Friday Afternoon Russia Dump

 

The New York Times has knowledge of some very interesting documents and conversations. The sources in this article are as noteworthy as the news.

The news is that the opposition research that Natalia Veselnitskaya brought to a June 2016 meeting with Trump campaign officials including Donald Jr. was coordinated with the Russian prosecutor general Yuriy Chaika. The allegations in that opposition research have now been endorsed at the highest Russian levels.

President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia repeated her charges at length last week at an annual conference of Western academics. A state-run television network recently made them the subject of two special reports, featuring interviews with Ms. Veselnitskaya and Mr. Chaika.

The allegations are that that Ziff Brothers Investments, an American firm, evaded tens of millions of dollars of Russian taxes in an illegal Russian investment. Investors behind the company are major donors to Democratic candidates including Clinton. Ziff Brothers also invested in funds managed by William F. Browder, whom Russia has just accused of murder and sent a warrant for his arrest to Interpol, who rejected the warrant.

Browder was the driving force behind the Magnitsky act, named for a lawyer who worked for him and who died in a Moscow jail after exposing a Russian fraud scheme. The Magnitsky Act freezes the Western bank accounts of sanctioned Russian officials.

Max Bergmann, a former State Department official, points out that Devin Nunes and Fox are also currently pushing these allegations. He also points out the question of sources.

The key paragraph on sources is this one:

But interviews and records show that in the months before the meeting, Ms. Veselnitskaya had discussed the allegations with one of Russia’s most powerful officials, the prosecutor general, Yuri Y. Chaika. And the memo she brought with her closely followed a document that Mr. Chaika’s office had given to an American congressman two months earlier, incorporating some paragraphs verbatim.

Which interviews and records are these? From a grand jury? From the Mueller investigation? From a Russian source? The last brings up the question of whether that source might be one of the sources for the Steele dossier.

If it is the last, that would be one more reason for the Trump camp to have mounted this week’s attack on the Steele dossier. And the uproar about the Uranium One sale, to cover this news.

 

Photo: Natalia Veselnitskaya, Getty Images, from the Times article

 

Cross-posted at Nuclear Diner.

243 replies
  1. 1

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

  2. 2
    Corner Stone says:

    I just love saying Veselnitskaya. I am sure I am butchering it, but it’s still a lot of fun.

  3. 3
    Xboxershorts says:

    Man, what the hell is in the water in Orange County, CA?

  4. 4
    Gin & Tonic says:

    You’d have to be a complete cretin to have ever thought that Veselintskaya wasn’t carrying out orders.

  5. 5
    clay says:

    document that Mr. Chaika’s office had given to an American congressman two months earlier

    Huh. I’ve been informed by conservatives over the last couple of days that accepting information from a foreign source is tantamount to treason. At least, that’s what they’re saying about Hillary vis a vis the Steele Dossier.

    Oh well, I’m sure they can explain how this is different, using consistent principles.

  6. 6
    gvg says:

    I got the impression from that article, that the source was the congressman

    And the memo she brought with her closely followed a document that Mr. Chaika’s office had given to an American congressman two months earlier, incorporating some paragraphs verbatim.

    I don’t know where the got a copy of what she left, but I think the congressman has to be the other. I thought it said a GOP congressman but I see it doesn’t actually say that. Obviously Russia was trying to influence congressmen before.

  7. 7
    catclub says:

    @Gin & Tonic: So Don Jr is in the clear.

  8. 8
    Barbara says:

    The allegations are that that Ziff Brothers Investments, an American firm, evaded tens of millions of dollars of Russian taxes in an illegal Russian investment.

    Translation: The Ziff Brothers refused to pay tens of millions of dollars in kickbacks or graft to Putin or his favored oligarchs in an investment deemed to be illegal after they refused. Seriously, Russia is just that fucked up.

  9. 9
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @clay: I caught that too as a significant theme in the reporting. Was this given to Rohrbacher? Nunes? Both?

  10. 10
    clay says:

    @Adam L Silverman: “There are two people Putin pays.”

    That he knew of.

  11. 11
    Amaranthine RBG says:

    So, I assume the mud slinging at Ziff is Russia’s attempt to spread the mud around so when the extent of the Russian/Trump collusion becomes public, the Republican noise machine will be able to say “Hey, look, lots of people – including prominent Democrats – have shady dealings with Russia so …” Yes?

    This sort of gives me hope that there are going to be some HUGE revelations coming down the pike that will need to be offset.

  12. 12
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Right… that was the question I had…

    Who was that Congressman?

    Sure looks like the Russians are counterattacking in the moment…

    Does this mean something major is about to happen w/ the Mueller investigation?

  13. 13
    Roger Moore says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    I would guess Rohrbacher. My assumption is that if Nunes had a copy, he would have already started an investigation based on those allegations.

  14. 14
    Corner Stone says:

    @Adam L Silverman: From his recent desperate attempts to get Trump’s attention I am starting to believe Rohrbacher has an exploding enema shoved inside him and he needs to deliver a personal message or that thing’s going off.

  15. 15
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @gvg: Good catch. I would like to know who this congressman is. Some of the obvious suspects (Rohrabacher, Nunes) probably wouldn’t be a source for the Times. It would be very interesting indeed if they were.

    Reporters are cagey about using identifying information about sources, and they need confirmations of information. From that, I’m gonna guess that there are other sources besides the congressman.

  16. 16
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Corner Stone: Well, that certainly gives new meaning to the phrase ‘ticking time bomb…’…

    And I guess that’s another way of saying Rohrbacher might be full of…

  17. 17
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Barbara: The connection of Ziff Brothers to Bill Browder is sufficient for the Russian government to go after them mercilessly. It’s possible that the Russians offered them a way to avoid trouble, but that is more likely to have been to cut the association with Browder rather than just pay money.

  18. 18
    Corner Stone says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…:

    Sure looks like the Russians are counterattacking in the moment

    I’m not sure it’s a counter attack as much as it is an evolution of their ongoing warfare against the US. And why not? they have faced no penalty or pushback for their actions. They have their lackey in the WH who is doing everything he can to kneel down before the Russians. I’d keep going also too.

  19. 19
    Russ says:

    I want the indictments of the traitors associated with this Russian election investigation to be announced a few at a time or even one every Friday so that we all get to see and hear their cheerleaders and those charged twist in the wind of justice.

  20. 20
    Barbara says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: The point is that Putin is a corrupt oligarch and anyone in our government who thinks allegations of wrongdoing made by Putin or his lackeys is proof thereof, let alone taking direction or advice from Putin is tantamount to a traitor. That would be, at a minimum, Devin Nunes and probably Trump, but his hands have been tied a bit because he is under such scrutiny.

  21. 21
    MomSense says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Her name sounds like a Russian figure skater to me. Will Veselnitskaya land the triple salchow?

  22. 22
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Barbara:
    Yup and people like the Mercers would love it if America could become just like that. Living in Russia must be like living in hell.

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Are you familiar with the theory “autocracy promotion”?

  23. 23
    Jay S says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Congressmen do have aides that leak, not always in their bosses interest.

  24. 24
    trollhattan says:

    O/T Boxers in the news: Two US yachtswomen and their two dogs have been rescued by the US Navy after spending nearly five months adrift in the Pacific Ocean, officials say.

    On 24 October, a Taiwanese fishing vessel spotted their 50ft (15m) boat called the Sea Nymph bobbing in the ocean and contacted authorities on the US territory of Guam. The USS Ashland, which was in the area, arrived early the following day to rescue the sailors – both from Honolulu – and their canine companions Valentine and Zeus. They said they managed to survive the ordeal thanks to a water purifier and more than a year’s worth of dry goods such as oatmeal and pasta.

    In a conference call with reporters while onboard the Navy ship, they described feeling like “sharkbait” and wondering if each day would be their last.

    Photos include a very grumpy looking boxer being hauled aboard the Navy ship.

  25. 25
    Corner Stone says:

    @MomSense: I feel sneaky every time I say it. Vessel nets SKAYA!!
    Like someone just found a fired weapon in a drawer in an English Manor Estate and a body in the basement.

  26. 26
    patrick II says:

    Has Browder’s recent application for a visa (which had not been approved) been approved yet?

  27. 27
  28. 28
    germy says:

    from Booman

    National security expert Juliette Kayyem is predicting news from Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation will be announced within the next month.

    “I think it is safe to say that before Thanksgiving … something’s going to drop with Mueller,” she said on Boston Public Radio today. “The pace is too much right now. Every 12 hours we’re now dealing with a piece of this story at a pace we haven’t seen.”

    Kayyem was prompted to make her prediction by the buzz surrounding a story about how Hillary Clinton’s campaign funded what would eventually become the famous “Trump-Russia Dossier” that surfaced in January…

    …Kayyem speculated that the pace of stories critical of Hillary Clinton represents “a recognition by the White House team” that Mueller is getting close to something substantive as a result of his investigation.

    Kayyem pointed out that Mueller has interviewed former Press Secretary Sean Spicer and former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.

    “This is so close to the Oval Office now, if not in the Oval Office, that all of this [dossier news] to me is just background noise to what Mueller is going to deliver,” she said. “This is more than an obstruction charge. There is something big underlying the obstruction.”

  29. 29
    Corner Stone says:

    Again, our democracy is hanging in the wind. Resting on the probity and competency of one unelected bureaucratic functionary.

  30. 30
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Corner Stone: True…

    This does seem to represent and new front or wrinkle… and very much coordinated w/ Fiox and useful idiots like Nunes…

  31. 31
  32. 32

    @germy: I think it was Josh Marshall who said that we say the coverup is worse than the crime, but often it’s not. It’s just that we don’t learn the crime because it’s being so desperately covered up.

  33. 33

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady): “Coverup worse than the crime” goes back to Watergate.

  34. 34
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Roger Moore: Most likely. Nunes is doing this song and dance partially because his exploits back in the spring about unmasking have certainly gotten the notice of Mueller. Rohrbacher is himself in a lot of trouble.

  35. 35
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @clay: Hmmm… The FBI is treasonous?

  36. 36
    germy says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady):

    That’s a book waiting to happen.

    From the point of view of the dogs.

  37. 37
    No Drought No More says:

    “The allegations are that that Ziff Brothers Investments, an American firm, evaded tens of millions of dollars of Russian taxes in an illegal Russian investment. Investors behind the company are major donors to Democratic candidates including Clinton”.

    Which means both sides do it, so shut the fuck up about a premeditated, dastardly, and successful attack by Russia upon the United States of America in alliance with the leadership of one of its only two major political parties. Just move along, folks, nothing to see here, and remember- we were long ago warned: “watch what you say”.

  38. 38
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @patrick II: My impression is he was seeking to enter the US under the standard ESTA/Visa Waiver Program for UK citizens and that was denied, then within a couple of days was allowed.

  39. 39
    Felanius Kootea says:

    OT: Who is Tom Steyer? I am at Washington National airport waiting to board a flight back to LA and all the TVs are tuned to CNN. Since they were showing 45’s ugly mug, I looked away and kept reading Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Talents (which is set in a dystopian future America where the presidential candidate is using the slogan “make America great again,” I shit you not). I eventually looked up and saw an ad by someone named Tom Steyer calling for Trump’s impeachment. An ad buy on CNN can’t be cheap but it says he paid for it. All the people around me were transfixed watching that ad. Never seen anything like it (I usually avoid the news channels). Who is he?

  40. 40
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: The assumption that the GOP member of Congress is the source for the Times may not be accurate. This part of the story may be a carefully placed jab from within the IC aimed at the unnamed by the NY Times GOP member of Congress to get them to back off. We’ve seen these types of warning shots across the bow deployed before. It would not surprise me if that was not the case here.

  41. 41
    The Moar You Know says:

    I hope Mr. Browder has very good security, but even if he does it is probably not going to be enough.

    If I had Russia do to me what they’ve just tried to do to him, I’d take immediate steps to vanish and never be seen again.

  42. 42
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: Yep, there first album was amazing!//

    More seriously, yes I am familiar with the concept.

  43. 43
    clay says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Well, Fox and the like are pushing the narrative that some combination of a) Hillary, b) the DNC, and c) yes, the FBI, are all in cahoots to send Christopher Steele over to Russia to collaborate with the Russian government to make up phony allegations against our Dear Leader.

    This means, for some reason that I can’t follow, that nothing Robert Mueller does can be trusted.

  44. 44
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Felanius Kootea: Liberal/progressive financier. Bankrolls a lot of environmental groups and causes. As well as donates to Democrats.

  45. 45
    Ruckus says:

    That she would do this on her own is laughable at best. When in the last 100+ yrs has that happened in anything involving the USSR/Russia? Exactly never? You do things that aren’t governmentally approved/sanctioned that in any way involve the government and they react very badly for your continued existence.
    From an outside observer point of view, how could one not think that everyone endorsing or working for drumpf is not an active agent for Russia?

  46. 46
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Corner Stone:

    VeselNEETSkaya, really VyeesyeelNEETSkuhyuh if you want to get technical

  47. 47
    clay says:

    @Felanius Kootea: I saw that ad on MSNBC, and apparently it ran on Fox & Friends where Trump saw it! (He tweeted about it.)

    I think he’s a California billionaire who, obviously, is scared for our country. We need more of his type who can pony up for our side.

  48. 48
    Suzanne says:

    @patrick II: We need to hire a food taster for Browder. I heard that guy on NPR this week. I was shitting my pants ON HIS BEHALF.

  49. 49
    Mike in NC says:

    Ms. Veselnitskaya will be played by Melissa McCarthy when they make “Trump: The Musical”

  50. 50
    dogwood says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    It’s my understanding his visa was denied because the Russians had turned his name over to Interpol. When the fuss was raised, Interpol looked into the Russian allegations against Browder and removed him from their sights. Not the first time Interpol has told the Russians “nyet”.

  51. 51
    geg6 says:

    @Amaranthine RBG:

    there are going to be some HUGE revelations coming down the pike that will need to be offset.

    I’ve been very reluctant to be an optimist about anything happening soon, but between all the crazy we’ve seen in the last two weeks and this latest, very obvious attempt by Putin to try to muddy the waters, I’m certain something very big is coming and very soon.

  52. 52

    @clay: I have to admit I lose the thread of this story after about the third complication. I’ve decided Trump is guilty and I’ll wait to see what Mueller says. If he fails us, I have no idea how we’ll survive.

  53. 53
    Jay S says:

    @clay: I have been wondering if we aren’t headed to a battle between the oligarchs. It probably isn’t in anyone of their best interest to let one side control much of the government.

  54. 54
    Elizabelle says:

    @germy:

    From the point of view of the dogs.

    Day 76. No cats. No mailmen. Water. Water. Water. My toenails are really, really long.

  55. 55
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @clay: You left out JEB! (we assume he started it)

  56. 56
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Yeah, sorry. I tend to leave out a lot when I’m commenting.

    So let me be more explicit about that paragraph. Here it is again.

    But interviews and records show that in the months before the meeting, Ms. Veselnitskaya had discussed the allegations with one of Russia’s most powerful officials, the prosecutor general, Yuri Y. Chaika. And the memo she brought with her closely followed a document that Mr. Chaika’s office had given to an American congressman two months earlier, incorporating some paragraphs verbatim.

    Questions:
    – Which interviews and records? Who provided them to the reporters? Or what other means did they use to access them?
    – How did the reporters access Veselnitskaya’s memo? This may have been mentioned in earlier news stories, but I’m not recalling it.
    – Who is the American congressman? Why is he communicating in this way with Chaika?
    – Is the congressman or someone in his office one of the sources for the story? Or did someone else entirely supply the congressman’s document?

    I ALWAYS assume a large degree of skepticism about ANYTHING I surmise from questions like these. I am skeptical of the congressman as a source, although it’s slightly more possible that someone in his office is. I am equally skeptical of the hypothesis that it’s coming from the IC. They seem to have settled down a bit after seeming to be the source for information earlier.

    Bottom line: I probably came across as a bit too positive upthread about the congressman as a source, but I also hate to include too many hedges, which make any statement hard to read. I’m spitballing here, same as everyone else.

  57. 57
    Elizabelle says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady): Protesting in the streets.

    The Catalans are out there, with a lot less to whinge about.

  58. 58
    geg6 says:

    @Felanius Kootea:

    Billionaire who is huge on environmental issues and seems to be somewhat progressive. I’m pretty sure he’s been a Dem donor for years.

  59. 59
  60. 60

    @Mike in NC: Will she play both Veselnitskaya and Spicey?

  61. 61
    germy says:

    The plot thickens.

    Or something thickens, anyway…

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/russias-troll-factory-made-hillary-clinton-sex-tape-ex-worker-claims

    A Russian-government-backed “troll factory” hired a black man and a Hillary Clinton look-alike to make a sex tape, according to the first former employee of the factory’s American division to go on the record.

  62. 62
    Elizabelle says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady): My guess is that Trump goes down for money laundering and bribes. The tax returns.

    I’d like to see a lot of folks get smacked for treason. This is so worse than Watergate, and don’t let them normalize it as “polarized politics.” No. This is an essential threat.

    Prison. I’d be fine with executions for treason for the most complicit. I hope our laws allow a full prosecution. But who knows how much they’ve been gutted over the years.

    I would like to see Trump’s confederates, and Mitch McConnell, if it gets back to him, take the needle. Or swing. Or never, ever get out of SuperMax.

  63. 63
    Suffragette City says:

    What else does Woolsey know besides that meeting he attended w Flynn about Gulen. Wasn’t he involved in some casinos that were shut down in Asia somewhere?
    And Guiliani who suddenly became vewyvewy quiet.
    Didn’t the Trump faction claim no memo’s were left by Veselintskaya ?
    WACKY !!!

  64. 64
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Suzanne: Browder knows what’s what. When they started torturing Magnitsky they’d call Browder from Magnitsky’s phone so he’d recognize the number, pick up and hear the guy screaming. I’m sure he’s aware he’s one umbrella away from meeting his maker.

  65. 65
    clay says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: For some reason JEB! (or whoever the unnamed Republican is who started the dossier) doesn’t figure into the Fox conspiracy story…

  66. 66
    Weaselone says:

    I don’t get it. How would the information that the Clinton campaign received donations from a company that screwed over Russia suggest collusion with Russia or even be useful opo.

  67. 67
    Elizabelle says:

    @clay: Interesting that, hmmm? Daddy Bush and his wandering hands getting all the attention these latest news cycles.

  68. 68

    @Elizabelle:

    Or swing.

    John McCain’s tire swing?

  69. 69
    Suzanne says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Holy FUCK.

    Dude needs to disappear. Canadian wilderness time.

  70. 70
    debit says:

    @germy: One assumes this is so that when the pee pee tape drops Trump can point to that and say, “Look a like! Not me!”

  71. 71
    Elizabelle says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: To the gallows, comrade, um, Senator.

  72. 72
    Felanius Kootea says:

    Thanks everyone for the Tom Steyer info. The ad definitely got people’s attention in DCA. I figured he must be wealthy to bankroll it.

  73. 73
    Mike in NC says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Of course! Melissa is a modern day Peter Sellers.

  74. 74
    germy says:

    The Onion: Startling Report Finds Evidence Democrats May Have Attempted To Influence 2016 Election

  75. 75
    clay says:

    @Weaselone: All they want is to have the words “Clinton” and “Russia” in close proximity to each other as often as possible. That way, if/when the Trump treason breaks, the mouth-breathers will scream “WHAT ABOUT HILLARY?!?” and the not-paying-attentioners will think, “Well, both sides did it.”

  76. 76
    TenguPhule says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Again, our democracy is hanging in the wind. Resting on the probity and competency of one unelected bureaucratic functionary.

    And that’s the optimistic perspective.

  77. 77
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Felanius Kootea: California green investment billionaire. Not totally sure what his angle is but I follow him on FB and he does not like Trump.

  78. 78
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    Fox News (yes, that is where the link goes) has a big article about how Republicans want Mueller to step down. The article is helpful in making clear how the Repubs are trying to stitch all their lies together. I did not realize that Mueller was head of the FBI when the Uranium One deal went through – that is why they feel that particular batch of lies is relevant. As was the case for Secretary of State Clinton, Mueller was far from where that decision was made.

    Hard not to believe that all this noise doesn’t indicate something big coming down the pike, but we’ve thought that before…

  79. 79
    Roger Moore says:

    @germy:
    Pics or it didn’t happen. Seriously, this sounds like a crazy rumor somebody is spreading to see how gullible people are. I’ll believe that when the actual video appears, and not a minute before.

  80. 80
    debbie says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Works best when spoken in Natasha’s voice.

  81. 81
    TenguPhule says:

    @Felanius Kootea: California Billionaire who dropped some serious money to run ads calling for Trump’s impeachment.

    Trump, naturally, is calling him a kook.

  82. 82
    TenguPhule says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady):

    If he fails us, I have no idea how we’ll survive.

    Cannibalism.

  83. 83
    Cheryl Rofer says:

  84. 84
    Roger Moore says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I would like to see Trump’s confederates, and Mitch McConnell, if it gets back to him, take the needle. Or swing. Or never, ever get out of SuperMax.

    I would be happy to see them in exile in Russia. I want something that constitutes an admission of guilt on their part so it’s harder for their supporters to pretend it was just a politically motivated prosecution.

  85. 85
    TenguPhule says:

    @Elizabelle:

    The Catalans are out there, with a lot less to whinge about.

    Not the best example, as they are about to get their skulls cracked by Spain good and hard.

  86. 86
    TenguPhule says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I would be happy to see them in exile in Russia.

    Too dangerous to give them a chance to try again.

  87. 87
    Chris says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Hard not to believe that all this noise doesn’t indicate something big coming down the pike, but we’ve thought that before…

    That, plus now that we’ve seen the guy say on national television that the Russians should totally hack Hillary Clinton for him, and remove the pro-Ukrainian language from the Republican Party plank (the only change he made to it IIRC), and seen him insist on meeting with Russian visitors alone in the Oval Office and promptly spill the beans on some classified information, all of which Republicans have enthusiastically shrugged off as no big deal while the MSM pretty much went along, it’s getting harder and harder to imagine what kind of “something big” would force a reaction.

  88. 88
    hilts says:

    OT

    Whitefish Energy spokesman interviewed on MSNBC
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itc3HpdSmLM

  89. 89
    Cheryl Rofer says:

  90. 90
    TenguPhule says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Someone please tell me again we’re not devolving into a dictatorship.

  91. 91
    Roger Moore says:

    @Weaselone:

    How would the information that the Clinton campaign received donations from a company that screwed over Russia suggest collusion with Russia or even be useful opo.

    How did Russia hacking John Podesta’s emails say anything about Hillary’s email server? They only have to connect Hillary, Russia, and some kind of nefarious goings on to create a counter-narrative that will pull in people who want to ignore Trump’s wrongdoing. It doesn’t have to hold together coherently as a story to convince people who want to believe that there’s a conspiracy afoot.

  92. 92
    Millard Filmore says:

    @Amaranthine RBG:

    when the extent of the Russian/Trump collusion becomes public, the Republican noise machine will be able to say …

    We here are speculating about a connection between all this noise and some whopping big action by Mueller. If that is the case and there is close timing, that means there is a mole in Mueller’s team. A grand jury member leaking about some threat to Trump would have the information be more widely known to the public (us).

  93. 93
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Yup…

    That’s what I figured all this BS was a lead in for…

  94. 94
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Millard Filmore: There might not be a mole. It might just mean people in Trump’s camp see investigators getting close to something damaging.

  95. 95
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @TenguPhule: There are certainly some who’d like to go that way, like Donald Trump and much of the Republican Party, but the resistance is strong.

  96. 96
    trollhattan says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: .Steyer could become the next George Soros, save for the unfortunate lack of a foreign accent and being Jewish, which help make Soros so super scary. He would probably have considered a senatorial run had Feinstein retired, I doubt he’ll run for governor as the job has less clout than US senator and frankly, it’s more fun being a billionaire than gov of California.

  97. 97
    TenguPhule says:

    @SatanicPanic: Or they just might be trying to psyche themselves up to really actually pursue Hillary Clinton on bogus charges.

    Whitewater all over again.

  98. 98
    Fair Economist says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I am starting to believe Rohrbacher has an exploding enema shoved inside him and he needs to deliver a personal message or that thing’s going off.

    A ticking time bum?

  99. 99
    Corner Stone says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: How is that Breaking News?

  100. 100
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @SatanicPanic: Yes. Several of them have testified before the grand juries. They can surmise some of the direction from the questions they were asked. And there are other things the Trumpies know that we don’t, like reporters calling for interviews or fact-checking on upcoming stories. The Times story I featured probably caused some of this week’s uproar as the reporters called the administration.

  101. 101
    Matt McIrvin says:

    So, any thoughts about what happens when Trump fires Mueller, if he’s on the trail of something big? Does the grand jury investigation just stop? Has he got the means and the willingness to start leaking everything, or does this just end for good?

    Maybe they find some way to toss him in prison, or he gets ricin in his morning coffee?

    Presumably it’s something Congressional candidates can make noise about for the midterms, but it’s all a bit too arcane and explanation-requiring to make good sound bites.

  102. 102
    Bill Arnold says:

    Have linked this RAND document previously (perhaps AdamS originally, I forget), worth internalizing especially by media people:
    The Russian “Firehose of Falsehood” Propaganda Model

    The Russian propaganda model is high-volume and multichannel, and it disseminates messages without regard for the truth. It is also rapid, continuous, and repetitive, and it lacks commitment to consistency. Although these techniques would seem to run counter to the received wisdom for successful information campaigns, research in psychology supports many of the most successful aspects of the model. Furthermore, the very factors that make the firehose of falsehood effective also make it difficult to counter.

    The Trump administration would surely not adapt the Russian propaganda model. Surely not?

  103. 103
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Corner Stone: Really spinning up tonight on Twitter.

  104. 104
    TenguPhule says:

    Not the Onion: All of the women who have accused Trump of sexual harassment are lying, the White House says

    All the women who have accused Trump of sexual harassment are lying, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Friday when asked for the official White House position on the issue.

    The question was posed during a White House briefing at a time when numerous men in high-profile positions have been undercut of late by allegations of sexual misconduct, including journalist Mark Halperin, who faced accusations this week from former colleagues.

    “Obviously, sexual harassment has been in the news,” Jacqueline Alemany of CBS News asked Sanders. “At least 16 women accused the president of sexually harassing them throughout the course of the campaign. Last week, during a press conference in the Rose Garden, the president called these accusations ‘fake news.’ Is the official White House position that all of these women are lying?”

    “Yeah, we’ve been clear on that from the beginning, and the president’s spoken on it,” Sanders said, before quickly pivoting to another reporter to ask a question.

    Sarah Sanders needs to be mulched.

  105. 105
    Elizabelle says:

    @Roger Moore: Never Russia. And no ability to roam freely. Prison.

  106. 106
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Matt McIrvin: IIRC, Trump can’t fire Mueller directly. He has to go through at least one or two Justice Department officials, as was the case in Nixon’s Saturday night massacre.

  107. 107
    clay says:

    So, this morning someone on the news was listing all the ways that Trump’s campaign tried to get a hold of Hillary’s ‘missing’ e-mails. It was a LOT. They contacted Wikileaks, they contacted Russian trolls, they went on the dark web, and I’m sure I’m forgetting some.

    It just made me realize… they REALLY wanted those e-mails. They were desperate for them. I don’t know what they were expecting to find in them, but it seems that the Trump campaign’s entire anti-Hillary strategy rested on getting a hold of them. (And then when the DNC e-mails were leaked, and later, Podesta’s, Trump was able to successfully conflate these e-mails with Hillary’s ‘missing’ ones in the public mind.)

  108. 108
    Fair Economist says:

    @germy:

    A Russian-government-backed “troll factory” hired a black man and a Hillary Clinton look-alike to make a sex tape, according to the first former employee of the factory’s American division to go on the record.

    The choice of a black man says volumes about them and their target audience.

  109. 109
    Elizabelle says:

    @TenguPhule: Yes. Projection is Trump.

  110. 110
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Ruckus:

    People do things without direct orders from Vladimir Vladimirovich because they know that V.V. would approve. He doesn’t have to give a direct order.

  111. 111
    TenguPhule says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    So, any thoughts about what happens when Trump fires Mueller, if he’s on the trail of something big?

    Then our IC has to put up or shut up about being guardians of democracy.

    And then everyone else’s IC gets to dump what they know in hopes of crippling the current regime.

  112. 112
    Chris says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    Helps that it’s been the NewsCorp model essentially since NewsCorp was founded. Or at least the Fox News model.

  113. 113
    Elizabelle says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Somebody was musing that Mueller knows he’s in the crosshairs and has a dead man’s switch installed.

    He gets fired or removed, it is ON.

  114. 114
    debbie says:

    @TenguPhule:

    The follow-up question that should have been asked: If this pu$$ygrabbing was all just locker room, as your boss says it was, and it really didn’t happen, does this mean the President of the United States is a liar?

  115. 115
    Served says:

    Fox News is all-in on Uranium One means Mueller should be fired narrative.

  116. 116
    Chris says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I mean, I imagine he does what Comey did and leaks immediately. No idea if that’ll do anything, though.

  117. 117
    Corner Stone says:

    @clay: It would not have mattered what those emails said. Look what they did with the words “extra cheese” on the Podesta emails. Almost started a mass murder at a fucking pizza shop.

  118. 118
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @clay: Josh Marshall thinks, and I agree, that the only reason the Russians ever went after the DNC and Podesta emails was that they knew there was an aching demand for the “Hillary e-mails” they couldn’t get, and correctly surmised that these would be an acceptable substitute.

  119. 119
    germy says:

    “it’s the democrats that made the russians so successful”

    Devin Nunes says it's the Dems fault that Trump colluded with the Russians to rig the 2016 campaign. Yes, really.pic.twitter.com/FbyBUgLrPJ— Holly O'Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) October 27, 2017

  120. 120
    Roger Moore says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    The Trump administration would surely not adapt the Russian propaganda model. Surely not?

    Who says they’re adapting and not just accepting assistance?

  121. 121
    Millard Filmore says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I’d like to see a lot of folks get smacked for treason.

    Trump will have to go down first, and get removed from the presidency. The state of New York could wrap him up for financial crimes. If Mueller attacks before this, Trump can simply say “pardons all around”.

  122. 122
    Elizabelle says:

    @Chris: I know I sound like a broken record, but we have got to do something to dial back Fox and the rightwing media. It’s poison. It is the essence of fake news. And it is tearing our country apart. Making democracy ungovernable. Brainwashing people.

    Should not be able to hide behind the First Amendment. Not a case where better speech can overcome false speech.

    I’d love for this to take Murdoch down. His hoped for Sky acquisition (the part of Sky he does not already own) is in trouble. He should not be able to weaponize the press as he does. There is no remedy for that.

    Look at the howler monkeys this week. It’s horrifying.

  123. 123
    Roger Moore says:

    @clay:

    And then when the DNC e-mails were leaked, and later, Podesta’s, Trump was able to successfully conflate these e-mails with Hillary’s ‘missing’ ones in the public mind.

    I think it was the news media who did most of the work of conflation. They were at least as eager as Trump was to see Hillary’s emails, so when they weren’t available they were perfectly willing to pretend whatever emails the could get that were tangentially related to Hillary were the long awaited thing.

  124. 124
    Peale says:

    @No Drought No More: Just like Hillary Clinton needs to make sure that movie stars and starlets aren’t preyed on by Hollywood producers (which started on her watch, by the way) and apologize when they do, and will probably need to apologize for all of Mark Halperin’s attacks on cub reporters, and she needed to actually read the Steele Dossier and institute better e-mail security at the DNC, she needed to have personally stopped Ziff from their investments and apologize for them as if she profited from them personally. I just have the feeling that when the time comes for indictments, the only one going before a judtge will be Hillary for the “treason” of not stopping Trump from being elected.

  125. 125
    Chris says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I don’t disagree. I just have no idea how to do this, especially nowadays when half the electorate will rally to whatever Fox News tells them. Short of the Fox News crowd eventually sparking a civil war and us then winning, I don’t see how the craziness is forced into remission at this point. They’re only going to continue getting crazier.

  126. 126
    BC in Illinois says:

    @Felanius Kootea:

    I am late to the comment, but I do wish to offer my heartfelt thanks, praise, and “That’s Right!” to . . .

    I am at Washington National airport waiting to board a flight

    As a native-born Washingtonian (born inside the beltway during the Truman administration, when there was no beltway), it always grates on the ears whenever someone adds someone’s name to National Airport. Especially when that someone was a man who despised Washington DC (and they returned the favor). Thank you for your comment.

  127. 127
    SatanicPanic says:

    @clay: Available evidence suggests that Trump is believes all this conspiracy stuff.

  128. 128
    Ruckus says:

    @zhena gogolia:
    Reread what I said.

    You do things that aren’t governmentally approved/sanctioned that in any way involve the government and they react very badly for your continued existence.

    You may not have gotten approval prior to the words/act but if they don’t approve of what you’ve done afterwards, the punishment is the same.

  129. 129
    Peale says:

    @germy: I think that is also the position of Emptywheel.

  130. 130
    Baud says:

    @germy: Haha. That’s perfect.

  131. 131
    Elizabelle says:

    @Chris: Gonna be my next crusade. Probably a fruitless one. But they did not grow to power overnight. We have to figure out a way to dial them back.

    =====

    NY Daily News headline right now:

    White House stands by President Trump’s insistence that all his sexual assault accusers — more than a dozen women — are liars

    Incoming from all sides, at our cheat-ass ILPOTUS.

    Maybe Harvey Weinstein will help take out POTUS after all. Carlos Danger Wiener too.

  132. 132
    Jay S says:

    @Bill Arnold: That firehose of falsehood sure sounds like Republican talking heads over the last 10 years.

  133. 133
    sukabi says:

    @clay: soooo…is it Rohrbacher or Nunes that’s the Russian courier?

  134. 134
    TenguPhule says:

    @sukabi: Why not both?

  135. 135
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Similar headline (not a big one, though) at WaPo.

  136. 136
  137. 137
    Baud says:

    @Elizabelle: Good. For a while it looked like Trump’s actions would be forgotten in all the Weinstein mess.

  138. 138
    TenguPhule says:

    OH FFS, now there’s a giant ass autoplay ad in the middle of the fucking ugly ass ads at the start of comments.

    I’m not sure which is going to go to hell first, this country or this blog.

  139. 139
    Elizabelle says:

    @sukabi: Couldn’t it be both of them?

    I think Rohrbacher might have some financial problems, now or in his past. Orange County Weekly reported on a blighted house he owns. Believe there were intimations of drug use within, possibly by him or his wife/partner whatever, as well.

    Rohrbacher was my congresscritter for a while. Gag. Until they redistricted. Very strange man.

  140. 140
    rikyrah says:

    Another unqualified company getting a no bid Puerto Rico contract

    https://mobile.twitter.com/kylegriffin1/status/923912255586078720

  141. 141
    clay says:

    @Corner Stone: I agree that it wouldn’t matter because they would have been benign, but made to seem sinister. But TrumpCo really wanted them anyway. I forgot to mention one attempt— Trump fucking asked Putin for them on national television.

    So it just makes me wonder… why did they want them so bad? They must’ve thought there was something truly incriminating in there — bought their own BS.

  142. 142
    rikyrah says:

    @sukabi:
    Nunes has business partners with ties to PUTIN

  143. 143
    Millard Filmore says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    They can surmise some of the direction from the questions they were asked.

    You are right. The Republicans have lawyers and prosecutors on their team, they will know what’s what. They know what is asked, and what is confessed to Mueller, and how a prosecutor will use it. All this and more will go on to Putin at internet backbone speeds. No need for a mole.

    (minor change)

  144. 144
  145. 145
    sukabi says:

    @Russ: I’d like to see a few dozen more of the GOPs cheerleaders and propagandists kneecapped prior to the coming storm of indictments.

  146. 146
    Elizabelle says:

    @Just One More Canuck: LOL. That’s great. Gary Larson. The best.

    I was thinking it’s cool there were two dogs rescued. May we never find out they started the voyage with four.

    @Baud: I think some woman is going to break her silence on a NDA before too long. It’s already happening with Weinstein.

    FWIW, obviously, HWeinstein is a pig, but I think he took extra damage because he’s subbing in for Trump, who is in the WH — to many people’s horror — and because the story broke so soon after the Las Vegas shootings, where the shooter was dead and the NRA will likely skate again, since their purchased GOP controls the Senate and House.

    And then director James Toback. Ugh. More than 300 accusers by now.

  147. 147
    Baud says:

    @Elizabelle: Right. Let Trump sue. (it’s easy for me to say.)

  148. 148
    Jay S says:

    @clay: I think they were just selling the idea of missing emails as something nefarious. Although it would give cover for the trolls to manufacture something juicy. Perhaps they were promised that. ETA maybe they were dropping hints that they wanted something made up to drop.

  149. 149
    rikyrah says:

    @Thru the Looking Glass…:
    I believe that something big is about to drop

  150. 150
    Elizabelle says:

    Hope this link works for you.

    Long Financial Times piece on Zelda Perkins, now talking but signed a NDA with Harvey Weinstein over 1990s harrassment. Believe she was an assistant at Miramax.**

    Harvey Weinstein: how lawyers kept a lid on sexual harassment claims

    Zelda Perkins says she was harassed by the powerful Hollywood producer. Now she wants to expose the legal process that kept her claims a secret for 19 years

    I have seen a few reporters writing on the topic of NDAs and the abuse of power they turn out to be. I think some NDAs and the tax returns are going to help in bringing down Trump.

    Heck, Bannon is a real pig. Wonder what he’s got in his past?

    ** Google the article title and you can get in that way if FTimes paywall locks you out.

  151. 151
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    This is interesting, but I have no idea what it means. Swalwell is a Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.

    And here’s the tweet he’s saying to save:

  152. 152
    trollhattan says:

    @rikyrah:
    It’s like the best time-share come-on ever: “How would you like an all-expenses paid trip to the Caribbean? Wait, we’ll make it better and pay you to go to the Caribbean. Stay as long as you want; hell, we’ll even buy you a condo!”

  153. 153
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @clay: Did you ask those conservatives how they feel about Donny Jr. meeting with Russians to accept derogatory information on Secretary Clinton? And we all know that there was no discussion about “adoption” during any of those meetings, one of which has been substantiated.

  154. 154
    Elizabelle says:

    @Baud: Yeah. This would be the time to disclose. He’s less danger as ILPOTUS than as a private citizen. I don’t think he wants to go on record in court depositions on this one.

    And it might spur other women to come forward. Safety in numbers.

    Will be interesting to see if Trump chooses not to sue. He would be damned either way.

    To your microphones, ladies.

  155. 155
    Baud says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Are they really going to call her back to testify?

  156. 156
    Elizabelle says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: GOP: The script has flipped?

    Those fuckers did the flipping.

    Speaking of which, maybe some of the littler fish are flipping, even as we speak.

  157. 157
    sukabi says:

    @Felanius Kootea: here’s a CNN article about the ad…http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/20/.....index.html

    He’s a billionaire who donates to democratic causes…

  158. 158
    Millard Filmore says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I know I sound like a broken record, but we have got to do something to dial back Fox and the rightwing media. It’s poison.

    One easy possibility is for any information distribution organization that has “NEWS” in the title must give up the advanced protection afforded by our libel/slander laws. A “NEWS” outlet that lies loses the easy defense standard for “public figures” and drops to the vigorous defense standard that must be met when sued by non-public figures.

  159. 159
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Baud: They seem increasingly desperate, and their go-to move is to attack Clinton. That’s what this looks like. I’m especially intrigued by Swalwell’s comment.

  160. 160
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Secretary Clinton has no explaining to do. She did nothing wrong. There is nothing illegal or improper about conducting opposition research on your political opponents. In fact, the dossier was initially paid for by one of Trump’s Republican primary opponents. This is not a scandal. Democrats really need to start pushing back on this nonsensical narrative before it is allowed to take root in the public psyche.

    Where are the Dem attack dogs, by the way. It feels like we’re always on defense even when we have nothing to be defensive about.

  161. 161
    Baud says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: She ate their lunch last time, and this time she would have NFLTG.

    That tweet is intriguing. Why would anyone save a tweet unless there was some risk it would be deleted?

  162. 162
    John Revolta says:

    You can have all the Halloween movies and stuff……………to me the scariest thing I know is the above phrase “died in a Moscow jail”.

    Brrrrrrr

  163. 163
    Elizabelle says:

    @Millard Filmore: We should talk.

  164. 164
    Ruckus says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:
    All projection, all the time.
    If they accuse someone of anything, be assured they are the ones doing it.
    ETA actually it can be projection or deflection, they use them interchangeably.

  165. 165
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Somebody was musing that Mueller knows he’s in the crosshairs and has a dead man’s switch installed.

    Of course he has at least one deadman switch, and probably multiple independent ones. The administration would be nuts to assume otherwise.
    Plus, even if he’s compromised or just pretending (that’s a real theory out there, remember he was big on the Patriot Act), there are multiple other prosecutors/investigators involved, who’ve left stable jobs to join him. They would not all be silence-able.
    (I know, ever the optimist.)

  166. 166
    Millard Filmore says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I think some NDAs …

    Depending on the wording of the NDA, maybe there is some wiggle room. A NDA that forbids trash talking Trump or his brand should be in trouble right now. That kitty grabbing boast was pooh poohed as “locker room talk”, which in reality is bragging meant to raise ones status amongst your peers. So a woman that confirms that brag is really helping again raise Trump’s status.

  167. 167
    debbie says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Trump tweeted this less than two weeks ago:

    I was recently asked if Crooked Hillary Clinton is going to run in 2020? My answer was, "I hope so!"— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 16, 2017

    So, yeah, something’s being ginned up.

  168. 168
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Patricia Kayden: Swalwell is saying that there is something significant about that GOP attack tweet. I read it as saying that the tweet will be shown to be massively wrong, perhaps the tables turned yet another time, against the GOP, as some here are saying. I kind of hated to post that ugly tweet, but I wanted to make it easy for people to see what Swalwell is saying to save. As a Democrat and member of the House Intelligence Committee, he has a better sense than any of us what may be coming up.

  169. 169
    Elizabelle says:

    @Bill Arnold: I’m optimistic on this one too, even if we don’t get everything we want.

    We need some optimism. Terribly little out there right now.

    ===

    Out of here for a while. Catch you later, Jackals.

  170. 170
    Baud says:

    @Patricia Kayden: We don’t really reward attack dogs.

  171. 171
    StringOnAStick says:

    @Elizabelle: On top of the damage FOX does, Sinclair Broadcasting is on a buying spree with a newly compliant FCC willing to ignore all those rules about media market consolidation. Sinclair is just as whack right wing as FOX. They are trying to add approximately 42 more TV stations in a proposed buy, and that combined with what they already own will give them access to 80% of the US TV news market. Scary.

  172. 172
    Baud says:

    The fact that all of this has unfolded over nine days is an indication that what we are witnessing is the roll-out of a planned and coordinated strategy meant to distract from the investigation into whether or not the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia to influence the 2016 election. As Martin wrote, it might also be an indication that Robert Mueller is about to drop a bombshell. Stay tuned next week and we’ll keep you informed.

    WaMo

  173. 173
    Trentrunner says:

    @Baud: Yeah, boy, HRC really stuck it to them with her testimony for 86 hours or whatever. And now that she’s in the White House, she can…

    …I think you see the problem. Winning a battle is NOT winning the war.

    And it is all happening again, right now. Russia is being bothesidesed, CNN and WaPo agree that “Dems and HRC have some explaining to do,” and here we go…

    Also, NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING Mueller could report will get Trump out of office before the 2020 election.

    So stop praying for a savior. Start organizing. A wise person once said that “We are the ones we have been waiting for.”

  174. 174
    Baud says:

    @Trentrunner: That makes no sense. I didn’t say she won the election. I said she did great at the hearing and would do great again. I also didn’t say anything about a savior.

  175. 175
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Doesn’t have to be the US intel community.

  176. 176

    OT:
    I just had tea with a friend, gave her my study materials for the citizenship test. I am encouraging any LPRs that I know personally to take the plunge.

  177. 177
    trollhattan says:

    @StringOnAStick: Earlier this week the FCC chief was before congress telling them he wants to further eliminate local-ownership rules, which would really greenlight Sinclair going apeshit with acquisitions and getting rid of local content entirely.

  178. 178
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: The argument now is that Secretary Clinton conspired with Russia to influence the outcome of the election. That it was a long standing conspiracy back to 2011 involving Mueller (a registered Republican), Comey (a registered Republican), the FBI, DOJ, several independent Federal agencies, and all to lose the election. Think about that. All of this was done so that Clinton would lose. Makes no logical sense.

  179. 179
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @clay:

    They must’ve thought there was something truly incriminating in there — bought their own BS.

    In other words, they ate their own shit sandwich…

  180. 180
  181. 181
  182. 182
    Kathleen says:

    If anyone is interested in reading the Steele document, here is a link to Cannonfire (Joseph Cannon is the proprietor). He posted this back in January of this year:

    http://cannonfire.blogspot.com.....olden.html

  183. 183
    Trentrunner says:

    @Baud: The theme of this post and most of the responses is chop-licking over what Chef Mueller MUST be cooking up for Trump.

    Trotting out Hillary’s admirable performance TO DEFEND A 4-YEAR NON-EXISTENT SCANDAL is part of the problem. Everyone cheers how well she did WHEN THE PROBLEM IS THAT BENGHAZI WAS BULLSHIT from the start. It’s like noting how well Mary Lincoln sopped up the blood off the Ford Theatre’s seats. She got every last drop!

    This is a serious fucking problem we Dems have that we refuse to see what is really happening, that we look for heroes and moments of heroism in standing up to the firehose torrent of nonstop calumny, corruption, bigotry, and grift.

    And I will repeat: It is happening again. We are “defending” Hillary and hoping for “attack dogs” to defend against “Russia and what the Dems did.” If I were one of these Republicans assholes, I’d say we deserve what we’re getting because we’re such fucking idiots.

  184. 184
    Kathleen says:

    Here is Lawfare’s take on why latest Uranium One “scandal” is implausible:

    https://www.lawfareblog.com/unpacking-uranium-one-hype-and-law

    Apologies if Adam or Cheryl have already linked. I think Adam did cover some of the information in his piece recently.

  185. 185
    bemused says:

    Off topic but OMG. Just watched vid at TPM of trump giving out candy to kids in costumes in oval office. The kids’ parents are media and he is basically bad mouthing press to the kids. Completely bonkers.

  186. 186

    @Trentrunner: Who did you support during the Democratic primaries? Just curious.

  187. 187
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Thank you.

    I usually keep it on the top of my head.//

  188. 188
    Corner Stone says:

    Vyessel nyeets SKAYUH!!

    I’m working on it.

  189. 189
    Baud says:

    @Trentrunner: You’re exemplifying the weakness you claim to hate.

  190. 190
    J R in WV says:

    @Felanius Kootea:

    From Wikipedia:

    Tom Steyer. Thomas Fahr Steyer (born June 27, 1957) is an American hedge fund manager, philanthropist, environmentalist, progressive activist, and fundraiser. … Since 1986, Steyer has been a partner and member of the Executive Committee at Hellman & Friedman, a San Francisco-based $8 billion private equity firm.

    He is a Democrat, and did a $50,000,000 ad buy according to the news. Trump is furious, but can’t do anything about it.

  191. 191
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    I was feeding the cats and thinking that this discussion is reminding me of that early-on meeting of the Senate Intelligence Committee from which Dianne Feinstein emerged looking shaken. I come back to Twitter, and here’s a letter she just sent. Points three and four are directly relevant to the issue in the Times article. The people on these committees know quite a bit that we don’t.

  192. 192
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @rikyrah: I certainly hope so…

    A lot of chatter on the intertubes in the moment but that’s happened before and then nothing…

    Juliette Kayyam thinks to think something will happen by Thanksgiving, which is rapidly approaching…

    And that certainly could explain this new frenzy to discredit the dossier and Mueller’s investigation…

  193. 193

    @Elizabelle:

    Heck, Bannon is a real pig. Wonder what he’s got in his past?

    Lots and lots of booze.

  194. 194
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Jay S:

    That firehose of falsehood sure sounds like Republican talking heads over the last 10 years.

    I’ll defer to Adam S on this; he’s well-read in this area and has given it some thought. I suppose it’s possible that the Russians learned significant tricks from Murdoch and US Republicans, but it seems implausible.

  195. 195
    Trentrunner says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Good point, because everyone knows Whitewater, Rose Law Firm, Travelgate, Vince Foster, Reverend Wright, Birtherism, Fast & Furious, Benghazi, EMAILZ and Pizzagate all made no logical sense.

    And thank God that lack of logical sense prevented them from having any effect whatsoever on our politics.

  196. 196
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Doesn’t have to be the US intel community.

    Or even a nation-state intelligence community.

  197. 197
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    Also letters from Feinstein to Cambridge Analytica

    And to Mark Zuckerberg

    And Twitter

    This has the look of putting things in order, making sure that all the requests have been properly made.

  198. 198
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Yup. I supplied a Fox News link upthread with the Grand Unified Theory. Mueller is disqualified because he was the head of the FBI when the Uranium One deal was made. And so on. Too bad Hillary’s collusion was so incompetent that she lost.

    The stink of desperation.

  199. 199
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    Lots and lots of booze.

    Hah… I was going to say ‘an endless string of empty liquor bottles’…

    He looks like a scotch or whiskey drinker to me…

  200. 200
    Thru the Looking Glass... says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Yup. I supplied a Fox News link upthread with the Grand Unified Theory.

    The Rand Corporation, in conjunction with the saucer people and under the supervision of the reverse vampires, are forcing our parents to go to bed early, in a fiendish plot to eliminate the meal of dinner. We’re through the looking glass here, people.

    Yes… there is the stink of desperation about it…

  201. 201

    @Thru the Looking Glass…:

    He looks like a scotch or whiskey drinker to me…

    Scotch was my second choice back when I was drinking, my first was sake.

  202. 202
    Chyron HR says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Well, thank god The Young Turks are going to put a stop to all that! [suspicious emoji]

  203. 203
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Makes no logical sense.

    It can be severely contorted to make sense, e.g. what if it were a long-plot to destroy the US Republican Party, to e.g. make the US weak. Of course, such a long plot also involves B. Obama, and aliens, and perhaps demons and/or the AntiChrist, and the UN.
    Buy More Guns!!! And Ammo. And Gold – there has never been a better time to buy gold!!!
    etc. (That was awkward and heavy handed. Wish Neil Gaiman or some other talent would give it a try.)

  204. 204
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Corner Stone:

    The stress is on the NEETS

  205. 205
    dogwood says:

    @Chyron HR:
    You got that right. She needs to be primaried and replaced with a “true” progressive with no experience and seniority who will know how to really get the job done with these highly complicated investigations.

  206. 206
    J R in WV says:

    @Elizabelle:

    We happened to drive by Florence, CO last month, on our way to Pueblo to meet friends.

    That’s where the US Federal Super Max prison is. Just a couple of miles south of US 50, which also just happens to pas through West Virginia.

    A friend worked in the ER that dealt with patients from Florence, even the ones that showed up in chains with a squad of armored and armed federal guards. They never knew if the guards were to protect medical staff from their patient, or to protect the patient
    from those who wanted to harm them.

    Google Earth can show you exactly how grim that installation is. Believe me: grim! But I’m hoping many people now famous will be infamous and live there. For a long time.

  207. 207
    Sloane Ranger says:

    Blitzer was talking with some slimy Repug. Congressman earlier who was regurgitating the Grand Unified Theory of Clinton Collusion but what was more, said Congressslime was outraged that Russians had been paid for some of the information that found its way into the Steele dossier.

    “That’s not the way you get intelligence!” He sputtered. “Professional Intelligence Agencies don’t act like that!”

    Excuse me but I thought that was exactly how Intelligence Agencies worked.

    Blitzer was useless, he tried to push back but he’s too wedded to the traditions of civility and respect for office for the modern world.

  208. 208
  209. 209
    Corner Stone says:

    @zhena gogolia: No. I have to be able to finish it off with an accusatory tome and a finger pointing at a young Russian woman. Emphasis on the middle part doesn’t give it the cinematic effect I need.

  210. 210
    Mike J says:

    Byron York‏ Verified account @ByronYork
    New: Conservative publication Washington Free Beacon funded original Fusion GPS oppo effort. Story posting soon.

  211. 211
    Cheryl Rofer says:

  212. 212
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    Reports that Carter Page met with Senate Intel Committee for five hours today.

  213. 213
    Emperor of ice cream says:

    @Trentrunner: This is profoundly true. We are losing the war but in denial because we seem to win so many battles.

  214. 214
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Trentrunner: I’m not sure what you’re getting at. What would you have us DO right now?

  215. 215
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Bill Arnold: Penetration at all levels.

    More seriously, what the Russians are doing now is simply what they’d figured out to do back in the 60s and 70s, but 1) didn’t have the tech (social media) to utilize and 2) the divisions, cleavages, and grievances in the US weren’t so clearly separated by party.

    We did similar types of Info and PSYOPS. And what Ailes figured out wasn’t that far off from either our or the Soviets methods. Nor was it actually rocket science.

  216. 216
    Millard Filmore says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: For contemplation purposes only …

    What parts of the report came from the time the Washington Free Beacon was funding it?
    Who decided to pass the operation on to the Democrats?

  217. 217
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Trentrunner: I’m neither downplaying or discounting that lack of making sense, and even more lack of any actual there there, isn’t going to just make stuff go away. I fully understand how this works and have no illusions regarding how it is going to play out.

  218. 218
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Bill Arnold: Wasn’t me. I didn’t do it. I have an alibi!!!!!//

  219. 219
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Trentrunner:
    So what’s your solution? Kill Trump and all the Republicans? Dems only make up 30 percent of the total electorate. Most of us have no real influence and it seems like the game is stacked against us. The media doesn’t seem to give a shit what we think. What would you have us do?

  220. 220
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: If they don’t realize that Mueller has anticipated something like this, if not this exactly, and hasn’t made sure he’s got failsafes already in place in case the President is wound up into actually firing him or the GOP runs a complete discredit his reputation campaign, they have another think coming.

  221. 221
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Bill Arnold: The FBI investigation into Tenex and the trucking company began in 2007. Yes Mueller was Director of the FBI. But George W Bush was president.

  222. 222
    Elizabelle says:

    @J R in WV: I wanna see a Trump-McConnell wing in that Supermax. It can be on the right of the property, if they insist. Throw away the key.

  223. 223
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: William Kristol proprietor. This is going to put the Trumpbrats into full dudgeon. They’ll be screaming Jewish conspiracy till they go hoarse.

  224. 224
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Thereby reducing the intelligence of both the committee and everyone else in the room.

  225. 225
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Millard Filmore: The question about what parts came from the WFB is an excellent one. I am currently running out of steam with today’s dump. I suspect Emptywheel and others will have the answer tomorrow. I think they may have given it up before Steele got involved.

    And yes, it would seem that someone on the WFB side of things would have had to give permission for the Clinton campaign to take it over.

  226. 226
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Mueller must have seen the possibility that the President is wrapped up in it. And I’ll refer again to that Senate Intel Committee meeting that members emerged from looking stricken. One reason could have been that so much pointed at the President. Yes, I think this will all come out one way or another.

    Could be a friendly and discreet news reporter who would have a monster scoop. Or many other possibilities.

  227. 227
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Millard Filmore: My understanding of the reporting till this bit is that Steele’s firm in Britain wasn’t retained to look into the President’s foreign, including Russian, connections and activities until after Elias picked up the funding. Additionally, my take on the reporting is that the Fusion GPS investigation hadn’t proceeded to the point where they needed to retain Steele and his firm until that point. As in they were running all the domestic stuff down, kept finding strange bits and bobs pointing towards Russia and other former Soviet locations, and decided they needed a foreign specialist. From what I’ve read Steele is the best.

  228. 228
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: No argument here. And I think so much pointed to members of Congress as well. I’ve got dozens of open sourced published pics of Grassley with Russian oligarchs at various conservative functions.

  229. 229
    I says:

    @Bill Arnold: I did not intend to imply the Russians learned it from the Republicans. Merely pointing out that the Republicans spokes people have been using a similar verbal assault even prior to the current Russian incursion.Spewing a stream of falsehoods such that it was nor possible to refute them all in one time limited response.

  230. 230
    EriktheRed says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Well, I supported Hillary and I very much agree with Trent.

  231. 231
    Iay s says:

    Whoa, I triggered moderation somehow? Ah I mangled my nym. Let’s try again
    @Bill Arnold: I did not intend to imply the Russians learned it from the Republicans. Merely pointing out that the Republicans spokes people have been using a similar verbal assault even prior to the current Russian incursion.Spewing a stream of falsehoods such that it was nor possible to refute them all in one time limited response.

  232. 232
    Jay S says:

    @Bill Arnold: I did not intend to imply the Russians learned it from the Republicans. Merely pointing out that the Republicans spokes people have been using a similar verbal assault even prior to the current Russian incursion.Spewing a stream of falsehoods such that it was nor possible to refute them all in one time limited response.
    ETA apologies if this shows up multiple times. my computer ate my nym and dumped it into moderation.

  233. 233
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @EriktheRed:
    What’s the game plan? Scream into RWNJ faces until we’re all blue in the face and have brain aneurysms?

  234. 234
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    It looks like some people may be flipping. Five hours for Carter Page, now this.

    I’ve always thought of Woolsey as an honorable person. Wrongheaded at times, but honorable.

    The Dilanian tweet says

    Former CIA Director James Woolsey tells NBC News he has been in contact with FBI, Mueller’s office re alleged scheme by Flynn re Gulen

  235. 235
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: He’s nuts, but he’s not stupid. The first one to take a deal gets the best deal/only deal.

  236. 236
    Corner Stone says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: James Woolsey has been crazy as a peach orchard boar for years now.

  237. 237
    EriktheRed says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: No plan, unfotunately. Seems to me his point, though, is that we shouldn’t do end-zone dances just because we appear to be at the 5-yard line after some good plays.

  238. 238

    @EriktheRed: I don’t see anyone dancing. This is going to be a long fight.

  239. 239
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Heck, Bannon is a real pig. Wonder what he’s got in his past?

    Every time I see a video clip or photo of Bannon, I always think he looks like someone who doesn’t bathe as often as he should. He looks smelly.

  240. 240
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    William Kristol proprietor.

    Wonder whether it was deliberate or just a happy coincidence that Washington Free Beacon shares its WFB monogram with William F. Buckley.

  241. 241

    @SiubhanDuinne: You noticed that too; the first few mentions of WFB above, I initially thought were referring to Buckley.

  242. 242
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    Yes, and the William Kristol connection makes me think it was a deliberate choice.

  243. 243
    joel hanes says:

    @StringOnAStick:

    Sinclair is just as whack right wing as FOX.

    IMHO, far worse.

    Fox does much of its lying by omission; Sinclair originats outright propaganda, and requires its affiliates (most of which are in rural areas) to carry that shit.

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