By Dan Peak
The Commoner Call (6/25/18)
Dear Fellow Readers,
In spite of all Trump’s distractions, Trump-Russia and the risk to Trump has not gone away, in fact it’s the opposite. One byproduct or his Trump-Russia exposure is the frequency of times he tweets “witch hunt”; like the number of lies he tells, both are on the increase. Though not without impact as public opinion of special counsel Robert Mueller continues to erode.
Trump-Russia and the corruption of the 2016 election has not gone away, in fact it’s clear it wasn’t even the first use of the Russian game plan to disrupt and cause havoc in other countries. We recently spent some time on former Trump campaign manager — now indicted and in jail pending trial because of witness tampering — Paul Manafort and his black arts campaigning for Putin candidates in Ukraine. This even included the Ukrainian version of ‘Lock Her Up’ with the jailing of rival, former Ukraine president, Yulia Tymoshenko. Not to be confused with the former Ukraine president who was poisoned, Viktor Yushchenko.
While we have touched on Russian corruption with the U.K. Brexit Leave.eu campaign, this is an ongoing story worthy of some attention. We’ll take a quick look starting with a tweet from whistleblower and former Cambridge Analytica associate Christopher Wylie:
Brexit was won by breaking the law: 1) illegal money, 2) data crimes and 3) Russian involvement. How can we trust the legitimacy of a referendum tainted by systemic cheating? We need a new vote.
10:13 AM – 23 Jun 2018
For a more complete update go here: Britain Has a Russia Collusion Scandal Now. It Looks Exactly Like Trump’s.
“The most important thing to understand about the Russia scandal is that it perfectly fits a clear pattern of behavior. What Vladimir Putin is accused of doing to help Donald Trump win the presidency is essentially identical to what he is either accused of or proven to have done to help many other right-wing candidates in many other countries. As the plot in the United States is slowly exposed, a remarkably similar one in the United Kingdom is quickly surfacing.
“Months before the United States narrowly elected Trump, the United Kingdom narrowly elected to withdraw from the European Union. Both votes advanced Russian foreign policy goals — in the latter case, by splitting up the Western alliance. (Trump has this strategy, too.) Russia employed many of the same tools to influence both elections. It social-media bots and trolls to spread its message. It recruited friendly candidates who gave voice to previously marginal Russophile positions. And, as the newly surfaced evidence suggests, it indirectly financed the campaign.”
The campaigns – Trump-Russia and Leave.eu, are even intertwined:
“Trump has many surface ties to the Brexiteers. He has met with Banks and the nationalist leader Nigel Farage. He has echoed their rhetoric and even their cause, labeling himself “Mr. Brexit.” But more revealing is the pattern of similarities below the surface. The covert meetings, the endless false denials that they took place at all, the patina of legitimate business discussions, and the web of undisclosed financial ties. To believe that neither Trump nor Banks colluded directly with Russia in 2016 is to believe in an awful lot of strange coincidences.”
Trump’s former data mining partner, Cambridge Analytica, made the news a second time in a few days: Trump Campaign Data Operation Had Stolen Clinton Emails ‘more than a month’ Before WikiLeaks: Bombshell Report.
That’s right, Trump’s data operation was purportedly in possession of the Clinton emails a month before they were published by WikiLeaks.
Another new Trump-Russia link, McClatchy News continues to dig and report on more damning news about Russian influence on a purported Ukraine peace plan that found it’s way to former Trump national security adviser who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, Michael Flynn, by way of Trump lawyer Michael Cohen who now faces his own federal charges. Most significantly, the proposed plan was devised a year before it was given to the Trump associate.
Yes, a proposed peace plan to benefit Putin and Russia was devised a year prior to a hand-off to the Trumpsters. A year in the making and part of the incentive for Putin to have Trump in the White House. A partial list of those involved, focusing narrowly on Trump associates, includes Michael Cohen, Flynn and Trump business partner Felix Sater as well as a list of U.S. lawmakers including former Rep. Curt Weldon (Republican; a new name added to the mix by McClatchy), Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA; “sometimes called Russian President Vladimir Putin’s best friend in Washington”, GOP Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, and Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA; leading Dem on the House Intelligence Committee) summarized this way:
“The fact that this proposal was being considered a year in advance of its provision to the White House raises serious questions about how far along the discussion had progressed and the extent to which Russia was involved in the planning or consideration of the proposal.”
There was another Russian playbook that made the public eye again: REVEALED: FIFA Knew About The Cover-up Of Russia Player’s Positive Drug Test 18 Months Ago.
The governing body for the World Cup is FIFA, who not too long ago were raided at the headquarters in Zurich ahead of a number of officials being charged with corruption, notably payments in exchange for votes from countries hosting tournaments like Russia and Qatar.
One Trump-Russia link is the original investigation of corruption by the FBI was kicked off by information handed over by ex MI6 Russia desk and Trump dossier author Christopher Steele. This was one way he was so well known and respected by the FBI in advance of the dossier.
“The incredible details include new information about how Russia’s Sports Ministry covered up the positive test of one of the players initially named in their World Cup squad and then swapped his tainted urine for a clean sample.
“This comes as fans around the world, including Russia, have renewed doubts about the trustworthiness of the national team following their record-breaking start to this World Cup.”
FIFA sat on this information for 18 months ahead of the tournament. The author of the report offers this conclusion.
“With FIFA and Russian sport in tandem, it is impossible to trust in anything you see. FIFA could start to address that. But do not hold your breath.
“Russia is not sufficiently punished when rigging outcomes be it elections or sports. If it works and there is not a price to pay…”
Time for you to pay for those billionaire tax cuts!
The Washington Post noted: Trump Is A Baldfaced Liar.
That’s not an eye-opener for anyone at this point, even the majority of his supporters. It’s only a matter of whether in knowing this, you care or you don’t care.
“In all my years, I have never seen anything quite like this: a U.S. president who and demonizes at the drop of a hat. I don’t just mean President Trump makes statements that tend to be inaccurate or misleading or that he exaggerates, equivocates and, at times, shades the truth.
“No, this president repeatedly makes declarations that are flat-out at variance with established facts; assertions that on their face cannot be true….
“No other words for it: Trump is a baldfaced liar.”
Trump’s No. 1 Fan Boy
Rep. Paul Ryan doesn’t care, he’s fine with Trump being baldfaced liar: House GOP Plan Would Cut Medicare, Social Security To Balance Budget.
“House Republicans released a budget proposal Tuesday that would balance in nine years – but only by making large cuts to entitlement programs, including Medicare and Social Security, that President Donald Trump has vowed not to touch.”
Trump doesn’t care, he only cares about minimizing his personal risk by keeping control of the House and the Senate through the mid-term elections.
Trump doesn’t care about a solution to immigration policy, he doesn’t want a solution to immigration policy before the mid-term elections: Trump Attacks Immigration Laws, Calls For Deportations Without Trials.
““We cannot allow these people to invade our County,” Trump tweeted. “When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came.””
Said another way, Trump proposes breaking the law and denying immigrant — and asylum — rights to due process: Trump Advocates Depriving Undocumented Immigrants Of Due-Process Rights.
Trump confuses his own party – one thing on Thursday, “a more failed last week” (in a House vote), another thing on Friday, “when the president tweeted that “Republicans should stop wasting their time on Immigration until after we elect more Senators and Congressmen/women in November.”” And now on Sunday, has apparently offered support for hard-line version, “Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Tex.), a co-sponsor of the hard-line bill, the White House was not giving up on it. “I did talk to the White House yesterday. They say the president is still 100 percent behind us,” McCaul said on “Fox News Sunday.””
It’s Trump’s self-made crisis and he wants to keep it that way: Is the Border in Crisis? ‘We’re Doing Fine, Quite Frankly,’ a Border City Mayor Says.
A far cry from Trump’s right-wing nationalist rhetoric of “invasion” and reminiscent of fascism, “infestation”, it turns out the feet on the ground in Brownsville, TX, the front line, say it’s all Okay, no crisis.
“There is not a crisis in the city of Brownsville with regards to safety and security,” said Mr. Martinez, who has lived in Brownsville since the late 1970s. “There’s no gunfire. Most of the people that are migrating are from Central America. It’s not like they’re coming over here to try to take anybody’s job. They’re trying to just save their own lives. We’re doing fine, quite frankly.”
It’s important to remember, Republicans sounded like Democrats with immigration policy only a few years ago. Listen to former presidents George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan offer compassion, amnesty, financial support and an immigration policy based on needing immigrants to help us, “we need these laborers”.
Watch this amazing 3-Minute video: George H. W. Bush And Ronald Reagan Debate On Immigration In 1980.
The New York Times article points out that border crossings have sharply declined over the past two decades. Border crossings are not how or why we face challenges with MS-13 crime, border crossings are not the principal way drugs come into the U.S.
We are not being invaded; there is not an infestation. There are Trump lies and hard-liners that are pushing for policies that are NOT good for us – true for immigration, true for Social Security.
Everyone Is Waiting For Mueller
Trump is a liar, he is lying more and will continue to lie more often every additional day he is in office.
Trump is cruel, his policies are horrible, the policies are hurtful.
Trump’s “invasion”, his “infestation” are his latest riff on Build The Wall. Good for his cult, bad for everyone else.
Trump isn’t loyal, not to long-term associates like Cohen, not to his supporters with cuts to medical coverage and Social Security.
Trump’s story blows in the wind be it North Korea or his immigration policies. North Korea is once again, or still, an “extraordinary threat”. Trump couldn’t halt separations of immigrant parents from their children until he did by signing an Executive Order but still without plans for what happens next including no plan for reuniting families.
But for Trumpers facts, be damned: “As Critics Assail Trump, His Supporters Dig In Deeper”.
Former Republican strategist Rick Wilson feels Trump’s invincibility was now pierced by his own doing: This Was The Week That Finally Broke Trump’s Spell.
“Donald Trump can’t define or pronounce the word Manichaean, but he knows it when he sees it. For Trump, there are two types of people; Donald Trump, and losers, and the one thing Donald Trump can’t abide is a loser. Donald Trump , and across the board. He lost, doubled down, lost again, hocked his cufflinks, lost, tried to flip the table and was finally escorted out of the casino and had his knees broken in the parking lot when he couldn’t pay his marker.
“Donald Trump was defeated this week by the two things he hates most: immigrants, and the media.”
One House member, speaking on background, told Wilson: “This mistake broke the spell.””
Maybe Wilson is right. He offers this convincing case:
“The only thing worse than losing on his central political issue to the hated news media was losing to brown-skinned children from Central America, but lose he did. Trump’s crapulous, aggressively dumb team of political arsonists thought they had a surefire winner for the core of the Trump demo. What could go wrong with a heartless, callous policy of visible and aggressive separation of migrant children from their parents? They capered and giggled, secure in the knowledge that Fox and talk radio, and the alt-right and alt-light media would cheer Trump’s aggressive steps against the cocoa-colored horde of MS-13 toddlers.”
But many are not so sure, “whatever happened to Mueller, he’s taken too long?” was one opinion put forward by a reader. Certainly this was true during Watergate. It took hearing the tapes that finally brought Nixon’s supporters to turn.
The surest way to stay the damage being done every day by Trump’s evil minions is to win the mid-term elections.
Whatever he tweets on the hour and no matter what avoidable crisis he gins up, Trump is afraid of what Mueller is likely to have.
(Commoner Call cartoons by Mark L. Taylor, 2017. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www,thecommonercall.org )