Russiagate Open Thread: No Collusion, If You’re Careful to Ignore All Evidence of Collusion

I started a post about Burr’s original interview some days ago, under the header “Republican Partisan Chooses His Words *Very* Carefully”. That was the windup for this pitch:

… “If we write a report based upon the facts that we have, then we don’t have anything that would suggest there was collusion by the Trump campaign and Russia,” said Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, in an interview with CBS News last week.

Burr was careful to note that more facts may yet be uncovered, but he also made clear that the investigation was nearing an end.

On Tuesday, Burr doubled down, telling NBC News, “There is no factual evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.”

Sen. Mark Warner, D.-Va., ranking member of the committee, told reporters in the Capitol Tuesday that he disagrees with the way Burr characterized the evidence about collusion, but he declined to offer his own assessment.

“I’m not going to get into any conclusions I have,” he said, before adding that “there’s never been a campaign in American history … that people affiliated with the campaign had as many ties with Russia as the Trump campaign did.”

Democratic Senate investigators who spoke to NBC News on condition of anonymity did not dispute Burr’s characterizations, but said they lacked context.

“We were never going to find a contract signed in blood saying, ‘Hey Vlad, we’re going to collude,'” one Democratic aide said…

Here’s an extract from the CBS interview:

… “I’m not going to tell you that what we set out to do — which was to understand what happened in ’16 — is what’s extended the life of the investigation,” Burr said in a rare interview with CBS News. “I think it’s a better understanding of what happened and how coordinated and organized the effort was.” …

He made clear that the investigation is not compiling the story of one pivotal election, but of something larger, more complicated and, from a counterintelligence perspective, more nefarious. The final report may be so highly classified, he said, that a meaningful portion may not be made public at all…

Burr, a Charlottesville native, had been named a national security adviser to the Trump campaign in October — as it happened, less than an hour before the “Access Hollywood” tape became public, and soon after the Obama administration released its first statement on Russia’s election interference efforts…

… One key witness whom the committee had been unsuccessful in engaging, Burr said, was Christopher Steele, the British former intelligence officer who authored the controversial, partially verified dossier, which described links between Trump associates and Russia and played a part in triggering the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation.

Last February, the former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley, sent a letter to a Washington-based lawyer acting as an intermediary for Steele asking whether Steele may have been indirectly on the payroll of Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch with close ties to Putin. The implicit suggestion of Grassley’s inquiry was that the dossier contained purposeful misinformation intended to help Russia. It is not a view, or a suspicion, that Democrats share…

“There’s an awful lot of connections of all these people,” he said. “They may not be connections that are tied to 2016 elections in the United States, but just the sheer fact that they have a relationship — it may be business. It may be Russian intelligence. It may be they’re all on the payroll of Oleg Deripaska,” he said…

NB: The Trump campaign’s national security advisor argues that, hey, who can know what’s in the hearts of men? Maybe it was all a series of fortunate-for-my-guy coincidences! Remember that Christoper Steele guy we spent so much time painting as a sketchy spy-for-hire — if the Democrats didn’t actually invent all this “evidence”, maybe they were just misled by crafty Russian oligarchs, bless their addled hearts!…

And yet, the public ain’t buying what Burr is trying to sell:

38 replies
  1. 1
    JoyceH says:

    Does it strike anyone else as weird that 4% of those polled find obstruction a more impeachable offense that coordinating with a hostile foreign power?

  2. 2
    sukabi says:

    Looks like IMPEACH the MF is a very popular mood. 😃

  3. 3
    sukabi says:

    @JoyceH: compounding of crimes? Not only did he collude but he’s lying about it, badly.

  4. 4
    Yarrow says:

    Oh. Burr. I remember him leaking information from the committee. Not surprised to see him saying these things.

  5. 5
    piratedan says:

    yeah, we don’t have an unaltered e-mail on a private server that has the title on the header that says “My Collusion Plan for the 2016 Election with Russia” on it being sent from the Trump campaign. All we have is the modification of a party platform plank, millions of dollars in dark money dollars and over a 100 assets and contacts between the GOP, Russia and the Trump Campaign and the words and deeds of the campaigner in chief “hey Russia, if you’re listening, how about those 33,000 missing e-mails”.

    the rest is just happenstance and coincidence… it’s like if someone took a baseball bat to Senator Burr’s knees and claimed that a tree fell on him…..

  6. 6
    sukabi says:

    @piratedan: the only reason there isn’t a document that specific is because Nunes and Burr removed all the copies while working on the transition. 😜

  7. 7
    Yutsano says:

    @JoyceH: Could be a polling question issue. People hear the question but their brain interprets it another way than the questioner intended. Happens with some frequency.

  8. 8

    I thought Rudy said there was collusion, but there’s no law against collusion, I’m confused.

  9. 9
    Duane says:

    It strikes me as weird that working with Russia to win an election is okay with anyone. Says a lot about republicans and their phoney patriotism.

  10. 10
    Sebastian says:


    Margin of Error. These polls are really bad.

  11. 11
    Ruckus says:

    That’s not patriotism. That’s not even phony patriotism.
    That’s greed masquerading as patriotism.

  12. 12
    Mary G says:

    Those guys with the “I’d rather be a Russian than a Democrat” T-shirts were just more honest. Vlad hates women and people of color and democracy, so what’s the problem? Twitler was just being patriotic when he conspired with him.

  13. 13
    sharl says:

    As long as Devin Nunes was chairing the corresponding House committee (House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, HPSCI), the much smarter and slicker Richard Burr was able to avoid most of the big media attention. I’m guessing that, next to Trump himself, Burr misses Nunes the most, and he’s now gonna have to start bringing his ‘A’ game to all this, especially given Adam Schiff’s frequent media appearances.

  14. 14
    Frankensteinbeck says:

    If you define America as ‘White Christian men’, and Republicans do, then colluding with Russia was patriotic.

  15. 15
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JoyceH: Not me. Those 4% are the people who if they find out a boxing match is rigged, bet heavily on it. They’re the people who, when a cashier makes a major mistake in their favor during checkout, they don’t correct the cashier. And they probably cheat on their taxes if they think they can get away with it. They aren’t “bad” people, they just figure if you can game the system, fuck ’em.

  16. 16
    TS (the original) says:

    @Duane: The one thing, pre trump – that all Americans would agree – Russia was not their friend. One imbecile in the white house and it all changes. This is what I find weird.

    … And is there ANY way to stop the auto play video on BJ from ramping my cpu to 105%

  17. 17
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: No, Rudy is confused. Stop listening to him and it will all become clear.

  18. 18
    rikyrah says:

    This Senator😠😠😠
    Where is the response of the ranking Democratic Party member?

  19. 19
    Eljai says:

    From the NBC article:

    The report, Democrats say, will not be good for Trump. But they also made clear they haven’t found proof of their worst fear: That the president formed a corrupt pact with Russia to offer sanctions relief or other favorable treatment in return for Russian help in the election.

    Prior to the 2016 election, I was led to believe that anything that “casts shadows” or creates “bad optics” was bad and will hang over a presidency. But, apparently, unless Trump is found in bed with a dead body with a smoking gun in his hand, well then Democrats are just overreacting!

  20. 20
    Patricia Kayden says:

    No matter what evidence is revealed, I never expect Republicans to admit that Trump and party operatives engaged in misconduct or crimes. They’ll protect Trump to the bitter end.

  21. 21
    Jay says:


    “(CNN) Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, rejected Republican Chairman Richard Burr’s recent statements that the committee has not found evidence of collusion, saying the investigation is still ongoing and the committee still had to interview key witnesses.

    “Respectfully, I disagree,” Warner said Tuesday. “I’m not going to get into any conclusions I’ve reached because my basis of this has been that I’m not going to reach any conclusion until we finish the investigation. And we still have a number of the key witnesses to come back.”

    They ain’t even close to done.

  22. 22
  23. 23
    Jay says:


    Yup, with out the Chair, the ratfucking and colluding with the conspiracy and cover up get’s harder.

  24. 24
    JoyceH says:

    New conundrum – how can this guy have lived in DC for two years and somehow missed the fact that DC already has a 4th of July parade that marches RIGHT PAST HIS HOUSE?

  25. 25
    Jay says:


    He hasn’t. As he can’t get his bigly yoogue military parade, he’s gonna try to slap his foul brand on the DC 4th of July Parade,

    and it will be good enough for Faux, the Deplorables, the Gullibillies and the Punditry.

  26. 26
    balconesfault says:

    If the Dems win the White House and Senate in 2020 … none of the Obama “make nice” with the people who f***ed over the country crap.

    Number One focus needs to be on going after every one of these complicit bastards.

  27. 27
    Jay says:


    The Commitee’s in the House changed hands January 3rd and they have started going after them.

  28. 28
    balconesfault says:

    @Jay: yep … but what is the chance that Trump’s AG … no matter who he is … will bring charges based on House Proceedings?

  29. 29
    JR says:

    @JoyceH: People don’t know what those terms mean

  30. 30
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    So in a nut shell, the evidence Burr called before the committee didn’t show collusion. So noted and what ever.

  31. 31
    Another Scott says:

    @TS (the original): Get an ad-blocker (like UBlock Origin) and add rules to block OraTV and Connatix:


    That should take care of the hugely annoying autoplay sidebar videos.

    Hope this helps.


  32. 32
    Luthe says:

    @JoyceH: He was at Mar-a-Lardo at the time? IDK.

  33. 33
    jonas says:

    Hey, there was no *direct* evidence OJ murdered his wife, either. Just, you know, weapon, bloody footprints, gloves, motive, history of violence, lack of credible alibi at the time of the murder, etc. Burr would be the worst prosecutor in the history of the world. Unless there’s close-up, clear surveillance camera footage showing the suspect in the act of committing the crime, nothing happened.

  34. 34
    TS (the original) says:

    @Another Scott: Thanks Scott, I don’t understand what I typed/copied but it fixed it

  35. 35
    stinger says:


    how can this guy have lived in DC for two years and somehow missed the fact that DC already has a 4th of July parade that marches RIGHT PAST HIS HOUSE?

    Because it was about the 4th of July — it wasn’t about HIM. THAT’S the needed parade!

  36. 36
    sharl says:

    Here’s a piece that was posted just this morning at Just Security, authored by Ryan Goodman:

    Who is Richard Burr, Really? Why the public can’t trust his voice in the Russia probe

    From a quick perusal, it doesn’t look there is anything newly reported there, but rather a long overdue effort to pull together all the damning stuff that’s been reported on this guy since the 2016 campaign, and has somehow been memory-holed by most of the media. Better late than never, I suppose…

    It seems to be fairly thorough, and a bit of a long read, but then there’s a lot of material. This monster has tentacles all over the damn place.

  37. 37
    burnspbesq says:


    Read it, and recommend it highly.

  38. 38
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @TS (the original):

    And is there ANY way to stop the auto play video on BJ from ramping my cpu to 105%

    I prezoom yer not using an adblocker. Whenever you sign onto BJ, try immediately moseying on over to the offending videos (I count 3 in the sidebar) & pausing them. (You might have to do this again whenever you change pages here.) Farfawks (that’s Appalachian for “Firefox” doncha know) used to lock up every time before I started doing this – I’d have to refresh the damn page over&over&over&over&… – & is behaving reasonably well now.

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