Trump/Russia 2016 election investigation (continued)


#161

#162

I dislike Hannity’s face.


#163

Maybe it’s a nude selfie Ivanka sent to Jared and we can all breath a sigh of relief.


#164

WaPo has a good article on how the Russians tried to tip the balance in a western election to the authoritarian candidate using loans - in this case, Marine Le Pen in France.

The two takeaways are these: first, Putin isn’t closely supervising every move in Russia’s anti-democracy campaign. Instead, “After Putin sets out the vision, agents inside and outside the government begin executing it, hoping to score points with him if their gambits succeed.”

Second, “‘Most of these things are experimental … The Russians have no standard playbook. They just try things and see what works.’”

In this case, the ploy was a flop. Le Pen lost, and the loan became public when the bank issuing it turned out to be too dodgy even for Russian bank regulators. But it does show how brash Russia has become about buying out the West’s political systems.


#165

The ultimate in plausible deniability and its why so many things, like the skripal poisoning seem amateurish. IT’s because they are to a certain extent. Putin/FSB gives them the money, and allow the agents to formulate their own plans. Succeed and it’s a quick trip up the ladder. Fail and “oh well, they were doing this on their own”.


#166

#167

It’s sounding like Don Jr. two scoops was there.


#168

So far as I can tell, Sam Patten has only appeared in this forum in the occasional lists of those indicted and convicted as a result of the Mueller probe (the Witches). He appeared to be a link leading to Manafort, so it seems interesting that prosecutors filed a status report for Patten under seal.


#169

Let’s see what Roberts does here…


#170

Great episode of Maddow tonight. She highlights three instances of Trump parroting obscure Russian propaganda stories that are only important to Russia, culminating with yesterday’s insanity that Russia’s invasion of Afghanistan was justified.

Edit - here’s the link - http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/watch/trump-curiously-well-versed-in-specific-russian-talking-points-1419581507654


#171

Might be a few folks getting a little nervous about this…


#172

I watched that, and it confirmed my fear that he’s an unwitting Russian asset. He’s not picking that garbage up from any US-based media, and it’s obviously not coming from our intelligence agencies. He’s getting these talking points from Russia.

He’s Putin’s bitch.


#173

Granted the safe bet is always to assume that word applies to anything the president* does, I’m not 100% sure its true in this case. Unless you mean he’s an asset, with a handler, following orders, etc. but lacking in the self-awareness to realize that that makes him an asset.


#174

My guess is that he has a way of checking TV broadcasts from Russia. He may be getting intelligence briefings about what they are saying in Russia.


#175

Yeah, the problem with the idea that he’s being directed is what is the control method? How does he get his instructions? I think it’s probably impossible for a President to communicate secretly with anyone without the Secret Service and the intelligence services knowing about it; if not the content of the communication, then at least the fact of it.


#176

They could just post it in plain text on a non-googleable forum.

He just has to know which specific Russia parrot to read.


#177

…which he couldn’t access without instructions and without being detected accessing it. If he’s a willing, knowing asset being directed by someone, then a whole lot more people have to be in on it.

What seems more likely to me is that he has a longtime affinity for Russia and Putin because of his long reliance on them for money, and that he explicitly called out his willingness to be good to them in order to get their help in the campaign, and he’s now trying to pay them back by figuring out what they want based on whatever comes into his head or whatever he sees on television.


#178

OK – but the stuff he’s spouting lately isn’t on US television. It’s on Russian television, which I assume is broadcast in Russian.

Maybe there’s a Russia Today show/ site in English, too, and he’s getting his talking points from there. That’s so unbelievably bizarre it’s hard to process.


#179

Trump has also surrounded himself with a particular strain of foreign policy advisers that feel it makes sense for the West to unite with Russia to keep down the Muslim and Chinese hordes-- the “white people got to stick together” folks like Rohrabacker (and I believe Flynn was one of these). They regularly parrot Russian foreign policy talking points.


#180

Yes, that makes sense. He doesn’t need a handler if he’s surrounded himself with Russian sympathizers.