Friday, July 20, 2018

What's Worse For The Republicans-- Trump's Russian Adventure Or His Trade War Against China?


Trumpanzee is furious about his DNI's interview with Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC. Washington Post reporters say that Trump enablers "were in an uproar" over the optics of Dan Coats' making a laughing stock out of a fake president who was in way, way over his head in his dealings with Putin. I assume he'll be even more angry if someone reads the Will Hurd (R-TX) OpEd in the New York Times, Trump Is Being Manipulated By Putin. What Should We Do? to him. "Over the course of my career as an undercover officer in the C.I.A., I saw Russian intelligence manipulate many people. I never thought I would see the day when an American president would be one of them... By playing into Vladimir Putin’s hands the leader of the free world actively participated in a Russian disinformation campaign that legitimized Russian denial and weakened the credibility of the United States to both our friends and foes abroad... Over the course of my career as an undercover officer in the C.I.A., I saw Russian intelligence manipulate many people. I never thought I would see the day when an American president would be one of them."

And a good old slap in the face for Devin Nunes, Trey Gowdy and Paul Ryan who are protecting Trump and his treasonous behavior: "As a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, I strongly believe in the importance of Congress's oversight responsibilities and will work with my colleagues to ensure that the administration is taking the Russian threat seriously. Without action, we risk losing further credibility in international negotiations with both our friends and foes on critical trade deals, military alliances and nuclear arms."

And then there was the cover of today's Politicom an essay by Blake Hounshell, Why I'm No Longer A RussiaGate Skeptic. He now says that when he wrote back in February, that he was skeptical that Señor Trumpanzee would ever be proved to have secretly colluded with Russia to sway the 2016 election in his favor, he mistyped. "What I meant to write was that I wasn’t skeptical. Last week’s events have nullified my previous skepticism."
Politically speaking, Trump’s devotion to his pro-Putin line doesn’t make sense. Yes, the GOP base is impressionable, and perhaps Republican voters would accept it if Trump came out and said, “You bet, Russia helped get me elected, and wasn’t that a good thing? We couldn’t let Crooked Hillary win!” But nobody would say his odd solicitousness toward the Kremlin leader is a political winner, and it certainly causes an unnecessary amount of friction with Republicans in Congress. He’s kept it up at great political cost to himself, and that suggests either that he is possessed by an anomalous level of conviction on this one issue, despite his extraordinary malleability on everything else-- or that he’s beholden to Putin in some way.

You don’t have to buy Jonathan Chait’s sleeper agent theory of Trump to believe that something is deeply weird about all this. Nor do you need to be convinced that Putin is hanging onto a recording of something untoward that may have taken place in a certain Moscow hotel room. You don’t even have to buy the theory that Trump’s business is overly dependent on illicit flows of Russia money, giving Putin leverage. As Julia Ioffe posits, the kompromat could well be the mere fact of the Russian election meddling itself.

...We might never get clear evidence that Trump made a secret deal with the Kremlin. It would be great to see his tax returns, and perhaps Mueller has evidence of private collusion that we have yet to see. These details matter. But in a larger sense, everything we need to know about Trump’s strange relationship with Russia is already out in the open. As The Donald himself might say, there’s something going on.

If Trump is indeed a tool of Putin, what might we expect him to do next? Well, I wouldn’t be sleeping too soundly in Kiev, Podgorica or Riga right now. If the Kremlin tests America’s wobbling commitment to NATO, watch how Trump responds. And pay attention, too, to what the White House says about Russia’s absurd demand that the U.S. hand over former ambassador to Moscow Mike McFaul—Wednesday’s spectacle of Sarah Huckabee Sanders refusing to immediately rule out the idea flies in the face of decades of American diplomacy. Trump may have grudgingly admitted that Russia did the deed, but nobody should be surprised if he starts shedding doubt on it all over again. Maybe, just maybe, he can’t admit that Moscow tried to put him in the Oval Office because he’s under strict instructions not to.
Meanwhile Señor T may be trying to distract from Putin-Gate by ramping up his trade war with China. He's now threatening to put tariffs on every Chinese good imported to the U.S. That's $505.5 billion worth. Caitlin Owens at Axios this morning: "Trump's tariffs are introducing a new, wildly unpredictable issue into the midterm elections, thanks to their heavy impact on states with critical Senate races as well as their likely role in House races across the country. This puts GOP candidates in a weird position: Speaking out against trade policy that's hurting their state or district could turn off voters who would view that as criticizing Trump." Democrats have a good issue:

And this is kind of funny:
Trump flags and hats made in China are reportedly being held up at US customs amid an intensifying trade war.
Chinese textile suppliers have said delays at US customs is affecting their sales.
Chinese suppliers across China have reported making merchandise for Trump's 2020 bid, although campaign officials insist all their official merchandise is manufactured in the US.

Where do they make the t-shirts though?

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At 11:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And the lies just keep on comin'!

Trump's Russian Adventure doesn't affect Republicans one way or the other. They still see the money coming in from other sources.

The Trade War has already hurt people, including Republicans. For now they put on a brave face and claim they still support the Orange Orifice. They will eventually hit a limit and turn on him - HARD.

At 4:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How long until the voters and donors who liked that he's a "disruptor" learn the cost of disruption? And even then, will they lay it at his doorstep?

At 6:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neither will affect trump voters at all. They love power and don't care if trump is a sleeper agent nor how much the trade war costs them. It's all about having power.

And trump voters are morons. wouldn't care if their simian god's policies kill a lot of them. He's theirs.


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