Tag Archives: Russia

Trump fails to defend America against Russian attacks; there is a word for that (updated)

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s detailed indictment of twelve Russian intelligence officers for cyber attacks on the U.S. to interfere in the 2016 election offered new details of just how deeply Russian operatives have infiltrated state and local election agencies across the U.S. Mueller reveals depth of states’ election vulnerabilities.

House Administration Committee Democrats in a report released Thursday identified 18 states that congressional researchers say lack key voting safeguards, including paper trails for vote tallies and post-election audits. Drawing on months of input from election officials and cybersecurity experts, it called on Congress to approve $1.4 billion in new election security funding for all 50 states over the next decade. House Democrats list states with weakest election security in new report. You should note that no Republicans signed onto its conclusions.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told a convention of secretaries of state Saturday that “though votes were note changed” in the 2016 election, “ANY attempt to interfere in our elections — successful or unsuccessful — is a direct attack on our democracy,” (emphasis added by her press office.) Homeland Security chief calls Russian hacking “direct attack on our democracy”. You should note that “President Trump has never condemned Russia over its election interference, and the White House press office statement on the indictments does not mention a Russian attack on our democracy.”

Also last week, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats warned of an impending, potentially devastating cyber attack on U.S. systems, saying the country’s digital infrastructure “is literally under attack” and warning that among state actors, Russia is the “worst offender.” Intel chief Dan Coats says of cyber attacks, “We are at a critical point”:

Speaking at a scheduled event at the Hudson Institute, he adopted the language of former Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet who, in the months ahead of the 9/11 attacks, warned that the “system was blinking red.” Coats, citing daily attacks from Russia, China, Iran and North Korea, said, “Here we are, nearly two decades later, and I’m here to say the warning lights are blinking red again.”

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Grand jury indicts a dozen Russian intelligence agents for DNC hack

Yet another Donald Trump conspiracy theory is thoroughly rebuked by the Russia investigation. Rod Rosenstein and Robert Mueller officially rebuke a major Trump conspiracy theory:

Trump has regularly cast doubt upon the idea that the Democratic National Committee was hacked by the Russians — or that it was hacked at all. At one point he even reportedly dispatched a conspiracy theorist to meet with then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo. (Pompeo is now secretary of state.)

At his first presidential debate with Clinton in September 2016, Trump added a number of other potential perpetrators, despite clear indications from the intelligence community that it was Russia.

“I don’t think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the DNC. She’s saying Russia, Russia, Russia, but I don’t — maybe it was,” Trump said. “I mean, it could be Russia, but it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, okay? You don’t know who broke into DNC.”

He said something similar in the second debate, just two days after the intelligence community issued a joint statement saying it was “confident” Russia was responsible. He expanded his doubts to suggest there wasn’t any hacking.

“I notice, anytime anything wrong happens, they like to say the Russians are — she doesn’t know if it’s the Russians doing the hacking,” Trump said of Clinton. “Maybe there is no hacking. But they always blame Russia. And the reason they blame Russia is because they think they’re trying to tarnish me with Russia.”

Today, Robert Mueller said “I’ll see your idiot conspiracy theory and raise you a dozen Russian intelligence agents. (Say hello to your pal Putin for me in Helsinki).” Mueller probe indicts 12 Russians for hacking Democrats in 2016:

A dozen Russian intelligence officers have been charged with conspiring to hack Democrats during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to a new indictment in the probe led by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

The indictment includes charges of conspiracy by the Russian intelligence officials against the United States, money laundering and attempts to break into state election boards and other government agencies.

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Putin’s puppet and his fellow traveler enablers in Congress attack federal law enforcement, undermining the rule of law and obstructing justice in defense of ‘Dear Leader’

Not since the Army-McCarthy “red scare” hearings in 1954 (with Donald Trump’s future lawyer Roy Cohn alongside Sen. Joe McCarthy) has there been such an abusive congressional hearing that went so completely off the rails as yesterday’s joint House Judiciary and Oversight Committees hearing kangaroo court show trial “to investigate the investigators,” featuring the FBI’s counter-intelligence chief Peter Strzok, the subject of right-wing media’s wild conspiracy theories, in order to assassinate his character and attempt to discredit the FBI and the Special Counsel’s Russia investigation in defense of their “Dear Leader.”

As Rick Wilson writes at The Daily Beast, Republicans Thought Peter Strzok Would Be a Punching Bag. He Just Knocked Them Out.

Those who forget the lessons of televised congressional hearings are doomed to repeat them, which is why the morning segment of the Capitol Hill show trial of veteran FBI agent and former head of the Bureau’s Counterespionage division Peter Strzok turned into a disaster for Republicans.

Donald Trump’s congressional enablers, sycophants, and political suck-ups wanted a punching bag, but Strzok instead delivered one of the rarest of moments: the full Joseph N. Welch.

Welch, the chief counsel for the U.S. Army during the infamous McCarthy hearings in 1954, had reached a breaking point. After McCarthy’s tendentious badgering reached a fever pitch, Welch delivered a famous rejoinder that ended the Wisconsin senator’s career. Watched by millions on live television, Welch went full beast-mode.

“If it were in my power to forgive you for your reckless cruelty I would do so,” said Welch. “I like to think I am a gentleman, but your forgiveness will have to come from someone other than me… You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

This morning, it was Strzok’s turn. After an hour of drama-queen badgering from Trey “Benghazi” Gowdy and Bob Goodlatte, Strzok issued two passionate statements that will be the takeaways from an otherwise disorganized and contentious shitshow of a hearing before the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees.

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Appeasement by any other name

In case you missed it, because it was released on the eve before the Fourth of July in a pre-holiday news dump (which raises the obvious question, “Why”?), the Senate Intelligence Committee completely refuted Rep. Devin “Midnight Run” Nunes’ bogus House Intelligence Committee report on Russian interference in the 2016 campaign that was ballyhooed by the Twitter-troll-in chief and FAUX News aka Trump TV.

The Washington Post reported, Senate report affirms intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia favored Trump over Clinton:

A Senate panel investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election released Tuesday a written summary of its determination that the U.S. intelligence community correctly concluded Moscow sought to help Donald Trump win.

The Senate Intelligence Committee’s report affirms conclusions that its members first announced in May. It stands in sharp contrast with a parallel investigation by the House Intelligence Committee, whose Republican members questioned the intelligence community’s tradecraft in concluding the Kremlin aimed to help Trump.

The Senate panel called the overall assessment a “sound intelligence product,” saying evidence presented by the FBI, CIA and National Security Agency supported their collective conclusion that the Russian government had “developed a clear preference for Trump” over his opponent in the race, Hillary Clinton. Where the agencies disagreed, the Senate panel found those differences were “reasonable.”

Trump insists that the Russians did not have a preference for his campaign, and has even tried to project onto Clinton that Putin would have preferred Hillary Clinton as president. Sorry, but NO.

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GOP collaborators in Congress aid and abet Trump’s obstruction of justice in the Russia investigation

While the news media was fixated on yet another mass shooting yesterday (“If it bleeds it leads“),  a more significant act of terrorism was occurring just miles away in the House Judiciary Committee, where Trumpkins in the ironically named House GOP Freedom Caucus (they are actually authoritarians who want an autocracy), were collaborating with the Trump legal defense team to defame the Department of Justice and the FBI, and aiding and abetting  Trump’s conspiracy to obstruct justice in the Russia investigation.

These authoritarian Trumpkins are requesting to see the prosecutor’s evidence in an active ongoing criminal investigation of  the president and his associates, information they are not entitled to receive in the oversight function, so they can then turn that evidence over to Trump’s legal team and to selectively leak it to the GOPropagandists at FAUX News aka “Trump TV,” as they have already done with information the DOJ has previously inappropriately turned over to the committee under unprecedented threats from these authoritarian Trumpkins.

If the DOJ appropriately and lawfully refuses to turn over prosecutorial evidence in response to this improper subpoena, these authoritarian Trumpkins have set in motion a scenario in which Rod Rosenstein can be removed as Deputy AG, to allow Trump to appoint a loyalist stooge as Deputy AG, who will then terminate the Special Counsel’s Russia investigation.

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Putin schedules Trump’s annual employee review

Vladimir Putin has scheduled the annual employee review for his useful idiot, Donald Trump, and thrown in a vacation in Helsinki as a bonus. I’ll bet Trump get’s a glowing review from his boss, and gets a recommendation for a pay raise. He may even get that Trump Tower Moscow he has always dreamed of.

The New York Times reports, Trump and Putin Choose Helsinki for First Summit Meeting:

President Trump plans to meet President Vladimir V. Putin in Helsinki, Finland, on July 16 for one-on-one talks, the White House said on Thursday, a politically delicate meeting that will take place while the special counsel continues to investigate the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russia.

It will be the first formal summit meeting for Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin, who have spoken together twice on the sidelines of annual gatherings of world leaders, and it will come at a particularly critical moment, with midterm elections looming in the United States.

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