For Moscow and Beijing, the Ukraine crisis is part of a struggle to reduce American power and make the world safe for autocrats
For Moscow and Beijing, the Ukraine crisis is part of a struggle to reduce American power and make the world safe for autocrats
On Wednesday’s edition of his “TruNews” program, radical right-wing conspiracy theorist and End Times broadcaster Rick Wiles declared that the United States is under the control of “Satanic Zionists.”
Wiles, who is deeply anti-Semitic and dedicates many of his TruNews programs to railing against Israel and Jews, has been a vocal supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin and an ardent defender of Russia for years. So when he saw reports that the U.S. was thinking about sending warships to the Black Sea as tensions between Russia and Ukraine escalate, Wiles knew exactly who was to blame.
“The reason the ruling deep state of America hates the Russian people and wants to destroy them?” Wiles said. “It is the satanic Zionist power that overthrew the Russian government in 1917, did a human blood sacrifice of the Romanov family—a satanic ritual where they slaughtered the Romanovs, it was a satanic blood sacrifice—that same group of satanists that overthrew the Russian people in 1917, that’s what controls America today.”
“That spirit right there is what is destroying the United States of America, destroying our freedom, destroying our culture, that spirit right there,” Wiles bellowed. “That’s what’s making war against Russia. They overthrew it, they got free, they got out from under its bondage. And so who is under its bondage now? The American people. We’re under the bondage of that same satanic spirit.”
“Who is always attacking us?” Wiles asked his co-hosts. “The Zionists. There’s nobody else attacking me. Zionists. It’s not every Jewish person, it’s the Zionists, it’s the satanic Zionists. They are satanic. Old Henry Kissinger is one of them, old Alan Greenspan is one of them. Who has weakened America? Greenspan and Kissinger. Now they want war with Russia because the Russian people got free of their chains and bondage and returned to Christ. That’s what it’s about. The Russian people returned to Christ.”
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Imagine this news flash: the campaign manager of Joe Biden’s presidential bid throughout the 2020 race was in continuous and covert contact with a Chinese intelligence officer whom had once been her business associate. During these clandestine communications—which included secret meetings—she passed internal Biden campaign polling data to the Chinese operative, and the operative encouraged her to help advance a Chinese proposal that would allow Beijing to succeed in its territorial disputes in the South China Sea and further extend its influence there. And throughout this all, China was running an undercover operation to help Biden win.
Ka-boom! There would be headlines galore. The right-wing media would go bananas. Fox News would explode. Sean Hannity might lose the power of speech. And congressional Republicans would demand investigation upon investigation. There would be talk of impeachment.
Well, this did happen. Just not with Biden and China, but with Donald Trump and Russia during the 2016 election. Yet this key piece of the Trump-Russia story never became a major scandal for the former president, who has not stopped claiming (falsely) that all talk about Vladimir Putin’s attack on the 2016 election and the ties between his campaign and Russia is a “hoax.” Nevertheless, on Thursday, another critical and eye-popping element of this part of the Trump-Russia scandal was revealed by the US Treasury Department.
The Treasury announced it was slapping sanctions on “16 entities and 16 individuals who attempted to influence the 2020 U.S. presidential election at the direction of the leadership of the Russian Government.” One of the targets on this list was Konstantin Kilimnik, who it identified as a “Russian and Ukrainian political consultant and known Russian Intelligence Services agent implementing influence operations on their behalf.” The announcement stated that during the 2016 election, Kilimnik provided Russian intelligence with “sensitive information on polling and campaign strategy.” It also declared that Kilimnik “sought to promote the narrative that Ukraine, not Russia, had interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.” The Treasury Department pointed out that in 2018 Kilimnik was indicted on obstruction of justice charges regarding his unregistered lobbying work related to Ukraine and that he has been assisting Viktor Yanukovych, the ousted corrupt president of Ukraine, who is now hiding in exile in Russia. Kilimnik, according to the department, has been conniving to return Yanukovych to power in Ukraine.
The Treasury announcement explained that Kilimnik was being sanctioned for “having engaged in foreign interference in the U.S. 2020 presidential election” and for “acting for or on behalf” of Yanukovych. It noted that the FBI has offered a reward of up to $250,000 for information leading to his arrest. What precisely Kilimnik did to try to influence the 2020 race was not detailed. In March, the Office of Director of National Intelligence released an unclassified report that concluded that Putin in 2020 launched a covert assault on American democracy to help Trump retain the White House, and the Treasury statement refers to that document.
What Treasury also did not spell out was that Kilimnik had been in league with Paul Manafort, who was Trump’s campaign chairman for part of 2016. Kilimnik was a former business associate of Manafort; the pair had worked together in Ukraine, when Manafort was making millions of dollars as a consultant for the Putin-friendly Yanukovych. During the 2016 campaign, Manafort secretly interacted with Kilimnik and handed him internal polling information from the Trump campaign, according to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s final report and the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the Trump-Russia scandal, which was released last year (and was endorsed by the Republicans on the committee).
The Senate report included damning revelations about the Manafort-Kilimnik relationship. While Mueller characterized Kilimnik as an “associate” of Russian intelligence, this report called Kilimnik a “Russian intelligence officer.” It noted that it had “obtained some information suggesting Kilimnik may have been connected to the [Russian military intelligence] hack and leak operation targeting the 2016 U.S. election” to aid Trump. The intelligence committee pointed out that Manafort had repeatedly shared “internal Campaign information with Kilimnik,” but that its investigators were “unable to reliably determine why Manafort shared sensitive internal polling data or Campaign strategy with Kilimnik or with whom Kilimnik further shared that information.”
The Treasury Department announcement provided a partial answer to the mystery of what Kilimnik did with the information Manafort slipped him, noting he transferred it to Russian intelligence.
So here’s the bottom-line: Manafort passed inside info from the Trump campaign to Kilimnik, and Kilimnik gave it to Russian intelligence, which at the time was mounting a covert attack on the 2016 election to thwart Hillary Clinton and boost Trump. No collusion? Manafort was scheming with a Russian operative, as the Kremlin was trying to sabotage American politics to assist Trump.
The Senate report noted that this was not just a one-way street. During the 2016 campaign and even after, Manafort discussed with Kilimnik a proposal for resolving the conflict in Eastern Ukraine—which Russia had invaded—that benefited Moscow. Kilimnik was trying to use Manafort, and through him Trump, to advance Putin’s interests related to Ukraine. After Trump won in 2016, Kilimnik said in an email to Manafort that the Ukraine plan only needed a “wink” from Trump to succeed. The Senate report also stated, “Manafort worked with Kilimnik starting in 2016 on narratives that sought to undermine evidence that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S.” Trump’s top campaign man was part of an effort to cover up—or distract from—the Kremlin’s attack on the United States.
The committee stated it wasn’t certain it had fully uncovered all that was going on between Manafort and Kilimnik because the pair used encrypted communications. But the GOP-led panel did present a shocking conclusion: Manafort was a “grave counterintelligence threat.”
The top adviser to a successful presidential candidate “a grave intelligence threat.” How is that not a big deal? It deserved to be a scandal of its own, apart from the other portions of the Trump-Russia mess. Manafort was indeed prosecuted, convicted, and sent to prison for various corruptions related to his consulting work for Yanukovych. But in the end, Trump pardoned him. The president of the United States set free a “grave intelligence threat.” That, too, was a scandal that barely registered.
The news out of Treasury about the sanctions on Kilimnik is a sharp reminder that the Trump campaign did hobnob with Russia as it assaulted an American election—and that Trump, Manafort, and others essentially got away with it.
Vladimir Putin did it again. After directing Russian intelligence to attack the election to boost Donald Trump in 2016, the Russian leader launched another covert assault on American democracy to help Trump retain the White House in 2020. And he had help. Assorted Trump allies and conservative media outlets —including Rudy Giuliani, Fox News, and OAN—were useful idiots for Putin and his clandestine operators.
Those are the damning conclusions of a report released Tuesday by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Even though Putin failed in his second attempt to elect Trump, the unclassified document presents a disturbing account of a foreign autocrat exploiting all-too-willing media and political players in the United States to undermine the nation’s political system.
Giuliani and his media allies were key elements of a Russian disinformation scheme mounted to keep Trump in power.
Aside from the main story of Putin’s return engagement, the report offers a broader study of foreign influence in the 2020 election, noting that Iran tried to use social media to undercut Trump and that China generally stayed out of the picture. But its key finding is that “Putin authorized and a range of Russian government organizations conducted influence operations aimed at denigrating President Biden’s candidacy and the Democratic Party, supporting former President Trump, undermining public confidence in the electoral process, and exacerbating sociopolitical divisions in the US.” According to the ODNI, Moscow did this by using “proxies linked to Russian intelligence to push influence narratives—including misleading or unsubstantiated allegations against President Biden—to US media organizations, US officials, and prominent US individuals, including some close to former President Trump and his administration,”
The report doesn’t name these dupes. But it’s clear who they are. Foremost among them is Giuliani, who as Trump’s personal lawyer sought dirt on Biden from sketchy sources in Ukraine and elsewhere. And a slew of rightwing media outlets, including Fox, OAN, Newsmax, and others, amplified and disseminated the anti-Biden swill Giuliani collected. The ODNI notes that Moscow’s “primary effort” in 2020 “revolved around a narrative—that Russian actors began spreading as early as 2014—that alleged corrupt ties between President Biden, his family and other US officials and Ukraine. Russian intelligence services relied on Ukraine-linked proxies and these proxies’ networks—including their US contacts—to spread this narrative to give Moscow plausible deniability of their involvement.” (One side aim of this clandestine project was to reduce Trump’s support of the Ukrainian government.)
The report shows how Trump and his conservative allies fell for Moscow’s covert action, embracing the Kremlin’s anti-Biden and anti-Ukraine disinformation and casting it throughout the US political-media environment. The paper states:
A network of Ukraine-linked individuals—including Russian influence agent Konstantin Kilimnik—who were also connected to the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) took steps throughout the election cycle to damage US ties to Ukraine, denigrate President Biden and his candidacy, and benefit former President Trump’s prospects for reelection. We assess this network also sought to discredit the Obama administration by emphasizing accusations of corruption by US officials, and to falsely blame Ukraine for interfering in the 2016 presidential election.
These are the lines that Trump and his GOP defenders have been pushing for years, especially during Trump’s first impeachment: Ukraine, not Russia, intervened in the 2016 election, and that the real scandal was not Trump’s attempt to push Kiev to gin up a baseless investigation targeting Biden but the Biden activity in Ukraine. According to this report, Trump, GOP Reps. Jim Jordan and Devin Nunes, Fox host Sean Hannity, and many others on the Trumpian right were parroting Putin’s propaganda.
One fact the report leaves out is that Kilimnik was a former business associate of Paul Manafort, who was a top Trump campaign official for much of 2016. During that time, Manafort secretly met with Kilimnik and shared polling data with him. The ODNI sidesteps this point, but the big picture includes Trump’s campaign chief having clandestinely hobnobbed—colluding?—with a Russian agent who is now connected to Moscow’s covert plot to undermine Biden. Kilimnik’s appearance as a Moscow manipulator in two consecutive elections ought to be front-page news.
The ODNI goes on to report that Kilimnik, Andriy Derkach, a Ukrainian legislator tied to Russian intelligence, and their associates “sought to use prominent US persons and media conduits to launder their narratives to US officials and audiences. These proxies met with and provided materials to Trump administration-linked US persons to advocate for formal investigations; hired a US firm to petition US officials; and attempted to make contact with several senior US officials.”
This appears at least in part to be a reference to Giuliani’s endeavors—which included the efforts of pro-Trump lawyers Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing and conservative journalist John Solomon—to collect and promote unproven allegations about Biden related to his son Hunter’s business activity in Ukraine.
In essence, the ODNI says Trump’s personal lawyer and his comrades and their allies in the media were key elements of a Russian disinformation scheme mounted to help Trump hold on to power.
This was not the only recent Russian attempt to mess with US politics, the ODNI says. After the 2018 midterms—when the Democrats won back the House—Russian intelligence cyber operatives hacked organizations affiliated with the Democratic Party. And in 2019 and 2020, the report says Russian military intelligence hackers “unsuccessfully targeted US political actors.” They also tried to penetrate Burisma, the Ukrainian company that Hunter Biden worked with. The ODNI also reports that during the 2019 presidential primaries, Russian online influence actors “backed candidates from both major US political parties that Moscow viewed as outsiders.” It doesn’t state who that was.
According to the ODNI, the Kremlin’s trolls and bots were busily assisting Trump throughout the 2020 election season on social media. They “sought to amplify mistrust in the electoral process by denigrating mail-in ballots, highlighting alleged irregularities, and accusing the Democratic Party of voter fraud.” They “generally supported President Trump and his commentary” and boosted “disparaging content” about Biden, while promoting “conspiratorial narratives about the COVID-19 pandemic.” They “sought to discourage US left-leaning audience from voting.”
The report doesn’t provide great detail, but it does reveal that the Kremlin’s key influence operation, the Lakhta Internet Research troll farm (once known as the Internet Research Agency), used “social media personas, news websites, and US personas to deliver tailored content to subsets of the US population.” And it established “short-lived troll farms that used unwitting third-country nationals in Ghana, Mexico, and Nigeria to propagate thee US-focused narratives, probably in response to effort by US companies and law enforcement to shut down LIR-associate personas.”
During 2020, the Trump administration received intelligence indicating the Russians were once again trying to interfere on Trump’s behalf. But Trump and his aides refused to share this information with the public and did not provide a full accounting to Congress. Now we know why: the thrust of a major Trump attack on Biden was a Russian invention. Trump, Giuliani, and the rest of the gang were in cahoots with the Kremlin in waging this war on Biden. They were enabling and aiding yet another Russian attack on a US election—just as they did in 2016. This is another Trump scandal of tremendous significance that will probably not get its due.
At least this time, Putin did not win. He is one for two in his attempts to make Trump president. The ODNI report details what was ultimately a failure, but it also provides a warning that a possible collaboration in 2024 between Moscow and Trump—or another Trumpish candidate—remains a clear and present danger.
At least six government departments breached in likely Russian intelligence operation thought to have begun in March
The US government is still in the dark over how deeply Russian hackers penetrated its networks during the worst ever cyber attack on federal agencies, members of Congress warned on Friday.
At least six government departments were breached in a likely Russian intelligence operation thought to have begun in March. Although there is no evidence that classified networks were compromised, it is not known what the hackers may have stolen or how long it will take to purge them.
In any other time, it would have been front-page news and ignited days or weeks of controversy. But last week, when a former top government official accused the president, for whom he once worked, of treasonous conduct, the story lasted nanoseconds and was blown away by the never-ending firehose of craziness and disinformation generated by the commander-in-chief and his crew. The tragedy here is not merely that Donald Trump escaped yet another scandal. It is that a fundamental and dire threat to the security of the United States did not receive sufficient attention and that American democracy remains in immediate danger.
I am referring to an interview retired General H.R. McMaster, who served as Trump’s national security adviser after Michael Flynn was bounced, gave to MSNBC, in which he said that Trump was acting like a traitor. This sounds hyperbolic. But how else to frankly characterize McMaster’s remarks? He stated that Trump “is aiding and abetting Putin’s efforts” to intervene in the 2020 presidential contest. This is a helluva accusation being leveled by a man who once was Trump’s most senior national security aide: the president is currently assisting a foreign adversary’s covert attack on the United States.
Why did McMaster’s accusation not produce a thunderclap that caused the world to stand still for a moment? There were articles in the New York Times and elsewhere about his charge. But the Times relegated the story to page 14. That’s hardly highlighting the issue. If you blinked, you easily could have missed this damning comment from McMaster, who noted that Vladimir Putin was currently mounting a “sustained campaign of political subversion against us” and that this operation was being “aided by a leader”—that is, Trump—“who doesn’t acknowledge” Moscow’s assault.
For months, news reports and Democratic members of Congress have noted that Putin, following up on his successful 2016 attack, is once again trying to sabotage an American presidential election to sow discord and help Trump win. Trump, though, has refused to address this. In fact, Trump and his minions have been blocking, suppressing, or discounting intelligence showing the Kremlin is attempting to subvert the 2020 election.
After intelligence officials in February told House lawmakers during a classified briefing that Russia was interfering to boost Trump, an irate Trump ousted Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire and replaced him with a loyalist (who was subsequently replaced by another loyalist). Last month, the former intelligence head at the Department of Homeland Security filed a whistleblower complaint claiming that members of the Trump administration pressured him to withhold intelligence assessments detailing Russian efforts to spread disinformation aimed at influencing the 2020 election “because it made the president look bad.” The current director of national intelligence, John Ratcliffe, has tried to restrict the sharing of intelligence on Russia’s clandestine endeavor with Congress, and the Trump administration has downplayed Russia’s actions, attempting to deflect attention to Iran and China, whose efforts to influence the 2020 election are far less developed and are more indirect. (Ratcliffe also has been declassifying information to assist the latest Fox disinformation campaign, which claims Hillary Clinton and Obama administration conspired in 2016 to tie Trump to Russia. This is nonsense. There was no secret scheme. When Moscow targeted the Democrats with a hack-and-leak operation, Clinton’s aides publicly raised legitimate questions about Trump’s and his adviser’s connections to Russia.)
On Tuesday, DHS finally released its delayed annual assessments on threats to the United States—which the whistleblower had claimed had been withheld to protect Trump—and the report stated that “Russia is the likely primary covert influence actor and purveyor of disinformation and misinformation within the homeland.” But in an interview, Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf insisted that China posed the greater overall threat to the United States
Last week, in another little-noticed development, several Democratic senators demanded that Wolf release a document that shows Trump’s attacks on mail-in voting are “consistent with a foreign influence campaign.” They contended that this unclassified report produced by DHS’ Office of Intelligence and Analysis “demonstrates that a foreign actor is attempting to undermine faith in the US electoral system, particularly vote-by-mail systems, in a manner that is consistent with the rhetoric being used by President Trump, Attorney General Barr, and others.” They did not say that Russia was the culprit, but that’s a good guess.
Democrats in Congress have been trying to sound the alarm about Putin’s schemes. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) recently subpoenaed DHS for information related to the whistleblower complaint that alleged intelligence on Russia had been smothered. He also asked the intelligence community to monitor Russian disinformation efforts—particularly those that boost Trump’s criticism of mail-in voting. “Sure enough, it wasn’t long before the intelligence community started seeing exactly that,” Schiff said. “It was too enticing and predictable an option for the Russians. They have been amplifying Trump’s false attacks on absentee voting.”
On the Senate side, though, there has been little action. In August, the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee released a massive report that detailed Russia’s wide-ranging efforts to secretly help Trump in 2020. (The report showed that Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort colluded with a Russian intelligence officer, that Donald Trump Jr. tried to collude with a secret Kremlin plot to help Trump, that Trump and his aides sought to exploit the Russia attack while denying it was happening, and that Trump likely lied to Special Counsel Robert Mueller.) The committee acknowledged Putin was up to it again in 2020. But it has taken no public steps to address the Russian threat. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, tells Mother Jones, “U.S. intelligence agencies have made clear Russia is intent on interfering in the 2020 election, and yet Republican senators and Donald Trump continue to obstruct any legislation or oversight to respond to the Russian threat. Republicans have refused to even hold a single oversight hearing in the Intelligence Committee this year on how to respond to Russia’s attack on our democracy.” Not one hearing.
On October 1, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) tried to cast the spotlight on this brazen negligence. He posted a Twitter thread detailing what he called a “massive coverup campaign underway to disguise the octopus-like Russian election interference operation being run on Trump’s behalf.”
Murphy pointed out that in early 2020 intelligence reports started “coming into Congress about a giant, multi-layer Russian effort to help Trump in 2020. Bigger than what they did in 2016. Looks like Russians are trying to get U.S. persons – especially those close to Trump – to help.” In July, he said in this thread, “Dem leadership [wrote] a letter to FBI Director Wray, asking for an all-Congress briefing, especially because the reports we’re reading suggest Russian agents are trying to find Members of Congress to assist their interference operation.” But no such briefing came. Instead, the Trump administration released “vague” statements about possible Russian, Chinese, and Iranian intervention—which, Murphy calls, “very puzzling” because “Congress has never been briefed on any meaningful Chinese/Iranian interference plans.”
Murphy also noted that when the Treasury Department in September sanctioned Andriy Derkach, a Ukrainian politician and Russian intelligence officer promoting conspiracy theories about Joe Biden, there was “no press conference from Intel or the FBI or DHS that they’ve caught a Russian agent who has been in regular contact with the President’s inner circle.” Derkach had been in touch with Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, who has been trying to collect and spread anti-Biden disinformation. The Trump administration made no fuss about this move. “What’s happening is clear,” Murphy tweeted. “American intel agencies, that are supposed to be totally apolitical, have been folded into Trump’s campaign. They are keeping info about Russian interference hidden, and overhyping info about China and Iran helping Biden.” And Murphy finished with this: “It’s why Trump’s former National Security Advisor, H.R. McMaster, said something today that is as shocking as it unsurprising. He said Trump is ‘aiding and abetting’ Putin’s interference campaign. Wow. But of course he is. And now you know the details.”
Which brings us back to the general and his demand that Trump call out the Russians for attacking the election. McMaster is currently peddling a book, which focuses on his big thoughts about foreign policy. It is not a tell-all about his tenure in Trumpland. But the insight he shared on MSNBC is worth the same sort of attention that was granted to Bob Woodward’s revelations about Trump purposefully downplaying COVID-19. Here is a former high-ranking Trump official stating that Trump is assisting an attack on the United States because he believes that serves his own political interests. McMaster ought to be asked more about this. And he ought to say more. (He did not respond to an email from me in which I posed several questions, including whether he had made any efforts as national security adviser to persuade Trump to take direct actions to protect the United States from Russian information warfare and how much Trump’s “aiding and abetting” assists the ongoing Russian operation.)
McMaster’s remarks and the GOP-endorsed Senate Intelligence Committee report are a firm rebuttal to the Trumpers’ long-running shouts of “no collusion” and their cries of “hoax!” Whether or not Trump directly conspired with Russian operatives—Donald Trump Jr. attempted to do so and Manafort indeed collaborated with a Russian intelligence officer—it is now (and has long been) clear that Trump’s great sin in 2016 was providing cover to the Russian operation and taking advantage of it. McMaster’s judgment about Trump’s current actions echo what Michael Isikoff and I concluded in our 2018 book, Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump: Trump “had aided and abetted Moscow’s attack on American democracy.”
The Russia story can seem like old news, and Trump and his amen chorus have done all they could in the last four years to discredit and marginalize this historic scandal. But Putin has again targeted the United States, and Trump is again assisting Putin. A reunion of treachery is under way. Meanwhile, Trump’s GOP handmaids are doing nothing, as the US political system is endangered by an overseas foe. McMaster spoke up in one interview. Yet with Election Day only weeks away, he, other Trump alums, and members of Congress need to do so repeatedly and forcefully for Trump and the GOP’s grand act of betrayal to register during a time of chaos and information overload.
Trump is in league with an enemy plotting to infect and undermine a crucial election. And just as he has not protected the nation from the coronavirus, he has not safeguarded the American nation from Russia’s insidious attacks. As McMaster tells it, there is a turncoat in the White House. Other than the pandemic, what could be a greater threat to the United States and more deserving of continuous coverage and dread?
By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: October 7, 2020 ~ Charles Koch is the billionaire owner of Koch Industries, one of the largest private companies in the world with vast interests in fossil fuels, refineries, chemicals, lumber, paper and glass manufacturing. A subsidiary of Koch Industries is Koch Supply and Trading, which engages in commodities trading on a scale rivaling the largest banks on Wall Street. Charles Koch also heads an operation variously known as the Koch Network or the Kochtopus, because its tentacles are strangling the life out of representative government in the United States. The operation hosts semiannual strategy sessions where obscenely rich Americans get together to jointly commit hundreds of millions of dollars to keep Congress and the Oval Office in the hands of fossil fuel-friendly candidates who have demonstrated an obedience to a deregulatory agenda. Koch Foundation money and two dark money groups, Donor’s Capital Fund … Continue reading →
The joint statements between two countries are usually riveted on a particular event but in extraordinary circumstances involving great powers, it could assume an epochal character and can be viewed as diplomatic communication that reflects what the Germans call the zeitgeist
Donald Trump’s attacks on the U.S. elections are “disturbingly identical” to Russia’s, as CNN’s Brianna Keilar put it, and she showed us the video receipts to prove it.
Keilar read from two Department of Homeland Security memos that describe Russia’s tactics. Then, she played clips of Trump sounding like he could have been carrying out Putin’s marching orders:
Trump and Russia undermine electoral process:
TRUMP: The only way we’re going to lose this election is if the election is rigged.
It’ll end up being a rigged election or they’ll never come out with an outcome.
I think it’s going to be the greatest fraud ever. I think it’s going to be a rigged election.
Trump and Russia attack vote-by-mail:
TRUMP: This universal mail-in is a very dangerous thing. It’s fraught with fraud and every other thing that can happen.
Ballots are lost. There’s fraud, there’s theft.
Mail-in voting is going to rig the election.
Trump and Russia fear monger that ineligible voters will receive mail-in ballots:
Within just one week the recent attempt to revive ‘Russiagate’ has failed. It was an embarrassing failure for the media who pushed it. Their ‘journalists’ fell for obvious nonsense. They let their sources abuse them for political purposes.
On June 27 the New York Times and the Washington Post published stories which claimed that Trump was informed about alleged Russian bounty payments to the Taliban for killing U.S. soldiers and did nothing about it:
A Russian military spy unit offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to attack coalition forces in Afghanistan, including U.S. and British troops, in a striking escalation of the Kremlin’s hostility toward the United States, American intelligence has found.
The Russian operation, first reported by the New York Times, has generated an intense debate within the Trump administration about how best to respond to a troubling new tactic by a nation that most U.S. officials regard as a potential foe but that President Trump has frequently embraced as a friend, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive intelligence matter.
The post The Latest ‘Russiagate’ Bombshell Took One Week To Be Exposed As Dud appeared first on PopularResistance.Org.