Friday, March 03, 2017

Trump And Kislyak-- What The Hell Is Going On?


How did the 180 degree turn-around on Ukraine get into the Republican Party platform? At the time, it was widely reported in the news-- generally without comment or controversy-- that Trump had demanded it and that no one stood up to him. His own national security adviser at the time, J.D. Gordon-- who admitted late this afternoon to Jim Acosta that he too had meetings with Kislyak during campaign-- said last March that Trump had personally ordered it. Did no one wonder why? Brian Naylor reported the changes in early August. "When Republican Party leaders drafted the platform prior to their convention in Cleveland last month," he wrote, "they had relatively little input from the campaign of then-presumptive nominee Donald Trump on most issues-- except when it came to a future Republican administration's stance on Ukraine.
It started when platform committee member Diana Denman tried to insert language calling for the U.S. to provide lethal defensive weapons to the Ukrainian government, which is fighting a separatist insurrection backed by Russia. Denman says she had no idea she was "going into a fire fight," calling it "an interesting exchange, to say the least."

Denman is a long time GOP activist from Texas. When she presented her proposal during a platform subcommittee meeting last month, "two gentleman," whom Denman said were part of the Trump campaign, came over, looked at the language, and asked that it be set aside for further review.

She says after further discussion the pair "had to make some calls and clear it." She says they found the language was still too strong.

The Trump campaign convinced the platform committee to change Denman's proposal. It went from calling on the U.S. to provide Ukraine "lethal defensive weapons" to the more benign phrase "appropriate assistance."

It's more than semantics. Many Republicans have been demanding the Obama administration provide a more robust response to Russia's incursions in Ukraine.

Denman "was steam rolled," said Melinda Haring of the Atlantic Council, a Washington, DC, think tank, who believes the language the Trump campaign approved is weaker. And she says "it's anyone's guess" what Trump would do regarding Ukraine and Russia, and that perhaps he might not even back "appropriate assistance."

...Another GOP delegate on the platform committee, Rachel Hoff, is a national security analyst with the American Action Forum and believe the final platform language signals that a Trump administration would refuse to send lethal defensive weapons to Ukraine.

"This puts Trump out of step certainly with Republican leadership but I would also say mainstream conservative foreign policy or national security opinion," Hoff said.
Now watch the clip below from an August 1 Trump interview with George Stephanopoulos on This Week. Trump seems very insistent that he had nothing to do with the platform change.

Stephanopoulos: Why did you soften the GOP platform on Ukraine?

Trumpanzee: I wasn't involved in that. Honestly [a dead giveaway for when Trump is lying], I was not involved.

Stephanopoulos: Your people were.

Trumpanzee: Yeah. I was not involved in that. I'd like to, uh, I'd have to take a look at it. [Another dead giveaway signifying Trump lies.]

Stephanopoulos: Do you know what they did?

Trumpanzee: They softened it. I heard. But I was not involved.

He then started speaking about Putin's intentions regarding Ukraine in a way that appears to indicate that he either knows something-- or wants people to think he knows something-- about Putin's plans. It sounds like he's had some assurances.

No one knows for sure-- other than Putin and his intimates and Trump and his intimates-- what really wet down between the Russians and the Trump campaign. But afterTed Cruz made an idiot of himself on Morning Joe Thursday, calling the Sessions scandal "a nothing burger," I asked Beto O'Rourke, the El Paso congressman who will oppose Cruz's reelection in 2018, if he had a different perspective on this whole Putin-Gate thing. And does he ever! "The Trump-Russia connection," he told me, "is one of the most disturbing developments in the history of our country. We need to know who knew what and when they knew it. And most importantly we need to know who ordered it. The integrity of our democracy depends on it. We need an indendent investigation, separate and apart from this administration. Anyone who tries to sweep this under the rug is part of the cover up. They're working for the clampdown."

Fast-forward to the daily circus at Trumpanzee transitional headquarters at Trump Tower in New York. Remember the parade of clowns coming to pay obeisance to his Trumpiness and his Trumpy children everyday. They all ran a gauntlet of reporters and cameras-- one drooling idiot after another. Except one, the multi-chinned Russian ambassador, Sergei Kislyak, reputed grandmaster of Russia's Western hemisphere spy network. Sooner after Trump was elected-- or whatever-- Kislyak flew down from Washington and waddled in through a backdoor service entrance and up a secret elevator without anyone knowing he was in the building for a meeting with Flynn and Jared Kushner-in-law (but supposedly not Trumpanzee himself). It was just admitted by the White House yesterday. Why? Why was it secret? And why did they cough up the information yesterday just as calls for Jeff Sessions resignation/firing were reaching a fever's pitch? Were other ambassadors snuck into Trump Tower for secret meetings, or just Kislyak. Did Sessions, Page, Kushner and other Trump operatives meet with other ambassadors at all? Or just Kislyak? We need to shut down this whole Trump operation until we can figure out what the hell is going on!

Also yesterday... just before Chris Hayes got another Trump security advisor, Carter Page, to admit on camera that he had also met with Kislyak during the campaign, SeƱor Trumpanzee referred to the Sessions scandal as a "Total witch hunt," something echo-ed, word for word by Putin's foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, this morning: "witch hunt."

Last week a poll was released by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal showing that most Americans want a non-partisan investigation into Putin-Gate. 53% of Americans want the investigation and only 25% don't. What's standing in the way? Take a closer look at those two at the top of the page.

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At 12:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually "what's standing in the way" of a Putin-gate investigation is the Dems inability to gain back a majority in either house congress.

I noticed that the NYT finally recognized this straight-forward, basic reality of American civics that Trump antagonists still widely reject, as they have since Nov 9, 2016.

But feisty, if insane, Sen Shaheen, stood up as newest Dem to officially join the ranks of the congenitally mass-murdering, Neo-Cons, suggesting that the alleged Russian hack should be investigated as an act of war.

Maybe we are more fortunate than we can appreciate that the Dems are as supremely politically inept as they are.

While I will not sit on a hot stove waiting for actual proof of Russian "incursions" into Ukraine, I would suggest that US "incursions," at least, would certainly follow any Russia-engineered regime change in, say, Canada. And what escalated level of incursion would be claimed appropriate if the demonstrations that led to the coup had been attended, and cheered on, by the Russian equivalent of a US senator and a high-ranking official of the State Dept?

Sorry Sen Shaheen, the acts of war were committed by your colleague Sen. McCain and by Victoria Nuland, of the Kagan (neo)-Kon Klan, who was caught on tape specifying HRC's preference for the post-coup Ukraine executive and who boasted that the project cost $5 billion of US taxpayer funds.
I'd suggest that GOP platform planks are as readily ignored as are those of the Dems.

John Puma

At 12:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We know Putin is a chess player. He's probably very good at it, considering how his military and diplomatic moves in places like Syria (where he pushed Obama into a corner with the advancement of a couple of significant pieces) and now in the Ukraine (where he's poised to checkmate the NATO moves through grabbing Trump's pussy and have him ask NATO to pull out as cum-man-dur-in-chief).

Putin is proving that he fully understands von Clausewitz' aphorism about diplomacy being war by other means. Considering that Russia has experienced major invasions in relatively modern times and still remembers the totality of death and destruction invasions bring, he clearly doesn't want to revisit such conditions again. Putin will use (and maybe abuse) any asset possible to avoid visiting such horror on his land again. This WILL include Trump, who he will cast aside as soon as he's finished just like one of Donnie Tinyhand's feminine assault victims.

Trump never played poker much less chess, and is the mark waiting to be taken.

If Olbermann's sources are correct, they have to take Trump down. Right now, they are trying to do so without showing too much of their secret world. There are great risks involved by showing too much, and it could result in serious consequences, not the least of which is triggering a global nuclear war. While not quite as dire, taking action in the form of a military coup is still a very serious consequence, and there is no certainty that the United States as we know it could be restored.

I see no one currently in the Congress stepping up and risking their connections to Big Money to play The Patriot and bring an end to the corruption. Maybe they have also seen the Grassy Knoll movie and don't want to star in the remake. Thus the Deep State may be the last hope this nation has, but the cost will be dear, and we as a nation aren't necessarily going to understand that the alternative was much worse. All we're going to know is that Things Ain't What They Used To Be.

Got ID, civilian?

At 12:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


GOP "reluctance" to investigate alleged Russian "influence" in the US elections has nothing to do with Russia, but rather the possibility (however remote, given brain-dead media AND spineless Dems) that the well-organized GOP election fraud infrastructure would finally be exposed to the general public.

Of course, IF it were exposed, polls would show that 73% of Americans approved of election fraud if it meant that THEIR political tribe were the beneficiary.

John Puma

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At 4:34 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

I just watched a Rachel Maddow clip. The Russian "fertilizer king" (who purchased a Palm Beach estate from Trump for more than double what Trump had paid for it) has a private jet that has been shown to be in a variety of American airports, some rather dinky, exactly when Trump's plane was there during the campaign. And why the hell was this? It is possible (!!) that he was Putin's emissary meeting with Trump on a fairly regular basis - why else would this oligarch have been in these places at these particular times?

The ties to Russia are EXTREME: a mile deep, a mile wide. Trump's financial ties to Russia are YUGE. When all of this is exposed, and surely it will be, this bigger than Watergate scandal will be the biggest ever shock to our democracy. Drip, drip, drip. The Republicans had better get out of the way.

It is so absurd and pathetic that all of this was going on right under our noses and to this incredible extent during the entire campaign. How could this be? Where was the press? Oh, they were focused on Hillary's use of her private email. DUH!! Just like Pence. But his use was just a headline yesterday and will be forgotten by tomorrow. To keep things "balanced" the press had Hillary's grain of sand issues on one side, and Trump's elephantine issues on the other, and weighed them equivalently.

Not one word out of Trump's mouth can be trusted. He lies with impunity and always has.

The press had better stay on this Putin gate story!!

At 8:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that these articles keep appearing here, say not much of value, but then allow John to condense the actual relevant issues in his comments.

Both of John's comments sum up the issue. Hone also touched upon it.

As I see it, the illegality of the campaign's many, MANY meetings with Putin surrogates are:
1) the overt emoluments problem that drumpf has wrt Russia and Putin (and his cabal of oligarchs). This is why this admin is unconstitutional.
2) conducting "official" government relations with Russia BEFORE they ARE the us government.
3) coordinating the election and DNC hacks, info dispersal and, almost certainly, bribery and blackmail.

John's second point is one I've raised, but let me expand it a bit. BOTH so-called "parties" have engaged in voter suppression and vote fraud. The Rs have been at it since at least 2000. The Ds most overt efforts were so that $hillbillary would win the nom in the '16 primary. There is Crosscheck that suppressed 7M voters in swing states and about which the Democraps were mute. And the list goes on. *IF* election hacking is truly investigated (by able people, not the hacks congress will use), it's likely that these "official" methods might be exposed... and neither so-called "party" wants that. They want these in their back pockets for when they need to use them again.

As to "relations" with Russia, I honestly don't like putin nor the Russian predatory capitalism model (not unlike our own), but I see no problem in Putin trying to forge good relations with his neighbor nations NOR do I blame him for Crimea after the US fomented a neo-Nazi coup in the Ukraine. I don't blame him for hacking the hapless DNC nor even vote counting in states where there is evidence that SOMEONE did so. If the us election infrastructure and the DNC are that hapless and open, go for it. *WE* should fix our own shit so that nobody can hack it.

The us/US is a spastic, bumbling, hapless collection of incompetents pretending to be govern a nation... and a dumbfucktard (nearly sub-sentient) populace that never insists on anything better... with a lot of nukes and a yearning to use them.

If I were Putin, I would almost certainly do the same thing he did.


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