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Trump and Russia

Written By: - Date published: 9:15 am, July 18th, 2021 - 41 comments
Categories: democracy under attack, Donald Trump, Media, politicans, Russia, us politics - Tags:

Over the past five years there has been an incredible amount written about links between Donald Trump and Russia and how the Russian Government engaged in a successful attempt to undermine America by having Trump elected in 2016.

Much of the claim is based on circumstantial evidence, the use of social media to flood the US of A with all sorts of weird conspiracy theories during the election campaign, the abundance of fake news, the hacking of Hillary Clinton’s email server and the drip drip dripped release of information undermined the Clinton campaign and contributed to a narrow loss.

And Trump was not hiding in the background as he made this request for assistance from Russia.

Among the left there has been a spirited debate about whether Russia actually helped Trump in an attempt to undermine the US of A.  Some have claimed that it is fake news as well, others including myself thought that the claim had a disturbing logic behind it.

The Guardian has this article reporting on a claim of a leaked Russian Government paper suggesting that there was a concerted effort by the Russian Government to undermine America’s democracy.  From the article written by Luke Harding, Julian Borger and Dan Sabbagh:

Vladimir Putin personally authorised a secret spy agency operation to support a “mentally unstable” Donald Trump in the 2016 US presidential election during a closed session of Russia’s national security council, according to what are assessed to be leaked Kremlin documents.

The key meeting took place on 22 January 2016, the papers suggest, with the Russian president, his spy chiefs and senior ministers all present.

They agreed a Trump White House would help secure Moscow’s strategic objectives, among them “social turmoil” in the US and a weakening of the American president’s negotiating position.

Russia’s three spy agencies were ordered to find practical ways to support Trump, in a decree appearing to bear Putin’s signature.

The paper, presuming it is real, suggests that the Russians did not have much respect for Trump.

There is a brief psychological assessment of Trump, who is described as an “impulsive, mentally unstable and unbalanced individual who suffers from an inferiority complex”.”

And there is a hint that the pee pee tape does exist.

Trump was asked for a response and it is shall we say predictable.

This is disgusting. It’s fake news, just like RUSSIA, RUSSIA, RUSSIA was fake news. It’s just the Radical Left crazies doing whatever they can to demean everybody on the right.

“It’s fiction, and nobody was tougher on Russia than me, including on the pipeline, and sanctions. At the same time we got along with Russia. Russia respected us, China respected us, Iran respected us, North Korea respected us.

“And the world was a much safer place than it is now with mentally unstable leadership.”

No doubt the veracity of this paper will be questioned just as pretty well everything else associated with Trump.  But it does explain a lot.  And it indicates how fragile America’s democracy is.

41 comments on “Trump and Russia ”

  1. Andre 1

    Personally I'm keeping a truckload of salt handy for this one. There's plenty of more rational analysts questioning this one, beyond the kooky convergence moonbats that have been shrieking "Russiagate" non-stop for the last five years.

    https://www.salon.com/2021/07/15/intelligence-security-experts-react-to-bombshell-new-trump-putin-allegations-with-skepticism/

    • joe90 1.1

      Lotsa salt.

      It seems likely that if these documents are genuine – hold that thought for a moment – we’re seeing them because the Kremlin wants us to see them. Given the century-long RIS history of pushing doctored or outright fake documents to Western journalists in the service of strategic disinformation, there’s ample room for skepticism here.

      https://topsecretumbra.substack.com/p/moscows-mice-games-keep-working

    • Morrissey 1.2

      The journalists and analysts you so desperately call “convergence moonbats”—that epithet is about as funny and clever as a speech by Kamala Harris, by the way—haven't been "shrieking Russiagate", they have methodically laid out the doomed campaign by the right wing of the Democratic Party to blame Russia's marginal and inept social media warfare for Hillary Clinton's disastrous performance in 1916.

      Possibly the most deranged Russiagater was the ridiculous Jerry Nadler, who compared the pathetic efforts of those Russian trolls to the attack on Pearl Harbor…

      https://theintercept.com/2018/02/19/a-consensus-emerges-russia-committed-an-act-of-war-on-par-with-pearl-harbor-and-911-should-the-u-s-response-be-similar/

      The only shrieking on this matter was by politicians (Hillary Clinton herself, and her partners in ineptitude Nancy "Russia, Russia, Russia" Pelosi, Charles Schumer, "Mayor Pete", etc.) and media acolytes of Clinton, such as that arch-conspiracist Rachel "Russia, Russia, Russia" Maddow, the discredited liar Luke Harding, and this sad fellow….

      • Andre 1.2.1

        Thank you for ably illustrating the "kooky" descriptor I used. You really didn't need to! smiley

        • Morrissey 1.2.1.1

          The pleasure's all mine, my friend. Another one, just as kooky as that one, is his media colleague and fellow conspiracy theorist Rachel Maddow…

          And the “right on” resistance court jester Stephen Colbert was equally deranged for four years. You’d think that, being a professional stand-up comedian, he would have been funnier than the pretentious, stolid Maddow and the absurdly pompous Olbermann. However, unlike them, he wasn’t funny in the slightest. Just sad.

          • Incognito 1.2.1.1.1

            Can you please go really easy on the YT clips of your favourite conspiracy and counter-conspiracy theorists? Thank you in advance.

            • Morrissey 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Sorry about that. I was wary of inflicting on my fellow Standardisti those disturbing clips of once rational people melting down in public; I hope people can rid their minds of those two horror shows.

          • Ad 1.2.1.1.2

            You are not worthy to untie Rachel Maddow's sandals.

            She is the most qualified political journalist on US mainstream media, and one of the most qualified in the United States. She is a Rhodes Scholar and a PhD in politics from Oxford University, and first degree at Stanford.

            In May this year a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed against Rachel Maddow, finding she did not defame One America News when she said it was “Russian propaganda.”

            Earlier this year, OAN had to pay her $250,000 in damages.

            https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/tv/2021/02/09/msnbc-rachel-maddow-awarded-legal-fees-after-oan-lawsuit/4447175001/

            She has hosted her MSNBC show 5 nights a week for 11 years straight.

            She averages between 1 and 2 million viewers a night.

            It's most unlikely you or anyone of your gullible ilk have read her publications;
            – Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power

            • Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest Most Destructive Industry on Earth
            • Bag Man: The Wild Crimes, Audacious Cover Up, and Spectacular Downfall of a Brazen Crook in the White House.

            All closely researched over years with the scale of research and depth of sources you would expect from a PhD with some of the deepest, longest, and most credible institutional sources you could expect in US political journalism.

            None of the claims in the books have been successfully contested. Some try like those moonbats on OAN. For which they are getting pantsed.

            You, on the other hand, regularly post lies and idiocy about her, and therefore are just a fucking tool with zero credibility.

            • Andre 1.2.1.1.2.1

              Sorry to be a pedant, but the correct taxonomy of the nuttier fringes of the political continuum matters to me.

              OAN are wingnuts, not moonbats. More specifically, they are convergence wingnuts, that share a lot of ideas, goals, and methods with convergence moonbats. Albeit they have arrived in a similar place by very different routes.

              • Ad

                It's the circle of life.

              • Morrissey

                Boring, Andre. But, to be fair, it's more substantial than the (unwittingly entertaining) stream of abuse in the post immediately above your big empty circle.

            • Brigid 1.2.1.1.2.2

              "..OAN had to pay her $250,000 in damages."

              No, OAN did not have to pay Maddow damages.

              Lies and zero credibility you say..

      • Gabby 1.2.2

        Yes, it does seem likely that Pooters authorised pro Chump shitstirring.

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    I presume any real Kremlin leak would be deliberate, so I wonder why it happened now (rather than during the campaign). What's Putin's game here??

    "The report – “No 32-04 \ vd” – is classified as secret. It says Trump is the “most promising candidate” from the Kremlin’s point of view. The word in Russian is perspektivny."

    Perspective operates via triangulation (two eyes + object) so perhaps leverage is implied. To operate a lever effectively one must apply suitable force from a suitable relative position to get the shift happening. A loose cannon like Trump is more likely to change the game, so the "mentally unstable and unbalanced individual who suffers from an inferiority complex" became useful.

    Narcissists feel inferior?? Not according to tradition, which describes them as feeling superior to others. Dunno how the Russian govt psychologists got that wrong!

    • McFlock 2.1

      Well, dolt45 is done, but throwing this out might keep the doscord going.

      Thing about that buffoon is that he is incredibly narcissistic, but blatantly terminally insecure. Possibly because he quietly suspects he's a moron.

      That having been said, I dunno whether the current document is real. Reads almost too perfectly – filling in the dots of what we know now, throwing in the references to kompromat, all of that jazz. So could just have been written retrospectively by anyone wanting to keep shit going.

      The perspective required to look at dolt45 is from 20 or 50 years in the future.

      • Dennis Frank 2.1.1

        dolt45 is done

        Don't speak too soon! I thought so too after the election but have been somewhat taken aback by the trend since – the punters seem not to be disenchanted. First, there was the ejection of Liz Cheney from her #3 slot. Then the slide of momentum away from moderate Republican resurgence. All the reports seem to indicate that the party has hardened up under his control.

        I agree with your last line. But I suspect the loose cannon effect is as much deliberate as accidental. Folks like a player and zany style is often effective in groups. Just look at Beppe Grillo's track record of success! Plus that dude in Ukraine.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beppe_Grillo

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volodymyr_Zelensky

        Trumps ability to play the line between them & us is exemplified by his advice to followers to take the covid vaccine not to mention getting the jab himself early on (giving the finger to the conspiracy theorists – his apparent voting base). I saw a media report earlier today of a poll that found believers in one conspiracy or another have now crossed above the 50% threshold in the USA. A political leader who defies that trend is not one to dismiss – even if he only does so sometimes!

        • McFlock 2.1.1.1

          sure, he's a demagogue.

          But even if he's not going to gaol any time soon, all he's doing is marginalising the repugs. The only way they'll get back into power is if they can disenfranchise voters more quickly than he loses them.

          • Dennis Frank 2.1.1.1.1

            Yeah, likeliest outcome. The demographic trend has been against old rich white fellas for a while now. However, voters are irrational & often spin on a dime like reef fish in response to getting spooked by events.

            Happened to Jimmy Carter, eh? Biden could be tested by a situation that requires a show of strength & fall short of expectations. Kennedy faced down Khrushchev & won. All it would take would be for Xi & Putin to decide Trump is preferable to Biden, then orchestrate a suitable crisis while Biden is campaigning for re-election.

  3. Anne 3

    Narcissists feel inferior?? Not according to tradition, which describes them as feeling superior to others. Dunno how the Russian govt psychologists got that wrong!

    Anyone who has been on the receiving end of one (or more) knows that narcissists think they are superior to everyone. Their top psychologists would not make that mistake.

    On the other hand, there was certainly some interference by the Russians in the 2016 US election. Whether or not it was formally signed off by Putin we will probably never know.

  4. Morrissey 4

    And Trump was not hiding in the background as he made this request for assistance from Russia.

    That was a joke, of course. Not a very nice joke, being Trump, but a joke. The Mueller Report definitively closed the curtain on this whole ridiculous affair; no one outside the top echelons of the Democratic Party and their courtiers in the media ever took seriously the idea that Russian masterminds, rather than Democratic “strategists”, were responsible for the catastrophe of November 2016.

  5. SPC 5

    Trump achieved nothing in his relationship with Russia while POTUS, not for them nor the US. He was a disappointment for Russians and Americans alike.

    He undermined NATO unity to a minor degree, but never questioned its continuance – when post the Warsaw Pact, liberation of Eastern Europe and inclusion of Baltic states in the EU there was no longer any point to it.

    It only served to give Russia an inferiority complex – enable an anti-western nationalist to dominate its politics.

  6. nathan 6

    I do not believe The Guardian…simply untrustworthy …. The Guardian is not helping Julian Assange anymore after he (Julian) showed that Russia Gate was a lie

  7. Ad 7

    The appalling thing about the Trump administration is that it gained power by turning people away from the mainstream media as a whole. People no longer trust professional journalists from long established companies who produce stories with multiple sources, multiple editors, quality control, lines of managerial control, risk and audit departments, and accountability to senior staff, to shareholders, and finally accountable to mainstream public opinion

    Instead they trust any bullshit like those fools at The Intercept who have simply no accountability.

    The truth is that the Republican Party has used Russia to get their common ally Donald Trump first into the White House and second the dominate all successors.

    There's little doubt that Donald Trump's Republican party has rapidly degraded US democracy far faster than any President we've seen since the Depression. Imperfect though it was, US democracy is deeply imperilled by the Republican Party.

    You don't have to take my word for it.

    https://thehill.com/policy/national-security/563404-ex-trump-official-number-one-national-security-threat-ive-ever-seen

    A former Trump administration official is calling the Republican Party the “No. 1 national security threat."

    Today, Miles Taylor a former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official, made the comment during a Thursday interview on MSNBC’s “The Reid Out.”

    “I’ve spent my whole career not as a political operative. I’ve never worked on a campaign in my life other than campaigning against Trump. I’m a national security guy. I’ve worked in national security against ISIS, al Qaeda and Russia,” Taylor said.

    “And the No. 1 national security threat I’ve ever seen in my life to this country’s democracy is the party that I’m in — the Republican Party. It is the No. 1 security national security threat to the United States of America,” he said.

    • RedLogix 7.1

      People no longer trust professional journalists from long established companies who produce stories with multiple sources, multiple editors, quality control, lines of managerial control, risk and audit departments, and accountability to senior staff, to shareholders, and finally accountable to mainstream public opinion

      Blaming Trump for all of this might be a bit of a reach. It could also have something to do with the fact of the media's blatant bias, selective gaslighting, constant clickbait and the experience of how wrong they are whenever they write about something you're personally involved in.

      Trump was at best an erratic clown-show, but more dangerous than his own flaws has been the entrenched political, scientific and social tribalism that arose in his wake. And that few will own up to their own role in making this worse not better.

    • Morrissey 7.2

      People no longer trust professional journalists from long established companies who produce stories with multiple sources, multiple editors, quality control, lines of managerial control, risk and audit departments, and accountability to senior staff, to shareholders, and finally accountable to mainstream public opinion

      You're a True Believer if ever there was one. Where was the "quality control" and "accountability" in the New York Times, WaPo, CNN, Fox News, the Times of Murdoch, the BBC, and all those other "professional journalists" as they obediently and uncritically published government disinformation before, during and after the 1990 attack on Iraq; during the enforced starvation of Iraq in the 1990s ("it was worth it", according to the regular mainstream media commentator Madeleine Albright); before, during and after the 2001 invasion and occupation of Afghanistan; before, during and after the 2003 re-invasion and occupation of Iraq; and during that disastrous four year fantasy campaign of trying to prove that Trump was being run as a puppet by those dastardly masterminds in the Kremlin?

      You contend that these "professional journalists" use "multiple sources": that's immediately disproved by watching and monitoring CNN or MSNBC for a few days, or better, a few months. Your contention would be correct if by "multiple sources" you meant a long line of Pentagon and CIA PR people.

      This was a major theme, for example, with Paul E. Vallely, a Fox News analyst from 2001 to 2007. A retired Army general who had specialized in psychological warfare, Mr. Vallely co-authored a paper in 1980 that accused American news organizations of failing to defend the nation from “enemy” propaganda during Vietnam.

      “We lost the war — not because we were outfought, but because we were out Psyoped,” he wrote. He urged a radically new approach to psychological operations in future wars — taking aim at not just foreign adversaries but domestic audiences, too. He called his approach “MindWar” — using network TV and radio to “strengthen our national will to victory.”

      The Selling of the War

      From their earliest sessions with the military analysts, Mr. Rumsfeld and his aides spoke as if they were all part of the same team.

      In interviews, participants described a powerfully seductive environment — the uniformed escorts to Mr. Rumsfeld’s private conference room, the best government china laid out, the embossed name cards, the blizzard of PowerPoints, the solicitations of advice and counsel, the appeals to duty and country, the warm thank you notes from the secretary himself.

      “Oh, you have no idea,” Mr. Allard said, describing the effect. “You’re back. They listen to you. They listen to what you say on TV.” It was, he said, “psyops on steroids” — a nuanced exercise in influence through flattery and proximity. “It’s not like it’s, ‘We’ll pay you $500 to get our story out,’ ” he said. “It’s more subtle.”

      The access came with a condition. Participants were instructed not to quote their briefers directly or otherwise describe their contacts with the Pentagon.

      In the fall and winter leading up to the invasion, the Pentagon armed its analysts with talking points portraying Iraq as an urgent threat. The basic case became a familiar mantra: Iraq possessed chemical and biological weapons, was developing nuclear weapons, and might one day slip some to Al Qaeda; an invasion would be a relatively quick and inexpensive “war of liberation.”

      At the Pentagon, members of Ms. Clarke’s staff marveled at the way the analysts seamlessly incorporated material from talking points and briefings as if it was their own.

      “You could see that they were messaging,” Mr. Krueger said. “You could see they were taking verbatim what the secretary was saying or what the technical specialists were saying. And they were saying it over and over and over.” Some days, he added, “We were able to click on every single station and every one of our folks were up there delivering our message. You’d look at them and say, ‘This is working.’ ”

      On April 12, 2003, with major combat almost over, Mr. Rumsfeld drafted a memorandum to Ms. Clarke. “Let’s think about having some of the folks who did such a good job as talking heads in after this thing is over,” he wrote.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/20/us/20generals.html

      • SPC 7.2.1

        The "attack on Iraq" in 1990 – you mean the UN applying its collective defence of nations by organising the 1991 liberation of Kuwait?

        • Morrissey 7.2.1.1

          I mean, and you also know very well, the scofflaw US regime threatening, cajoling, and forcing other countries to reluctantly back its illegal aggression.

    • Morrissey 8.1

      Thanks Mike. Be warned, though: our friend Andre has probably placed you somewhere on his big schematic circle.

    • Morrissey 8.2

      From that excellent article:

      We know, without reading it, that the story is fake because its main author is Luke Harding. Harding also authored the story which claimed that Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manaford met Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. That story was proven to be false but the Guardian, to its shame, still has it up on its website.

      In 2017 Luke Harding abruptly ended an interview with Aaron Maté after Harding was challenged over false claims he had made in his book about 'Russiagate'. The last five minutes of that video are quite amusing.

      https://www.moonofalabama.org/2021/07/steele-dossier-peddlers-confirm-its-substance-with-new-forgeries.html#more

      • McFlock 8.2.1

        Most of the anti-Putins seem to be somewhat critical of this report, even though it fits that perspective.

        Applying critical thinking skills even to things one might want to agree with is a good habit to get into.

        • Morrissey 8.2.1.1

          Applying critical thinking skills even to things one might want to agree with is a good habit to get into.

          Fair comment. But in this case, the mere appearance of that fraud's name in the byline would have elicited nothing more than hoots of derision or bitter laughter. Some people, like Luke Harding, have burned all of their credibility. You would laugh, or scoff, at any report about sexual harassment if it was written by Jeffrey Epstein; what drives you to do anything other than immediately dismiss anything associated with this liar?

          • McFlock 8.2.1.1.1

            So if a source has a history of publishing utter bullshit, even in only one or two instances, it should be mocked and scorned as a source?

            Not that I disagree. I just wonder if moonofalabama would reach that bar.

            • Morrissey 8.2.1.1.1.1

              So if a source has a history of publishing utter bullshit, even in only one or two instances, it should be mocked and scorned as a source?

              No, otherwise we would have to consign the New York Times, Fox News, the NZ Gerald, the Grauniad, the BBC, and indeed every news organization to the dustbin of history.

              We can't credibly dismantle a whole news organization—even the killing off of News of the Screws was really nothing more than symbolic because that paper's style, villainy and dishonesty continued unabated in all the rest of Merdoch's outlets. I'm more than willing to forgive people who make honest mistakes; even our own Nicky Hager has been tricked into reporting false news on one occasion. But Luke Harding did not make an honest mistake when he falsely alleged that Paul Manafort had visited the political prisoner Julian Assange. He is discredited, as is the Grauniad, which continues to employ him.

              • McFlock

                But Luke Harding did not make an honest mistake when he falsely alleged that Paul Manafort had visited the political prisoner Julian Assange.

                There's a difference between taking a source at face value without due diligence, and actively making stuff up.

                But then I don't have your ability to see into people's souls and discern the "tricked" from the "discredited". I have to try to apply good old critical thinking.

  8. Grumpy 9

    Morrissey's frequent references to Julian Assange and his now fractured relationship with the corrupt Guardian go to the crux of the Russiagate hoax.

    Assange's oblique reference to Seth Rich and the recently revelation that the FBI held thousands of pages of files relating to his murder have drawn crickets from the corrupt MSNBC/CNN/BBC.

    Was Russiagate purely a crude attempt to cover up a political murder? Is it all as simple as that?

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