‘Dear Leader’ Donald Trump’s big reveal on Russian hacking – Julian Assange?

So THIS is supposed to be “Dear Leader” Donald Trump’s big reveal about Russian hacking?

Trump fluffer Sean Hannity interviewed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange last night on “Hannity.” Assange insisted the Russian government was not his source for the hacked emails he released from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. Sean Hannity Declared Reports That The US Has 17 Intelligence Agencies “Fake News”. “We don’t have 17 intelligence agencies, so now we’ve got ‘fake news’ stories to bolster the claim of the president and the Democrats losing the election.” Right-Wing Media Are Using The Term “Fake News” To Attack Credible News Sources.

“Has WikiLeaks become a laundering machine for compromising material gathered by Russian spies? And more broadly, what precisely is the relationship between Mr. Assange and Mr. Putin’s Kremlin?” How Russia Often Benefits When Julian Assange Reveals the West’s Secrets. “[A] New York Times examination of WikiLeaks’ activities during Mr. Assange’s years in exile found a pattern: Whether by conviction, convenience or coincidence, WikiLeaks’ document releases, along with many of Mr. Assange’s statements, have often benefited Russia, at the expense of the West.”

And here we have Sean Hannity advancing a Russian disinformation campaign in the post-truth fact-free world of FAUX News.

GOP_BubbleThis is how the mighty Wurlitzer of the right-wing propaganda machine works, creating Epistemic closure and the ‘conservative misinformation feedback loop’ media bubble.

Trump Quotes Assange, Says WikiLeaks Did Not Get Emails From Russia:

Mr. Assange appeared on Fox News on Tuesday night with Sean Hannity, one of Mr. Trump’s biggest media boosters, to declare once again that the Russians were not the source of the purloined emails that WikiLeaks released from the Democratic National Committee and the personal account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta.

Mr. Trump followed that appearance with a series of Twitter posts on Wednesday that appear to be preparing his followers for battle once more information on intelligence findings is released, likely by Thursday.

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Mr. Assange and Mr. Hannity did not address the fact that in addition to WikiLeaks, the leaked Democratic material was published by two other mysterious websites, DCLeaks.com and a blog written by someone called Guccifer 2.0. American intelligence agencies believe both were created by Russian agents.

In addition to American intelligence agencies, most private cyber researchers also believe the D.N.C. and Podesta hacks were carried out on orders of Russian government officials, though a few skeptics believe the case is unproven by evidence made public to date. Mr. Assange’s statement is unlikely to change that conclusion.

Intelligence officials will brief Congress on their Russia inquiry on Thursday, ahead of a briefing for Mr. Trump in New York on Friday. Senator John McCain of Arizona, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, will hold the first hearing on the matter on Thursday as well.

Our “Dear Leader” is also lying about the intelligence briefing he was to receive:

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A U.S. official disputed that there had been any delay in delivering the briefing that Trump requested on Russia, saying that high-level U.S. intelligence officials are scheduled to meet with the president-elect in New York on Friday. Trump alleges delay in his briefing on ‘so-called’ Russian hacking; U.S. official says there wasn’t one:

The official said that Trump did receive a regular intelligence briefing on Tuesday, and raised the possibility of confusion on the part of his transition team or schedulers.

“It’s possible that his team has some scheduling disconnect” and that “whatever he received today didn’t meet his expectations,” the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence matters. But, the official said, the fuller briefing on Russia’s alleged election hacking was never scheduled to occur Tuesday, and that plans for a fuller Friday briefing have been in place for several days.

“Mr. Trump suggested, with no evidence, that the officials might be buying time to assemble a more substantial case that Russia interfered in the election.” Trump Says Intelligence Officials Delayed Briefing on Russian Hacking:

A spokesman for the director of national intelligence declined to comment on Mr. Trump’s claim. Senior administration officials disputed it, saying that no meeting had been scheduled for Tuesday.

Putin-Trump-KissMr. Trump’s Twitter post, on a day when he had said he might reveal “things that other people don’t know” about the hacking, underscored his skepticism about the intelligence agencies’ conclusion that the Russian government used cyberattacks to tip the election in his favor.

He posted it as senior national security officials — including the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, and the director of national intelligence, James R. Clapper Jr. — were completing plans to travel to New York on Friday to brief him about their findings.

[Mr.] Trump’s insinuation was that intelligence officials were intentionally withholding information from him. For weeks, he has dismissed their findings and strongly criticized the intelligence agencies, saying they cannot be trusted because they were convinced, incorrectly, that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq before the United States’ 2003 invasion.

The decision by Mr. Comey and Mr. Clapper to brief Mr. Trump in person appears to be an effort to show him how seriously they take their conclusions that the Russian government was behind the hacking of Democratic officials before the election.

* * *

In an interview that aired Tuesday on “PBS NewsHour,” the C.I.A. director, John O. Brennan, defended the intelligence agencies. “I would suggest to individuals who have not yet seen the report, who have not yet been briefed on it, that they wait and see what it is that the intelligence community is putting forward before they make those judgments,” Mr. Brennan said.

Despite Mr. Trump’s skepticism, Republican leaders on Capitol Hill, including Senator John McCain of Arizona, have embraced the intelligence agencies’ conclusions and praised Mr. Obama’s decision last week to impose sanctions on the Russian government. Mr. McCain, who is the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has scheduled a hearing for Thursday at which Mr. Clapper; the head of the National Security Agency, Adm. Michael S. Rogers; and others are expected to testify about the hacking.

Mr. Trump had asked for an array of senior intelligence officials — including Mr. Comey, Mr. Clapper, Admiral Rogers and Mr. Brennan — to brief him in the same room so he could question them about their findings and ascertain whether they agreed with one another’s assessments, according to a transition official.

It is not clear whether Admiral Rogers and Mr. Brennan will attend the briefing at Trump Tower on Friday.

U.S. intelligence agencies in recent days completed a draft of the comprehensive review of Russian hacking that Obama had ordered after the election. U.S. officials said the document would first need to be briefed to Obama before it is shared with Trump. Trump alleges delay in his briefing on ‘so-called’ Russian hacking; U.S. official says there wasn’t one:

The full report could be delivered to Obama as early as Thursday, allowing for the document and its principal findings to be shared with Trump shortly thereafter. U.S. spy agencies are also preparing a declassified version, stripped of the most sensitive intelligence information, that could be shared with the public.

That version could be ready as early as next week, but the U.S. official cautioned that the timetable on all of these events is subject to change because of the complexity of coordinating the meetings of multiple spy agencies and their top officials with the White House and Trump’s transition team.

* * *

Sen. Mark R. Warner (Va.), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, took to Twitter, saying he wished Trump showed “more . . . respect for our intelligence professionals.”

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And on Wednesday morning, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) said she found the “disrespect” Trump had showed the intelligence community to be “stunning.”

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We will have to wait and see what happens on Thursday at Sen. John McCain’s hearing — I can’t believe that we have to rely on McCain, God  help us!

And we’ll see if “Dear Leader” Donald Trump changes his tune after his intelligence briefing on Friday, or whether he continues to dismiss the intelligence agencies in favor of praising his pal Vladimir Putin.

If Trump continues to defend Putin and question the intelligence agencies, we have a serious problem on our hands. The intelligence agencies cannot reasonably trust “Dear Leader” Donald Trump and his pro-Putin inner circle of advisers with sensitive national security information. What is to stop Trump from simply tweeting U.S. secrets to his pal Putin?

The intelligence agencies are in the unenviable position of having to treat the new president and his advisers as national security risks and withhold national security information from them. This creates a constitutional crisis between the military/intelligence community and the civilian elected government of the United States.

UPDATE: The Washington Post facf checker awards Julian Assange three Pinocchios for his claims: “Assange assured the public that he is 1,000 percent sure that there was no Russian involvement, without providing any evidence in the interview or in response to our inquiry. The facts we know contradict Assange’s assurance, and the situation is much too complex for him to make such a sweeping statement.” Julian Assange’s claim that there was no Russian involvement in WikiLeaks emails.

17 responses to “‘Dear Leader’ Donald Trump’s big reveal on Russian hacking – Julian Assange?

  1. Let’s get this straight…when Bush, prior to 9-11, didn’t listen to the intelligence services, and you democrats were outraged. After 9-11, Bush listened to the intelligence agencies and went after Iraq because there were weapons of mass destruction there, and you democrats were enraged. During the election, the intelligence agencies went after Hillary because of her handling of her e-mails, and you democrats were outraged. Now Trump gives little credence to the intelligence agencies and you democrats are outraged.

    The truth is that you democrats really don’t give a rats patooty what the intelligence agencies have to say. What you are interested in is attacking Republicans.

    • An idiotic piece if ever there was one, Steve. Every sane person wants to investigate the enemy attacking our democracy. For you to equate that to Dems after Rs IS the rat’s patooty.

      • I guess it was too complicated for you to actually understand what I wrote and to see the irony of democrats and their schizoid behavior when it comes to “intelligence agencies”. I am sorry you can’t keep up, but I won’t dumb it down for you. Your time might be better spent studying for the SATs.

        • Steve,
          Your argument isn’t complicated; it’s poor. Keep your insults to the words and not the people behind the words.
          Eric

          • You’re funny, eric. The first time we exchanged messages, I dealt with you as if you were a mature adult. Your response was a childish insult. For the tone of the insult and a couple of other reasons, I think you are in high school. Thus my suggestion studting for the SATs. And because I think you are in high school, I really am not insulting you at all. I don’t go after children.

            As to my argument…accept it…don’t accept it…do what you want. But rather than simply rejecting it as “poor”, try arguing against it. Why is it “poor”? What makes you think your argument is better? Develop your reasoning rather than simply naysaying it. If you want to treated like an adult then argue like an adult.

          • Steve,
            I think you’re being obtuse on purpose. The argument is simple.
            1) The piece was about the hacking done by the Russians and Mr. Trump’s belief in Assange rather than US intelligence.
            2) You wrote a diatribe about some false equivalency that works out to, in my HS years, “yeah, but look what you did!”
            3) Stay on topic

          • (sigh!)</i) Okay, eric, let me try it one more time and then I'm giving up.

            I am copying something I wrote earlier that is as clear as I can be about what democrats mean in raising a fuss about the Russian hacking. To those who read this before, I apologize…

            QUOTE: “My point was that democrats really don’t give a rats ass about national security or the agencies that keep watch on it. What matters is developing “talking points” to bash Republicans. National security be damned…what matters to democrats is winning elections and grabbing power. No more, no less. The hoopla they raise about the security agencies is nothing more than the flash and bang of a show they put on that reflects NO concern whatsoever over the actual issue of national security.” UNQUOTE

            I am aware of what the topis of the original message was. I was on topic because I cut to the chase in explaining what the REAL issue is about the Russians hacking and not what the democrats say it is. But just for the record, I will wander off topic if I want to. That is one of the nice things about this Blog…they are generous in what they allow.

    • For Sure Not Tom

      First, we take these on a case by case basis. Each incident is unique.

      Second, sorry we hurt your feelings, Little Blue Snowflake, but Dems and Repub’s are on opposite sides of the fence, and the Tea Party made sure there would be no quarter.

      So yeah, Dems are going to “attack” Republicans.

      That’s how the world works. It may even be a question on the SAT.

      On a personal note, I will try to be nicer to Republicans. I didn’t know you all were so fragile. 🙂

      • My gosh, Not Tom, the way you interpret messages leaves much to be desired. I don’t care if democrats hurt Republicans feelings. First, I don’t think democrats are clever enough to find a way to hurt Republican feelings. Second, if they are that clever more power to them. And third, that wasn’t even my point.

        My point was that democrats really don’t give a rats ass about national security or the agencies that keep watch on it. What matters is developing “talking points” to bash Republicans. National security be damned…what matters to democrats is winning elections and grabbing power. No more, no less. The hoopla they raise about the security agencies is nothing more than the flash and bang of a show they put on that reflects NO concern whatsoever over the actual issue of national security.

        I must admit I sort of like the nickname “Little Blue Snowflake”. I may change my screen name to that, or at least use it from time to time. Thank you for offering it up!

        • Steve, Steve, Steve

          Your second paragraph likely is correct, technically, but you insinuate that shortcoming is unique to Democrats. That’s delusional. The Republicans have no more moral fiber on this front than Democrats. Both sides lust for power. Politicians on both sides are tragically flawed psychologically.

          • “The Republicans have no more moral fiber on this front than Democrats. Both sides lust for power. Politicians on both sides are tragically flawed psychologically.”

            That’s true, Bob, but it doesn’t make for an argument if I concede that both sides are equally flawed. ;o)

            In fact, I believe that if we all acknowledged that simple truth we wouldn’t have much to blog about. I think we all function – at least on the surface – from the opinion that “my side” (whatever “side” that is) is the side that is true blue, patriotic, pure of heart, and runs in to rescue puppies from burning buildings.

  2. russian hacking caused all of democrats problems with white working class voters right? WRONG! democrats are using this like heroin to kill the pain of realizing that transgender bathroom supporters had no place to go and rust belt white working class did!

    • For Sure Not Tom

      Trump won because the Dems ran Hillary Wall Street Kissinger, a Republican.

      I don’t believe Russian hacking hurt Clinton.

      But a foreign government attacked our democracy. We can’t let that pass.

      • maybe we can send in the marines like we did in the dominican republic in 1965 or the cia like we did in chile or iran in the past. or columbia guatamala or honduras now.

  3. Frances Perkins

    Maybe Trump can pardon the Rosenbergs and bring one back as national security advisor and one as ambassador to Russia. Better yet maybe Trump can move in the Trump Gulag Hotel in Moscow and be near his buddy all the time.

  4. For Sure Not Tom

    Don the Con is going to be “Putin” Trump Vodka back on the market!

    I’m a big fan of Wikileaks, or at least the premise, but I wish Assange would step down. We need resources that expose crimes committed by our government and others, but Assange is using his “power” for his own self interest, and it’s killing his credibility.

    Not the credibility of the content of Wikileaks, just the credibility of Assange.

  5. American Vendetta

    This is disturbing trend as Trump continually discredits our intelligence agencies in a public way in favor of Russia and Wikileaks. This behavior will not only weaken our position with adversaries, but put at at continuing increased risk as reality is ignored in favor of what Trump and his people prefer to believe.