Russia’s Ministry of Defense is Ready to Implement the International Security Agreement Negotiated at the Helsinki Summit! Wait, What?

Do any of you remember seeing or hearing anything mentioned about an international security agreement negotiated yesterday in Helsinki?

Yeah, me neither! Also, Congress neither!

As I wrote yesterday morning, one of the major concerns for yesterday’s summit was the President attempting the grand bargain that was put together by the Israelis, the Saudis, and the Emiratis – after consulting with Putin – that they think will get Iran out of Syria and contained within its own borders. It wouldn’t and that bargain would be an international security disaster. This Russian MOD announcement demonstrates the problem that everyone was focusing on in the run up to yesterday’s meetings in Helsinki; because the President had an initial one on one meeting with Putin without any notetakers or advisors present, there is no official US record of what was discussed or what was agreed to. I don’t think anyone who is not a firm supporter of the President is naive enough to believe that Putin didn’t record the meeting. So the Russians are now free to either release bits of those recordings or to make whatever statements they want and there is no official US record of the meeting that can be used to contradict them or push back on them. And, as was the case with the Singapore summit, the President doesn’t seem to understand that the technical terms that get used at these types of meetings not only are interpreted differently by others, so it is important to get them specifically defined in order to avoid having him and/or his advisors and aides stating X was agreed to and having the other side state, using the same language and terminology, that Y was agreed to. And X and Y are diametrically opposed to each other.

Stay secure.

Open thread!

 






130 replies
  1. 1
    germy says:

    Finally, a someone questions Seymour Hersh about falling off the deep end with his Syria stories. “I liked Assad,” Hersh says. “I thought he improved a lot as I met him.” Great piece by @BloomfieldSJ. https://t.co/xWuLGEuoNT— Shane Bauer (@shane_bauer) July 17, 2018

  2. 2
    TriassicSands says:

    It’s impossible to convey just how secure I feel with the Treasonous Toddler Tyrant in the White House.

  3. 3
    PJ says:

    In other news, Putin announced that he expected the withdrawal of NATO forces from the Baltics would be an orderly process. /s (I know it’s a cliche now, but how do we tell jokes from reality these days?)

  4. 4
    JGabriel says:

    Lucian Kim via Adam Silverman @ Top:

    Breaking: Russian MoD says in statement that it’s ready to implement agreement on international security Putin and Trump reached in Helsinki.

    Russian MoD says it’s “ready to activate contacts with US colleagues via general staffs and other existing communication channels to discuss extending Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, cooperation in Syria, other current issues of ensuring military security.”

    I guess we now know what that 2 pm meeting Trump scheduled with some MoC’s will be about.

  5. 5
    jimmiraybob says:

    Do any of you remember seeing or hearing anything mentioned about an international security agreement negotiated yesterday in Helsinki?

    I believe that it was alluded to in the press conference.

  6. 6
    HeleninEire says:

    It would be funny if it weren’t so fucking terrifying.

  7. 7
    JGabriel says:

    @PJ:

    In other news, Putin announced that he expected the withdrawal of NATO forces from the Baltics would be an orderly process. /s

    At this point, would anyone be surprised if that actually happened?

  8. 8
    The Moar You Know says:

    Do any of you remember seeing or hearing anything mentioned about an international security agreement negotiated yesterday in Helsinki?

    My response on reading this in this order:

    1. Oh fuck, what has that orange shitsicle done now?
    2. Yeah, he probably signed something insane without reading it, like a building lease or an “international security agreement”

  9. 9
    The Moar You Know says:

    At this point, would anyone be surprised if that actually happened?

    @JGabriel: No. Frankly, I hope that the British and French nuclear weapons programs have been reactivated with all possible speed. Europe needs to arm up, and not “a few years in the future” but right the fuck now.

  10. 10
    LAO says:

    This doesn’t seem good:

    JUST IN: Rod Rosenstein was summoned to the WH today, four days after he indicted 12 Russian Intelligence Officers. He was seen leaving the WH at 11:28AM. Unclear if he met with President Trump, who is still in the residence and hasn't showed up in the West Wing this morning.— HansNichols (@HansNichols) July 17, 2018

  11. 11
    Davis X. Machina says:

    All your base are belong to us.

  12. 12
    MattF says:

    So, what the fuckety-fuck is this about? I’d like to know.

  13. 13
    Amir Khalid says:

    What is the legal status of an agreement that POTUS makes in secret, outside the knowledge of even his closest advisors? Can he make it stick on his presidential authority alone?

  14. 14
    Teddys Person says:

    @LAO: Oh no, has the Tuesday Afternoon Massacre begun? Just because I don’t live in Russia and my free speech still applies, FUCK TRUMP.

    edit for typo

  15. 15
    p.a. says:

    @LAO:
    My take: He’s firing Mueller.

    ETA: or taking whatever exec actions amount to terminating/castrating the investigation(s)

  16. 16
    ChrisS says:

    @Amir Khalid: No, still needs congressional approval. Majority only, though, so his 2pm meeting is probably to explain what Mitch and Paul are going to vote for.

  17. 17
    Teddys Person says:

    @LAO: Just saw this:

    NPR reporter Carrie Johnson claims that this was a regularly scheduled meeting that Rosenstein attends every week

  18. 18
    LAO says:

    @Teddys Person: I hope so because the orange moron can’t been in a good mood today.

  19. 19
    hells littlest angel says:

    I expect the agreement allows Russia to annex the Sudetenland, possibly in exchange for taking over the building of our Space Force!

  20. 20
    Platonailedit says:

    The Russians are clearly showing who is the boss of us of a.

  21. 21
    LAO says:

    @hells littlest angel: I’m going to be sorry to see Alaska leave the our great Union, but on the flip side, we’ll now have the room to welcome Puerto Rico as the 50th State.

  22. 22
    Baud says:

    #RussianOccupation

  23. 23
    p.a. says:

    Russia gets Baltic republics, share of Alaska mineral rights, end of enviro regulations there. ‘We’ get building permit in Moscow, some hockey players.

  24. 24
    hells littlest angel says:

    @LAO: Yeah, but the logistics of kicking out all the Puerto Ricans to make room for the displaced white Alaskans will present a real challenge … oh, who am I kidding, ICE will just deport them into rubber rafts probably.

  25. 25
    LAO says:

    One GOP senator, on background, says they’ve been provided “nothing” from WH and says most colleagues think the last 24 hours have been “unreal.” Says they’ll wait and see what they hear from McConnell and Trump allies at lunch today before saying more on record— Robert Costa (@costareports) July 17, 2018

  26. 26
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    @MattF: The President of the United States is openly conspiring to hand our mid-term elections over to Putin. Check out Kathleen Rice grilling the DHS heads with regard to safeguarding our elections. Two of them would not even admit there had been Russian meddeling, and the other two were reluctant to do so. We’re under attack, Bro. And we’re loosing. Wake up.

  27. 27
    NotMax says:

    So much winning.

    NOT.

  28. 28
    LAO says:

    Wow: would this even be necessary if Trump were an honest report of facts:

    CNN: According to a U.S. official, the translator in Trump's one-on-one with Putin will likely be debriefed, at least informally, about what took place in the meeting. After Trump's performance at the press conference, the contents of that session are gaining greater scrutiny.— Julia Davis (@JuliaDavisNews) July 16, 2018

  29. 29
    opiejeanne says:

    ready to activate contacts with US colleagues via general staffs and other existing communication channels

    Does that sound ominous in a sleeper cell sort of way. or is it just me?

  30. 30
    Miss Bianca says:

    At this point, I am just about out of what-the-fucks to give.

  31. 31
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @JGabriel: Nope:

  32. 32
    Teddys Person says:

    Scrambling sycophants gonna sycophant

    Kilmeade seemed to concede that Trump’s actions in Helsinki were not ideal, although he still thought the situation was salvageable. He then made an indirect appeal to Trump to fix the situation himself via his Twitter account.

    “It’s correctable,” the Fox host insisted. “It’s still early. He can start by even tweeting something out today.”

  33. 33
    jimmiraybob says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    What is the legal status of an agreement that POTUS makes in secret, outside the knowledge of even his closest advisors? Can he make it stick on his presidential authority alone?

    And, what is the likelihood of Pence being compromised enough to honor a legal agreement if something happened to trump (25th Amendment, resignation, Impeachment)? Ryan? Republican-led US House? Republican-led US Senate? There’s really no time to be re-vetting all he Rs for Russian affiliations.

    At this point, I’d only trust an Obama or a Hillary to lead the country in the sense of governing for the sake of the nation. Maybe others, but Barrack and Hillary both have track records at the top. There is a reason that Putin did not like O and didn’t want H. He feared that they’d stand up for America, western cohesion, and NATO.

  34. 34
    PAM Dirac says:

    @p.a.: And a slightly used soccer ball.

  35. 35
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    This is a bit amusing as some sideshow theatre

    Steve Schmidt @ SteveSchmidtSES
    You have power to do something. now. CUT A DEAL WITH PATRIOTIC DEMOCRATS. RELIEVE THE COMPLICIT MITCH McCONNELL. You know what you saw. Put a check on this.

    Josh Holmes @ HolmesJosh
    I’m old enough to remember when Steve was in charge of messaging Abu Ghraib and “good news in Iraq” by attacking any Republican who expressed concern.

    John Feehery @ JohnFeehery
    He is a complete asshole.

    Steve Schmidt @ SteveSchmidtSES
    Well John , I’ve been called worse by better men than you. I guess I would be angry if my political career was spent in service to a child molester. You don’t talk about Hastert very often. Why not ?

    Holmes was McConnell’s flack, I guess I missed McConnell critiquing Abu Grahib and the Iraq War. Feehery used to be one of Tweety’s favorite guests, maybe still is. Tweety is one of the rare things my trump-era media addiction has resisted, him and the odious Chuck Todd

  36. 36
    Teddys Person says:

    @Adam L Silverman: JFC, the strategy is to distract us by giving away shit tons of taxpayer dollars to the rich donor class. I guess it’s now smash and grab until the popo show up.

    edit typo

  37. 37
    germy says:

    Rep. Pete King told me he “absolutely” stands by House Intelligence Committee’s report that disputed IC findings that Putin wanted Trump to win. Putin yesterday confirmed he wanted Trump to win.

    King told me he has seen the intelligence and doesn’t believe Putin.

    — Manu Raju (@mkraju) July 17, 2018

  38. 38
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @LAO: If the President was still in the residence, then Rosenstein didn’t meet with him. He most likely met with Emmet Flood, who is the attorney on the White House Counsel’s staff assigned to handle this stuff.

  39. 39
    eric says:

    @germy: Unpossible; Pete King has never seen intelligence.

  40. 40
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Amir Khalid: According to Senator Cotton and the rest of the GOP, any agreement a president and/or people working in his administration negotiate that is not ratified by the US Senate is non binding.

  41. 41
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Teddys Person:

    Kilmeade seemed to concede that Trump’s actions in Helsinki were not ideal, although he still thought the situation was salvageable.

    That’s the understatement of the century. The problem, Killme, is that Trump doesn’t think he did anything wrong so there’s nothing to salvage or correct.

  42. 42
    hueyplong says:

    Say what you will about 1940 France, they at least required a month of battlefield casualties before surrendering to an aggressor.

    Clearly, I have been insufficiently cynical these last 20 months.

  43. 43
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Wonder what bullshit argument they would make to get around that?

  44. 44
    Calouste says:

    @Teddys Person: 1) OfPutin doesn’t go back on his words.
    2) OfPutin never has said anything against his owner. Not going to happen now.

    Surrogates will try to spin it, but OfPutin himself won’t change what he said.

  45. 45
    Yarrow says:

    Has everyone called their Representative and Senators to tell them it’s time to DO SOMETHING about the traitor in the White House? We need to increase the pressure. Make your voice heard. Let them know we are watching what they do and, in the case of all Reps and some Senators, elections are just a few months away.

  46. 46
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @germy:

    King told me he has seen the intelligence and doesn’t believe Putin.

    Wow.

  47. 47
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @LAO: Profiles in courage, that lot. McConnell still hasn’t made a statement about yesterday’s fun (n)yet.

  48. 48
    HeleninEire says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Oh, hell that’s good.

  49. 49
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @germy: If only he were in a position of power where he could do something about it.

  50. 50
    germy says:

    Dear God, when will the Kremlin's epic trolling of the Trump White House end? Herein a member of Putin's press pool approvingly tweets a picture of FM Sergei Lavrov checking out Melania's legs at the press conference in Helsinki https://t.co/26AsUXkW6W
    — Andrew S. Weiss (@andrewsweiss) July 17, 2018

  51. 51
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    @Adam L Silverman: (n)yet. You crack me up, boss.

  52. 52
    Immanentize says:

    @Baud:
    Whatever happened to the Wolverines?

  53. 53
    J R in WV says:

    Holy fuckin shit !!!!!

    :-(

    Friend told me today that he had just seen a 1980 interview with Trump, combined with a reasonably current statement by Trump. To him it proved something is bad wrong with Trump’s mental capacity. Me too.

    Not that this matters one tiny bit as long as the Treason Republicans continue to back the Traitor Idiot Trump.

  54. 54
    germy says:

    @Gin & Tonic: He’s in too deep, as they say.

  55. 55
    LAO says:

    JFC: this should be something else.

    JUST IN: President Trump will make remarks about his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at 2 p.m. ET at the start of his meeting with members of Congress, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders says https://t.co/hW7TJHaCee— CNN (@CNN) July 17, 2018

    @Adam L Silverman: Wanna bet the Republicans bat all of their eyelashes at him while he makes his remarks.

  56. 56
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @LAO: add that person to the list of witnesses Chairman Schiff needs to call on Jan 2.

    @germy: Rep. Pete King told me he “absolutely” stands by House Intelligence Committee’s report that disputed IC findings that Putin wanted Trump to win. Putin yesterday confirmed he wanted Trump to win.
    King told me he has seen the intelligence and doesn’t believe Putin.

    And to think, not only is he not the dumbest MoC (I give that to Goehmert, with Jordan as just one top competitor), he’s arguably not even the dumbest MoC named King.

  57. 57
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    @jimmiraybob: Newsflash: Mike Pence is COMPLETELY compromised.

  58. 58
    Gravenstone says:

    @LAO: I’ll gladly trade the land of the Palins for the land of the Molinas (and Javy Baez and Francisco Lindor …).

  59. 59
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Calouste: Mostly just because I think it scans better, plus is a more accurate rendition of the title as put forth by Margaret Atwood, I find that I prefer “OfVlad” as the (dis)honorific.

  60. 60
    germy says:

    @Adam L Silverman: He’s too busy being happy about this:

    Last night, @IRSnews announced that it’s cutting back on the amount of nonpublic information the government collects and stockpiles about Americans who donate to nonprofit causes. It’s particularly welcome news for those of us dedicated to defending the First Amendment.— Leader McConnell (@SenateMajLdr) July 17, 2018

  61. 61

    It seems to me that an agreement that exists only in Trump’s memory is going to be mighty hard to enact. He is, uh, not a details man.

  62. 62
    Teddys Person says:

    Here are all the people who were convicted of treason in the US — and the ones who were executed for it

  63. 63
    JGabriel says:

    Julia Ioffe on Twitter:

    Watching last night’s recap of the Trump-Putin summit on Russia’s most popular TV talk show. The episode begins with talk of “aggressive” American journalists “who were all about the past,” and praising Russian journalists, “who were all about the future.”

    Looks like Trump’s line about the press focusing on the past is, in fact, the Kremlin’s propaganda line.

    Color me unsurprised.

  64. 64
    Barbara says:

    So is Russia announcing that henceforth it will be dictating U.S. international policy in Syria and elsewhere?

    @LAO: I would be only too happy if “unreal” was a literally true adjective to describe the last 24 hours. Alas.

  65. 65
    sherparick says:

    @germy: I do find it strange that someone as legitimately outraged by U.S. human rights violations over the years, like Hersch and Greenwald, can completely overlooked the hundreds of thousands killed by an Assad or a Putin, so so long as they maintain an anti-American attituded.

  66. 66
    Teddys Person says:

    @The Midnight Lurker: This, let’s not forget it was Manafort who brought Pence on board.

  67. 67
    maya says:

    @germy: Lavrov not doing anything trumpski’s base wouldn’t wholeheartedly approve of. Not known as The Slovenian Stunner for nothing.

  68. 68
    JGabriel says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Mea culpa.

  69. 69
    germy says:

    Trump's presidency proves that if you work hard, make the right connections, and are undeniably qualified,

    you'll still get beaten by a failed game show host because a third of the country is too stupid to realize they're being conned by low-effort Russian propaganda memes.

    — Jules Suzdaltsev (@jules_su) March 11, 2018

  70. 70
    Yarrow says:

    @The Midnight Lurker:

    Mike Pence is COMPLETELY compromised.

    Yep. Paul Manafort brought him into the campaign. Pence was head of the transition team. He’s a traitor.

  71. 71
    Gravenstone says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷: The problem is that he doesn’t believe Putin favored Trump, not that he doesn’t believe Putin’s denials about interfering in the election.

  72. 72
    germy says:

    @sherparick: It’s selective outrage.

  73. 73
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @germy: It’s particularly welcome news for those of us dedicated to defending the First Amendment.— Leader McConnell (@SenateMajLdr) July 17, 2018

    it’s very important to good Christian coal miners that money is speech and some people have more than others and that’s because God wants it that way

    Mr Peabody knows what’s best

  74. 74

    @sherparick:
    I don’t believe that this is Greenwald’s motivation, but there is a long tradition in the hardcore anti-war Left that assumes that everything that happens in the world is caused by America. Either we forced it to happen directly, or it’s in resistance to us and thus also our fault.

  75. 75
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @germy: okay, we have to be fair. Trump was a very successful gameshow host. It was pretty much the only thing he ever succeeded in that didn’t involve his father’s money and political cronies.

  76. 76
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    @Teddys Person: Thank you for posting this. It’s important.

  77. 77
    different-church-lady says:

    @LAO:

    According to a U.S. official, the translator in Trump’s one-on-one with Putin will likely be debriefed, at least informally, about what took place in the meeting.

    TRUMP: I mean, it was a great victory. A great victory. The biggest!
    PUTIN: Yes.
    TRUMP: Did you see those crowds? At the inauguration? Bigger than Obama’s. Bigger than anybody’s.
    PUTIN: Da.
    TRUMP: Do you get crowds, Vlad? I mean, I get crowds. You should see my crowds. Boy, there’s a lot of people there, and they love me.
    PUTIN: [purses lips]
    (continues for 15 pages)

  78. 78
    Yellowdog says:

    Anyone in the DC area: There is a call out for people to gather at Lafayette Square (in front of the WH; aka the Kremlin annex) at 7 pm tonight. There was a spontaneous demonstration last night, with several hundred attendees. Check out #OccupyLafayetteSquare hashtag on Twitter and spread the word.

  79. 79
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: He’s our own Kaiser Wilhelm.

    Treaty of Björkö

    With the difference that thanks to Twitter, there’s a new Daily Telegraph interview every day.

  80. 80
    germy says:

    Asking again: How the hell are we going to allow this #TreasonousTraitor’s Supreme Court pick to be confirmed?…
    — Charles M. Blow (@CharlesMBlow) July 16, 2018

  81. 81
  82. 82
    Mike in NC says:

    The knees on Fat Bastard’s baggy blue suit look pretty threadbare. Anybody wonder why?

  83. 83
    tobie says:

    @Yellowdog: Thanks for posting. I’ll see if I can make it.

  84. 84
    different-church-lady says:

    @different-church-lady:

    —PAGE 37—
    TRUMP: I mean, how is it Crooked Hillary isn’t in jail yet? She should be in jail!
    PUTIN: [blank stare]
    TRUMP [waving tiny hands]: You have jails here! You have the best jails. You know what to do with people who should be in jail.
    PUTIN: [wry smile, slowly slides portfolio towards himself across table]
    TRUMP: We’re gonna build jails. The best jails. And we’re going to jail Crooked Hillary.
    PUTIN: [forges Trump’s signature on disarmament treaty] Da.

  85. 85
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @LAO: No, because there would have been both an official note taker and his senior National Security staffer for Russia. That would be Fiona Hill. The note taker would take official notes to produce the official White House record for the National Archives and for the unclassified summary to be released. Hill would take her own notes as the subject matter expert.

    As a senior advisor to senior military leaders I’ve done this dozens on dozens of times for everyone from lieutenant colonels to 3 and 4 star general officers/flag officers to other senior civil servants to Senior Executives.

  86. 86
    rikyrah says:

    @The Midnight Lurker:

    @jimmiraybob: Newsflash: Mike Pence is COMPLETELY compromised.

    1. MANAFORT’S CHOICE for VP
    2.Chair of the transition
    3. Up to his eyeballs in the Flynn mess.

  87. 87
    Chyron HR says:

    @sherparick:

    I do find it strange that someone as legitimately outraged by U.S. human rights violations over the years, like Hersch and Greenwald

    Legitimately outraged? Says who?

  88. 88
    TriassicSands says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    No longer a mere president, Trump currently enjoys the status of “Emperor” among Republicans. Trump, himself, might prefer the title of “Kaiser” or more likely “Der Führer.”

  89. 89
    rikyrah says:

    @Teddys Person:

    I guess it’s now smash and grab until the popo show up.

    sounds about right.

  90. 90
    maya says:

    @Mike in NC: It’s the only one he’s ever had. Suito-Billionaire Eccentric Sort of like Howard Hughes collected his own fingernail clippings. Besides, those baggy pants can hold a Super Slurpee sized Depends.

  91. 91
  92. 92
    Teddys Person says:

    @different-church-lady:

    page 1,735

    PUTIN: Now Donald, I have some things I’d like you to do…
    TRUMP: Gulp

  93. 93
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Yarrow: FWIW, here’s what I just sent to my CongressWeasel Scott Tipton (CO-3):

    When are Republicans in Congress going to stop enabling a President who openly sides with a hostile foreign power against this country’s intelligence services, and who freely admits he invited the Russians to hack into American email accounts and interfere with the American electoral process? The fact that 12 officers of the GRU – the Russian military, in case I have to spell it out for you – were indicted the other day indicates that as far as the special prosecutor is concerned, these hacks and attacks constitute an act of war. Aiding and abetting the enemy during an act of war is treason, as set forth in the Constitution.
    So, the question becomes: are you, as a member of Congress, going to aid and abet, by excusing, treason? Or are you going to do your patriotic duty and call for articles of impeachment against President Trump? My humble opinion, if you want to keep your seat in Congress, is that you opt for the latter option, rather than the former.

  94. 94
    different-church-lady says:

    @Teddys Person:

    Kilmeade seemed to concede that Trump’s actions in Helsinki were not ideal

    “…the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan’s advantage…”

  95. 95
    different-church-lady says:

    @Teddys Person:

    TRUMP: I can still use the safe word, right?
    PUTIN: [snickers]

  96. 96
    rikyrah says:

    @Yarrow:

    Yep. Paul Manafort brought him into the campaign. Pence was head of the transition team. He’s a traitor.

    You.me.
    exact same thoughts.
    LOL

  97. 97
    lollipopguild says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Mr Peabody and his boy Sherman can use the WAYBACK machine and take the country back to 2015.

  98. 98
    Teddys Person says:

    @different-church-lady: [laughing w/tears emoji]

  99. 99
    Teddys Person says:

    Trump enablers haz a sad:

    The reports notes that CBS’s Margaret Brennan — who anchors Face the Nation in Sunday mornings, claimed she was texting with some U.S. officials during Trump’s talk who said that had to turn their TV’s off because it was going so badly.

    Axios stated that they heard from a a current member of Trump’s own National Security Council who stated: “Dude. This is a total [effing] disgrace. The President has lost his mind.”

    Another former White House official admitted he stuck it out, only to admit afterwards, “Need a shower.”

  100. 100
    Yarrow says:

    @rikyrah: LOL. Yep. And we saw it a long, long time ago. It’s maddening how long it has taken people to catch up. I mean like the media and various pundits. It’s been so obvious for so long that it has to be a willful desire not to see it.

  101. 101
  102. 102
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Immanentize:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we really need a remake of Red Dawn in which the plucky, salt of the earth, gun owning midwesterners are completely on the side of the Russian Invaders, and it’s up to the effete, latte drinking Coastal Elites to save America.

  103. 103
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    @Adam L Silverman: THAT just went out to EVERYBODY! Thanks.

  104. 104
    JPL says:

    @Yarrow: Maybe Flynn updated the Mueller team on Pence, and is involvement. hmmm

  105. 105
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @LAO:

    To be a fly on the wall when the translator gets to the part of Putin moaning “rim me, Donald, and no holding back on the tongue like last time…”

  106. 106
    JPL says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Since Trump is suppose to make a statement at two, make sure you are available to hold our hands.

  107. 107
    J R in WV says:

    Beyond upset, I seek aid from lolcats.com.

    Bless the kittens!!! They are keeping me from blowing out a vein. Although my BP was OK at the Dr’s for my physical, so something is helping me keep centered in these crazed times.

  108. 108
    Yarrow says:

    @Citizen Alan: I’d totally watch that!

    @JPL: Oh, yeah. He did.

  109. 109
    Teddys Person says:

    @J R in WV: Is this holy fucking shit, Trump was sane in 1980 and look how much he’s declined? OR holy fucking shit, Trump has always been bug-fuck insane?

  110. 110
    J R in WV says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    It seems to me that an agreement that exists only in Trump’s memory imagination is going to be mighty hard to enact. He is, uh, not a details man.

    Fixed dat for ya.

  111. 111
    prostratedragon says:

    @Davis X. Machina: I guess that completes the answer to the “why Helsinki” question. (I’d figured that trolling Finland was part of it.)

  112. 112
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @LAO: I’ve just put up a live feed post.

  113. 113
    Darkrose says:

    @Gravenstone: And Kiké Hernandez! I’m a Giants fan, but he’s probably my favorite Dodger.

  114. 114
    J R in WV says:

    @Teddys Person:

    Always insane, but also now demented!

  115. 115
    mad citizen says:

    I can get behind the idea that Pence is compromised, religious nut that he is, and what with the Manafort/Flynn connection. But I always read “head of the transition” as a reason. What is it in this role that plays into the treason? Installing certain people? Because in general I think Pence is dumb as a post, and the administration is totally incompetent in terms on running the Executive Branch.

  116. 116
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: King hasn’t seen the intelligence. The only people that have seen the intelligence are the Congressional Gang of Eight. The Majority and Minority Leaders of the Senate, the Speaker and Minority Leader of the House, and the Chairs and Ranking Members of each chambers intelligence committees with one exception. Apparently Nunes has been having Trey Gowdy review the intel for him. It is unclear why. Especially given the now withdrawn non-recusal recusal of Nunes.

  117. 117
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @germy: This has been McConnell’s game for a long time.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/28/opinion/sunday/mitch-mcconnell-supreme-court-senate.html

    Mr. McConnell has created the world in which we are now living. Donald Trump dominates our universe — and now has the power to fill the second Supreme Court seat in two years. Mitch McConnell, who has promised a vote on whomever the president nominates “this fall,” is the figure who was quietly making it all possible, all along.

    First, there was Mr. McConnell’s vigorous defense, going back to the early 1990s, of the role of big money in American politics, which would help Mr. Trump not so much in terms of funding his campaign, but in helping shape the conditions for his appeal.

    While Mr. McConnell has long cast his defense of campaign spending as a First Amendment issue — money is speech — he made no secret of his motivation for fighting so hard on the issue. Namely, that he was well aware that he, as someone lacking in natural campaign talents, and the rest of the Republican Party, as more business-oriented than the Democrats, would need to maintain the flow of large contributions to be able to win elections. “I will always be well financed, and I’ll be well financed early,” he declared after winning his first race for county executive, in 1977.

    His crusade against campaign finance reform culminated in the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling eliminating limits on corporate spending on elections, which Mr. McConnell followed up by blocking legislation to disclose the identity of large donors. Even before that ruling, the spread of big money in politics had done so much to sour the public on government, creating a ripe target for the Tea Party and, later, for a billionaire populist running against “the swamp.”

    Much more at the link by McConnell’s biographer.

  118. 118
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @JGabriel: No need to apologize. That was my initial assumption too and I went and looked it up before just putting it in the post.

  119. 119
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mike in NC: He does it on purpose. He had a whole batch of suits made of lesser quality material with only so-so tailoring shortly after he started campaigning. Apparently the idea was it created a visual that would appeal to working class men who may have one or two suits at most, didn’t pay several thousand dollars for them, and most likely didn’t have them expertly tailored. If you look at his suits in pictures from the beginning of the campaign in June 2015 and compare them to the suits he started wearing by December of 2015, you can see the difference in the finish and fit of the material and tailoring. Whether he figured this out himself or someone advised him to do it, I don’t know.

  120. 120
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Teddys Person: The vast majority of National Security Staffers are not direct hires, via presidential appointments, by the White House. Rather they are senior civil servants and Senior Executives (or equivalents) and senior military officers (colonel/captain through general officer/flag officer) on assignments from their home departments, bureaus, agencies, and the Services. So this could’ve been one of the appointees or it could have been one of the detailees.

  121. 121
    Teddys Person says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Man, you are full service with your fashion analysis and what not. s//

  122. 122
    Teddys Person says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I assumed that career civil service and/or military personnel would not run to the press.

  123. 123
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Teddys Person: Depends how pissed off they are.

  124. 124
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Teddys Person: I remember reading an article that mentioned it.

  125. 125
    SFAW says:

    @Teddys Person:

    All that means is that they will furrow their brows ever-so-much-more deeply while they continue to enable Shitgibbon and his destruction of American democracy

  126. 126
    Dev Null says:

    @Yarrow: Lordy, Ah buhlieves!

    er, as a matter of faith.

    Believe me, I want Mueller to take down Pence at the same time he takes down Трамп. Pence is Трамп, without (most of) the baggage, even dumber, and a Dominionist and Dominionist facilitator. Republicans would regard him as a savior.

    Nonetheless, other explanations are possible, e.g.:

    1) Manafort brought Pence onto the ticket as outreach to evangelicals. (h/t Teddy’s Person in a comment at an earlier post.)

    2) Manafort saw Christie Creme as potentially hostile to Russia, and potentially too independent to be reined in; which is to say: a threat to Manafort’s gravy train.

    Evidence would really srsly be appreciated in this regard.

  127. 127
    Dev Null says:

    @rikyrah: You left out “meeting with Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church”, the Patriarch being regarded as close as thieves (or whatever) with the Russian Government.

    This is all circumstantial evidence. I’m not even sure it’s evidence. The only peeps you’ll convince with this are peeps like me who already want to believe that Pence is a Russian tool.

    I know that this not a popular view, but srsly, on the rare occasions I dare to make this argument to indies – people I’d like to persuade – they laugh at me.

    The real problem with Mike Pence isn’t Russians (that we can demonstrate), it’s that he’s Mike Pence: a Dominionist, a bigot, a tool, and an idiot.

    Unfortunately none of those characteristics will take him down. :-(

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  129. 129
    Dev Null says:

    @Davis X. Machina: That’s some serious historical arcana!

    I don’t have a link, but I remember seeing an essay, maybe at Foreign Policy or The Atlantic or even Digby comparing Трамп to Kaiser Wilhelm.

    It didn’t end well for Germany, as best I recall. ~dryly~

  130. 130
    BruceJ says:

    @Amir Khalid: “If the President does it, it’s not illegal” is pretty much the entire manual for this Administration. Sadly, the GOP is going along with that idea this time. Remember Obama was a terrible tyrant because he issued some Executive orders, but Trump is our absolute monarch.

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