The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Confirms the US Intelligence Community’s Assessment’s Findings on Russian Interference in the 2016 US Elections

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) has issued an unclassified, preliminary, summary report that confirms the Intelligence Community’s Assessment that Russia did interfere in the 2016 presidential election and did so in support of the President and his campaign. Let’s start with the Conclusion.

Conclusion

Finally, the Committee notes that, as is the case with all intelligence questions, information continues to be gathered and analyzed. The Committee believes the conclusions of the ICA are sound, and notes that collection and analysis subsequent to the ICA’s publication continue to reinforce its assessments. The Committee will remain vigilant in its oversight of the ongoing challenges presented by foreign nations attempting to secretly influence U.S. affairs.

From the report:

Initial Findings

Summary

The Committee finds that the Intelligence Community met President Obama’s tasking and that the ICA is a sound intelligence product. While the Committee had to rely on agencies that the sensitive information and accesses had been accurately reported, as part of our inquiry the Committee reviewed analytic procedures, interviewed senior intelligence officers well-versed with the information, and based our findings on the entire body of intelligence reporting included in the ICA.

The Committee finds the difference in confidence levels between the NSA and the CIA and FBI on the assessment that “Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances” appropriately represents analytic differences and was reached in a professional and transparent manner.

In all the interviews of those who drafted and prepared the ICA, the Committee heard consistently that analysts were under no politically motivated pressure to reach any conclusions. All analysts expressed that they were free to debate, object to content, and assess confidence levels, as is normal and proper for the analytic process.

As the inquiry has progressed since January 2017, the Committee has seen additional examples of Russia’s attempts to sow discord, undermine democratic institutions, and interfere in U.S. elections and those of our allies.

And now we get to the important parts:

Russian Efforts to Influence the 2016 Election

The ICA states that: Russian efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election represent the most recent expression of Moscow’s longstanding desire to undermine the U.S.-led liberal democratic order, but these activities demonstrated a significant escalation in directness, level of activity, and scope of effort compared to previous operations1 .

• The Committee found that this judgment was supported by the evidence presented in the ICA. Since its publication, further details have come to light that bolster the assessment.

• The ICA pointed to initial evidence of Russian activities against multiple U.S. state or local electoral boards. Since the ICA was published, the Committee has learned more about Russian attempts to infiltrate state election infrastructure, as outlined in the findings and recommendations the Committee issued in March 2018.

• While the ICA briefly discussed the activities of the Internet Research Agency, the Committee’s investigation has exposed a far more extensive Russian effort to manipulate social media outlets to sow discord and to interfere in the 2016 election and American society.

Russian Leadership Intentions

The ICA states that: We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump2 .

• The Committee found that the ICA provided a range of all-source reporting to support these assessments.

• The Committee concurs with intelligence and open-source assessments that this influence campaign was approved by President Putin. • Further, a body of reporting, to include different intelligence disciplines, open source reporting on Russian leadership policy preferences, and Russian media content, showed that Moscow sought to denigrate Secretary Clinton.

• The ICA relies on public Russian leadership commentary, Russian state media reports, public examples of where Russian interests would have aligned with candidates’ policy statements, and a body of intelligence reporting to support the assessment that Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for Trump.

The ICA also states that:

We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him3.

• The Committee found that the ICA provided intelligence and open source reporting to support this assessment, and information obtained subsequent to publication of the ICA provides further support.

• This is the only assessment in the ICA that had different confidence levels between the participating agencies -the CIA and FBI assessed with “high confidence”and the NSA assessed with “moderate confidence”-so the Committee gave this section additional attention.

The Committee found that the analytical disagreement was reasonable, transparent, and openly debated among the agencies and analysts, with analysts, managers, and agency heads on both sides of the confidence level articulately justifying their positions.

Russian Cyber Operations

The ICA states that: Russia’s intelligence services conducted cyber operations against targets associated with the 2016 U.S. presidential election, including targets associated with both major U.S. political parties. We assess Russian intelligence services collected against the U.S . primary campaigns, think tanks, and lobbying groups they viewed as likely to shape future U.S. policies. In July 2015, Russian intelligence gained access to Democratic National Committee (DNC) networks and maintained that access until at least June 2016.4

• The Committee found this judgment supported by intelligence and further supported by our own investigation. Separate from the ICA, the Committee has conducted interviews of key individuals who have provided additional insights into these incidents.

1 Intelligence Community Assessment: Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections, 6 January 2017. P.ii. (NOTE: all page numbers referenced are from the Unclassified I CA)

2 Intelligence Community Assessment: Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions inRecent U.S. Elections, 6 January 2017. P.ii. 3 Intelligence Community Assessment: Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections, 6 January 2017.P.ii.

4 Intelligence Community Assessment: Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections, 6 January 2017. P.2.

Much more at the link. Or just click here for the report: SSCI ICA ASSESSMENT_FINALJULY3

Right now the Man from Lajes begins planning for his next gambit…

Stay clandestine.

Open thread!

160 replies
  1. 1
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Look, you have to remember the scope of the threat facing the Republic: the bitch was going to win.

    Salus populi, suprema lex.
    Necessity knows no law.
    Desperate times, desperate measures.
    Can’t be choosy about allies in the teeth of an existential threat to our way of life.

  2. 2

    including targets associated with both major U.S. political parties.

    And we have heard nothing of the material taken from the Republicans.

  3. 3
    TenguPhule says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    And we have heard nothing of the material taken from the Republicans.

    nor will we as long as Republicans continue to cooperate with Russian intelligence.

  4. 4
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    Sounds as if the Senate Investigation wasn’t a clown car like the House one was. Interesting.

  5. 5
    TenguPhule says:

    South Carolina police object to high-school reading list

    A police union in South Carolina has challenged the inclusion of Angie Thomas’s multiple award-winning novel about police brutality, The Hate U Give, on a school’s summer reading list, describing it as “almost an indoctrination of distrust of police”.

    The intervention from the Fraternal Order of Police Tri-County Lodge #3 came after Wando high school’s ninth-grade class was asked to read one of eight novels over the summer holidays. Two of the titles upset the police union: The Hate U Give, which follows a teenage girl after she witnesses the shooting of her unarmed best friend by a police officer, and Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely’s All American Boys, which sees a teenage boy trying to overcome his distrust of the police after he is wrongly suspected of shoplifting and then beaten by an officer.

    President of the lodge John Blackmon told local site News2 that the union had “received an influx of tremendous outrage at the selections by this reading list”, questioning why the school had chosen to “focus half of their effort on negativity towards the police” when “there are other socio-economic topics that are available”.

    SMH so hard.

  6. 6
    Raoul says:

    Chances that the United States Senate does anything whatsoever about the findings here? Are they greater than 1% before the November elections? I think not.
    I will definitely be voting, and working with my local LVW to register others to vote, get people to the polls etc. But my confidence in a fair election is shaky, at least in some states. I trust our current MN S.O.S., and we have paper ballots and post-election audits. Many states have less secure and less robust processes in place.

  7. 7
    piratedan says:

    amazeballs that this is being released now, while we have a GOP senatorial contingent over in Finland collecting their latest cut of pussy, proceeds and principles from Vlad’s mouthpieces. Irony, she’s not only dead, she’s been eradicated from our collective memories.

  8. 8
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @TenguPhule:

    All American Boys, which sees a teenage boy trying to overcome his distrust of the police after he is wrongly suspected of shoplifting and then beaten by an officer.

    This doesn’t square with this:

    questioning why the school had chosen to “focus half of their effort on negativity towards the police” when “there are other socio-economic topics that are available”.

    The Hate U Give, on a school’s summer reading list, describing it as “almost an indoctrination of distrust of police”.

    No, it’s called questioning authority, something any good American should do. Leave it to the Fascist Order of Police to say something Un-American right before Independence Day.

  9. 9

    What? But how can this be? Surely, the Russians were scared shitless at the thought that famed tough guy Donald Trump might win the election and get tough on Russia, right? I mean, the president has told us that nobody is tougher on Putin than he is. He’s told us this many times! So, either the Senate committee is wrong or the president is lying. And I can’t believe a guy like Donald Trump would lie about something. Right? Right?

  10. 10
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    I am eating cushions right now. England is down to penalties against Columbia and we NEVER do good with penalties.

  11. 11
    rikyrah says:

    THREAD

    @scrimshankpotus: Justice Kennedy was not planning to resign next term. We know, because he had already appointed his clerks for that te… https://twitter.com/scrimshankpotus/status/1013976519591505921?s=17

  12. 12

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.):

    And I can’t believe a guy like Donald Trump would lie about something. Right? Right?

    He even said “Believe Me” and all.

  13. 13
    Yarrow says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: Join the World Cup thread below. We’re watching.

  14. 14
    Kay says:

    Putin backed Trump and interfered in the election to get his chosen President.

    The biggest story of the 2016 election got virtually no coverage as it was happening.

    It still doesn’t get any coverage. I think the smoky eye controversy generated more interest in the political press.

    I myself am a fan of the smokey eye makeup technique. That was my position. I feel it’s a little young for me so I no longer use it but when it works it’s pretty awesome.

  15. 15
    rikyrah says:

    You gotta be phucking kidding me.😠😠

    RT @AlexCKaufman: Scott Pruitt repeatedly asked his 25-year-old staffers to put hotel reservations on their personal credit cards rather th… https://twitter.com/AlexCKaufman/status/1014129996418437121?s=17

  16. 16
    zhena gogolia says:

    Apologies to SC for quoting Churchill, but as I think about November this is all I can hear: “But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new dark age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves, that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth[e] last for a thousand years, men will still say, ‘This was their finest hour.'”

  17. 17
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    YES!

  18. 18
    Dev Null says:

    @Kay:

    The biggest story of the 2016 election got virtually no coverage as it was happening.

    Be fair. What’s a little thing like a hostile foreign power stealing the US presidential elections – and quite possibly the Senate into the bargain – compared to a putative failure to adhere to email server Best Practices? ~sarcasm~

  19. 19
    Kay says:

    Yawn. Nothingburger. The NYTimes political team have already signaled they won’t be covering this unless Trump is “frogmarched” from the Oval Office by US Marshals. Owning the libs will the lack of a frog march.

    I suggest they out the crack email investigation team on it immediately- they must just be twiddling their thumbs since the election, when they’re not raking it on election books that is.

  20. 20
    Yarrow says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: That was so stressful.

  21. 21
    zhena gogolia says:

    This is so chilling. Putin didn’t have to buy a single bomb in order to bring down the Western world order. I guess we still have a slim chance to stop them.

  22. 22

    Interesting timing on this release, just before Trump tries to blow up NATO next week and then meet with Putin one on one. Adam and I have both written about what a bad idea it is to meet one on one. Meetings at this level require that notes be taken to avoid misunderstandings. But a part of the macho businessman image is that it’s one man’s word and handshake. Or the autocratic dictator. Take your choice.

    I’ll make a prediction. Russia will release a readout from that meeting before the US does, and Donny will agree.

  23. 23
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: As I wrote here in December 2016. With the exception of the release of a few innocuous emails from Senator Graham. Which I’m sure were released as a warning shot for him to get in line, given the longstanding rumors about his personal preferences.

  24. 24
    Kay says:

    @Dev Null:

    I have to read the report. We have the report and we have Mueller’s indictments. The media can link to those and call it a day.

    See? COVERED. Drop a link in there and get back to the good stuff- what does Donald Trump think about the report? In his MIND and HEART?

  25. 25
    TenguPhule says:

    @Kay:

    I suggest they out the crack email investigation team on it immediately- they must just be twiddling their thumbs since the election, when they’re not raking it on election books that is.

    They are breathlessly awaiting the findings of the new GOP investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server.

    And I wish this was a joke.

  26. 26
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: I think they missed the point…

  27. 27

    @Kay: Try it with a dark brown or grey eye pencil. Its the tude not the chronological age that matter. Rock that smoky eye.

  28. 28
    TenguPhule says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    But a part of the macho businessman image is that it’s one man’s word and handshake. Or the autocratic dictator. Take your choice.

    Por Que Los Dos?

  29. 29
    Kay says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    It is weird. Hard to get used to. A far Right authoritarian government backed the Republican Party. Multi-country!

    Jesus, but do we have a big job. We’re not just fighting the far Right here- we’re fighting an international alliance of assholes, crooks and creeps. They ran out of supporters here so they nailed down some Russian support. Didn’t see that coming!

  30. 30
    Raoul says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    And we have heard nothing of the material taken from the Republicans.

    The secrecy there is remarkable.

  31. 31
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: Don’t eat the arm rest covers and doilies. They can really stop you up…//

  32. 32

    @Kay:

    I suggest they out the crack email investigation team on it immediately- they must just be twiddling their thumbs since the election

    Is there a question of email best practices here? It’s important that we maintain email best practices; treason, that’s not all that important.

  33. 33
    trollhattan says:

    O/T having now seen a cross-section diagram of the cave complex the Thai boys are trapped in, I have to wonder how bloody long they’re stuck there? Yikes! (being somewhat claustrophobic) Good on the coach keeping them alive but what a knucklehead taking them down there to begin with.

    Methinks they need to consider revving up the Chilean miner rescue team.

  34. 34
    Raoul says:

    @ quote via TenguPhule: “there are other socio-economic topics that are available”

    Ayn Rand isn’t holding the kids attention like it did back in Paulie Ryan’s day. Sad!

  35. 35

    @Cheryl Rofer: Of course they will, they’ll be the only ones with a recording and photos.

  36. 36
    TenguPhule says:

    For a second day in a row, the White House used its official Twitter account to take aim at Democratic lawmakers who have spoken out against its immigration policies.

    The latest targets were Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), who announced last week that they would introduce legislation to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an agency that has drawn the ire of a growing number of Democrats.

    “.@repblumenauer, why are you supporting something that would protect drug smugglers?” a White House tweet said. “You must not know what CBP and ICE really do.”

    The tweet included a link to a recent press release about the seizure of a large amount of crystal methamphetamine by Customs and Border Protection.

    In a similar tweet, Pocan was asked why he is “supporting human smuggling.”

    “You must not know that ICE serves as the leading U.S. law enforcement agency responsible for the fight against it,” said the tweet, which provided a link to an ICE Web page about “moving human beings as cargo.”

    The shitshow just keeps on going and going like a shit energizer bunny.

  37. 37
    Gin & Tonic says:

    So from what I’m reading, Trump wants to meet one-on-one with Putin in Helsinki. No aides, no note-takers, no interpreters, I assume. I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that Trump’s command of Russian is less than his command of English; from what little I’ve seen, Putin’s English isn’t bad. What could possibly go wrong, huh?

  38. 38
    TenguPhule says:

    @trollhattan:

    I have to wonder how bloody long they’re stuck there?

    Thai military are saying they’ll be stuck there for months.

  39. 39
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @Adam L Silverman: How do you know that my mother has arm rest doilies on her chairs? Are you spying on me?

  40. 40
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @rikyrah: There is no indication that Justice Kennedy’s son is ensnared in Mueller’s investigation. He hasn’t even been at Deutsche Bank in a number of years. And while Kennedy’s other son has financial/business connections to Jared Kushner’s and his attempt to bail out his distressed properties, let’s not start widely speculating. What the reporting indicates is that the President, leveraging the relationship with Kennedy’s son, played to Kennedy’s vanity to get him to make the decision that if he retired now, then the President would pick a replacement that would preserve and ensure Kennedy’s legacy on the court. Narrator: the President will not pick a replacement that will preserve and ensure Kennedy’s legacy on the court. Kennedy was a mark for one of the President’s cons. And he fell for it. It’s that simple.

  41. 41
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Kay: What did Kay know and when did she know it?//

  42. 42
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷: As the August and Hallowed institution that is The Onion reminded us, The Founding Fathers completely rejected the very idea of the citizenry aggressively opposing an authority that overstep it’s bonds,

    As Patrick Henry said

    “Give me Civility or (I politely ask you to) give me death”

  43. 43
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @rikyrah: And then he stiffed them. This is the type of thing that’s an indicator of financial issues that get clearances suspended and/or pulled.

  44. 44
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    He needs to watch “A Very English Scandal.”

  45. 45
    Raoul says:

    @rikyrah: Via WaPo on the Pruitt matter

    “The committee plans to wait until the conclusion of our investigation to release our findings,” Charli Huddleston, a spokeswoman for House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), said in an email. “Selectively releasing interview accounts damages the credibility of our investigation and discourages future witnesses from coming forward,” she said.

    But the House selectively releasing info on the RU investigation, that’s just Nunes doing his duty to g-d and country. (What country, well, that’s the 64 dollar question!)

  46. 46
    MJS says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Well, it may be that simple, but we don’t really know. And I see no point in giving anyone involved the benefit of the doubt. Let Kennedy come out and say why he retired. Let him deny the speculation regarding his son. Let him acknowledge that he’s really stupid enough to take Trump at his word.

  47. 47
    Shell says:

    Ha. Love how the rotating quote on top just happened to be, “This is good news for John McCain.”

  48. 48
    TenguPhule says:

    In a tweet Tuesday, Trump falsely connected the recent deletion of information from an intelligence-agency database to the special counsel’s investigation of whether his presidential campaign conspired with the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 election.

    “Wow! The NSA has deleted 685 million phone calls and text messages. Privacy violations?” Trump wrote, a reference to the National Security Agency’s decision, announced last week, to purge records legally obtained as part of its counterterrorism and foreign intelligence missions. “They blame technical irregularities. Such a disgrace. The Witch Hunt continues!”

    He lies about EVERY FUCKING SINGLE THING.

  49. 49
    Dev Null says:

    @Kay: mumble mumble purple values mumble

  50. 50
  51. 51
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Dev Null: @Kay: I wrote several dozen front page posts about it. What more do you people want? A kidney? Blood from a stone?//

  52. 52
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Kennedy was a mark for one of Trump’s cons. And he fell for it. It’s that simple.

    Kennedy can’t possibly be that fucking stupid. Can he?

  53. 53
    Raoul says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: That handshake is woking out so fantastically well in NK, innit?

    I expect he’ll give away the store next week. But we won’t know the extent of the damage for months or years.

  54. 54
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    A kidney? Blood from a stone?//

    A kidney stone of blood?

  55. 55
    jacy says:

    @trollhattan:

    The way I understand it, they may be stuck there until the rainy season is over, which I think I heard was 4 more months. They’re looking for other chimneys, and trying to find a way to drill down from above, but that has a lot of risks even if it was possible. The only alternative is to have each kid dive, one at a time, and then depend on nothing going wrong and nobody panicking. Experts say if they have to dive, there will end up being dead kids. So they’re going to send medical care and 4 months of food and wait for another idea…..

  56. 56

    @trollhattan: Possibly months, from what I’ve read. They’d keep them fed and cared for, but waiting for the rainy season to end might be safer than trying to teach them to dive and rush them out of there.

    I can’t even imagine what it’s like to be one of those kids or anyone close to them.

  57. 57
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    This is the type of thing that’s an indicator of financial issues that get clearances suspended and/or pulled.

    Used to, you mean. Security Clearance? What’s that?

  58. 58
    Teddys Person says:

    @rikyrah: There’s no grift too small for these motherfuckers.

  59. 59
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I’m not even clear from the reporting if he’s bringing his own interpreter or if Putin is just going to speak with him in English. Or he’s going to rely on Putin’s.

  60. 60
    Thoughtful David says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Kennedy’s legacy will be that he resigned to give the extreme right a chance to hold the SC. Everything else he’s done, good or bad, will be overwritten by that. It could get worse for him: his legacy could include allowing a SC to rule that the President is above the law, and can pick his own jurors.
    Hell of a legacy he wants to have.

  61. 61
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @trollhattan: They are estimating that it could take up to 3 months to get them out. The good news is they have the tech divers brining in necessary supplies, including medical and hygiene products, which will help to improve their conditions.

  62. 62
    bluehill says:

    The upcoming Putin and Trump meeting is an audacious way of poking the US IC in the eye. Trump will be literally meeting with his handler while everyone else knows about it and there’s little that anyone can do. What’s becoming more apparent is the scope of Putin’s plan to destabilize the western alliance given Brexit, Ukraine and the US as well as his support of nationalist parties throughout Europe. It seems like the same kind of stuff the US tried to do in South America and elsewhere except we didn’t have facebook back then.

  63. 63
    Nettoyeur says:

    Remember, remember
    The Sixth of November
    Corruption, treason and plot
    I see no reason
    Why corruption and treason
    Should ever be forgot.

    Vote the traitors down!

  64. 64
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @MJS:
    I agree with this wholeheartedly.

  65. 65
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: It’ll be fine…

  66. 66
    efgoldman says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I’m not even clear from the reporting if he’s bringing his own interpreter or if Putin is just going to speak with him in English

    Doesn’t matter. By the time he’s done he’ll give away the store, the back room, the warehouse, the parking lot and a whole fleet of delivery trucks

  67. 67

    @Raoul: I just finished a draft of a post on that very thing. Should be up tonight or tomorrow morning.

  68. 68
    PPCLI says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Wow. I didn’t know that about the release of the Graham emails. Just enough to make it clear that they got in and therefore have everything.That certainly explains some otherwise incomprehensible behaviour

  69. 69
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

  70. 70
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @MJS:

    Let him acknowledge that he’s really stupid enough to take Trump at his word.

    He is.

  71. 71
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Christ, this sounds like a really, really sleazy p0rn scenario. WTF?!!

  72. 72
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @bluehill:
    The worst part is, Putin doesn’t care what this means for the future of humanity if he destroys democracy. The world will be plunged into darkness and chaos at a moment in history it can least afford it. He’s an evil piece of shit who deserves to die in agony.

  73. 73
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Kennedy can’t possibly be that fucking stupid. Can he?

    He is.

  74. 74
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: Kidney Stone of Blood is the name of my Norwegian death metal band.

  75. 75
    Nettoyeur says:

    Why isn’t this a headline in the WaPo/NYT? Too busy at the BBQ and tire swing?

  76. 76
    efgoldman says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷:

    He’s an evil piece of shit who deserves to die in agony.

    Nobody lives forever

  77. 77
    Kay says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    This isn’t sophisticated but to me it’s like the North Korea meeting. Put two liars in a room and then listen to them spout bullshit when they come out. Ultimately they’re wasting our time- they’re not credible people. I’ll need a videotaped deposition. Even then I’d have doubts.

    “Trump said” “Putin said” okay, whatever. They lie. It’s a problem.

  78. 78
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @bluehill: And then Putin will have Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and state media leak select material that makes the President look bad. Just like he’s done several times now.

  79. 79
    Calouste says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: I take England winning a penalty shootout to mean that we are indeed in an alternative time line, but that are things are getting so far removed from reality that they’ll just have to snap back to normal really soon.

  80. 80
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @efgoldman:
    No, but I’d prefer he drop dead in the slowest and most painful way imaginable right this second. Perhaps an inoperable brain tumor would be just the ticket?

  81. 81

    @Kay: Yes, the constant lying is a problem. It makes us all less able to evaluate anything, which is the point of it.

  82. 82
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @PPCLI: It was released through one of the GRU fronts named DCLeaks or something.

  83. 83
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Kay:

    This isn’t sophisticated but to me it’s like the North Korea meeting. Put two liars in a room and then listen to them spout bullshit when they come out. Ultimately they’re wasting our time- they’re not credible people. I’ll need a videotaped deposition. Even then I’d have doubts.

    Fast forward the next president and Putin

    Putin “Now President Trump promised the Russian Federation this.”

    Future President “When did Donald Trump ever kept a promise?”

    Putin “….”

    Future President (patiently waiting)

    Putin”You do have a point there..”

  84. 84
  85. 85
    Raoul says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Thank you. I’m sure it’ll populate my nightmares, even if we should know what reality is in this unrolling horror film presidency.

  86. 86
    Dev Null says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Wait, wut?!?

    ([…] backtracks links.)

    Oh, you’re joking. Or being ironic. Or whatevs.

    Hmm, let me take you seriously nonetheless.

    Goddammit, why weren’t your front page posts more fsckin’ effective?!?

    I’ve been blaming Comey and the Vichy Times for Трамп’s election, since AFAWK Russian interference played a small (albeit crucial) role.

    Are you truly suggesting that we should blame you for ineffectiveness?

    Truly?!?

    OK, yeah, I’m being exactly as serious as you were…

    Does the BJ Borg permit commenters to reference Firesign Theater satire? (I mean: without being banned.) And to reference FT without being called a pimp or a Nazi? Because FT is scalding … but sometimes satire is all that’s left.

  87. 87

  88. 88
    Dev Null says:

    @Kay:

    [Republicans] ran out of supporters here so they nailed down some Russian support.

    Kompromat? Complicity? Both?

    I wish the public record weren’t so sparse on this point.

  89. 89
    West of the Rockies says:

    Regarding Jim Jordan and the sexual assault of wrestlers under his watch…

    I hope the allegations ruin him, cause him anguish, misery, and social diminishment. I. Hope. He. Suffers.

    He causes all of the above for many people. FSM, let him be visited upon ten-fold what he’s delivered to others.

  90. 90
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Dev Null:

    Does the BJ Borg permit commenters to reference Firesign Theater satire?

    No.

  91. 91
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Kay: Putin will make sure everything is recorded. Just as he did when the President hosted Kislyak and Lavrov in the Oval Office last year.

  92. 92
    Dev Null says:

    @Raoul:

    The secrecy there is remarkable.

    Sarcasm, amirite?

  93. 93
  94. 94
    Raoul says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Yeah, this. And it is a testament to the total failure of T’s upper staff to understand how Putin will again Lucy the WH football that points (tediously, yet again) to just how bad at their jobs all of these people are.

    I know tribalism has deeply infected our politics, much more so on the right, but the level to which elected Republicans and many top donors, business elites and others just stand there and let the shit collapse is deeply damning. Our politics is ruined. I hold hope that a rebirth is possible, but it sure seems things will get much worse before they get better.

  95. 95
    lollipopguild says:

    @Gin & Tonic: “Welcome to the Future! We are glad that you are here!”

  96. 96
    Lapassionara says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: This meeting one-on-one is completely bonkers. Can’t someone stop this from happening? The president is supposed to work for us. We have no way to know what idiocy he will do if he is allowed to be alone with Putin.

  97. 97
    Dev Null says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    Is there a question of email best practices here? It’s important that we maintain email best practices; treason, that’s not all that important.

    Nonononononono!!!!

    You didn’t get the memo (from my deranged prepper DA relative): failure to comply with email server Best Practices is treason!

  98. 98
    Dev Null says:

    @Gin & Tonic: That’s why I asked. ~truthfully~

  99. 99
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I’m not even clear from the reporting if he’s bringing his own interpreter or if Putin is just going to speak with him in English. Or he’s going to rely on Putin’s.

    Assume the stupidest option to be true.

  100. 100
    Dev Null says:

    @trollhattan: Speaking only for myself (who else would I speak for?), thanks for the link. Very informative.

  101. 101
    Raoul says:

    @Dev Null: No sarcasm. In a world of epic leaks, and even given the stakes in what kompromat the Russians gained in tapping Lindsey’s et al’s emails, I am surprised that nothing has bade it out the door so far. The GOP closet of stolen emails still seems vacuum sealed.

  102. 102

    @Lapassionara: The assumption has been that the president is a mature human being who is in control of his emotions and intellectually capable. That’s been pretty much the case until now. The president’s advisors or trusted members of congress might be able to stop it. But if they could, it would signal a much more mature, controlled, and capable person than we’ve seen.

  103. 103
    TenguPhule says:

    @Calouste:

    but that are things are getting so far removed from reality that they’ll just have to snap back to normal really soon.

    The Cubs will win the world series again.

  104. 104
    danielx says:

    Devin Nunes: all those senators are Trump haters, libs and traitors.

  105. 105
    TenguPhule says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    The assumption has been that the president is a mature human being who is in control of his emotions and intellectually capable.

    I assume all those who assumed that have been properly committed to an insane asylum?

  106. 106
    Another Scott says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    let’s not start widely speculating

    You’re not on Twitter, I take it.

    (Yeah, I remember you said you weren’t.)

    :-)

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  107. 107

    @TenguPhule: Pretty much all of us. That’s the way we’ve been living.

  108. 108
    Lapassionara says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Even if that assumption were true in the case of Trump, meeting one-on-one would still be lunacy. Given that it is not an accurate assumption, it is even more important that he be with an aide. I hope the deep state will be listening, if there is a deep state.

  109. 109
    Dev Null says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    How do you know that my mother has arm rest doilies on her chairs? Are you spying on me?

    You have no idea.

    Speaking of “spying on me”, I’ve been getting spam about (ahem) onanistic tendencies captured by my laptop (or something) camera.

    Recommend you cover your cameras with tape until you wish to use them, or otherwise make sure that you can have confidence that these are scams, or well, unless you don’t care. (I know, I know, everyone gets these spams… I’m just saying.)

    I’ve thought about playing games with the scammers, but the payoff isn’t worth the candle.

    (FWIW, I keep my cameras covered from the day I get a device until I discard it, so I have no doubt about the spamminess of these spams.)

  110. 110
    Dev Null says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    What did Kay know and when did she know it?

    Dr. Silverman, now you have gone too far!!!

    ~snark~

  111. 111
    PPCLI says:

    @Raoul: The Chess grandmaster Aron Nimzovich often said “The threat is often more powerful than its execution.” Ditto for extortion.

  112. 112
    Dev Null says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    And then he stiffed them. This is the type of thing that’s an indicator of financial issues that get clearances suspended and/or pulled.

    Except that it seems to me to be evident that Pruitt would scam his mother for pocket change. The guy is a psychopath.

    Yeah, sure, psychopathy should get one’s clearances pulled, but I don’t remember questions about psychopathy on the SF-86.

    Interviews with neighbors, ex-es, family members, OK, that’s a check … but as one of my associates told me, “here in DC, we all know how to play the game.”

  113. 113
    Dev Null says:

    @TenguPhule: Seriously. Not speaking for anyone but me, but …

    … I cannot fathom the depravity.

    What a way to communicate that the clearance process is a joke … that those of us who took it seriously are marks. ~pissed~

  114. 114
    Dev Null says:

    @Shell: Everything is good news for John McCain!

    But you knew that.

  115. 115
    Dev Null says:

    @bluehill: Typical of NPD. Attack, always attack.

    And while “the best defense is a good offense”, if all you know is attack, your adversaries can leverage that foreknowledge to their benefit.

    They are such single-track idiots.

  116. 116
    Uncle Ebeneezer says:

    @TenguPhule: F*** the (Thought) Police

  117. 117
    TenguPhule says:

    @Dev Null: Security Clearance has meant nothing since Trump divulged an Israeli intelligence asset to the Russians.

  118. 118
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Dev Null:

    My brother’s goddaughter listed him as one of her references for her federal security clearance, and the contractor who was doing the interviews finally showed up for their appointment.

    Contractor: “So how long have you been acquainted with L?”

    Brother: “Oh, since she was about … let’s see … she was about 2 days old.”

    Contractor: “ … did you say ‘days’?”

    Brother: “Yep. We visited her and her mom in the maternity ward.”

    It was a pretty short interview. 😂

  119. 119
    Dev Null says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: This is wonderful. Thank you.

  120. 120

    @Lapassionara: Meeting one on one is minimally dumb (ETA) and perhaps much worse. A smart president wouldn’t do it.

  121. 121
    Dev Null says:

    @Raoul: OK, but where is Our Failed Press Corpse™? The claim that only Russia can dig up dirt on Our Legislators beggars the imagination.

  122. 122
    SFAW says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Does the BJ Borg permit commenters to reference Firesign Theater satire?

    No.

    Bullshit. I do it all the time.

    Like the Dead Parrot sketch. Or The Spanish Inquisition sketch. Or the Ministry of Sill Walks sketch.

  123. 123
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: “I am eating cushions right now.”

    Yeah, British food sucks.

  124. 124
    Dev Null says:

    @PPCLI: Nimzovich also jumped atop the chess table in a tournament, scattered the pieces, and screamed “why must I lose to this idiot?”

    Unless that’s folklore.

    Not disagreeing with your point, just saying …

  125. 125
    Dev Null says:

    @TenguPhule: I disagree. Were you or I to outright lie, blatantly lie, on our SF-86, and then persist in the lie …

    … I don’t think we would end up in a happy place.

  126. 126
    Dev Null says:

    @Mnemosyne: hah! :-)

  127. 127
    SFAW says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Yes, the constant lying is a problem. It makes us all less able to evaluate anything, which is the point of it.

    How so? We know Shitgibbon has not intentionally told the truth since he declared his candidacy. Add to that his overarching projection, and it’s not that hard to figure out what happened. Yeah, the details may be sketchy [For Brachiator’s benefit: “sketchy” in the traditional sense, not the current alternative version that’s five years old], but that’s almost beside the point.

    OK, technically, I guess we’re less able to evaluate, but I don’t think it’s a significant difference.

  128. 128
    Dev Null says:

    @SFAW: Nononononono.

    Monty Python is waaaay different from Firesign Theater.

  129. 129
    TenguPhule says:

    @Dev Null:

    Were you or I to outright lie, blatantly lie, on our SF-86, and then persist in the lie …

    … I don’t think we would end up in a happy place.

    But we’re not Republicans.

  130. 130
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I had an interview like that about 10 years ago. The person didn’t get her clearance because — wait for it — her parents (one of whom is a scholar of Russian literature) had visited Russia.

  131. 131
    gene108 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    What more do you people want? A kidney?

    Yes. I do want a kidney. Are you blood type A+ or O?

  132. 132
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Dev Null:

    I thought that was Jon Lovett as Michael Dukakis.

  133. 133
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @TenguPhule: dude. That’s like calling the four horsemen of the apocalypse.

  134. 134
    SFAW says:

    @Dev Null:

    Monty Python is waaaay different from Firesign Theater.

    Actually, it’s all the same people. Or were, now that Peter Bergman and Phil Austin have passed, dammit.

  135. 135
    rikyrah says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    You still think it’s coincidence?
    Really?😒

  136. 136
    zhena gogolia says:

    @SFAW:

    What?

  137. 137
    J R in WV says:

    Adam,

    You have got a wrong word in your headline for this article:

    “The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Confirms the US Intelligence Committee’s Assessment’s Findings on Russian Interference in the 2016 US Elections”

    “Intelligence Committee’s” should be “Intelligence Community’s” should it not??

    Good piece, otherwise…

  138. 138
    Felony Govt says:

    @Dev Null: Agreed. When I got my clearance years ago, the security officer tut-tutted over the fact that my husband had relatives in a – oh no- Communist country!!!

  139. 139
    Calouste says:

    @TenguPhule: They will lose again. And then, as the universe goes back to its intended time line and the commentator says “… and the Cubs still haven’t won a World Series since 1908”, some people will have this thought in the back of their head “Didn’t they win just a few years back?”, but they will soon forget about it.

  140. 140
    J R in WV says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Meeting one on one is minimally dumb…

    I disagree, Meeting one on one is maximally stupid!!

  141. 141
    Dev Null says:

    @TenguPhule: We don’t have a sugar daddy in the Oval Office, you mean. ~flatly~

  142. 142
    Dev Null says:

    @zhena gogolia: Oddly enough, my Excellent Overseas Adventure™ didn’t especially complicate my clearance process.

    You just never know.

  143. 143
    nymofnyms says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    What more do you people want? A kidney?

    Although most of us have two, you can never have too many!

  144. 144
    Dev Null says:

    @zhena gogolia: Sorry, I don’t get the connection. er, any of them.

    Speaking as a unit who watches neither TV nor movies (in any of their myriad forms).

    If it’s worth explaining, explain, SVP? If not, well … don’t bother …

    But it’s an old story about Nimzovitch. I first heard it when I was 15 +/- 5.

    er, which was roughly half a century ago.

  145. 145
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Oh, I just did read that, and now I almost wish I hadn’t. : (

  146. 146
    Dev Null says:

    @SFAW: Damn, indeed.

    AFAIK, Firesign Theater was a USC group. Monty Python was, well, a Brit group. Sounds like you know the principals better than I, but …

    … none of the FT troupe has/had a Brit accent.

    In terms of affect, Monty Python is 3 on a scale of -10 to +10 (normalized sarcasm index). Firesign Theatre is +8.

    I won’t quote FT – which as you no doubt know is scatological, racist, and nasty, all in service of satire – without the acquiescence of The Borg Masters™.

  147. 147
    Dev Null says:

    @gene108: +1

    good luck with that.

  148. 148
    PJ says:

    @zhena gogolia: All it took was money and the easy ability to spread bullshit Republican talking points and fake news. If only the Communists had realized that all they needed to do to corrupt Americans to do their bidding was to spread enough cheddar around to right-wing groups like the GOP, NRA, and evangelicals, and tell them their racism and religious bigotry was a-OK. Instead, the Commies were cheapskates, and relied on paying leftists like Gus Hall, who was never going to persuade anyone.

  149. 149
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Dev Null: The great Nimzo, who was hypersensitive to cigar smoke, was paired against an opponent who habitually smoked truly foul cigars, & secured a gentleman’s agreement beforehand that his opponent would not indulge in one of his vile stogies at the board.

    The game reached a tense position, & Nimzo’s opponent reached into his pocket, withdrew an El Disgusto, & laid it down beside his scoresheet.

    Nimzo went ballistico, & accosted the tournament director, explaining their pregame agreement. The TD mildly pointed out that the opponent was not, in fact, smoking the cigar, whereupon Nimzo exploded, But he’s threatening to smoke it!

  150. 150
    Dev Null says:

    @Felony Govt: Can’t respond directly to this without revealing PII that I choose not to reveal, but I was in a similar boat.

  151. 151
    zhena gogolia says:

    @PJ:

    Yes. It’s tragic.

  152. 152
    Dev Null says:

    @nymofnyms: I suspect that, if you had three, that would be the least of your problems. ~dryly~

  153. 153
  154. 154
    Dev Null says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: That’s excellent!

    I didn’t know that part of the story.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Sounds like Nimzovitch.

    (And yes, I get your point about “threat”…)

    PS: “El Disgusto”: +1

  155. 155
    Dev Null says:

    @zhena gogolia: ZOMG.

    Where did I go wrong?!? ~snark~

    Well, not watching SNL, obviously…

  156. 156
    Procopius says:

    So it turns out this report is no more helpful than the “assessment” published in January, 2017. They say they have evidence, but don’t present any. In fact the initial assessment was even worse, presenting as evidence data that had no connection with what was accused (a list of random URLs). I’ve decided that even if they had evidence they’ve decided not to share it with us poor mopes. No, I do not trust them.

  157. 157
    Procopius says:

    @PJ: The CPUSA was in no position to spread money around. They relied on government funding, and Fulbright would have awarded them the Golden Fleece if they had tried. The common knowledge when I was in high school (The McCarthy Years) was that if all the FBI informants stopped paying their dues, the CPUSA would be bankrupt.

  158. 158
    Procopius says:

    @trollhattan: Apparently the coach decided that normally the floods didn’t occur for another couple of weeks it was safe, but this year the rainy season started early and the rains have been heavier than usual for so early in the season. In fact, we’ve been getting a lot of rain. So, yeah, it was very bad risk assessment. As for keeping them alive, well, they had plenty of water to drink and they were healthy young men (or kids, if you’re as old as me), so surviving nine days without food is no big deal, despite the people who think they can’t go from breakfast to lunch without a snack without impairing their health bigly.

  159. 159
    sdhays says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I wrote several dozen front page posts about it. What more do you people want?

    How about a bigger platform for you so more of fellow citizens would be better informed? Ah, but then where would the New York Times find the space to lecture us on how those dirty Midwesterners prefer divorced families with restraining orders and that only rich elites want to have stable families?

  160. 160
    Procopius says:

    @Raoul: I think the thing is that the RNC did not have a mole who delivered the emails to Wikileaks like the DNC did.

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