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3663
  • Location: WDC
Re: Need help from someone who doesn't like Trump.
« Reply #49 on: March 20, 2018, 10:27:06 AM »
I follow Seth, but I also remind myself that he spent months claiming that prosecution was imminent for Sec. Clinton and that didn't come to fruition. Frankly, I think Trump is willing to break more things to keep his family and himself in power.
By "break more things" to you mean "the law"?  Or "the truth"?  or other people's kneecaps?  or democracy in general? 

I don't have a problem with a prediction turning out wrong.  His explanations of the meaning of legal documents and tenets are what I'm tuned in for.