Original reporting by The New York Times and NBC News report that in the Obama administration’s last days, some White House officials scrambled to spread information about Russian efforts to undermine the presidential election — and about possible contacts between associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump and Russians — across the government. Former American officials say they had two aims: to ensure that such meddling isn’t duplicated in future American or European elections, and to leave a clear trail of intelligence for government investigators.
American allies, including the British and the Dutch, had provided information describing meetings in European cities between Russian officials — and others close to Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin — and associates of President-elect Trump, according to three former American officials who requested anonymity in discussing classified intelligence. Separately, American intelligence agencies had intercepted communications of Russian officials, some of them within the Kremlin, discussing contacts with Mr. Trump’s associates.
Then and now, Mr. Trump has denied that his campaign had any contact with Russian officials, and at one point he openly suggested that American spy agencies had cooked up intelligence suggesting that the Russian government had tried to meddle in the presidential election. Mr. Trump has accused the Obama administration of hyping the Russia story line as a way to discredit his new administration.
Of course the words coming out of Trump’s mouth does not matter. That is the only explanation to this video where Trump admits to having a relationship with Putin and his more recent conclusion that he does not know the Russian leader.
But this video says otherwise.
News that the Russians, which means Vladimir Putin, wanted Donald Trump to win the election shouldn’t surprise anyone. They’ve clearly sized him up and see him as the friend that he will turn out to be. They also are taking him seriously when he says that he will support torture and doesn’t care much for getting the United States involved in other country’s affairs. That Trump will help the Russians in Syria is merely icing on the babka. Trump hasn’t a clue as to how to conduct foreign policy and Putin knows that.
But I’m not willing to follow others who say that the Russian effort turned the election. After all, if the point was to get more people to vote for Trump, then the Russians failed miserably, as Hillary Clinton’s 2.7 million vote majority will attest. And it would be a real stretch to conclude that the Russian hackers focused on blue-collar, high-school-educated, former Obama voters in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania because that’s where Trump won the election. Were those voters especially susceptible to fake news? Perhaps some of them went into the last week of the election and weighed the candidate’s positions on jobs and, with the Comey letter, concluded that Hillary was not the person to solve the problem. Let’s not forget that Clinton ran a bad campaign, taking Michigan for granted in the final weeks when the lesson of Bernie Sanders’ shocking performance (or maybe not really shocking) in the primaries should have alerted her team to the potential for an upset.
The real problem with the hacking is that Donald Trump encouraged it as a candidate, and then dismissed it and the professionals who will be advising him once it threatened his fragile hold on his self-esteem. We are now going to be led for the next four years by a classic bully, one who is unsure of himself so he couches his responses in anger, dismissal, disparagement and unthinking emotional outbursts rather than reason and analysis. He’s already shown that when he’s attacked, he goes into survival mode and lives on twitter. As someone who lived through Chris Christie for eight years, I can tell you that this isn’t going to end well.
This strategy has worked to a limited degree when Trump goes after companies that make plans to build plants in Mexico, but it failed miserably with the hacking issue, and it probably won’t serve him as well as he thinks once he takes office (shudder). Eventually, Trump is going to realize that Americans want their president to act a certain way, and tweeting your fears every morning won’t substitute for policy.
In a recent interview on MSNBC, Russia expert Nina Khrushcheva spoke about the recent flattering letter Vladimir Putin sent to Donald Trump where Putin praised Trump causing the self-centered president-elect to conclude heartedly that Putin’s letter was “so correct.”
“I was just in Moscow and the Russians are saying ‘Look at those fools, look at their democracy.’ Absolutely,” she said. “‘How could America lecture us on any development, institutions, human rights, democracy, rhetoric when they just elected Donald Trump. He’s such a fool. He’s such a bully,” she continued. “That’s what America deserves and we’re going to take advantage of it.’ And that’s how Russians feel about it, and now it’s taking shape with letters from Vladimir Putin to Donald Trump with their exchange on potential nuclear armament and whatnot.”
Intelligence analyst Malcolm Nance weighed in on the Russian hack and their interference in our presidential election.
“I don’t think there will be any accountability with the regards of the Russian hacking against the DNC or even violating the entirety of the U.S. electoral process. He has benefited from that,” Nance said. “He’s going to shut down any investigation if it implicates him or his campaign.”
The Nuclear arms race with Russia begins again, thanks to Donald Trump and his childish tweets.
Donald Trump called for an expansion of the United States’ nuclear capabilities on Thursday, in a tweet that alarmed nonproliferation experts who said that a boost to the U.S. arsenal could fuel global tensions.
In his Twitter post, Trump said, “The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes,” but gave no further details.
It was not clear what prompted his comment. However, earlier on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia needed to “strengthen the military potential of strategic nuclear forces.”
Asked about the tweet, Trump spokesman Jason Miller later said Trump was “referring to the threat of nuclear proliferation and the critical need to prevent it – particularly to and among terrorist organizations and unstable and rogue regimes.”
Since the CIA revealed that Russia and Vladimir Putin hacked into our election with the sole purpose of electing Donald Trump, Republicans have found a new love and respect for Russia’s leader.
Putin, who has been accused by the CIA of personally interfering in the US election to help Donald Trump win because he holds a ‘vendetta’ against Hillary Clinton, has seen his popularity rate increase by a staggering 56 percentage points, according to Economist/YouGov poll.
The Russian leader’s net favorability rating jumped from -66 in July 2014 to -10 in the latest survey.
Thirty-two per cent of people who identified as a Republican had a ‘somewhat favorable’ view of Putin, while five per cent said they had a ‘very favorable’ view.
Remarkably, that combined figure means almost three times as many Republicans have a favorable view of Putin as they do of President Barack Obama – who was seen that way by just 17 per cent of all GOP responders.
In contrast, just 12 per cent of Democrats said they had a somewhat of very favorable view of the Russian leader. Across all political divides, 21 per cent of Americans who responded to the survey said they view him favorable.
Huffington Post is reporting that President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are reviewing the Democratic Coalition’s investigative report highlighting 10 “clear links” that the FBI failed to investigate about our President-elect’s business ties to Russia, and to the Putin regime.
It’s named “The Dworkin Report.”
“The FBI missed at least 10 key connections between President-elect Trump and Russia when they conducted their investigation and concluded that our President-elect had no links to the country,” said Scott Dworkin, Senior Advisor to the Democratic Coalition and author of the report. “It is imperative that the American people be made aware of this information.”
The Dworkin Report shows that Donald Trump has incorporated almost 250 registered businesses in Russia.
This hard evidence directly contradicts Trump’s prior statements about having no business ties to Russia over the summer.
Additionally, the evidence shows that Trump has travelled to Russia dating back to 1987, before the end of the Soviet Union.
In particular, a visit in 2010 included a tour of St. Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum led by a Russian government official of sufficient ranking, that he earned a personal photo and award from Vladimir Putin earlier this year.
The Democratic Coalition also revealed a 2013 video recorded interview with Donald Trump to MSNBC’s Thomas A. Roberts – which he has confirmed as authentic – where he claimed twice to have a relationship with Putin.