A fascinating and disturbing time in Washington. An anti-Russian propaganda campaign is running at full tilt and we find Democrats, most of the media and some Republicans spreading innuendo and outright lies about Donald Trump and his alleged ties to Vladimir Putin. I thought Sean Spicer's quip from yesterday's (Tuesday) press conference captured the absurdity:
"If the President puts Russian salad dressing on his salad tonight, somehow that's a Russia connection,"
That's a joke. At least one would think. But the insanity of the anti-Trumpers knows no boundaries. You need only take a look at a diatribe at the Huffington Post put up by Carly Ledbetter , who attacks Spicer for being so cavalier about such a serious matter. Here are a couple of examples from that she cites to reinforce her point that Spicer's sinned against the nation:
Sean Spicer equating #RussiaGate to dressing is beyond ludicrous. Trump is under FBI investigation! @PressSec#RussianDressing
Spicer: If Pres used Russian Dressing that's a Russian connection. Yet I'm pretty sure WH wouldn't obstruct justice to prove he used ranch 1:46 PM – 28 Mar 2017
Spicer also apparently forgot to research the origins of Russian dressing, as it was actually invented in Nashua, New Hampshire by a man named James E. Colburn, according to the Portland Press Herald:
But the facts about Russian influence over Trump are non-existent. Not my opinion. That's a fact that even the truth challenged Jim Clapper acknowledged in early March:
In an exclusive interview with Meet the Press, Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says that there wasn't evidence of collusion between Russia and Trump earlier this year.
But the real news is the emerging evidence that Obama Administration did obtain classified intelligence reports that mentioned Donald Trump and members of his campaign and distributed that information. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes already has confirmed in writing and in interviews that the Obama Administration conducted the following activities against President-Elect Trump and his team between November 2016 and January 2017:
- On numerous occasions, the Intelligence Community “incidentally” collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition.
- Details about U.S. persons associated with the incoming Trump administration — details with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value—were widely disseminated throughout the government, and apparently leaked to Obama administration allies in the media. Those leaks are felonies.
- Names of Trump transition team members were “unmasked” – their identities revealed and circulated – again, more felonies.
- None of this surveillance was related to Russia or any investigation of Russian activities or of the Trump team.
But we do not have to rely solely on the word of Devin Nunes, we also have former Obama Department of Defense official, Evelyn Farkas going on the record that the Obama Administration was spying on Trump:
I was urging my former colleagues, and, and frankly speaking the people on the Hill [Democrat politicians], it was more actually aimed at telling the Hill people, get as much information as you can – get as much intelligence as you can – before President Obama leaves the administration.
Because I had a fear that somehow that information would disappear with the senior [Obama] people who left; so it would be hidden away in the bureaucracy, um, that the Trump folks – if they found out HOW we knew what we knew about their, the Trump staff, dealing with Russians – that they would try to compromise those sources and methods; meaning we no longer have access to that intelligence.
So I became very worried because not enough was coming out into the open and I knew that there was more. We have very good intelligence on Russia; so then I had talked to some of my former colleagues and I knew that they were also trying to help get information to [Democrat politicians].
Sundance (who posts at The Conservative Tree House) provided some additional key points and linked to analysis originally provided by Colonel Lang:
♦ Evelyn Farkas has stated freely on TV that she and a group of associates from the Obama Administration went to congressional staffers who did not have access to these COMINT products and urged them to seek to gain access to them. At some point in the recent past Farkas was de-briefed (cut off) from access to the various kinds of compartmented information she had been given as a requirement of her prior job. When that occurred she signed some papers in which she accepted the responsibility to protect the secrecy of that information. (link)
♦ Evelyn Farkas is also a senior fellow of the Atlantic Council –SEE HERE– the Atlantic Council is funded in part by the US State Department, NATO, the governments of Latvia and Lithuania, the Ukrainian World Congress, and the Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk. The Atlantic Council has been among the loudest voices calling for a new Cold War with Russia. And guess who else is a senior fellow of the Atlantic Council? Dimitri Alperovitch – the founder and CTO of CrowdStrike! Alperovitch is head honcho of the Atlantic Council’s “Cyber Statecraft Initiative”.
♦ CrowdStrike, aka Dimitri Alperovitch was the organization that initially claimed they had evidence the Russians were connected to the Trump organization. A claim they have subsequently walked back – SEE HERE
If we are to believe Ms. Farkas then it is pretty clear that the information that the Obama Administration was circulating was obtained through intelligence methods and was not the product of a FISA warrant. FISA material is not put into intelligence reports that can be disseminated. So, we are left with only two possibilities. One–the intelligence information came from collection efforts carried out by the CIA or the NSA, or Two–the intelligence information came from a foreign collector (I believe it was the Brits) and that information was passed to the U.S. intelligence community and distributed as liaison reporting.
The revelations about Farkas, Pinchuk and Alperovitch provide strong circumstantial evidence that the effort to take out Donald Trump is part of a broader anti-Russian propaganda campaign.
Hard to believe that Farkas came out and said what she did on tee vee talk show. Hubris at uncontrolled levels? Something else?
Publius Tacitus: Would be interested in your thoughts on Alexandra Chalupa and the Ukraine connection.
What is amazing is that the mainstream media, now leading the jihad against Trump is the same mainstream media–NYT, WAPO, CNN, MSNBC–that has been publishing all the revelations about the Obama Administration spying on Trump and his campaign aides. NYT March 1, 2017 went through the steps that the Obama White House took to disseminate as widely as possible the obtained data on the Trump people. The Guardian had the most detailed accounts of the efforts by the DOJ and FBI to get FISA court order to monitor Trump people dealing with Russians. This just underscores that this is a pure black propaganda campaign. Some leaker needs to be nailed or else this will go on, unabated, until Trump is gone. Publius Tacitus was the chronicler of the moment in Roman Empire history when there were four emperors in one year time, due to intrigues, assassinations, etc. Let’s make sure this is not a rerun of that history. We are a Republic not an Empire, and therefore the American people have so much to lose in this fight. Our Republic is in jeopardy, perhaps greater than at any time since the end of the Civil War.
Yes. We have truly stepped through the looking glass into bizarro land.
The media reports Trump was spied on. Members of the Obama admin publicly state, to the media, that Trump was spied on.
Then when Trump tweets that he was spied the media flies off the handle saying that Trump is irresponsible, crazy and mendacious for saying he was spied on. Then carries on hurling insinuations and outright allegations as if some connection between Trump and Russia has been established; something they wouldn’t “know” unless Trump was spied on.
LOL… the “opposition” has a new tactic, spearheaded here by the ever obsequious Thomas Friedman 🙂
Trump Is a Chinese Agent https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/03/29/opinion/trump-is-a-chinese-agent.html?smid=tw-share&referer=https://t.co/fofOKh40sx
The big story everyone is chasing is whether President Trump is a Russian stooge. Wrong. That’s all a smoke screen. Trump is actually a Chinese agent. He is clearly out to make China great again. Just look at the facts.
Friedman is such a shameless stooge. I’m surprised anyone takes him seriously.
If the colonel thinks ill of me for posting this link, My intent is not to come off as a Nazi sympathizer..
At any event, there you have foreign influence in American elections, but as our Russian “partners” would say, they are “nash” and therefore benign, eh?
The whole Russia connection and attached paranoia has me wowed. On the one hand Russia is a borderline failed state with an economy the size of Spain’s, but on the other Putin is 10 feet tall, a latter day Ernst Stavro Blofeld, a puppet master. It can’t be both ways, can it?
What bugs me though is that there has to be an agenda driving all this propaganda. What is the public being softened up for?
Nobody has taken Friedman — he of the Friedman unit — seriously for years. Six people I have singled out for severe punishment are Friedman, Maureen Dowd, Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow, David Brooks, and the guy in those Trivago ads.
Valissa I think you are too good to Friedman calling him an stooge, IMHO, Thomas Friedman is a total AH.
“Our Republic is in jeopardy, perhaps greater than at any time since the end of the Civil War.”
Why doesn’t President Trump declassify all the “evidence” and end this charade? He has the authority.
Yeah, I know “sources & methods” and all that “state secrets” stuff, but if the stakes are so high where the Republic is in jeopardy why should that matter? IMO, the fact that POTUS is not allowing sunshine is in itself raising suspicions and more innuendo.
TTG believes it is because it may show his associates are likely compromised.
Seems like time for an independent investigation to me.
IMO that is because you want to screw the Trumpians. The 9/11 commission was run altogether by neocons. pl
Where would you find neutral or impartial qualified people, whose careers are not beholding to some faction of the establishment, to do this?
May I ask: Who implanted that thought into your brain? On CNN last evening “independent investigation” must have been uttered a dozen times or more in the span of 30 minutes or so. Why would the Dems want a so-called “independent investigation”? To get talk of nationwide surveillance out of the news cycle and pigeon-holed for a couple years so they keep attention on their “Russia hacked the election” nonsense?
I do not believe that the Russians fixed this election. The wikileaks posts were e-mails from the clinton server. It was the clinton camp and their arrogance, ignorance, impudence, and insolent disrespect for the American people that was on major cause of the loss. When did a party change so many state offices, congressional offices and the office of the president in one election?
Do the Russians spy on us, most likely yes, do we spy on them definitely yes
The actions of the democrats since the election are a major threat to this country. No one hurts more then the American people when the elected government does not work to get things done.
Look at their stand on immigration, I keep expecting them to nominate MS 13 members for office next
Look at their stand on border security, they invite terrorist in and feed and clothe them
Since they are determined to hinder more then help , they might as well go home and let some useful people get things done. They have become a sick joke.
I want a full investigation the the obama bunch spying on the Trump campaign people and the illegal naming of names to the public. That sets a precedence that has to be stopped and people need to be jailed over it
Why didn’t Obama and his associates defend the Republic, it was their sworn duty.
I believe it was Publius Tacitus who wrote that in his first post.
more clinton e-mails released. contain classified info from unsecured emails and special favors for clinton donors
The “Russia is weak” narrative is used to convince the public that conflict with Russia (proxy war, cold war, etc.) is nothing to be afraid of because they can’t retaliate.
The “Russia is a grave threat” narrative is used to convince the public that conflict is unavoidable because they’re responsible for it all, and that the neocons are responding to outside aggression.
One of the first rules of propaganda is that cognitive dissonance is not to be feared, hence the glaring contradictions in their claims.
What disappeared with the neo-liberal-con counter coup at the beginning of this century is a government run by and for the people. Rather than being forgotten and thrown in a dumpster, the history of the Balkans has infected North America. Old tribal feuds from when the Red Army, the Wehrmacht, Cossacks, Mongols and Teutonic Knights rolled across the Great European Plain are now broadcast on MSNBC. In the clip above, Polish and Hungarian offspring are saying basically to be very afraid of the Russians and their stooges in the White House. This benefits their tribal families and homelands and the media owner of Comcast sees the ratings soar.
What has been lost is America’s promise of Peace and Prosperity. In its place is perpetual war.
In the aftershocks, yesterday, Donald Trump went to EPA Headquarters to gut clean energy regulations with his miners standing in the background. Environmentalists have been scapegoated since the 1970s by the right wing for causing the Rust Belt. This was their victory celebration. The tragedy is that this is just like the Democrats scapegoating the Russians, the real reason that life will not be so great for the next generations is greed and the exploitation of the Middle Class by the Elite, not the evil scapegoats that black propaganda keeps dragging forth.
Heck, I am old enough that “children” Farkas’s age were in my high school or college classes. These people grew up thinking that whatever they thought was absolutely genius and that they were never wrong.
It just didn’t occur to her that she could do anything wrong.
Q- “What bugs me though is that there has to be an agenda driving all this propaganda. What is the public being softened up for?”
A-a good reason to not afford a decent health care, but still afford and approve needing a trillion dollar military budget.
The links are thought-provoking. I have no way to judge how much the information in them figures into all this mess, but they sure show how this “Russian hacked the election” meme has entangled us in a big mess just trying to make the details clear to our mostly uninformed public.
And I wonder if you have read all the Israeli accusations about the Neo Nazi groups in the Ukraine and their connection to the Fascists in Hungary. More mess to straighten out in our minds.
All I wished for was that the election, being over, would finally get us back to a more normal political climate, if there ever was such a thing.
Seems our IC have been taking a very cavalier attitude with the data they gather revealing US Citizens communications throughout the community including political operatives which have found their way into the MSM. This is contrary to the oath these individuals have taken in their careers plus promises made to the American people.
The Senate and House leaders need to divvy up the Intelligence investigations allowing the Senate to pursue the Russian involvement in our recent election while the House pursues the findings of Rep. Nunes amongst other domestic malfeasance.
It certainly seemed appropriate for Mika to allow Ms. Farkas to rattle on about the long time unmasking of political communications possibly for the past five plus years.
Hopefully Mr. Comey is up for what is coming and the justice department is stocking up on paper.
Trivago ads! Thx for the laff.
Thomas Friedman is the Thomas Jefferson of Israel. Doncha’ know? DC is his Paree.
Neocon rage at losing. But they’ve got Mika and Joe, et al, in the tank. Three hours every morning. They’re hepped up and hoping.
CBS News has said repeatedly that Trump’s staff was spied on, but claims that it was legal. Their assertion was that “intelligence agencies” were engaged in “routine monitoring of foreign powers, which they are legally entitled to do,” and in the process recorded Michael Flynn talking with the Russian ambassador and reported that conversation and provided that recording to the Obama administration.
They brought on a visiting expert, “formerly the number two man at the CIA,” to tell us that it was all perfectly proper because the recording of Trump staff was merely an “incidental interception.” Many here have maintained that revealing such incidental interceptions constitutes a serious felony, but CBS News claims otherwise.
Whether proper or not, their story certainly confirms that the Obama administration was listening to and recording members of the Trump staff.
“– their story certainly confirms that the Obama administration was listening to and recording members of the Trump staff when they were communicating with Russian persons of interest.”
I agreed with TTG.
So the Borgs are coming out in full force against Trump? Perhaps at the end of the day, it’s not too bad that some important facts will be learned about Trump associates.
A couple of related items:
1. The US Senate Select Intelligence Committee will have an open hearing on Russian Intelligence Activities later today:
Advisory: Senate Intel Committee Announces Open Hearing on Russian Intelligence Activities https://www.intelligence.senate.gov/press/advisory-senate-intel-committee-announces-open-hearing-russian-intelligence-activities
The hearing is divided into two panels, with the first scheduled to start at 10;00 am and the second at 2:00 pm.
Senate hearing to focus on Russian disinformation tactics
They might as well title the hearing, “OMG, the Russians are coming, the Russians are coming!”
2. A report published yesterday on Circa.com, written by John Solomon and Sara Carter:
Obama’s rule changes opened door for NSA intercepts of Americans to reach political hands http://circa.com/politics/barack-obama-changed-how-nsa-intercepts-of-americans-like-donald-trump-could-be-shared
3. An interview by National Interest of the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavarov on the topic of relations between the USA and Russia, published on March 29, 2017 http://bit.ly/2ob97m2
The key quote as highlighted by the MFA Russia twitter feed?
“Normal relations is to treat your partners with respect, not to try to impose your ideas on others, always try to listen and hear, and hopefully not to rely on a superiority complex.”
4. An analysis published on March 27 on Forbes.com, written by Paul Gregory:
Do Russia hackers in epaulets challenge the intelligence consensus of Russian Interference in the 2016 Election? https://t.co/sHNOIWna7i
The US House and Senate Intelligence Committees are holding hearings into Russian interference.
Will these Committees request any assistance from the Russian Government in an effort to sort out what may have transpired, or will our esteemed elected officials trundle along blowing up any chance in the near term of working with Russia to solve some of the key problems we are jointly facing?
(As an aside, both China and Russia are now pushing back against the United States installing an anti-missile defense system in South Korea.)
Democrats are walking into a trap of their own creation. In the end I suspect Russiagate will reveal some embarrassing contacts between Trump people and Russia but nothing approaching treasonous activity and Russian influence on our election will prove to be less than meets the eye. Meanwhile it will be revealed that if not The Donald himself Trump’s organization at least was being spied on, vindicating Trump and making him appear more a victim than a villain. An investigation needs to occur but these often lead to unpredicted and unintended truths.
HRC has come out of the Woods to attack Trump again to support WOMEN? LOLOLOLOL!!
Other than ISIS terrorists being used to bring about regime change, what else would they want to distract from with this Russia nonsense? That ISIS does traffick women and children?
Ivanka plans to devote attention to this.
President Trump has announced a federal investigation into the elite pedophile scandal involving human trafficking earlier this month and promised to help put an end to the “horrific, really horrific crimes
Old articles and NBC news clips are surfacing again.
Timing. Plus this from Dr.Phil. I want names.
This sort of reminds me of when Democrats complained about Wikileaks publishing DNC emails, in which they were really loud about being hacked and really quiet about the actual content of the emails, which pretty well proved that they were in the bag for Hillary.
Meantime, Comey was willing to go public about Putin’s attempts to influence an American election before election day, but he was shot down by Susan Rice, Tarmac Lynch and Obama’s other incompetents.
Re: “The 9/11 commission was run altogether by neocons. pl”
And perhaps even the event itself. http://www.ae911truth.org/
Interview with Foreign Minister Lavrov
“One of the first rules of propaganda is that cognitive dissonance is not to be feared, hence the glaring contradictions in their claims.”
If memory serves, I believe that’s what George Orwell called ‘doublethink’ in 1984: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/doublethink
It is about the current campaign of innuendo, planted stories and media hysteria around Russia – hacking, influencing the election, and turning Trump & his associates to be an agent – that is undermining the Trump presidency. What do you think is the best way to end this?
So by all means leave it up to the GOP and run by a guy from Trump’s transition team, right?
Then let’s have a special congressional committee, like during Watergate. What’s to fear? You guys are all so sure that this is some kind of super-deep conspiracy run by Obama, by all means let’s get to the bottom of it.
I don’t watch CNN or any cable news — I’m just old enough to remember Watergate.
I think “Russia hacked the election” is nonsense, but I suspect that they tried to influence it, and also suspect that they hacked HRC’s emails. BTW, Marco Rubio now claims that that his campaign was also targeted by hackers seemingly based in Russia. Why wouldn’t you want to find out if that actually happened? Or if Obama did what Trump claimed he did? Seems like a big deal to me.
Not the event Chuck. Just the explanation after the fact.
Questioning our integrity is not a smart play on your part. The Colonel and I are strictly non-partisan. We call it as we see it and, by virtue of our previous positions, have access to knowledgeable sources. We are offering more than just our opinion. I’m curious why you think a “special” congressional committee would get the job done? Unlike 1974, we live in an age where even black and white facts are denied as being facts.
The president has political enemies in both parties who would like nothing more than the power to hamstring him and enact their own agenda. That’s what the radical Republicans tried to do to Andrew Johnson.
This was an excellent report.
Edward, what does your response have to do with the question I asked?
Cut it out, I’m not questioning anyone’s integrity. I have no clue who you are, but trying to turn Devin Nunes into a hero suggests that you are indeed partisan. I’ve been around long enough to know that people commenting in threads on this site were/are mostly (very very) anti-HRC and (very very) pro-Trump.
True, we live in a time of deep spin, which is what it appears to me you are doing.
Do you think that Nunes is “neutral or impartial?” From hereon/henceforth I will be ignoring anything that comes out of his mouth and will instead be paying attention to what the Senate Intel Committee is up to.
The WSJ says that Flynn’s willing to be interviewed by the FBI and House and Senate Intel Committees. For immunity.
Edward, I did not bring up Nunes or any member of either political party. Of course it was really a rhetorical question since no member of either party is going to be able to be truly impartial and objective.
Why do you keep looking for “the truth” from politicians? Why do you think an investigation will actually resolve anything? Do you not recognize a witch hunt when you see one, or is it OK when it’s your party looking for witches to burn?
Reminder… I am NOT a member of any political party.
I think “witch hunt’ is what Trump’s calling it now too. Got it.
And “witch hunt” is a curious turn of phrase since the FBI is conducting the investigation, as are GOP-controlled Intel Committees in House and Senate.