GOP Treason Leader Open Thread: Lest We Forget

On Monday, in Helsinki, Trump will have his long-awaited summit with the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, a meeting he has personally pursued over the cautions of his advisers and despite the long political shadow of alleged Russian influence over his 2016 campaign. Beyond the allure of aggrandizement and President Trump’s affinity for the Russian strongman, why the meeting is taking place now remains a mystery. Is the purpose to discuss arms control? Syria? Ukraine? To rehash the 2016 election? Remarkably, it’s not clear, and that in and of itself marks this as a most unusual summit…

There is no agreed-upon substantive agenda for the meeting, as Trump himself confirmed on Thursday, and the session will take place only a couple weeks after the date was finalized. The sum total of the preparation was a single trip by Trump’s national-security adviser, John Bolton, to Moscow. He came out of the trip with none of the “deliverables” typically determined in advance of such high-level summits. (“The meeting is the deliverable,” the Russians apparently told Bolton.) Few details about the summit have been released by the White House, given Trump’s penchant for last-minute changes, but as of now it appears that it will be a four-hour affair (rather than the seven hours requested by the Kremlin), with a lengthy one-on-one between Trump and Putin first, followed by an expanded meeting to include Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and the U.S. Ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman. Fiona Hill, the top National Security Council adviser for Russia, isn’t going to be in the meeting, though a White House official told me she was going to be on the ground in Finland, and even a talked-about preparatory session between Pompeo and the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, is not going to happen. According to current and former officials, Bolton’s N.S.C. has not had a single principals-level meeting to discuss Russia policy or the plans for the summit in advance of what will certainly be one of the most important sessions of Trump’s Presidency.

… During the past few days, I’ve asked sixteen former U.S. government officials who have worked with every American President going back to Ronald Reagan, including a former national-security adviser, four U.S. Ambassadors to Russia, the former top U.S. national intelligence officer for Russia, and two Deputy Secretaries of State, about summit preparation. The former officials, who often disagree about Russia, do not now: they are as united as I’ve ever heard them, in nearly two decades of Russia-watching, that there is no historical precedent for Trump’s meeting with Putin. Especially concerning is the fact that the U.S. government is headed into such a summit with a degraded and disregarded policy apparatus that has been systematically marginalized and excluded from the President’s actual foreign policy. Many of the former officials told me they were genuinely alarmed at the hostile state of relations between Russia and the United States, a state of affairs almost invariably described these days as the worst since the Cold War, and said they would welcome a productive face-to-face meeting between the two leaders. But few expect that to be the case…

All of which is why, in the end, even those most supportive of talking with Putin right now seem to be hoping that not much of anything will come out of the meeting. Strobe Talbott, Bill Clinton’s Deputy Secretary of State, who was there for Putin’s very first meeting as President with his U.S. counterpart, wondered if Bolton can rein Trump in from “buddy-buddy stuff with Putin” or stop him “from even hinting that Crimea annexation is O.K.” Stephen Hadley, George W. Bush’s national-security adviser during his second term, put the “best” case this way: “There is no blowup or love fest, there are no major concessions, and the two leaders agree on a few very modest steps to restore relations between the two countries.” Sarah Mendelson, a senior Obama appointee with extensive Russia experience, was even more succinct. Her best case: “Nothing of significance is said or done.”…

You know what I think our best hope is, right now? Putin could suddenly refuse to meet with his puppet — tell the world that he and Mother Russia feel disrespected by Lord Smallgloves’ inability to rein in his unruly American subjects and ‘fake news’ media. (Not at all the way these things are done under Putin’s regime!)

Imagine Dear Leader Donny Dollhand’s impotent flailing at such a turn, especially if Vlad times his announcement until Trump’s already in Helsinki! It would be an epic, history-making troll from this trollish era’s Trollmaster… but, tragically, there’s probably too much Putin and his oligarchs expect to extract from Trump’s flabby trash-nourished carcass for that to actually happen.

86 replies
  1. 1
    Davebo says:

    Not likely. Don will show up for his scheduled annual review and who knows? He could get a big production bonus after NATO meeting.

  2. 2
    Platonailedit says:

    Agenda, shmengda.

    The corrupt puppet does what the corrupt puppeteer wants.

  3. 3
    Mary G says:

    I wish there was one patriot closed enough to the president to drop a bug in his pocket so we could find out what’s going on in there.

  4. 4
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Hillary was a fucking Nostradamus.

  5. 5
    Platonailedit says:

    The @TheJusticeDept indicted 12 GRU officers for #RussianHacking of America. What is GOP @HouseJudiciary going to do a hearing on? Another stupid hearing on social media practices of private companies. Remember that ridiculous Diamond & Silk hearing?Don't shake your head. Vote. https://t.co/LKB5a5GAbN— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) July 14, 2018

    The entire party is treasonous colluders.

  6. 6
    oatler. says:

    Let him savor memory of Putin’s hospitality while he stands at the gallows.

  7. 7
    Mike J says:

    I saw a really smart and good looking person on twitter say this:

    Mike J 👹🐀 🤘🏻 @emmeyekayeee 2h
    Imagine if Nixon had used the KGB instead of G. Gordon Liddy for Watergate

  8. 8
    Platonailedit says:

    Latest indictment of Russian intelligence officers and Kremlin-directed hacking operation designed to help the Trump campaign adds to weight of evidence against Putin. Since the President plainly lacks the courage — or the motive — to confront him, he should call off the meeting.— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) July 13, 2018

  9. 9
    rk says:

    I wish he falls down the steps of Air force I and cracks his worthless skull.

  10. 10
    jl says:

    ” Putin could suddenly refuse to meet with his puppet — tell the world that he and Mother Russia feel disrespected by Lord Smallgloves’ inability to rein in his unruly American subjects and ‘fake news’ media. ”

    Maybe Putin will cancel and announce that he is very disappointed with the product quality. He’ll meddle in the upcoming presidential election and hope a more competent flunky comes out of it.

  11. 11
    sdhays says:

    I am so sick and tired of people worrying about Trump “getting played by X”, especially Putin. He’s not getting played. He’s getting paid. He’s not being tricked into doing what he’s doing because he’s listening to the wrong people or just “misinformed”; he’s doing what he wants to do and doesn’t care about the consequences to other people. Trump doesn’t give one shit about this country. He has no concept of the “nation’s interest”, simply his own, which he views himself as synonymous with the nation, because he’s a (hopefully) delusional fascist and also quite stupid.

    So, I wish the media would stop suggesting that he’s being led astray. He’s just horrible and doesn’t care about the things he’s supposed to care about, no matter how much we want him to because he is, in fact, the President.

  12. 12
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    According to current and former officials, Bolton’s N.S.C. has not had a single principals-level meeting to discuss Russia policy or the plans for the summit in advance of what will certainly be one of the most important sessions of Trump’s Presidency.

    I may well be misremembering, but didn’t we see an almost identically-worded warning re North Korea from an experienced DPRK-watcher just days before the Kim-Trump meeting in Singapore? And just look how well that lack of preparation worked out!

  13. 13
    Corner Stone says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: HRC had a lot of information. It’s not really debatable that the Obama admin had much more.

  14. 14
    Mary G says:

    Pretty horrifying – they are moving the asylum seekers and when RAICES advocates tried to follow the bus, they were pulled over by the police.

    1/3 This morning our staff & pro bono attorneys arrived at the Karnes detention center to meet with clients and were told they couldn’t meet with anyone as Karnes was empty. Around 3:45pm two of our pro bono attorneys watched as a bus was loaded at Karnes w/ mothers & children pic.twitter.com/EVjiHvw4kz— RAICES (@RAICESTEXAS) July 13, 2018

    2/3 Having been lied to all day, they decided to follow the bus from Karnes to see where they were being transferred to. An hour in to the drive they call our Comms Director @JenniferKFalcon to let her know they had been pulled over by 3 state troopers in SUV’s for “illegally”— RAICES (@RAICESTEXAS) July 13, 2018

    2/3 following the bus and demanded to see their client lists. They were held for 15 minutes by police, and now continue to follow the bus which looks to be headed to Dilley detention center.— RAICES (@RAICESTEXAS) July 13, 2018

  15. 15
    West of the Rockies says:

    @Platonailedit:

    Diamond and Silk… How about Knucklehead and Dumbass? So many conservative idiots in the world, so few dunce caps.

  16. 16
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Corner Stone:
    Oh, I know. I was thinking more about the timing, the way everything she said in that clip is all coming together in a period of just a few days: sledgehammer to NATO (and individual European allies), private meeting with Putin, and today’s announcement of the Russian indictments.

  17. 17
    Yarrow says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I think she was more Cassandra. No one believed her.

  18. 18
    West of the Rockies says:

    @West of the Rockies:

    Still, for my money, Hannity has the IQ of a box of rancid lard.

  19. 19
    joel hanes says:

    @West of the Rockies:

    too kind to Hannity

  20. 20
    Yarrow says:

    From the post:

    zeddy@Zeddary
    Replying to @Zeddary
    I keep thinking about what a boon for his then-longshot campaign it would’ve been if he’d tipped off the FBI that a bunch of shady Russian spies were about to come to Trump Tower. He’d have gotten days of great headlines about foiling a foreign plot.

    And yet he didn’t do that.

    zeddy @Zeddary
    And that was the test. Moscow wanted to see if he really was the scummy, nothing sacred, cut every corner gangster he seemed to be, or if it was just an act. If their quasi-deniable lawyer left the building without handcuffs, they knew Trump would play ball.

    This sort of analysis drives me crazy. Putin wasn’t testing Trump to see if he’d play ball. The Russians already knew he would do what they told him to do because they own him. They were telling him how it was going to work. He wouldn’t turn them in and “foil a foreign plot” because he’d be writing his own death warrant.

    It’s frustrating how limited people’s understanding of this issue is. It’s not like Trump’s relationship with Russia just started during the campaign. It’s all out there in public documents and goes back to 1987 and really picks up steam in the early 1990’s. It’s not even that hard to find. I fail to understand why this is so hard for people to grasp.

  21. 21
    Major Major Major Major says:

    @Mike J: “really smart and good looking person”

    And such a clever emoji pun in his handle!

  22. 22
    sdhays says:

    @Yarrow: There was plenty in the public record at that point for anyone paying attention to know that she wasn’t making things up, but the media just wouldn’t go there. They still won’t. After all, she had a personal email server, which is just as bad.

    The mainstream media report Trump’s thinly-veiled calls for people to beat and kill them as “Trump says media bad, Republicans agree, Democrats cluck their tongues”. They can’t even be bothered to worry about their own personal survival, let alone the Republic’s!

  23. 23
    tobie says:

    @Yarrow: I will go to my grave bitter Hillary’s integrity was impugned from all sides, left and right. Kay said in an earlier thread that Assange was first enlisted to turn leftists against HRC. It worked. Wikileaks release of cherry picked emails on the eve of the convention in Philadelphia ensured the party didn’t come together.

  24. 24
    sdhays says:

    @Yarrow: Yes, they knew that Trump (and Manafort) was on board. At most, they were testing how much the other people in the campaign would go along. The answer turned out to be: everyone was super stoked by the opportunity to commit treason.

  25. 25
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Yarrow:

    You are right. Cassandra it is.

  26. 26
    West of the Rockies says:

    @joel hanes:

    Why I gotta be so mean to lard?

  27. 27
    Major Major Major Major says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Cassandra was shrill, you see.

  28. 28
    EBT says:

    I have made it safely to Colorado!
    An ER visit turned a 17 hour trip in to a 29 hour trip.
    Fucking Reno.

  29. 29
    Plaonailedit says:

    Is it really such a crime to commit a crime? That's where the whole Republican Party is at. #WitchHuntMyAss #TrumpRussia pic.twitter.com/V3KqhZ2j59— Bill Maher (@billmaher) July 13, 2018

    Yup. That’s where the entire rethugs party is.

  30. 30
    Platonailedit says:

    Retry

    Is it really such a crime to commit a crime? That's where the whole Republican Party is at. #WitchHuntMyAss #TrumpRussia pic.twitter.com/V3KqhZ2j59— Bill Maher (@billmaher) July 13, 2018

    Yup. That’s where the entire rethugs party is.

  31. 31
    Major Major Major Major says:

    @EBT: ack! But yay!

  32. 32
    Yarrow says:

    @tobie: Assange is a Russian asset and has been from the beginning. Same with Snowden. They definitely got leftists on board with their supposed goals and then were useful to convince leftists that HRC wasn’t trustworthy.

    @sdhays: I’d guess the more accurate answer is that everyone in the campaign was super concerned about their illegal and ethically and morally questionable activities being splashed all over the news. Also, concerned for their own personal safety and that of their families. Russians don’t mess around. So treason seemed like a better option.

  33. 33
    Platonailedit says:

    Hey @TGowdySC how does it feel watching today’s indictment of the 12 Russians after your kangaroo court yesterday attacked a public servant who worked on the investigation? #TrumpRussia— VoteVets (@votevets) July 13, 2018

  34. 34
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @tobie: This is why when Ecuador finally kicks Assange’s ass out, I hope MI6 grabs him and we never hear from him again.

  35. 35
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @EBT:

    Oh no! Hope everything’s okay now.

  36. 36
    The Dangerman says:

    @sdhays:

    The answer turned out to be: everyone was super stoked by the opportunity to commit treason.

    It was all a big “Pay Me” thing; Trump would lose and go and start a Television station. Everyone would have gotten paid.

    I wonder what would have happened in the Alternate Universe if HRC had won; sure, Trump would a screamed rigged, but nothing would have come of it. Not even a Mueller investigation as Comey wouldn’t have been fired. Or maybe HRC is so pissed at Comey she fires him; I don’t think so, but maybe.

    The Trumps and their sick sycophants would have had their payday and no one would have known about this shit.

  37. 37
  38. 38
    Yarrow says:

    @The Dangerman: Mueller is so far along in the investigation because Comey was well into it before he was fired. I don’t think nothing would have come out.

  39. 39
    Yarrow says:

    @EBT: Hope you are okay now.

  40. 40
    YetAnotherJay formerly (Jay S) says:

    OT rant. I have a problem with the current labeling of Fox as State TV. It is not. If the powers that be change parties it will be anti-state instantly. They are pro-State today, pro-Trump today, pro-GOP most of the time (save Never Trump or other RINO heretics) They are Cult-tv for the ConservaCult always in service to the Oligarchs.

  41. 41
    Major Major Major Major says:

    @YetAnotherJay formerly (Jay S): right, but it’s best understood as “state tv” for the imaginary state republicans want everybody to think they live in.

  42. 42
    EBT says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: yes, an infected tooth cropped up and between ER, sleeping by the road and stress tax to time, was just very long.

  43. 43
    Yarrow says:

    This made me laugh. i can just imagine it going down like this.

    NEWS: WITCH HUNT NOT A WITCH HUNT
    TRUMP: *sits with Queen* *cannot touch phone*
    QUEEN* *stirs tea slowly, over and over, says nothing*
    TRUMP: *twitches*
    QUEEN: (internally) I can do this forever, ********er.
    — Maureen Johnson (@maureenjohnson) July 13, 2018

  44. 44
    Archon says:

    Trump is going to a performance review with his supervisor, plain and simple.

  45. 45
    The Dangerman says:

    @Yarrow:

    Comey was well into it before he was fired. I don’t think nothing would have come out.

    OK, Comey continues to investigate, but there is no Special Counsel. HRC would have done the same thing Obama did (look forward, not back, which, BTW was , by far, the worst thing Obama ever did). We would be in our 3rd or 4th Benghazi hearing by now so that would be one monster distraction. It may have come out, but it would have elicited mostly yawns. I think.

  46. 46
    YetAnotherJay formerly (Jay S) says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    it’s best understood as “state tv” for the imaginary state republicans want everybody to think they live in.

    This is the problem. It feeds into the idea the the party is the state. It reinforces the very concept that Fox wants to foist on us.

  47. 47
    Yarrow says:

    House Republicans are increasingly behaving like legislators from the ruling party in a banana republic. And while I remain committed to trying to save the GOP, it's become awfully hard to make the case for saving GOP control of the House in 2018. https://t.co/e3UpWL9pWD— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) July 12, 2018

    We’re living in bizarro world.

  48. 48
    NotMax says:

    And when Putin says, “Of course I did it, dummy. What do you think all that Russian money was for? Apartments? Hah! You’re bought and paid for, sluga.” – what then?

  49. 49
    efgoldman says:

    @Yarrow:

    I remain committed to trying to save the GOP

    It, like always wrong Bill, is beyond redemption

  50. 50
    YetAnotherJay formerly (Jay S) says:

    @The Dangerman: If Hillary had won and the congress was roughly the same R controlled number, it would have been gridlock at best but more likely Bill Clinton impeachment fever on steroids. No conviction likely but not much progress either. Perhaps the FBI would have gone on with the investigation, but on a lower priority if it didn’t overturn the election.
    ETA and I suspect Comey would be fine with that outcome.

  51. 51
    Platonailedit says:

    @The Dangerman:

    In a way the traitorous thug’s ‘election’ has shown how hollowed out the whole ‘checks and balances’ shtick really is.

  52. 52
    The Dangerman says:

    @YetAnotherJay formerly (Jay S):

    it would have been gridlock at best but more likely Bill Clinton impeachment fever on steroids

    Agree on gridlock; not sure about impeachment. Hillary would have been investigated for everything, including using too many squares of toilet paper when she wiped, but actual impeachment would have boomeranged. No chance she would have got her USSC pick seated. Assuming roughly similar Congressional outcome.

  53. 53
    efgoldman says:

    @YetAnotherJay formerly (Jay S):

    it would have been gridlock at best

    Likely McTurtle would have refused to confirm any judges, from the district courts up to SCOTUS; the entire cabinet would probably be acting secretaries, same reason. There would have been no legislating at all – they wouldn’t have “reformed” ACA or taxes. Well they would have, she’d have veto’d them. The big difference would be in the agencies (EPA, etc) which wouldn’t be dismantling anything with Obama’s fingerprints.
    OTOH, people wouldn’t be so pissed off and we might not be looking at the electoral outcomes we want in November.

  54. 54
    Hitlesswonder says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Comment rec’d. Thumbed up. Liked. Works on multiple levels, as it evokes the Greek tragedy of the current circumstances.

  55. 55
    NotMax says:

    So the Queen has now survived both an Annus Horribilus and a Manus Horribilus.

  56. 56
    NotMax says:

    @NotMax

    Alternative, without the fractured Latin.

    So the Queen has now survived both an Annus Horribilus and an Anus Horribilus.

  57. 57
    Yarrow says:

    @NotMax: Trump will fold like he always does. He knows who’s boss.

  58. 58
    NotMax says:

    FYI.

    Queen shows her thrifty side by wearing recycled outfit to meet Donald Trump at Windsor

    Queen Elizabeth wore an outfit she has worn before to meet Donald and Melania Trump at Windsor Castle today. Source

    Thrifty? Prefer to view it as a deliberate and a finespun, oh so subtle snub.

  59. 59
    NotMax says:

    @Yarrow

    Would like to see Putin standing side by side with Dolt 45 at the press/photo thing, attired under his jacket in a T-shirt with “I’m With Stupid” (in Cyrillic) and the arrow on it.

    :)

  60. 60
    JGabriel says:

    Susan B. Glasser @ The New Yorker:

    … On Monday, in Helsinki, Trump will have his long-awaited summit with the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, a meeting he has personally pursued over the cautions of his advisers and despite the long political shadow of alleged Russian influence over his 2016 campaign. Beyond the allure of aggrandizement and President Trump’s affinity for the Russian strongman, why the meeting is taking place now remains a mystery.

    It’s taking place now because Putin wants it to. He wants to show the world, especially Europe and especially Americans, that Trump will reliably choose to serve Putin’s agenda over America’s interests.

  61. 61
    Major Major Major Major says:

    @Hitlesswonder: well thanks, I’m pretty chuffed somebody liked it.

  62. 62
    Yarrow says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Do I get partial credit for the Cassandra part?

    I said Hillary was like Cassandra once before here and people told me I was wrong. Curious why it’s different now.

    @NotMax: Oh, the photo op with the flags. I hadn’t thought of that. Of course that will happen. I doubt Putin will wear a shirt like that, but I’d expect that people who know about Russia will pick up on certain things that the rest of us will miss.

  63. 63
    sukabi says:

    @Mary G: you can bet the CIA, NSA, and all the international alphabet agencies will be listening.

  64. 64
    NotMax says:

    Pillow talk tonight in the palace.

    PHILIP: So, Lizziekins, how was it today?

    ELIZABETH: Shut up and pour me another drink. Make it a double.

  65. 65
    Hitlesswonder says:

    @Yarrow: if it’s up to me, I absolutely think you should get credit. Whomever said you were wrong must have lacked the liberal education to appreciate the observation. This truly is a first as tragedy second as farce situation.

  66. 66
    Yarrow says:

    @Hitlesswonder: I was kind of surprised people told me I was wrong. They had reasons but I can’t remember what they were. I thought it was pretty accurate. Hillary must have felt like she was screaming into the wind. No one listened to her. No one believed her. I get angry just thinking about it.

  67. 67
    Yarrow says:

    I missed this earlier.

    In light of the Mueller indictments, I called @newtgingrich to see if he would like to apologize to the Seth Rich family for peddling the conspiracy theory that Rich was killed for supposedly leaking the DNC docs to Wikileaks.

    "No. Goodbye!" Gingrich told me before hanging up.
    https://t.co/hhy10ru7MN— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) July 13, 2018

    Gingrich has always been such an asshole. Wonder what his Russian connection is. Maybe he’s scared we’ll find out.

  68. 68
    Aleta says:

    A possible way investigators might use to connect Kushner to the Russian DNC hacks?
    Foreign Policy, November 2017. How Jared Kushner’s Newspaper Became a Favorite Outlet for WikiLeaks Election Hacks by Jenna McLaughlin (TPM also mentions a story in progress related to this subject in its Prime today.)

    “My editor Ken Kurson and I are very interested in an interview with Julian Assange. This would be a cover story. … We will be in London the first week of October,” wrote Jacques Hyzagi, a freelance reporter for the Observer, to a press consultant who arranged interviews for WikiLeaks (in 2014).

    Kurson, when contacted by Foreign Policy, said he did not attend that meeting and has never communicated with Assange; he insists that the profile was Hyzagi’s idea. Yet a series of exchanges between Hyzagi and the WikiLeaks representative indicated that a meeting involving Kurson and Assange was in the works.

    On Oct. 16 2014, the Observer published a feature story by Jacques Hyzagi titled “Free Julian Assange: An Exclusive Interview with the WikiLeaks Founder.” Following that article, there was a major uptick in coverage of Assange’s life and work — almost exclusively in a glowing light. Over the next few years, the Observer gave WikiLeaks a platform, running pieces (like) “Why Julian Assange Doesn’t Want Hillary Clinton to Be President.”

    As the 2016 presidential campaign kicked off, and WikiLeaks started getting sources offering access to emails deep within the Democratic Party, the coverage ramped up. The site gave WikiLeaks credit for proving “the [Democratic] primary was rigged” and for exposing dangerous corruption at the DNC.

    The Observer published dozens of stories largely celebrating WikiLeaks and the revelations it was helping expose. Most of those articles were written by Michael Sainato, a regular contributor. Kurson said he never edited Sainato’s work and that he was not a staffer. Sainato did not respond to request for comment.

    Kurson maintains that he had no direct connection to Assange and that the contributors who wrote the pieces do not represent the site because they are not full-time employees. “The writers who contacted Assange … didn’t operate on Observer’s behalf,” he wrote. Sources familiar with the Observer disputed those claims, saying that Kurson selected freelancers and articles for publication. “Ken used to just take control of stuff that other people wouldn’t like,” said one source who worked with him. “He’d show up with the finished product and tell people to run it.”

    When Guccifer 2.0 started releasing DNC documents, the Observer was one of the outlets that received the leaks. Writers working for the Observer trumpeted exclusive access to various DNC hack releases and solicited those leaks openly, describing how they were passed files for news coverage. … WikiLeaks tweeted some of the Observer’s coverage, including stories expressing doubt that the Russians had meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

    “Russian hackers now leaking directly to Jared Kushner’s paper. Trump campaign not even being subtle anymore,” tweeted Brian Fallon, then a spokesman for Hillary Clinton’s campaign, in September 2016. … Sainato responded on Twitter that those claims were “more Red Dawn Russian conspiracies” but admitted he had “asked Guccifer on twitter for docs.” He later deleted that tweet.

    Kurson wrote in an email (that) he did not recall ever discussing the DNC leaks with Kushner during the presidential campaign. The two did appear to spend significant time together during the campaign. Kurson sat in the Trump family box during the Republican National Convention (RNC) and in March 2016 helped Kushner craft a speech Trump gave at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s annual conference.

    The connections between Kurson and the Observer with Assange and the Trump campaign made some onlookers nervous, looking back. “When I saw Ken Kurson seated with the Trump family at the RNC, I immediately felt uncomfortable. I had one of those lightbulb moments — then the lightbulb exploded,” said Andy Stepanian, then a public relations specialist for FitzGibbon Media, who helped arrange the interview between Hyzagi and Assange. “I became more and more concerned looking back on the scale of the Observer’s coverage.”

    A congressional source told FP that Kushner, during testimony on Capitol Hill, said he never had contact with WikiLeaks or Assange — nor did anyone else on the campaign. In fact, the Atlantic reported this week (11/2017) that Donald Trump Jr. and Assange exchanged direct messages on Twitter during the campaign.

    The Observer’s last print edition was on Nov. 9, 2016. Kurson stepped down as editor in chief in May, and no replacement (was) named or (ever) listed on the masthead.

  69. 69
    Major Major Major Major says:

    @Yarrow: couldn’t have done it without you!

  70. 70
  71. 71

    @Aleta: The Observer was a really good paper way back when.
    Another reason to hate this festering boil of a family.

  72. 72
    Quinerly says:

    @NotMax: Did you catch where the article listed Trump’s age at 82?

  73. 73
    Quinerly says:

    @NotMax: Did you catch where the article listed Trump’s age at 82?

  74. 74
    joel hanes says:

    @Yarrow:

    Hillary must have felt like she was screaming into the wind. No one listened to her. No one believed her.

    Being a woman, she might well be wearily accustomed to that phenomenon.
    We’re learning that many of the Me Too victims made complaints, sometimes for years, and were ignored.

  75. 75
    Aleta says:

    @Aleta: Surely it’s a coincidental pattern, but

    NYT in May 2018

    Ken Kurson, a friend of President Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, and a former editor of The New York Observer, the newspaper owned by Mr. Kushner’s family, confirmed on Friday that he is under consideration for an unpaid position with the Trump administration. … In an interview, Mr. Kurson described his possible appointment as an “honorary type position.” He added that it would be “like one of those boards, where there are several members.”

    As part of a background check, the F.B.I. recently visited The Observer’s offices and has conducted interviews with journalists who have worked with Mr. Kurson, according to two people familiar with the matter.

    And from Wiki, some of his work before The New York Observer:

    He previously served as executive vice-president of Jamestown Associates, a political consulting firm based in Princeton, New Jersey and Washington, DC. From January 1, 2002 – December 31, 2006, Kurson served as the Deputy Director of Communications for Giuliani Partners, the consulting company founded by Rudy Giuliani.

    Kurson wrote speeches and editorials with Giuliani and traveled with him.
    Giuliani’s speech to the 2004 Republican National Convention (was) written with Kurson. Kurson’s published work with Giuliani includes editorials in Time, Newsweek, the New York Post, and … the New York Times.
    Kurson collaborated on his speech at the 2008 Republican National Convention (and helped him write books).

    Kurson served as Chief Operating Officer (COO) during Rudy Giuliani’s unsuccessful 2008 campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.Kurson was among the first hires of the Rudy Giuliani Presidential Committee, responsible for the Mid-Atlantic Region.
    In May 2007, he was promoted to Chief Operating Officer… until Giuliani withdrew from the race on January 30, 2008.

  76. 76
    Mike G says:

    Trump on his summit with Putin: “I’m not going in with high expectations but we may come out with some very surprising things.”

    He’s going to sell Alaska back to Russia at the original price?

  77. 77
    Aleta says:

    Wealthy associate of Pence who influenced the pardons for the Hammonds (the Ore. ranchers). Buzzfeed.

    Lucas, whose company, Lucas Oil, currently holds naming rights for the Indianapolis Colts’ stadium, has made a pro-agriculture, anti-regulation agenda his mission over the past eight years — and had decided that the Hammonds fit into his larger master plan.

    To achieve his goals, Lucas has used a nonprofit he founded, Protect the Harvest — devoted to “working to protect your right to hunt, fish, farm, eat meat, and own pets” — as well as his close ties to Vice President Mike Pence, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, whose top adviser is a former employee of Lucas’s.

    Among (his) issues: fighting environmental activists, pushing back against regulation, and protecting farmers and ranchers from what they see as federal overreach. That’s why Lucas grew interested in the Hammonds in the first place. “We’re all about affordable food and land use and personal rights,” Duquette explained. The Hammond case “intersects perfectly with the Protect the Harvest mission.”

    Protect the Harvest has built a positive rapport with the ag community by sponsoring scholarships and racetracks and film festivals. But the nonprofit has also benefited by inflaming the community’s anxieties that a time-honored way of life is coming to an end — while eliding the fact that its own lobbying on behalf of corporations and against regulations has hastened the destruction of that lifestyle.

    For those active in the agricultural world, Lucas has primarily been known for his strong stance on animal regulation, actively opposing attempts to limit or monitor mistreatment of pets and livestock with laws that would, for example, establish minimum spacing for hen cages or veal calf pens, crack down on puppy mills, or prevent intentional mutilation of Tennessee walking horses. A particular target of his efforts has been the Humane Society of the United States — the national organization that has spearheaded the vast majority of initiatives related to animal regulation, and which Lucas has referred to as “terrorists.”

  78. 78
    Wyatt Derp says:

    @West of the Rockies:

    Still, for my money, Hannity has the IQ of a box of rancid lard

    Insult to rancid lard. Remember, at one point rancid lard was just lard, and therefore had some use.

  79. 79
    rikyrah says:

    @Mary G:
    This is absolutely ridiculous 😠 😠

  80. 80
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Platonailedit: Checks and Balances under our Constitution assumes that all parties are operating in good faith.

    This, it turns out, was a very poor assumption. It does not take into account a political party devoted to seizing power at all costs for the benefit of a very small fraction of the populace that is consumed by greed…for money, and for power itself.

    The GOP must be destroyed, just as the NSDAP was.

  81. 81
    jharp says:

    “why the meeting is taking place now remains a mystery”

    Maybe Trump will depart Finland with Putin and never return to the U. S.

    To be honest I would not be stunned by it.

  82. 82
    Ruckus says:

    @jharp:
    Why would drumpf’s owner take him away? He’s getting what he paid for, a completely devided opponent, who was far more important/powerful than him and is now far weaker and having to look inward rather than outward. Sure, it may not work in the end but nothing else was either and how many other chances/choices did he have?

  83. 83
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Yarrow:

    Actually, I would bet good money that shitgibbon check his phone at least once while in the Queen’s presents. I’m still amazed he didn’t tweet something between slurps of tea.

  84. 84
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    Guys… please explain to an old man what Putin’s next move is, because it seems to me, that he and Donnie have painted themselves into quite a corner.

  85. 85
    No One You Know says:

    @The Dangerman: For some reason, this reminded me of the Kwiesat Hadderach in Dune arriving too early by a generation.

    I wonder how ready Putin really was for this. Opportunistic benefit, sure. But surely the trap was meant to be sprung once both parties had been compromised, so that it wouldn’t matter who won any future election. As it stands, the GOP is clearly identifiable as the pro-Russian party.

    I’m not being Pollyanna.

  86. 86
    Ruckus says:

    @The Midnight Lurker:
    Vlad’s next move?
    He has painted himself into a corner. But that’s a better place than he was in. This is a world sized 3D chess board. His next move depends on a lot of things that he doesn’t control. He might/probably will fail with all of this, dictators usually do, because while they are powerful in their own country, they usually aren’t at all anywhere else. Vlad is trying here not to only make his enemy look bad, he’s trying to forge a take over of us from within. He’s nowhere near strong enough to do this conventionally, he has to weaken us greatly and from the inside to have any chance of making this work. One piece of the puzzle is to make us wreck our own government. Half of us are doing that, even if they are too stupid to know that. They elected a fucking moron for the job, because a useless failure is a pretty good start to wreck a government.
    Think of this from the point of an “ex” KGB officer with an iron grip on his countries government and resources, more money than necessary. Start from there and work forward. You won’t like what you see.

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