Quid Pro Quo

This seems significant (via NPR):

2016 RNC Delegate: Trump Directed Change To Party Platform On Ukraine Support

President Trump may have been involved with a change to the Republican Party campaign platform last year that watered down support for U.S. assistance to Ukraine, according to new information from someone who was involved.

Diana Denman, a Republican delegate who supported arming U.S. allies in Ukraine, has told people that Trump aide J.D. Gordon said at the Republican Convention in 2016 that Trump directed him to support weakening that position in the official platform.

Recall that this was the only proposed platform policy the Trump people saw fit to adjust. After running a “populist” campaign that was credited by the more gullible members of the Beltway media herd for rejecting GOP orthodoxy and goring Republican sacred cows left and right, when the so-called insurgents seized control, the sole alteration they requested just coincidentally was designed to make Putin’s life easier.

Trump’s flunky Gordon now denies he told Denman that the platform change request came from Trump. Uh huh.

I’ve always thought this platform change smelled fishier than a scratch-and-dent Chicken of the Sea warehouse.

49 replies
  1. 1
    Corner Stone says:

    Trump’s flunky Gordon now denies he told Denman that the platform change request came from Trump. Uh huh

    There is no way the order came directly from Trump. Gordon was using the imprimatur and is now protecting someone else. Maybe himself.

  2. 2
    fuckwit says:

    @Corner Stone: Manafort, I’d guess.

  3. 3
    columbusqueen says:

    I’m sorry this is OT, but i’m kinda worried. Here’s a link to a GofundMe page I’ve set up to try & save my house:


    If you can help me, fellow jackals, I would be beyond grateful. I hate asking for help, but I don’t know what else to do. Thank you in advance.

  4. 4
    NotMax says:

    Oh, now you’ve made the gray matter remember reading a story about a Mississippi warehouse on the Gulf of Mexico used to store frozen shrimp that was opened up something like 10 days after Katrina had knocked out the power.

    That’ll clear the sinuses. :)

  5. 5
    GregB says:

    Did Jurassic Pork get a gender reassignment?

  6. 6
    Duane says:

    @fuckwit: If Manafort complains about his ankle bracelet, a 20 lb ball and chain would work.

  7. 7
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    It is, and Donald has been denying it for over a year, because it is so damning.

    He is a traitor, heading a party of traitors.

  8. 8
    Another Scott says:

    How is this in any way controversial? Wasn’t it known at the time that Trump was behind it?

    WaPo – July 2016:

    The Trump campaign worked behind the scenes last week to make sure the new Republican platform won’t call for giving weapons to Ukraine to fight Russian and rebel forces, contradicting the view of almost all Republican foreign policy leaders in Washington.

    Throughout the campaign, Trump has been dismissive of calls for supporting the Ukraine government as it fights an ongoing Russian-led intervention. Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, worked as a lobbyist for the Russian-backed former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych for more than a decade.

    Still, Republican delegates at last week’s national security committee platform meeting in Cleveland were surprised when the Trump campaign orchestrated a set of events to make sure that the GOP would not pledge to give Ukraine the weapons it has been asking for from the United States.


    “This is another example of Trump being out of step with GOP leadership and the mainstream in a way that shows he would be dangerous for America and the world,” said Rachel Hoff, another platform committee member who was in the room.


    Of course it came from Trump. Sure, dot-the-i’s and cross-the-t’s, but let’s not think that Donnie somehow wasn’t in charge of his campaign (especially after hearing the swearing scuttlebutt the last couple of days).


  9. 9
    Bill Arnold says:

    It is significant; at the very least it will increase the odds that some others … recover their memories.

    Since it’s an open thread, interesting meme piece in nymag: The Republican War on Economics (By Jonathan Chait)

    This is a small moment that reveals a great deal about the relation of the Republican Party to the field of economics. Hubbard and Holtz-Eakin represent the right wing of the economic profession. Both of them have long worked closely with the party and have deep sympathy to its ideological orientation. Collins, on the other hand, represents the left wing of the Republican Party. She is indisputably the most moderate — and, arguably, the only moderate — member of her Senate caucus. And yet, on taxes, she maintains a position farther right than any serious economist can maintain. The beliefs of Republican officials and real economists are non-overlapping circles on a Venn diagram.

    (Italics/bold mine.)

  10. 10
    Shalimar says:

    Iirc, Diana Denman was the main source for the original story. To begin with, she didn’t name the campaign official. Then she later named Gordon. Now she is saying the instruction came from Trump. I assume she was hesitant because she is/was a Trump supporter and didn’t want to hurt the cause, but it doesn’t help her credibility that she keeps adding details.

  11. 11
    columbusqueen says:

    Just to give a little more detail, the last seven years have been hell on the job & health front. I had to stop practicing law b/c the stress was pushing my diabetes & depression into the red zone. It me three and a half years to get even a minimum wage job. My husband & I managed until until this summer, when my medical problems threw a wrinkle into our budget. I don’t know where we & our furbabies can afford to go if we lose our place.
    Between this crap & living in Trumplandia, I’ve been tempted to end it all, but I’m trying to fight back. Sorry to vent, but I have a lot of pain I keep bottled up.

    OTOH, my brother’s girlfriend dumped him & he’s back with my SIL. A disaster for him, but a good thing for me.

    Thanks for putting up with me, folks. I would’ve put this on an open thread, but it looked dead.

  12. 12
    Shalimar says:

    @GregB: I didn’t recognize the name, but she has a sporadic posting history that has nothing to do with asking for help before. I think just a regular lurker in need.

  13. 13

    Does anybody else get the feeling that this whole shit show is gathering speed? How much longer can they hang on with everything falling down around their ears?

  14. 14
    Shalimar says:

    @columbusqueen: I wish I could help, but it is a tough time here too. Best of luck with getting enough help from others.

  15. 15
    lumpkin says:

    I always figured the platform change was a minor thing on its own but I’m pretty sure it was a token down payment to Putin to demonstrate Trump loyalty. On the Trump side it encouraged Putin support thru the general. On the Putin side it roped the whole bunch of the Trump people into the con by getting them to compromise themselves and start the slide down the slope.

  16. 16
    Mnemosyne says:


    You might get a better response if you email Anne Laurie and discuss getting a front-page post. Sometimes people will feel a little more like you’ve been vetted that way, if that makes sense.

  17. 17
    Shalimar says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): Kushner is working on something big to get enough money to pay the $1.2 billion due in February. If whatever he is doing falls through, his future is hopeless and who knows what he will do. He is the next domino in Mueller’s case.

  18. 18
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): apparently Fox News has dedicated itself to the idea that the Meuller and the FBI are the Deep State run wild. Slab-head Donnie is promoting their tweets, etc

    Tom Nichols‏Verified account
    -When you watch an evening of FOX, you realize the narrative builds carefully through the first few programs, reaching a crescendo of madness when Hannity arrives. It’s actually quite well done. Soviet TV wasn’t this well organized.
    -Hannity has now brought in Enron. I am not kidding.
    This is clearly prepping the audience for firing Mueller.
    -Hannity now sucking up to the law enforcement community, and adding that the FBI is a “clear and present danger.” I mean, that’s not at all dangerous.

  19. 19
    different-church-lady says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): All I know is I never thought I would live through Watergate twice.

  20. 20
    Adam L Silverman says:

    The question I want answered is why is it so important to create and sustain the impression that VP Pence is completely out of the loop on all of this stuff? Remember, Pence was chosen by Manafort who finagled the President into picking him and then keeping him when he got buyer’s remorse. Was a decision made to try to compartment Pence in case it became impossible to keep the President, his campaign’s, his transition’s, and now his administration’s participation in Russia’s active measures campaign against the US under wraps? Was a decision made to try to compartment Pence so that if/when the President is removed or resigns, the conspirators still have one of their agents in place as a result of succession?

  21. 21
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    ian Beutler‏Verified account
    @ brianbeutler
    Meanwhile, the idea that the FBI, an agency staffed principally with aging white male cops, suffers from left wing bias, is a fucking howler.

  22. 22
    Raoul says:

    Speaking of breaking RNC news, the party committee headed by Ronna, the niece of Mitt “I tweeted against Roy Moore today” Romney just re-endorsed Moore and acknowledged that it is moving money for him again. Such scum.
    And I can’t quite picture the Romney clan holiday gathering (assuming they are reasonably close, as political uncle and niece might be).

  23. 23
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): To paraphrase comedian Ron White: How far will the plane take you when only one engine is left? All the way to the site of the plane crash!

  24. 24
    NotMax says:

    Howdy, Adam. Did you happen to come across anything about this?

    Inflaming things (if accurate); it’s the precision targeting procedure involved that initially raises questions as to capability for me.

  25. 25
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @different-church-lady: First as tragedy, second as farce.

  26. 26
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @NotMax: What this are we referring to?

  27. 27
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Tucker Carlson‏Verified account
    The point is clear: the #FBI is out of control and not just in the @ realDonaldTrump investigation. An agency charged with enforcing the law clearly considers itself above the law. That’s a threat to you, and every American, no matter who you voted for. #Tucker @ FoxNews

    Meuller should watch that Seinfeld when George has to escape from a gang of enraged senior citizens on hov-arounds

    and I’m gonna call my Senators tomorrow to ask what they’ll do if trump acts against Meuller

  28. 28
    NotMax says:


    Dagnabbit. Bad linky.

    Fix: Did you happen to come across anything about this?

  29. 29
    columbusqueen says:

    @Mnemosyne: I did email her, but I haven’t heard back–I’m sorry, I guess I panic too easily lately.

  30. 30
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @NotMax: I saw the initial report shortly after it was reported. Haven’t drilled down. I did see the long, detailed NY Times take down of Saudi’s claim they used missile defense to shoot down that Houthi missile a few weeks ago. And I’ve seen the footage of Saleh’s corpse and his shot up SUV.

  31. 31
    columbusqueen says:

    @Adam L Silverman: It certainly looks that way.

  32. 32
    Shalimar says:

    @Adam L Silverman: If they wanted to compartment Pence, they shouldn’t have put him in charge of the transition, and let it be known that he was in the room for the decision to fire Comey. There was a concerted effort to paint Pence as a key aide for the first 4-5 months of the administration. They’re trying to protect Pence now, and maybe were trying to protect him from the start but really suck at it.

  33. 33
    Another Scott says:

    @columbusqueen: I’m sorry you’ve had to go through all of that. :-(

    Your goal is quite large, and your time-frame is quite short. I hope you’re also trying to get help from others.

    I don’t mean to be critical, so please don’t take this the wrong way. I know you’ve been posting here a while (Google turns up 4 pages of your comments), but this request for help seems to have shown up out of the blue. The picture in your GoFundMe seems to have been taken in a very nice building and invites the question – “Is that the house?” Or is it a church or something? You’re inviting questions from people using that picture about whether you will never have enough to keep your house in the longer term. Maybe consider changing it. Is it possible to use a picture of the house, or a different one?

    I’m sure your parents wanted most of all was for you to live your life for you the best you can. Houses and things are wonderful, but what really matters is our best memories, how we treat others, and how we maximize the good we can do and the enjoyment we can help increase in the world. Don’t let the house be a boat anchor for you. Investigate all of your options.

    Hope this helps a little.

    Good luck! And let us know how you’re doing.


  34. 34
    NotMax says:

    @Adam L. Silverman

    Yeah, haven’t seen anything more to either confirm or refute. AFAICT, no substantive statement yet from the UAE.

  35. 35
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Shalimar: Actually they’ve been trying to have it both ways since he was put in charge of the transition. That’s why I find it interesting.

  36. 36
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Remember, Pence was chosen by Manafort who finagled the President into picking him

    also, another case, like with promoting Flynn and firing Comey, where the large adult children (so, Kushner) were rumored to be of great influence. And IIRC right around the time Kushner and Manafort responded to Fredo’s call to meet with the Russian lawyer over “adoptions”.

  37. 37
    Shalimar says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I do not think “clearly” means what he thinks it means.

  38. 38
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @NotMax: I haven’t. But I also haven’t been looking. Had other stuff to do today.

  39. 39

    Here is a longer version of Denman’s story, including the original platform plank and the changed version. It seems significant, too, that Carter Page said in an email to J. D. Gordon, Joseph Schmitz, Bert Mizusawa, Chuck Kubic, Walid Phares, and Tera Dahl, “As for the Ukraine amendment, excellent work.”

    It seems to have been the only modification to the platform suggested by the Trump camp.

  40. 40
    burnspbesq says:

    @Another Scott:

    “Quid pro quo, Clarice.”

  41. 41
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Not “seems.” Was.

  42. 42
    columbusqueen says:

    @Another Scott: It’s a wedding pic from six years ago–I don’t have any other pictures of myself at the moment. I’ll try to get a picture of the house.

  43. 43

    @Gin & Tonic: Thanks. I was about 90% sure, but not completely.

  44. 44
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Another Scott:

    I think Scott is saying some wise things that you may want to think about and maybe discuss with people you know IRL. People get very attached to the idea of owning a house and what that represents to them on a deep emotional level, but at the end of the day, it is an object.

    Disclaimer: we don’t own a house and never have, in part because my husband associates home ownership with his parents’ constant struggles to keep their house and their eventual divorce when it became too hard for them to keep up with it financially. He has vivid memories of coming home from school and discovering the electricity had been shut off — again — because his parents couldn’t afford it.

  45. 45
    columbusqueen says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yes, I will. I just know that with our bad credit, we will have trouble renting, & there’s a chance my brother may be joining us if things blow up again with him. Am still trying to get over strep throat, but will talk to friends when I am well.

  46. 46
    Mnemosyne says:


    It’s difficult to make tough decisions when you’re already feeling like you’ve been backed into a corner. Sometimes the best you can do is pick the least harmful choice and not beat yourself up for it. I’m still pretty mad at myself for screwing up my knee so badly that it’s going to need surgery, but in the moment it was a choice between a head injury and a knee injury, and a knee is easier to fix than a brain.

  47. 47
    Dmbeaster says:

    This very early display of Putin love was remarkable when it happened, and weird since the GOP went apesh!t when Obama did not declare war over Crimea. Now it was OK.

    The other gigantic early tell was when boy wonder Kushner was caught trying to set up a secret channel to Moscow so that Trump could have private communications with Putin not observeable to US intelligence.

  48. 48
    Kayla Rudbek says:

    @Bill Arnold: as I keep saying, Republican economics is Calvinist theology and not an empirical science

  49. 49
    Barry says:

    @Shalimar: “There was a concerted effort to paint Pence as a key aide for the first 4-5 months of the administration. They’re trying to protect Pence now, and maybe were trying to protect him ”

    The GOP leadership wants to protect him. The Trump cabal likely wants to tie him closer.

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