There certainly could’ve been a reasonable explanation back when the story first broke. The problem is that there have been so many denials, contradictions, and falsifications by Trump’s team on this subject that it’s really hard to argue that these communications between high-level staffers and Russia were on the up-and-up. Flynn’s resignation and the news about Pence not even knowing until well after Trump was briefed is problematic as well.
I don’t know if anything solid against Trump will come of this story, but the news now smells blood in the water. Before Flynn’s ejection, the feeling was that Trump’s team was untouchable and immune to all criticism. That’s evidently not true now, and there are enemies of the current administration that have been waiting for something like this to validate their efforts. Game on!
I think we should avoid sounding like the crazed anti-Clinton crowd.
I’m sure Trump has done illegal stuff during his long career, but I actually don’t think his presidential run/presidency was part of it. While as a man with advancing dementia he has no place in the oval office, contemplating throwing him in prison for a vainglorious campaign that snowballed out of control is inappropriate. Don’t attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity, and stupidity is more than sufficient explanation for everything Trump, personally, has done.
Soon? No. Think about it, the FBI had the dossier allegations last July. The Manafort stuff had been public since at least august. The dossier has been public since December. Trump knew Flynn had lied for almost 2 weeks before it broke. The DNC.hack has been known for months without a full congressional investigation yet.
These things take time, and are being fought tooth and nail by the administration and its allies. People are actually breaking the law to leak because it’s so explosive.
I expect more dribs and drabs, as well as some leak prosecutions.
However, each piece keeps confirming the worst. I don’t think that’s confirmation bias on my part, but there could be an element of it.
Not really, but that’s why we need an investigation. He knew and referenced things that he shouldn’t have known if it was just a matter of stupidity, imo and that of many others with far more knowledge on the subject.
Drips and drabs? No, this is an avalanche. This is not how these things usually roll out. Releases at 9pm at night? People resigning in the middle of the night? Twitterstorms-I’m sure his lawyers loved those this morning.
This is going to boil over very very soon. The wave is huge, and it is really missing one single mail, phone call to tie it all up in a bow. You know someone is sitting on that already. There is way too much smoke for there not to be fire.
I bet people 90 days for this presidency…I didn’t think I’d win that bet…but I’m starting to think I’ll be very close.
I just hope they can corral Pence and Ryan into the mix too…:)
I’m not sure what sort of smoking gun folks are looking for here.
US Intel community has concluded overwhelmingly that the hacks of the DNC emails and Hillary For America campaign chair Podesta were done by Russian hackers as part of a directed intel effort from the Kremlin.
After Trump won in November, General Flynn called Russian leadership to inform them to not sweat the Obama sanctions that were put in place to punish Russia for meddling in the US elections. Russia was informed that those would be taken care of when Trump assumed power. That contact is illegal, and a felony.
Questions on who directed Flynn to make that contact have not been resolved or answered in any sensible way.
CNN reports that the Trump campaign was in “constant” contact with Russia during the campaign season.
Trump campaign and Wikileaks ran the text of hacked Podesta emails even before Russian hackers could release them, sometimes there was over an hour gap in the postings.
Pretty much. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. And at this point, with the evidence at hand (which includes words and reaction from the administration) the extraordinary claim is no longer that Trump’s team colluded with Russia. Rather the question is who, and how much. What ways is our President compromised by a foreign government.
Claiming that there is nothing there is the extraordinary claim now, and requires evidence that all the leaks, documents, etc. are false.
This. So much this. Chaffetz is a POS for refusing his duty here. Oh, waste hundreds of millions on Benghazi (never mind that it was one of the least deadly embassy attacks in history, so why aren’t we pushing harder on Sana’a or Nairobi, or Beirut), but nothing on possibly compromised executive?
I imagine the reason people are looking for a smoking gun is that all those points were reported on contemporaneously (it really is astonishing how leaky the Trump entourage is), so having the intel community start leaking about evidence for them now, after the inauguration, feels a bit underwhelming (especially in the context of the Comey letter). If you’re going to have the intel community start leaking against the president about intercepts and so on, you’d hope there’s more to it than what we already knew.
While the first part of your statement is a sensible aphorism, I don’t think the second part is at all clear. You can look at him as a stupid bull being led around by various con men and Russian spies, but I don’t think the evidence itself supports that interpretation over the one where he knew what he was doing. There’s plenty of evidence that points to the conclusion that he a) didn’t think he was going to win, and thus was mainly trying to secure the most value to himself from a loss, b) was surrounded by people who were in contact with Russian intelligence and/or knew what info Russia was feeding Wikileaks, and c) still has some financial or other (Kompromat) incentives to play nice with Russia. So that makes it more likely than not that he was talking to Russian intelligence, either directly or through surrogates, that he was making some sort of personally-beneficial deal with them for when he lost, with perhaps additional compensation if he won (I mean, look at the deals he tried to push as President-elect if you think he wouldn’t do this), and that he is currently working some deal that requires him to defend Russia and Putin, even if he’s throwing out a little smoke about returning Crimea. Given what we know, it wouldn’t be at all surprising to learn that Russia does have Kompromat on him, that they did offer him a huge piece of Rosneft if he would lift sanctions, and that he was also working directly with them about the email leaks and his pro-Russia rhetoric during the campaign. Those three things, plus the efforts to cover them up, would be the biggest scandal in US history.
The “he’s just dumb” version of this says that the dossier, despite having some true information, is simply using that info to try to push lies intended to take down Trump, that Trump’s pro-Russia stance is just him liking the idea of strong leaders, using Putin as an example of that, and then being backed into a corner by people questioning that example, and that his string of advisers with Russia contacts is simply a coincidence. All three of those points seem unlikely. Steele has no reason to push lies against Trump, and originally compiled the dossier as opposition research, for which even uncorroborated truth turned out to be useless. Trump’s pro-Russia stance comes with this broad de-stabilization of the aspects of US foreign policy that contain Putin or hurt Russia, none of which he would have gotten from the places he got literally all of his other policies (isn’t it odd that this is the one place he was out of step with conservative media?), except the fossil fuel angle. Finally, there’s no way to prove the advisers aren’t coincidence without some direct statements by Trump that he’s hiring people with Moscow connections, but there’s certainly enough of them that we have to take the possibility of enemy action seriously.
Some kind of written quid pro quo, like “hey Trump, if you change the GOP platform and official US stance to be cool with us annexing Crimea and assisting us with the sale of Rosneft, maybe by appointing the Exxon CEO as secretary of state, then in return we will cut you in for a huge chunk of that Rosneft change, could be worth billions of dollars to you. Deal?” And then a response from Trump saying, “yes, that sounds cool. Also don’t release that blackmail tape.”
That would be a gun with not just smoke, but fire.
Yeah, the notion that it’s not necessary to look into ANY of this shit in an official capacity is insane, given how much stuff is coming out of our actual intelligence community saying that shit is going down.
Someone pointed out that AFTER Comey said that there was no legal wrongdoing by Clinton, Chaffetz issued over 70 subpoenas. SEVENTY. And yet he has issued exactly ZERO regarding any of this stuff.
And the stuff about Clinton was, at worst, a case of her lying. Here, we have a case where we essentially already know that Flynn lied, and what he lied about was a hostile nation controlling elements of our government.
This is so far beyond any of the stuff that the GOP spent 8 years freaking out about, and yet now they do nothing? No, that is unacceptable.
See buddy, that’s where you’re wrong. This is exactly what GOP voters find acceptable, and exactly the kind of behavior they want. Why else would they vote in shitbags like Chaffetz?
It’s more or less impossible for me to resist tweaking present or former Repubs on the board as your entire party just tosses off their suits to reveal the Church of Satan Eternal robes hidden beneath.
I can’t always agree with your “the glass isn’t just half empty, it’s also poison” outlook, but you definitely have a point here. Chaffetz can turn a blind eye because there’s no cost to him. In fact, it’s fair to assume it’s what his constituency expects, as he has done in response to the town hall protests. He just assumes they were paid to show up, because “his people” don’t feel that way. Is there a point that Trump and the Republicans have gone too far? Probably, but who knows where that point is?
To go off on a bit of a tangent, I don’t think it’s worthwhile to try to reach Trump voters next time around - Democrats should be looking at the nonvoters from the last election. What will shake them out of their lethargy? That seems like a much more reasonable task to me.