Author Topic: Trump Just Can't Quit Putin While the World Takes Advantage  (Read 35 times)

Solon

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Trump Just Can't Quit Putin While the World Takes Advantage
« on: November 11, 2017, 11:20:15 AM »
Trump just can't quit Vladimir Putin. Any doubt about Russia's involvement in our election has long since been laid to rest, but Trump and facts are inversely related. At the Asia-Pacific Summit, Trump appears to have swallowed Putin's disclaimer hook line and sinker. Trump correctly fears that Russian interference raises questions about the legitimacy of his election. What he seems oblivious to is that his denials about Russian interference make him seem complicit in it. His vulnerability on this score and his compulsive need to be flattered have made him a laughing stock behind his back in China and Russia. Others, like Saudi Arabia, have simply used it as leverage to pursue policies that are antithetical to our interests as in its threats to Lebanon and Qatar. More immediately at the Summit, Trump said the U.S. won’t be ‘taken advantage of anymore’  in trade, but hours later, Pacific Rim nations reached a deal on trade without America.

Trump is a failure at every level, in both domestic and foreign policy, but first and foremost we must protect our democratic process.

Given Trump's denials, it is of great concern to know whether the US government is taking steps to prevent this kind of interference in our election from occurring again. Congress  has called social media to account for their role in the fiasco and each platform seems to be taking action of its own to identify political speech and bots that spread fake news. Congress may well pass legislation to regulate them if they fail to act on their own. Several states have taken steps to maintain a paper election tally and use voting machines that cannot be hacked. These are first steps, but hardly enough to forestall the kind of interference we can expect in 2018 and 2020. Action at the federal level is a must. So far we have no evidence to indicate the necessary steps are being taken. This may well be Trump's most egregious failure.

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“He said he didn't meddle,” Trump said, answering questions in the press cabin on the Air Force One. “I asked him again. You can only ask so many times. … He said he absolutely did not meddle in our election. He did not do what they are saying he did.”

U.S. intelligence agencies have said Russian hackers stole thousands of emails from the Democratic National Committee and made them public, while also spreading misinformation in an attempt to help Trump beat Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Trump, however, has said he does not believe that Russia actively sought to help him.

On Saturday Trump described former FBI director James Comey, who testified to Congress that Trump asked him to drop an investigation into his campaign's ties to Russian officials, as a proven “liar” and “leaker.” Trump called the former U.S. intelligence officials who concluded the Russians tampered — including former director of national intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. and former CIA director John Brennan — “political hacks.”

Of the investigations into his campaign, Trump said: “This is really an artificial barrier that’s put in front of us for solving problems with Russia.” Of Putin, he added: “He says that very strongly, he really seems to be insulted by it, and he says he didn’t do it. He is very, very strong in the fact that he didn’t do it. You have President Putin very strongly, vehemently, says he has nothing to do with that.
‘He said he didn’t meddle’: Trump talks with Putin about U.S. elections and Syria in brief interactions
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/11/11/he-said-he-didnt-meddle-trump-talks-with-putin-about-u-s-elections-syria-in-brief-interactions/?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_trump-putin-635am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.d6faf971d9c2

« Last Edit: November 12, 2017, 02:58:39 PM by Solon »
On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and a complete narcissistic moron.
...H. L. Mencken

Solon

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Re: Trump Just Can't Quit Putin While the World Takes Advantage
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2017, 07:42:41 AM »
There was fallout from Trump's regurgitation of Putin's denials and his seeming acceptance, but most Republicans were afraid to comment. As usual, John McCain stood alone in opposition to Trump's sellout. Dems, of course, were critical, but former members of the intelligence community who were attacked by Trump took steps to confirm that their analysis still stands. What was interesting in that regard was the response of the CIA. Pompeo is a Trumpster, but the agency restated it's full support for the statement that Russia interfered in the election to aid Trump.

Today, Trump felt compelled to explain himself further by saying,  “As to whether I believe it or not, I’m with our agencies, especially as currently constituted with their leadership. I believe in our intelligence agencies. I’ve worked with them very strongly.”

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On Saturday, Trump described the former top U.S. intelligence officials who concluded in January that the tampering took place — including former director of national intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. and former CIA director John Brennan — as “political hacks.” He called former FBI director James B. Comey, who testified to Congress that Trump asked him to drop an investigation of his campaign’s connections to Russian officials, a “liar” and a “leaker.”

Clapper said in a statement that “the president was given clear and indisputable evidence that Russia interfered in the election. His own DNI and CIA director have confirmed the finding in the intelligence community assessment. The fact that he would take Putin at his word over the intelligence community is unconscionable.”

...In a statement, the CIA said that Director Mike Pompeo “stands by and has always stood by the January 2017 Intelligence Community assessment . . . with regard to Russian election meddling.” That position, it said, “has not changed.” The assessment also concluded that Russia had acted to promote Trump’s victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton. Although Pompeo said last month that intelligence agencies had determined that Russian interference had not altered the electoral outcome, the assessment did not address that question.

Former CIA director Michael V. Hayden said he was so concerned by Trump’s statement that he contacted the agency to confirm that it stood by the January assessment. He described Trump’s remarks as “egregious comments on the character of folks who have been public servants . . . [and] the public should know that these guys are thoroughgoing professionals, and what the president left unsaid is that the people he put into these jobs agree with the so-called hacks.”

...Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said in a statement that “there’s nothing ‘America First’ about taking the word of a KGB colonel over that of the American intelligence community . . . Vladi­mir Putin does not have America’s interests at heart. To believe otherwise is not only naive but also places our national security at risk.”
Trump says Putin sincere in denial of Russian meddling
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-insists-putin-means-it-in-denying-election-meddling-critics-say-thats-unconscionable/2017/11/11/af0b7c9e-c71a-11e7-afe9-4f60b5a6c4a0_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_trumpputinreax8pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.1d6ac0dc7837

Trump backs U.S. intel agencies 'as currently constituted' on Russia
https://www.politico.com/story/2017/11/11/trump-intelligence-agencies-russia-244809
« Last Edit: November 12, 2017, 08:04:18 AM by Solon »
On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and a complete narcissistic moron.
...H. L. Mencken

Solon

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Re: Trump Just Can't Quit Putin While the World Takes Advantage
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2017, 02:57:30 PM »
Republican (?) Jennifer Rubin, an avowed Conservative, who writes the Right Turn column in the Washington Post, should not be my go to columnist, yet she continually finds the right words to express a truth we share.

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President Trump’s authoritarianism, narcissism and racism threaten our democracy, but his gullibility threatens our national security. A man so uneducated and incurious about the world is willing, like his followers, to buy any crackpot conspiracy theory that makes its way to him via the Infowars-“Fox & Friends” pipeline. On the world stage, that makes him a sitting duck for slick manipulators and experienced flatterers.

Could Trump actually believe that the ex-KGB operative is insulted by the accusation he pulled off a masterful plot, at very little cost, to tip the scales in an American presidential election and get the candidate of his choice?

...What’s more, the Kremlin now has useful idiots in the persons of Fox News hosts, right-wing American bloggers, talk show hosts and Stephen K. Bannon (who is out recruiting like-minded Senate candidates) to buck up their pet U.S. president. Most of all, the Kremlin can count on the Republican tribalists in Congress who will explain away evidence and savage the president’s accusers to protect the GOP tribe and its leader — who just so happens to be an easy mark for our most formidable international foe.

Russia’s mark: A dangerous fool for a president
https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2017/11/12/russias-mark-a-dangerous-fool-for-a-president/?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-e%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.ed8ce4921fab
« Last Edit: November 12, 2017, 03:05:41 PM by Solon »
On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and a complete narcissistic moron.
...H. L. Mencken