Is Donald Trump A Traitor?

James Risen published the first of four articles in a series bearing that headline in the Intercept. Yes, I know it’s the Intercept.

It’s a question that I think has arisen for many of us, but I haven’t said it out loud because it designates such an extreme situation. Notice that the headline is framed as a question, the way to put a controversial idea if you don’t have the evidence to fully support it.

That’s another reason I haven’t gone there. An enormous number of credible reports exist of Russian involvement in the election and involvement of Trump associates with Russians. But the connections of hacking and social media campaigns to Trump associates to Trump himself don’t exist in the public record. The case, so far, is circumstantial.

Risen has reported for the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times on national security and intelligence matters. But he also was part of the crew that got the Wen Ho Lee story wrong. He won a Pulitzer Prize with Eric Lichtblau, who was one of the authors of the October 2016 Surprise article that said that the FBI was (no way!) investigating Donald Trump’s connections with Russia.

Risen is credible, but he’s also made some big mistakes.

The Intercept article is long. I’ve skimmed it. I didn’t see anything new, but organizing the information that’s out there is a service in itself. Risen says there will be four columns. The fact he calls them columns suggests that he is not contributing new reporting. Bolding is mine.

THERE ARE FOUR important tracks to follow in the Trump-Russia story. First, we must determine whether there is credible evidence for the underlying premise that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Trump win. Second, we must figure out whether Trump or people around him worked with the Russians to try to win the election. Next, we must scrutinize the evidence to understand whether Trump and his associates have sought to obstruct justice by impeding a federal investigation into whether Trump and Russia colluded. A fourth track concerns whether Republican leaders are now engaged in a criminal conspiracy to obstruct justice through their intense and ongoing efforts to discredit Mueller’s probe.

I’ll read it in more detail later. Have at it!






107 replies
  1. 1
    rikyrah says:

    Is this a joke question?

    YES, HE’S A TRAITOR!!

    Don’t you get THAT – the TREASON – is what makes this different?

    That the TREASON is what separates him, from even Dubya and The Evil One?

  2. 2
    Tom says:

    Yes. SATSQ.

  3. 3
    germy says:

    I thought this intercept piece was interesting:

    https://theintercept.com/2018/02/14/julian-assange-wikileaks-election-clinton-trump/

    IN LEAKED CHATS, WIKILEAKS DISCUSSES PREFERENCE FOR GOP OVER CLINTON, RUSSIA, TROLLING, AND FEMINISTS THEY DON’T LIKE

  4. 4
    syphonblue says:

    Yes. Duh.

  5. 5
    randy khan says:

    My theory on Russia-Trump connections in the election always has been that the campaign was too dumb not to realize they shouldn’t have been working with the Russians (all the way up to the top, of course), so they probably were.

  6. 6
    RobertDSC-iPhone 6 says:

    Absolutely.

  7. 7
    Princess says:

    I mistrust the Intercept so much that when I saw their recent story about Wikileaks leaks showing Assange wanted Trump to win, my first assumption was that it was a false flag operation.

    Here, I feel like these four points are missing the most likely form of Trumpian treachery: acquiescence to whatever Russia did without ever knowing too much about what it might have been because of Trumpian komrpomat and financial entanglements he doesn’t want made public.

  8. 8
    japa21 says:

    Was he? Not sure. Is he? To me, the mere fact that he has not yet acknowledged any Russian involvement in the elections, is not activating the sanctions and is doing everything he can to cast doubt on any evidence of even Russian involvement (ignore any collusion or conspiracies for the moment) means to me he is aiding and abetting the actions of an enemy of the US during a time of war. And yes, if a country commits an act of war against us, which is what Russia did according to our intelligence agencies, and an American citizen acts in such a manner as to support those activities against us, then that person is a traitor.

  9. 9
    FlipYrWhig says:

    I thought raising the possibility of Russian interference in the election was considered “McCarthyism” over there. Or is that just Intercept _eminence grease_ Glenn Greenwald?

  10. 10
    Woodrowfan says:

    The most infamous and dangerously effective KGB disinformation campaign of the Cold War was known as Operation Infektion. It was a secret effort to convince people in developing countries that the United States had created the HIV/AIDS virus. In 1983, a newspaper in India printed what purported to be a letter from an American scientist saying the virus had been developed by the Pentagon. The letter went on to suggest that the U.S. was moving its experiments to Pakistan, India’s archenemy. Meanwhile, the KGB got an East German scientist to spread misinformation supporting the Moscow-backed conspiracy theory that the U.S. was behind the virus. While these lies never penetrated the U.S. mainstream, they nonetheless spread insidiously through much of the world.

    It’s amazing how many popular conspiracy theories began as Soviet disinfo campaigns fed to newspapers in the developing world including ones I’ve heard repeated on liberal discussion groups and blogs….

  11. 11
    raven says:

    Jane Fonda wasn’t a traitor because we weren’t at war with North Vietnam.

  12. 12
    geg6 says:

    I have no hesitation in answering all four of Risen’s questions with a big fat YES!

    I get your, and many others’, hesitation to go there. But I have no doubt and don’t need any more evidence. I am just a lowly blog commenter and no one cares what I say and whether I have enough evidence for a court of law. He’s a fucking traitor, his family is a bunch of fucking traitors, everyone who works for or with him is a fucking traitor, the entire GOP is nothing but a bunch of fucking traitors and every one of his voters is a fucking traitor. I hate them all and I don’t give a shit who doesn’t agree.

  13. 13
    cmorenc says:

    Aren’t you supposed to put Cavuto marks around an accusation phrased as a question worth seeking the answer to by reasonable right-thinking people? It says so in the Chicago Manual of Style.

  14. 14
    Balconesfault says:

    Of course, that question has become largely irrelevant to Trump’s supporters.

  15. 15

    @randy khan:

    My theory on Russia-Trump connections in the election always has been that the campaign was too dumb not to realize they shouldn’t have been working with the Russians (all the way up to the top, of course), so they probably were.

    One of the hard things in trying to understand the avalanche of news about Trump and Russia is that there’s not a simple narrative line, and there may never be. There are so many actors, doing so many things. It’s possible that on the Russian side, as well, there were many free-lancers trying to get in good with Putin in their own ways.

    I’ve recently been trying to get an overarching statement of the case. The best I’ve done so far is similar to yours: that a bunch of dumb people on this side were approached by a bunch of smarter people on the other side. All crooked in their own way, all looking for a shortcut to advantage for themselves.

  16. 16
    Lee says:

    @randy khan: That is exactly my take as well. They were so used to working with the Russians that it never occurred to them that in the case of the election they should have steered clear of them.

  17. 17

    @geg6: One of the things I’m looking for is whether this opens the way for other news organizations to press closer to this question. I’m sure it’s been in a lot of people’s minds.

  18. 18
    oatler. says:

    I wonder how the writers on the new “Roseanne” show are going to handle Trump Treason?

  19. 19
    Lee says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I try to ignore GG but I did read (somewhere else) that he was on the Twit Machine bitching about articles on his own website that linked Trump with Russia. So to answer: ‘Yes GG is still a Russian Stooge’

  20. 20
    MomSense says:

    @randy khan:

    Doesn’t KT McFarland’s email in December 2016 that they should reassure Russia now that they’ve thrown the election to Trump indicate they knew WTF they were doing?

  21. 21
    laura says:

    Is there a reason that this should be limited to Trump? Seriously. He appears to have been involved with Russian money for years before he alighted from the golden escalator, and he’s bent over backwards to avoid any criticism of Putin or any other oligarch, and has surrounded himself with a gaggle of idiots who’ve advances the interests of same for years.
    But, we also know that both McConnell and Ryan were briefed in 2016 and threatened the President about revealing intelligence during the election -so was their involvement limited to tipping the scales for Trump, or were they also receiving dark money and spreading it around, is there kompromat on them?
    I suspect that is the case based on their inaction and disinterest to date.

  22. 22
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Woodrowfan: Our old friend from Portland was all over that HIV story. What a coincidence.

  23. 23
    Van Buren says:

    We will someday be told that Trump assumed that Putin was helping him for the noblest of reasons, and is shocked to discover that Putin didn’t have America’s best interests at heart. He’s new at this, we have to cut him slack, etc.

  24. 24
    rikyrah says:

    @geg6:

    He’s a fucking traitor, his family is a bunch of fucking traitors, everyone who works for or with him is a fucking traitor, the entire GOP is nothing but a bunch of fucking traitors and every one of his voters is a fucking traitor. I hate them all and I don’t give a shit who doesn’t agree.

    PREACH.

    TELL IT!!

  25. 25

    1, 3, and 4 are proven pretty much beyond doubt now. 2 admittedly is not, although we have plenty of evidence they wanted to.

    @germy:
    Assange is reported to view women as, uh, utilitarian, and to love racist and sexist humor. No surprises here.

    @Woodrowfan:
    I’ve heard that one from the crazier American leftists.

    @Balconesfault:
    Unfortunately, absolutely right. The only question Republican voters care about now is ‘Will it hold off the Brown Horde a little longer?’

  26. 26
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Sounds plausible to me too. Glad to see The Intercept publish this piece, and also the scoop on Wikileaks. This stuff might be obvious to some of us, but many of that publication’s readers have resisted the obvious for annoying reasons of their own that I won’t bother recounting. To speculate baselessly, it’s almost as if the dude who bankrolls The Intercept can see the handwriting on the wall and doesn’t want the “Russians? What Russians?” editorial line to be the publication’s official position on the matter.

  27. 27
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @geg6: Come sit by me.

  28. 28

    @laura: Risen’s fourth question:

    A fourth track concerns whether Republican leaders are now engaged in a criminal conspiracy to obstruct justice through their intense and ongoing efforts to discredit Mueller’s probe.

  29. 29
    germy says:

    @Betty Cracker: On twitter, intercept readers are calling the author of the wikileaks scoop a “liar” with a “deranged hatred” of Julian.

    You can lead a horse to water, but it’ll get angry and poop in the water.

  30. 30
    sherparick says:

    Treason, as a crime, has a very specific definition and elements of proof, which from the get go, probably do not apply here. First, although Russia intervened, and continues to intervene, to disrupt the United States as a society and political entity, in my opinion these acts do not rise to the level of “levying war” against the U.S. (nor when we do to Russia, China, and dozens of other countries rise to that level – we have risen to that level when we sponsor invasions like the Bay of Pigs and Contra war in Nicaragua).

    Now is Trump in spirit a traitor to the Republic? Probably, but so is the whole leadership of the Republican Party and the Republican donor class of Ayn Rand acolytes, Gun racketeers & grifters, and Christian supremacists whom Ryan and McConnell faithfully serve. But the actual law violated were campaign finance laws that prohibit candidates and parties from accepting “anything of value) from a foreign person (Julian Assange) or entity (the Russian State). That case, based on the public record, is already pretty strong.

  31. 31
    d58826 says:

    An enormous number of credible reports exist of Russian involvement in the election and involvement of Trump associates with Russians. But the connections of hacking and social media campaigns to Trump associates to Trump himself don’t exist in the public record. The case, so far, is circumstantial.

    While true, I just find it hard to believe that not one of those associates mentioned a meeting with the Russians to Trump. It’s not like there are Russians on every street corner and pushing Big Mac’s at Mikey D’s. Then again in Trump world maybe they are.

  32. 32
    germy says:

    I could care less about flotus but it would be great if she started throwing #45's clothes out the second floor windows of the white house 😂

    — ProfB (@AntheaButler) February 16, 2018

  33. 33
    Bruce K says:

    Hey, I can understand one’s reluctance to use the T-word from Article 3, Section 3, but the cheeto tagged his political opponents with it, so I say it’s out in the open and fair game.

    Oh, and here’s something to put in Cavuto marks: Is it treason to conspire with a hostile power to alter the outcome of a presidential election in the United States?

  34. 34
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @germy: I’m sure a fair chunk of those are russian bots.

  35. 35
    Spanky says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    @geg6: One of the things I’m looking for is whether this opens the way for other news organizations to press closer to this question. I’m sure it’s been in a lot of people’s minds.

    That’s precisely why Risen needed to frame it as a question. You first have to make the body poiltic willing to even entertain the thought as a question. This country is still too invested in the comfort of “it can never happen here”, even though it (obviously to me/us) did.

    I’ve read neither the rest of the comments nor the Risen article, but I hope he includes the private meetings with the Russian ambassador wherein he burned an Israeli asset and God knows what else.

  36. 36
    rikyrah says:

    Trump words on gun tragedy ring hollow given past legislation

    Rachel Maddow points out that the first significant piece of legislation Donald Trump signed was to give mentally ill people easier access to guns, so his concern that the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter was mentally ill and shouldn’t have been allowed a gun doesn’t carry much weight.

  37. 37
    rikyrah says:

    Trump team uses gun tragedy as cover, reveals financial documents

    Rachel Maddow notes the particular timing of the Trump team’s release of financial documents showing questionable use of tens of millions of dollars of campaign funds.

  38. 38
    condorcet runner-up says:

    many of that publication’s readers have resisted the obvious

    @Betty Cracker: their most prominent writer, too …

  39. 39
    Spanky says:

    @geg6:

    I hate them all and I don’t give a shit who doesn’t agree.

    Well, maybe you don’t, but I sure hope there are a few Madame Defarges among us.

  40. 40
    rikyrah says:

    ‘Queen for a day’ likely means another witness flip for Mueller

    Barbara McQuade, former U.S. attorney, helps Rachel Maddow understand what it means that former Trump campaign staffer Rick Gates had a “Queen for a day” interview with Robert Mueller’s team, and why Donald Trump should be worried.

  41. 41
    rikyrah says:

    VA Secretary Shulkin worsens scandal with dubious explanation

    Rachel Maddow shares details of an inspector general report about VA Secretary David Shulkin using taxpayer money for personal travel with his wife, which he tried to explain away with the excuse that his staffer’s computer was hacked.
    Feb.15.2018

  42. 42
    NotMax says:

    Is Donald Trump A Traitor?

    Affirmative.

    SATSQ.

    The more to the point question is: By design, by intent, as a dupe, as an accessory, by way of extortion or all of the above?

  43. 43
    Formerly disgruntled in Oregon says:

    @sherparick: How would you describe Mr. Trump’s actions in regards to Russia while in office, in light of the existence of the crimes you mentioned that were committed during the campaign? Crimes that Russia had compromising knowledge of and involvement in? In that light, the way Mr. Trump has treated Russia and aligned our foriegn policy with Russia’s looks pretty damning. I’ll call it treason. Impeach the f#cker either way.

  44. 44
    rikyrah says:

    Excuse for EPA chief’s first-class flights turns farcical
    02/16/18 08:00 AM—UPDATED 02/16/18 08:07 AM
    By Steve Benen
    As if Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt weren’t facing enough controversies, we learned this week that the Oklahoma Republican has spent quite a bit of taxpayer money on first-class air travel. Donald Trump’s EPA chief responded by saying he’d “had some incidents” that made the expensive plane tickets necessary.

    This was, however, an odd response. Why would “incidents” be more common in coach?

    Yesterday, as the Washington Post reported, the EPA elaborated on the nature of Pruitt’s travel habits.

    Verbal confrontations with members of the public prompted Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt to switch to flying first or business class whenever possible, officials said Thursday.

    Henry Barnet, who directs EPA’s Office of Criminal Enforcement, Forensics and Training, said in an interview that the head of Pruitt’s security detail, Pasquale Perrotta, recommended in May that he fly in either first or business class to provide “a buffer” between him and the public.

    It’s generally not a good sign when public servants, traveling at taxpayers’ expense, look to create “a buffer” between them and the Americans they ostensibly serve. (One wonders whether Pruitt might be better off if he also considered creating a buffer between his office and lobbyists for polluters.)

    But even putting that aside, what kind of “confrontations” are we talking about here? According to Politico, at an airport in Atlanta, someone approached Pruitt with his cell phone recording, yelling at him, “Scott Pruitt, you’re f—ing up the environment.”

  45. 45
    Spanky says:

    The question also is muddied because the Constitutional definition of treason was written for state actors. And in the 21st Century the corporations and oligarchs have assumed the role of state actors.

  46. 46
    condorcet runner-up says:

    @rikyrah: Sometimes I get more upset with the blatant contempt these guys show for the public than the actual acts themselves. The reflexive assumption that the public is so stupid they’ll buy anything is made only more galling by the fact that it is regrettably true for a significant portion of the electorate.

  47. 47
    rp says:

    @Betty Cracker: Interesting that this and the wikileaks article are coming out only a couple weeks after the New York magazine article about Greenwald. I think you’re right about Omidyar distancing himself from Greenwald and his see no Russia, hear no Russia approach.

  48. 48
    JR says:

    @germy: It reads like bobo Metternich.

  49. 49
    Chet Murthy says:

    TRUMP-RUSSIA COLLUSION IS ALREADY PROVEN1) Swear an oath to protect America in 2017.2) Get told by your own government that the nation you swore to protect is under threat of Russian cyberattack in 2018.3) Do nothing.4) Admit you're doing nothing out of self-interest.{fin}— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) February 15, 2018

    Sorry for the formatting. Wish I knew how to embed tweets prettily.

  50. 50
    But her emails!!! says:

    There’s a 5th and 6th track here that the author should have noted explicitly.

    5) What other leverage does Russia have over Trump and to what extent does it compromise him? Does he owe them money? Is there an existing stream of money flowing from Russia to Trump and his organization. Is there additional blackmail material.
    6) To what extent have Trump and his administration acted in a way that benefits Russia at the expense of US interests due to this leverage and Russia’s assistance?

  51. 51
    p.a. says:

    Channelling Doonesbury’s Mark Slackmeyer: “Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!”

  52. 52

    @Chet Murthy: Seth Abramson has more enthusiasm than care in interpreting the evidence. Somewhat less reliable than Risen.

  53. 53
    Zach says:

    The answer to the first three is obviously yes. The fourth is probably. The problem is that while it might be QED for Risen that those four things equals treason, the right doesn’t see it that way.

    Trump and the GOP don’t/won’t see accepting Russian assistance in the election as a problem… or might claim that it’s OK because Trump didn’t personally know the full extent of what was happening.

  54. 54
    sherparick says:

    @raven: While we were levying war on North Vietnam, and they on our forces in South Vietnam, there was no declaration of war and hence a legal element for the charge of treason was missing. However, as Ms. Fonda herself has admitted, her actions (particularly letting herself be filmed on AA gun mount) were not wise or helpful to the anti-war cause. Treason is not the applicable law. Russia, which like China is a frienemy, and Putin and the Russian State found that it had a congruence of interests with Trump, the Republican Party, and the Republican donor class in the summer and fall of 2016. Russia wanted Trump in the White House because they believe they could influence him and it would disrupt U.S. alliance relationships (which it has). Ryan and McConnell and the Republican donor class wanted Trump in the White House because he would appoint right wing judges and sign the radical tax cut for the donors, which he has. They also want to gut the social insurance and Medicare/Medicaid system (I refuse to use the word “entitlements”) which he has also proposed in the budget and which the Village elite media also support. Since they were aware and accepted the foreign donations “in kind” like Trump did, they have every reason to block the investigation as Trump does.

  55. 55
    kindness says:

    We think Trump is a traitor. I’m sure Trump doesn’t. Trump’s view is shaped by the notion that all actions must benefit Donald Trump. There are no other considerations. So in Trump’s view, he’s done exactly what is in his DNA and helped Trump. Not a traitor.

    Now the rest of us……..

  56. 56
    Snarki, child of Loki says:

    Since Russia committed Acts of War against the US (cyber-meddling in elections), which Trump aided and abetted, and likely did so with two or more witnesses of the same overt act, YES, a full Treason conviction is possible.

    Bring back public hanging for the penalty, just for the Historic Occasion

    short drop, long dangle

  57. 57
    Procopius says:

    An enormous number of credible reports exist of Russian involvement …

    Then I wish somebody would organize a listing of them somewhere. Most of the reports I have seen are on the same level as the Washington Post story that the KGB had hacked the American electric power grid, which turned out to be a small electric company in, I think, New Hampshire getting one of their workers’ laptoms infected with a virus from a porn site or something like that. I haven’t read the Risen article yet, and tend to be leery of Intercept anyway, but I’ll take a look at it since you say he at least does that. But then, remember James Clapper? At Doonesbury today there was a quote from him, with no date given and I haven’t tried to track it down, “The intelligence community has neither the authority nor the capability to make such a judgment as to whether there was or was not impact on the election. And we did not say that.” So much for the “assessment” issued by “the seventeen agencies that make up the entire intelligence community.” Which turned out to be three after Brennan persuaded Comey to go along. What is the CIA doing, investigating anything in the U.S. anyway? J. Edgar (The Old Queen) would have had their guts for garters.

  58. 58
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Spanky:
    Der Scheißgibbon has been openly and willfully betraying America’s interests since his candidacy, even if the colluding-with-Russia part doesn’t quite fit the formal definition of treason. I think it likely he has engaged in prosecutable related actions for some time. Like you I don’t expect to see him charged with treason, but (probably also like you) I’m confident there will be a lot of other things that the Special Counsel’s investigation will find worth prosecuting.

    And now, (20th Century Fox Fanfare with Cinemascope extension) for my new catchphrase:
    Der Müller Gottes mahlt langsam, doch er mahlt außerordentlich klein.

  59. 59
    Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    @oatler.: This post over at Wonkette may answer your question.

  60. 60
    oldgold says:

    My hope is that Rick Gates has information that will answer question #2 beyond a reasonable doubt.

  61. 61
    Mart says:

    @sherparick: Recall recently reading Esquire’s Charlie Pierce quoting an old Boston Globe colleague – any time a headline has a question mark, the answer is no.

  62. 62
    Procopius says:

    @Chet Murthy: I don’t get why Trump is required to order these guys to do their damned jobs. There is no need to appoint any single agency to “lead” the effort. Each of them has there duty to perform, in line with their organizing statute (and the CIA is not supposed to be doing anything inside the U.S., everybody seems to have forgotten that). No special effort should be required. If all of them were doing their job this whole myth would never have arisen.

  63. 63
    Betty Cracker says:

    @kindness: I’m sure you’re right. That’s why the narcissistic bastard couldn’t even unequivocally denounce literal Nazis in C’ville. Some were wearing MAGA hats (including the murderous bastard who plowed into the crowd in a car), so they must be “very fine people.”

  64. 64
    tobie says:

    One other piece of evidence of just how keen Russia was to see Trump elected was Felix Sater’s email to Michael Cohen November 2015 in which he said, “Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it.” This is no casual comment. “Engineering” an election is tantamount to treason.

    As for Cheryl’s question of the purpose of it all: I’m happy to go with Browder’s explanation that Russian oligarchs want the Magnitsky Act repealed now. Since Trump was elected enforcement of sanctions has lapsed, oil and gas prices have gone up–all this is good for the Russian (and American) 1%.

  65. 65
    sherparick says:

    @Zach: The Right Wing/Conservative Movement believes that the Democratic Party, liberals, and the Democratic base are the real “enemy.” All you do is have to read Rush Limbaugh quotes going back 30 years to see that he conceives of Democrats and liberals as “enemies” of America who have to be destroyed, particularly successful Democratic politicians like Bill and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, going back 30 years: http://www.ontheissues.org/cel.....Values.htm And this is the view of the entire modern Republican Party now.

    So when you think like this, you don’t have a problem making deals with the Russians if it helps destroy your enemies and and advance your agenda of Wealth and White Supremacy, which Limbaugh and his ilk consider the original American ideal.

  66. 66

    @But her emails!!!: And (7) – Journalists only – What are the implications for my WH insider access and book deal?!?

  67. 67
    Mike in DC says:

    @sherparick:
    There are a variety of criminal acts that one would or could consider treasonous, such as espionage. Aiding and abetting a hostile foreign power in disseminating propaganda and disinformation, using hacked emails to smear an opponent, conducting foreign policy negotiations counter to the interests of the United States, etc. All of that I consider treasonous.

  68. 68
    JaneE says:

    I don’t know about the legal definition, but Trump is definitely creating a world more to Russia’s liking and harming the American position at the same time. Validating the position of radical Islamists that the west and Islam are mutually exclusive isn’t exactly helping America either. For all that the GOP was fond of saying that Obama hated the US, it is Trump that seems to disdain American ideals like freedom of religion, speech etc, and is actively ignoring human rights around the world.

  69. 69

    Yes, he is a traitor. As the leader of R party (Republican, racist and Russian) he wants to destroy everything that we hold dear and diminish our global standing.

  70. 70
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @geg6:

    He’s a fucking traitor, his family is a bunch of fucking traitors, everyone who works for or with him is a fucking traitor, the entire GOP is nothing but a bunch of fucking traitors and every one of his voters is a fucking traitor. I hate them all and I don’t give a shit who doesn’t agree.

    A-fucking-men

  71. 71
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @germy: That was funny however, if there is one thing that is sure to set me off in a spittle fueled rage it is someone using the term “could care less” it’s COULDN’T care less, “could care less” is total and utter nonsense.

  72. 72
    bemused says:

    @rikyrah:

    I’m kind of surprised more Republican legislators haven’t gone the business class route and have security surround them and escort them on the plane too. Few of them have town halls in their districts anymore, they don’t want to meet with constituents in their capitol offices and they quietly, under the radar cut funds for Americans with disabilities, food stamps, etc, etc. Screwing Dreamers and the school mass murders this week will probably increase the crowds that want to scream at them. If I were in their shoes, I’d want to avoid as much as possible publicly facing Americans they have turned their backs on.

  73. 73
    Procopius says:

    @Mart: That’s called Beveridge’s Law, an old internet tradition. “The answer to any headline which ends in a question mark is ‘no’.” Similar to Godwin’s Law, “As a discussion continues on the internet the probability that Nazis will be mentioned approaches one.” [So mentioning Nazis is not a violation of Godwin’s Law, but rather a fulfillment of it.]

  74. 74
    japa21 says:

    Who is the Kremlin employee that has shown up?

  75. 75
    piratedan says:

    next up, a NYT article that posits if Treason is really THAT bad a thing; after all, its not like misidentified/non-identified classified information on a personal e-mail server being sent to you OR A Benghazi isn’t significantly worse than the wholesale burning of intelligence assets of allies and ignoring your own country’s bipartisan political sanctions or requesting outside intervention in the political process from a foreign power….

  76. 76
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: A-fucking-men

  77. 77
    randy khan says:

    On the debate about what constitutes treason: You can still be a traitor without committing the crime of treason.

  78. 78
    ET says:

    I think tRump is way to credulous when it comes to the Russians.
    I think tRump is way to susceptible to flattery.
    I think tRump is pretty stupid about most things.
    I think tRump is fairly stupid when it comes to international relations (traveling to other countries doesn’t mean he understand IR).
    I think tRump has no clue about spy craft.
    I think tRump believes he is smarter than everyone, including Putin (meaning that Putin won’t get the best of him).
    I think tRump is one of the most unself-aware people in DC (which says something).
    I think tRump is the most narcissistic people in DC (which says something).
    I think tRump doesn’t understand the Constitution and laws that he exists within (not that Congress has done anything that would make him think otherwise).
    I think tRump thinks he is above the law (and sometimes he has been thanks to lawyers) and he fells that being president means he is that much more above the law.
    I think tRump will pretty much always put his desires/needs before the country.

    I don’t think tRump is a conscious traitor a la Kim Philby, but I would say that he has/will stumble against and into traitorous actions because he is always so intent on his own self promotion, money, and the furtherance of the Trump Organization.

  79. 79
    Bobby Thomson says:

    Does the Pope shit in the woods?

    It’s not like Trump tries to hide it.

  80. 80
    Mike in DC says:

    @Procopius:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_interference_in_the_2016_United_States_elections

    There are 406 cites for the root wiki article on Russian interference in the US presidential election. The interference campaign consisted of the email hacks;a social media campaign across Twitter, Facebook et al using bots and a Russian “troll farm” operating out of Saint Petersburg; and the creation and dissemination of “fake news” across right wing media and social media. Additionally, there are some allegations, reports and suspicions regarding Russia laundering money into the campaign via the NRA and other means.
    The intelligence community is not a polling organization and therefore ill equipped to assess the electoral impact of the Russian interference op on the election. This is a far cry from saying definitively that it had no impact on the outcome.

  81. 81
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @geg6:

    I get your, and many others’, hesitation to go there.

    I don’t. The evidence is circumstantial, but enough to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

  82. 82
    a thousand flouncing lurkers (was fidelio) says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: It’s not nonsense in itself; it’s an admission that you do care, at least somewhat. What makes it nonsense is the context it’s misapplied in.

    Sorry, my job turns my baseline levels of pedantry into something truly dreadful.

  83. 83
    gvg says:

    I am past doubting Trump is a traitor. I want Ryan and McConnell investigated by a special prosecutor just for them. Mercer and a lot of others too. Trump or any President get most of the press but it’s the republican Congress that is acting subverted and to my mind they look suspicious going back a ways. In fact I wonder about some of the ones who aren’t still in congress. Congress should have removed him months ago.

  84. 84
    StringOnAStick says:

    @laura: Hello Laura and thanks for your kind regards to my husband yesterday. My ability to read this space is zero on my work days so I often get to threads long after they’ve been abandoned. He’s doing well and his WBC is now just 0.5 above the normal range thanks to taking suggested supplements to reduce inflammation and finally reading enough sports training books to agree that going super hard aerobically all the time is bad for you. The standard he’s following is keeping your heart rate at 180-(your age) for 90% of your efforts and I think that’s had the biggest impact.

    Thanks again for your kind concerns. I hope your dad is doing well

  85. 85
    Spanky says:

    @gvg:

    Rove’s vision for a permanent Republican majority had little to do with winning properly run elections for the simple reason that there IS no Republican majority in free elections, and Rove knows that. To get a Republican majority and make it permanent, therefore, he had to 1) gain power; and 2) destroy the vitality of democratic institutions. He accomplished (1). It did not matter to him whether he used “Republican” policies to do that or not: just consider, Bush’s only positive legacy will be the prescription drug law that, while terribly flawed, added an entitlement. True, he also lined pockets of his supporters, and that helped Rove’s cause. Bush also tried to gain Latino votes by siding with Ted Kennedy, John McCain and others on immigration reform, while dissing his entire rightwing base.

    Part of a HuffPo article from 2007 that popped up in a search for “Permanent Republican Majority”, a phrase that should have set off alarm bells at the time with anyone who really cared about democracy.

    The above quote isn’t completely on point to the conversation here in 2018, but I found the whole article to be worth re-reading. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was “shrill” in 2007.

    (Edited for clarity)

  86. 86
    Elizabelle says:

    @gvg: I agree. I want McConnell and Ryan and all the bad Congressional apples tried for treason. It is what it is.

    And they lose their government pensions and benefits as a result of any conviction.

    Make it hurt so bad that future and current congresscritters don’t even think of putting party over country.

    I am fine with McConnell and others being executed for treason, too.

  87. 87
  88. 88
    No Drought No More says:

    Call me a trailblazer: Russia Owns Trump (R.O.T.), and literally every congressional republican aids and abets his treason every second of every day for reasons of their own, none of which are remotely concerned with the oaths of office that they swore to uphold.

  89. 89
    TenguPhule says:

    but I haven’t said it out loud because it designates such an extreme situation.

    The first step to dealing with a problem requires admitting there is a problem.

  90. 90
    TenguPhule says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I am fine with McConnell and others being executed for treason, too.

    Come sit by me.

  91. 91
    Kay says:

    The idea that the hack of the emails was a much more important story than the contents of the emails is true, but didn’t occur to me at the time.

    It is bizarre that the hack was treated as some triumph of journalism and no one looked into how absolutely fucking BIZARRE it was that we were clearly dealing with some kind of calculated, new political tactic.

    It amazes me how SLOW this has been. That we’re talking about two years between something HUGE happening and ANY analysis of WHAT happened.

    It’s such a lie that this is about things happening at lightning speed. This is being explored much more slowly than it was pre-internet. There’s this LAG, and it’s years long.

  92. 92
    patrick II says:

    @geg6:

    I hate them all and I don’t give a shit who doesn’t agree.

    Your commenting at the wrong blog if your looking for disagreement. Try Red State.

  93. 93

    @Kay: It’s time for the New York Times to stop stonewalling. I want to hear about that October Surprise article. They’ve come clean before on Judy Miller’s aluminum tube claims and the Wen Ho Lee story.

    Part of the explanation, I think, is that gossip is so much more fun than almost anything else, especially if you fancy yourself one of the elites being talked about. So trolling through the emails takes precedence.

  94. 94
    Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD): Yes he is. Also the comments, those people are so far up their own ass they can Moscow.

  95. 95
  96. 96
    Kay says:

    @No Drought No More:

    I think there is more to so many people colluding on this than partisanship. I don’t know about “treason”, literal definition, and I don’t care that much if it meets the necessary elements but I would like to eventually find out what happened in my own country.

    Because something did. There are too many people who actively encouraged this or went along for it to be just partisanship.

    Wikileaks is a piece and Right wing media are a piece and the GOP Congress is a piece and Trump is a piece, but I don’t know how they fit together. I would like to find out. I think the public HAS to find out- this is one where “look forward, not back” isn’t sufficient.

  97. 97
    Kay says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Agreed. “Tis a mystery. I don’t think we can go forward until we find out the basic outlines of what happened.

    I knew Wikileaks was working for Trump. That was obvious. So that’s a new piece we have verified.

    I think Guilaini is key to the NY FBI field office AND Wikileaks piece AND Right wing media piece. I would like him to be called as a witness and/or defendant. He seems to straddle a lot of the squares.

  98. 98
    Tilda Swintons Bald Cap says:

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD): Byron York, JFC. This Aaron fucker might as well work at Fox. I saw someone mention that over at LGM last night.

  99. 99
    TenguPhule says:

    @Kay:

    I don’t know about “treason”, literal definition, and I don’t care that much if it meets the necessary elements but I would like to eventually find out what happened in my own country.

    If it gets the GOP leadership dangling from nooses or removes their heads from their necks I’m not going to quibble over those who want to call it sedition or treason.

  100. 100
    The Lodger says:

    @d58826: Considering Trump’s eating habits, I’d expect any group with an interest in his food security to have their people working undercover in every McDonald’s where his security people pick up his Big Macs and chicken nuggets. It might make for some interesting status meetings in the various agencies :)

  101. 101

    Just released:

  102. 102
    Kay says:

    @TenguPhule:

    I know you’re exaggerating but if I could suggest a better way of approaching this. Glenn Greenwald is a bad prosecutor. Don’t follow his lead, what he set as the frame during the Bush years. Good prosecutors (and by “good” I mean effective and smart and good at their jobs) don’t start at the end. They don’t start with the charge. That’s what bad prosecutors do and that’s why they fail so much and are so angry and frustrated.

    Let the charge take care of itself. Just put facts together. Resist the urge to state what “should” happen and just add up facts.

    It isn’t “should” or “if it”. It will be what it is. The thing is the process. If we demand and protect a good, rigorous process it will end as it “should”.

  103. 103
    TenguPhule says:

    @Kay:

    Good prosecutors (and by “good” I mean effective and smart and good at their jobs) don’t start at the end. They don’t start with the charge. That’s what bad prosecutors do and that’s why they fail so much and are so angry and frustrated.

    Fortunately, I am not the prosecutor.

    The thing is the process. If we demand and protect a good, rigorous process it will end as it “should”.

    Agreed. To salvage anything from this debacle will require a process.

    Personally though, I just want Republicans to stop polluting my air by them breathing it.

    I’m tired. 2008 was supposed to have been our part of saving the USA from evil.

  104. 104
    Mike in DC says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: woohoo! Knew that some kind of indictment of Russian nationals was coming sooner or later.

  105. 105
    Niles says:

    This is a big fat nothingburger with a side of nothing fries.

  106. 106
    Doug R says:

    @Niles: I think you’re looking for ничего гастронома

  107. 107
    Philip Meagher says:

    Yesterday’s Indictment by the DOJ confirms that the answers to those questions would definitely qualify him as being a traitor. Will he now flee to Moscow to avoid imprisonment or possibly the death penalty since Sedition allows for the death penalty to be imposed? The body language of Melania is additional circumstantial evidence that she is not at all happy with her philandering husband. I predict both his Presidency and marriage will end in the very near future.

Comments are closed.