Reciprocity?

Tonight’s Trump-Russia news dump comes from the Washington Post, presaged earlier in the day by an article in Sputnik tweeted out by the Russian Embassy in the United States.

Last December, in response to Russian hacking of the election and harassment of American diplomats in Moscow, President Barack Obama ordered 35 Russian diplomats out of the country and demanded that Russia vacate properties in Long Island and on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, supposedly for rest and recreation of the Russian diplomatic corps in the United States but suspected of also functioning to gather intelligence.

That was on December 29. The next day Michael Flynn, President-elect Trump’s presumptive National Security Advisor, spent a lot of time on the phone with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States. After those phonecalls, Russian President Vladimir Putin magnanimously decided against reciprocating, an unexpected move. Usually expulsion of diplomats is followed by an equal and opposite expulsion of the first country’s diplomats. But it was the Christmas season.

Earlier today, the Russian government Sputnik reminded the United States government of this principle of reciprocity. The Russian Embassy in the United States emphasized it with a tweet.

And a few hours later, Karen DeYoung and Adam Entous tell us that the United States government is indeed thinking of allowing the Russians to reoccupy the properties. Earlier, the United States had linked reoccupation to allowing the United States to build a consulate on a particular piece of land in St. Petersburg that the Russians had been blocking. But then that link was dropped.

Supposedly nothing is decided yet. It looks like Trump is willing to end part of the sanctions against the Russians for their election hacking just because he’s a nice guy. Or because the Russians were nice guys and didn’t reciprocate the expulsion.

 

Cross-posted to Nuclear Diner.

98 replies
  1. 1

    It’s nice guys all the way down.

  2. 2
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Or because he’s bought and paid for.

  3. 3
    Morzer says:

    Covfefe codependency.

  4. 4
    divF says:

    Reciprocity … is the key to every relationship.
    L.A. Confidential

  5. 5
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Junior G-Man) 🗳 🌷 says:

    Supposedly nothing is decided yet. It looks like Trump is willing to end part of the sanctions against the Russians for their election hacking just because he’s a nice guy. Or because the Russians were nice guys and didn’t reciprocate the expulsion.

    It’s stuff like this and much more that makes me believe that Kathy Griffin did nothing wrong with what she did. It’s what millions want to see happen to that man. Trump’s probably gotten people killed with his incompetence/malice anyway in Syria.

    Anybody who criticizes her for her stunt is just a pearl clutcher
    Edit: he deserves to go out like Mussolini. After a fair trial of course

  6. 6
    Hunter Gathers says:

    I always wondered what would happen if we were ruled by the 27%ers, but I didn’t figure that it would be as lame and predictable as this.

  7. 7
    Morzer says:

    I must admit, I thought it was unlikely that Trump had any capacity for self-mockery, but this….

    At Wednesday afternoon’s press conference, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said that “The president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant” by covfefe. This reads like a joke, but if you listen to the audio—the press conference was audio-only—Spicer sounds extremely, deadly serious and angry…

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the.....thing.html

  8. 8
    dr. bloor says:

    It looks like Trump is willing to end part of the sanctions against the Russians for their election hacking just because he’s a nice guy. Or because the Russians were nice guys and didn’t reciprocate the expulsion.

    Everybody knows Trump is a broke, corrupt pervert, and the Electoral College installed him anyways. What in the possible fuck do they have on him that would make him sweat?

  9. 9
  10. 10
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Hunter Gathers:

    I have to admit, I didn’t expect the 27 percenters to sell us out to the Russians. That was an unexpected plot twist.

  11. 11
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Junior G-Man) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @dr. bloor: Putin flattered him. That’s probably literally it

  12. 12
  13. 13
    lollipopguild says:

    @Mnemosyne: They like the Russians better than their fellow Americans. This is treason but not when Republicans do it.

  14. 14
  15. 15
    Morzer says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    They don’t care if they pull the roof down on themselves, so long as they get to kill us first. That’s why the Democrats shouldn’t waste time trying to win over Trump’s base.

  16. 16
    Keith P. says:

    “Jared, your contact’s codename is ‘Covfefe’. Tell no one.”

  17. 17
    tobie says:

    @lamh36: Calling all lawyers here…what protections do journalists have. This is unbefuckalievable.

  18. 18
    Hunter Gathers says:

    @Mnemosyne: I was betting on the price being magic beans from a Nigerian Prince. They are way more sophisticated then I thought.

  19. 19
    lollipopguild says:

    @Keith P.: No it’s “Swordfish”.

  20. 20
    Baud says:

    Whoa. Rex Tillerson wants to stay in the Paris deal, according to Hayes.

  21. 21
    Mnemosyne says:

    @lollipopguild:
    @Morzer:

    Just to be clear, I’m not surprised that the Republicans sold our country out to a foreign power. It’s just that, having come of age in Reagan’s America, I was surprised that it was specifically Russia.

  22. 22
  23. 23
    hovercraft says:

    I thought Hillary was the one with NFLTG?
    What the fuck is wrong with these people, it’s like they have no idea how this looks to real people. Yes I know that he has absolute faith in his base loving the fact that he’ll be sticking it to Obama by undoing his action, but to the rest of the world this looks like a thank you for help bro.
    I feel that one of the biggest things we have going for us is that Twitler is so thin skinned and petty that he’ll keep shooting himself in the foot, and forcing the GOP to defend more and more indefensible things.

  24. 24
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Junior G-Man) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @lamh36:

    “The Department of Justice appointed special counsel to assume responsibility for this matter,” Department of Justice spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said in a statement to CNN. “We will allow him to do his job. It is unfortunate that anonymous sources whose credibility will never face public scrutiny are continuously trying to hinder that process by peddling false stories to the mainstream media.

    Phrasing was like that used by RWNJ on Facebook. Since when do DOJ spokespeople talk like internet comment sections?

  25. 25
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Junior G-Man) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Also very probable

  26. 26

    […] Cross-posted to Balloon Juice. […]

  27. 27
    lollipopguild says:

    @Mnemosyne: Putin runs a mostly white, christian capitalist dictatorship with elections. It is the model of how Repthugs want to run America. Only white conservatives would be allowed to vote or have a say in how the country is run, everyone else would be silenced, in some cases killed. Freedumb!

  28. 28
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Baud:

    I guess that Exxon shareholder rebellion today got his attention.

  29. 29
    TenguPhule says:

    Guardian reporting that White House to refuse to answer any more reporter questions about Russia.

    Spicer saying all future questions go to Trump’s lawyers.

    Interesting.

  30. 30
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Junior G-Man) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @lollipopguild: Also too a cross between that and Apartheid South Africa. Kinda how I envision my dystopian US being like in my story I’m wrtiting

  31. 31

    @TenguPhule: Trump’s lawyers and his twitter account, of course.

  32. 32
    The Dangerman says:

    @lamh36:

    Congress investigating another possible Sessions-Kislyak meeting

    In the immortal words of Bart Simpson, “Ay, covfefe”

  33. 33
    Gvg says:

    I always thought a Manchurian candidate was supposed to conceal his allegence to some other foreign country. Trump seems to have no idea that he should try to avoid appearing to favor Russia at this point. He is really some weird shit. He really really is not loyal to America and is not hiding it

  34. 34
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Junior G-Man) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @TenguPhule: They can’t wish this away. We the People demand answers. They’re accountable to you, me, and every American, regardless of gender, race, sex, national origin, or political affiliation. Preaching to the choir, but should still be reaffirmed

  35. 35
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Junior G-Man) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Gvg: Donald Trump is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life.

  36. 36
  37. 37
    hovercraft says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Junior G-Man) 🗳 🌷:
    During the election the three most dishonest schils for Twitler who appeared regularly on msnbc were Hugh Hewitt, Sarah Isgur Flores, and Boris Epstein. That’s why she’s at DOJ she’s a first class liar.
    Oh and she was Carly Fiorina’s spokesperson and she managed that with a straight face, so this is right in her wheel house.

  38. 38
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Just to be clear, I’m not surprised that the Republicans sold our country out to a foreign power. It’s just that, having come of age in Reagan’s America, I was surprised that it was specifically Russia.

    I’m surprised they could be bought so cheaply.

  39. 39
    p.a. says:

    @Mnemosyne: Well, South Africa is no longer apartheid, and may not have had enough cash to begin with, so the list is relatively short. Certainly can’t sell us out to euro-socio-weenies, banana republics don’t have enough scratch. Once Russia became a fascist kleptocracy (as opposed to communist kleptocracy) it rocketed to the top of the list.

  40. 40
    TenguPhule says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Junior G-Man) 🗳 🌷:

    Donald Trump is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life.

    Queen of Diamonds! Quick, get out the queen of diamonds!

  41. 41
    TenguPhule says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Junior G-Man) 🗳 🌷:

    They can’t wish this away. We the People demand answers.

    But they can actually shut up and refuse to answer.

    Otherwise I’d have Karl Rove’s skull as a drinking cup.

  42. 42
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    I am really hoping for a genuinely damaging leak soon. This news about reciprocation, Trump’s insulting bit about Germany and how the Russian connection is fake news…he’s clearly asking to be slapped down.

  43. 43
    TenguPhule says:

    @lollipopguild: No no no. Swordfish is the password. The contact is “NotaSpy”

  44. 44
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I have to admit, I didn’t expect the 27 percenters to sell us out to the Russians. That was an unexpected plot twist.

    Which is why the story would never sell. No editor worth their salt would accept such an insane plot twist.

    Remember, reality doesn’t have to make sense.

  45. 45
    p.a. says:

    Stonewalling, that’s the ticket. If we had a functioning media, it would be laughable. We’ll see. Ball is now clearly in MSM’s court. hoo boy…

  46. 46
    TenguPhule says:

    @tobie:

    Calling all lawyers here…what protections do journalists have.

    IANAL.

    But the short realistic answer is none.

  47. 47
    TenguPhule says:

    @dr. bloor:

    What in the possible fuck do they have on him that would make him sweat?

    Off the top of my head?

    Peepee tape.

    Snuff video with Trump getting his hands dirty.

    Hundreds of millions of loans with all his property as collateral that he can’t make the payments on.

    Video of Trump actually saying he’s willing to serve Russia before witnesses.

  48. 48
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Junior G-Man) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @hovercraft: Didn’t know that. Makes complete sense now

  49. 49
    hovercraft says:

    @TenguPhule:
    Think about it this way:
    “Today the Washington Post reported that Jared Kushner’s with Kisliyak was transcribed by the Russians and a transcript was leaked. During the meeting Kushner told Kisliyak that in exchange for a two billion dollar loan to re-finance 666 Fifth Ave. we would lift all sanctions imposed on Russia by the Obama administration. The White House refused to comment, referring all questions to the Presidents outside attorney who said that he had no comment at this time. ” The anchor then turns to the panel and they all discuss the report with no rebuttal from the WH, Twitler watches, gets pissed off and starts Tweeting. He can’t help himself. As long as the media isn’t being “fair” to him he will respond, and since Spicey says the “Tweet speaks for itself”, Twitlers rants become the rebuttal.

  50. 50
    hovercraft says:

    @TenguPhule:
    Safe words?

  51. 51
    Another Scott says:

    @Gvg: Donnie knows what’s important.

    Donald J. Trump‏ Verified account @realDonaldTrump 19m 19 minutes ago

    Crooked Hillary Clinton now blames everybody but herself, refuses to say she was a terrible candidate. Hits Facebook & even Dems & DNC.

    It must be nice to have nothing to do but sit around, watch TV, play with Twitter, and attack someone who doesn’t even hold elective office.

    It’s a good thing that there isn’t any issue with the debt ceiling coming up, him having resolved that problem with his party so bigly.

    Who was it that said, “A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.”? We really dodged a bullet there, didn’t we??!!!11

    (groucho-roll-eyes.gif)

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  52. 52
    TenguPhule says:

    @hovercraft:

    Twitlers rants become the rebuttal.

    So we’re doomed to 24 cable news cycles of “Fakenews Fakenews!” each time Russia is mentioned until they pry Twitter from Trump’s cold dead fingers?

  53. 53
    TenguPhule says:

    @hovercraft: Shame on you. You didn’t watch the movie, did you?

  54. 54
  55. 55
    lamh36 says:

    @Mediaite
    Ed Schultz Blasts ‘Absolute Hogwash’ CNN For Comey Reporting, ‘Witch Hunt’ Against Kushner (VIDEO) http://bit.ly/2rGv7XA

    Go sit on a rack Ed…

  56. 56
    TenguPhule says:

    And something not so gloomy from me.

    Guardian also reporting that Conservative lead over Labor still falling.

    Down another 3 points.

    Corbyn might actually get in as PM if he can swing a Coalition government.

    Or the Tories may find themselves with a hung Parliament.

    As they say in GB, “Nice own goal May!”

  57. 57
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @lamh36:

    Does he work now for RT?

  58. 58
    lamh36 says:

    The election of Donald Trump has EMBOLDENED white supremacist not only in the US but worldwide to let their racist flag fly…

    @SInow
    LeBron James responds to the vandalism incident at his home

    @bomani_jones 9h9 hours ago
    More
    not even lebron can rich himself out of someone scrawling a racial slur on his house. remember that, all you “it’s really class” clowns.

  59. 59
    Captain C says:

    @lollipopguild: I suspect this is at least in part because the Russians are Manly Men who keep their women in their place. Also, since they’ve kicked out the Commies, the Russians are True Christians and Defenders of the Faith.

  60. 60
    gene108 says:

    @TenguPhule:

    I’m surprised they could be bought so cheaply.

    Cheap? We are looking at the largest tax cut in history, including elimination of the dreaded estate tax.

    Repeal of Obamacare which actually transferred wealth from the rich to poor.

    Gutting environmental laws.

    Gutting legal abortion.

    Repeal of the Johnson Amendment, so churches can get into politics.

    I mean Republicans are looking at getting their radical right wing agenda agenda, if they could quit stepping on their own dicks.

    Selling out to the Russians for beans is a small sacrifice to usher in the conservative utopia.

  61. 61
    joel hanes says:

    @dr. bloor:

    What in the possible fuck do they have on him that would make him sweat?

    Proof of money-laundering and tax fraud.

  62. 62
    TenguPhule says:

    @gene108:

    Cheap? We are looking at the largest tax cut in history, including elimination of the dreaded estate tax.

    Yes, but the traitors in Congress sold out for pennies on the dollar.

    Even their base of true believers are getting shit sandwiches.

  63. 63
    JPL says:

    @lamh36: During these trying times, we have to remember that common decency wins. Now I’ll share a story I told earlier. While trying to calm down a son, I repeated those words, and then I said if Ossoff doesn’t call his candidate a …..liar, he’ll lose. So there you go.
    That son already voted in DeKalb for Ossoff, and another son, his wife and I are going to meet Saturday and vote. The district is republican though,but we will do our part.

  64. 64
    debbie says:

    @Another Scott:

    How presidential.

  65. 65
    Captain C says:

    @dr. bloor: “Yes, Donald, we are friends. No one believes in you like we do. No one can see your genius. That is why we are the only ones bold enough to invest with you, to invest billions. (ETA:) We are friends, yes, and friends do things for each other.”

    Plus, I suspect there are tapes of Donald that a) could actually get him arrested, and/or b) could get you or me arrested if we owned a private copy.

  66. 66
    sm*t cl*de says:

    Putin magnanimously decided against reciprocating, an unexpected move. Usually expulsion of diplomats is followed by an equal and opposite expulsion of the first country’s diplomats.

    Not so much a ‘principle’ of reciprocity as a tradition. Failure to respond with a reciprocal expulsion might be seen as an admission that the first expulsion was justified, and that the ‘expelled’ nation was at fault.
    So magnaminity is not at issue. Putin admitted interference.

  67. 67
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Junior G-Man) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @TenguPhule: Had to look that up. Never actually watched the movie

  68. 68
    JPL says:

    @Captain C: Could he be arrested if the tapes were made in Russia? The tapes would probably be thrown out in court.

  69. 69
    Captain C says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Just to be clear, I’m not surprised that the Republicans sold our country out to a foreign power. It’s just that, having come of age in Reagan’s America, I was surprised that it was specifically Russia.

    QFT. Although, there’s always been a weird Conservative crush on Russia (as opposed to the USSR). Look, for example, at Tom Clancy’s novels; in the early ones, the USSR is an adversary, but the Russians are almost always depicted as honorable and brave (except when necessary to further the plot). Asians and Latinx enemies, however, are generally portrayed as sneaky and dishonorable.

  70. 70
    Mnemosyne says:

    @lamh36:

    Hey, Ed’s gotta justify getting those checks from Russia Today. What was the good of the Russians hiring him if he wasn’t going to broadcast their propaganda as agreed?

  71. 71
    Captain C says:

    @JPL: IANAL, but I think sex tourism laws might apply in some cases. Regardless, such tapes might make him poison with at least a significant plurality of Republicans.

  72. 72
    Это курам на смех says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Junior G-Man) 🗳 🌷:

    Putin flattered him. That’s probably literally it

    But he didn’t, except in Trump’s mind. Putin was commenting on how good Trump was at drawing attention to himself and said he was “colorful” (or the Russian variant thereof) which some translator converted to “bright,” which to suit his immense vanity Trump then interpreted as “genius.” Donny hears what he wants to hear.

  73. 73
    Captain C says:

    @TenguPhule: Yeah, that won’t look fishy. Won’t look fishy at all.

  74. 74
    Waratah says:

    What happens when the leaks go to someone not covered by warrants. Will they
    Just keep warranting more reporters, what about foreign reporters?

  75. 75
    Captain C says:

    @Gvg: I think he’s loyal to Donald Trump, people who hold his debts whom he can’t make go away, and Ivanka, in that order.

  76. 76
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Junior G-Man) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Waratah: Easy peasy. Drone strikes and more Hellfire missiles for pesky foreign journalists silly

  77. 77
    TenguPhule says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Junior G-Man) 🗳 🌷:

    Never actually watched the movie

    Correct this please. Watch the first one.

  78. 78
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Junior G-Man) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Это курам на смех: Was referring to some other time he talked to him. Probably on secure WH line

  79. 79
  80. 80
    Jeffro says:

    @lamh36: “Economic anxiety”, it’s a helluva drug. Or genetic defect.

  81. 81
    TenguPhule says:

    @Captain C:

    Yeah, that won’t look fishy. Won’t look fishy at all.

    Flounder belly, order up!

  82. 82
    TenguPhule says:

    @Waratah:

    What happens when the leaks go to someone not covered by warrants. Will they
    Just keep warranting more reporters, what about foreign reporters?

    Depends. ICE for domestic, drone strikes for other countries.

  83. 83
    Jeffro says:

    @Another Scott: If he’s not tweeting, he’s golfing; if he’s not golfing, he’s tweeting; if he’s not doing either…THAT’s when I get worried.

    So tweet and slice your day away, Trumpov, and while you do, just know that the walls are closing in…quickly…

  84. 84
    Jeffro says:

    On a non-serious note: CNN wasted space and bytes posting a piece about getting people to try and pronounce “covfefe” or whatever the hell it is…technically, that would be a small bit of ‘circuses’ as in, “bread and circuses”

    On a serious note: I think progressive activists and Dem members of Congress need to ramp up on the Distraction Brigade, i.e., Graham giving Comey shit about his previous testimony, anyone having anything to do with “unmasking” or leak investigations, etc. These Republicans are just trying to slow the investigations, cloud the issues, and mitigate the eventual fallout from this Scandal to End All Scandals. Let’s pound the living fuck out of them to focus on the real issue here, unless they want to go down the tubes with Trumpov and his gang of treasonous grifters.

  85. 85
    frosty says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Hundreds of millions of loans with all his property as collateral that he can’t make the payments on.

    This one. The others only affect his reputation.

  86. 86
    Morzer says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Junior G-Man) 🗳 🌷:

    Since when do DOJ spokespeople talk like internet comment sections?

    Since they emerged from those internet comment sections and received employment in roles to which they were utterly unsuited.

  87. 87
    SgrAstar says:

    @lamh36: who the heck is John Crudele? This sounds like BS- possibly intended to scare the press. Hang tough, guys and gals of the WaPo.

  88. 88
    Peale says:

    @lamh36: the last I heard from Ed Schultz was 2010 when he used his show to tell viewers to sit out te election. I didn’t know he landed on RT.

  89. 89
    Morzer says:

    John Schindler‏Verified account @20committee 2h2 hours ago

    MD compound was RIS SIGINT site aimed at NSA & DoD facilities on the Chesapeake. IC wanted to close it for decades.

    Chad Pergram‏Verified account @ChadPergram 4h4 hours ago

    Intel Cmte aide says subpoenas on “unmasking” would have come from Nunes “acting separately” from Russia probe w/o consent of minority

  90. 90
    momus says:

    Looks like Obama set a trap. Interesting.

  91. 91
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @sm*t cl*de: “Magnanimously” was sarcastic. At best, Putin’s action would have been calculated.

  92. 92
    Another Scott says:

    @lamh36: :-) Good one.

    I just noticed that Obama still has ~ 3x as many Twitter followers as Donnie (89.3M vs 31.1M). Must drive Donnie (even more) nuts. ;-)

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  93. 93
    Ruckus says:

    @TenguPhule:

    I’m surprised they could be bought so cheaply.

    You’ve got to be kidding.
    They’ve sold everything for chump change. For good reason. They know what they are worth.

  94. 94
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    Huh. The Russians were bitching about it on May 22.

  95. 95
    1stgengirl says:

    @gene108: The Waltons, the Koch Bros, Adelstein are all getting up in years. Of course, the estate tax has to seem a heavy burden to them. A couple $mil less in the pockets of their heirs would leave those poor young’uns nearly destitute.

  96. 96
    1stgengirl says:

    @gene108: The Waltons, the Koch Bros, Adelstein are all getting up in years. Of course, the estate tax has to seem a heavy burden to them. A couple $mil less in the pockets of their heirs would leave those poor young’uns nearly destitute.

  97. 97
    Mac says:

    @divF: In the interest of Reciprocity can we make Trump president of Russia?

  98. 98

    Putin’s poodle is proving to have been worth the investment.

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