July 15th, 2017

If the Trump Jr. story wasn’t complicated before…

…it’s certainly getting complicated now.

And you know what? Today I’m going to leave it to others to create some narratives to connect the dots. I’ll wait for more to be revealed before I even attempt to weigh in again with my own ideas.

So see this, this, and this. Take your pick—and there’s plenty more where those came from, and from just about everywhere else.

Oh, and you can refresh your memory on the DNC and Ukraine, as well as Ted Kennedy’s efforts some years ago.

I wonder what percentage of Americans are following this story in any detail, and what percentage just shrug and go on with their lives—usually continuing to either love, hate, or continue with their mixed feelings about Trump and company.My guess is that the majority of people are not following this obsessively but nevertheless have opinions about it that tend to fall in line with their previous opinions on Trump vs. Hillary.

58 Responses to “If the Trump Jr. story wasn’t complicated before…”

  1. Dave Says:

    Perhaps whoever dig up this story of junior meeting with Russian lawyer to try to hurt trump might have acted on her own and had not consulted the democrats before taking action. When all is settled this story might end up hurting the democrats and the reputation of the Obama admin more than Trump. That explains why while sitting on this story for almost a year democrats have used used this story to attack trump themselves because it was an entrapment manufactured by their side if it ever comes to light it would hurt them more than trump.

  2. Brian E Says:

    That’s a wise course. Like previous “scandals” that have proved to sputter when all the information came out, that may again be the case here.

    Here’s a synopsis of the Russian hacking meme (doesn’t include the latest Trump Jr. fiasco) from Lawfare.

    Of the seven theories from nothingburger to Trump is a Russian agent, I suspect they might subscribe to theory #3 since they say “There is some public evidence to support this theory.”
    Wow. Actual evidence, as opposed to inference, supposition or speculation.

    Theory of the Case #3: The Russian Operation Wasn’t Really About Trump at All

    Notably, this theory coexists rather easily with Theory #2. That is, it is possible that the hacking operation was really about Clinton, not Trump, and that it was Trump’s solicitude for Moscow that drew to him the disreputable collection of misfits with Russian ties who manned his campaign—and that these two basic dynamics were largely unrelated.

  3. Dave Says:

    In order for trump to agree to form an secret unholy alliance with Putin, to take this kind of risk the reward must be super great. So liberals believe that trump agreed to collude with Putin, betraying American interests to Putin after elected, in exchange for something as insignificant as podesta’s emails exposing his unusual hobby of spirit cooking? Give me a break, you don’t take the risk of possible life in prison unless you can obtain nuclear grade material that can finish Hillary instantly. Trump would have never taken a risk like that, if he had not won he would be tried for treason for that.

  4. Griffin Says:

    The vast, vast majority of the media especially know this is all bunk but it’s the best they can come up with to attack Trump right now. The fact that they are so pathologically drawn to attacking him is really the bigger story in my opinion.

  5. John Guilfoyle Says:

    “The fact that they are so pathologically drawn to attacking him is really the bigger story in my opinion.”

    This is absolutely true. As much as I hate it, the “story reporters” have become “THE story.” Again.

    That they no longer hide their bias & are comfortable with lying…and alleged conservatives are complicit willing accomplices…That’s how you get more Trump; and more folks like me, who couldn’t believe he was a candidate, but right now would gladly see him in office for 2 terms…if only to make the crazies crazier.

    And given that another person about to rat out the Clintons just turned up dead…

    http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/haiti/article160983614.html

  6. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Key to this is Jonathan Turley stating that,

    “this “simple” espionage theory makes no sense:

    Let me try to sum up this theory.

    The Russians decide to reveal their super secret clandestine effort to secure the presidency for Donald Trump. So they put together a high-ranking, high-visibility meeting at Trump Tower without knowing who would be at the meeting. They also allow a creepy publicist to send an email discussing the grand conspiracy. They then do a Charlie Brown football moment and do not actually disclose the promised incriminating evidence against Hillary Clinton. Does that track with any cognizable Russian intelligence operation? What possible advantage is there in revealing their operation, promising intel, and then not actually sharing anything of value? [what do they hope to gain with a ploy like that?] The Russians are not perfect but they are not morons.”

    The more I learn, the more suspicious the circumstances and the greater the certainty that something smells deeply rotten about this whole affair.

    Don Jr was played the fool by people who knew that his youth and naivete would make irresistible the prospect of handing his father actual proof that Hillary is every bit the crook we all know her to be. This was a set-up by the Obama administration and the DNC.

    It wasn’t previously leaked because Don Jr did nothing illegal. Now the Pravda media is using it to further the drip, drip, drip of ‘circumstantial evidence’ needed to bring RINOs to the impeachment table.

  7. n.n Says:

    The press’s hostility is evolving as a Watergate-style coup targeting the president. So far, they have only managed to expose the prejudice of their motives, collusion with the DNC, and close ties to foreign assets, not limited to the post-coup d’etat government in Kiev.

  8. expat Says:

    I’m beginning to think this might be a good time to get into the TV sales business. I don’t know how much longer I can restrain myself from throwing something through my screen. Enough is enough.

    Of course, Putin hates the US and would do anything to bring us down at least a few notches. Thank you Hillary for letting him know what you thought of all the guests at Chelsea’s wedding. I’m really sorry you aren’t now able to lead us into the cyber warfare age. Go away Hillary. Go away CNN. I have tomatoes to pick and guests to feed.

  9. n.n Says:

    expat:

    Putin hates the US

    On what basis do you offer this assertion?

    His response to a Georgian president targeting Russian nationals was measured. His response to Obama forcing a civil war in Syria was limited to attacking terrorists. And, his response to a NATO-backed coup d’etat in Kiev did not extend beyond backing refugees and securing titled assets in Crimea.

    Finally, despite the establishment and affiliated press, the DNC and Clinton lost because they ignored (e.g. insourcing/outsourcing, [class] diversity, transgender fixation) the needs of Americans, and the RNC establishment candidates lost for the same and perceived (thanks to the left’s cultural war) reasons, not because of foreign influence. Well, not because of Russian influence anyway.

  10. Dave Says:

    Putin hates the US because Obama said so

    If Putin hates us and is an sworn enemy of the us then Doesn’t that make Hillary and Obama guilty of treason when they were trying for the Russia reset?

  11. Tesh Says:

    Thomas Wictor over on Twitter has a good take on the whole thing. He thinks it was an attempted sting on DTJr, using the Russian lady as a sort of “honeypot”, but the Trumps turned it around.

    https://twitter.com/ThomasWictor/status/886011504507539456

  12. Sonny Wayze Says:

    OK.

    So let’s assume that Putin wants to cripple the US (yeah, I know, who could think that, right?). A great way of doing that would be to hobble the president.

    There were two choices: Trump or Clinton. So, before the election, set up a bunch of inconsequential meetings and dig up random encounters, and ‘leak’ these to the press if Trump should win. The press would be happy to play along.

    If Clinton won, well, perhaps they had set up a similar bunch of inconsequential meetings. Would Clinton’s people help Trump now by saying so (rhetorical question alert!!)? Or, in Clinton’s case, perhaps just leak a few SoS emails from that server…

    Either way, Putin gets what he wants.

  13. Bill Says:

    n. n.

    We’ll, Putin invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea. I don’t know what bearing that has on his hatred of the US but he certainly doesn’t fear us. I think he’s enjoying the Trump era and the weird and new found swing in support from the GOP.

    He kills dissenting journalists as well.

  14. Griffin Says:

    ‘I think he’s enjoying the Trump era’

    Did he enjoy the Obama era when he invaded Ukraine and annexed the Crimea? But of course you being a lifelong Republican and all you will just continue with your faux concern. Putin has been getting over on the last three US presidents in one way or another but for the Never Trump life long Republicans it just now started.

  15. Brian E Says:

    Putin has wanted payback since the US toppled the Soviet empire.

    Bill, Crimea and Ukraine happened under the Obama administration– you’re not blaming Trump for that, right?

    While the Warsaw bloc nations were aligning with NATO and the west, which was seen as a betrayal of what Russia thought was a tacit agreement about NATO moving eastward, the final straw was a prospective Ukraine-EU free trade agreement that was to be signed in 2013, which would have probably ended or severely curtailed trade with Russia’s largest trading partner.

    Could Obama have done more than the weak sanctions put in place after the annexation of Crimea? Undoubtedly, but his administration considered Ukraine and Crimea to be historically under Russian influence.

    At this point, would supplying defensive weapons be enough, or would it require a more aggressive response by the EU and the US? Would Europe even engage Russia to stop their aggression?

    At this point, we don’t know what Trump will do in the intermediate term. Bush and Obama, each tried to cajole Russia into playing “nice”. with pretty dismal results.

    Now it’s Trump’s turn. An additional sticking point, no doubt, was the active support by the Ukrainian government undermining the Trump campaign.

    No doubt Ukranians aren’t excited about the prospects of Russian domination, but the Warsaw bloc might be as far east as we can strategically defend.

  16. Bill Says:

    Griffin – I have friends in Ukraine. Do you?

    I think Obama’s foreign policy was a disaster. But go ahead and mockingly call me a “lifelong Republican” with “faux concerns”.

    I’m not a Republican anymore. Because they are the worst people on earth. I thought that happened fast but I think it’s always been that way and I just believed a bit too easily in GOP virtue.

    Brian E. No, I’m not blaming Trump for the invasion of Crimea. Unlike him, I actually know when it happened. But I expected those kind of disasters under democrats. What I didn’t expect is a bromance between my former party and Russia’s dictator.

    I’m a little salty tonight. Sorry.

  17. AesopFan Says:

    https://jonathanturley.org/2017/07/13/worst-spy-novel-ever-media-and-democrats-build-on-le-carre-knockoff-tinker-trumper-lawyer-spy/

    What I said the other day.

  18. Ann Says:

    Re Trump and Russia, this is interesting:

    The White House has publicly endorsed the current sanctions regime against Russia, and legislative affairs director Marc Short said this week that the administration supports the new penalties in the bipartisan Senate-passed bill. But Short also confirmed that the White House is lobbying Republicans to change parts of the Senate’s sanctions bill that would make it more difficult for Trump to roll back or end sanctions against Moscow.

  19. Griffin Says:

    What the hell does it matter if you have friends somewhere? And you are the one that has been on here going on about how you voted for every Republican since Garfield as if that gives you some kind of moral authority over the rest of us. Whether Trump has a bromance with Putin is a pretty shaky claim if we are just going by the evidence and not cooked up media propaganda. It was Bush that saw love in his eyes or whatever and Obama and Clinton with the hokey reset button and Obama that wanted to transmit to Vladimir that he would soon have more flexibility so if we are going to assign a childish ‘bromance’ label then the actual evidence would point to the previous two presidents more than Trump at this time.

  20. Bill Says:

    Griffin, you told me my concern was fake. It’s not. I’ve got more personally at stake, if only second hand, in what happens in Ukraine than you do.

    Since I don’t support Trump and am vocal about it I’ve been frequently accused of being a liberal (and even once a liberal spy :-)) in this space. At times I’ve made the point that I’ve been a Republican for a long time. But I get that doesn’t give me any more credibility in these parts. Think what you want.

    About Trump and Putin. I am basing my opinion that he has shown an undeserved amount of admiration for Putin on what Trump himself has tweeted. These are his words. I’ve long wondered if Putin has something on him. But I’m negatively biased toward Trump so that probably doesn’t seem very plausible to those who aren’t. Trump doesn’t help – recent efforts against the sanctions package going through congress have me scratching my head.

  21. Bill Says:

    Brian E – I read the Lawfare article. It was pretty ascinating. The opening paragraphs in particular paint a pretty complex picture of all the ties and possible ties to Russia in the Trump campaign.

    You won’t be surprised that I felt theories 4 and 5 to be the most plausible. 🙂

  22. Bill Says:

    *fascinating*

  23. Brian E Says:

    Bill,
    why am I not surprised! 🙂

  24. AesopFan Says:

    Dave Says:
    July 15th, 2017 at 2:41 pm
    Perhaps whoever dig up this story of junior meeting with Russian lawyer to try to hurt trump might have acted on her own and had not consulted the democrats before taking action. When all is settled this story might end up hurting the democrats and the reputation of the Obama admin more than Trump. That explains why while sitting on this story for almost a year democrats have used used this story to attack trump themselves because it was an entrapment manufactured by their side if it ever comes to light it would hurt them more than trump.
    * * *
    With all the ties between the lawyer Lady V and the Dems, I’m going with what Dave said.
    Particularly when you mix in the FISA warrants.

    https://spectator.org/whos-colluding-with-whom/

    “If timelines are interesting to you, there is this — reportedly, the Obama administration sought permission to electronically monitor Trump Tower in early June, and the FISA court would not grant it. But in October, that warrant was given.

    So if you’d like to don your tinfoil hat and play the collusion game, try this on for size — when the Obama administration couldn’t get permission from the FISA court to surveil Trump, they allowed Veselnitskaya back into the country to take part in those Washington activities aside from whatever legal work she supposedly would be doing, and in the meantime the administration’s pals at Fusion tasked Goldstone with attempting to hook Trump Junior, whose performance makes him not a terrible analog for Fredo Corleone, into a meeting at Trump Tower to pass along “opposition research.”

    And once that meeting — which on its surface was a waste of everyone’s time — was had, the Obama administration now had something to sell to the FISA court to get that warrant — from which they snagged Mike Flynn and gave the Democrat party and the media a mechanism to shroud the Trump administration in what can best be described as a rather dubious scandal. Remember how Hillary Clinton was accusing Trump of being a Putin’s puppet at the October 19 debate?

    Which theory is harder to believe?

    That Trump, who had never run for office before and who was panned as a clown by the Democrats and the media right up until Election Night last November, orchestrated a grand coup d’état with the assistance of the Russians to “hack” an American election, and that it was so well hidden that the Don Junior meeting is the only real evidence unearthed so far of the whole thing…

    …Or that the Obama administration and the Democratic Party used their immense power to attempt to ensnare the Trumps in a damaging narrative that would either discredit him and the Republican Party as traitors in the event of a Clinton victory or cripple his administration in “scandal” should he pull an upset?

    Who had the means, motive, and experience to pull off the deeds in question? Who had the power to let Veselnitskaya into the country, and what purpose would be served for such permission?

    We don’t know the half of this story. But frankly, this business with The Russians is all of a sudden a lot more interesting than it’s been the whole time the media has been flogging it.”

  25. AesopFan Says:

    “Today I’m going to leave it to others to create some narratives to connect the dots. ”

    Now that we are all channeling John le Carre, I would like to suggest a gaping hole in all the speculative walls: people say “colluding with the Russians” as if the country is so monolithic that there can only be one compelling motive for damaging Hillary Clinton and supporting Donald Trump, and Putin is its avatar.

    Imagine the opposite scenario, where Putin claims that the Americans are colluding with someone in his country to undermine his control (no meaningful elections to influence there).

    Which Americans:
    Democrats or Republicans? Libertarians or Greens?
    Die-hard American Communists wanting to reboot the Politburo?
    Government officials or private citizens?
    CIA? DHS?
    Businessmen or academics?
    Mafia bosses looking for a piece of the Siberian action?
    Muslim Brotherhood looking to help their Chechen brethren?

    IF (big “if” so it’s capitalized) Trump Inc. was schmoozing with some people in Russia, they are far more likely to have been talking to other businessmen with deals to make than to the head of the government – whose interests are NOT oriented toward Making America Great Again.
    Maybe these particular Russian Businessmen hadn’t bought into the Clinton Foundation racket, and were financially opponents of the businessmen who had.
    So, maybe they wanted Trump to win so they could pull the rug out from under the competition.

    That’s how American unions work with their paid representatives in Congress, isn’t it?

    But they don’t want to diss Putin, who might be supporting the Clintonistas. People who diss Putin don’t end well.
    So they get a two-bit lawyer with a vague but positive relationship to Putin, a couple of “names”, and a publicist to dangle the bait, knowing all this will be relayed to Putin, but with some plausible deniability all around, because he isn’t against playing both ends against each other.

    Or maybe the Russians didn’t want Putin to know at all that they were pussy-footing around with the Republican candidate, because he was expecting to able to work with Clinton, who had already been so helpful in the Uranium deal (see my debunking of that Scopes analysis in today’s other post thread). That’s harder because of Lady V’s connections to the Magnitsky Act repeal lobby.

    However, even in one of these hypothetical cases, Turley’s argument holds: you don’t do secret meetings at the contacts home base, especially without knowing exactly who is going to be there, and you don’t lay it out in “clear” communications on an open channel: every email anytime anywhere to anybody must now be considered vulnerable to disclosure by somebody.
    (But not by Somebody? Where’s he gone, by the way?)

    And, really: she invites a known Russian agent to come along ON THE SPUR OF THE MOMENT, even though he has no personal ties to any of the supposed “business” of the meeting, whether collusion or lobbying?

    I think it was a modified limited honey trap (see above for one possible puppeteer: Obama and the FISA warrants).

    IF (again a big if) some folder of damaging information was left with DTJr as a down payment, bribe, or what have you, nothing ever came of it during the election (unless Lady V was carrying a game plan for winning the 3 states where Hillary bombed): no benefit, no collusion, no treason.

    As Neo is so adamant at pointing out: talking to people, even to get oppo research, even if they are Russian, is not a crime, and it’s not even particularly unethical.

    It’s never unethical if Democrats do it.

    One can deplore the stupidity or venality of agreeing to the meeting, without ignoring the hypocrisy of the Now So Pure Leftist Media and DNC.

  26. Dave Says:

    Exchanging political favours is perfectly legal as long as the activities involved are all legal and within the personnels’ authority to do so. Prosecutors promising lighter sentencing in exchange for a accomplice of a crime to testify against the mastermind would be an example of this.

    After watching Alan dershowitz’ interview, my understanding on the subject i came away with is Even if trump has made a deal with Putin that he would repeal all of the sanctions on Russia in exchange for incriminating materials on Hillary, that would still be legal as long as the repealing of the sanctions are legal and within the president’s constitutional authority, and trump campaign was not involved in any way involved in criminally obtaining the materials. Can anyone confirm my understanding on the subject is correct or not?

  27. neo-neocon Says:

    Bill:

    You wrote:

    I’m not a Republican anymore. Because they are the worst people on earth. I thought that happened fast but I think it’s always been that way…

    Worse than ISIS? Worse than Nazis? Worse than leftists like Pol Pot, Stalin, Che?

    Are you joking?

    I hope you’re joking. Because if you’re not, that’s a really preposterous statement you made.

    I get that you’re disillusioned with Republicans. But on the ladder of evil, they occupy a rung that’s not all that high, along with the majority of flawed and human politicians.

  28. AesopFan Says:

    Brian E Says:
    July 15th, 2017 at 2:58 pm
    That’s a wise course. Like previous “scandals” that have proved to sputter when all the information came out, that may again be the case here.

    Here’s a synopsis of the Russian hacking meme (doesn’t include the latest Trump Jr. fiasco) from Lawfare.
    * * *
    ICYMI
    https://www.lawfareblog.com/seven-theories-case-what-do-we-really-know-about-laffaire-russe-and-what-could-it-all-mean
    Monday, May 1, 2017, 12:11 PM

    * *
    Outdated by some of the developments since then, but a useful framework for spinning narratives.
    Doesn’t cover all the bases by a long shot.

  29. Dave Says:

    Remember it is perfectly legal for a president to do things against America’s interest, Obama did that all the time, in fact it was allegedly his goal to weaken America as a weaker America is beneficial to the world and the greater good them socialists believe. it is up to the voters to decide if the president deserves a second term after knowing all the facts.

  30. Dave Says:

    We have fallen the traps democrats have set. Why do we need to waste time defending we are not racist or if trump had done anything wrong when the accusations were bogus and sound bites to beginning with. You can never win Defending against rhetorical accusations anyway, we should attack attack and attack when ever they make rhetorical accusations. You are racist if you treat minorities badly but even If you treat minorities nicely, you are also racist and your overcompensating is proof

  31. AesopFan Says:

    Forbes last month, ICYMI
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/paulroderickgregory/2017/06/19/is-russiagate-really-hillarygate/#3b95be275cf6
    “The most important unanswered question is whether the Clinton campaign funded the Orbis Trump smear campaign and did they understand the campaign could be conducted by Russian intelligence?

    Mueller must question Steele himself on his sources and some of the sources themselves, investigate whether they could be Russian intelligence agents, and determine the role of Clinton donors and campaign officials in the funding of the anti-Trump dossier.

    The Fusion-Steele matter is explosive because it suggests that Russia’s most damaging intervention in the 2016 campaign may have been its creation of the Steele Dossier, remarkably paid for by the Clinton campaign! If so, the Clinton campaign (not Trump) was the prime sponsor of Russia’s intervention in the 2016 election.”

  32. AesopFan Says:

    And collusion to influence elections isn’t just a game for Russians and Republicans.

    https://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2017/07/15/washington-state-slaps-seiu-affiliate-with-lawsuit-for-failing-to-disclose-millio-n2355205?utm_source=TopBreakingNewsCarousel&utm_medium=story&utm_campaign=BreakingNewsCarousel

    “Washington’s Attorney General’s Office has filed a major campaign finance lawsuit against the Service Employees International Union.
    The lawsuit announced late Tuesday accuses SEIU’s State Council of making more than $5 million in unreported campaign contributions.
    That includes more than $2 million in contributions in the 2016 election cycle.”

    Bill Whittle has a video about the contribution of media bias in elections: it runs about 15 points for the Democrats (but his Firewall is behind a Paywall).

  33. AesopFan Says:

    Does it all matter?
    http://libertyunyielding.com/2017/07/16/dead-end-street-righteous-indignation-trump/

    “Trump’s core of loyal voters aren’t going to be swayed by ineffective indignation from NeverTrumpers. They will point out, correctly, that the NeverTrumpers haven’t been effective in all their years of indignation about progressive Democrats, and that nothing has changed.

    The tightening noose of collectivism cannot be lived with; its cost is too high, and it’s the Trump voters who have been bearing all of it. They want out. They can’t sell their futures out for the sake of a media narrative against Trump that doesn’t amount to anything – no matter how embarrassed or disgusted it makes NeverTrumpers feel. Neither can I.”

  34. Bill Says:

    Neo, it was hyperbole. I apologize

  35. Bill Says:

    Dave – regarding collusion being a crime and if that mstters, I recommend Andrew McCarthy’ latest. It’s a good, balanced read from someone who has been for the most part a defender of Trump on this issue

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/449401/trump-jr-emails-high-crimes-misdemeanors

    Ended of the article

    The investigation of Trump’s relationship with Russia will continue. We need to get to the bottom of exactly what it was, exactly what was wrong about it, and how that impropriety affects his ability credibly to carry out his duties — informed by precedents we seem to have established for executive relations with foreign sovereigns.

    The conclusions to be drawn about the president, however, will have little or nothing to do with whether prosecutable crimes have been committed. The questions are those that arise from “the misconduct of public men”: abuse of trust and fitness for office

  36. Bill Says:

    Regarding the charges and countercharges (Trump. Collided, the DNC Collided, Russia, Ukraine). I’m in favor of the full light of truth to be shed on this. That’s why the investigation needs to continue. Let’s follow the facts where they lead.

  37. Bill Says:

    Sigh. *Colluded*. My phone hates me.

  38. artemptydgr Says:

    Sidebar complications

    France has boasted to City of London chiefs that it will use Brexit to sabotage the British economy, according to a bombshell leaked memo.

    The memo, sent to Ministers, says the French government and banking chiefs are plotting to ‘actively disrupt and destroy’ the UK’s multi-billion-pound financial sector when Britain leaves the EU – even if France gains nothing.

  39. Dave Says:

    The fact is democrats believed they had trump completely surrounded. Hillary had the complete support from the entertainment industry, the media, Wall Street, Silicon Valley, while trump had half of the people from his own party against him. The battle between trump and Hillary was never a fair fight, it wasn’t just David vs goliath, it was a little tick vs King Kong. to be honest, trump had a near zero chance for Winning the election without a divine intervention, and I think this is where the lotion of collusion has spawned from, since trump has accomplished a near impossible feat therefore he must have done something illegal and colluding with some outside force that was extremely powerful to do so.

  40. Brian E Says:

    It’s being reported that there were at least 8 persons in the clandestine meeting between Jr. and Ms. V., including a contract US government translator.

    This wasn’t a meeting. It was a conference.

  41. Bill Says:

    For those of you buying into the Fusion GPS “it was all a setup” theory, this article is something to consider. It’s a pretty good take-down of that: http://www.redstate.com/jaycaruso/2017/07/16/democratic-plot-conspiracy-theory-trump-jr.-meeting-dumb-hilarious/

    Here’s a key portion:

    To believe this fiction requires one must first accept the Obama justice department knew in 2015 that Trump would be the eventual GOP nominee and therefore allowed Natalia Veselnitskaya into the country despite a visa denial to get the ball rolling on the plot.

    Second, the meeting was set up by Democratic operatives and Russians working on their behalf as a means of furthering the narrative Trump was under the influence of the Kremlin and Vladimir Putin. I’m sorry but in June of 2016? That narrative had not even taken hold. Wikileaks hadn’t even published the DNC emails at this point. That didn’t happen until the following month.

    Finally, the big question to ask is this: Why wasn’t this information leaked before the election? Trump supporters argue it didn’t get leaked because they were certain Hillary would win. Huh? They went through the trouble of setting up a meeting to further a narrative about Trump yet didn’t leak it to the press because they didn’t think Trump would win? On what planet does this make any sense?

    Granted, Democrats excel in incompetence, but nobody is that incompetent. Trump supporters selling this snake oil want you to believe a conversation like this went down:

    “Hey, Lynch allowed that lawyer to stay in the country.”

    “Okay, good. It’s October 2015. Let’s try and get this meeting set up with Fredo in June of next year.”

    “Got it. When completed, how long do we wait to leak it to the press?”

    “Why would we do that?”

    “To damage the Trump campaign.”

    “We don’t need to do that. Hillary is going to win easily.”

    “So why are we doing it?”

    “Well, based on the off-chance that Trump by some miracle, does win, we can release it down the road. It will play into the narrative Putin controlled the Trump campaign.”

    “That’s a narrative?”

    “It will be a year after this conversation takes place.”

    “Okay, how about this? If Trump wins, we’ll release it July of 2017. It’s the middle of summer. Nobody is paying attention to politics. People are wrapping up their summer vacations. What do you think?”

    “That’s perfect! They’ll never suspect anything!”

  42. Bill Says:

    Manafort was at the meeting (not saying the below is related to the meeting. But part of a pattern). Manafort’s got quite a history:
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/15/world/europe/ukraine-paul-manafort-viktor-yanukovych.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share

    KIEV, Ukraine — Paul J. Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, recently filed financial reports with the Justice Department showing that his lobbying firm earned nearly $17 million for two years of work for a Ukrainian political party with links to the Kremlin.

    Curiously, that was more than the party itself reported spending in the same period for its entire operation — the national political organization’s expenses, salaries, printing outlays and other incidentals.

    He was hired by Ukrainian politicians with ties to the Kremlin to help Pro-Russia efforts in Ukraine. Shortly after the meeting, on June 21, Manafort becomes Trump’s campaign manager.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/03/22/timeline-paul-manaforts-long-murky-history-of-political-interventions/?utm_term=.3969be5a86fb

    Week of July 11. At the national security platform meeting establishing the Republican Party positions on the subject, representatives of the Trump campaign intervene to remove a call for arming the Ukrainian military to battle Russian and rebel fighters in the eastern part of the country.

    Serious question: Trump’s campaign has had a number of people in it with ties to Russia. Trump has been quite pro-Putin for at least a year if not longer, at least in his public statements. He has moved the GOP to a far more pro-Putin and pro-Russia stance than ever before.

    Why? I’m asking because I truly don’t know. It’s one thing to contend that there’s something to the collusion story. But I’m wondering what the root cause might be.

    There’s something going on. It’s been going on for awhile. Does Trump just admire Putin’s leadership qualities? That may be all it is. Something doesn’t fit…

  43. Ymar Sakar Says:

    The entire Alt Right vs Ctrl Left war sounds a lot like those conspiracies people here belittle.

  44. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Winning the election without a divine intervention

    People believe in divine interventions now? Why don’t they also believe in the existence of demons (which are not fallen angels but nephiliim, bodiless spirits like ghosts that can possess people or do poltergeist phenomenon)? What about UFO conspiracies, why don’t they believe in that too.

  45. Ymar Sakar Says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lxs87-8DKTE

    Since people like conspiracy theories now, they might as well go all in.

  46. Dave Says:

    You know there is a thing called figurative language right?trump upsetting Hillary was so surprising and so unlikely it almost felt like it was a result of a divine intervention, a bit like leicester city winning the EPL two years ago.

  47. blert Says:

    Bill….

    Trump lept out to the top of the standings almost from the FIRST.

    The logic is clean: get dirt on EVERYBODY that’s at the top of the GOP greasy pole.

    Duh.

    It’s only confirmation bias that pops up now.

    All efforts with the rest of the crowd now — have dropped off the radar.

  48. Tatterdemalian Says:

    “The entire Alt Right vs Ctrl Left war sounds a lot like those conspiracies people here belittle.”

    Sometimes the conspiracies are real. Like the Bolshevik conspiracy to overthrow the Tsars, or 19 Al Qaeda members out to destroy the WTC by flying airplanes into them.

    We already caught the media on Journolist plotting their own version of the Beer House Putsch, and it would be pure foolishness to assume they’ve given up on their dreams of replacing the racist patriarchal USA with their utopian USSA, when the signs of their continuing gleichschaltung are so obvious, particularly their denouncement of the untermensch growing louder every day.

  49. DNW Says:

    So Neo, and since you above all others have been paying close and detailed attention:

    Have you at least, figured out by this point just what unprecedented outrage it is that the Russians are demonstrated to have committed against what some hysterical talking heads on TV have called, “our sacred democracy”?

    What exact and hard evidence, not claim, is there for a Russian infiltration having rigged the vote and outcome of the November election?

    What actual crime is Youngblood Trump supposed to have committed in meeting with a Russian lobbyist, whether she was frank or not?

    What feelings of solidarity am I supposed to feel with American Democrat ideological Stalinists, when they complain about the great evil of the current Russian state?

  50. Brian E Says:

    Bill,

    The argument that this isn’t plausible because Ms. V was given a hardship visa in October 2015 is a red herring. The speculation about Fusion GPS involvement doesn’t rest on that part of the timeline. Ms. V was let in the country because a client she was representing, Katsyv was being charged with money laundering.

    But as to the speculation that the DNC might have funded this, since they had already hired Fusion GPS to dig up dirt on Trump Sr. here’s a timeline that shows this very plausible:

    April 26th, 2016: Trump declares himself the presumptive GOP nominee.
    April 29th, 2016: DNC learns its computer system has been breached.
    April 30th, 2016: DNC hires CrowdStrike.
    [Late April-Early May]: Democrats begin funding Fusion GPS.
    May 1st, 2016: CrowdStrike determines Russia perpetrated the hack.
    May 3rd, 2016: Reince Priebus declares Trump the presumptive GOP nominee.
    June 9th, 2016: Don Jr. meets with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya at the apparent request of a Fusion GPS operative.
    June 14th, 2016: The DNC publicly discloses the Russia hacked its computer network.

    So even though the DNC doesn’t publicly state that their server had been hacked until after the June 9 meeting, they knew the hack had come from inside Russia on May 1.

    The DNC began funding the Fusion GPS effort in late April- early May.

    From Wikipedia:

    During 2015 and 2016, Fusion GPS was hired by the BakerHostetler law firm which was defending Prevezon from an asset seizure by the U.S. government.[8][9] As part of their litigation support, Fusion GPS investigated Bill Browder, a witness central to the case.[10] During the course of the case, Browder claimed that Fusion GPS had previously been hired to undertake a pro-Russia campaign to aimed at stopping passage of the Magnitsky Act,[11] named after Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer and auditor who died while being held without charges in a Russian government prison after he revealed that the Kremlin had stolen hundreds of millions of dollars from Hermitage Capital Management.

    On March 30, 2017, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa called for a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into connections between Fusion GPS and Russia, and an inquiry as to whether Fusion GPS was acting as an unregistered foreign agent.[11] The company has denied the claim that they were engaged in lobbying or violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act.[9][12]

    Trump dossier and Christopher Steele[edit]
    In September 2015, Fusion GPS was hired to do opposition research for Republicans who opposed Donald Trump’s bid during the Republican primary campaign for the 2016 presidential election. When Trump had emerged as the probable Republican candidate for the 2016 U.S. presidential election in the spring of 2016, Republican donors stopped funding the investigation, and Democratic supporters of Hillary Clinton became Fusion GPS’s new clients.[13] In June 2016, after the Democratic National Committee had been hacked and its emails began to be published online, Fusion GPS retained Christopher Steele, a private British corporate intelligence investigator and former MI-6 agent, to research any Russian connections to Trump. Steele issued a series of memos from June to December 2016, which became the document known as the Donald Trump–Russia dossier.[13]

    This would likely be how Fusion GPS and Ms. V became acquainted. Note it says Fusion GPS was hired by the DNC in June, but it was earlier, before the June 9 meeting. Note that Hillary supporters had been funding Fusion GPS before the DNC began paying them in May.

    Rob Goldstone has stated that he was asked to set up the meeting with Ms. V and Trump Jr. at the request of the son of Russian oligarch Aras Agalarov

    This is speculation, but every bit as plausible as the narrative that Trump Sr. and Putin colluded to hack the 2016 election.

  51. Dave Says:

    Russia hacked the election is a figurative speech rhetoric invented intentionally to dope those useful idiots who have no concept of what figurative speech is and takes everything literally. The figurative speech part is a defense set to evade libel laws.

  52. DNW Says:

    “Dave Says:
    July 17th, 2017 at 11:53 am

    Russia hacked the election is a figurative speech rhetoric invented intentionally to dope those useful idiots …”

    Which is why it is useful to throw a little degreaser at it every now and then.

  53. DNW Says:

    “those useful idiots who have no concept of what figurative speech is ..”

    A habit which we all fall into, since calling a halt to the whole proceedings with a constant challenging of premises at every turn is so wearying, is to respond to the language used with mental or implied reservations, while repeating it nonetheless and thus proliferating the intentionally foggy polemical language.

    This repetition of content-free and intentionally deceptive propositional verbiage by opponents of the proposition in question, tends to, as you say, convey the impression that there is some there, there.

    And then of course, some people just get a charge out of deploying the tropes du jour as signs that they are in the magic circle themselves.

  54. DNW Says:

    As an astonishing example of an unsuccessful if highly determined effort to cut through to the smarm field emitted by a typical Democrat politician, take a few seconds to look at this video of Tucker Carlson trying to reason with a mechanical emitter of cliched talking points.

    How will the Paris agreement lower the sea level in Miami?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcIG5Bf3__g&feature=youtu.be&t=374

  55. Big Maq Says:

    “I don’t know that there’s any limiting factor other than the ones I already gave, talking with a government emissary from a country with which we’re at war … and/or a quid pro quo offer of some sort

    Russia, a country NOT defined as our enemy, although we sometimes work at cross-purposes…”
    – Neo

    Okay – “not an enemy”, as in the cold war era. But still adversarial.

    Or, does that need to be a debate too? I’m all for a discussing a more non-interventionist role for America, but I don’t think there is a good argument to make diminishing the strategic challenge that authoritarian regimes, especially on the scale of russia, pose to our national interests.

    One could argue that there is indeed “substantial warfare” of a cyber sort that is ongoing with russia. Not sure how to otherwise frame that than it is adversarial, given its high potential impact and nature of its targets. And it was well known that the russians were actively doing so – just a couple of many articles, even in 2015:
    http://fortune.com/2015/04/07/russians-hacked-white-house/
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-34411472

    As long as the regime is authoritarian and/or its government has been adversarial, in broad terms, to our interests, and with reasonable expectation that the information “promised” may well have been obtained by illegal (within our boarders) means, it seems to be rather morally problematic, even if the meeting, for its believed purpose, it isn’t illegal.
    .

    “… let’s say Putin …. was talking to Trump Jr. … for some reason. Is that okay? … it would be somewhat suspicious … But it would depend what was discussed. If it was the weather, it’s fine with me … If there was any quid pro quo, it would be wrong.”

    Now, talk of the discussion being about “weather” trivializes this episode, as, from the facts that we DO know, it is far from “the weather” that was trump jr’s rationale for the meeting. That part couldn’t be clearer. If it was merely “the weather” then this conversation wouldn’t be happening.

    Does the quid pro quo need to be explicit in order for this to be wrong? Perhaps, for legal reasons, it does.

    But, come now, nobody is going to accept something of the value, that trump jr and team thought it would be, without some inkling that there will be an expectation set for some future favor (unless it is in return for some kind of consideration already passed).
    .

    “But, the cookie jar was empty!” or “A pig in a poke!”

    That nothing was gained, as is currently claimed by those with a strong interest in claiming so (but don’t have a good track record of being forthright on this), is not an excuse.

    Just showing up for the reasons that were expressed in the emails is the kind of stuff that, IIRC, conspiracy charges are based on, regardless of success of outcome. Does this raise to that legal standard, IDK, but it sure models the issue.

    Some claim “entrapment” with some theory that the dems set this all up with the russians. Still isn’t an excuse. Police use that approach all the time to nab “johns” and “dealers”.

    Besides, isn’t claiming “entrapment” itself an implied recognition of wrongdoing?
    .

    Sure, asking if putin himself were involved is absurd, but it comes back to limiting principles.

    If one thinks it is coming from a government official, with the understanding that their government wants to be helpful, GIVEN the nature of that government, might as well be in for the pound as for the penny.

    ted kennedy did the same or worse. Regrettably, kennedy got away with it. I’m sure we can find more examples. (I’d also say that both clintons and obama got away with plenty, as well)

    Not sure the point, unless it is that makes it right for “our guy” to do something maybe “not quite as bad”?
    .

    In the end, it may not rise to legally be collusion or conspiracy of some sort, but it was rather clear about what trump jr (and team) understood the meeting to be about, who it is from, and could reasonably expect how it was obtained.

    Beyond this discussion about the ethics of it, let’s just say it is highly questionable if this is anything close to an “Amercia First!” approach to politics, something trump has campaigned heavily on.

    “Drain the Swamp!” seems just another empty slogan, in context of these revelations.

    We do ourselves a disservice if we continue to argue like there is nothing to this by replicating the dems’ denial and legalistic approach to their own ethical evasions.

    All that does is erode our own Credibility and Trust.

  56. Big Maq Says:

    Opps. Commented on wrong article. Had two tabs open.

    At least it is still on the same topic, and relevant to this discussion. 😉

  57. Richard Saunders Says:

    It’s not bad enough that DJTJr had to sit through another bullshit meeting, but he has to remember the bullshitter’s sidekick, too?

    Thank God nobody’s reading my e-mails (I hope!) to find out all the bullshit I’ve had to listen to, or the characters I’ve fortunately dismissed from my mind, who’ve tried to sell me their bullshit deals.*

    Little did I know that publicists, especially publicists for Azerbajani pop stars, are the soul of probity! I guess that means I should believe Barak Obama’s publicist who publicized the “fact” that he was born in Kenya.

    So I suppose that means I’m in collusion with all the highbinders, conmen, promoters, and luftmenschen I’ve had to endure listening to because a friend of a friend of a friend says they have the greatest deal since the Dutch “bought” Manhattan. Before I say, “Thank you very much, let me show you the way out, don’t call me, I’ll call you,” that is.

    *I do remember some of them — Mark Spitz (yes, the Olympic swimmer) once tried to sell me a cattle-feeding tax shelter!

  58. miklos000rosza Says:

    I’ve tuned out. I await Mueller’s revelation of some minor sin which the Democrats will then say means impeachment.

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