Thursday, July 28, 2016

How Much Is Trump Counting On Putin To Help Him Win In November?


Last night Russ Feingold's campaign sent an e-mail to his followers saying that "Donald Trump just encouraged Russia to commit cyberattacks against Americans... Trump held a press conference on national security that reaffirmed just how truly dangerous he is-- and utterly unfit to be the president of the United States." He's the law and order candidate? That actually sounds illegal. I mean in Florida yesterday, he seemed to be calling on Russian spy agencies-- his allies?-- to hack American organizations to find dirt on Hillary Clinton. No, he really did, causing Leon Panetta to say that "No presidential candidate who's running to be president of the United States ought to be asking a foreign country, particularly Russia, to engage in hacking or intelligence efforts to try to determine what the Democratic candidate may or may not be doing...This just is beyond my own understanding of the responsibilities that candidates have to be loyal to their country and to their country alone, not to reach out to somebody like Putin and Russia, and try to engage them in an effort to try to, in effect, conduct a conspiracy against another party."

Trump surrogate Newt Gingrich said Trump was only joking but Pence, clearly embarrassed, ran to a microphone and said if the Russians do what Trump told them to they'd be in big trouble. What is wrong with this crew of lunatics? Trump, who is being financially supported to the tune of over $600 million by Putin puppets, used to brag about how he and Putin met in a 60 Minutes green room and got along famously. That was a total fabrication and yesterday Trump reversed himself and said "I never met Putin, I don't know who Putin is. He said one nice thing about me." Remember when Trump lied to the American public by claiming, "I know him well" so definitively?

Still, Putin must have been delighted that Trump announced he may recognize Russia's seizure of the Crimea from Ukraine and withdraw from the NATO sanctions against Russia if he's elected. That might even be the kernel of a good idea, but not as part of a political campaign.

Now Trump says he was joking or being sarcastic. They Trump campaign is looking for an excuse that flies and takes off the pressure. Which looks right to you? His tired stand-up comedy shtik or sarcasm?

This morning, in his NY Times column, Nick Kristof explained why Putin is trying too make sure Trump is the next president of the United States, starting with 2 important quotes from Russia experts, first from Stanford Prof. Michael McFaul, U.S. Ambassador to Russia (2011-2014): "'It’s crystal clear to me' that Putin favors Trump. 'If I were Putin, I would rather deal with Trump, too, given the things he has said about foreign policy.'" And later in the column, from Brookings Institution security expert Benjamin Wittes: "I think the most likely explanation is that someone in Russian intelligence, probably very high up, decided to help Donald Trump."
The reason Moscow favors Trump isn’t some conspiracy. It’s simply that Putin dislikes Clinton, while Trump’s combination of international ignorance and catastrophic policies would benefit Putin. In particular, Trump’s public doubts about NATO renounce more than half a century of bipartisan orthodoxy on how to deal with Russia, and undermine the Western alliance that checks Putin.

One nightmare of security specialists is Russia provoking unrest among ethnic Russians in Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania and then using rioting as an excuse to intervene. NATO members would be obliged to respond, but frankly it’s not clear that they would-- and Trump’s loose rhetoric increases the risk of paralysis and a collapse of the alliance.

In that sense, Trump poses a national security risk to the West, and that’s reason enough Putin would be thrilled to see him elected president.
I don't always agree with my own New Dem congressman, Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, but he stated the foreign policy case against Trump appropriately enough last night: "When the rights of expression, religion and association are under growing assault around the globe, when the world needs a leader who can offer 'blood, tears, toil and sweat,' Trump offers only bluster, tirade, swindle, and threat. With malice towards all, and charity for none, Trump would separate us from the world, and divide us here at home. In Trump’s world, NATO is a relic, Putin an ally, Tiananmen an example, and torture our instrument. This is not leadership; this is calamity. It is not speaking hard truths or shunning political correctness-- but, instead, failing to see America’s greatness, its essential goodness, its unending promise. Like an easy mark at one of his casinos, Trump would have us throw the dice with America’s future. We will not do it."

DuWayne Gregory, the candidate Blue America endorsed for the South Shore of Long Island congressional seat on-again/off-again Trump ally Peter King holds, reminded us this morning that "King said Trump was morally and intellectually unfit to be President, but he put politics before the best interests of the country. Now today, Donald Trump proves, yet again, why he is too unstable and unfit to be the President and Commander and Chief of our country. His coziness with the Russian government should be a concern for everyone, even his endorser Congressman King. Both Trump and King have shown why their judgment is sufficiently lacking to hold public office."

Goal Thermometer Tom Wakely is a military vet running for the Austin/SanAntonio congressional seat held by the anti-science Chair of the House Science Committee, the man who'se ideological extremes is responsible for bringing the Zika virus to America. Last night after the convention he e-mailed us about Trump's latest obvious display of disloyalty to America:
I just recently heard that a concerned constituent in my district reached out to Lamar Smith's office to ask about Trump's invitation for espionage. From what they were told, Smith's office declared that 'they don't get into political election issues.' Seems a bit of a stretch coming from the office of the man who sat in Trump's VIP box on the very night Trump accepted the GOP's nomination. I'm not sure what's more political than a 30-year incumbent congressman falling into the waiting arms of the new Trump-branded GOP.

We already know that Trump's campaign manager has deep ties to Putin's political allies. The idea that we'd be soft on Putin, or simply allow citizens of our nation to be attacked by his cronies is flat out disgusting. All of this because what, Democrats play for the other major political team? And they have the nerve to complain that President Obama has been divisive.

If the reports of Trump's ties to Russian investors are true, coupled with Manafort's political past-- there should be no further evidence for folks in this nation to realize Trump's threat to our country has reached its boiling point. There has been a lot to laugh about regarding Trump, but this particular matter should be damn near disqualifying. It's certainly horrifying. If you're a member of the Russian oligarchy, there's a better-than-good chance it was only because Vladimir Putin allowed it. This is beyond a 'political election issue.' Vladimir Putin and his cronies operate solely on the basis of accruing wealth. Trump's been branding that trait as part of his appeal.

And yet, my opponent endorsed him - and acts like he has no opponent this November. If my opponent stays silent on this matter then he, too, endorses a Russian hack of his own people. He certainly endorsed a hack of some sort in May when he threw his full support behind Donald J. Trump.
As I explained a few days ago, many Russian elites have long felt that the CIA turned Gorbachev and that he dismantled the Soviet Union at their behest. He lives in the U.S. these days. Putin has been financing right-wing parties in Europe and there's amply evidence-- although without Trump's tax returns it's hard to prove legally-- that Trump's bankrupt business is staying afloat because of Putin's cash infusions, to the tune of over half a billion dollars. Putin has pumped millions of dollars into Jean-Marie Le Pen's fascist-oriented National Front and now Le Pen's putrid and savage daughter Maine Le Pen is threatening to win the presidency. (Imagine, if you will, Ivanka or Barron Trump waiting in the wings some day as well.)

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At 9:30 PM, Blogger Fiddlin Bill said...

As intelligence theorizing this argument, that Putin favors Trump, is certainly a possibility. However, one wonders why someone as unpredictable as Trump seems to be would be in Russia's interest. With a Clinton Administration they would confront a predictable tension. We don't know, we really don't have a clue, what a President Trump might do. That's our problem, and why I'll certainly vote for Clinton. I don't see why it's not Russia's problem as well.

At 9:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trump's current shaky financial status is dependent on loans from Russian oligarchs allied with and favored by Putin. Extortion is your answer. Check out Talking Points memo research and analysis on this, itself derived from recent investigative pieces by the Washington Post and the New York Times.

At 11:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was no "Russian seizure of Crimea." The US staged a coup against a democratically elected regime in Ukraine at the cost of at least $5 billion according to State Dept arch-neo con Victoria Nuland (and very likely new Sec. of State in a Clinton government). It was done with the excuse that the regime "favored" Russia.

Can you imagine!?! Why is is such a surprise that government of a former republic of the USSR with a very large ethnic Russian population, sharing a border with current Russia might just "favor" Russia. It was not enough that the US compelled the USSR to disband itself. Bush I promises of 1989, that a USSR breakup would not lead to the west gobbling up the liberated former republics, have been destroyed by Sec. State Clinton and Obama.

You say you saw Russian troops in the Crimea? Indeed, one aspect of the Ukraine exit from Russia was a treaty that allowed Russia to keep its already established naval bases of its Black Sea fleet in the Crimea ALONG WITH as many as 25,000 troops. The renewal of the above-mentioned Crimea treaty was probably the trigger for the coup. The Black Sea is Russia's only warm water port. Denying it to Russia is

Therefore, the Russian troops in Crimea were already there when the US installed its regime, in significant part composed of the ideological descendants of Ukraine collaborators with the Nazi invasion in WWII. Perhaps Americans don't realize that 30 million (mostly civilians) of the USSR died on the WWII eastern front, essentially neutralizing the Wehrmacht so the US could waltz into Europe to mop up and, as it turns out, justify its control (as in NATO the US army in Europe) of the region to this day.

Well, the Crimeans remember and they voted 95% to rejoin Russia. Of course, as with the overthrown Ukrainian regime itself, no election can be valid if it favors those we are indoctrinated to viciously and mindlessly hate with our entire collective being.

So, as you state, the recognition of Crimea's rejoining Russia, along with the end of sanctions "might even be the kernel of a good idea" WHY would it should it not be "as part of a political campaign"???? Only because of the decades long anti-USSR/Russia propaganda.

The sanctions imposed on Russia in response to the Crimea vote generally have hurt Europe more that it has hurt Russia. Despite this, Obama proudly bragged, in his 2015 state of the union address that the sanctions had destroyed Russia's economy. Now a destroyed economy results in much suffering of citizens well removed from government power. Back in the days when war crimes were important, collective punishment of a population to compel it to act against its government WAS a war crime. One might even regard it as the ultimate in state terrorism. Any wonder why Russia might just prefer someone other than Clinton (a rabid Obama) as new US president?

Re: the "nightmare of security specialists is Russia provoking unrest among ethnic Russians in Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania and then using rioting as an excuse to intervene." This is certain proof that we can expect similar provocation BY THE WEST in the Baltics precisely to blame Russia for resultant chaos and, perhaps, bloody civil war as in Ukraine.


One point of clarification: what is the meaning of the statement: "Trump, who is being financially supported to the tune of over $600 million by Putin puppets... " actually mean? Are you referring to presidential campaign support or previous, legitimate business dealings among capitalists?
(Note: my view, as summarized on a protest sign in Philadelphia: “End capitalism before it ends us and the earth”)

Would that your ability to see through the BS of domestic politics were matched by the same ability regarding foreign policy/propaganda.

John Puma

At 3:53 AM, Anonymous Jo said...

I agree with John Puma's comments which show how distorted the discourse on Russia and foreign policy has become. I would add two points:

Team Clinton has also benefitted from foreign contributions, especially Saudi Arabia, which made large contributions to the Clinton Foundation in exchange for arms shipments while she was sec of state.

Putin bailed out Obamma over the chemical weapons attack which were found to NOT be launched by the Syrian government. But the US has never retracted its assertion that those attacks were the responsibility of Assad. If this happened during a Mrs Clinton presidency, it's likely we would have escalated tensions with nuclear armed Russia rather than seek diplomatic solutions. This is one point that makes me unsure which is the lesser of two evil candidates.


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