What will 2018 bring for Donald Trump?

Written By: - Date published: 7:58 am, January 1st, 2018 - 181 comments
Categories: australian politics, Donald Trump, International, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, us politics - Tags: ,

Happy new year everyone.

One person who I don’t think will be having such a good new year is American POTUS Donald J Trump.  A recent disclosure by the New York Times suggests that an alcohol fuelled indiscretion by George Papadopoulos to Australian UK Ambassador and former Liberal leader Alexander Downer may have been the cause of the FBI investigating Trump’s crew for colluding with the Russian Government to fix the 2016 American elections.  And the disclosure really makes you question what the FBI was doing just before the election occurred.

From the New York Times:

During a night of heavy drinking at an upscale London bar in May 2016, George Papadopoulos, a young foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, made a startling revelation to Australia’s top diplomat in Britain: Russia had political dirt on Hillary Clinton.

About three weeks earlier, Mr. Papadopoulos had been told that Moscow had thousands of emails that would embarrass Mrs. Clinton, apparently stolen in an effort to try to damage her campaign.

Exactly how much Mr. Papadopoulos said that night at the Kensington Wine Rooms with the Australian, Alexander Downer, is unclear. But two months later, when leaked Democratic emails began appearing online, Australian officials passed the information about Mr. Papadopoulos to their American counterparts, according to four current and former American and foreign officials with direct knowledge of the Australians’ role.

The hacking and the revelation that a member of the Trump campaign may have had inside information about it were driving factors that led the F.B.I. to open an investigation in July 2016 into Russia’s attempts to disrupt the election and whether any of President Trump’s associates conspired.

And Trump must have known what was happening.

https://twitter.com/ezraklein/status/947165455256637441

When you think what happened just before the election when James Comey announced the reopening of the investigation into Hillary Clinton you have to question the fairness of what occurred.  Certainly Democrats were riled up about Comey’s actions.  The New York Times reported Harry Reid asking why there was an apparent double standard.

Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the minority leader, responded angrily on Sunday with a letter accusing the F.B.I. of not being forthcoming about Mr. Trump’s alleged ties with Moscow.

“It has become clear that you possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisers, and the Russian government — a foreign interest openly hostile to the United States, which Trump praises at every opportunity,” Mr. Reid wrote. “The public has a right to know this information.”

F.B.I. officials declined to comment on Monday. Intelligence officials have said in interviews over the last six weeks that apparent connections between some of Mr. Trump’s aides and Moscow originally compelled them to open a broad investigation into possible links between the Russian government and the Republican presidential candidate. Still, they have said that Mr. Trump himself has not become a target. And no evidence has emerged that would link him or anyone else in his business or political circle directly to Russia’s election operations.

This last sentence is going to be put under some intense scrutiny.  In July 2016 The FBI were told by one of America’s most trusted allies that the Trump camp knew all about the hacking of Hillary’s emails.  The Russians were clearly targeting Clinton’s campaign and Trump was gloating about it.

The decision to go public on the reopening of the investigation into Clinton even though the FBI subsequently closed it had many people scratching their head.  Surely in the interests of balance and fair treatment they should have also publicised the fact that they were investing the Trump campaign for possible collusion with the Russian Government.  Or they should have investigated privately and urgently to see if the new emails would cause them to change the decision to close the file.

This article by Timothy Egan at the New York Times three weeks ago predicts then how this will go.  Trump will at some stage stop the investigation.  Then America will be a hair’s breadth away from being a banana republic.

You can see where this is headed, the once bright and shiny democracy going down the drain before the holidays are out. The Russians, the special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and his agents, desperate men flipped and singing to save their souls — all may soon be gone, by President Trump’s design.

If there’s any outrage left in the tank, use it now, because Trump has signaled exactly what he’s going to do. First, he had to set some brush fires, impugning the legitimacy of the rule of law — an old dictator’s trick. Trump is no Hitler, but when the German Reichstag burned in 1933, it was all the Nazis needed to gut civil liberties.

So, before Trump can fire the prosecutor who is hot on the corruption trail of those in the president’s inner circle, he needs a pretext. He could just work his way down the line at the Justice Department, until he found a quisling willing to remove the special counsel. But before he gets to that, he has to delegitimize the whole investigation.

Thus, he’s now attacking the F.B.I., saying the agency is in “Tatters” and its standing “the worst in History.” Bashing cops — wasn’t that what those Black Lives Matter people did to disrespect Blue Lives?

We live in interesting times …

181 comments on “What will 2018 bring for Donald Trump? ”

  1. Bill 1

    You see how this shit goes?

    A drunk guy tells another guy that someone told him something.

    And on that, we get built for us a marvelous citadel of unquestionable “truths” to meditate on and expand on. Oh, and all the people pointing out the foundations are laid on sand have been ostracised.

    So we have an uncritical consensus. Great.

    edit – just to be clear. The Russians having some ‘dirt’ or info on Clinton does not equal “[t]he Russians were clearly targeting Clinton’s campaign and Trump was gloating about it.” The allegedly hacked DNC emails go up through May ’16. The drunk guy was reportedly told about something in April 16.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1

      And on that, we get built for us a marvelous citadel of unquestionable “truths” to meditate on and expand on…

      That, and some plea bargains.

      • Bill 1.1.1

        Ah yes. Contact with “the Professor” and the “female Russian national” that Papadopoulos used as leverage to secure a position in Trump’s team because he reckoned they would be able to arrange a meeting between the Trump Campaign and Russian government officials. (He lied to the FBI about how long he’d known those two people)

        Given that Trump was openly stating a desire for better relations with Russia, why not?

        Unless the contention is that no campaign team personnel should ever meet with any foreign government officials…and/or that no groundwork should be laid for possible future meetings between two country’s leaders.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1.1

          Oh, and conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, false statements, and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts.

          Obviously the lying to the FBI was just an innocent mistake and in any case, it’s all a hoax dreamt up Hillary Clinton and that’s why I should obstruct justice and sack the special prosecutor.

          😆

          • Bill 1.1.1.1.1

            Erm. You haven’t read the document have you?

            edit – Here it is.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1.1.1.1

              “The document”? You haven’t mentioned a “document” until now. I’m just quoting the charge sheet and the POTUS.

              Edit: I was quoting Manafort’s charge sheet, not Papadopoulos’. I note that most commenters believe the FBI has more evidence that it hasn’t yet disclosed.

              • Bill

                You commented on a string of stuff supposedly connected to Papadopoulos’s plea bargain. His plea bargain is on line and available.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  If Manafort’s indictment weren’t connected to exactly the same investigation as Papadopoulos’, that would be a very good point.

                  If you don’t want to see that the other charges lend credence to the Papadopoulos narrative, I shouldn’t be at all surprised.

              • Bill

                And here was me thinking the discussion here was about allegations of Russian state interference in a US election and possible connivance of Trump campaign team members in that interference.

                Manafort and his buddy being up for being dodgy bastards in their business dealings between the years 2006 and 2015 doesn’t really seem very relevant to that.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  1. The special prosecutor has a huge amount of leeway in pursuing matters which may not be related to the central purpose of their investigation. That’s going to include Trump’s finances too.

                  2. How do you know Manafort et al’s behaviour isn’t relevant? Pretty much everyone else seems to think Mueller is holding a lot of information in hand.

                  3. The OP is actually about the discrepancy between the FBI’s treatment of the respective Trump and Clinton investigations, and whether Trump will take any more steps to obstruct justice.

        • Andre 1.1.1.2

          American law has something about it being illegal for a campaign to accept something of value from a foreign source.

          “The statute in question is 52 USC 30121, 36 USC 510 — the law governing foreign contributions to US campaigns. There are two key passages that apply here. This is the first:

          A foreign national shall not, directly or indirectly, make a contribution or a donation of money or other thing of value, or expressly or impliedly promise to make a contribution or a donation, in connection with any Federal, State, or local election.

          snip

          Here’s the second important passage of the statute: “No person shall knowingly solicit, accept, or receive from a foreign national any contribution or donation prohibited by [this law].” ”

          https://www.vox.com/world/2017/7/10/15950590/donald-trump-jr-new-york-times-illegal

        • mickysavage 1.1.1.3

          There is a law against negotiating with a foreign power by individuals – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logan_Act

          And the Flynn indictment and plea bargain would suggest there is more than just the drunken rantings of a low level individual.

          • Bill 1.1.1.3.1

            The Logan Act criminalizes negotiation by unauthorized persons with foreign governments having a dispute with the United States

            I don’t see how Papadopoulos “big noting” off the back of a couple of supposedly well connected people who (he reckoned) could lay the groundwork for a future meeting between the head of the US and Russia has anything to do with the Logan Act.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1.3.1.1

              I don’t see why we must confine our scrutiny to Papadopoulos rather than looking at the whole sorry bunch as a group. Perhaps that’s the only way all this whataboutism can be made to look as though it stands up.

              • Bill

                Sure.

                But the post revolves around Papadopoulos and what he said or did or whatever. And that’s what my comments refer to.

                If you or anyone else wants to argue they (“the whole sorry bunch”) are dodgy bastards, you’ll not get any counter argument from me.

                But being a dodgy bastard in a cabal of dodgy bastards doesn’t in and of itself mean anything in relation to alleged Russian interference in US elections – or mean that they (individually or collectively) connived with Russia in any supposed interference.

                I’d suggest that any US Admin would puke up the same type of person with similar dodgy dealings as the Trump led one is puking up. That’s just the type of shit that coalesces around politics and power.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  As noted above, the OP is about the discrepancy between the FBI’s treatment of the respective Trump and Clinton investigations.

                  Edit: whether it’s just politics as usual or not, politics as usual doesn’t normally lead to conspiracy and money laundering charges. Perhaps it should.

              • mickysavage

                +1

          • Andre 1.1.1.3.2

            Intertoobz commentary suggests the Logan Act is unlikely to bring down anyone. The strongest Logan Act case (so far) appears to be against Flynn for his actions during the transition. In which case the fact that he was working for the incoming President-elect might be a solid defense.

            The clauses cited by the Vox piece appear to be much more recent and stronger, without an obvious defense. This HuffPo piece looks at a few other possible violations.

            https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/under-what-circumstances-would-trump-russia-collusion_us_597b382be4b09982b73763ae

    • Drunk Trump campaign staffer blabs that Russia has thousands of Clinton’s emails and will use them to damage her election campaign. Short time later, emails are released and damage Clinton’s campaign.

      Bill: “Nothing to see here folks, move along now…”

      • mickysavage 1.2.1

        Yep.

      • Bill 1.2.2

        He splabbed that he had been told such a thing. Not that he knew such a thing. And the timing’s not really conducive to those supposed emails being the same emails that made up the leak. (Told in April and emails going up through May)

        I’m not saying “there’s nothing to see”, so cut out the lies.

        I’ll note (before being off for the day) that stone deaf ears and a blind fixation to “get in behind” on an official narrative that would procure a convenient state enemy is right on down there beneath the muck of dumb fuckery PM. A well popular destination these days it seems.

        edit – I wonder what the playbook would have been with a Sanders Presidency? Probably more in line with the anti-Corbyn stuff, but with the same aim in mind. 😉

        • Psycho Milt 1.2.2.1

          He splabbed that he had been told such a thing. Not that he knew such a thing.

          Yep. And if this were a jury trial I’d be unwilling to convict on the basis of such testimony. But it’s not a jury trial, it’s a blog comments thread.

          And the timing’s not really conducive to those supposed emails being the same emails that made up the leak. (Told in April and emails going up through May)

          So, in April they were talking to the Trump campaign about these emails and in May they put them online. That timeline’s impossible how, exactly?

          • Bill 1.2.2.1.1

            Thank fuck you’ve got nothing to do with the law then PM. Because hear-say doesn’t fly. Not in any legal environment.

            The timeline’s fucked because they couldn’t have had copies of emails from May in April. (The leak includes emails from May)

            • mickysavage 1.2.2.1.1.1

              Unless they were supplied the emails by the Russians themselves.

              I’m struggling with the full on defence of Trump you are mounting.

              And the main premise of the post is why did the FBI release news about HIllary’s emails but not news that Trump was allegedly colluding with the Russians to win the election. Given the closeness of the result this was arguably an election turning decision made by a department of state.

              • Andre

                ” … why did the FBI release news about HIllary’s emails but not news that Trump was allegedly colluding with the Russians … ”

                To try to understand the indefensible, the best I’ve come up with is that Hillary’s e-mails and her home-brew server was already solid public knowledge. It was the only piece of misbehaviour brought to light from the multiple congressional Benghazi investigations. There was enormous pressure to go further with that, partly because of leaks (some apparently from within the Justice Department), partly because of really dumb stuff like Billy inviting himself aboard Loretta Lynch’s plane, probably other things going on we don’t yet know about. So the pressure to break normal protocol (say nothing about current investigations) got to be too much, and Comey cracked and blabbed.

                Whereas in the Russia investigation, all there really was in the public at that point was rumours and innuendo. So it was really simple to keep normal protocol and say nothing.

              • Macro

                About three weeks earlier, Mr. Papadopoulos had been told that Moscow had thousands of emails that would embarrass Mrs. Clinton, apparently stolen in an effort to try to damage her campaign.

                Note that in this conversation that happened sometime late April early May 2016 where Papadopoulos makes the claim that Russia had the emails – he doesn’t say that they have stopped infiltrating the DNC. Nor does he claim that they have been given to the Trump campaign at that stage. It was not until July 2016 that wikileaks then published emails stolen from DNC servers up until May 2016. But obviously Trump and co. knew about them prior to then.
                By July 2015, Russia had infiltrated the computers of the Democratic National Committee. In March 2016, hundreds of phishing emails were sent to US Democrats, Democratic organizations and other political targets. Political ads were posted to social media and promoted on networks of potentially susceptible voters. In August 2016, the FBI sent a “flash alert” warning state elections officials of systematic attempts by Russia to hack 21 states’ voter rolls.

                Trump acts in the manner of a 5 year old being asked “Who’s been in the bickie tin?”
                “It wasn’t me!”
                But he has chocolate all over his face.

                In June 2017 James Comey testifying to Congress said:
                “There should be no fuzz on this whatsoever,” ….. “The Russians interfered in our election during the 2016 cycle. They did it with purpose. They did it with sophistication. They did it with overwhelming technical efforts.”

              • Andre

                Oh and micky, do you really think Bill is mounting a defense of Trump? TBH, to me it looks more like kickback against anything … ahem … that suggests that Russia is anything other than a model angelic international citizen.

                • Bill

                  So Andre. You’re going to link to those comments I’ve made that would suggest I view Russia as “a model angelic international citizen”, right?

                  No. Of course you fucking aren’t.

                  You want to reduce everything to “white hat/black hat”? Is that all you’re capable of? Because if it is, then please just stay the fuck away from any conversation or debate I’m engaged in. Feel free to fill the space of other exchanges with your simple minded bullshit.

              • Bill

                I’m struggling with the full on defence of Trump you are mounting.

                Please don’t diminish yourself by confusing my refusal to join the baying crowd with some nonsense about me defending Trump. This fucking George Bushite “with us or against us” bullshit isn’t something I’ve any time for.

    • mickysavage 1.3

      The Russians having some ‘dirt’ or info on Clinton does not equal “[t]he Russians were clearly targeting Clinton’s campaign and Trump was gloating about it.”

      They hacked a Democrat’s mail server and caused all sorts of mayhem. Any collusion with or assistance for this is basically treason.

      • Andre 1.3.1

        That’s treason in the common understanding of the word.

        In a legal sense, committing treason requires the US to be in a declared war, or possibly just an open war though that hasn’t been legally tested yet. The last time Congress declared war was WW2, and the last treason convictions were for actions helping Japan during WW2. There was a dude charged with treason for helping al-Qaeda, but he was killed before it came to court. The US is definitely not currently at war with Russia, so a treason charge for footsie under the table with Russia seems unlikely.

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/five-myths-about-treason/2017/02/17/8b9eb3a8-f460-11e6-a9b0-ecee7ce475fc_story.html?utm_term=.14c23a67e287

      • Bill 1.3.2

        There is only the allegation the Russian government or its Agencies hacked the DNC mail server.

        And there are counter analyses and informed opinions to the contrary. But those accounts and explanations have been starved of oxygen, not because they are baseless, but because they contradict the official narrative.

          • Bill 1.3.2.1.1

            You link to two Fox News pieces by way of showing that western liberal media have been thorough and even handed in their approach to accusations about Russia interfering in US elections? Seriously!?

            Hmm. Maybe you can provide links to respected mainstream outlets that display a degree of inquisitiveness or healthy skepticism towards the “Russia bad!!” narrative?

            I’m going to guess not (reason being, I haven’t seen any).

            And I’m also going to guess that the lack of any skepticism, or of any serious or searching questions on the validity of the basis those claims are built on isn’t going to give you any pause for thought.

            Silly smart arse repostes aside, do you have anything you might want to say by way of a contribution to explaining why ‘our’ media have been marching in happy lock step with official or government claims of the Russian government meddling in elections and so on?

            • One Anonymous Bloke 1.3.2.1.1.1

              No, I linked to them to demonstrate that the counter-narrative hasn’t been “starved of oxygen.” I could have linked to all the other examples of mainstream media providing oxygen to said counter-narrative, but since you’re going to reject them anyway I can’t be bothered.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 1.3.2.1.1.2

              …or perhaps the counter-narrative simply isn’t as compelling as the (not completely compelling) evidence.

              There is strong evidence indicating that Democratic email accounts were breached via phishing messages, and that specific malware was spread across DNC computers. There’s even evidence that the attackers are the same group that’s been spotted attacking other targets in the past. But again: No one has actually proven that group is the Russian government (or works for it).

              And now here’s Papadopoulos saying Moscow’s got the emails. We will never get all the bits of this jigsaw, and we can still get the picture.

              • Bill

                An Australian politician said that Papadopoulos said that someone told him there were emails in April. But whatever those emails were (assuming them to exist), they couldn’t have been the ones contained in the leak, because they go up through May.

                edit – But where are these linked stories or pieces or articles from the likes of The New York Times, the BBC, CNN, The Guardian, The Washington Post et al that shed doubt on the official narrative and that you say are easy to find?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  No Bill, you said it has received no oxygen, whereas in fact it had at least enough oxygen to make it into congressional committee, as the link shows, notwithstanding your list of approved media.

                  I posit that the reason The Intercept says there’s evidence of a phishing attack, not an inside job or whatever (you haven’t said which of the counter-narratives you are putting up for scrutiny, btw), is because there is, rather than the The Intercept has learnt to “get in behind” like all the other media you dismiss.

                  If you think you know better than Secureworks’ identification of Fancy Bear’s other targets, let’s see your reasoning. If you think you can show Fancy Bear didn’t do the hack, go for your life.

                  Whataboutism and but but but Hillary doesn’t cut it.

                  • Bill

                    I didn’t say counter narratives had received no oxygen, I said they had been starved of oxygen (qualitatively different).

                    My question relates to the lack of questioning of official narratives by western mainstream liberal outlets. If you’d been following the week long exchange I’ve been having with McFlock you’d know that I look on The Intercept as yes, liberal, but serious, and certainly not mainstream. And it does question the official narrative.

                    What’s with the “but but but Hilary” bullshit parroting of conservative liberal types OAB? You’re not…..? Anyway, when have I ever come out with that as a line of argument?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      the lack of questioning of official narratives by western mainstream liberal outlets

                      There’s a possible explanation for that: like The Intercept they’ve seen enough evidence that Fancy Bear hacked the DNC using phishing and malware, and enough evidence that Fancy Bear is Moscow: cf: Secureworks.

                      So that once they’d run the “it was an inside job”, “Hillary murdered the Duke of Edinburgh” claims, and a zero sum of evidence came to light to support those claims, and they just lay there playing dead, and the phishing attack narrative didn’t.

                      Oh, and before you start, please consult a dictionary regarding the difference between “evidence” and “proof”. As Schmidt says: we know things with varying degrees of confidence.

                    • Bill

                      It’s been fun, but I must away.

                      I believe it’s The Intercept that did a complete take-down of all those supposed hacking outfits and their identification and naming by Secureworks or who-ever.

                      Worth searching out. 😉

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  they couldn’t have been the ones contained in the leak, because they go up through May.

                  Unless the hack was still live that is, and the emails were still being stolen by Fancy Bear, and Moscow knew because Moscow is Fancy Bear.

                  But that would require you to be wrong.

                  • Bill

                    Well. The “hack” could have been an undetected drip feed over a period of time I guess. Or we’re considering two separate lots of emails.

                    Or there could be one lot of emails from a hack, and one lot from a direct download.

                    Or “the Professor” was simply ‘big noting’ to Papadopoulos to give the impression he was a somebody, when in actual fact there was no trove of emails in the hands of the Russian government.

                    Many possibilities.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Sure, Fancy Bear might have gone to all the trouble of hacking the DNC and then not use the information.

                      Maybe they had already provided Moscow with reports on Ukrainian generals and Russian journalists that week and were saving Hillary’s emails for later, but they slipped and accidentally provided them to Wikileaks instead.

                      No, wait, maybe they offered them to Pooty, but he’s a lovely nice and completely ethical man and would never do anything like that, and he scolded them until their ears were pink for being so naughty. And then they pressed send to Julian.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 1.3.2.1.1.3

              …and then there’s the list of Fancy Bear’s other targets…

              …and yes, I know “they do it too”.

      • One Two 1.3.3

        They hacked a Democrat’s email server

        They

        MS, as a lawyer it could be observed that your comments on this subject completely lack critical reasoning and therefore credibility..

        Lacking in understanding of systems and security is no excuse for accepting ‘non evidence’, as ‘proof’…

        Then propagating ad nauseum…

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.3.3.1

          There’s plenty of evidence, as linked at 1.3.2.1.1.2 & 3.

          Is it “proof”? Nope, but demanding “proof” is the same tactic AGW deniers employ, so I’m inclined to dismiss it out-of-hand.

          • Bill 1.3.3.1.1

            There isn’t really much of anything in the way of evidence that might be reasonably treated as as proof.

            Nice to see you finally getting towards a point of honesty there – leaning on the basic psychology of belief to justify dismissing anything running counter to your chosen belief 😉

            • One Anonymous Bloke 1.3.3.1.1.1

              Bollocks. As I have stated many many times on this forum, proof is a mathematical concept and as such is inapplicable to reality.

              cf: Box, Einstein, etc etc. Do I need to dig up that “Unsettled Science” quote again?

              Nice to see you projecting your shite onto me. Get a clue: you cannot read my mind.

              • Bill

                By reading your words I get a pretty good sign-post to what you’re thinking…or basing on belief.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  I believe I can drive a large truck through your argument. I believe I can also drive a family car through the official narrative, it just has fewer and smaller holes in it.

                  But by all means, tell me what else I believe 😆

                • One Two

                  ‘Personality type’ , as a minimum

                  Some commentators are easier to read than others…phoney’s require more of an examination as they seek to mask tactics through various methods, but eventually they out themselves, as phoney’s. ..

                  James would be an example of ‘phoney’

                  Else, and due to the anonyminity afforded by pseudonyms, those who lack the self control or discipline to mask their personality, shed the cloak of camouflage on various levels…some literally (real name aside) offer as close to 100% as written words on a blog could achieve..

                  The abusive, bullying and hypocritical commentators are being honest to their cowardly traits…

                  Why write on a blog site as an anonymous, agressive bully…unless that is who/what ‘you are’…

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Six paragraphs of vacuity containing nothing but two personal attacks. You really are very very shit at this, eh.

        • Psycho Milt 1.3.3.2

          … accepting ‘non evidence’, as ‘proof’…

          Can you point to where Micky Savage used the word ‘proof’? Because I haven’t seen anyone claim that this has been ‘proven’ and I think you’re making shit up.

          • One Two 1.3.3.2.1

            ‘Proof’, Milt..

            MS use of a statement rife in absolute belief, ‘they’ (Russians) “hacked a Democrat’s mail server..”

            Perhaps MS needs to be mindful of the phrasing he uses (because he has repeatedly used absolutes on this exact topic. Yes I recall, no I’m not trawling through archives)…and you, Milt should look more carefully at the ‘proof’

            HNY

            • Psycho Milt 1.3.3.2.1.1

              A person can believe a particular event occurred based on pretty much any level of evidence they’re personally happy with. That’s by no means the same as saying they have proof the event occurred. This a blog comments thread, not a courtroom.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 1.3.3.2.1.2

              What Milt said.

              ‘Evidence’ encompasses everything from wild hearsay to DNA and a signed confession.

              That’s why people talk about attaching this or that ‘weight’ to a piece of evidence. Wild hearsay is generally considered unreliable. DNA and a signed confession are more compelling, but even they don’t really “prove” anything, which is why DNA evidence is typically presented as eg: “there is a one-in ten million chance that someone other than One Two left this drool on the floor”.

              So you might not be the source of the drool, but it’s exceedingly unlikely.

              The allegation that Russia used Fancy Bear to hack the DNC is impossible to “prove”, but that doesn’t mean we assume that all other possibilities are equally likely. One of the good things about this case is that at least some of this evidence may be tested in court. I’d be surprised if they all weren’t trying to hack one another. Trump’s problem is if he and/or his people tried to take advantage of it.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                I’d be surprised if they all weren’t trying to hack one another.

                For ‘they’ read ‘the nations involved and all the other nations too’.

        • Macro 1.3.3.3

          We won’t get “proof” until Mueller has presented his evidence, and I’m sure he knows a lot more than the little tit bits we are being given. However there is a raft of circumstantial evidence being presented almost every day which endorses the narrative that the Trump campaign had dealings with Russia which was outside the law.

          • One Two 1.3.3.3.1

            Hi Macro,

            It’s a charade, it’s theatre, it’s a complete waste of time and energy…

            There is no ‘truth or proof’ to be found…Humans are not the purveyors of truth…

            In the absence of ‘Truth’ there will NEVER be ‘Proof’

            Mueller is as bent and compromised as [pick a name]

            HNY

            • One Anonymous Bloke 1.3.3.3.1.1

              Very very confused person, there is no such thing as proof in the real world. This is why science has confidence intervals etc.

              It is why courtrooms work to “beyond reasonable doubt”.

              It is why climate deniers demand it: because they know it cannot be provided. As Gavin Schmidt says,

              The forced binary distinction implicit in the phrase is designed to misleadingly relegate anything about which there is still uncertainty to the category of completely unknown. i.e. that since we don’t know everything, we know nothing.

              You know precisely jack shit about Mueller or any of the other people involved, but your ego demands that you spew some ‘wisdom’ around anyway. The word in the papentnesist is the Romanized.

              • Stunned Mullet

                Apologies for the pedantry but there most definitely is such a thing as ‘proof’ in the real world. Many beautiful and eloquent proofs have been demonstrated in mathematics, physics and chemistry over the years.

                I find myself in broad agreement with the rest of your commentary.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  I must respectfully disagree.

                  As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.

                  Albert Einstein.

                  Proofs are most certainly provided in Mathematics, but Maths is an art, not a science: to be accepted, physical theories only have to explain results, not prove hypotheses.

                  As an illustration, consider the ‘arguments’ employed against the theory of evolution. Or what Schmidt said about gravity: it’s “pretty well accepted… (despite continuing interest in what happens at very small scales or very high energies)…”

                  Or George Box: “All models are wrong. Some are useful.”

                  • Stunned Mullet

                    Alexander Pope would’ve had fun with you. I, however, haven’t got the time this evening.

            • Macro 1.3.3.3.1.2

              Mueller is as bent and compromised as..

              You have some verifiable evidence for that assertion – other that you rear oriface?

              • One Two

                Verifiable evidence

                Yes, I’m planning to present the file to The FBI/CIA/NSA/DOD/DOJ…

                Oh you were joking , Macro

                Good one!

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Ah, so it’s just another one of your malicious smears. Thanks for confirming that.

        • mickysavage 1.3.3.4

          I am not presiding over a trial. I am merely generalising what I believe to be the preponderence of views on the matter.

          • One Two 1.3.3.4.1

            Hi MS, thanks for the clarification…

            As I pointed out, the statement read as an absolute…it still does…

            IMO, moving away from US political articles and focussing energy on local topics of relevance is the way to go…

            Appreciate all the articles you post, regardless of subject matter…

            HNY

            • Stunned Mullet 1.3.3.4.1.1

              A Trump free couple of weeks on the interwebs and MSM would do the world a power of good – I suspect Donald would be apoplectic however.

  2. Andre 2

    In the paragraph below Ezra Klein’s tweet, there’s mention of Manafort announcing the re-opening of the Clinton investigation. Those two mentions of Manafort should maybe be Comey?

    [Damn New year’s brain. Right you are, now corrected – MS]

  3. One Anonymous Bloke 3

    What will 2018 bring for Donald Trump?

    Midterm elections, and the prospect of a congress (and senate?) with a greater appetite for impeachment.

    • Andre 3.1

      Impeachment and conviction ain’t gonna happen. Impeachment by the House alone without a conviction in the Senate would just be viewed by the public as political silly games and bring a backlash of support for Don of the Deadbrains. Just like Clinton’s impeachment actually boosted his popularity.

      Even if the Dems do outstandingly well in 2018 and get both the House and the Senate, conviction will still require a lot of votes from Repug senators whose careers are at much greater risk of being primaried by wrathful Trumpkins than they are at risk of losing to a Dem.

      I reckon the Dem position on impeachment should be something like “He’s a Republican. Republicans put him there, and still have the numbers to keep him there. When enough Republicans come to their senses and want him gone, we’ll gladly help. But in the meantime, he is what Republicans are.”

      But if King Con sees an opportunity to claim he’s done enough winning and prearranges a pardon from Pence, he might just bow out to go back to his tremendous life and figure out some way to spend more of his time basking in the adulation of adoring crowds.

      • Macro 3.1.1

        I believe you are right. The Repugs are never going to impeach this clown (and there is enough evidence to impeach him already). Even though they are trailing in the polls by around 12% at the moment those in the red neck states are never going to vote against Trump. And haven’t they just all given themselves a wonderful big xmas present?
        As for Mueller’s investigation into Russian collusion – it’s not even clear that he could bring an indictment against Trump. As far as I can see it’s a good vehicle with which to investigate, and bring to justice, all the hangers on, who have been acting on the fringes of the law for decades enabling Russian oligarchs to launder money into the US – and Trump himself is and has been involved in this.
        I think Jonathan Freedland’s column on the weakness of the US constitution is worthy of a read on this matter as well:
        https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/30/trump-us-constitution-weakness-founding-fathers

  4. cleangreen 4

    What will 2018 bring for Donald Trump?

    More endless mindgames from the ‘Washington Swamp’ as they struggle to retain the control of US politics from thiose who would threaten their power over us all.

    While Donald Trump will continue on as the king of the “tweeter sphere” as he continues also with his struggles to drain the “Washington Swamp”

    US politics has always been about “stories and not substance”

    We by comparison – in NZ however seem to be thinking forward to more of the ‘bitter actics’ of the rejected National Party and deflections to ‘arrest’ the ‘Jacinda effect’.

    Curiously just as the ‘new dawn of centre left Labour coalition’ takes hold in our country, with a promise of a new ‘kinder, gentler, caring, inclussive government’ – setting us on a path of us all sharing in the commonwealth of NZ equally to engenter another ‘egalitarian society’ of which we were once proud to be called the best place to live globally in 1959 except for Sweden.

    ‘Lets do this.’ – That is the way of a truly better future.

  5. One Two 5

    ‘What will 2018 bring for Trump‘….

    More articles from mickeysavage attempting to figure out…what isn’t for figuring out with ‘murican politics’…

    A new year…time for a new preoccupation, perhaps?

    • Anne 5.1

      What will 2018 bring for Trump‘….

      More articles from mickeysavage attempting to figure out…

      I hope you’re right. miskeysavage’s ‘attempts’ are always reasoned, clear-cut and he has the ability to cut through the mish-mash and get right to the point.

      Gets a few names wrong now and then but… 😉

    • Incognito 5.2

      Whatever floats your boat 😉

      You can always submit a Guest Post about what occupies your mind; I’ve done it a few times and it is a worthwhile exercise …

  6. North 7

    The first day of a new year with no let-up in the insistence by some lefties that no matter what Trump is somehow a saviour. Pretty fucked really. Mad bastard could cinder us all. What would these lefties……more accurately these ‘weird old authoritarians’……what would they say then? “But Hillary but Hillary…….”?

  7. NZJester 8

    I think if not for the fact that his insane tweets distract the media from reporting on what the Republicans are actually doing to the US they would have replaced him long ago. He has been a godsend for the very people he told his gullible supporters he was going to clean out of office. He has been purging all those with ethics and been replacing them with the corporate stooges that will do as they are told.
    He claimed he was going to save US jobs, but all the so-called jobs he saved were smoke and mirrors with more jobs lost under him.
    They only have to tell him something was signed into law by Obama and he is willing to sign the paper to take it away or shut it down.
    He still has a small group of vocal Trump fans that are too dumb and blind to see what he has done to them. But slowly day by day as the reality of what he has done to some of them sinks in they are abandoning him.
    His popularity among Fox viewers has dropped to below 60% and that channel is the Republican party propaganda channel and he should be polling twice as high with them.

    • Tricledrown 8.1

      NZ Jester Fox News at its lowest level of viewership that combined with low approval rating’s for Twittler that means Trump would loose the Majority in Congress.

  8. Infused 9

    I think you guys need to get over it

    • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1

      Trump says what you’re all thinking, his ethics are yours. Since you’re on such flagrant display it makes sense to take notes.

    • Tricledrown 9.2

      Confused you are letting go infused.
      You are being used and abused by a serial liar and sexual abuser and Criminal.
      A Trump groupie groping for Twittler.

  9. Tricledrown 10

    Hill Bill y.
    Trump Kushner have received $400 million in loans from from Russian mafia connected to Putin.
    Pence Ryan etc all trump’s inner circle closely aligned all received money from Russian oligarchs for business or political campaigns.
    Trump will loose mid term house of Representative majority allowing impeachment.
    Treason could be another charge.
    Nixon was in the same position and finally resigned.
    Trump’s only way out is going to War where he can take control of govt.
    Hence all his sabre rattling.
    The Drag net is closing in on Trump and he is flailing around like the Madman he is.

    • Bill 10.1

      Yup. Some links that provide substance to those supposed connections and loans (ie – more substance than that associated with someone blowing smoke out of their arse) would be useful.

      You mention a drag net. And yes, there has been a net cast, and cast wide. What it’s dragging up is all the putrid crap associated with politics and power. No “Putin fish” yet, though the fishers are no doubt utterly convinced that a “Putin fish” must be somewhere among all the muck they’ve dredged up.

      What ‘gets’ me is the unstated implication that these fuckers around Trump are somehow substantially different to the fuckers who have coalesced around any previous President, suggesting then, that if only ‘we’ could get back to the days of nice people in power…

  10. Sanctuary 11

    Trump will sack special counsel Robert Mueller or Mueller will find significant collusion with the Russians. Either way, Trump will pretend it never happened, house Republicans will look the other way as they try and abolish medicare & social security and nothing will happen as a consequence.

    The Democrats will sweep back into control of the senate and make big gains in congress and they will then largely adopt the Republican position on everything.

    The MAGAs will double down in the Republican civil war.

    a bit further out:

    Trump will start a war with North Korea despite desperate warnings from his generals that it is unwinnable, the U.S. and it’s allies will score a remarkable victory against the odds, the MAGAs will win big in 2020 with Trump winning a second term…

    • cleangreen 11.1

      “Trump will pretend it never happened, house Republicans will look the other way ”

      To be truly honest we saw this happen with Decocrats too didnt we?

      That was a carbon copy of what the Democrats did over Hillary Clintons 32 000 destroyerd emails!!!!!

      Hilllary did this against a FBI/CIA warrant to surrender her celphone first!!!!!

      But she wilfully destroyed the evidence first, – but the media and democrats said, “move along nothing to see here.”

      ‘Double standards here’?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1.1

        Whose double standards?

        “They do it too” has never been a generally accepted argument at TS, so far as I’m aware.

        • red-blooded 11.1.1.1

          And besides, the fuss over the Clinton emails is nowhere near as serious as the allegations and mounting body of proof against Trump and his people. There’s no allegation that Clinton or her people deliberately acted in a way that violated US interests or colluded with anyone to undermine a democratic process. Coney decided not to press charges, saying that Clinton had been “extremely careless” but there was no criminal activity.

  11. Morrissey 12

    There’s no evidence of Russia influencing the election. There are, though, masses of evidence of mass de-registration of black and Latino voters in several states. The Democratic Party leadership has virtually ignored that, however, given that its own similar practices led to the undemocratic and doomed installation of Hillary Clinton rather than the far more popular Bernie Sanders to run against Trump.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1

      There’s no evidence of Russia influencing the election.

      What a lovely strawman. Did you make it yourself?

      any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump” as well as “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.”

      Note the absence of the word “influence” or any synonym thereof.
      I further note that the Democratic Party leadership is not the FBI.

      • Morrissey 12.1.1

        Ah, yes, the FBI. That organ of state renowned for its integrity and reliability. Oh yes.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1.1.1

          Another strawman! What a clever little boy.

          • Morrissey 12.1.1.1.1

            ????

            Could you explain what on earth you’re trying to say? You’re obscure, perhaps deliberately so.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1.1.1.1.1

              It’s perfectly clear: you advanced your second strawman argument in as many comments. No-one has said the FBI is reliable, and that doesn’t in any way validate your attempt to link the Mueller investigation to whatever you think the Democratic Party should do.

              • Morrissey

                The Mueller investigation is a road to nowhere. And it’s not only me that thinks the Democratic Party leaders should be focused on substance rather than a chimera.

                Actually, the “Democrats” are going nowhere with the likes of Pelosi, Schumer, and co. holding the levers of control there.

                Four more years of Trump is a certainty as long as there is no effective congressional opposition.

    • swordfish 12.2

      Clinton Hits Record Low In Poll With 61 Percent Unpopularity

      There is an interesting Gallup poll out that shows that, after an active speaking tour promoting her book and her retrospective on her loss to Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton has actually become even more unpopular

      Goddam Russkies !!! Is there no end to their malevolence ???

      https://jonathanturley.org/2017/12/20/clinton-hits-record-low-in-poll-with-61-percent-unpopularity/

      • red-blooded 12.2.1

        Wanna check out Trump’s approval rating?

        Note that he’s on 36% (ie, 64% don’t approve of him). I also think the screenshot of the options offered for the poll conducted by his own people (the Republican Party’s Make America Great Again Committee) is interesting: when asked how they see Trump’s first year as President, people aren’t given a negative option – just “great”, “good” okay” and “other”. When asked about Obama, they’ve got the chance to indicate “poor”. In order to participate, they also have to give their contact information and agree to be contacted by the Repug’s. Not exactly subtle, but then I guess Trump has never pretended to be that!

        As for Clinton’s rating, she’s been trashed by one and all (some before the election – “Lock her up!”, and some after – blamed for losing to Mr T) and she’s been out of the public eye for a year. It’s hardly surprising that she’s got poor approval ratings. Yes, that’s partly something she and her people have to take responsibility for, but yes, that’s also (partly) a result of the Russian-Trump collusion leading up to the election. Shit sticks. Let’s just hope that it also sticks to Trump and his repugnant supporters.

        • Morrissey 12.2.1.1

          You seem to think that despising Clinton and her cronies is equivalent to being one of Trump’s “repugnant supporters.”

          While you’re there, maybe you could tell us how the following speech is in any way morally or intellectually superior to one of Trump’s….

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0uCrA7ePno

        • francesca 12.2.1.2

          On the contrary, I would have thought the largest and most powerful newspapers were all very definitely in favour of Hillary, and loudly proclaiming her sure win. Everyone thought Hillary would win. All the polls pointed that way. She’d raised more funds than Trump, she had the backing of Hollywood and the entertainment industry.Her loss is still a mystery to all those who paid good money to get her elected.The only explanation can be those mysterious enigmatic, quasi magical (in a bad way)Rasputinish evil uninvited bad fairies …The Rooskies !!! They’re coming again.! While the propaganda of the Cold War is still resonating in innocent American dreams, why waste all that psychological prepping, it can be revived and kill 2 birds with one stone. Bring back an enemy, because all Empires need one, and get rid of the loathsome Trump by any means possible.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 12.2.1.2.1

            Francesca: The only explanation…!!!…!!!!!!

            R/B: …partly something she and her people have to take responsibility for…

            One of these things is not like the other one.

  12. Ad 13

    President Trump will not resign.

    President Trump will not be impeached.

    President Trump will get the Repub 2020 nomination.

    President Trump will solidify execitive control over all branches of the intelligence and military establishments.

    He is building to gut Justice, kill the FBI and merge them into CIA and Homeland Security.

    President Trump will probably be re-elected on the back of a strong economy even though that’s not fair. But lose the Senate majority. So no constitutional crisis in practice.

    President Trump will double his wealth from his term.

    I can’t see any institution resisting him.

    I can’t tell anymore if a diminished US public sector is a price worth paying for a more diminished US global presence.

    But it’s time to prepare for that.

    • Peroxide Blonde 13.1

      AD
      A shared bottle of good Zinfandel says Trump is not President this time next year. Are you up for it?

      • Ad 13.1.1

        Yes.

        If he is not President this time next year I will officially hand the car keys over and go for it.

        • Peroxide Blonde 13.1.1.1

          Done.
          I’ve expensive tastes, though I’m not sure where to find an Auckland bar with good Zinfandel. I’ve a year to do the research!

    • McFlock 13.2

      I doubt he will resign.
      Depending on midterms he might be impeached. It depends on whether the repugs decide pence will be morein their self interest.

      There might also be legal arguments about impeachment vs charges, but they’ll probably not go anywhere.

      He might be declared medically unable to do the job, I wouldn’t rule that out.

      And he might have a genuine debilitating illness and drop dead.

      • Ad 13.2.1

        Dems have got more chance taking out Congress than the Senate. That is a massively tall order.

        The Republicans are in power in every layer of elected US power there is, from President, to Cabinet and tier 2,3,4 appointments to every level, to the Supreme Court, to Senate, to Congress, to Governorships, to State houses which is where the vital redistricting kicks in, leaving all but a few coastal governorships and a few major cities in play for the Dems.

        With the Democrats – and Obama’s legacy – now royally torched, the US global leadership of the nationalist-hard-business-right are in full effect and getting stronger by the day.

        My only very minor solace is that I live in New Zealand.

        • McFlock 13.2.1.1

          I think Alabama could be an Ardern moment for the dems.

          But the other thing that gives me hope is, ironically, this brinkmanship with NK. Nuclear war is bad for the hard business right. They prefer expensive, long wars a long way away.

          • Ad 13.2.1.1.1

            Wishing for nuclear war with North Korea as a salvation for the global left is way, way too dark for me. But go for it.

            • McFlock 13.2.1.1.1.1

              No, my point was that if it starts to look likely then that’s a powerful incentive for the corporate shills to start getting rid of trump.

              The true believers will go with him until he irradiates everything, but the repugs’ corporate base needs living people to sell to.

  13. Tanz 14

    If only New Zealand had our own sensible and God fearing President Trump. Bill English is just as fabulous, he won, and he will be back. Happy New Year darlings.

  14. Tanz 15

    Life itself provides enough highs without false stimulants. God gave us so much!
    I envy America though, with their delightful President! They hit the jackpot.

  15. mauī 16

    This would be like lefties believing a Rodney Hyde article saying that while he was out one night getting completely hammered with some right wingers, one National campaign volunteer told him that the 2014 election was rigged against the left.

    • Er, no. This would be like the Australian ambassador telling his government that a drunk Nat campaign worker had told him their campaign had word that the Russians had shitloads of Labour Party correspondence and was going to use it to damage Labour’s election campaign. Pretty far-fetched in Labour’s case, but not even slightly far-fetched in Hillary Clinton’s case.

  16. francesca 17

    So if we are to believe that Russia hacked the emails and gave them to Wikileaks..does that mean that Julian Assange and Craig Murray are lying when they say they know who they got them from and it wasn’t a state actor.I find it curious that No one, not one single US intelligence agent, or investigator, or anyone on Mueller’s team has asked to interview Assange or Murray.
    I find that staggering, and yet poor Jill Stein is being dragged before the Inquisition for attending an RT dinner.Leftist comedian and civil rights activist Randy Credico is being subpoenaed for his contacts with Assange.And yet no one is interested in questioning Assange, who received and published the emails.
    So was the electoral college influenced by Russia?, because after all, he didnt win the popular vote(despite all those facebook ads about puppies that apparently sowed confusion and discord)

    • One Anonymous Bloke 17.1

      You think Moscow isn’t capable of using an intermediary to approach Assange?

      The terms of the special prosecutor’s investigation do not mention ‘influence’ once. How would you even measure it? Mueller can go wherever the investigation takes him, and the question of influence simply doesn’t come into it.

      • francesca 17.1.1

        Assange and Craig Murray say they know who gave them the emails. You’re not curious that neither of them have been questioned?I would have thought Wikileaks is central to the whole Russian interference scenario

        • One Anonymous Bloke 17.1.1.1

          Questioned by whom under what authority? Journalists usually protect their sources.

          • francesca 17.1.1.1.1

            Craig Murray is not a journalist. He claims he was the go between and took the device ..USB.. to Assange.
            And yes, journalists protect their sources, but that doesn’t mean they are protected from having to give evidence about the circumstances of receipt of information

            • One Anonymous Bloke 17.1.1.1.1.1

              Oh that guy. Does he strike you as reliable?

              • francesca

                Well as it happens he was reliable about Uzbekistan torture, and CIA torture and the gathering of false intelligence. He lost his job over that And Assange, does he strike you as unreliable in any of his publications?

                Does reliability or otherwise ..and I’m thinking of the US intelligence agencies here, and their past records on honesty….preclude anyone from giving testimony?Surely thats for the court or investigation to decide
                Does anyone in the whole sorry affair come out looking steadfastly reliable to you? All the blowhards and chancers and wheelers and dealers associated with power and money

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Ok, let’s say Murray gave Assange the emails. Who gave them to Murray?

                  He said the individual he met with was not the original person who obtained the information, but an intermediary.

                  So even if he’s reliable, his evidence is irrelevant.

                  I agree that Mueller will need “testimony”. That’s why Flynn got a plea bargain. Not sure how third parties twice removed (Murray, Assange) are going to fill in any blanks in this jigsaw.

                  Remember, Mueller is investigating what Trump and his criminal associates got up to, not the DNC hack.

                  • francesca

                    What nonsense Surely this is the way you track back to where the original data came from. Irrelevant ?I don’t think so .Its the reluctance to take up this thread that I find so curious.
                    And Mueller’s investigation, the Russia probe ,is tasked with finding any links or co ordination between the Russian govt and individuals associated with the Trump campaign. Mueller has very wide powers and can further investigate any matters that arise from said probe
                    I would have thought the DNC “hack ” as you call it falls in to those parameters

                    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/10/trump-russia-probe-171031123655241.html

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Yes. The original data has been ‘tracked’ and there is strong evidence that it was obtained by a phishing and malware attack by the hacking group “Fancy Bear”, whose list of targets give rise to the suspicion that they act on behalf of Moscow.

                      From Mueller’s point of view, it then turns up being dangled as bait in front of Papadopoulos et al, by people who claim to have links to Moscow.

                      It’s unlikely that Assange or Murray can add anything of substance to this timeline, unless they are going to claim Fancy Bear was them all along.

                      Of course, if you believe that it was an inside job and the phishing malware attack was just a wild coincidence, that is your right.

                      How is it relevant to the case against Trump and his criminal associates? According to them, the Russians dangled the emails, they said “yes please” and “can we launder some more money for you?” Or something like that.

    • No one, not one single US intelligence agent, or investigator, or anyone on Mueller’s team has asked to interview Assange or Murray.

      Oh, US officials would love to be in a position to “interview” Julian Assange – why do you think he lives at the Ecuadorian embassy? I don’t think the feeling’s mutual though.

      • francesca 17.2.1

        Why not?
        The Swedish prosecutors interviewed him at the Ecuador Embassy
        He’s offered to provide electronic evidence

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4933810/Assange-reveal-proof-Russia-did-not-hack-Hillary.html

        Ever heard of interviews via video link?
        And OAB:

        If the hearsay from some drunk in a bar can be taken seriously , I would have thought Murray’s statements given in sobriety should be given equal seriousness. As far as I can find , after he lost his job for embarrassing the UK govt, all kinds of slanderous claims were made which he was later cleared of. The Puritans amongst us are reduced to complaining about his adulterous sexual activities with a pole dancer who he later married.
        Be interested to read the source of your evident disdain

        https://thebrokenelbow.com/2016/12/15/craig-murray-doubles-down-on-clinton-hacking-claim/

        • One Anonymous Bloke 17.2.1.1

          Since when is the report of the drunk guy’s statement relevant to the case Mueller is building? It’s hearsay, for a start.

          Sure, it makes for good clickbait, but it’s useless as evidence, especially when you have General Flynn singing like a canary.

          Also, how do you know neither Murray nor Assange has been approached? The fact is, you have no idea.

          • francesca 17.2.1.1.1

            Oh c’mon OAB. It would be all over the news Get real.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 17.2.1.1.1.1

              Doesn’t change my central argument – I think the reason neither of them have been approached is because they have nothing of substance to add to the investigation.

              Let’s say Murray can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the emails were leaked by an insider. How does that bear on the Trump campaign’s willingness to collude with Moscow to get a look at them? Because that’s the relevant detail. It wasn’t Assange or Murray who made the offer.

              It may not even have been Moscow, for that matter. The point is that Papadopoulos et al believed it was Moscow and took the meeting anyway. That and the money laundering and whatever else Mueller’s going to throw down.

              • francesca

                The Mueller probe is to find out whether anyone associated with the Trump campaign coordinated or whatever with the Russian govt. That someone in the Trump campaign was eager to get dirt on Clinton provided by someone said to be Kremlin linked (as bait )is one thing. Whether the Kremlin was in fact involved is quite another.In fact there was no co ordination with the Kremlin during that meeting

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Why, is buying smack in some way equivalent to attempting to collude with a foreign power? How about money-laundering?

                  In fact… You don’t have any facts.

                  • francesca

                    And neither do you, which is my point.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Yeah I do. It’s a fact that Manafort, Flynn and Papadopoulos are facing charges. It’s a fact that Flynn has cut a deal.

                      It’s a fact that Mueller has all the Trump campaign’s emails.

                      You are confusing evidence with proof. I’m not.

  17. rightly or wrongly 18

    For my 5 cents worth I say this:

    1: If you’re going to moan about vague drunken whispers that someone connected to Trump’s campaign might have talked to a Russian. (Are Russians evil or something?) then what should you say about the following:

    – Clinton’s deliberate and ongoing breach of Federal Regulations by directing official government and confidential papers through a home made email server?
    – Allowing the same confidential papers to be forwarded to an associate’s Laptop for printing and allowing access by her pedophile husband.
    -Clinton’s husband meeting with the head of the FBI during the process of a criminal investigation which results in said investigation being shelved by using very elastic legalistic language.
    – The very dodgy smell that emanates from the link between Clinton’s foreign policy decisions and large foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation.

    At some point the Democrats and the wider left have to stop this stupid nitpicking of everything around Trump. It hardens his support base as Trump may be a duffus and a goose but he has none of the ingrained, institutionalized stain of corruption that the name Clinton has attached to it.

    Move on already, stop fighting 2016’s battles over again.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 18.1

      Once more for the very very dim: the FBI and the Democratic Party are not the same thing.

      The “nitpicking”, aka charges of conspiracy, money laundering, etc. etc., is being conducted by the FBI.

      Squealing “she did it too” isn’t going to get Dear Leader off the hook, no matter how much he embodies your values.

  18. 44 south 19

    Have any of you actually read the CNN article “Trump was right about the FBI”?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 19.1

      Let’s say the FBI was more lenient to Clinton than Trump.

      That is a case for re-considering charges against Clinton. It doesn’t make charges of conspiracy and money laundering go away.

      • francesca 19.1.1

        Well then, if you accept that, you are accepting that the FBI has become politicised, which is an absolute red line , and rather reduces their credibility

        • One Anonymous Bloke 19.1.1.1

          Good thing they aren’t the judge and jury then, eh.

          • francesca 19.1.1.1.1

            Well they kind of are , when their”intelligence” is given such credence.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 19.1.1.1.1.1

              Meanwhile, in court, the FBI will have to make their case using evidence. So they “kind of” aren’t.

              • francesca

                Evidence which won’t be made public
                The evidence they received from the Democrat paid Crowd Strike (rather than conducting the examination of the DNC servers themselves)can not apparently be made public because of national security. So we are told to BELIEVE .Personally I’d rather see the evidence.
                Stick with belief if its more comfortable with your mind set

                • McFlock

                  And if you were on the jury, you would see the evidence. But you almost certainly won’t be, so your (and my) opinion is irrelevant to criminal proceedings that might result from the investigation.

                  • francesca

                    So once again we have to believe

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Speak for yourself.

                    • McFlock

                      Nope. It just doesn’t matter whether you do or not. Unless you want every legal system in the world to replace their judges and juries with just you.

                      Given what we do know, from tweets and emails released by the trumps, claims made by trump campaign members, and now even fucking Downer… if you don’t at the very least believe that the trump campaign probably had people who were attempting to collude with the russians to affect the election, I can’t envisage what type of evidence would persuade you that it actually happened. Just theoretically, there seems to be no possible threshold of evidence that would make you go “they did it”.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  The source of the DNC email hack/leak has limited relevance to Mueller’s investigation.

                  They could literally say to the court:

                  “We do not know how these emails ended up in the wrong hands”, and then go on to catalogue the evidence they have of conspiracy, money laundering, etc etc.

                  However, and here’s the thing: Secureworks have made the hacking evidence public already, so it isn’t a secret, so I don’t know where you’re coming from, and even if I did, I still don’t have the coding skills to verify what they say one way or t’other. Do you? I doubt it, or you’d already be telling me where they went wrong.

                  Now, what was that about my “beliefs”? Pfft.

                  • francesca

                    Where is the evidence?
                    Moscow office hours?
                    The assertion that Fancy Bear is the Kremlin?
                    “Allegations that Fancy Bear works for Russia aren’t new , but raw data is hard to come by”
                    There is still no raw data, just a list of targets and Moscow office hours.
                    None of this is new by the way
                    This article by someone who is definitely not friendly to Trump or Russia, nevertheless has his reservations about Fancy Bear

                    https://theintercept.com/2016/12/14/heres-the-public-evidence-russia-hacked-the-dnc-its-not-enough/

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Once more for the terminally dense: there are two competing stories for how the DNC emails were obtained by third parties.

                      One is that they were leaked, because Craig Murray says someone told him so.

                      The other is that it was a phishing and malware attack as documented by Secureworks.

                      None of this is relevant to whether or not the Trump campaign laundered money or attempted to collude with Moscow, the evidence for which is being provided by Michael Flynn etc.

                      Can you please just try and fucking read what I’m saying to you instead of going off on another witless red herring?

  19. McFlock 20

    I’m shocked that Downer is a tool of the clinton-supporting deep-state. Shocked, I tell you. They have agents everywhere, from the imprisoned hacker who claims to have done it for the russians, the trump campaigners who have slyly made up stories to tell the pro-clinton deep-state Mueller, and now an Australian ambassador. It’s five eyes, it must be. Thank god putin and assange tell it straight… /sarc

  20. SPC 21

    If the Democrats win control of Senate and House, both houses of Congress, then and only then would a case for impeachment be made.

    F

    • SPC 21.1

      (comment made, told it was a duplicate and now unable to edit).

      For this reason, Mueller will just continue to investigate until those elections and either continue to a prosecution case 2018-2020, or just submit a report to conclude the matter and leave it to posterity (including 2020 voters).

  21. peterh 22

    What a load of garbagge. I read a tweet from Dotcom 6 months before the election. he stated dirt on Clinton was coming. all we hear is aload of crap day after day .if there was ANYTHING on Trump and Russia that was true. it would be proven by now

    • One Anonymous Bloke 22.1

      Do you want Manafort et al to receive due process or not? How will you decide if they are guilty or innocent? Draw straws? Your ignorant reckons?

      This may come as a shock to you, but Kim Dotcom has not proved 100% reliable when it comes to such matters.

      • peterh 22.1.1

        we will see in 2018 about Dotcom being reliable, I will back my ignorance

        • One Anonymous Bloke 22.1.1.1

          Oh well in that case, since due process and the rule of law don’t mean shit to you, I hold you guilty of sexual assault on a goat. You’ve dispensed with the need to hear legal arguments so we can move right onto sentencing.

          • peterh 22.1.1.1.1

            And the goat said it was not assault, and the judge threw the case out,
            good law

            ,

            • One Anonymous Bloke 22.1.1.1.1.1

              I’m your judge, just like you vainly affect to be Manafort’s.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 23.1

      Oh right, so you can’t understand what you read, but everyone else is passive and obedient. 🙄

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