March 22, 2017

"There's nothing worse for the credibility of all of Washington than an intel 'leak off' — entering a potentially destructive phase."



ADDED: "President Donald Trump said he felt 'somewhat' vindicated on his wiretapping claims against former President Barack Obama after House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes said he had seen evidence that members of the Trump transition teams were surveilled following November’s election."

204 comments:

1 – 200 of 204   Newer›   Newest»
Fabi said...

Maybe he heard Nunes' statement and realizes that the script has been flipped. Sad!

glenn said...

What Chuckie means is, Oh crap, they are doing the same stuff to us that we do to them. It's not fair.

James Smith said...

The more intel leaks, the more people are going to realize just how much data the govt. collects on our own citizens.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Alinsky voted for Trump.

rhhardin said...

Obama doesn't mean well. I said that long ago.

The feminine error. "He means well."

readering said...

I agree with James Smith

cronus titan said...

At the sake of stating the obvious, Todd is selective about leaks. During a Meet the Press interview of Senator Cotton, he demanded to know why there should not be a special prosecutor to investigate Russian collaboration with Trump, based upon leaks from anonymous intelligence sources. Senator Cotton cautioned against relying upon intelligence leaks from anonymous sources, who of course only leak information they believe supports their political position, but not any mitigating or offsetting information and never the soure material. Todd's reply:

TODD: Anonymous sources are how we find out about a lot of scandal in this country.

Today, there was a selective intelligence leak which at least appears to support Trump's position that he was surveilled but (like other selective anonymous leaks) there is no source material and we do not know what mitigating or offsetting information exists.

At heart, Todd supports leaks that hurt Trump, and opposes leaks that help Trump. Sounds just like the guy in Wikileaks who was hosting lavish dinner parties socializing with Democratic Party leadership. Everyone should be entitled to some hypocrisy now and then but please make the effort not to break the scale.

Matthew Sablan said...

One is telling us things we know. We *know* Trump campaign members were caught in surveillance and that their names were not properly masked (hence we know about Flynn.) We just don't know the how or why.

Schiff's statement that there is more than circumstantial evidence demands proof, as opposed to Nunes' statement saying things we already all knew, if we were paying attention.

buwaya said...

Chuck Todd is a Hessian mercenary.
Like nearly all these people.
He will march where he is told to go and shoot his musket on command.
Its a mistake to think that you are hearing his actual opinions.

Its not useful to think of this system as one of people, of individuals.
These people are components in a mechanism, like a centrally managed customer-service organization, a call center say. They work off scripts and have resolution flowcharts.

grackle said...

They tried to fuck Trump. This is what you get when you try to fuck Trump.

Achilles said...

James Smith said...
The more intel leaks, the more people are going to realize just how much data the govt. collects on our own citizens.

Every call. Every text. Every email. Every facebook post etc. It is all archived.

They just have to go through it is all. They don't even need interpreters here.

Psota said...

It's only "destructive" because Trump now looks like he was on to something.

That's not "Washington's" problem. It's a problem for the too-clever people who thought they could spy on Trump and get away with it.

Achilles said...

glenn said...
What Chuckie means is, Oh crap, they are doing the same stuff to us that we do to them. It's not fair.

They haven't even started doing to democrats what Obama did to republicans. But somehow I think that the left is going to be a little more supportive of privacy in the next several years than they are now.

rehajm said...

It's only "destructive" because Trump now looks like he was on to something.

Right. When it was just the lefties j'accuse is was a righteous pursuit of justice. Now it's 'destructive'. Must mean some lefties are going to jail.

Drago said...

Adam Schiff-ty made one last valiant pathetic effort to close off the investigation and get it back under total Dem control by claiming that all of a sudden, just now you see, we have enough circumstantial info to show Trump/Russia collusion!

Hilarious!

The whistleblowers have delivered sufficient info to blow up this Democrat charade and it couldn't happen to a nicer group of corrupt deep state/lefty pricks.

D. B. Light said...

Trump rope-a-doped them and they still haven't figured it out. They fall for it every time.

Unknown said...

This is attempt to distract from the Paul Manafort bombshell by Nunes who apparently is still a surrogate for Trump. Also since when does the head of the House Intelligence Committee run to the White House to divulge classified information to the subject of the investigation itself?? How is this not Obstruction of Justice? Now more than ever, since Nunes has proven himself unfit to be the head of the House Intelligence Committee, there must be an Independent Commision.

https://www.apnews.com/122ae0b5848345faa88108a03de40c5a

"WASHINGTON (AP) — Before signing up with Donald Trump, former campaign manager Paul Manafort secretly worked for a Russian billionaire with a plan to "greatly benefit the Putin Government," The Associated Press has learned. The White House attempted to brush the report aside Wednesday, but it quickly raised fresh alarms in Congress about Russian links to Trump associates.

Manafort proposed in a confidential strategy plan as early as June 2005 that he would influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and former Soviet republics to benefit President Vladimir Putin's government, even as U.S.-Russia relations under Republican President George W. Bush grew worse."

Matthew Sablan said...

Why is the Manafort thing from 2005 a bombshell, but Podesta STILL making money from Russia not?

Crimso said...

Yeah I remember Manafort. Trump fired him. Would you rather he killed him?

Unknown said...

Schiff also stated today that there was DIRECT evidence of collusion, not just circumstantial evidence.

Crimso said...

Oh wait. All Manafort really did was tell the Russian Premier that he'd have more flexibility after the election (that would take place 11 years later). You really should peddle your nothingburgers to people who aren't informed and will therefore view them as significant.

Chuck said...

Are any serious people actually going to stick up for Trump on the veracity of something like this?

"How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!"

Is that Tweet going to be somehow justified by any news that, say, Paul Manafort, General Flynn and Roger Stone all had communications with Russians that were incidentally captured by national security surveillance, not at all specifically ordered by anyone in the White House...?

Unknown said...

Keep living in your alternate reality Trumpists. The shit is ready to hit the fan.

Hagar said...

What seems to have happened is that whatever agency "collected" these conversations with, or between foreigners, that contained any references to Trump or his campaign staff distributed the material raw with names included to the intelligence "cloud" like, "Hey! Anybody out there can come up with anything on any of these people from any of this?"
Which is stretching Obamas intelligence sharing directive way beyond what is legal or proper.

Crimso said...

And when asked whether the Obama administration spied on the Trump campaign, Nunes responded with "It all depends on one's definition of spying." WTF kind of answer is that to that question? By what definition of "spying" does this look like anything but bad for the Obama administration?

Unknown said...

If Trumpists here are so deeply embedded up Trump's ass that they make excuses for treason they should just get a ticket and move to Russia, apparently that's where their loyalty lies.

Crimso said...

"make excuses for treason"

Can you support that assertion? With facts that would stand up in a trial in the Senate? Or even at all?

Crimso said...

I have no particular love for Trump, but neither do I hate him. When I think of him I don't get all emotional. Can you say the same thing, Unknown?

Fabi said...

"... not at all specifically ordered by anyone in the White House...?"

Tell us exactly how you know that statement to be true, Chuck. You can't know and you don't.

Unknown said...

Crimso,
We obviously have to wait for the investigations to be over, and a prosecution to begin. If there is evidence of collusion it would rise to the level of treason, as I have read from several sources.

Crimso said...

So the Trumpists aren't making excuses for treason, as that has not been demonstrated. We may also conclude they are not all embedded up his ass, since you gave as the support for that claim that they are making excuses for something not known to have occurred. Call me when something of significance occurs.

Matthew Sablan said...

Hey, if we get actual EVIDENCE of collusion, which Clapper and others told us did not exist, then I'll pay attention. But, for now, whatever.

Mac McConnell said...

So when is Obama going to be sworn in to testify? His AG? Staff?

Obama Can't be sued, but he can be prosecuted.

Mac McConnell said...

Will Trump pardon Obama?

Unknown said...

"Hey, if we get actual EVIDENCE of collusion, which Clapper and others told us did not exist, then I'll pay attention. But, for now, whatever."

Clapper has not been involved in the investigation since January 20. The investigation is ongoing. That should be self explanatory.

Mary said...

I hate to burst your bubble here but we already knew there was a FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) warrant which listens in on Foreigners, the bad guys, not just anybody, and not Americans. Today it’s been confirmed that Trump and/or his campaign had been found to be in contact with those foreign intelligence targets. This is actually quite bad for Trump if it’s found that his team worked with the Russians to hack the DNC, or if Russia had contributed money to his campaign. This is quite serious.

David Begley said...

"Blogger Matthew Sablan said...
Why is the Manafort thing from 2005 a bombshell, but Podesta STILL making money from Russia not?"

John Podesta got free stock in some Russian company and then gave the stock to his daughter. Podesta's brother lobbies for foreign countries and owns some very questionable artwork featuring young children in sexual poses, allegedly.

Fabi said...

I think you're over the limit on 'ifs', Mary -- better luck next time!

Mac McConnell said...

Will Mucho Obama meet AG Sessions on the tarmac to make a deal?

Unknown said...

Nunes may have made a very serious error today.

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/325298-schiff-i-have-grave-concerns-over-nunes-surveillance-claims

Schiff maintained that if Trump and his aides ended up in a lawfully compiled intelligence report, they were likely not the subjects of surveillance.

"As to the substance of what the Chairman has alleged, if the information was lawfully gathered intelligence on foreign officials, that would mean that U.S. persons would not have been the subject of surveillance," he said.

"In my conversation late this afternoon, the Chairman informed me that most of the names in the intercepted communications were in fact masked, but that he could still figure out the probable identity of the parties," he added.

Schiff also said that it is "impossible" to evaluate the accuracy of Nunes's claim while reiterating that the committee does not support the president's wiretapping allegation.


"Because the committee has still not been provided the intercepts in the possession of the chairman, it is impossible to evaluate the chairman's claims. It certainly does not suggest — in any way — that the President was wiretapped by his predecessor.""

Drago said...

Unknown: "Crimso, We obviously have to wait for the investigations to be over, and a prosecution to begin."

LOL

Keep Hope Alive!

Mac McConnell said...

Democrats doing Russia's bidding to destabilize USA politics. Gee it's like the 70s and 80s again.

Hagar said...

and, of course, spreading the stuff around like that will make it next to impossible to tell where the leaks are coming from or who is really at the bottom of this.

Drago said...

Unknown: "Schiff also said that it is "impossible" to evaluate the accuracy of Nunes's claim while reiterating that the committee does not support the president's wiretapping allegation."

Poor Schiff-ty and the dems.

They don't know who the whistleblowers are and what they've given to Nunes/Trump so the lefties don't know how to shut them down, attack them and get rid of the documents.

Nunes made a point of mentioning that he knows what documents exist and where those documents are and not even the dems are stupid enough (yet!) to try and destroy evidence.

But there will come a day soon....

Robert Cook said...

"The more intel leaks, the more people are going to realize just how much data the govt. collects on our own citizens."

Where the fuck have you been?! Ed Snowden's revelations told us all this FOUR YEARS AGO! To wit, the government is collecting everything it can on all of us.

Comments made to the contrary by anyone in Washington are lies or weasel-worded evasions.

YoungHegelian said...

@Mary,

This is actually quite bad for Trump if it’s found that his team worked with the Russians to hack the DNC, or if Russia had contributed money to his campaign.

Yeah, & it would be serious if discovered that he sacrifices unblemished children to Moloch on every full moon. And about as likely, too. Awful lot of assumptions there, lady.

@Unknown,

Actually, while in theory Congress could impeach Trump for almost anything they'd like to impeach him for, he & his staff could not be charged for any of this even if there turns out to have been collusion. 1) Those wiretaps are meant to track foreign sources, not Americans. If the information gleaned was not handled strictly according to protocol, it would get thrown out of court. 2) We know strict protocol wasn't followed because it was leaked to the press --- which is a felony. 3) How many indictments came from the Venona Transcripts? Zero. You know why? Because at public trials the accused gets to vet the sources of information to prepare for his defense, thus forcing the intelligence agencies to reveal methods & sources Which is why it doesn't happen.

Get used to it, girls. You & we are stuck with the Donster for four years at least.

Unknown said...

Blogger Matthew Sablan said...
Why is the Manafort thing from 2005 a bombshell, but Podesta STILL making money from Russia not?"
--------
Begley said...
"John Podesta got free stock in some Russian company and then gave the stock to his daughter. Podesta's brother lobbies for foreign countries and owns some very questionable artwork featuring young children in sexual poses, allegedly."
-------------------
THIS is why:

"Manafort proposed in a confidential strategy plan as early as June 2005 that he would influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and former Soviet republics to benefit President Vladimir Putin's government, even as U.S.-Russia relations under Republican President George W. Bush grew worse."

Drago said...

"lifelong republican" and Defender of "Stolen Valor" Liar Dems Chuck: "Is that Tweet going to be somehow justified by any news that, say, Paul Manafort, General Flynn and Roger Stone all had communications with Russians that were incidentally captured by national security surveillance, not at all specifically ordered by anyone in the White House...?"

Nunes specifically said the documents he reviewed were not a part of any Russia investigation and were not a part of any criminal investigation either.

Nice try there Chuckie. I'm sure if you throw enough rhetorical lifelines to your democrat pals one of them might come up true.

Mac McConnell said...

"Schiff maintained that if Trump and his aides ended up in a lawfully compiled intelligence report, they were likely not the subjects of surveillance."

Schiff knows that to not delete US citizens names from "lawful intelligence report" is a felony. He also knows that to leak those reports even with citizens' names deleted is a felony. So this constitutes a compound felony, probably good for 20 years.

Schiff is talking to unknowledgable voters, meaning his democrat base. I'm surprised he didn't throw in the "Logan Act".

Drago said...

Robert Cook: "Where the fuck have you been?! Ed Snowden's revelations told us all this FOUR YEARS AGO! To wit, the government is collecting everything it can on all of us"

Actually, we've had NSA personnel resign in the years after 9-11 because they claimed they could not countenance all the information being gathered on American citizens in a routine way.

This is why all the sturm and drang about Trumps tweet seemed so insane. The intelligence agencies can take ALL of our information ALL the time and data storage is very very cheap.

Now combine that with a universal belief that Trump could not win, a Deep State/lefty alliance that looked like it was going to be a permanent construct and then add human beings with all the foibles and failings that we all have and VOILA! You have a recipe for abuse!

And guess what we have here now?.....

Drago said...

Poor Unknown. After Trumps upset win over Hillary, it looks like she will not get her dream job of "East German Stasi-Neighborhood Watch Commander".

Tsk tsk.

If it's any consolation, at least Chelsea will be given a Lifetime Achievement Award for....something.

LOL

To be followed, no doubt, by a Pulitzer, an Academy Award for "Spoken Word" and a Nobel.

John said...

What's a "leak off"?

Is that like a pissing contest?

I picture a bunch of guys in the Bohemian Grove, side by side, seeing who can piss the furthest.

Or is it more like anal leakage?

John Henry

Unknown said...

Disinformation Troll Drago, how many hours have you been commenting and how many comments have you made on Althouse today?

Matthew Sablan said...

"Manafort proposed in a confidential strategy plan as early as June 2005 that he would influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and former Soviet republics to benefit President Vladimir Putin's government, even as U.S.-Russia relations under Republican President George W. Bush grew worse."

-- And? Podesta profited as well, but no one cares.

Drago said...

John: "What's a "leak off"? Is that like a pissing contest?"

It's a condition whereby, all of a sudden, Republicans have access to information that the dems had total control over and used for innuendo-laden leaks to their MSM pals which were used to undermine the sitting President.

More concisely, now both sides can play this game and the lefties/MSM/"lifelong republicans" are screaming like stuck pigs.

And it's a beautiful sound.

Drago said...

Unknown: "Disinformation Troll Drago, how many hours have you been commenting and how many comments have you made on Althouse today?"

Ask your lefty pals in the Deep State. They've got it all.

Oh wait. You might want to give them a bit of space right now as they are busy trying to figure out how to extricate themselves from this situation they've put themselves in!

LOL

Mac McConnell said...

I'm shocked that PR man, political convention specialist and fund raiser Manafort offered a foreign country his services. WTF

What the fuck do you think Bill Clinton has been doing for the last 16 years?

Maybe I missed something, did Manafort sell any US security secrets to Russian?

Unknown said...

"And? Podesta profited as well, but no one cares."

Matthew,
It's not the profit, it's that work that was being done against these countries including the USA was done to BENEFIT PUTIN. Why do you ignore the sentence I bolded?

"Manafort proposed in a confidential strategy plan as early as June 2005 that he would influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and former Soviet republics to benefit President Vladimir Putin's government, even as U.S.-Russia relations......"

Crimso said...

"not even the dems are stupid enough (yet!) to try and destroy evidence."

Berger.

Matthew Sablan said...

Also, the last president literally gave Russia a pile of uranium and promised to give them more flexibility.

That's significantly more helping to Russia than anything Manafort could do.

Unknown said...

Disinformation Troll Drago,

You've been a very good hard worker.

Matthew Sablan said...

Unknown: I fail to see the problem there. The New York Times literally colluded to hide Russia's mass murder and they got a prize for it, Obama literally washed his hands of Russia's invasion of a nominal ally of the United States.

Nothing Manafort did there is anywhere near as bad as other things that have been done.

Matthew Sablan said...

Like, I think it is bad. But, the precedent set by the left is that Ted Kennedy could literally work with Russian agents against Ronald Reagan and U.S. interests and be considered "the lion of the Senate," so... uh... where's the problem? The left never cared before.

Psota said...

The Manafort "angle" is the silliest one of all.

I guess everyone's forgotten that he first came into the Trump campaign after the original campaign manager got kicked upstairs.

Manafort was supposed to be the experience GOP establishment inside guy who could get Trump through the convention and then through the general election.

Trump fired and pretty quick after I figured out that the guy was an inside out with his own agenda.

Makes you realize all of the Insiders probably have these sorts of Four and lobbying ties.

Who knows? Maybe somewhere out there Tanzania was trying to influence our elections at the behest of some former assistant Secretary of State.

Unknown said...

"Nothing Manafort did there is anywhere near as bad as other things that have been done."

Matthew, in what reality do you reside?? Sheesh, pathetic.

Matthew Sablan said...

Unknown: In the reality where a sitting Senator worked with Russia against the sitting President and the left hailed him as a hero to the day he died.

Crimso said...

As to Robert Cool's comment, I've wondered whether the reason we aren't getting straight answers to simple questions is because those in-the-know are trying to tiptoe around having to come right out and say "We know X because EVERY electronic communication is being monitored." I've heard that it's all being recorded, though not necessarily monitored. Maybe somebody had their hand in the cookie jar.

GWash said...

you guys are starting to sound defensive and a little desperate... the circle is tightening and the wheels are coming off... the president can't seem to open his mouth without a big, fat lie coming out... remember the halcyon days when mr trump's tone was going to change when he took the reins of power.. mexico is going to pay, everyone's going to have insurance, we're going to have so much winning, companies are going to keep jobs in the us, coal jobs are coming back... lies, lies and more lies but you guys are so upset at clinton's emails... we are approaching 100 days and bupkis... but 2018 will be here soon and the house will flip and maybe we can get something done with whoever is the president at that time...
how's your healthcare looking?..
Watch your wallets folks they have their hands in your pockets in the name of FREEDOM ! YEAH!

Matthew Sablan said...

Like, I think what Manafort did is bad. Don't get me wrong; he should have been fired. He's not someone we should have in government. But... that's been my consistent position for my entire adult life: Americans in the government shouldn't collude with foreign powers against American interests.

Where's the consistency on the left on this? It seems the only reason they care is that it can hurt Trump. Which, I guess if that's what it takes for them to decide to that Americans shouldn't undermine America for Russia, that's yet another benefit of Trump's presidency.

YoungHegelian said...

"Manafort proposed in a confidential strategy plan as early as June 2005 that he would influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and former Soviet republics to benefit President Vladimir Putin's government

To echo Mac above, what do you think Public Relations firms do for a living?

If you don't think PR firms do work for some pretty sordid & evil regimes, think again, sugar plums. If the money's good, there's always some firm that will justify their exorbitant rates with "Well, everyone deserves the chance to make their case to the public, don't they? It's just the American way...

Manafort may be a scumbucket, but it's a scumbuckety business. You know, like this particular bunch of scumbuckets.

Chuck said...

Fabi said...
"... not at all specifically ordered by anyone in the White House...?"

Tell us exactly how you know that statement to be true, Chuck. You can't know and you don't.


I didn't claim it to be true. I don't know it to be true. I was positing
it, as something that would be one of the least-surprising and most ordinary of all imaginable scenarios.

Nothing like a really reckless claim, say, like a public allegation that Barack Obama ordered that phones in Trump Tower be "tapped." And that Obama was a bad (or sick) guy on that account.

Drago said...

Hey GWash just showed up. Hopefully after reading up on the 3/5ths clause even though it was written in old-timey-Dead-White-European-Male lingo.

Drago said...

"lifelong republican" Chuck is going to be very busy devising defenses for this many Dem reckless fake charges of collusion and treason.

I think he's up to the task though as he has had so much practice doing exactly that.

GWash said...

I see a case of voter fraud surfaced today... well not exactly the numbers trump and mike here were touting but hey 1 voter fraud case is 1 voter fraud case... oh yeah, it was a brave, freedom loving american from colorado.. and he was a republican and a conservative...oops..
it could happen to any one i suppose...
OK there's the first verified voter fraud case from the 2016 pres. election... who's got the next? anyone?

Drago said...

YH: "To echo Mac above, what do you think Public Relations firms do for a living?"

In the case of our leftists, if the regimes are murderous and leftist enough our Dem PR firms and media will sing regime praises for free.

But only every single time for the last hundred years.

Unknown said...

Manafort is an agent of a foreign government that got paid $10 Million a year to influence elections, politics and news in western countries FOR RUSSIA. This seems to be escaping you people. Do you really not care? What happened to your patriotism, or were any of you truly ever patriotic?

Matthew Sablan said...

"OK there's the first verified voter fraud case from the 2016 pres. election... who's got the next?"

-- Actually, we had people arrested in VA before the elections even happened who were trying to conduct voter fraud.

Matthew Sablan said...

Unknown: I told you, I'm glad that Manafort got fired. But what he did is small potatoes compared to things that the left let happen for years when it hurt Republicans, so I'm curious as to why it took a chance to hurt Trump for them to come to the conclusion people shouldn't collude with Russia to hurt American interests, such as Ted Kennedy and the New York Times have done.

Drago said...

The old Soviet Front-ers are in high dungeon and it is marvelously hilarious!

Fabi said...

It was a declarative clause, Chuck -- there was no grammatical modifier or qualifier. Sad! You may now resume your relentless defense of your prom date Obama.

Matthew Sablan said...

Like, if the left were truly serious that what Manafort did was bad, then they should be agitating to strip the NYT of their awards for covering up the horrors of the Soviet Union and to have Ted Kennedy's name stripped from all places of honor for colluding with Russia to try and bring down a sitting American president.

But they won't, because they don't care about the principle they're claiming to care about. They just want to hurt Trump.

Drago said...

Hmmm, dudgeon, not dungeon.

Unknown said...

I'd suggest more of you people here pay attention to Disinformation Troll Drago. Pay attention to how many hours a day he comments and how many comments he makes, DAILY.

Drago said...

MS: "but they won't, because they don't care about the principle they're claiming to care about."

Fens Law.

It's not just for breakfast anymore.

Drago said...

Gee Unknown, I'm sorry that the Dems last ditch effort utilizing the Manafort Gambit is collapsing on you.

Not to worry.

You and "lifelong republican" Chuck will always have Maddow.

And Paris.

But mostly Maddow.

Chuck said...

Fabi said...
It was a declarative clause, Chuck -- there was no grammatical modifier or qualifier. Sad! You may now resume your relentless defense of your prom date Obama.


No, it wasn't. I posited a question. If it really is unclear to you, insert ["for instance"] immediately after "say" in the following, which I am cutting and pasting from above. In other words, "What if, say for instance, Manafort, Flynn and Stone all had communications...?"

Here is what I originally wrote, verbatim:

Is that Tweet going to be somehow justified by any news that, say, Paul Manafort, General Flynn and Roger Stone all had communications with Russians that were incidentally captured by national security surveillance, not at all specifically ordered by anyone in the White House...?

Unknown said...

Drago,

иди на фиг

Drago said...

I must admit that I am a little concerned that Frau Unknown will report me to her local Soviet Committee.

YoungHegelian said...

@Unknown,

Manafort is an agent of a foreign government that got paid $10 Million a year to influence elections, politics and news in western countries FOR RUSSIA.

We are not at war with Russia. Until the invasion of Crimea & the Ukraine, there were precious few sanctions against them either (the Bushies did squat after the invasion of Georgia).

As long as the PR company registers as a foreign agent with the US government (which they all do when they take on a client), it's perfectly legal. It's called "freedom of speech", & it applies to our fellow citizens who seek to make a buck publicly hustling for foreign regimes.

John said...

GW Wash said:

companies are going to keep jobs in the us


I just spent the past 3 days at a company that builds manufacturing/production machinery. Had lunch with the owner today and he tells me that this is the busiest 1st quarter he has ever had. Ever. And it isn't even over yet. He expects it to ramp up from here.

If you know any good industrial mechanics interested in making $40-50/hr, let me know and I'll put them in touch.

I've been teaching a class in his plant twice a year for the past 9 years. I have never seen so much equipment in fabrication at one time so I believe him.

Class attendees were from all over the US plus 1 from Canada. They all told me that 2017 has been a very busy year for them and they expect it to get busier. They are various segments of consumer goods manufacturing.

The Chinese company that supplies Skechers announced Monday (Tuesday?) that they were going to move all shoe production for the US to either Colorado or LA. Lots of hand labor (JOBS!) in making shoes.

We added 100,000 more jobs in February than even the rosiest forecasts had predicted.

Several large coal mines have reopened so far this year and more will increase their output.

Yeah, seems to me like he is keeping his promises. He has accomplished more in 62 days than President Obama, Bush or Clinton accomplished in their first 2-3 years in office.

John Henry

Unknown said...

Disinformation Troll Drago,

сколько вам платят?

Michael K said...

I'd suggest more of you people here pay attention to Disinformation Troll Drago.

Okay. I'm paying attention to him. I'm paying attention to him

I'm not paying attention to you.

Michael K said...

What happened to your patriotism, or were any of you truly ever patriotic?

The left is, at last, concerned about patriotism.

Be careful Michelle doesn't hear you. I;ll bet her being proud of the country ended at noon Jan 20.

Fabi said...

It seems as if you're the product of public schools, Chuck. Do you even know what a "clause" is? Lulz

John said...

Is Chuck Americas Politico under a different alias?

John Henry

Unknown said...

"We are not at war with Russia."

Russia has cyber attacked the US, they weren't just doing it for shits and giggles.

Unknown said...

"Okay. I'm paying attention to him. I'm paying attention to him

I'm not paying attention to you."

Then don't address me you horses ass.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Russia has cyber attacked the US, they weren't just doing it for shits and giggles."

-- Allegedly they have, and they probably have. But, so what? Obama thought it was such a minor thing it could wait until after Hillary was elected, so clearly the federal government at the time didn't think it mattered.

Matthew Sablan said...

(Again: I think it is important for us to have a cyber security plan in place. But, the previous administration saw it as less important than trying to create a positive narrative for their political allies. So, I find it odd that NOW the left cares about securing our cyber infrastructure.)

YoungHegelian said...

What happened to your patriotism, or were any of you truly ever patriotic?

What?! You want us to get into a nuclear war with Russia so that it gets Trump out of office? A nuclear detonation over DC might just remove him at that. It would certainly reduce my commenting, so there's that at least.

What with the situation in Syria, Ukraine, & Europe in general (the Swedes are now re-opening their Cold War bomb shelters), it amazes me that the Left thinks that poking the Russian Bear as a way of going after Trump is an activity that can't have any foreign policy blowback.

Then again, if the Democrats had two brain cells to rub together, they wouldn't have gone with Hillary....

Unknown said...

Matthew, "so what"?

Seriously Matthew, are you incredibly naive or do you just live in some other reality? Obama could not interefere with an election, Jesus, what is wrong with you people?

Drago said...

Unknown: "Russia has cyber attacked the US, they weren't just doing it for shits and giggles."

The Chinese did much, much worse in actual cyber attacks. Which the Dems did nothing to stop or punish the Chinese.

And BTW, having that moron Dem podesta falling prey to a simple phishing ploy does not constitute a cyber attack on the US.

Les etat es NOT Democrat Party

Unknown said...

"What?! You want us to get into a nuclear war with Russia so that it gets Trump out of office? A nuclear detonation over DC might just remove him at that. It would certainly reduce my commenting, so there's that at least."

You could start by not making excuses for Trump and his associates.

Unknown said...

Disinformation Troll Drago, nice try at diversion away from what Russia did.

The Chinese ( as bad as they are) didn't cyberattack in order to affect an election, to subvert democracy.

YoungHegelian said...

@Unknown,

Russia has cyber attacked the US, they weren't just doing it for shits and giggles.

Is that an act of war, Unknown? Should we put the armed forces into high alert & give President Trump the support he needs to fight the good fight until Congress declares war?

I always thought the Left wanted to keep America out of wars, especially with nuclear armed powers. Apparently not, & I missed the memo.

Things just come out of your keyboard, Un. You really don't seem to think them through.

Matthew Sablan said...

Obama could have taken efforts to secure our networks and information centers six or seven years ago when the early hacks first started, instead of completely ignoring it and letting it fester. We know Obama waited, but the reason given makes no sense since he was already interfering in the election by actively campaigning for Clinton.

Drago said...

Unknown: "You could start by not making excuses for Trump and his associates"

Excuses aren't required. Trump will be cleaning out your corrupt cronies soon.

And perhaps we need to look into the Podesta family's deep Russia connections.

That would be a good start.

Earnest Prole said...

"The credibility of all of Washington"? It's a little late for that, no?

Matthew Sablan said...

Also: Why would Putin want Trump over Clinton? That makes no sense to me, since as we've seen, the left has routinely allied with Russia, even with some D senators siding with Russia against American presidents! Clinton herself had seen to it that Russia got uranium, had the Podesta family on her staff who were essentially clients of the Russian state, and she was part of the administration that promised Russia more flexibility.

Trump wanted NATO to stop dragging their heels and start contributing to their common defense.

What logical reason would Putin agitate for the guy who wanted to check Russian aggression instead of the party that had supported Russian aggression for literally generations?

Drago said...

Unknown: "The Chinese ( as bad as they are) didn't cyberattack in order to affect an election, to subvert democracy."

Looks like someone needs a history lesson regarding Chinese influence in our elections.

You might to take a look at all that sweet sweet cash the Chicoms gave Bill and Hill and Al.

And all it took was for Bill to hand over advanced rocket tech (MIRVs) to the Chicoms thru his Loral Pal Bernie Schwartz.

But go ahead Unknown, keep defending the Communists. You guys have spent a hundred years doing it.

YoungHegelian said...

@MS,

Obama could have taken efforts to secure our networks and information centers six or seven years ago

You mean, like, calling out the Secretary of State on her home-brew server? Shit like that?

Oh, think of all the feelings Obama would have hurt if he had done that. What a cruel & heartless beast you are, Matt!

Unknown said...

Disinformation Troll Drago said...

"Trump will be cleaning out your corrupt cronies soon."

Disinformation 101.

хорошая попытка

Matthew Sablan said...

"You mean, like, calling out the Secretary of State on her home-brew server? Shit like that?"

-- He could have used his alias he used to communicate with her on the server to suggest that maybe it was a bad idea. Given how incompetent the Clinton team appears to have been regarding everything to do with the server except deleting tons of data illegally regarding it, they might not have realized it was him suggesting it.

Mac McConnell said...

I remember when the Russians gave Manafort $500,000 for just one half hour speech in Moscow.

Unknown said...

Disinformation Troll Drago said...

"Looks like someone needs a history lesson regarding Chinese influence in our elections."

Keep defending Mother Russia, comrade Drago.

I don't defend China, they are an authoritarian government that doesn't represent anything I hold dear.

wwww said...

Also: Why would Putin want Trump over Clinton? That makes no sense to me, since as we've seen,


Putin wants greater Russian influence in their traditional spaces -- eastern Europe/ Syria/ -- impt for how he plays his own national politics and keeps power.

Clinton's involvement with enlargement of NATO in eastern Europe.

vs. Trump looked like he's a proponent of regional great powers. Hands off w/ Putin in Syria and Ukraine.

YoungHegelian said...

@wwww,

vs. Trump looked like he's a proponent of regional great powers.

You mean, like publicly berating NATO members to actually pony up their pledged bucks for their defense? Sounds to me like that's "engaged with NATO" & in words that have needed to be said in public for a long, long, time.

And, please, point out a single appointee on Trump's foreign policy staff that's a softy on Russia. Just one.

I'll wait in the car.

Matthew Sablan said...

What do you mean Clinton's involvement with enlargement of NATO in Eastern Europe? She was fine with the status quo; Trump wanted Europe to pay their share and enhance NATO. As we saw with Libya, Clinton is an incompetent leader, especially when it comes to international alliances.

Clinton was part of the administration that let Russia run rampant in their region; Trump has said that he wants a stronger Europe, which necessitates checking Russian aggression.

Mac McConnell said...

McCarthyism is alive and well in the Democrat Party, it's leader is Adam Schiff.

Matthew Sablan said...

Clinton was part of the reset who wanted to normalize relations with Russia; Trump ran as part of the party where the last nominee stated unequivocally that Russia was one of our greatest political rivals.

So... assuming Putin is a rational person, why would he think that Clinton is WORSE for Russia than Trump?

Robert Cook said...

"What logical reason would Putin agitate for the guy who wanted to check Russian aggression instead of the party that had supported Russian aggression for literally generations?"

You've got your facts turned around. I despise Trump and I think he will do great damage to this country, but he is the one who advocated for friendly relations with Russia, while war-monger Hillary Clinton, a staunch servant of the deep state, promised an adversarial posture toward Russia. I don't know how much Trump meant it when he said he wanted friendly relations with Russia, but I do believe he meant it more than just as a lie. After all, when the deep state wants a war with Russia, why would Trump pretend to want an alliance?

When, by the way, did Trump promise to "check Russian aggression?" (What Russian aggression, for that matter? We are the provocateurs over there, more so than Russia.)

Unknown said...

What often gets lost in the sometimes paranoid, always partisan debates over Russia is the underlying questions beyond the controversy of the 2016 election. Why would Putin favor Trump over Hillary Clinton? What does Trump's relatively friendly attitude toward Putin mean for US foreign policy and the world?

Mac McConnell said...

Someone please explain to me how a economic nationalist like PRESIDENT TRUMP could be soft on Russia. Someone tell me how a "drill baby drill", strong national defence politician could be beneficial to Russia if elected President considering Russia's whole economy rest on high oil prices. Russia would have prefered "I'll never be president" Hillary. Russia's goal during this past election was what it has always been, to delegitimize our process. With our Democrats Putin has hit a gold mine.

Matthew Sablan said...

Cook: You do realize that Russia literally invaded a neighbor recently, right? You also realize that Trump wants a strong NATO where Europe has actual investment in it? Trump is willing to give Russia a chance; Hillary already gave them the store. Maybe she feels miffed because after everything she gave them, they didn't line up to help her out, who knows.

But no rational person looking at Clinton and Trump would conclude that the guy who said, essentially, if Russia plays nice, we'll play nice, but if they don't, well, I hope their neighbors build some tanks would be someone Russia would rather have as president than the person who, despite everything she said, literally gave them piles of uranium and had, when push came to shove, was part of a political party that for generations had been willing to support Russia, even to the point of covering up the Soviet Union's forced starvation of their own population.

pacwest said...

I think that President Trump is in more trouble than his supporters think. It's clear the left will do anything including tearing the country down to bring him down. Obama and crew are obviously capable and willing to do the same. The deep state is a leftist organization and looks like they are willing to help. The press, academia, one world order folks, countries used to suckling on the USA's teet, judicial, etc., etc.
He is goring a lot of oxen in rapid succession. There is going to be a lot of vicious piling on. Personally I think he has bitten off more than he can chew and is likely to get bled to death. We'll see.

I'm making a lot of assumptions about the "left" above, but ducks quacking and walking and all.

Drago said...

Unknown: "I don't defend China, they are an authoritarian government that doesn't represent anything I hold dear."

China represents every thing that you desire.

Every single thing. But only every single thing.

And now you find yourself 100% aligned with the islamist supremacists.

Gee, what a surprise. Who could have seen that coming.

Jack Wayne said...

I propose the following solution to what's been bugging me for a while - why are there so many committed lefties commenting on this blog since the election? I think I am looking at a proxy war for the Cold Civil War we are engaged in. The lefties are using this blog as a ground zero to see if they can dam the leak of voters and reverse the erosion of democrat states.

Matthew Sablan said...

Unknown: "How did we reach this place where Russia is once again seen as America's leading accuracy—and is that impression even accurate? "

Leading accuracy? This is a poorly written article.

-- "We recognize the relations have been bad, but there are several areas of common interest that we can work on, including arms control, cooperation on defeating the Taliban in Afghanistan, and on the Iranian nuclear program." Quick: Who is this discussing? Trump, or Obama? Because... that's the position both Trump and Obama took.

-- "The clear one is the policy level, where Hillary Clinton's policies toward Russia were rather on the hawkish end, and she was determined to stand up (in her mind) to Putin." -- This expert seems to have... well, totally missed how conciliatory both Clinton and Obama were to Russia, save during the election cycle when Clinton had to pretend to dislike the country she sold a giant pile of uranium to.

Drago said...

Cookie: "You've got your facts turned around. I despise Trump and I think he will do great damage to this country, but he is the one who advocated for friendly relations with Russia, while war-monger Hillary Clinton, a staunch servant of the deep state, promised an adversarial posture toward Russia. I don't know how much Trump meant it when he said he wanted friendly relations with Russia, but I do believe he meant it more than just as a lie. After all, when the deep state wants a war with Russia, why would Trump pretend to want an alliance?"

Cookie is correct here.

Cookie: "When, by the way, did Trump promise to "check Russian aggression?""

Cookie is correct here.

Cookie: "(What Russian aggression, for that matter? We are the provocateurs over there, more so than Russia.)"

Hey, not so fast there smart guy....

2 out of 3 (and the third an arguable point) ain't bad.

Matthew Sablan said...

This expert believes that Trump thinks NATO is obsolete, despite wanting European nations to contribute to NATO.

This expert that is being interviewed is... not very expert-y. I mean, the expert guy seems to think it is bad that Trump thinks he can work with Putin, but praises Obama's working with Putin and Russia earlier in the very same interview!

Matthew Sablan said...

This might be a problem with the expert's interview being out of date, but now we know whoever hacked the Democrats TRIED to get Republican party emails. They just failed to do so because the Republican party's security was better.

Unknown said...

Jesus, Matthew. And you are more of an expert than he? I don't think so.

Matthew Sablan said...

Trump was definitely more willing to say he'd be willing to work with Russia; Clinton actually worked with Russia multiple times. That's the difference I see. It doesn't matter what either said. Russia would be gambling on a guy who wants their regional allies to be stronger and who they don't know, compared to the person who has given them, routinely, what they want, when push comes to shove. Sure, she made a few sanctions here and there, and then provided them with windfalls and space to maneuver politically when needed.

Russia might like to gamble, but it seems like a really risky one, especially since the Republicans that would come in with Trump would be decidedly less Russia-friendly than the Democrats that would come in with Clinton.

Mac McConnell said...

I remember when "I'll never be President" Hillary Clinton dry humped the Russian Foreign Minister and gave him a "RESET BUTTON" party favor, all on national TV.

Matthew Sablan said...

Unknown: Someone saying they are an expert, then getting several facts wrong, and making assumptions that later prove to be wrong might mean that maybe we shouldn't trust their expertise. The entire concluding paragraph is based on the expert thinking that whoever hacked the Democrats didn't even try to go after Republicans because they just wanted to hurt Democrats. We now know that that conclusion is flawed, as the hackers DID try to get Republican data, they just failed.

Therefore, the entire conclusion should be thrown out since what it is based on is just flat out wrong.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
YoungHegelian said...

@Unknown,

And you are more of an expert than he? I don't think so.

Sigh. Remember what St. Thomas says in the Summa, Unknown:

According to Boethius, the argument from authority is the weakest form of argument.

And, what, Matt can't produce an article by an "expert" that agrees with him? It's not like there's unanimity on any foreign policy question, Un.

Drago said...

Matthew Sablan: "Unknown: Someone saying they are an expert, then getting several facts wrong, and making assumptions that later prove to be wrong might mean that maybe we shouldn't trust their expertise."

Noonan said it best: We are being patronized by our inferiors.

Well connected and properly credentialed inferiors, of course.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Usually they, the Disinformation Trolls( like Drago) employed by countries like Russia, will mix a truth with a lie, but there are times they just bald face lie, they know that at least a few will believe them.

John said...

Blogger Jack Wayne said...

why are there so many committed lefties commenting on this blog since the election?

There aren't all that many. What there is is a few who comment under multiple names to make them seem like many.

My guess is not more than 6-10 but under 30-40 names.

It's an old trick to make a lot of noise, pretending to be multiple persons to conceal how weak their position is and how bereft of ideas they are.

John Henry

Matthew Sablan said...

Also, that article is dated 21 Mar 2017; there is no reason for the author or person being interviewed to NOT know about the fact that there were reports of hacking attempts against Republicans.

Drago said...

John: "It's an old trick to make a lot of noise, pretending to be multiple persons to conceal how weak their position is and how bereft of ideas they are."

Axelrod was a master at the Astroturf tactic.

Just like all the fake "large crowds" at the recent Townhalls.

Total. Astroturf.

Unknown said...

Disinformation Troll Drago now bringing out the big guns, pure lies. They aren't above lying to your face and expecting others to believe them. This Is disinformation on a professional level. Pay attention to this guy, he's not on the side of America. He's not who you think he is. I thought for a long time he was just an unemployed weirdo that spent hours and hours online making one comment after another every single day of the week, but recently, I seriously think he's more than just an innocent oddball.
-----------------
Unknown: "I don't defend China, they are an authoritarian government that doesn't represent anything I hold dear."
-------------------
"China represents every thing that you desire.

Every single thing. But only every single thing.

And now you find yourself 100% aligned with the islamist supremacists."

John said...

Re the DNC e-mail "hack"

How come nobody ever wants to talk about the Awan brothers? Currently under investigation for theft of information and physical items, one of them seems to have fled the country.

Born in Pakistan, nobody seems to know their immigration status. US Citizens? Pakistani citizens? In the US legally on green cards or illegally? Nobody seems to know.

Yet they were the IT contractors for the Democrats on the house intelligence. They didn't have to hack anything to get into the system. They had authorized Administrator access. They had Debbie Wasserman Shultz' email password. They administered her email account.

And yet barely a peep about them from anyone.

Rep Louis Gohmert speaking on the floor of the house a few days ago:

https://www.congress.gov/congressional-record/2017/03/07/house-section/article/H1589-1

We have a crisis here in Congress [[Page H1590]] that people are not talking about. I keep bringing it up. Doesn't seem to be a lot of folks who want to talk about it. There was a time when we had mainstream media that actually did research, asked questions, dug to the bottom of things. But there are IT--information technology, mainly working with computers--employees, shared employees for several Democrats that are under investigation. Imran Awan was the company owner. Abid Awan, Jamal Awan, Hina Alvi--the wife of Imran Awan--and Natalia Sova, wife of Abid Awan, each made $160,000 a year as IT-shared employees working on computers for various Democrats in the House of Representatives. The Awan brothers are of Pakistani descent, but their immigration status is unclear. There are a lot of things that are unknown about the Awan brothers. But they worked for our former DNC chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz--that is Imran Awan.

Read the whole thing

Drago said...

John: "Re the DNC e-mail "hack"

How come nobody ever wants to talk about the Awan brothers? Currently under investigation for theft of information and physical items, one of them seems to have fled the country."

I think we were waiting to see what came out of the investigation as not much info was released even though it looks pretty ugly.

There is a lot of scuttlebutt regarding a potential role these guys might have played in penetrating our intel which might have played a role in the bad guys being ready for our Seal Team raid in Yemen.

If one of these 3 brothers has fled that doesn't look good for Unknown's dem pals in Congress who employed these guys and got them access.

We appear to be on the verge of another (ANOTHER) instance where the dems facilitated the penetration of our systems which resulted in real patriots being killed on the battlefield.

Thanks Unknown!

Unknown said...

Don't pretend to care about Americans killed on the battlefield, Disinformation Troll Drago. You really have absolutely NO scruples.

buwaya puti said...

The work with Russia business comes after the Georgian war of 2008, where Bush had been trying to bolster the Georgians, a US ally, vs Putin. The Democrats of course objected to the US getting involved. It's the same thing as the Ukraine and threats against the Baltics.
A lot of the Democratic pro-Putin stuff came from then. Note that Putin was much weaker then than he became later.
It was about the same then as now, Putin was happy to nibble around the edges. The treatment of Putin/Russia in US politics is situational. Attitudes depend almost entirely according to his utility in bashing the other side.
There is a fine essay by Orwell on this, I have to dig it up, about the acrobatic flipping of various British parties. It is of course a major theme of his novels, "we have always been at war with EastAsia", the memory hole, etc.

Drago said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Drago said...

Unknown: "Don't pretend to care about Americans killed on the battlefield, Disinformation Troll Drago."

Barack obama, your earth-bound messiah, delivered over $150B plus pallets (Pallets!) of cash to the Iranian regime.

The regime that is the largest state sponsor of terror in the world and the primary source of weapons developed over the last 14 years that were used to kill Americans on the battlefield in the Middle East.

Your. Guy. Obama.

The Mullahs say thanks to obama and Unknown!

Unknown said...

Your guy is Putin, Disinformation Troll Drago.

Drago said...

Unknown: "Your guy is Putin, Disinformation Troll Drago"

Powerful.

Compelling.

LOL

Better break out the next winebox.

Original Mike said...

Blogger Matthew Sablan said..."Cook: You do realize that Russia literally invaded a neighbor recently, right?"

Oh, I'm sure Robert believes we made them do it.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

"Disinformation Troll Drago now resorting to intimating his opponent is under the influence of wine... out of a box no less! LOL! How do you like your Vodka comrade? What's a good Russian brand?"

Nostrovia!

Drago said...

Unknown: ""Disinformation Troll Drago now resorting to intimating his opponent is under the influence of wine.."

Nonsense!

I am quite certain that by this point your alcohol tolerance is highly developed.

buwaya said...

As for the quality of US security -
Even based on what we already know, there isnt any left.
It is imprudent to assume that there are any US secrets at all that are not known to any foreign intelligence agency with pretensions to competence.
It seems the only people the USG is capable of keeping information from are the US public.

Unknown said...

And I am quite certain you suckled vodka out of a baby bottle since your infancy, Disinformation Troll Drago.

Drago said...

Unknown: "And I am quite certain you suckled vodka out of a baby bottle since your infancy, Disinformation Troll Drago."

With all the same certainty you displayed when predicting Trump wouldn't take office and Sessions would only last 2 days in his role as AG!

LOL

Any prediction where you tell us of your certainty is guaranteed to go the other way!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Drago said...

Unknown: "Quinnipiac Poll: Trump at 37%, with that ill say...."

Ah yes. Quinnipiac.

They told me Hillary would be President and the Dems would win the Senate.

Yes, let's pay close attention to them. They have their finger on the pulse of America!

Unknown said...

"With all the same certainty you displayed when predicting Trump wouldn't take office and Sessions would only last 2 days in his role as AG!"

Nope, not me.

Quinnipiac Poll, Trump at 37% and TrumpCare doesn't appear to have enough votes.


доброй ночи, Disinformatipn Troll Drago!

Drago said...

Unknown: "Nope, not me."

Oh yes. You.

LOL

Unknown: "Quinnipiac Poll, Trump at 37% and TrumpCare doesn't appear to have enough votes."

LOL

Man, you are always, ALWAYS, behind the curve:

"A spokesperson for Rep. Mark Meadows, R-North Carolina, said the conservative group is "cautiously optimistic" that it will get what it wants after Meadows, the caucus' chairman, and other members met with Trump and Vice President Mike Pence at the White House on Wednesday."

That would be Mark Meadows, the head of the Freedom Caucus.

Kyzernick said...

Wow. Unknown has been thoroughly destroyed before, but never this thoroughly. No stone lays atop another. Good job, all. Let's hope he picked a box of red and forgets to drink water before passing out.

Xmas said...

Unknown, who gives a crap about Russia.

It looks like Erdogan is about to make his move.

Franklin said...

Hey Kyz,

My bet was on unknown, he won this one, IMO. Good discussion, good fight, very entertaining.

JAORE said...

"Good discussion, good fight, very entertaining."

Is your idea of an entertaining, good fight, "Are not!", "Are too", "Yes you are." "Doody-head!"?

'Cause a lot of the discussion with Unknown devolves into that level.

Achilles said...

Robert Cook said...

while war-monger Hillary Clinton, a staunch servant of the deep state, promised an adversarial posture toward Russia.

Is that what the "reset" button was for?

Achilles said...

mmmm.... I love the smell of panic. The whole surveillance apparatus is going to have the light of day shined down on it now. Going to be a lot of bureaucrats going to jail soon.

grackle said...

I didn’t think there was a working set of balls left in Congress. Nunes just proved me wrong. Nunes is smart in this: If a whistleblower comes to you go public right away because there’s no telling just who else the whistleblower might give their info to. Tell Speaker Ryan, then announce it, then tell Trump.

I suspect we’ll be waving goodbye to Comey before all this is over. Whistleblowing could be contagious.

This is attempt to distract from the Paul Manafort bombshell by Nunes who apparently is still a surrogate for Trump.

I doubt that Trump cares what happens to Manafort. I doubt that Nunes does, either. Especially since the main charge, the “bombshell,” against Manafort seems to that he did consulting work for a wealthy Russian several years ago. There’s been several GOP political campaigns which have employed him since then. When I see Manafort facing charges then I’ll start paying attention – otherwise it’s just fake news.

Also since when does the head of the House Intelligence Committee run to the White House to divulge classified information to the subject of the investigation itself??

Perhaps because Nunes had information about spying on Trump that had nothing to do with Russian/Trump collusion? That was obviously purely partisan in nature? Here’s Nunes’s reply to the same question asked by a reporter at his second press conference.

Nunes: Because what I saw has nothing to do with Russia and nothing to do with the Russia investigation. It has everything to do with surveillance activities, and the President needs to know that these intelligence reports are out there, and I have a duty to tell him that.

… there must be an Independent Commission.

Yes, they want a witch-hunt so bad they can taste it. And Paul Ryan may have even been stupid enough to try it. But sometimes predator becomes prey. That is what just happened – a shaky table of carefully arranged bullshit has been overturned.

grackle said...

IMHO: I think that if a member of Congress finds out that members of a Presidential transition team, guilty of absolutely nothing, mind you, have been illegally unmasked then that member would have a duty to inform the President so that these innocent American citizens could be warned that they have been illegally unmasked. I think the President has a right to know, that the offended American citizens have a right to know and the American public has a right to know that it happened.

Leigh said...

My working theory, summarized:

The fabricated "Russia!" story allowed Loretta Lynch to open a "foreign agent" investigation into Trump and all of his people to allow for total "legal" surveillance under more easily obtained FISA warrants. She simply deemed them suspected "foreign agents." And don't think for a minute Loretta Lynch opened an investigation into Trump et al. w/o Obama's blessing. The Russian story snowballed and when it was shown to be nothing, this was ... problematic. So one of the warring Deep State factions won and kept the Russian story going (after all, having a sitting president under FBI investigation for Russian collusion is quite a coup, no?). So, before telling the House, Comey tells Trump. "Yeah, sorry, bro, you and your peeps have been under surveillance for this big ole investigation Obama started back in June or July. What's that, sir? No, we've found no evidence of any collusion or links. Have we been surveilling you? Well, sure. I mean, that's what an investigation into foreign leaks is all about." Trump angrily tweets his storm about surveillance, and is promptly declared paranoid and delusional -- perhaps even mentally ill. All the intel agency heads make the Sunday show rounds to say NO EVIDENCE OF COLLUSION! NO EVIDENCE OF SURVEILLANCE. Then the story about the Awan Brothers thefts of thumb drives, computers, laptops starts really heating up and breaking into the mainstream consciousness. And the Awan story is far bigger and way more scandalous, not to mention it is backed up by reams of evidence. Better keep this Russian thing front and center and keep Trump crippled. The end ... until tomorrow.

(Here's the debunked mysterious Russian pings story that allowed for Obama Admin's entire DOJ bullshit investigation; maybe it was the ping analyses by Hillary supporters that Bill Clinton gave Lynch at their "chance" midnight meeting on the tarmac? http://blog.erratasec.com/2016/11/debunking-trumps-secret-server.html#.WNN3zJE8KfA)

Leigh said...

*LINKS -- I said "foreign leaks"

exhelodrvr1 said...

"Frau Unknown"

Frau Blucher?

Brando said...

What exactly is news about this news? I thought we learned weeks ago that the feds had done incidental surveillance of some of Trump's people while surveilling Russians which was how they caught Flynn. Did Nunes just learn this?

And this is not the same thing as the feds surveilling Trump or his people directly.

Bruce Hayden said...

@Leigh - I don't think that the bogus Russian hacking story was really a result of the Deep State, at least since the election, but has been a way for the left/Dems to attack Trump and keep him under fire. There really has been almost no evidence (beyond perfectly normal calls between Trump people and the Russian ambassador, that were also going on with Crooked Hillary's people, and Obama's transition team 8 years earlier). Just a lot of smoke, and now all the smoke being blown by the same people claiming that it indicates a big scandal, if we just look hard enough. Some of it from the Deep State, but mostly from the normal suspects.

@Mary (way earlier) - nothing new in that the NSA intercepted conversations between Trump people and Russian intelligence targets pursuant to FISA warrants. That, indirectly, is what sank Gen Flynn. As I have been pointing out here for quite some time, the NSA has very likely had standing FISA warrants for the Russian (and Chinese) ambassadors' phones since the enactment of that law some 40 years ago. Likely everything coming in and out of their embassies and consulates has been (legally) tapped the entire time. Everyone knows this and everyone does this (and is part of why Crooked Hillary's use of an unencrypted Blackberry outside CONUS should have been scandalous). That is a good part of what FISA was initially designed to accomplish. The scandal is that FISA has "minimization" requirements for "US Persons" (citizens and legal aliens) that were violated with the unmasking of at least Flynn's identification.

Bruce Hayden said...

Those who think that the Russians would really have preferred Trump over Clinton are missing one big thing - OIL. Crooked Hillary was committed to furthering Obama's policy of trying to kill our oil and gas industry in the gun sets of energy independence and saving the planet from CAGW (and killing any new pipelines by whatever means possible). Trump, of course, wants to set our oil and gas industry loose. Which he is doing. The result? The OPEC production cuts designed to increase global prices have failed. The US is becoming one of the major swing producers in the world, with production costs dropping down, in the last couple months below much of the world, thanks, in particular to the shale boom and directional drilling.

How does this affect Russia? Badly. Their economy is highly dependent upon exporting extracted resources, notably oil and gas. The result is that their economy is shrinking at a time when ours is starting to grow again, and their plans of modernizing and replacing their Soviet era arms are collapsing as Trump vows to rebuild our military, after it was forced to fight continuously despite Obama forced budget cuts. This week we heard that instead of replacing their Soviet era arms, they were having to refurbish them instead. Kinda reminds me of how Reagan squeezed the Soviets in a similar manner, until their system fell apart, unable to compete.

It would be extremely surprising if former KGB agent Putin didn't know all this in advance of our election (besides having already bought Crooked Hillary before, when she was Sec of a State). He may not have known how quickly it was going to happen, but he had to know that any Republican was going to try to undo the damage that Obama had intentionally done to our oil and gas industry, and that our shale production was probably the biggest threat his country faced. But Trump made it obvious, made it a part of his campaign. He said that it would be Yuge.

Bruce Hayden said...

Let me repeat myself. Russian involvement or influence has always been Fake News. The same parties who have been generating all the smoke are the ones claiming that all the smoke must indicate some evil doing. In this case, there is no fire, just more smoke, and, yes, mirrors. The purpose has always been to discredit,distract, and weaken Trump and the Republicans. And it does seem to work, with a lot of Republican politicians living inside the DC bubble getting distracted.

Birkel said...

@ Brando

You don't like Trump and you have let that overwhelm your logic. Nunes suggested this was NOT incidental collection. Further, he suggested those surveilled were unmasked - their identities not hidden.

This as not known 24 hours ago even if many suspected as much. Also, it means those Trump tweets may not be so crazy after all.

Brando said...

"You don't like Trump and you have let that overwhelm your logic. Nunes suggested this was NOT incidental collection. Further, he suggested those surveilled were unmasked - their identities not hidden."

Where did Nunes say this was not incidental collection? Did he say that Americans were actually targeted here? If he did say that, I missed that quote.

If I have the facts wrong, I'm willing to admit it. Just from what I read so far it looks like he's just reporting what we already know.

And my POV on this isn't even "anti-Trump" because frankly if the feds were doing a lawful investigation actually targeting Trump's people (and NOT incidental collection) that is far worse for Trump. So I'm not seeing where my "anti-Trump bias" is affecting my comment here.

Birkel said...

@ Brando
"...I'm not seeing...

Correct. And I am trying to help you figure it why.

Birkel said...

figure out

Brando said...

"Correct. And I am trying to help you figure it why."

Much obliged, and I mean that. I know I don't trust Trump so I want to make sure that's not slanting my POV.

But here, Trump is better off if his people were NOT intentionally targeted, unless the targeting is in fact illegal in which case we have a bigger scandal on our hands. From what Nunes said, it's vague enough that it tells us nothing about who was targeted and whether such targeting was illegal--only that some of Trump's people were picked up in surveillance. Which we already knew.

Now if Nunes actually did say something more definite than that, I'd be interested in seeing it--that would be news.

Birkel said...

@ Brando

You'll have to digest more than the MSM accounts. Watch the source data, i.e. Nunes statement on video. Nunes tried to be careful with his answers but you can probably get it. For example, the FBI is not helping uncover the truth where the NSA has been helpful. Can you imagine why?

As for Trump being better off of his people were not targeted, you are wrong. Who cares if they are subjects in politically motivated investigations? That is a Democrat talking point you have absorbed.

Brando said...

"Watch the source data, i.e. Nunes statement on video. Nunes tried to be careful with his answers but you can probably get it."

I'll check it out after work. I've just been reading the news reports on it but if his inflections suggest something more maybe there is some news here.

As for politically motivated investigations, that's a different story--like I said above, if this is an illegal investigation (or an abuse of power just on the line of "legal") then this is a big deal indeed, and all the more reason for a major investigation. We've known a while that our intelligence agencies have been overstepping their bounds, and if this has been abused in the political process we should know.

Hagar said...

If whatever agency was behind this intentionally targeted foreigners they thought likely to gossip about Trump and his people, then the intercepts were not "incidental," and another real scandal developing is possible.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

I love being lectured to about my patriotism and scolded about how I have insufficient hate for those working for foreign governments/non-US goals within my country by people who actively supported and championed the cause of international communism and/or were either fellow travelers or useful idiots for foreign causes. The commie-loving Left wants to shame me for not engaging in their 2-minutes hate against the Russians today?
I swear to god it's like the 1950s--late 1980s just never happened, huh?
You fuckwits were all in for Stalin, for Casto, for all of 'em...you still wear Che shirts with pride! You still defend Commie spies who stole vital US secrets and got lots of US intel assets murdered (well, probably tortured then murdered for lots of 'em)...and you want to point a finger at me an call me a Russian apologist?

Honestly, sincerely, truly: fuck you.

grackle said...

What exactly is news about this news? I thought we learned weeks ago that the feds had done incidental surveillance of some of Trump's people while surveilling Russians which was how they caught Flynn. Did Nunes just learn this? And this is not the same thing as the feds surveilling Trump or his people directly.

Yes. We DID learn weeks ago about the Flynn unmasking. But the anti-Trumpers ignored the significance of the unmasking just as the commentor is doing now.

“Incidental.” You see the word all the time. In spy jargon it means anyone not named in the FISA warrant. In this context it does NOT mean “minor,” “trivial” or “insignificant.”

And all would be fine except for one thing: If the “incidental” person is unmasked it becomes a felony. If the identity of the American citizen talking to the “target” of the FISA warrant is illegally unmasked by any of the spy agencies it means that America’s own spies are committing felonies against innocent American citizens for their own political agendas.

But the commentor is perfectly OK with it. Typical.

Birkel said...

@ Brando

Pay special attention to how some reporters ask questions in ways they hope will produce answers that can be used to blunt Nunes' larger message. That's the tell. Many of the reporters were trying to get the pull quote they needed for their respective pre-written stories.

The non-denial denials are the tells of politicians. The leading questions are reporters'.

Leigh said...

@Bruce Hayden, I agree with you, I think. We might both be saying the same thing, but you're saying it better. I do not think the "deep state" leaked Hillary's emails or the DNC's emails.

However, given that there is NO evidence of Russian "collusion" and there has never been any evidence, it is most curious that Comey traveled to Congress on Monday to say "Yep, there's an investigation into Russian meddling, even though there is no evidence to support it." Why would he do that, except to make certain the whole world knows we have a sitting president under investigation for "collusion," and theoretically unable to fully function as the chief executive? Recall, Comey claimed authority to disclose the investigation per DOJ policy reserved for investigations so serious they should be revealed "in the public interests." Perhaps he's continuing the investigation and muddying the waters to cover the "unmasking" leaks in addition to the intel itself? (The "unmasker" is much easier to find than the leaker.)

And if Comey is not trying to protect the "unmaskers" then why is Comey doing this? Why is there an on-going investigation when, to this day, no evidence was found, per every single talking-head of every single intel agency?

According to Peter King (on Fox last night) the surveillance on the Trump people was granular ... when the person left their house, where they went, when they arrived, when they ate lunch, etc. and NONE of this surveillance had anything whatsoever to do, even ostensibly, with Russia. He said it read almost like a private investigator's report. Yet this granular data, irrelevant to the investigation, was widely circulated throughout the intelligence community. If you eliminate the "masking" problem by making Trump, et al., direct targets, at least the "masking" problem is solved. Next is finding the leakers, which Obama made quite sure would be well nigh impossible.

The leakers are most definitely Obama embeds or "deep state" or "shadow government" -- pick your poison. My theory is that Hillary had the Awan clan put the spyware/pinging software on Trump's server, and then she got her computer geek supporters to analyze the curious DNS data from Trump's and Alfa bank's servers. And make no mistake, Hillary's geeks had to dig to get that DNS data & they would have to know which DNS data to analyze. Hillary told them where to go and where to look. Once their bogus conclusions were written up, I believe Bill Clinton delivered this nugget -- a month's worth of "nefarious pings" -- to Loretta Lynch at the midnight meeting on the tarmac. Lynch took it to Obama, got his blessing, and started a deep-dive surveillance on everyone in Trumpland. That is how the FBI (or deep state or whatever) was able to knock out Flynn so fast. Comey told Trump -- before telling the world -- that Trump, et al. were under investigation. This explains Trump's angry surveillance tweets and, when challenged, his remark that "things will be coming out over the next few weeks." They certainly did! And of course, Trump holds Obama responsible for the surveillance! Who wouldn't? The investigation was on Obama's watch, with his blessing.

So WTF is going on here? A lot of you seem fairly hum-ho about this, as if it will blow over. I sure hope you're right. "Politics is a blood sport" isn't a figure of speech any more. That's for sure.

Leigh said...

Oops. Turns out that whole "Russia hacked the DNC" report written by Crowdstrike (DNC didn't want FBI doing the investigation) is "delusional." Alrighty then.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-23/credibility-cyber-firm-claimed-russia-hacked-dnc-comes-under-serious-question

Chuck said...

grackle said...
I didn’t think there was a working set of balls left in Congress. Nunes just proved me wrong. Nunes is smart in this: If a whistleblower comes to you go public right away because there’s no telling just who else the whistleblower might give their info to. Tell Speaker Ryan, then announce it, then tell Trump.


Well, no. If you are the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, what you do is to say to your source, "Hang on just a second. I need to make a call. Just stay seated for a minute. We'll get you a coffee, if you want." Then, you call the Ranking Member (Rep. Adam Schiff), get him in the room with you, and say to the source, "Okay, you were starting to tell me something. Now that Rep. Schiff is here, I'd like you to continue..."

Then, together with Schiff, you decide what to do. Then, tell anybody who has Top Secret clearance whatever you want. Ryan, Trump, whoever.

Chuck said...

grackle said...
...
And all would be fine except for one thing: If the “incidental” person is unmasked it becomes a felony. If the identity of the American citizen talking to the “target” of the FISA warrant is illegally unmasked by any of the spy agencies it means that America’s own spies are committing felonies against innocent American citizens for their own political agendas.


Right; no excuse for leakers and those who traffic in illegal leaks. I'm not like Trump; I don't love Wikileaks.

I don't think that we are talking about FISA warrants at all in this instance. And if folks are getting captured on general surveillance talking to Russians, I agree that the system should protect them. And those captured conversations, without warrants, should never be used to prosecute anybody. Except the people who wrongly exposed the names of participants.

Martin said...

Todd is right, but for some strange reason I think what really bothers him is that the other side is starting to do it, too.

And Todd is definitely on one side, so there is an "other side."

Oh, and that "strange reason" would be numerous things he has said and done.

Bruce Hayden said...

@chuck - I would go beyond that a bit. Yes, the privacy interest is greatest when the 5th Amdt is implicated, in prosecution for crimes. But I think that the govt should not be, as a matter of course surveiling anyone unless there is probable cause to believe that it will lead to a criminal conviction, or reasonable belief that terrorism or an attack on the US may be involved. And, FISA and the Wiretap Act are supposed to protect that. Which is to say that I don't want the govt to be able to surveil whomever they want, whenever they want, for essentially whatever reason they may want the information. (And, note, I am not saying that has happened, or, indeed, that there was any surveillance or interception of conversations of US Persons outside legitimate FISA and Wiretap Act warrants - we just don't know).

The quibble I am making with what you said, is that it seemed to imply to me a "no harm, no foul" regime, where it would be ok for the Feds to wiretap any of us, just so long as they didn't use it to prosecute us. Maybe not what you meant.

Robert Cook said...

"'while war-monger Hillary Clinton, a staunch servant of the deep state, promised an adversarial posture toward Russia.'

"Is that what the 'reset' button was for?"


The supremely silly political theater of the "reset button" occurred in 2009, in Obama's first term in office. It did not take, primarily because the Obama administration and the Clinton Dept. of State continued provoking Russia and casting them as the bad actors, contrasted with America's always too-generous and trusting attempts to make nice. All lies and bullshit.

Trump is the one who was cast as "weak" or "treasonous" for claiming to want to have friendly dealings with Russia. Trump never portrayed himself as the one who would be "tough" (belligerent) toward Russia, while Clinton did.

Unknown said...

What the heck is Devin Nunes talking about?


"Is it surprising or scandalous that Trump transition communications might be subject to incidental collection?

Answer: Almost certainly not.

Nunes concedes that all of the interceptions appear to be lawful. So we’re not dealing here with a situation of scandalous political spying on an American presidential transition. The nature of incidental collection is that the targets are lawful overseas non-US persons who happen to have contact with US persons, whose communications thus get swept up in the course of spying on someone else.

Now remember that the Trump Transition violated a lot of norms under which transitions don’t generally run entirely independent foreign policies before taking office. The Trump transition organized all sorts of calls with foreign leaders (legitimate targets for surveillance) without coordinating with the State Department or, presumably, the intelligence community. Trump himself famously chatted with the Prime Minister of Pakistan, undid (temporarily) the One China Policy by taking a call from the President of Taiwan, and did his best to torpedo a UN resolution against Israeli settlements, leading Egypt to withdraw the resolution (only for the U.S. to abstain from the vote on the resubmitted resolution the next day). His staff presumably had any number of other communications with folks abroad whom the intelligence community would be derelict not to be listening to. So it’s not remotely surprising that some communications by some Trump transition people ended up being incidentally collected. Indeed, it would be surprising if none had.


Is there anything surprising or upsetting here?

Answer: Maybe.

Nunes makes two allegations that we put in the category of upsetting if true. The first is that “details with little apparent foreign intelligence value were widely disseminated in intelligence community reporting”—a matter he later alleges took place dozens of times. This should, of course, never happen. When US person information is collected, it is supposed to be minimized unless it has foreign intelligence value. So if Nunes is right here, he’s describing a genuine problem.

He also alleges that he has “confirmed that additional names of Trump transition team members were unmasked”—additional, here referring to in addition to General Flynn. There’s nothing wrong with unmasking in and of itself. But in combination with the previous allegation—that material with little foreign intelligence value was disseminated—unmasking could be a very serious matter. That is, Nunes appears to be alleging that the intelligence community reported a whole lot of material incidentally collected about the Trump transition that was of no foreign intelligence value and then unmasked the US persons involved. This would be a significant abuse if it were true.

But that only raises the question: Is it true?

Color us skeptical—at least for now. Nunes is clearly shooting from the hip here. He clearly does not have all the facts himself (he admits as much). And his allegations are a deep challenge to the professionalism of the men and women of the intelligence community in the conduct of some of their most politically sensitive work. So at least until we learn more facts, we’re going to take Nunes about as seriously as we take Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald when they are comparably breathless in alleging intelligence community malfeasance without knowing all the facts in pursuit of their political goals. One shouldn’t presume what he says is false. But we’re not going to presume it true either."

Unknown said...

"So why is Nunes shooting from the hip here and going public before he has any idea what he’s talking about?

Answer: Beats us.

It’s a bit of a puzzler, really. Nunes says he doesn’t have any reason to think this collection was illegal. In his second press conference, he said that he thinks there is some level of surveillance activity "perhaps legal, but I don’t know that it’s right and I don’t know that the American people would be comfortable with it." Does Nunes mean to say he believes that there are forms of lawfully authorized surveillance which he believes are ethically wrong? If so, this is an odd format for a HSPCI Chairman to make such a startling revelation to the American people. He says that the Administration was not yet aware of the information and that he would be speaking to the White House later in the afternoon. According to both Nunes and the office of committee Vice Chair Adam Schiff, Nunes did not speak to Schiff prior to the press conference. He says he has spoken to NSA Director Admiral Rogers but not FBI Director Comey. So why is he holding a press conference before getting even his basic facts straight?

Bob Dole once famously quipped that the most dangerous space in Washington was the space between then-Rep. Charles Schumer and a TV camera. Just a hunch, but something similar might be going on here.

Did Nunes publicly disclose anything classified?

Answer: We’re not sure but it’s a question well worth asking.

As Comey said at Nunes’s hearing on Monday, “All FISA applications reviewed by the court and collection by us pursuant to our FISA authority is classified.” Assuming that anything Nunes said was true, it appears to involve material obtained under FISA. Nunes confirmed as much in his White House press conference; when asked if the targets were subjects of surveillance “under FISA orders,” he said, “It appears so.” Silly us, but we thought such material was classified until affirmatively declassified by the original classifying authority. Have NSA and FBI declassified the facts that Nunes publicly described today? Remember that Nunes apparently hasn’t even spoken to Comey about this yet.

When asked whether the Justice Department authorized him to make the information public, Nunes said he thought the President “needed to know,” presumably indicating he did not, in fact, have DOJ permission. Considering the focus on leaks of FISA material of Republicans at Monday’s hearings, the question of whether Nunes himself has just improperly discussed classified FISA matters in public is one that deserves at least some attention."

Birkel said...

@ Bruce Hayden
@ Chuck, so called

The Chuck rule, announced above, in a physical space would be it's OK for the police to come into your house without a warrant so long as they don't use whatever they find in your house as part of a criminal investigation. That cannot be correct.

The idea of "general surveillance" is not precisely the sort of thing smaller-government conservatives would ever support.

Mac McConnell said...

We learned a lot this week, but most importantly we know the black folk have their own Nixon now.

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