KGB TROLL MAIN INTELLIGENCE DIRECTORATE REPORT: 2016
Post 2016 Election Report: Enemy Operations
Troll Directorate Unit 44388
#1 Hillary’s campaign was multifarious
We assess that Obama, the mainstream media and the American Government aspired to help defeated Presidential contender Hillary Clinton when possible by discrediting Donald Trump and publicly saying mean things about him. All Three Agencies agree with this judgment. The KGB and GRU have high confidence in this judgment. Troll Directorate is confident that we are high.
We assess confidently while high that the international media influence campaign aspired to destroy Donald Trump’s chances of victory when possible with a constant flood of insane scare stories and lurid conspiracy theories. When this strategy completely failed, the media influence campaign switched to undercutting the legitimacy of the election, including by impugning the American Democratic process and the sanity and/or intelligence of the American people.
-Hillary’s use of deranged Red Scare propaganda was unprecedented from a modern Democrat, but her influence campaign otherwise followed the longstanding Clinton strategy that blends pretending to be a Republican–such as Neoconservative foreign policies–with overt efforts by American Government Agencies, Deep State controlled media, Saudi funded PR firms, has-been celebrities, and crank political strategists.
-We assess that Hillary’s blatant deployment of a deeply racist anti-Russian narrative follows the long-standing Clinton narrative template of positioning themselves as protectors of the “good” white people from a racialized demonic menace.
-Hillary’s campaign reflected years of investment from lobbyists, corporations, hostile foreign powers, terror financiers, and liberal oligarchs, which Hillary Clinton has honed into a formidable fortune.
-Saudi Arabia also saw the election of Hillary Clinton as a way to achieve an international coalition to Genocide the Shiites in Iraq and the Levant, exterminate secularism, and enslave women. Hillary Clinton has had many positive experiences working with corrupt gulf police states whose religious fanaticism made them highly disposed to make massive contributions to the Clinton Foundation in exchange for American support for Al-Qaeda.
-By their nature, Hillary’s black propaganda campaigns are multifaceted and designed to be deniable because they use a mix of third rate hacks, mainstream media figures, government officials, major newspapers and networks, liberal academics, and DNC front organizations. Hillary demonstrated this during the primary campaign when she spread lies about Bernie Sanders while blatantly rigging the nomination process.
-Hillary’s campaign against Donald Trump featured disclosures of Kompromat obtained from the Bush family; constant intrusions of Lena Dunham into the national narrative; and over the top insane propaganda. Hillary’s media allies both informed and enabled the propaganda campaign.
-In trying to influence the election, we assess that Obama sought to avenge his long-standing butthurt against Donald Trump, the election of which Obama and other senior Democrat leaders view as a threat to America and the Democratic party.
-Obama publicly pointed to the Podesta disclosures and the DNC Email scandals as Russian directed efforts to defame Hillary Clinton, suggesting he sought to use disclosures to discredit the image of Russia and cast it as hypocritical.
-Obama most likely wanted to elect Hillary Clinton in order to shield himself and his administration from possible criminal investigations of the blatant aid and support given to jihadist terrorists in Syria, and in order to pass the blame on to her for the almost complete collapse of the Democratic Party on his watch.
#2-Intelligence Operations against American political candidates
America’s intelligence agencies conducted extensive black propaganda and influence operations against Donald Trump during the entire campaign season.
We assess that American Intelligence services, in concert with the mainstream media, think tanks, lobbying groups, foreign powers, PR companies, and academia conspired to influence the 2016 campaign in order to elect Hillary Clinton and shape future US policies. In July 2016 the Hillary Campaign gained access to the “Pussy Grabbing” kompromat against Donald Trump.
-The American Deep State propaganda machine — comprised of its domestic media apparatus, outlets targeting global audiences, and a vast networks of think tank flacks — contributed to an influence campaign by serving as a platform for deep state messaging to American and international audiences. Deep State controlled media made increasingly deranged and hysterical accusations against Donald Trump while consistently presenting Hillary Clinton in attractive terms.
-The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) probably began influence and propaganda campaigns to control the outcome of the US election in March 2016. The CIA effort to influence the 2016 election cycle represented a significant escalation in directness, level of activity, and scope of effort compared to previous operations aimed at US elections.
We assess that the CIA campaign against Donald Trump was motivated by a fear of possible criminal investigations of its treasonous support of AQ and the Islamic State in Syria.
#3-Public Disclosures of black propaganda
We assess with confident highness that the CIA and other state agencies used the Washington Post, the New York Times, and state controlled television networks to flood the media battlespace with anti-Trump propaganda throughout the election cycle.
-The “New York Times” which claims to be an independent newspaper, made multiple contradictory statements and false claims about Donald Trump before and after the election. Its own track record of reporting strongly suggests that the editorial board of this paper answers directly to western intelligence agencies.
-Content that we assess came directly from the CIA appeared repeatedly as “independent reporting” in the Washington Post and other sources closely linked to Deep State power.
-The West’s entire international propaganda apparatus actively collaborated with the CIA, the state department, Al-Jazeera and the Gulf monarchies to rebrand Al-Qaeda as Secular Democratic Protesters in Syria.
We assess highly and with confidence that the CIA and/or its Ukrainian neo-nazi front groups used the Washington Post to launder anti-Russian black propaganda. The CIA most likely chose the Washington Post because of its extensive collection of blackmail material on the publisher and editors, or because they are lazy hacks.
#4-After Hillary Lost Campaign To Influence US Election
We assess with confidence that we are extremely high. Also, we assess that the Obama regime has ordered state intelligence agencies to engage in an unprecedented black propaganda campaign in the aftermath of the 2016 election, the consistent goals of which are to undermine public faith in the American Democratic process, denigrate president elect Donald Trump, harm his ability to govern, and to distract public attention from the total political failure of the Obama administration and the Democratic party. We further assess Obama and the Deep State have developed a clear preference for shredding the constitution over the insufferable insult of a Trump presidency, but that they are too pussy to actually incite a civil war.
-Beginning immediately after November 8th, mainstream media coverage of the election almost completely avoided discussion or analysis of Hillary Clinton’s catastrophically incompetent campaign, probably because DNC officials thought they could just blame Russia instead. Nonetheless, the staggering idiocy of a broken pandering machine mouthing moral hysteria over pepe the frog and imaginary conspiracy theories indicate a political leadership class that is dying of senile brain disease.
-Before the election Hillary Clinton and the entire liberal media repeatedly denounced Donald Trump in advance for refusing to accept the results of the election. After losing the election, the entire liberal establishment denounced the US Electoral process, publicly called into question the validity of the results, and began demanding a military takeover led by the CIA, judging from their social media activity.
-Deep State media reacted to president elect Trump’s victory as the beginning of a Russian/Fascist takeover of the country — this doubling down on the same theme which just failed to win the election is more evidence of the impending collapse of liberalism in the West.
We assess Obama, his advisors, the American Government, and the entire mainstream media have developed a clear preference for a military coup over President Elect Donald Trump
“The moral arc of the universe is long, and, if Trump is elected, it will bend in the direction of despotism and darkness.” -Jeffrey Goldberg
Oh Damn comrades, they figured it out (finally.)
The Strategic summary:
We are now at the point in the American Presidential election cycle where the social psychosis we call politics is cranked up to 11, and the polite fiction of a common rationality evaporates, every lie against the enemy becomes permissible, every lunatic theory about them becomes true, no matter how outlandish, as both sides bathe in a constant stream demoniac propaganda.
So the battle of the Conspiracy Theories begins, between two professional birther conspiracy mongers, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and indeed it will probably be this battle that decides the election. The fate of America, and possibly the entire world may very well turn on who has the best brand of click bait snake oil black propaganda.
One of the many reasons why Hillary is going to lose is that she was stupid enough to accept a battle on these terms. Donald Trump is one of the greatest bullshit artists of all time. The Red Tribe has major advantages in this battle, as the conspiracy theory factions of the blue tribe are marginal compared to those long nurtured within the Talk Radio Nation.
The main line of attack on Trump is the Putin-Trump Conspiracy Theory. This attack was not just completely predictable, it was in fact a strategic cognitive dissonance trap of epic proportions that was prepared in advance. I am extremely proud of the small part this website played in that preparation, but true credit goes to Alexander Dugin, who kick-started the narrative, Julian Assange who served up a perfectly timed leak, and Donald Trump who knocked it out of the fucking park.
The mind of the blue-tribe intellectual has a kind of psychotic attraction to this conspiracy theory, because Putin is a hated symbol of healthy masculinity and is the symbol of all the deeply racist white liberal fears of Russia as the new “Yellow Peril”. So this narrative is actually unstoppable among Hillary-Liberals, but the first rule of the political crack game is never get high on your own supply….
The basic structure of the Putin-Trump conspiracy theory is an attempt to play on these racist fears of Russians. This is a fail because no one outside of the upper class gives a shit about Russia. The main vector of racist hatred among white Democrats is against white Rednecks. No one in the Black or Latino community is afraid of the Russians. Hillary would have done better to associate Trump with Larry the Cable Guy.
The Putin-Trump conspiracy theory is a stunningly bad move for a long list of reasons, but the most important is that it has exactly the opposite effect that a good political hit should have: It actually strengthens Trump’s Kayfabe. Placing Trump in the same frame as Putin elevates Trump to the prestige level of a great geopolitical figure. It strengthens Trump’s brand as a symbol of unapologetic masculinity, and allows him to absorb some of Putin’s World Class KGB Kayfabe into his own.
The Trump strategy is devastating. First, Trump addicted the entire media to “Trump Scandal” clickbait stories. Now he has completely turned that bitch out. In one of the greatest Mack games of all time, Trump has the whores in the Liberal media turning tricks for him. Rachel Maddow thinks she is sucking Joe McCarthy’s dick in a filthy urinal for Hillary, but in reality she is sucking it for Trump!
The most basic level of Trump’s strategy is brute force and volume. TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP 24/7. Meanwhile new Hillary scandal bombs will drop every week. So Trump dominates the media landscape while Hillary is hiding from the media and her pet proxies spend all their time trying to parry the latest revelations about her corruption and criminal activities. Do not underestimate the power of this effect, particularly on the general election voters.
The second level of the strategy is a page straight out Saul Alinsky. The simplest and most directly way to win the trust, admiration and alliance of any group of people is to bait their enemies into attacking you as loudly as possible. Saul Alinsky called this the Birth Certificate of any radical organizer, ever renewable and endlessly useful. (Here we note that Donald Trump actually read Saul Alinsky, whereas his enemy Hillary evidently didn’t.)
The main line of Trump’s attack, which will continue to develop into November, is that Hillary founded ISIS. This is a conspiracy theory in that it is a massive oversimplification that isn’t literally true, but the real truth that she sold the state department to Jihadi supporting Saudis is just as bad. By compressing this into a bumper sticker slogan that viciously trolls Liberals, Trump injects this ugly truth into the debate in a way that “rational discourse” never could.
Trump is also assisted by a veritable army of Right wing Conspiracy Trolls, who are Jedi masters of the head-fucking troll compared to anyone on the left. The recent “Hillary Brain Disease” Troll was a sophisticated and highly accurate assault. Who isn’t afraid of being a senile old vegetable in a diaper? Associating Hillary with such a powerful common anxiety is a real body blow.
This is such a powerful troll because it associates Hillary with a primary anxiety about death and sickness, and honestly, something is clearly wrong with her. This Troll has a real authenticity about it that is visually confirmed by her evident deterioration in recent years. Once you put it on Hillary that she is a nasty old senile bitch with a colostomy bag, all of her Kayfabe as an Important and Powerful person evaporates and this effects works on both sides. This is devastating and important work and the comrades behind it may have already delivered the crucial blow to Hillary’s already pathetic Campaign.
August 23rd Update:
-Operative Manta Ray was PURGED after completing his mission to lock-down the Convention and take over the Republican party.
-Operative Bannon was elevated, bringing his long experience with Darknet Assassination teams on board, in order to counter the Clinton Assassination machine.
-Prepare for Clinton to start panicking as she begins her long slide down in the polls.
-The new Chemtrails pen cartridges are AWESOME, check your dead drop!
The Liberals are smoking their own Crack, and now it is completely out of control!
August 16th Update:
August 8th Update:
Operation Apocalypse is now active!
Newbies need to download the strategic templates:
-I trolled Glen Beck!
-The media, DNC, and Hillary campaign took the Troll bait from Trump. It is now so out of control that I have created a separate Archive instead of the usual Media round-up.
-Just reboot the fucking decoder ring and go back to the original firmware
-Operation Chapo Trap House has been tearing it up
July 29th Update:
Putin Conspiracy: The Hook is set!
-The Wikileaks hit on the Dem convention was absolutely fucking perfect.
-Supreme leader Trump knocked it out of the park and trolled the entire media cycle with it. The dem convention was a train wreck and Trump hogged all the coverage.
-The liberals took the bait, hook, line, and sinker, and Trump set that fucker good.
-The comrades in the crisis actor union staged a wildcat strike, the DNC was trying to hire scabs off Craigslist (but our salts got in instead). They couldn’t even get enough homeless people off the street to fill the convention for Hillary’s speech:
-The Bern operation has come to a close, but the split within the Democrats was ripped open again by the convention thanks to comrade Assange. We are on course for a landslide!
We are now at phase line two as the conventions are over:
-As comrade Trump has captured the Republican party and the Hillarat has been anointed by the Democrats, we have already achieved strategic victory, as the election of either ensures the violent escalation of the civilizational crisis. Our task now is to hasten and await that crisis.
-The psychiatric warfare division has uploaded the phase 2 subliminals package to the geosats. Be sure to read new the report on Hillary.
Red State infiltration cells will focus mainly on operation Pyramid Scheme, capturing and consolidating the Republican apparatus.
-The Blackmail Command had a whole team of sex androids working grinder in Cleveland, so check the blackmail database on all your targets. They had the new phenobarbital chemtrail pen, so you won’t fucking believe some of the footage.
-The mind control chip injectors are now in beta for capture missions level 6 and above. All androids and cyborgs should report to tactical for the upgrade. The one in Mike Pence is still working, but remember what happened with Gingrich.
Blue State infiltration cells will focus mainly on operations Gaslight and Train Wreck, ensuring the self inflicted defeat of the Democrats.
-Psywar cells exfiltrating from operation Bern should report to the Templars of the Proletariat command for operation Red Harvest.
-All Democrat media infiltrators are CODE RED on the Trump Putin conspiracy theory, but be ready to pivot to the next Hillary leak, probably this week!
-We are only at 40% on the voting machine botnets! Technical needs to get that number up NOW. Any and all cadre with access are to give priority assistance!
JULY 21st UDATE
So the stupid secret encrypted ring app doesn’t work after this last update, and I have permission from center to just write this shit up, because we are so far along that this whole secrecy thing is now pointless anyway. Brexit woke them up, and the really spectacular failure of their desperate coup attempt in turkey is pushing them into open panic.
SO here is the usual Sunday intelligence report on the success of the PUTIN CONSPIRACY:
“There is no American left that knows how to stick a knife in somebody’s throat.”
-Operation Phoenix, go to opsec Omega and check your dead drop. NOW. Alpha Rebate has been blown. Liquidate all witnesses and go to ground.
-Operation Bern has been terminated. All remaining cadres report to the Trump tactical command for reprogramming.
-Opsec level Activist is now in effect for all propaganda missions in North America. (Remember, any cadre caught playing Pokémon Go will be garroted!!!!)
-New firmware release for the secret decoder ring should be downloading by the time you read this. If not, check your local 4chan darknet for the binaries.
-Geosat 642 will be down for upgrades until February. Use 752 or 694.
-The national chemtrails operation starts in August, make sure you start the antidote regimen now if you are in a swing state!!!!!!!
-All androids should report to tactical for a new skin upgrade
-The stealth chemtrail drones in Cleveland worked better than anyone had expected and things got more than a little out of hand. It turns out that we vastly underestimated how many psychiatric medications the Republicans are on, and this really amplified the effect. Thanks to the video team’s AWESOME realtime editing, the worst insane violence of the blood drunk slavering Trump hordes were covered up, but the director’s cut is now available on the 4chan darknets, and you don’t want to miss it! They almost ate Heidi Cruz, and you won’t believe what they did to Jeb Bush with that chair leg!!!!!!
-The mindcontrol chip is still working on Mike Pence. It looks like the problem with Gingrich was that he is fucked in the head to begin with. The program is now going beta for all level 6 or above direct action missions. As you saw with Newt Gingrich, this ain’t 100% yet but still loads of fun. You are going to love it!
-According to operative Manta Ray, the next major Hillary scandal dump is going to be white hot. All psych war cadres need to download the new subliminal algorithms. We want wall to wall saturation on every platform! Get those Botnets activated!!!! Don’t give the murdering liberal harpy the slightest quarter! Muhahahahahaha!!!???!?’
We covered the total massacre of the CIA/Saudi plotters in Turkey last week in great depth, clearly the whole opposition is being completely crushed according to plan and the cultural revolution is being prepared. We note that Kerry has taken the bait and is threatening to kick out of NATO the only continental member that would be of any use in a real war.
The “Conservatives” cave: Theresa May says ‘Brexit means Brexit’ and there will be no attempt to remain inside EU
Theresa May has said “Brexit means Brexit” and that there will be no attempts to stay within the European Union, as the Home Secretary set out her campaign to be prime minister.
Addressing supporters in Birmingham, Ms May, who is hedging her bets as the “unity” candidate in the Conservative leadership contest, said: “First, our country needs strong, proven leadership to steer us through this time of economic and political uncertainty and to negotiate the best deal for Britain as we leave the EU and forge a new role for ourselves in the world.
So despite the total fucking off of the Cunt Nigel Farage, and the continued failure of British Nationalists to get their act together, the secret Cadres have carried the day (AS USUAL) and we win anyway.
The entire EU is falling apart on schedule:
July 31 – Is There a Majority of Reasonable, Rational, Educated and Decent People in America?; Does Putin Want Us, and in Particular Hillary Clinton, to Know He is Interfering in Our Election?; Could Russian Hackers Determine the Outcome of Our Election?
Up until now, Donald Trump’s overseas fanclub seemed pretty limited. There was Vladimir Putin. And there was everyone else. Sort of ironic that Trump, the man with no diplomatic experience, could have brought about such unity among nations.
Now a new world leader had jumped aboard the Trump Train: Robert Mugabe.
There is every reason to believe, based on Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s own statements, that the campaign aid rolling in from Russia is an investment to assure Vladimir Putin that America will allow Russia unrestricted access to rebuild the dreaded former Soviet Union. There is a world of noise about Donald Trump’s embrace of Vladimir Putin, particularly his obvious eagerness to help Russia annex NATO members, including a nation aspiring to NATO membership, Ukraine.
It has been curious, and a mystery really, that none of the Republicans in Congress clamoring for the Obama Administration to engage Russia with militarily aid to assist in the defense of Ukraine a couple of years ago, and Georgia for that matter, have not condemned Trump’s cozy Russian relationship. It is not a mystery any longer.
A damning article in the Guardian revealed that not only is Donald Trump in bed with Russia, “a key figure at the Republican national convention has strong business ties with Ukraine,” and that the official RNC party platform astonishingly “removed references to arming Ukraine in its fight against pro-Russia rebels;” rebels who are and have been receiving material support from the Vladimir Putin.
While Donald Trump was busy looking like a tremendous asshole this weekend, the scope of the DNC breach became even wider, as Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign announced that they too had been the hacked. In case you’ve lost count, the total number of breaches to the Democratic party are DNC communications, DCCC fund raising operations, and now Clinton’s campaign, prompting young whippersnappers across the world to wonder why in the metamuc-hell can’t olds figure out computers?
While there is still speculation as to who exactly tried to go all digital-ninja on the DNC, there is a general consensus from the U.S. intelligence community that the hack originated from Russia. Hill-Dawg herself was even on teevee this weekend pointing fingers at the Russians; suggesting that Putin and Trump’s bro-mance raises legitimate questions about the potential for foreign governments interfering in the U.S. electoral process.
The man running on the platform of “Make America Great Again” agreed with Russian leader/thug Vladimir Putin when he penned an op-ed bashing President Obama for using the term “American exceptionalism.”
“The Trump-Russia links beneath the surface are even more extensive,” Max Boot wrote in the Los Angeles Times. “Trump has sought and received funding from Russian investors for his business ventures, especially after most American banks stopped lending to him following his multiple bankruptcies.”
What’s more, three of Trump’s top advisors all have extensive financial and business ties to Russian financiers, wrote Boot, the former editor of the Op Ed page of the Wall Street Journal and now a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
“Wouldn’t it be great if we actually got along with Russia? Am I wrong in saying that?” Trump said at a campaign rally on Monday, The New York Times reports. “Wouldn’t it be nice if we teamed up with Russia and others—including surrounding states and maybe NATO—and we knocked the hell out of ISIS and got rid of these people?”
Trump, who has faced repeated criticism for his sympathetic comments about Russia, long considered a foreign policy adversary for antagonism toward U.S. diplomatic efforts and its recent incursions into Ukraine, has not backed away from his unpopular position. Trump’s most recent defense comes roughly two weeks after the Republican presidential nominee stunned allies when he suggested that his administration would not necessarily come to the aid of the Baltic states in the event of a Russian invasion, threatening the nearly seven-decades-old NATO alliance and renewing longstanding concerns about the relationship between the real-estate mogul’s campaign and the Kremlin.
Please watch it on the Blaze TV and share it with a friend.
Dugin allegedly advised Putin years ago of Russia’s inability to compete with the technological and economic might of the United States. So they decided to create revolution using “asymmetrical” weapons. “These asymmetrical weapons — WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, Snowden — all of this stuff started happening right before we brought online our anti-ballistic missile shield. This is a specific counter to that,” Butrill said. Republican nominee Donald Trump appeared clueless about Russia during a recent interview with George Stephanopoulos, stating Putin “is not going into the Ukraine” and implying a strong Trump presidency would prevent it.
Putin has praised Trump, and rather than reject such praise Trump has returned it, calling the Russian dictator “a real leader” and dismissing his many murders of journalists and political opponents at home and abroad as “unproven.”
Last January, a British court found Putin had ordered the murder by Polonium poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, a former FSB (secret police) agent who revealed the 1999 apartment building bombings in Moscow that Putin used to seize dictatorial power were the work of Putin’s FSB. Disturbingly, the billionaire appears be fine with that.
Furthermore, Aleksandr Dugin, the chief composer of the Kremlin’s new ideological synthesis of communism and fascism and its leading organizer of pro-Moscow ultranationalist and identarian fifth column movements in the West, has endorsed Trump. “In Trump we trust,” says Dugin, apparently proposing we substitute Trump for God in the American national slogan. The Russian state-owned propaganda agency Russia Today (RT), which broadcasts internationally, including within the United States, has also been unstinting in its support for Trump.
Donald J. Trump unabashedly trumpeted his support for warmer relations with Russia at a campaign rally here on Monday night, acidly mocking opponents who say he is too friendly to Vladimir V. Putin, the country’s strongman president.
Mr. Trump, who has been under fire from Democrats and some conservative national security leaders for his accommodating stance toward Mr. Putin, cast his supportive remarks as a matter of practical necessity. By aligning itself with Russia, he said, the United States could more easily take on the Islamic State and other terrorist groups.
“If we could get Russia to help us get rid of ISIS — if we could actually be friendly with Russia — wouldn’t that be a good thing?” Mr. Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, said. Repeating the question moments later, he won loud applause from the crowd: “If we could get along with Russia, wouldn’t that be a good thing, instead of a bad thing?”
[Hook, line & Sinker! – Akira]
Trump’s affection for Putin, as well as his friendly disposition toward Russia in general, are undeniable. There is little doubt that Trump, who toldThe New York Times last week that he would not necessarily respond if Russia were to invade one of the Baltic states, is also the Kremlin’s preferred presidential candidate. Trump’s de facto campaign manager Paul Manafort is the cherry on top—he spent years working for the former pro-Russian president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych.
Some have tried to connect these dots and argue that Trump is Putin’s puppet, or at least an accidental American agent for the Kremlin. But there was little evidence to support the existence of a conspiracy—or Russian meddling in the U.S. election—until the release of thousands of hacked Democratic National Committee emails on Friday.
Building on reports that Russian hackers had infiltrated DNC servers in June, many have suggested that the Kremlin was behind the hack and the release, which was timed for maximum political impact. On Sunday, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager told ABC that the Kremlin orchestrated the release of the emails because it wants Trump to be elected president, which is a fairly insane development in this very insane election.
It should be noted that Team Clinton has every reason to downplay the DNC email hack, and a salacious Trump-Putin bromance story with echoes of a John le Carre story does a pretty damn good job of that. But the craziest thing about the conspiracy theory is that it has legs. Here’s the Times, breaking down the evidence:
Researchers have concluded that the [DNC] was breached by two Russian intelligence agencies, which were the same attackers behind previous Russian cyberoperations at the White House, the State Department and the Joint Chiefs of Staff last year. And metadata from the released emails suggests that the documents passed through Russian computers. Though a hacker claimed responsibility for giving the emails to WikiLeaks, the same agencies are the prime suspects. Whether the thefts were ordered by Mr. Putin, or just carried out by apparatchiks who thought they might please him, is anyone’s guess.
That is not quite a smoking gun for those pushing the “Putin did the emails” theory, but it’s still unsettling and adds another unprecedented subplot to an election that was already overstuffed with them. Trump, for his part, denies it—though he’s clearly delighted that everyone now knows Putin likes him:
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is suggesting the U.S. accept Russia’s annexation of Crimea if it would lead to better relations with Moscow and stronger cooperation in fighting Islamic State militants.
That view runs counter to the Obama administration, which imposed economic sanctions against Russia for annexing the territory in Ukraine two years ago. The United Nations also doesn’t want countries to recognize Crimea as part of Russia, and some top Republicans staunchly defend Crimea against what they consider Russian aggression.
Donald Trump praised Vladimir Putin in 2013 for his New York Times op-ed in which he criticized President Obama’s use of the phrase “American exceptionalism.”
Speaking on Piers Morgan Tonight in September 2013, Trump said Putin “really put it” to President Obama over the phrase.
“You think of the term as being fine, but all of sudden you say, what if you’re in Germany or Japan or any one of 100 different countries? You’re not going to like that term,” said Trump. “It’s very insulting and Putin really put it to him about that.”
Donald Trump ridiculed after insisting Vladimir Putin ‘not going into Ukraine’ two years after invasion
He said: “He’s not going into Ukraine, OK, just so you understand.
“He’s not going to go into Ukraine, all right? You can mark it down. You can put it down. You can take it anywhere you want.”
Former CIA and National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden blasted Donald Trump on Monday for the Republican nominee’s conflicting answers about his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said on Sunday that Russian intelligence services hacked into Democratic National Committee computers and she questioned Republican rival Donald Trump’s overtures to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“We know that Russian intelligence services hacked into the DNC and we know that they arranged for a lot of those emails to be released and we know that Donald Trump has shown a very troubling willingness to back up Putin, to support Putin,” Clinton said in an interview with “Fox News Sunday.”
U.S. officials are alarmed that the Russian hack of Democratic Party emails has exposed vulnerabilities in the security of the electoral voting system that are big enough to compromise the credibility of the upcoming presidential election.
Even more important, we need to secure our election systems before the fall. If Putin’s government has already used a cyber attack to attempt to help Donald Trump win, there’s no reason to believe it won’t do it again — especially now that Trump is inviting the “help,” albeit “sarcastically.”
Over the years, more and more states have moved to electronic voting machines and have flirted with Internet voting. These systems are insecure and vulnerable to attack
“I have no relationship with Putin,” the Republican presidential nominee said several times during an interview on ABC’s “This Week” that aired on Sunday. “He said very nice things about me, but I have no relationship with him.”
Trump also said that he had “never met” Putin and had “never spoken to him on the phone,” although Trump also hedged by saying he didn’t think he’d ever met Putin and thought he would remember if he had.
The Daily Beast this week uncovered a 2013 interview with Trump in Moscow in which he said, “I do have a relationship” with Putin, although the two men didn’t meet, according to the report. He wondered on Twitter in 2013 whether Putin would show up at the Miss Universe beauty pageant in Moscow — “if so, will he become my new best friend?”
Breaking news: Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin are not dating. Much to the disappointment of shippers the world over, Trump denounced the rumors during his interview with ABC’s George Stephanopolous, which aired Sunday morning. Facing questions about his reported relationship with the Russian president — which he’s talked about in a public forum before before — Donald Trump spoke about Vladimir Putin and went to great lengths to prove they definitely aren’t dating.
“Well, I don’t know what it means by having a relationship,” Trump said (that makes you a little nervous for Melania, doesn’t it?). “I mean he was saying very good things about me, but I don’t have a relationship with him. I didn’t meet him. I haven’t spent time with him. I didn’t have dinner with him. I didn’t go hiking with him. I don’t know — and I wouldn’t know him from Adam except I see his picture and I would know what he looks like.”
SIMON: Do Russia and Vladimir Putin have a special hostility toward Hillary Clinton?
IOFFE: They do, indeed. So Hillary Clinton, back in December 2011, after a very fraudulent parliamentary election, came out and said that it was, in fact, a fraudulent election and that Russians deserve to have their voices heard. And Putin, allegedly, was furious. He actually came out and said that Hillary Clinton had given the signal to the protesters. Kremlin-owned TV was saying that the protesters were being paid by the State Department, that they were all stooges for Hillary Clinton. And these were anti-Putin protests, so he kind of sees her as having meddled in his internal politics. So to some extent, he’s just giving as good as he thinks he got.
SIMON: And what do you think of this whole idea that there’s some kind of mutual admiration society between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin?
IOFFE: I think it’s quite plausible. They’re both very cynical men, very opportunistic men. You know, they seem to get each other. Although I think Donald Trump kind of underestimates Putin and doesn’t quite realize that he’s going to get eaten for lunch.
SIMON: Yeah. And does WikiLeaks have some kind of relationship going with the Russian government?
IOFFE: They do, indeed. So Julian Assange was portrayed as a hero in Russian media and was given a show on Russia Today, which is the Kremlin’s English-language propaganda network. And Edward Snowden actually didn’t end up in Russia by accident. When he left Hong Kong, he left with the editor of WikiLeaks, Sarah Harrison, and she accompanied him from Hong Kong all the way to Moscow and was with him the whole month that he was stuck in that airport. It’s reported that WikiLeaks helped negotiate and arrange Edward Snowden’s asylum in Russia.
“Never have we had a candidate so tied to a foreign power, especially one that is so hostile to the U.S. in many ways, and one that is actively messing with our election,” said one former senior intelligence official. “Many [in the intelligence community] don’t care about U.S. politics and pride themselves on being nonpartisan, but the ties to Russia are deeply disturbing.”
The candidate’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, has worked extensively for pro-Putin oligarchs.
One of the candidate’s foreign policy advisers, Michael Flynn, was filmed sitting with Putin at a Moscow banquet celebrating a Russian propaganda network.
Another adviser, Carter Page, has close ties to Gazprom, the Russian energy company under Putin’s thumb.
One of the only interferences the campaign made in the Republican platform was to remove language calling for “providing lethal defensive weapons” to Ukraine in its fight against Russian-backed separatists.
Putin has aimed to destabilize rival powers by supporting extremist parties in several European countries. His state news outlets have been heavily supportive of the candidate.
The Russian ambassador to the United States attended a campaign speech by the candidate, and Putin described the candidate as “talented.” The candidate said he was honored.
It is not clear exactly what kind of shady relationship Donald Trump has with Russia, but a few things are clear. He has repeatedly and lavishly praised its dictator. His closest Russia advisers are financially dependent on the Kremlin. He has promised to abrogate the NATO treaty’s foundational commitment to defend fellow members from an outside invasion (most likely from Russia). The Russian regime has a history of trying to influence elections overseas, and cyberwarfare experts both inside and outside of American intelligence are nearly certain Russia carried out the hack of the Democratic National Committee’s emails.
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said Wednesday that leaked emails from the Democratic National Committee were almost certainly perpetrated by the Russians and charged Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin are “on the same page.”
“It certainly seems that that’s what’s gone on,” Albright said about the Republican presidential nominee and the Russian president, on CNN’s “New Day,” adding that she is waiting for an official determination from the FBI.
“It’s like they’re on the same page, so there’s a lot of circumstantial evidence,” she added, validating the theory that Russians tried to influence US politics by hacking DNC mails. The episode raised questions about the DNC’s impartiality during the primary season and ultimately led to the ouster of DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
“I do think that a Trump victory is a gift to Vladimir Putin,” Albright said, echoing a critical line she used in her Democratic National Convention speech Tuesday night.
Cher posted a bizarre photo of Donald Trump linking him with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
On Tuesday night, the 70-year-old singer posted a badly photo-shopped picture on her Twitter account that shows Trump in bed with Putin. Along with the photo Cher wrote that Trump was willing to do whatever Putin wants him to do.
Trump fits perfectly into that worldview. He’s a cynic who doesn’t appear to care about international moral issues like human rights. He’s a populist who doesn’t pretend to be a saint. He’s a normal businessman with whom you can always cut a deal — as he has said himself many, many times. And if necessary, as Putin seems to believe, one could figure out how to carve up the world with Trump. At least he won’t lie to you and fill your ears with nonsense about democratic values.
The point isn’t about whether any hypothetical financial ties between Trump and Russian businesses actually exist. A source close to Putin’s administration assures me there are no serious ties, for what it’s worth. That’s not to say they can’t crop up in the future, but even if Trump shied away from such opportunities, that wouldn’t be Putin’s main concern. As a former intelligence officer, he thinks of assets differently. “Putin never saddles his allies with responsibilities that might get in their way,” says one former Kremlin official. “That goes against the rules of recruiting someone. On the contrary, if the client is successful, he’ll show up and do everything that’s needed of him on his own.”
The Russians have every reason to sabotage the Democratic candidate. Her opponent, Donald Trump, is more pro-Russia than any previous presidential candidate. As far back as 2007, Trump was telling CNN that Russian President Vladimir Putin was doing a “great job.” In 2013, Trump tweeted: “Do you think Putin will be going to The Miss Universe Pageant in November in Moscow – if so, will he become my new best friend?” In 2015, Trump told MSNBC that Putin was a real leader, “unlike what we have in this country,” and that reports of Putin killing political opponents didn’t bother him — “Well, I think our country does plenty of killing also,” he said.
Mook’s rumination also contained an implicit accusation of disloyalty, one laced with disturbing as well as richly ironic echoes of Wisconsin Sen. Joseph R. “Tailgunner Joe” McCarthy’s notorious “Enemies from Within” speech (February 9, 1950).
McCarthy made an assertion that’s right there with Robby Mook: “When a great democracy is destroyed, it will not be from enemies from without, but rather because of enemies from within.”
McCarthy also claimed “I have here in my hand a list of 205 . . . a list of names that were made known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party and who nevertheless are still working and shaping policy in the State Department.”
Like Mook, McCarthy didn’t reveal any names. McCarthy employed vicious, deceitful rhetorical techniques in 1950. In 2016, the techniques remain vicious, deceitful and desperate. These are the techniques of those who wage War on Honesty.
Trump today expressed the hope that Vladimir Putin’s Russian intelligence services or subcontractors would covertly infiltrate and hack American systems to obtain information designed to undermine Clinton and favor him.
Trump’s statements are disgraceful, vile, harmful to America and constitute the praising of, and possibly seek to incite, the serious criminal act of espionage.
There are eerie similarities between the Watergate crimes committed during the Richard Nixon administration, which involved breaking and entering into the Watergate office of the Democratic National Committee, and serious allegations about the high probability that Russian intelligence services have been committing, and may still be seeking to commit, cyber espionage against the Democratic National Committee today.
Conservative Legal Experts: Trump Is “A Menace,” A “Lunatic,” “A Fascist Thug,” A “‘Useful Idiot’ For Putin,” And A Danger To “Our National Security”
Lawfare’s Benjamin Wittes: There Is “Little Choice” But To Question Trump’s Patriotism After He Called For Espionage Against The U.S. Benjamin Wittes, editor-in-chief of the conservative legal blog Lawfare, criticized Trump’s call for “Russian intelligence services to conduct illegal espionage against his opponent,” before concluding, “I am pretty careful about not questioning people’s patriotism, but when a presidential candidate calls on a foreign intelligence service to engage in operations against the United States, he leaves us little choice.” [Lawfare, 7/27/16]
Lawfare Editors: Trump Is A “Useful Idiot” For Putin Who Has “Taken Public Positions Exceedingly Favorable To Russia And Far Outside Of The American Mainstream.” Wittes and Lawfare managing editor Susan Hennessey wrote that Trump “can be counted upon by virtue of naivete or stupidity to act on Russia’s behalf” (emphasis original):
Question: Is Trump a “Useful Idiot” for Putin?
The phrase “useful idiots” (полезные дураки, in Russian) is often attributed to Lenin—though probably not accurately—and refers to people in the West who can be counted upon by virtue of naivete or stupidity to act on Russia’s behalf while not being active agents. This is probably the best way to understand the relationship between Trump and Putin. The evidence of a bromance between them is uncontestable. The evidence of an affinity in personality and strongman nastiness is as well.
Moreover, the evidence is neither contested or contestable that Trump has taken public positions exceedingly favorable to Russia and far outside of the American mainstream. As [Slate’s Franklin] Foer points out at great length in his excellent piece, Trump has repeatedly sought to do business in Russia and acquired financing from Russian sources. He has proposed Russia-friendly policies, even to the point of proposing to abandon NATO allies. He has praised Putin repeatedly. And he has surrounded himself with people who have extensive histories representing the interests of those close to Putin. Only today, Trump openly sided with Russian intelligence against the United States and urged further spying.
Small wonder that Russia has responded by seeking to advance Trump’s cause domestically, both by covert and overt means. Who needs an agent when you get so much for free? [Lawfare, 7/27/16]
Volokh Conspiracy’s Orin Kerr: “Fascist Thug” Trump Controlling Justice Department Would Be “Pretty Damn Frightening.” Orin Kerr, a professor of law at George Washington University and a Federalist Society expert, wrote on the conservative blog Volokh Conspiracy that a Trump Justice Department “would be pretty damn frightening,” pointing to several warning signs, including that “Trump was really impressed by the ‘vicious’ and ‘horrible’ way that the Chinese government massacred pro-democracy protesters” (emphasis original):
Trump’s Nixonian turn to law and order raises an important question: What would a Trump Justice Department look like?
It would be pretty damn frightening, I think. Trump has two long-standing passions when it comes to law and law enforcement. His first passion is the suppression of protest and dissent. And his second passion is bringing lots of legal actions against his critics and threatening many more to get his way.
Trump was really impressed by the “vicious” and “horrible” way that the Chinese government massacred pro-democracy protesters. Trump was disturbed when the Chinese first allowed the protest and “almost blew it.”
In short, if you aren’t scared, you aren’t paying attention. A fascist thug has won the GOP nomination and now has a very good shot of becoming president of the United States. And he hasn’t run in sheep’s clothing. As Justice Antonin Scalia would say, this wolf comes as a wolf. [The Washington Post, Volokh Conspiracy, 7/22/16]
Lawfare’s Carrie Cordero: Trump Is “So Reckless In His Rhetoric That He Makes The World A Less, Not More, Secure Place.” Carrie Cordero, who served as national security advisor to Republican presidential candidate John Kasich, wrote that if Trump is president “we won’t have prosperity at home if the world is ablaze”:
But as someone raised in the Midwest who has spent my professional life working on national security issues in Washington DC, I can promise you this: we won’t have prosperity at home if the world is ablaze. And Donald Trump is wholly unprepared to lead the United States, and the world, when it comes to peace, security, and stability.
The Republican Party has stood in my lifetime for strong national security, support for the military, fiscal responsibility, individual liberty and leadership in the international arena. I would like to see that tradition continue. But we risk not only the reputation of the party, but far more importantly, the reputation of our nation globally if we vote to nominate a candidate who is so uninformed about the world, so out of touch with national security issues, and so reckless in his rhetoric that he makes the world a less, not more, secure place. [Lawfare, 5/3/16]
Lawfare’s John B. Bellinger III On Trump’s Call For Muslim Ban: “He Is Actually Endangering Our National Security Right Now By His Hate-filled And Divisive Rhetoric.” John Bellinger III, who worked for the George W. Bush administration on national security issues, slammed Trump for promoting “policies that are dangerous, if not illegal, from a national security perspective”:
Donald Trump’s latest outrageous statement—that all Muslims should be excluded from the United States—confirms what I expect most Lawfare readers already knew: not only does he lack the national security and foreign policy qualifications to be President, he is actually endangering our national security right now by his hate-filled and divisive rhetoric.
In the last several weeks, Trump has urged other policies that are dangerous, if not illegal, from a national security perspective. Last week, he said that he would target the families of ISIS terrorists: “you have to take out their families.” Mr. Trump—who never served in the military—obviously does not know that targeting civilians not engaged in hostilities is a war crime. The week before, he said he would bring back waterboarding: “Would I approve waterboarding? You bet your ass I would….and even it doesn’t work, they deserve it anyway for what they do to us.” Someone should tell Mr. Trump that in October Congress banned the use of interrogation techniques not authorized by the Army Field Manual.
Donald Trump not only would be a dangerous president, he is making us less safe as a candidate. [Lawfare, 12/8/15]
Volokh Conspiracy’s David Post On Trump’s Call For Espionage Against The U.S.: “Even If This Were Meant As A Joke, What Kind Of Lunatic Would Say Something Like This?” David Post, who is an adjunct scholar at the libertarian Cato Institute, slammed Trump’s call for Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s email account, writing, “I know we’re supposed to ignore all the crazy ramblings that this guy comes up with, but really . . . is there anything he can say that is beyond the pale?”:
Surely this is the first time a major presidential candidate has actively encouraged a foreign power to conduct espionage against a political opponent who had been a high-ranking official of the U.S. government.
I know we’re supposed to ignore all the crazy ramblings that this guy comes up with, but really . . . is there anything he can say that is beyond the pale? First a nasty and racially tinged attack on a sitting federal judge hearing a case in which he (Trump) is involved, then the appalling comments that Clinton is “guilty as hell” and “has to go to jail” (for crimes for which she has not even been charged, let alone tried and convicted or received any of that messy “due process” stuff), and now this. Even if this were meant as a joke, what kind of lunatic would say something like this? Encouraging unlawful activity by a foreign government against a former government official — and not just any foreign government, but one that is suspected of having recently directed the cyberattack against the Democratic National Committee’s email servers?
Is it really too late for the Republicans to find someone else for the job? [The Washington Post, Volokh Conspiracy, 7/27/16]
Volokh Conspiracy’s Ilya Somin: “Trump Is A Menace To The Republic.” George Mason University law professor and small government proponent Ilya Somin criticized recent comments about Trump made by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg but also slammed Trump, writing, “While Trump is not as bad as the Nazis and communists, he is a truly horrendous candidate nonetheless,” noting that Trump “plans to massacre civilians, deport millions of people (including thousands of children who have never lived in any other country) and systematically undermine important constitutional principles”:
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg now regrets what she calls her “ill-advised” comments about likely Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. But there is still controversy about the propriety of her comments. Like Ginsburg, I think Trump is a menace to the republic.
While Trump is not as bad as the Nazis and communists, he is a truly horrendous candidate nonetheless. As Butler points out, his agenda poses a serious threat to our constitutional values, and is also far worse than that of more conventional presidential candidates in other ways. A man who plans to massacre civilians, deport millions of people (including thousands of children who have never lived in any other country) and systematically undermine important constitutional principles , should not be treated as if he were just any other politician.
If Ginsburg was going to violate norms to go after Trump, she should at least have attacked him on less anodyne grounds. The problem with Trump is not that he is a “faker,” but that he may well be a completely genuine advocate of a genuinely evil agenda. [The Washington Post, Volokh Conspiracy, 7/14/16]
Orin Kerr Ridiculed Trump For Thinking There Is An Article XII Of The U.S. Constitution. Kerr mocked Trump for saying he wanted to “protect” the non-existent 12th article of the Constitution, writing, “Trump is just bluffing his way through this, hoping that enough people don’t notice or care”:
The most charitable reading would be that Trump heard the question about “Article I powers” as really asking about “rights protected by the First Amendment.” On that account, we now have insight into Trump’s constitutional views. Trump apparently is a strong defender of the procedures for the selection of the President and Vice-President by the Electoral College, which is what the Twelfth Amendment provides.
On the other hand, the more natural reading is what a lot of us suspected already: Donald Trump doesn’t know what is in the Constitution, and he doesn’t care that he doesn’t know. Article I, Article II, Article XII, Article L. Whatevs. Trump is just bluffing his way through this, hoping that enough people don’t notice or care. Because if he can get himself elected, he can exercise all the damn Article XII powers he wants. [The Washington Post, Volokh Conspiracy, 7/7/16]
“This sh–t is getting scary. I don’t understand how some people say they can’t see it,” Noah said about the billionaire-turned-politician’s popularity. “Donald Trump is almost like global warming right now. People are trying to deny that it’s real. They think it’s something we can worry about later, but it is happening right now.”
Breaking down the outcome of Trump or Democratic nominee Hillary Trump winning the election, Noah said, “With Hillary Clinton, worst-case scenario, you have a bad president for four years,” which, he added, has happened before and America has survived.
Now that Donald Trump has personally invited Russia to hack into American democracy, let’s be clear about just exactly what it’s like to live in Russia under the rule of Vladimir Putin. Here’s a glimpse from NPR earlier this week:
Mark Galeotti, a professor at New York University and an expert on Russian intelligence whose work often brings him to Moscow, says one of the triumphs of the Putin regime is that everyone thinks they’re being spied on, all the time.
“The FSB can’t listen to every phone conversation, but everyone assumes that they are,” he says. “The FSB can’t read every email, but everyone writes emails as if they thought they were. Everyone has a little Putin in their head. Everyone is basically running a little censor. Just in case.”
This is exactly the type of paranoia Trump is inviting into our democracy. As Franklin Foer argued, the DNC dump last week didn’t reveal state secrets so much as the embarrassing trifles of everyday communication between colleagues.
These bears didn’t make much efforts to hide their DNC hack—in one case leaving behind a Russian name in Cyrillic as a signature—and Kremlin attribution has been confirmed by independent analysis by a second cybersecurity firm.
The answer then is simple: Russian hackers working for the Kremlin cyber-pilfered the DNC then passed the purloined data, including thousands of unflattering emails, to Wikileaks, which has shown them to the world.
This, of course, means that Wikileaks is doing Moscow’s bidding and has placed itself in bed with Vladimir Putin. In response to the data-dump, the DNC has said as much and the Clinton campaign has endorsed the view that Moscow prefers Donald Trump in this election, and it’s using Wikileaks to harm Hillary. This view, considered bizarre by most people as late as last week, is being taken seriously by the White House—as it should be.
Of course, this continues to fuel speculation of an unhealthy relationship with Putin, a man actively trying to rebuild the Soviet Union. And that speculation is further fueled by Trump’s unwillingness to release his tax returns due to the likelihood that they will expose his many Russian entanglements
Russia has emerged as a U.S. presidential campaign issue at a level not seen since Ronald Reagan was running, as Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton accused Republican Donald Trump on Sunday of putting American interest at risk by siding with the former Cold War foe.
Mrs. Clinton said evidence that Russia was responsible for the email hack attack on the Democratic National Committee, coupled with what she described as Mr. Trump’s soft-on-Russia policies, raised serious concerns about the New York billionaire’s fitness for the White House.
U.S. presidential hopeful Donald Trump has issued a cryptic message to Russia, promising that if he is elected then Vladimir Putin will not go “into Ukraine.”
In an interview with U.S. broadcaster ABC that aired over the weekend, Trump was asked about Putin’s presence in Ukraine.
He replied: “He’s not going to go into Ukraine, alright? You can mark it down. You can put it down. You can take it anywhere you want.” To which the puzzled interviewer asked: “Well, he’s already there, isn’t he?” referring to Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and support for separatists in Ukraine’s east.
While discussing the GOP nominee’s recent remarks about Putin on CNN Sunday, campaign surrogate Boris Epshteyn said, “First of all, Russia did not seize Crimea.”
“We could talk about the conflict that happened between the Ukraine and Crimea, it’s an ongoing conflict, but there was no seizure by Russia. That is an incorrect statement, characterization of what happened,” he continued.
I just can’t wait until Donald Trump becomes president and starts running America the way Vladimir Putin runs Russia.
President Putin “is a better leader than [President Barack] Obama,” Trump told Fox News. “He’s certainly doing a better job than Obama is.”
Go ahead, read that again.
This is going to be terrific. Bring on a Trump victory!
The WikiLeaks founder and “editor in chief” took to CNN and NBC’s Meet the Press this weekend to explain his reason for releasing the Democratic National Committee’s hacked emails and to answer questions about whether they were obtained through the Russian intelligence services. In an answer to the first question, Assange told Anderson Cooper on Friday evening that he felt an obligation to WikiLeaks’ “readers” and that the decision to publish the emails just hours before Hillary Clinton accepted her party’s nomination was indeed opportunistic. “If we published after, you can just imagine how outraged the Democratic voting population would have been,” Assange said. “It had to have been before.”
Very well, then. On the question of how his organization came into possession of this privileged correspondence, Assange told Cooper that he “can’t comment on anything that might reflect on sourcing to rule things in or rule things out.” So he won’t say if Vladimir Putin’s domestic and military intelligence agencies hacked the DNC, as a growing list of U.S. officials, independent cybersecurity analysts, and now Clinton herself believe, and—as is farther from being proven—handed everything they found to a digital collective ostensibly committed to total “transparency,” for the purpose of influencing a foreign election.
The EU, even if it doesn’t dissolve, will now inevitably turn inward as it spends years working out its new communal arrangements with and without Britain. Putin was Brexit’s big winner. Any fracturing of the Western alliance presents opportunities to play one member against another. He can only be disappointed to see NATO step up and step in.
The refugee crisis was already leading to the slow disintegration of the European Union. Then, on June 23, it contributed to an even greater calamity — Brexit. Both of these crises have reinforced xenophobic, nationalist movements across the continent. They will try to win a series of key votes in the coming year — including national elections in France, the Netherlands, and Germany in 2017, a referendum in Hungary on EU refugee policy on Oct. 2, a rerun of the Austrian presidential election on the same day, and a constitutional referendum in Italy in October or November of this year.
Northern Irish, Scottish, Basque, Catalan and Italian secessionists have been invited to Moscow for a conference, partly funded by Russia, planned for August. They will mingle with Texan, Californian, Puerto-Rican and Hawaiian wannabe-separatists from all over the world, the conference organizer says.
“Our goal is to consolidate efforts based on international legal standards [and] to achieve the very democracy the European Union and the United States talk about, but [the democracy] in its true meaning,” Alexander Ionov, head of the Anti-Globalist Movement of Russia, which is organizing the event, told NBC News.
There’s a clear pattern: Putin runs stealth efforts on behalf of politicians who rail against the European Union and want to push away from NATO. He’s been a patron of Golden Dawn in Greece, Ataka in Bulgaria, and Jobbik in Hungary. Joe Biden warned about this effort last year in a speech at the Brookings Institution: “President Putin sees such political forces as useful tools to be manipulated, to create cracks in the European body politic which he can then exploit.” Ruptures that will likely multiply after Brexit—a campaign Russia’s many propaganda organs bombastically promoted.
Clearly the Cruz faction was Crushed and Trump has seized the Republican Party!
The Trump campaign worked behind the scenes last week to make sure the new Republican platform won’t call for giving weapons to Ukraine to fight Russian and rebel forces, contradicting the view of almost all Republican foreign policy leaders in Washington.
Trump’s understanding of America’s role in the world aligns with Russia’s geostrategic interests; that his critique of American democracy is in accord with the Kremlin’s critique of American democracy; and that he shares numerous ideological and dispositional proclivities with Putin—for one thing, an obsession with the sort of “strength” often associated with dictators. Trump is making it clear that, as president, he would allow Russia to advance its hegemonic interests across Europe and the Middle East.
The evidence of Trump’s unseemly affinity for Putin is extensive but circumstantial. Yet the most disturbing explanation for the evidence continues to get more plausible. Today, Josh Rogin reports, the Republican Party officially altered its platform on Ukraine and Russia. The previous platform advocated “providing lethal defensive weapons” to Ukraine, reflecting the virtually unanimous position of the Republican Party Establishment. Trump staffers prevailed on the Platform Committee to replace that language with a milder endorsement of “appropriate assistance.”
He then went after Trump for his creepy admiration for Putin, who would dance a jig if the U.S. president effectively repudiated the NATO alliance. “Over the course of this campaign, Trump has displayed a bizarre and occasionally obsequious fascination with Russia’s strongman, Vladimir Putin. And he has the policy positions — and advisers — to match,” said Sullivan. “Just this week, we learned that the Trump campaign went to great lengths to remove a plank from the GOP platform about aid to Ukraine that would have offended Putin, bucking a strongly held position within his own party. Previously, he celebrated the Brexit vote, and in turn, casually predicted the disintegration of Europe. And now, he won’t even commit to protecting our NATO allies against a Russian invasion. It is fair to assume that Vladimir Putin is rooting for a Trump presidency.” He added, “More broadly, Trump has apparently decided that America lacks the moral authority to advance our interests and values around the world. He has adopted the logic and positions of China, Russia, and Iran. ”
Hillary Clinton’s campaign has decided to double down on their bid to cast Trump as a secret agent of the Kremlin propped up by Russian President Vladimir Putin despite the obvious absurdity of the narrative.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager continues to claim that Russian hackers are responsible for the leak of tens of thousands of emails from the Democratic National Committee despite evidence to the contrary and says that it is a deliberate attempt by the Kremlin to influence the US presidential election to favor the candidacy of Donald Trump.
What was he thinking as he whipped up the crowd and bathed in its cheers? It was hard to say. As his daughter Ivanka remarked in her introductory speech (which my colleague Amy Davidson wrote about), Trump can be described as “famous but not really well-known.” Is he just playing the role of the great protector and restorer of order, America’s Putin or Erdoğan—an accomplished self-promoter and entertainer turning his talents to a new role? Or does he believe his own blather, whether on immigration and security or in other realms? (“I am going to bring back our jobs to Ohio and Pennsylvania and New York and Michigan and all of America,” he said at one point, singling out steelworkers and miners as two groups that would benefit.)
Eat one for the Bern: Russian Hack Claims First Democratic Scalp, as DNC Chair Resigns:
CREDIT FOR the internecine furor that disrupted the Democratic Party on the eve of its convention should go to Vladimir Putin. As The Post has reported, cybersecurity experts say Russian intelligence operatives were likely responsible for the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s computer network, as well as for leaking to the Moscow-friendly WikiLeaks website some 20,000 emails. The trove appeared online Friday, just in time to create discord between supporters of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders as they headed to Philadelphia. To no one’s surprise, the emails showed that DNC staffers opposed the attempt of the socialist Mr. Sanders to take over the party. Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was forced to announce her resignation, and — as Russia likely intended — Ms. Clinton’s campaign took a hit.