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Trump spins as Manafort is charged

Written By: - Date published: 4:14 pm, October 31st, 2017 - 104 comments
Categories: Donald Trump, International, us politics - Tags:

The indictments are flying around and you get the impression that this is just the start.  Former Trump campaign head Paul Manafort and his business partner Rick Gates have handed themselves into the FBI, appeared in Court and pleaded not guilty to charges including conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, acting as unregistered agents of Ukraine’s government, false and misleading statements and failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts.  These do not relate directly to his involvement in Trump’s campaign manager but news of another indictment does.

From Radio New Zealand:

A third adviser to Mr Trump’s campaign is facing criminal charges after George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents, the federal special counsel says.

The international energy lawyer who was on Trump’s advisory team during the 2016 presidential campaign pleaded guilty on 5 October in a case unsealed on Monday, the office of special counsel Robert Mueller said in a statement.

The court document said Mr Papadopolous made false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation shortly after Trump’s inauguration on 20 January, when the law enforcement agency had an open investigation into Russian government efforts to interfere in the 2016 US presidential campaign.

The special counsel said Mr Papadopoulos told FBI agents he had been in contact with an unnamed foreign “professor” who claimed to have “dirt” on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails” and that Papadopolous claimed such contacts occurred before he joined Trump’s campaign.

However, the prosecutor said Mr Papadopolous in fact did not meet the professor until after he joined Mr Trump’s campaign.

The way I see it this is the most important development.  It provides a direct link between the Trump campaign and Russian attempts to influence the election result.  And it looks like Papadopoulous is singing like a canary.  From the statement of the offence filed in the Court:

Meanwhile the Whitehouse displays a disturbing sense of unreality.  And Republicans are trying to prove that Russia is Hillary’s problem not Trump’s.

They have concocted this bizarre conspiracy where someone who owned an interest in a uranium company that was sold to Russian interests and made a donation to Clinton many years ago is evidence of some sort of collusion even though 9 Government departments signed the deal off.

The conspiracy received a real dousing in the video in this tweet.

The Donald is unrepentant.

And Fox News had other more pressing things to worry about rather than the arrests.

Who knows where this will end. Although I hope Papadopolous has good security because people crossing Russia have had problems in the past.

104 comments on “Trump spins as Manafort is charged”

  1. Ad 1

    White House is running out of briefing room protection.

    FBI needs to squeeze and turn Podesta.
    K Street and the Dem leadership as well as Trump would then be cutting deals all over town to stay out of jail.

  2. Andre 2

    For what it’s worth, both those burgers are just wrong. It goes bun, sauce (maybe with pickle and onion), patty, cheese, lettuce, tomato, mayo, bun.

    • mickysavage 2.1

      Hehe

      • Andre 2.1.1

        It’s just heinous, corrupting America’s great culinary heritage like that. Those new-fangled tech companies just don’t understand how to make America great again. Must be all those immigrants. And those Hillary voters in Cal-eee-fore-nee-ah.

    • Paul Campbell 2.2

      Sacrilege …. The tomato is there to keep the lettuce from the hot bits

      • Andre 2.2.1

        Barbarian!

        The lettuce insulates the patty from the high-thermal-conductivity tomato so it stays warm and the cheese melts properly. That’s also why the pickle is crinkle-cut – to minimise thermal contact.

  3. Andre 4

    Press to Paul Ryan- what do you think of Trump’s aides getting indicted?
    Ryan – I like tax cuts.

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/paul-ryan-manafort-trump-indicted-tax-reform_us_59f7472ce4b077d8dfcb3800?section=us_politics

    Well, a while ago he did tell us one of his first morning tasks was to scroll his twitter feed so he’d know what he had to pretend he didn’t see.

  4. One Two 5

    Gullible!

  5. One Anonymous Bloke 6

    Wait wait wait!

    The Republicans are right wingers, eh. Conditioned into believing total shite with no basis in reality.

    It’s entirely possible they’re simple dupes in all of this. They didn’t so much sell their country out as open and close the gates while admiring the shiny buttons on their uniforms.

  6. syclingmad 7

    The target has got to be General Flynn, the fleeting NSA guy. He would be close enough to The Donald to be able to relate direct knowledge the president had of the overtures to Russia.

  7. That amjoy video is so sweet. That is how you line them up and then knock them down – that is fucking professional imo.

  8. syclingmad 9

    The target must be General Flynn, who was briefly NSA chief. He was in the inner circle and would be able to testify to the extent to which The Donald knew about the overtures made to/from Russia. Still some way to go in this before the end game, with removal of DT by no means a foregone conclusion yet.

  9. Instauration 10

    “The way I see it this is the most important development. It provides a direct link between the Trump campaign and Russian attempts to influence the election result”

    “Direct link” – How?

    The Manafort indictment has nothing to do with Russia / collusion or Trump.
    Do a word search for “Trump” or “Russia” here;

    https://www.politico.com/f/?id=0000015f-6d73-d751-af7f-7f735cc70000

    According to Sarah Sanders, Papadopoulous is a low level campaign volunteer – not on the campaign payroll – who was on a committee that met once.
    The accusation is that he lied to the FBI – nothing about collusion.

    • Andre 10.2

      One hour nine minutes for the first “nothing to see here”. Not bad.

    • mauī 10.3

      No don’t ask decent questions. You’re supposed to feed into all the russian innuendo, think uncritically and be prepared for the pres to be nailed to the wall any day now, yeah any day now.

    • mickysavage 10.4

      Because a Trump aide was working with the Russians to get dirt on Hillary? Suppose there was knowledge in the Trump camp that the Russians had hacked the Democrat’s email system and wanted to use the emails to influence the election result, do you think that the US of A should be at least concerned?

      • boggis the cat 10.4.1

        There is no evidence presented that “Russians” (note the vagueness used, always followed by a leap to assuming that this is their government) ever hacked email systems. Assange has stated that the emails they received were not from ‘state parties’, and the most convincing argument is that this was insider leaks.

        How does Russia benefit from Trump being in office? Is incompetence and ignorance within the executive branch in their interest? Doesn’t shifting power further to the Republicans in Congress — more inclined to zero-sum thinking in international relations — produce a worse environment for Russian interests? Then there is the threat from such a thin-skinned, mercurial, narcissistic imbecile inheriting an effective free hand to take military action without consultation.

        Hey, but don’t bother thinking about any of that: Russia! Russia! Russia!

        (And be sure to check under your bed for, well, not ‘Reds’ but crony capitalists.)

        • Andre 10.4.1.1

          You think Assange’s statements are credible? Really?

          Here’s an explanation of some of the reasons Putin may have liked the idea of the turd tornado becoming president.

          http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/russia-trump-hacking-success-chaos-of-white-house-putin-a7736726.html

          Although that might now be getting filed under “seemed like a good idea at the time”.

          • boggis the cat 10.4.1.1.1

            You think Assange’s statements are credible? Really?

            Far more credible than government functionaries asserting something without presenting evidence.

            This is the document that was produced to try to lend legitimacy to the politicians claims:

            Click to access ICA_2017_01.pdf


            It is worth a read, because it is essentially a list of assertions without any backing. Just as with the Iraq effort, they claim to have evidence but won’t present it. (Note that this differs from the usual behaviour, where evidence is presented to gain public backing — think of the Cold War, where revealing gathered intelligence was a genuine risk of ‘showing their hand’ in terms of capabilities.)

            Here’s an explanation of some of the reasons Putin may have liked the idea of the turd tornado becoming president.

            Speculation based on unproven claims is ‘conspiracy theorist’ territory. Prove the base claims first, then motives are reasonable to consider.

            My view of this is that the Russian government have an even bigger headache with Trump in office, and if you’re wanting connections with Russian money then both the Clintons and Trump have a history of dealing with oligarchs. Then there are Ukrainian low-life’s: Manafort’s deals with Yanukovych aren’t that dissimilar from the Clintons dealing with Pinchuk.

            Mueller could keep on digging until half of Washington DC got indicted for influence peddling to ‘foreign powers’. If they were to include Israel as a foreign power, then that figure would end up at around eighty or ninety percent of the Congress members and lobbyists. I don’t expect that to happen, as these events are always motivated by serving particular interests and are deliberately narrowed in scope.

            Short response: Wikileaks have never been proven to have released erroneous information, and have not been shown to work with ‘state entities’ (push propaganda); while government agencies are known for it — and lying to subvert facts and produce false implications is a large part of the CIA’s purpose for existing, least you have forgotten that. I definitely trust Assange more, and require evidence that disproves his claims.

            • Andre 10.4.1.1.1.1

              “Far more credible than government functionaries asserting something without presenting evidence.”

              I won’t argue that. But there’s a huge gap between that and “credible”. Assange has shown he’s not particularly burdened with morals or principles. So it seems to me that if he says something that could be a self-serving lie, then it may indeed be one. And in this case, if he was in fact somehow acting in a pro-Trump/anti-Clinton or pro-Russia capacity, he’d have a lot to gain by lying about if if it stuck, and a lot to lose if he were upfront and honest. So it seems to me his statement is valueless in assessing the situation.

              “Wikileaks have never been proven to have released erroneous information, and have not been shown to work with ‘state entities’ (push propaganda)”

              I’m not interested in doing the research to agree or argue with that. If true for the past, this may be the first instance of it. Wikileaks have certainly been selective about what and when they released information, clearly in service of a political agenda. It so happens that that political agenda has lined up with an anti-Clinton/pro-Trump stance, and with Russia’s positions. Coincidence, dupe, or tool? Dunno, and functionally I don’t think it matters. It puts the same tinge on the lens needed to look at them.

              • boggis the cat

                Assange has shown he’s not particularly burdened with morals or principles.

                He has? Not so far as I am aware. He is certainly an odd buy in some ways, but that doesn’t make him immoral or unprincipled.

                ‘Immoral and unprincipled’ could be the motto of the CIA, on the other hand.

                Wikileaks have certainly been selective about what and when they released information, clearly in service of a political agenda. It so happens that that political agenda has lined up with an anti-Clinton/pro-Trump stance, and with Russia’s positions. Coincidence, dupe, or tool?

                Wikileaks have released information that puts both political parties in the US in a bad light. They release what they get given that can be confirmed as genuine. They have also released documents on Russian domestic spying: https://wikileaks.org/spyfiles/russia/

                You are misinformed, or rather, have been successfully duped about their activities — probably by the framing used in the media.

                With regard to foreign governments trying to affect election outcomes: here are leaks on the CIA interference in the French presidential elections in 2012:
                https://wikileaks.org/cia-france-elections-2012/

                Wikileaks is worth a look through, if you haven’t ever done so.

            • D'Esterre 10.4.1.1.1.2

              Boggis the cat: “My view of this is that the Russian government have an even bigger headache with Trump in office, and if you’re wanting connections with Russian money then both the Clintons and Trump have a history of dealing with oligarchs. Then there are Ukrainian low-life’s: Manafort’s deals with Yanukovych aren’t that dissimilar from the Clintons dealing with Pinchuk.”
              Thank you. A refreshing cold blast of common sense in your comments. Sorely lacking here, where other commenters are so hysterical about Trump that they’ll uncritically swallow any old twaddle, if it incriminates him or his officials.
              I’m not at all sure why anyone should be more concerned about Russian oligarchs than various lowlife Yankee oligarchs. Except insofar as many of said Russians robbed their compatriots blind during the Yeltsin years. With the complicity of those Yankees, of course. Then Putin came to power, and, qu’on dit, the rest is history.

        • left_forward 10.4.1.2

          Have you perhaps not thought that the downfall of US democracy and society, currently being driven by their orange stooge, would be something (the) Russia (…n Government) might want?

          • boggis the cat 10.4.1.2.1

            Why would they want the USA to fall apart? They understand the danger that would pose to everyone. Do you also believe that China would want their largest external market (dwarfing Russia) to collapse into disarray?

            If so, then you haven’t thought through the issues.

            Trump creates chaos and instability in the executive branch, but this allows for the extremist elements in Washington DC to grab more power. They have Nicky Haley at the UN — a more Russophobic nutter would be hard to find. Trump agreed to hitting a Syrian government airstrip that could have had Russian personnel on the ground (not a high likelihood, but possible). The Pentagon and CIA are at cross purposes in Syria, and there is no responsible adult in the Oval Office able to sort out the squabbling.

            The present situation is a danger for everyone. Even if wars can be avoided we still have an idiot who claims that climate change is a ‘Chinese hoax’.

            Perhaps the one good thing to come from this debacle is the fascist social elements in the USA (‘alt-right’ / ‘alt-light’ / ‘white nationalists’ / et al) outed themselves prematurely, and the orange man-child didn’t back them up as they assumed. That particular crop of biddable young people seems to have escaped further use for extremist agendas.

            • left_forward 10.4.1.2.1.1

              Ok Boggis, assume you are right, Russia didn’t have a reason to put Trump in. Then to get on board with your view we also have to stretch to your cynical premise that Mueller, the FBI and the judicial investigation, is biased and corrupt.

              • boggis the cat

                You should probably read what they are indicting Manafort on. Important hint: ‘collusion’, ‘Russian government’, ‘Putin’ are all wording missing from the charges.

                They may yet tie Trump to money laundering (by way of over-priced real estate deals), and some of the oligarchs he did the deals for would be Russian. Some are Ukrainian, some Saudi, etc.

                There is a lack of any proven connection to the Russian government, but I really don’t understand why that is required. Only the DNC wants to manufacture such a connection, to cover their ongoing bullshitting about their horrific campaign failure that led to Trump stumbling into office.

                • left_forward

                  I’m not going to go to follow you any further boggis – I have read sufficient. I think that it is Trump, GOP, and the right wing media who / that are bullshitting – IMO, you are being narrow and selective in your choice of info, and making assumptions, dressed as fact.

        • peterlepaysan 10.4.1.3

          You do not realise how correct you are. “Crony capitalism” encapsulates it.

          Money laundering underlies the chumps respect for vlad. The russkies are desperate to get around sanctions against them moving money out of Russia.

          chumps financial wheeling and dealing has to be suspect. Why so coy about his tax returns? Coy is hardly a word anyone would associate with “the chump”.

          Covert wheeling and dealing can lead into difficult situations and trade offs, all of which come with consequences.

          “The chump” is a childish playground bully who does not understand consequences.

          We are only sipping the first of (far too many) aperitifs and snacking on pre dinner nibbles before sitting down to entree at a banquet of revelations over the next decade.

          “Watergate” and Nixon will look like a kindergarten pantomime.

          The chump opera will come out like something Bertolt Brecht created.

          • Sam aka clump 10.4.1.3.1

            Trump will get a second term.

            • boggis the cat 10.4.1.3.1.1

              If he survives the first term, then he has a shot, sure.

              The Democrats managed to pull out a loss to him, when he was despised by a huge swath of the public. Of course, they might learn from their mistakes… Nah, that’s not happening.

              So: can the Democratic functionaries find an even bigger neo-liberal shill and embodiment of the Washington DC establishment? Or will we see Clinton having another shot at her husband’s past job?

              The possible horrors that await…

      • D'Esterre 10.4.2

        Mickysavage: “Because a Trump aide was working with the Russians to get dirt on Hillary? Suppose there was knowledge in the Trump camp that the Russians had hacked the Democrat’s email system and wanted to use the emails to influence the election result, do you think that the US of A should be at least concerned?”
        Gawd, do you actually believe any of this stuff? It’s risible rubbish.

    • D'Esterre 10.5

      Instagram: “Do a word search for “Trump” or “Russia” here”
      Indeed. No mention of Russia. Clearly the Yankees don’t know the difference. See this from that document: note the red underlining. https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DNY_mPPX0AALVLJ.jpg
      Tymoshenko’s CV has never included “president of Ukraine”.If the indictment has that wrong, what else is unreliable in it? This is worth a read: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-31/pat-buchanan-exposes-other-plot-bring-down-trump

      • Macro 10.5.1

        zero hedge??? Apocalypse porn?? You must be joking.

        • Instauration 10.5.1.1

          Well I learned the “President” error on RT .com. They don’t joke.
          zerohedge.com informs me hourly – I critique – take what is relevant – and am not so weird as to discount an informer by prejudice.

    • Instauration 10.6

      No primary source for Trump statement of “never met George”
      Yep – photo – one meeting.
      Papadopoulos indictment does not assert collusion – rather “False Statement(s)”
      l
      Case 1:17-cr-00182-RDM *SEALED*
      https://www.justice.gov/file/1007346/download

      Papadopoulos is a wannabee
      Papadopoulos meets a Professor while on holiday in Italy.
      The Professor introduces a Russian woman to Papadopoulos, who claims connectedness to Putin. (claims dissmissed in footnote 1)
      The Professor introduces a person who claims “connectedness” to the Russian MFA – Not the MFA
      The Professor and the woman (Veselnitskaya ?) say the Russians have 1,000’s of Clinton emails – but don’t provide any.
      Papadopoulos proudly conveys his Russian connectedness to the Campaign,
      The Campaign appears ambivalent to the Papadopoulos claim of “connectedness”.

      The Campaign has a 20 minute meeting with Veselnitskaya who asserts Magintsky issues – the Campaign says “no thanks”
      The Mueller Inquisition can only assert “False Statement” regarding timings of the Papadopoulos statements.

  10. Aaron 11

    Trump is a crazy as a cut snake but his administration is not imploding, it’s being attacked from the outside by the military industrial complex because he wanted to make peace with Russia (so he can do business with them naturally)

    You can count the number of good ideas he had on one hand but making peace with people who have nuclear weapons isn’t popular with the people who make their billions from selling weapons.

    It’s a pity he has all the political skills of a rabid dog because preventing nuclear war is kind of important to me.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1

      What makes you think nuclear war is the only existential threat we face?

      Catastrophic (for our purposes) climate change requires no buttons to be pressed, no go-codes to be transmitted. All it requires is business as usual.

      The dangers to the rule of law and human rights that the Republican and other centrist parties represent is also clear and present.

      A nuclear exchange between N Korea and the USA would be limited, swift, and rapidly contained by comparison.

      • boggis the cat 11.1.2

        Catastrophic (for our purposes) climate change requires no buttons to be pressed, no go-codes to be transmitted. All it requires is business as usual.

        This is where you’d find actual ‘collusion’ between Trump and Russia — and the Big Oil lobby, globally. Russia has vast untapped fossil-fuel resources, and they calculate that AGW is going to be manageable for them (incorrectly, in my opinion). Here is where you’d find deals going on, with Trump surrogates trying to sell ‘business as usual’ arrangements between Russia (the state has a lot of investment in the industry) and Exxon, BP, et al.

        If Mueller went digging into Big Oil then we could be rid of them as well as Trump, and a truckload of other politicians of all avowed political affiliations, around the world.

    • Andre 11.2

      One hour nineteen minutes for the first “it’s the Deep State taking over”. Could be better.

    • Macro 11.3

      So tell me then – why does he want to rip up every nuclear agreement, and create 10 times the number of nuclear weapons, when the US has enough nuclear warheads to incinerate the world already? Why would Tillerson on hearing Liddle’ Tweetybird pronounce this desire for more nukes, describe him as a “Fucking Moron”?

    • Craig Glen Eden 11.4

      So when have Russia and the USA been at war and what’s this peace that the Donald is going to create between the two?

    • left_forward 11.5

      “…but his administration is not imploding.”
      Huh?

      “Hey dad, look at that house on fire over there!”
      “That’s not fire son, its just a little heat anomaly”.
      “Look son, behind you!”

  11. joe90 12

    Timing is everything.

    But “[o]n or about” April 26, 2016, Papadopoulous again met with the Professor in a London hotel. The complaint reads that the Professor told him he had “just returned from a trip to Moscow where he had met with high-level Russian government officials” where he learned that the Russians “have dirt” on Hillary Clinton; “the Russians had emails of Clinton” — “they have thousands of emails.”

    This date is important because The Washington Post only first reported on June 14, 2016, that the hackers working for the Kremlin had penetrated the servers of the Democratic National Committee. And while this correspondence, first published by WikiLeaks in late July, days before the Democratic National Convention, was distinct from Clinton’s personal emails and those she turned over to the FBI as part of the investigation into her use of a personal server to conduct government business while she was secretary of state, it nonetheless caused a scandal within the Democratic Party.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2017/10/30/opinions/how-team-trump-heard-russians-hacked-clinton-opinion-weiss/index.html

    • Instauration 12.1

      Joe90
      Just weird that you assert;
      “hackers working for the Kremlin had penetrated the servers of the Democratic National Committee.”
      Haven’t seen any published evidence – yep, do the proof ! ? ! – of such claims.

  12. Ovid 13

    I see the information Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to mentioned on or about April 26 that the Russians had thousands of Clinton emails. Months before they somehow fell into the hands of Wikileaks.

    https://www.justice.gov/file/1007346/download (PDF) – paragraph 14.

    Edit: Sorry Joe90. I hadn’t read your post, which makes the same point.

    • Instauration 13.1

      Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to statements about the timing of his actions. He did not plead guilty to “Russians had thousands of Clinton emails”
      Why do you claim that ?

  13. joe90 14

    Certainly getting attention.

    Russian state TV shows Alex Jones, pledging allegiance to Putin "and his great minion Trump," noting this is no longer funny for Trump admin pic.twitter.com/vl8qNesHOX— Julia Davis (@JuliaDavisNews) October 30, 2017

  14. Macro 15

    This charge against Manafort is coincidental to the main line of investigation I think. Mueller has been following the money here, and found a not inconsiderable fraud and money laundering activity going on. An activity to which Liddle’ Twitter Fingers is not unfamiliar… He and Paul must have spent many a happy hour comparing notes. So even though the charges against Manafort and Gates lie outside the initial line of inquiry into Russian meddling in the 2016, as a law enforcement officer, Mueller is bound to bring this criminal behaviour to justice.

    • syclingmad 15.1

      He’s hoping Manafort will go for a plea bargain and implicate a bigger fish further up the chain. Or have I been watching too much TV?

      • Macro 15.1.1

        I think the chatter box is George Papadopolous. The implications of his indictment mean that there certainly was some involvement of Russia wrt to the Trump campaign. He has been helping the FBI with their enquiries on a daily basis. Meanwhile, the hunt for funding from Russia to the campaign and any influence that might have is also something that we have to keep in mind. Trump has had many dealings with Russian oligarchs in the past and some of it, on the surface, rather shady. A mansion in Florida sold way above market price around 2008 – just how much influence does that buy?
        There is still a long way to go on this.

        • mauī 15.1.1.1

          How are we certain that there was Russian involvement in the campaign again? We have one advisor persistently saying he can stitch up a meeting with the Russians. We have no idea who these Russians might be and every indication that his persistence was fruitless.

          • Andre 15.1.1.1.1

            Don’t forget Junior’s meeting in Trump Tower. And his e-mails where he’s gaggin’ for it. Along with all the bots, troll farms etc.

          • Macro 15.1.1.1.2

            “We have one advisor persistently saying he can stitch up a meeting with the Russians.”
            There is more to it than that maui – much, much, more – but if you only read one side of the story you will never know. This is only the tip of the iceberg and from the fact that Trump knew about the stolen emails well before it was know publicly we can be sure that he was getting information from the Russians who were responsible. Furthermore Liddle’ twitterfinger’s behaviour since the indictments reinforces the belief that he is donkey deep in this. He will have been up to much the same sort of scams as Manafort – and indeed his casinos have already been found guilty of money laundering. That sort of behaviour, particularly when it involves a Russian with close links to the Kremlin (and all oligrarchs from Russia have close links to the Kremlin – that’s how they stole the money from the people!) implies all sorts of obligations. Remember that Trump sold a “mansion” in Florida to a Russian for $100m – a price way over the market price – that was never lived in, and then subsequently “rebuilt”. Just what sort of obligations this transaction came with, we can only imagine. Why has Tump persistently refused to release his tax returns? Who was funding his campaign? Trump claims to be worth Billions, but how do we know? He has been bankrupt and major US banks refuse to lend to him. Most of his loans come from Deutsche Bank – but who is underwriting these? Remember many significant “establishment” Republican donors eg Koch Bros etc, were withholding funding to him preferring other candidates. This is a major question that has still to be fully answered.
            The sanctions imposed on Russia by Congress this year – and this is subsequent to those instigated by Obama last year following the revelations of Russian meddling in the US elections – have never been implemented by the Executive, because Trump has denuded the branch responsible for the oversight of such measures to the staffing level of one person ie he has no intension whatsoever of implementing any sanctions against Russia – and why would he bite the hand that feeds him?

          • Macro 15.1.1.1.3

            Just published today – from the Senate investigation into the Russian interference in the US 2016 election via Facebook Google and Twitter.

            Senator Chris Coons struck a similar tone to Franken and again Facebook bore the brunt. He drew attention to an advert that claimed Hillary Clinton, along with Barack Obama, was despised by Americans and the army should be withdrawn from her control. Another advertised a non-existent “miners for Trump” rally. People were “duped”, Coons said.

            Stretch responded: “That advertisement has no place on Facebook and we are committted to preventing that sort of behaviour happening again on our platform. You’re right to surface it. It makes me angry, it makes everyone angry.”

            But Coons said he was “concerned” that it had taken Facebook 11 months since the election to come forward and address the issue. Stretch disputed this, noting the company had published a white paper in April.

            In written testimony to the committee, Facebook said it estimated roughly 29m people were served content in their news feeds directly from Russia’s Internet Research Agency’s (IRA) 80,000 posts over two years. “Posts from these pages were also shared, liked, and followed by people on Facebook, and, as a result, three times more people may have been exposed to a story that originated from the Russian operation.”

            my bold
            https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/oct/31/facebook-russia-ads-senate-hearing-al-franken
            These were adds placed by Russia – and paid for in roubles and specifically targeted in significant districts to sway votes.
            And you say there was no Russian involvement??

            • mauī 15.1.1.1.3.1

              Robert Parry has a decent backgrounder on the russian facebook ads, and things look quite different from his view.

              In other words, Facebook was sent back again and again to find what Obama and Warner wanted the social media company to find. Eventually, Facebook turned up $100,000 in ads from 2015 into 2017 that supposedly were traced somehow to Russia. These ads apparently addressed political issues in America although Facebook has said most did not pertain directly to the presidential election and some ads were purchased after the election…

              …So, the ads covering three years, including post-election 2017, only “appear” to be “associated” with some private Russian operation that only allegedly has ties to the Kremlin. And the total sums of the ad buys are infinitesimal compared to what it actually takes to have any real impact on Facebook or in a U.S. presidential election.

              https://consortiumnews.com/2017/09/25/wpost-pushes-more-dubious-russia-bashing/

              • Macro

                Well maui – you believe what hearsay you want to believe.. I and the majority of sane people will listen to the evidence as provided in the Senate inquiries into Russian meddling in their elections. And if you were brave enough to go and read it yourself, you would see that what I am saying equates more to the truth of the matter than what some alt right or looney left blog post wants to spin.

                • mauī

                  The so called alt-right, looney lefty blogger is the 2017 winner of the Martha Gellhorn journalism prize, previously awarded to Assange and Fisk and I presume many other credible good journos.

              • Macro

                This week, the companies admitted the Russian-backed content’s reach was much farther than had previously been disclosed. According to Facebook’s prepared testimony, Russia-backed posts reached as many as 126 million Americans on their platform during and after the 2016 presidential election. Twitter said it had found 2,752 accounts linked to Russian operatives – more than 10 times greater than it had previously informed lawmakers.

                Both companies tried to pre-empt possible regulation by announcing measures to improve transparency around political advertising and clamp down on foreign interference.

                In the ad disclosures, which marked the first official release of social media accounts linked to Russia, lawmakers published a 65-page list featuring the names of thousands of Twitter accounts that have since been suspended. Some were fake names that appeared to be mimicking individuals while others seemed to be representing specific causes or groups, both progressive and conservative.

                Those included accounts labeled @March_for_Trump, @MUSLIMS_IN_USA, @BleepThePolice, @blackmattersus, @BLACKPANTHER_TX, @Blk_Voice, @GUNS4LIFE_ME, @NewYorkDem and @PeeOnHillary. Others had generic-sounding names, such as @Best_food_ever, @Britney_Carlos and @GayleHappyMom.

                • mauī

                  If you add them all up, the total amount of $ that went into the Russian ads highlighted in this story is $1,342.07

                  Spending included a whopping $1.92 on a “Buff Bernie” cartoon picture. Seriously? this is how the election was compromised?

                  and..

                  #Twitter considers you “Russian-linked” if you have 1 of these:
                  -RU email
                  -RU phone
                  -RU credit
                  -RU IP
                  -RU as declared country
                  -Use Cyrillic

      • Andre 15.1.2

        Mueller might be trying to flip Manafort. It’s probably also a hint to all the others that they’re probably better off flipping early for the best deal while they’ve still got something to trade, rather than waiting until he’s got the dirt from someone else.

    • Gristle 15.2

      Picking up people for things incidental to main inquiry will make lots of people squirm. It means that their entire life is open for review. Scary shit that one. There is bound to all sorts of things hidden in that swamp.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 15.2.1

        The original appointment letter tells Mueller to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump,”, any matters that arise from said investigation, and anything mentioned in this passage:

        (a)Original jurisdiction. The jurisdiction of a Special Counsel shall be established by the Attorney General. The Special Counsel will be provided with a specific factual statement of the matter to be investigated. The jurisdiction of a Special Counsel shall also include the authority to investigate and prosecute federal crimes committed in the course of, and with intent to interfere with, the Special Counsel’s investigation, such as perjury, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, and intimidation of witnesses; and to conduct appeals arising out of the matter being investigated and/or prosecuted.

        (b)Additional jurisdiction. If in the course of his or her investigation the Special Counsel concludes that additional jurisdiction beyond that specified in his or her original jurisdiction is necessary in order to fully investigate and resolve the matters assigned, or to investigate new matters that come to light in the course of his or her investigation, he or she shall consult with the Attorney General, who will determine whether to include the additional matters within the Special Counsel’s jurisdiction or assign them elsewhere.

        (c)Civil and administrative jurisdiction. If in the course of his or her investigation the Special Counsel determines that administrative remedies, civil sanctions or other governmental action outside the criminal justice system might be appropriate, he or she shall consult with the Attorney General with respect to the appropriate component to take any necessary action. A Special Counsel shall not have civil or administrative authority unless specifically granted such jurisdiction by the Attorney General.

        CFR 600.4 – Jurisdiction.

        So that pretty much covers everything. He goes where the inquiry takes him. Drain the swamp indeed.

  15. joe90 16

    Mr Page seems to be dead keen on stitching himself up.

    Here is Carter Page essentially admitting he was on email chains with George Papadopoulos speaking about trying to collude with Russia LOL pic.twitter.com/A8ZYSeV9OW— Erick Fernandez (@ErickFernandez) October 31, 2017

  16. joe90 17

    Papadopolous was arrested in late July, and his plea agreement was wrapped up in early October.

    https://hotair.com/archives/2017/10/30/george-papadopoulos-wear-wire-mueller/

  17. joe90 18

    Losing their minds.

    Here is @SeanHannity calling Hillary Clinton "President Clinton" and then called Obama "President Clinton wannabe" LMAO BAHAHAHAHAH 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/cRl3FTlYjb— Erick Fernandez (@ErickFernandez) October 31, 2017

  18. Sparky 19

    I’d take this with a pinch of salt……Its a distraction from the real issues and little more.

  19. mosa 20

    Mike Pence is looking very presidential and biding his time methinks.

    Can the Donald survive or will Pence be the 46th president.

  20. Xanthe 21

    Well it turns out the standard is no different to any other fake news site in promoting this baseless “russian interference” spin, who woulda thunk it.

  21. joe90 23

    The rats are bailing.

    Sam Clovis, President Donald Trump’s controversial nominee to be the Agriculture Department’s chief scientist, has been “a fully cooperative witness” in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts told POLITICO.

    Clovis, a former co-chair and policy adviser to Trump’s campaign, knew that another campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, was talking to Russians, according to news reports based on documents released Monday as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.

    https://www.politico.com/story/2017/10/31/sam-clovis-senate-russia-investigation-244370

    • One Anonymous Bloke 23.1

      Next question: does Trump have the numbers (including the loyalty of enough of the armed forces) to go full dictator?

      Or is he going to be shuffled out of office in contempt and disgrace, to take up a multi-million dollar Fox News channel?

      • Andre 23.1.1

        “numbers to go full dictator?”

        I don’t think so. (Note that that’s not a “no fucking way”).

        If they tried for impeachment right now, they’d need 20 or 30-ish Repugs in the House and 19 Repug senators. Right now I can come up with maybe 9 tops that might be willing to risk the eternal wrath of the Trumpkins. He really hasn’t done enough to overcome their base venality.

        But if he tried for full dictator, that would be enough to remind a whole bunch of people that their allegiance is to country and constitution. That would flip the likes of Cruz, Rubio, Graham and so on.

        As for the military, he’s done a lot to alienate them with his personal disrespect to serving members and families. I have confidence Mattis and McMaster would oppose that, and probably even Kelly (despite his covering himself in faeces the last week or two). For the rest of the military outside the WhiteHouse, the idea of serving constitution and country is hammered in very strongly, and they would probably prefer to serve under a business as usual Repug than under a toddler with zero impulse control.

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