Making Excuses for Russiagate

As months turn into nearly two years and no solid evidence emerges to nail Russia for nabbing Election 2016, some big Russia-gate cheerleaders are starting to cover their tracks, as Daniel Lazare explains.

By Daniel Lazare  Special to Consortium News

The best evidence that Russia-gate is sinking beneath the waves is the way those pushing the pseudo-scandal are now busily covering their tracks.  The Guardian complains that “as the inquiry has expanded and dominated the news agenda over the last year, the real issues of people’s lives are in danger of being drowned out by obsessive cable television coverage of the Russia investigation” – as if The Guardian’s own coverage hasn’t been every bit as obsessive as anything CNN has come up with. 

The Washington Post, second to none when it comes to painting Putin as a real-life Lord Voldemort, now says that Special counsel Robert Mueller “faces a particular challenge maintaining the confidence of the citizenry” as his investigation enters its second year – although it’s sticking to its guns that the problem is not the inquiry itself, but “the regular attacks he faces from President Trump, who has decried the probe as a ‘witch hunt.’”

And then there’s The New York Times, which this week devoted a 3,600-word front-page article to explain why the FBI had no choice but to launch an investigation into Trump’s alleged Russian links and how, if anything, the inquiry wasn’t aggressive enough.  As the article puts it, “Interviews with a dozen current and former government officials and a review of documents show that the FBI was even more circumspect in that case than has been previously known.”

It’s Nobody’s Fault

The result is a late-breaking media chorus to the effect that it’s not the fault of the FBI that the investigation has dragged on with so little to show for it; it’s not the fault of Mueller either, and, most of all, it’s not the fault of the corporate press, even though it’s done little over the last two years than scream about Russia.  It’s not anyone’s fault, evidently, but simply how the system works.

This is nonsense, and the gaping holes in the Times article show why.

The piece, written by Matt Apuzzo, Adam Goldman, and Nicholas Fandos and entitled “Code Name Crossfire Hurricane: The Secret Origins of the Trump Investigation,” is pretty much like everything else the Times has written on the subject, i.e. biased, misleading, and incomplete.  Its main argument is that the FBI had no option but to step in because four Trump campaign aides had “obvious or suspected Russian ties.”

At Putin’s Arm’

One was Michael Flynn, who would briefly serve as Donald Trump’s national

Flynn: With Stein at ‘The Dinner’

security adviser and who, according to the Times, “was paid $45,000 by the Russian government’s media arm for a 2015 speech and dined at the arm of the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin.”  Another was Paul Manafort, who briefly served as Trump’s campaign chairman and was a source of concern because he had “lobbied for pro-Russia interests in Ukraine and worked with an associate who has been identified as having connections to Russian intelligence.”  A third was Carter Page, a Trump foreign-policy adviser who “was well known to the FBI” because “[h]e had previously been recruited by Russian spies and was suspected of meeting one in Moscow during the campaign.”  

The fourth was George Papadopoulos, a “young and inexperienced campaign aide whose wine-fueled conversation with the Australian ambassador set off the investigation.  Before hacked Democratic emails appeared online, he had seemed to know that Russia had political dirt on Mrs. Clinton.”

Seems incriminating, eh?  But in each case the connection was more tenuous than the Times lets on.  Flynn, for example, didn’t dine “at the arm of the Russian president” at a now-famous December 2015 Moscow banquet honoring the Russian media outlet RT.  He was merely at a table at which Putin happened to sit down for “maybe five minutes, maybe twenty, tops,” according to Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein who was just a few chairs away.  No words were exchanged, Stein says, and “[n]obody introduced anybody to anybody.  There was no translator.  The Russians spoke Russian.  The four people who spoke English spoke English.”   

The Manafort associate with the supposed Russian intelligence links turns out to be a Russian-Ukrainian translator named Konstantin Kilimnik who studied English at a Soviet military school and who vehemently denies any such connection.  It seems that the Ukrainian authorities did investigate the allegations at one point but declined to press charges.  So the connection is unproven.

Page Was No Spy

Page: No spy.

The same goes for Carter Page, who was not “recruited” by Russian intelligence, but, rather, approached by what he thought were Russian trade representatives at a January 2013 energy symposium in New York.  When the FBI informed him five or six months later that it believed the men were intelligence agents, Page appears to have cooperated fully based on a federal indictment filed with the Southern District of New York.  Thus, Page was not a spy pace the Times, but a government informant as ex-federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy has pointed out – in other words, a good guy, as the Times would undoubtedly see it, helping the catch a couple of baddies.

As for Papadopoulos, who the Times suggests somehow got advance word that WikiLeaks was about to dump a treasure trove of Hillary Clinton emails, the article fails to mention that at the time the conversation with the Australian ambassador took place, the Clinton communications in the news were the 30,000 State Department emails that she had improperly stored on her private computer. These were the emails that “the American people are sick and tired of hearing about,” as Bernie Sanders put it.  Instead of spilling the beans about a data breach yet to come, it’s more likely that Papadopoulos was referring to emails that were already in the news – a possibility the Times fails to discuss.

FBI ‘Perplexed’

One could go on.  But not only does the Times article get the details wrong, it paints the big picture in misleading tones as well.  It says that the FBI was “perplexed” by such Trump antics as calling on Russia to release still more Clinton emails after WikiLeaks went public with its disclosure.  The word suggests a disinterested observer who can’t figure out what’s going on.  But it ignores how poisonous the atmosphere had become by that point and how everyone’s mind was seemingly made up. 

By July 2016, Clinton was striking out at Trump at every opportunity about his Russian ties – not because they were true, but because a candidate who had struggled to come up with a winning slogan had at last come across an issue that seemed to resonate with her fan base.  Consequently, an intelligence report that Russia was responsible for hacking the Democratic National Committee “was a godsend,” wrote Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes in Shatteredtheir best-selling account of the Clinton campaign, because it was “hard evidence upon which Hillary could start to really build the case that Trump was actually in league with Moscow.”  

Not only did Clinton believe this, but her followers did as well, as did the corporate media and, evidently, the FBI.  This is the takeaway from text messages that FBI counterintelligence chief Peter Strzok exchanged with FBI staff attorney Lisa Page.  

Andrew McCarthy, who has done a masterful job of reconstructing the sequence, notes that in late July 2016, Page mentioned an article she had come across on a liberal web site discussing Trump’s alleged Russia ties.  Strzok texted back that he’s “partial to any women sending articles about nasty the Russians are.”  Page replied that the Russians “are probably the worst.  Very little I finding redeeming about this.  Even in history.  Couple of good writers and artists I guess.”  Strzok heartily agreed: “f***ing conniving cheating savages.  At statecraft, athletics, you name it.  I’m glad I’m on Team USA.” 

Strzok: Thought F’ing Russians ‘nasty’

The F’ing Russian ‘Savages’

This is the institutional bias that the Times doesn’t dare mention.  An agency whose top officials believe that “f***ing conniving cheating savages” are breaking down the door is one that is fairly guaranteed to construe evidence in the most negative, anti-Russian way possible while ignoring anything to the contrary. So what if Carter Page had cooperated with the FBI?  What’s important is that he had had contact with Russian intelligence at all, which was enough to render him suspicious in the bureau’s eyes.  Ditto Konstantin Kilimnik.  So what if the Ukrainian authorities had declined to press charges?  The fact that they had even looked was damning enough.

The FBI thus made the classic methodological error of allowing its investigation to be contaminated by its preconceived beliefs.  Objectivity fell by the wayside.  The Times says that Christopher Steele, the ex-MI6 agent whose infamous, DNC and Clinton camp paid-for opposition research dossier turned “golden showers” into a household term, struck the FBI as “highly credible” because he had “helped agents unravel complicated cases” in the past.  Perhaps.  But the real reason is that he told agents what they wanted to hear, which is that the “Russian regime has been cultivating, supporting and assisting TRUMP for at least 5 years” with the “[a]im, endorsed by PUTIN, … [of] encourage[ing] splits and divisions in [the] western alliance” (which can be construed as a shrewd defensive move against a Western alliance massing troops on Russian borders.)

What else would one expect of people as “nasty” as these?  In fact, the Steele dossier should have caused alarm bells to go off.  How could Putin have possibly known five years before that Trump would be a viable presidential candidate?  Why would high-level Kremlin officials share inside information with an ex-intelligence official thousands of miles away?  Why would the dossier declare on one page that the Kremlin has offered Trump “various lucrative real estate development business deals” but then say on another that Trump’s efforts to drum up business had gone nowhere and that he therefore “had had to settle for the use of extensive sexual services there from local prostitutes rather than business success”?  Given that the dossier was little more than “oppo research” commissioned and funded by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign, why was it worthy of consideration at all?

The Rush to Believe

But all such questions disappeared amid the general rush to believe.  The Times is right that the FBI slow-walked the investigation until Election Day. This is because agents assumed that Trump would lose and that therefore there was no need to rush.  But when he didn’t, the mood turned to one of panic and fury.  

Without offering a shred of evidence, the FBI, CIA, NSA, and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper issued a formal assessment on Jan. 6, 2017, that “Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election … [in order] to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency.”  The “assessment” contains this disclaimer: “Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact. Assessments are based on collected information, which is often incomplete or fragmentary, as well as logic, argumentation, and precedents.”  

The New Yorker reports that an ex-aide to John McCain hoped to persuade

Clapper: Bogus ‘assessment’

the senator to use the Steele dossier to force Trump to resign even before taking office.  (The ex-aide denies that this was the case.)  

When FBI Director James Comey personally confronted Trump with news of the dossier two weeks prior to inauguration, the Times says he “feared making this conversation a ‘J. Edgar Hoover-type situation,’ with the FBI presenting embarrassing information “to lord over a president-elect.”  

But that is precisely what happened. When someone – most likely CIA Director John Brennan, now a commentator with NBC News – leaked word of the meeting and Buzzfeed published the dossier four days later, the corporate media went wild. Trump was gravely wounded, while Adam Schiff, Democratic point man on the House Intelligence Committee, would subsequently trumpet the Steele dossier as the unvarnished truth.  According to the Times account, Trump was unpersuaded by Comey’s assurances that he was there to help.  “Hours earlier,” the paper says, “…he debuted what would quickly become a favorite phrase: ‘This is a political witch hunt.’”

The Times clearly regards the idea as preposterous on its face.  But while Trump is wrong about many things, on this one subject he happens to be right.  The press, the intelligence community, and the Democrats have all gone off the deep end in search of a Russia connection that doesn’t exist.  They misled their readers, they made fools of themselves, and they committed a crime against journalism.  And now they’re trying to dodge the blame. 

Daniel Lazare is the author of The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy (Harcourt Brace, 1996) and other books about American politics. He has written for a wide variety of publications from The Nation to Le Monde Diplomatique, and his articles about the Middle East, terrorism, Eastern Europe, and other topics appear regularly on such websites as Jacobin and The American Conservative.  

 

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209 comments for “Making Excuses for Russiagate

  1. Zhu Bajie
    May 26, 2018 at 5:33 am

    Don’t worry, Russiagate nonsense will go out of style soon enough. Probably Yellow Peril China-hatred will take it’s place. We’ve already had the “Strategic Pivot Toward Asia”, meant to punish E. Asian people for being too prosperous, not obedient and submissive enough.

  2. Zhu Bajie
    May 26, 2018 at 4:29 am

    There is no need for Mr Putin or Mr Xi or any foreign leader to do anything to destroy faith in “The Democratic Process” in the USA. It has long since done the damage to itself. Why do you suppose half of us never vote? The more enlightened half, I’m sure.

  3. H Beazley
    May 24, 2018 at 11:26 pm

    Thank you, CN, for this article. I never believed Russiagate or that the Russians had any influence in the election, but I was drummed out of an Indivisible organization sponsored by the Democrats for saying so. I just thought it was more propaganda to continue the forever-war that the US propagates around the world to support the MIC. I am not a fan of Trump but there are many reasons to oppose his agenda than accusing him of talking with our “enemy.”
    I do not think that Russia is our enemy, since the Cold War came to an end with the dismantling of the Soviet Union in 1991. Against our promise to Gorbachev, the US has expanded NATO right up to the Russian borders and we now have missiles pointing at Putin’s country from all sides. In his interviews with Oliver Stone, Putin said that he has tried to trust the US but that “nothing ever changes” in spite of negotiations.
    Furthermore, I find it so hypocritical for the US to be criticizing any foreign country about interfering in our domestic affairs when the CIA overthrows any regime that may democratically elect leaders who want to keep the profits from their industries to benefit their own people. (Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, by William Blum)
    The last President to actively challenge the War Machine and the CIAs domination of our foreign policy and to advocate for peace with Russia was JFK, and we know how that turned out. (JFK and the Unspeakable by James Douglass)
    Where do we find political leaders today who will stand against the War Party?

  4. Ray Songtree
    May 24, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    A sincere question…. Is there a reason Trump doesn’t sue every journalist who lies about him?

  5. drspock
    May 22, 2018 at 3:13 pm

    One other point about the Steele dossier is that while the press claims that there was a Russian plot against Clinton, then why give the Clinton campaign damning allegations about Trump?

    The dossier can’t, on one hand, be conclusive evidence of collusion against Clinton, and on the other be accurate in its allegations against Trump. I’m no fan of Trump, but neither am I a fan of the deep state and the death of honest journalism. Both seem evident in the Times coverage.

    • andy--s
      May 22, 2018 at 6:30 pm

      rewind just a little….

      If the FBI felt the clinton private server was a monumental nothing burger, then why was it necessary to open a counterintellegence investigation upon Papadopoulos using a National security letter(july 31 2016), and NOT investigate or bother even questioning the person who claimed to have access to Clinton emails until 9 months later?

      News outlets inform us that the FBI ‘informant’ acted properly in their case, but fail to disclose that the FBI inherited a political investigation from fusion GPS, which only targeted Trump members whom they were interested in to find out whether Trump had them or knew someone who did. Chris Steele set up a honey pot for papadopoulos.

      ANy news media that ommits the inheritance aspect and/or the down-playing of the hillary’s emails prior to the possibility of Trump getting them is not telling the whole story.

      When did it become the duty of the FBI to protect Hillary from blackmail if her emails were of no ‘national security’ value, as demonstrated by the conclusion of the server investigation.

  6. Kenny
    May 22, 2018 at 11:19 am

    Harsh words for a people that this very article implies have no control over their government.

  7. Den Lille Abe
    May 21, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    American politics and media mostly resembles an asylum for rabid wild animals. Its even beyond psychopathy.
    I wonder if some of these beings DNA wise classify as human beings.

    • Zhu Bajie
      May 26, 2018 at 4:35 am

      I fear our leaders and their political idiocy are all too human.

  8. May 21, 2018 at 10:42 am

    If the US political media elite believe (as they claim they do) that meddling in the domestic politics of another country is wrong, illegal, an act of war, when will we see investigations into US meddling in the domestic politics of other countries. When will there be an investigation into the US conspiracy with the Ukrainian neo-Nazis to overthrow the elected government? Or the US support for jihadis in Syria? Or any of the many, many other cases of US meddling?

    • Arioch
      May 22, 2018 at 7:11 am

      US ruling elits are infected with exceptionalism=nazism.

      They genuinely believe they can run subhuman nations as they wish and that is their “white burden”.
      They equally sincerely believe that the said subhuman nations dare not resist their America 1% masters guidance, in particular they dare not influence those masters as a mean to have a say in what the masters impose upon them

      • eric
        May 22, 2018 at 7:00 pm

        Could we all write our congressman and bring our troops home unyil we can understand what’s been going on for more than the last twenty years .

        • Zhu Bajie
          May 26, 2018 at 4:39 am

          You could, but nothing would happen. Voodoo dolls would be as effective.

  9. May 21, 2018 at 1:46 am

    Great article and comments. I find some satisfaction in seeing the MSM “making excuses” as it at least represents a tacit admission of their guilt in misinforming the public on this subject. A weak one , as even tacit admissions go , but more than we’ve seen for past abuses – Libya , Ukraine , Syria , 9/11 , etc.

    Aside from that , just a short administrative note for Stranger Together : Please add me to your “de-friend” list. I assure you , I fully qualify. Thanks.

  10. Robert
    May 20, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    What a pathetic waste of time and money (20,000,000) trying to perpetuate the rissiagate lie. Even worse, the powers that be are guilty of the very election meddling of many sovereign nations.

    Russigate is nothing but a deep state distraction deflection strategy to provide cover for their own election meddling crimes.

    Rule of thumb: when you hear the DS media complex incessantly demonizing a foreign leader or country, it’s just an exposition of its own guilt.

  11. Dennis Rice
    May 20, 2018 at 6:31 pm

    Having read most of the comments above as to there being no election collusion, since Donald Jr. did meet with someone Russian claiming to have dirt on Hillary Clinton, whether there was none or not, why isn’t that collusion? It is insane to think “daddy” didn’t know. Did there actually have to be dirt, and the use of it, before some of you would admit to collusion?

    Jr. admits to the meeting for that purpose. Is that not collusion?

    As to the CIA, FBI, DOJ, they too ‘have’ their dirty little deeds. Yes.

    As to the mass media being mostly owned by Zionist, try researching on the internet the origins of Palestine and see just how many articles (written by?) that claim there never was a Palestine.

    • Skip Scott
      May 20, 2018 at 7:37 pm

      Why isn’t it collusion for Hillary to pay Steele for his Russian contacts to get dirt on Trump? Why isn’t it collusion for Bill to get $500,000 for a speech around the same time Hillary used her position as SoS for the Uranium One deal?

      • Joe Tedesky
        May 20, 2018 at 8:13 pm

        Hey Skip if you get an answer to your question, let me know, because I’ve been trying to figure that out for a long time. Joe

        • andy--s
          May 22, 2018 at 6:38 pm

          If the clinton server was a nothing burger, then why open a co-intel investigation into papadopoulos after some stranger said he had access to them.
          …and hide it from congressional oversight?

          If carter page was a co-operative witness in may of 2016 , helping John Carlin prosecute Russians, then why was he designated as a double agent the following october, and targeted with the most invasive surveillance available, yet never charged for anything? :)

          Because Admiral Rodgers busted them doing illegal NSA queries and they needed to legitimize their surveillance :)

          • Skip Scott
            May 23, 2018 at 11:28 am

            Spot-on andy–s!

      • Dennis Rice
        May 20, 2018 at 8:37 pm

        @Skip Scott: Your 7:37 question, Why isn’t it collusion for Hillary to pay Steele for his Russian contacts to get dirt on Trump?”

        The issue being investigated is what, if any, involvement Russia had in electing Trump – with Trump’s knowledge. Donald Jr. ‘did’ ‘meet’ with Russians. That was collusion whether Jr. got any dirt or not. Both sides were willing to pay for dirt on the other candidate. That’s (apparently) normal.

        Then, there is the issue of shady money by Russia to help elect Trump.

        • Merasmus
          May 21, 2018 at 12:36 am

          ‘Collusion’ would mean actively conspiring with a foreign government. To this day there is no evidence that the Russian lawyer was working for the Russian government (I have seen some media simply assert that she has Kremlin ‘connections’, whatever that’s supposed to mean). Also, why exactly would the Trump campaign have any need to meet with someone promising dirt if, as the Steele Dossier claims, Trump had been a Russian agent for 5 years? The Kremlin would surely have already been providing any possible dirt, and more besides.

          And is this really where we are now? Is this what we’ve come to? Russia is a country of 144 million people. Is simply being Russian, or talking to a Russian, now a crime? Because that’s what our current atmosphere seems to think. It’s shocking to see so many people, especially supposedly tolerant and multicultural liberals, ignore any distinction between a government and private citizens, and engage in what can only be called bigotry about ‘Russians’. Replace ‘Russian’ with ‘Jew’, or a slur like ‘Jap’, and how incredibly ugly the atmosphere has become in the last 18 months or so becomes obvious.

          That Trump is comically corrupt is a given. But the two central claims of Russiagate were that a. Trump is a Russian agent (or at least being blackmailed by Russia), and that b. Russia in some way hacked or interfered in the election to get Trump elected. There is, to this day, exactly zero evidence for either.

          No, his son meeting with a Russian citizen promising political dirt (even if dirt had been exchanged, which it wasn’t because she was lying and just wanted to get a meeting to lobby for some business interests), doesn’t constitute ‘collusion’, or interference by a foreign government.

          Nor does some St. Petersburg company spending a paltry amount of money to run a clickbait ad revenue scheme on Facebook. Nor do Macedonian teenagers running troll accounts (Macedonia isn’t even in Russia, and to this day I’ve never seen any evidence that any Russian, much less the Russian government, is behind their activities).

          The above two are especially damning, because they make it painfully obvious that Russiagate has exactly nothing. In the absence of any evidence that Russia hacked the election, proponents have been forced to venture far and wide to find something, anything, they can remotely pin on Russia. A few hundred thousand dollars spent on social media ads, including ads for Clinton and Sanders, many of which were seen by literally no one, and half of which didn’t run until AFTER the election? Are you freaking kidding me?

          As for ‘shady Russian money’, maybe Trump has taken some. It certainly wouldn’t surprise me that he’s done something like launder money for Russian oligarchs. Now prove to me took money from the Russian government. Because, again, those are two very different prospects. And if you think the Kremlin and Russian oligarchs are interchangeable or in lockstep with each other, you clearly don’t know much about recent Russian history.

          The Russiagate claim wasn’t that Trump is skeevy and corrupt. Of course he is. The claim is that he is corrupt in very specific ways, ways that constitute treason.

          • Vivian O'Blivion
            May 21, 2018 at 6:30 am

            Marasmus.
            Difficult to argue with any of your points.
            Mueller has filed charges against some of the staff in the St Petersburg operation, if you can connect Trump to this entity then cooperation becomes criminal collusion. As charges have already been filed it matters not whether the St Petersburg staff are private or state employees.
            The fact that America has laws prohibiting foreign interference in its elections is I guess understandable, but hypocritical and exceptionalist in the extreme given the cart blanch attitude America takes to interfering in the internal affairs of other nations.
            The Donald Jr meeting with Russians is just a rats nest of conflicting stupidities. If as many others state (and I don’t disagree) everyone tries to get dirt on the opposition and foreign sources of information are regularly tapped, then the secret is not to get caught. The Democrats have a plausible cut out (or two) in place between the Russian sources for the Steele dossier and themselves. As Steve Bannon has stated, meeting directly with the Russians was weapons grade stupid, but hey it’s Don Jr. and Jared Kushner we’re talking about. The really odd part is that the Russians would attend given that they must have known that their names would be logged by the Secret Service detail providing security for the Republican candidate. To me, this does not suggest an attempt to help Trump as “their man”, but rather to dirty by association a candidate that could become President. This interpretation would concur with analysis of the activities of the St Petersburg operation, which was to sow chaos into American social and political discourse.

          • will
            May 24, 2018 at 2:18 pm

            “To this day there is no evidence that the Russian lawyer was working for the Russian government (I have seen some media simply assert that she has Kremlin ‘connections’, whatever that’s supposed to mean).” actually about a month ago she admitted that she was an “informant” with links to the kremlin. I guess you missed that? https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/russian-lawyer-admits-kremlin-ties

        • Antipropo
          May 22, 2018 at 2:50 pm

          Keep shouting at the wind mate, nobody is listening

          • eric
            May 22, 2018 at 7:05 pm

            The United States now has so many laws that they can jail anyone for something . Just like Stalin used to have You point out the man and we can legally lock him up .. What a country

        • andy--s
          May 23, 2018 at 12:13 am

          Heres the problem with that.
          FUsion GPS arranged the meeting at trump tower. The Russians paid them to connect with the trump campaign in order to discuss the magnitsky act. They did not come to the meeting with any notion of DIRT. Trump Jr was told they had DIRT.

          THe problem the FBI has, is that they never investigated the Russian contacts to the extent that they investigated the americans being contacted. Dig? :) IF Misfud told papaD that he had access to Hillary’s emails, why did they not bother looking for him for 9 months and then let him walk free? Because he was a set up. PapaD got nailed for not being able to remember if the meeting was the tuesday prior or after joing the trump Campaign. It doesnt make sense unless the FBI was looking to spy

          • Skip Scott
            May 23, 2018 at 11:31 am

            andy–s-

            Again a very astute observation.

    • May 21, 2018 at 12:27 pm

      Let’s all assume for one second that all the fantasies of Russia gate are true. That every Russian that Trump and his associates/family ever had any contact with are directed by Putin himself. Who believes for one second that this collusion has had more of a negative impact 2016 election then the collusion that occured between Clinton and the DNC to subvert Sanders, Clinton and the media to 1st subvert Sanders and then Trump (side note, why doesn’t Clinton/MSM collusion against Trump balance with the Trump/Russian collusion for Trump?) How about the collusion between Wall Street and the DNC…to such an extent that Citi Group was exposed as having picked Obama’s cabinet. And then let’s remember that the Trump collusion with Kremlin has alot of guilt by association through 6 degrees of separation and the Clinton/DNC/MSM/Wall Street collusion was proven in black and white through the publication of Clinton/DNC/Podesta emails in Wikileaks.

      That this point gets ignored by the MSM, is proof to me that they have lost all objectivity.

      • andy--s
        May 23, 2018 at 12:16 am

        MOre so.. Homer… If Clintons personal server was a nothing burger not worthy of a single indictment, then why was it a national security issue when some stranger offered the emails to Papadopoulos? They didnt bother investigating the stranger. they investigated Papadopoulos!

        Nobody will touch that with a ten foot poll in the main stream media.

    • Zhu Bajie
      May 26, 2018 at 4:44 am

      Mrs Clinton lost all by herself. Scapegoating Russia or the Man of the Moon will not change that.

  12. Ray
    May 20, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    If they did not believe their accusations to be real, why would they be firing all these incompetent intelligence agents across the board? What’s that you say….

  13. Mild - Facetious
    May 20, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    “President Trump is his own wiretap”
    ()

    Incidental learning is Natural act. It comes in manifold shapes and forms / we learn, or grow in knowledge, many times, by accident. A word search might lead to an understanding vis-a-vis some entirely different subject matter or theme. It’s the “Light Bulb came on” sort-of-recognition of True Substance.

    In the below Op-Ed, the terms, “performative speech acts” and “constatives” are applied to The Narcissist Trump in specific terms that ought to be bell ringing lightning bolts of incidental learning to any and all that’r lost-in-the-fog of The Utterance ” THIS RUSS-ER THING IS A HOAX !!!

    (incidentally) – aspects of performative speech acts and constatives will also reveal why&how the dystopian Trump is His Own Wiretap.

    http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-heffernan-tv-types-20180518-story.html

    • backwardsevolution
      May 20, 2018 at 4:42 pm

      Mild – what a complete waste of an article.

      “The steady investigation of Trump’s campaign and administration for its ties to Russia has been going on for a year now. Mueller and his team keep their heads down. They don’t make noise or chaos.”

      Mueller isn’t making noise because there’s nothing to make noise about, and he knows it. It’s all been made up, and he knows this too. Besides, the B.S. put out by the MSM every night is providing all the noise necessary. But to say he isn’t causing chaos is ridiculous. Whenever you set out to impeach a sitting President, chaos is sure to follow. Of course, this will backfire on them once the Inspector General’s report reveals the attempted coup. When they’re in front of a Grand Jury, I expect you’re going to hear a lot of noise from them then.

      “They’d be terrible on “The Bachelor” or “Duck Dynasty.”

      But they’re great on CNN and MSNBC. Same diff.

      • Mild - Facetious
        May 20, 2018 at 5:03 pm

        Francis Boyle –
        “As I have argued in anti-CIA cases here in the United States, the CIA is an organized criminal conspiracy like the SS and the Gestapo. We argued that successfully back in 1987 at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. I was involved in large numbers of CIA protest cases back in the 1980’s because of what was going on in Central America, with 35,000 dead in Nicaragua, 75,000 dead in El Salvador, and perhaps a quarter of a million in Guatemala. Most of those killed were Mayan Indians, which meant outright genocide.”
        ………………………………..

        So, this is an act that i know from memory,

        It adds to the fact/s of ignorance tied to our

        – – – National Collectivistic Acquaintance ?-?

        (the cloak of supposed ‘collective innocence’?)

        How Many Millions (of lives have we taken)?

        in a World Wide Scope of Humans on Earth?

        Imagine-it-in-a-one-eyed-keliscope Rotating/

        Grinding it’s precept by precept Entrapment

        Haspel could be this character from Poe/

        (i must go thru the crumbling volumes in
        and among these cherished decade s of
        Family Homicide as Execution In Plaine Sight)

        ((0)) Those in Authority Deemed it Legal,
        AND SO THE “LAW” PASSED into laws
        — Allowing the “Ownership Society”
        Through the GW Bush presidency, to
        BROADCAST, into that Time, The War/
        The GWOT the NWO re-estabishment
        of Jerusalem as if a Bulls Eye Focus on
        The Middle East as if there were no
        PROMiNENT Centuries-Old-Revelation
        of Coming Events to Not Be Unprepared for

        are these words/warnings Constatives
        Or Performance Speech Acts of MLK??

        Who Was/Is More Worthy of assassination
        Them who start wars, destroying lives,

        Or them that Love War
        ( “all them that hate me love death” )
        [Proverbs Eight]

        As I have argued in anti-CIA cases here in the United States, the CIA is an organized criminal conspiracy like the SS and the Gestapo. We argued that successfully back in 1987 at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. I was involved in large numbers of CIA protest cases back in the 1980’s because of what was going on in Central America, with 35,000 dead in Nicaragua, 75,000 dead in El Salvador, and perhaps a quarter of a million in Guatemala. Most of those killed were Mayan Indians, which meant outright genocide.

        Francis Boyle –
        “As I have argued in anti-CIA cases here in the United States, the CIA is an organized criminal conspiracy like the SS and the Gestapo. We argued that successfully back in 1987 at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. I was involved in large numbers of CIA protest cases back in the 1980’s because of what was going on in Central America, with 35,000 dead in Nicaragua, 75,000 dead in El Salvador, and perhaps a quarter of a million in Guatemala. Most of those killed were Mayan Indians, which meant outright genocide.”
        ………………………………..

        So, this is an act that i know from memory,

        It adds to the fact/s of ignorance tied to our

        – – – National Collectivistic Acquaintance ?-?

        (the cloak of supposed ‘collective innocence’?)

        How Many Millions (of lives have we taken)?

        in a World Wide Scope of Humans on Earth?

        Imagine-it-in-a-one-eyed-keliscope Rotating/

        Grinding it’s precept by precept Entrapment

        Haspel could be this character from Poe/

        (i must go thru the crumbling volumes in
        and among these cherished decade s of
        Family Homicide as Execution In Plaine Sight)

        ((0)) Those in Authority Deemed it Legal,
        AND SO THE “LAW” PASSED into laws
        — Allowing the “Ownership Society”
        Through the GW Bush presidency, to
        BROADCAST, into that Time, The War/
        The GWOT the NWO re-estabishment
        of Jerusalem as if a Bulls Eye Focus on
        The Middle East as if there were no
        PROMiNENT Centuries-Old-Revelation
        of Coming Events to Not Be Unprepared for

        are these words/warnings Constatives
        Or Performance Speech Acts of MLK??

        Who Was/Is More Worthy of assassination
        Them who start wars, destroying lives,

        Or them that Love War
        ( “all them that hate me love death” )
        [Proverbs Eight]

        As I have argued in anti-CIA cases here in the United States, the CIA is an organized criminal conspiracy like the SS and the Gestapo. We argued that successfully back in 1987 at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. I was involved in large numbers of CIA protest cases back in the 1980’s because of what was going on in Central America, with 35,000 dead in Nicaragua, 75,000 dead in El Salvador, and perhaps a quarter of a million in Guatemala. Most of those killed were Mayan Indians, which meant outright genocide.

      • Mild - Facetious
        May 20, 2018 at 5:16 pm

        … without controversy, I’d take Boyle over Lazare – I000 to 1 – !!

        • backwardsevolution
          May 20, 2018 at 6:57 pm

          Mild – but isn’t Lazare saying the same thing?

          “The press, the intelligence community, and the Democrats have all gone off the deep end in search of a Russia connection that doesn’t exist. They misled their readers, they made fools of themselves, and they committed a crime against journalism. And now they’re trying to dodge the blame.”

          He includes the “intelligence community”, the CIA, FBI. These organizations, along with the Democrats and the press, set out to frame Trump in order to shut him down. Yes, it has been an “organized criminal conspiracy”.

  14. Abe
    May 20, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    “Washington has shifted from tacit acceptance to an openly complicit policy in Israeli annexation of Palestinian territory, an annexation which has been going on for seven decades since the inception of the Israeli state in 1948. The now de facto American approval of the annexation of all Jerusalem marked by the opening of the US embassy is the culmination of 70 years of Israeli expansion and occupation.

    “Meanwhile, Putin’s unveiling this week of the bridge linking southern Russian mainland to the Crimea Peninsula is a timely reminder of the brazen hypocrisy of American and European states.

    “Since Crimea voted in a referendum in March 2014 to rejoin its historic homeland of Russia, Washington and its allies have continually complained about Moscow’s alleged ‘annexation’ of the Black Sea peninsula.

    “Never mind that the Crimean people were prompted to hold their accession referendum following a bloody coup in Ukraine against an elected government by CIA-backed Neo-Nazis in February 2014. The people of Crimea voted in a peacefully constituted referendum to secede from Ukraine to join Russia, which it was historically a part of until 1954 when the Soviet Union arbitrarily assigned Crimea to the jurisdiction of the Soviet Republic of Ukraine.

    “For the past four years, Western governments, their corporate news media and think-tanks, as well as the US-led NATO military alliance, have mounted an intense anti-Russian campaign of economic sanctions, denigration and offensive posturing all on the back of dubious claims that Russia ‘annexed’ Crimea.

    “Relations between the US and the European Union towards Russia have descended into the freezer of a new and potentially catastrophic Cold War, supposedly motivated by the principle that Moscow had violated international law and changed borders by force. Russia’s alleged ‘annexation’ of Crimea is cited as a sign of Moscow threatening Europe with expansionist aggression. Putin has been vilified as a ‘new Hitler’ or ‘new Stalin’ depending on your historical illiteracy.

    “This Western distortion about the events that occurred in Ukraine during 2014, and subsequently, can be easily disputed with hard facts as a blatant falsification to conceal what was actually illegal interference by Washington and its European allies in the sovereign affairs of the Ukraine. In short, Western interference was about regime change; with the objective of destabilizing Moscow and projecting NATO force on Russia’s borders.

    :That is one way of challenging the Western narrative about Ukraine and Crimea. Through weighing up factual events, such as the CIA-backed false-flag sniper shootings of dozens of protesters in Kiev in February 2014. Or the ongoing Western-backed military offensive by Kiev’s Neo-Nazi forces against the breakaway republics of Donbas in Eastern Ukraine.

    “Another way is to ascertain the integrity of supposed Western legal principle about the general practice of annexation of territory.

    “From listening to the incessant public consternation expressed by Western governments and media about Russia’s alleged annexation of Crimea, one might think that the putative expropriation of territory is a most grievous violation of international law. Oh how chivalrous, one might think, are Washington and the Europeans in their defense of territorial sovereignty, judging by their seeming righteous repudiation of ‘annexation’.

    “However, this week’s grotesque opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem accompanied by the massacre of protesting unarmed Palestinians shows that Western professed concerns about ‘annexation’ are nothing but a diabolical sham. In seven decades of expanding illegal occupation of Palestinian territory by the Israelis, Washington and the Europeans have enacted no opposition.

    “But when it comes to Crimea, even though their case is not valid, the Western powers never stop hand-wringing about Russia’s ‘annexation’ as if it was the biggest crime in modern history.

    “Worse than hypocrisy, the US and European Union have been silently complicit in allowing Israel to continue annexing more and more Palestinian territory despite the stark violation of international law. Periodic massacres and whole populations held under brutal military siege in the Gaza Strip and West Bank have never registered any effective opposition from Western powers.”

    Gaza Massacre Exposes Western Hypocrisy on Russia’s ‘Annexation’ of Crimea
    By Finian Cunningham
    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/05/18/gaza-massacre-exposes-western-hypocrisy-russia-annexation-crimea.html

  15. Anon
    May 20, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    Why would the Russians want to hack our elections when we do such a good job ourselves?

    • Mild - Facetious
      May 20, 2018 at 2:08 pm

      A Trump – Russia Business Association ??? ??

  16. diptherio
    May 20, 2018 at 9:25 am

    Um….I think you neglected to paste in a quote here:

    The “assessment” contains this disclaimer: “

  17. Obviology
    May 20, 2018 at 9:04 am

    It’s ‘sinking’ because it needs to sink without a ripple. Awkward facts are making it clear that this is CIA standard procedure for unauthorized presidential aspirants. Stefan A. Halper did this to Carter, too. Halper married into the CIA family business of Bay of Pigs impresario Ray Kline, so we can see CIA candidate-scrubbing is carried out at the nomenklatura level.

    http://www.unz.com/isteve/thanks-for-explaining-this-nyt/

    • Joe Tedesky
      May 20, 2018 at 9:42 am

      Great comment Obviology. Your comment makes me think of how we should investigate the JFK Assassination…oh wait we did. Joe

      • andy--s
        May 23, 2018 at 12:21 am

        Not yet. First we follow stefan Halper to the iran contra bank that Olliie north used, to the time stefan halper used the CIA to spy on JImmy carter, and we just might get to PaPa Bush, which could lead us into dealy plaza…. careful what you wish for. Honestly.

  18. KiwiAntz
    May 20, 2018 at 7:23 am

    The really sad thing about all this Russiagate nonsense is that there will be no apologies given to either Putin or Russia, once its confirmed that no evidence has been found of Russian interference & then this story will quietly disappear beneath the waves, as it seems to be starting now, before being confined to the scrap heap of History? These scumbags who pushed this narrative get away scott free, without suffering any consequences from their falsehoods, having slandered & dragged Russia’s reputation through the mud, permanently & maliciously destroying it & ramping up global tensions in the process? All because the out of touch Democratic Party & a evil, shameful woman called Hillary Clinton lost the election? Also, no apologies will be given to the American people as well, who have, for 12 mths, been subjected too a 24hr, 24/7, constant, MSM & Political, psychological operation of brainwashing propaganda & gaslighting, to promote cognitive dissonance in these citizens so that they question their own sanity, values & belief systems? As many people have commented here, their real concerns such as inadequate healthcare, putting food on the table etc have been drowned out by all this Russiagate garbage! That’s the two real tragedies & outcome from these blantant, orchestrated lies by the Dems, to demonise Russia & apportion blame to others rather than looking at yourselves in the mirror?

    • Joe Tedesky
      May 20, 2018 at 9:37 am

      Great analogy KiwiAntz. You know a lot about how our American politics works, no doubt about it. You are right the real tragedy is to how no one will suffer any consequences for taking the American public down this road of international disruption, and on top of that for defaming a head of state of a foreign government. In fact if the Democrats get their way Mueller will receive a medal. This will be another moment in time where Washington will instill it’s vision onto all that’s good and right, as worldleaders and the American people will be ignored. There will be nothing to apologize for, as once again the DC Masters will set the narrative, and the world will roll it’s eyes and go back to work. Arrogance becomes a virtue, and believe you me Washington has enough of that disgusting defect and more to go around to conduct hundreds of investigation and think nothing of it. Joe

    • May 20, 2018 at 2:31 pm

      The Russian people don’t win from all the media bashing and don’t deserve this. the dance troup R.A.from Russia played “God bless America “UVA.many yrs ago. Beautiful!

    • mike k
      May 20, 2018 at 2:33 pm

      Good comment.

    • Dave P.
      May 20, 2018 at 4:56 pm

      KiwiAntz, Joe – Great posts.

      “The really sad thing about all this Russiagate nonsense is that there will be no apologies given to either Putin or Russia, once its confirmed that no evidence has been found of Russian interference & then this story will quietly disappear beneath the waves, as it seems to be starting now, before being confined to the scrap heap of History?”

      I don’t believe this Russia Gate nonsense or similar malign fabrications against Russia are going to end unless The West’s goal of complete domination of the world led by U.S. is abandoned, which – looking at what has been in play since 1991 – I don’t think will happen.

      “Also, no apologies will be given to the American people as well, who have, for 12 months, been subjected too a 24hr, 24/7, constant, MSM & Political, psychological operation of brainwashing propaganda & gaslighting, to promote cognitive dissonance in these citizens so that they question their own sanity, values & belief systems? ”

      This cognitive dissonance in a significant segment of population is going to be long lasting, and that is what I think its purpose was. The great damage done during the 1950’s by McCarthyism and nuclear scare drum beating was very visible when I arrived here during mid 1960’s. This time, with this constant 24/7 demonizing of Russia and Putin depicting them as evil enemies, with all these fabrications, lies, and other such garbage, for many years now, has done far more damage to the gullible American public than during 1950’s.

      I think this whole show going on in Washington is being orchestrated by the same Puppet-master, keeping the public in suspense deliberately. Both sides are in collusion. One day Trump makes a tweet like “We are going to withdraw from Syria”, and public like us gets all optimistic for peace to prevail in the World. Next day the bombs, missiles are falling over Syria, Yemen or in Afghanistan. Both sides are beating up Russia, from different angles. Trump has fallen in line. He had no choice.

      There was several articles some months ago about Central Asia. The link for one of these articles in Strategic Culture is below:

      https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/02/06/us-isis-nexus-afghanistan-becomes-hot-topic.html

      Joe, it seems like there is not goingto be peace in the World as some us always keep wishing for. But I still want to keep my optimism about a peaceful World.

      • Anna
        May 20, 2018 at 5:33 pm

        Don’t forget the Skripal affair that — surprise! — made bare a connection between Skripal and the infamous Mr. Christopher Steele (and the M16). The stupidity of the affair can be explained only in the context of the aggression against Syria, a destruction of which is one of the goals of Oded Yinon plan for Geater Israel.
        The Skripal affair in the UK and the White Helmets fraud in Douma have the same root. The puppet-masters exposed their life-size marionettes in the European Union countries when the marionettes have collectively risen to expel Russian diplomats. That was a geat Novichok story for the future historians!

      • KiwiAntz
        May 20, 2018 at 6:29 pm

        Great comments as usual Joe & Dave you may be right in that this Russiagate nonsense may not end exactly, but it’s certainly winding down as the article has noted? I’m of the belief that everything that has a beginning, has & a ending, which maybe naive, but even McCathyism had a beginning an a ending as a comparison? You can’t maintain BS & falsehoods indefinitely, its a proven fact! The Powers, who masterminded this operation know that this false narrative has a shelf life & that the Public can only stomach this BS, up to a point? The American people have reached that saturation point & hell, even the Fakestream media & their commentators have had a gutsful of this & going off script saying enough is enough & that too much time has been wasted on this crap? But then unapologetically, never acknowledging their complicity & role in publishing these falsehoods! One enormous positive can be taken out of all of this nonsense & that is, the American people are not as stupid as “THEY” (Deepstate & cronies) like to think they are & are extremely strong & resilient to the cognitive dissonance that have been subjected too? US Citizens & people of the World are waking up to what’s really going on, thanks to the brutish presidency of D.Trump & the thuggish activities of the MIC & Intelligence States?

        • May 20, 2018 at 6:50 pm

          Funny that. A few days ago you were claiming that all United States of A**holes citizens were brainwashed. Now you are changing your mind I see. Now we all are…”extremely strong & resilient to the cognitive dissonance that (we) have been subjected too”. Or maybe you just enjoy ranting on comment boards! LOL

          • Joe Tedesky
            May 20, 2018 at 7:07 pm

            Dennis take it easy KiwiAntz always puts a context to his narrative. I’ve read some of those last comments of his, and if anything KiwiAntz sounds like a disgruntled American. Like most of us on this board. So when KiwiAntz does say something good about the American citizens let’s not slap him down. You can say whatever you’d like Dennis it’s a free country (kind of), but don’t be to hard on KiwiAntz because he’s one of us. Joe

      • Joe Tedesky
        May 20, 2018 at 6:40 pm

        Dave among the great comments made here today I suggest you scroll down and read CitizenOne, for CitizenOne captured the essence of our times fairly well, no change that to extremely well.

        I’m a tad burned out, and throughly up to here, with this RussiaGate story. Although if we didn’t have Russian interference to talk about, then who would we Americans blame for our declining empire? This is a result of a Washington where no one is held accountable, and where talking points are only meant to be a distraction away from what we should be discussing at length.

        This obsession with Russia is self made, and is aimed at not only hurting Russia, or better said Putin, as its aim is to take our eyes off of who really is at fault for all of our debt, and wars of choice. This is how you cover up a lie, by using another lie in it’s place. Like my mother always warned me Dave, ‘one lie only leads to another lie until the truth jumps up and bites you in the ass’. In fact my mother distrusted almost all politicians.

        So Dave while we pull our hair out of our heads, while hearing the MSM everyday breakdown into excruciating blabber another Presidential Tweet, or we hear words of encouragement (sarcasm here) of how Mueller is still valiantly pushing ahead with the Investigation, we hear very little about what else is going on with in regard to our planet. If peace did breakout, why would we even know it Dave?

        Even sadder Dave are the American citizens who don’t know, or research, the truth. This is the most dangerous element of all to consider, and that is an uninformed public votes in the person to run the most powerful nation on this once proud green earth with the biggest ever military apparatus the world has ever seen. Talk about the patients taking over the asylum. Seriously who in America isn’t on meds, and getting their news from our corrupted MSM?

        The MSM should be proud of themselves, for they have totally buffaloed the American public into oblivion.

        Okay Dave. Joe

        • May 20, 2018 at 8:56 pm

          Joe, there is no “reply’ button on your comment of 7.07pm. I guess why I don’t take KiwiAntz comments seriously is that he just has a grab bag of cliches and generalizations that he strings together and thrashes out on his keyboard ad nausea. Mostly naive. Maybe he is disgruntled, and maybe he is an American. But I doubt it. More likely he sits in his mothers basement in a far away Isle reading rubbish on the internet. His knowledge of Americans surely doesn’t come from living and working in American communities, and interacting with everyday Americans. I am a Kiwi who has lived in Seattle for 45-years. My job has taken me to Alaska, California, Florida, Hawaii and The Bahamas. I have got to kinda’ understand “America” and Americans” from first hand experience. Until you have done that your knowledge of the American psyche is superficial and academic. As I judge KiwiAntz’s to be.
          He also reminds me of the old saying..”Everybody knows how to run the ship but the Captain.” I can tell you you from hard experience, once you get to be the Captain, things things turn out to be a whole lot more complex and one learns humility real fast.

          • Joe Tedesky
            May 21, 2018 at 10:37 am

            I should have kept my mouth shut. I mean you have the right to criticize, but I happen to like reading KiwiAntz’s comments. Yes, he’s hard on us Americans, but I do believe we Americans need to hear the stuff KiwiAntz throws around. I’m going to stay out of this Dennis. Joe

        • Dave P.
          May 21, 2018 at 12:17 am

          Joe, the comments by Citizen One has surely captured the essence of our times in his comments , as you said. Thanks for pointing it out. There are quite a few persons who write very informed comments indeed on this site and I look forward to reading it.

          • Joe Tedesky
            May 21, 2018 at 10:37 am

            I thought you might like CitizenOne’s comment, and glad you did Dave. Joe

    • kntlt
      May 20, 2018 at 6:09 pm

      There are other Russians besides Putin and those who live in Russia.
      The Russians did it.

  19. voza0db
    May 20, 2018 at 6:47 am

    @ David May 19, 2018 at 5:12 pm

    Reading your comment it’s clear that it does work!

  20. CitizenOne
    May 20, 2018 at 1:32 am

    The diversion of Russia Gate is a continuation of former diversions such as the Tea Party which was invented by the banksters to turn public anger over the big banking collapse and the resulting recession into a movement to gain more deregulation for tax breaks for the wealthy.

    In the case of the fabricated Russia Gate narrative the results of the Trump election and widespread public distrust of the election process was turned into a new cold war with Russia which benefited major defense contractors and resulted in sanctions against Russia and huge windfalls for the Military Industrial Complex as the US ponied up to fund our national defense industry.

    We should by now be educated that major failures of our economy and political processes precipitated by government deregulation or corrupted elections will be used by the main stream media to create fictional enemies of our nation to turn public anger into a public movement to blame a target of opportunity which will benefit the wealth and power structures which is based on fiction and contrived plots to benefit the very powerful and wealthy organizations such as big banks and the military.

    Trump won because the media cleaned up big time by playing the Super PACs for suckers just as deregulation of the big banks enabled them to clean up by merging savings banks with investment banks which moved all the savings banks deposits into risky investments.

    There is a clear and present danger born out and evidenced by former economic collapses that the media and the big financial institutions will create public relations campaigns based on the mantra of deregulation to swindle Americans even further. They have a proven ability to use their power to persuade Americans that some other reason is responsible for the latest swindle.

    The root cause of this is that they (the MSM) own the microphone. They have the ability to lie without rebuttal because they own that single megaphone to tell lies. They have the ability to create fictions and fantasies which go unchallenged because they own the megaphone.

    From our history: The creation of the Tea Party was a watershed moment where the big banks turned their bailout by the US government into a political movement which was manufactured by the press as a new and never heard about new political party (The Tea Party) into a political movement aimed to grant the big banks and wealthy Americans tax breaks which resulted in a 3.5 trillion bailout we are now on the hook for.

    How many media/news organizations signed onto the Tea Party after the implosion of the banking industry and beat the drums to grant tax breaks for billionaires? All of them.

    How many of the media corporations beat the drums to blame Russia for the election results which resulted in sanctions against Russia and a new Cold War with Russia which resulted in windfall profits for the defense industry? All of them.

    How many news corporations supported the lies about WMDs and Iraq’s secret stockpiles of Uranium and chemical weapons? The NY Times and the Washington Post were among the most fervent supporters of those lies and they have never acknowledged their errors.

    The facts are clear in all of these major failures of our free press to get it right. In every case the media have conspired to fool most of the people into believing the lies of the government and the financial sectors published by main stream press as facts which are giant falsehoods.

    The result of this collaboration between the press and the wealth in our nation has been to deceive us and to lead us down paths that twist our understanding to a new understanding that benefits the wealthy in times of prosperity and in times of crisis.

    So it is with the Trump administration and the media’s aim to turn our attention away from the real reasons our election system is corrupted by dark money by creating fake facts to convince us that Russia is a war monger which stole the election and must be countered by more massive military spending and a renewal of the old Cold War.

    The NY Times got it wrong in Iraq. They got it wrong in Ukraine. They got it wrong in the last election. They got it wrong on savings and loan deregulation under Reagan. They got it wrong on banking deregulation under Clinton. They got it wrong with Russia Gate. They have gotten it wrong so many times that the statement “they got it wrong” is a testament of their ability to fool us all.

    • backwardsevolution
      May 20, 2018 at 5:16 pm

      CitizenOne – “‘They got it wrong’ is a testament of their ability to fool us.”

      Yes, I continually read that the government was “in error”, they “didn’t understand”, or “their models were incorrect”. Yeah, sure, whatever you say. They can’t come out and inform us that they lied from the get-go because that would prove intent to deceive, so they cover up their tracks by saying they made an “error” whenever things fall apart, as they knew they would.

      It’s all just one big “Fleece the Sheep” game, except they can’t let the sheep know they’re being fleeced. Errors and omissions are all part of the game, and the media act to call the sheep to the starting line.

    • Dave P.
      May 20, 2018 at 11:49 pm

      Citizen One – Excellent post. Very informed comments indeed.

    • Skip Scott
      May 21, 2018 at 7:15 am

      Citizen One-

      Great post. It reminded me of a joke I saw the other day:

      “A unionized public employee, a member of the Tea Party, and a CEO are sitting at a table. In the middle of the table there is a plate with a dozen cookies on it. The CEO reaches across and takes 11 cookies, looks at the Tea Partier and says,”look out for that union guy, he wants a piece of your cookie.”

  21. munchma quchi
    May 19, 2018 at 11:51 pm

    re: “Without offering a shred of evidence, the FBI, CIA, NSA, and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper issued a formal assessment on Jan. 6, 2017, that “Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election … [in order] to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency.” The “assessment” contains this disclaimer: “ [You (the author) did not include a disclaimer. please remedy this.]

    • F. G. Sanford
      May 20, 2018 at 9:39 am

      Ms. Quchi,
      I think the disclaimer said that intelligence assessments are based on sources, methods and interpretations and rely on raw data. It’s raw, so it has to be properly marinated until it’s fit for consumption. Addenda to the disclaimer indicate that the Intelligence Community will not accept outrageous conspiracy theories, noting specifically that, “They hate us for our freedom, and those weapons of mass destruction must be here somewhere.” It’s the standard “release from liability” which accompanies all official narratives. Kinda like eating tuna fish: It’s pretty good once you get past the smell.

    • Chet Roman
      May 20, 2018 at 11:35 am

      Page 13 of the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) of Jan. 6, 2017
      explains: “High confidence … does not imply that the assessment is a fact or a certainty; such judgments might be wrong. … Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that show something to be a fact. Assessments are based on collected information, which is often incomplete or fragmentary, as well as logic, argumentation, and precedents.”

  22. robert e williamson jr
    May 19, 2018 at 7:35 pm

    Dan I really can not disagree with much you have to say here. Except there are a few things about this whole affair that bug the hell out of me. For instance the fact that the village idiot from new york spent over $400 million in cash the last 9 years before he ran for president.

    Your effort here sounds quite a lot like whining about having nothing to report. Calm down these things take time. If Russia isn’t to blame fine but Mueller is not talking and seems to be conducting himself very professionally.

    Dan if Robert Blum had had his way the CIA would have been privately funded by secret donations. CIA got caught laundering money in the middle to late 60″s and as always CIA makes investigations go away. A recount of the episode can be found in Jane Mayers book Dark Money. The CIA wrote the book on laundering money. Then the ICIJ and the Paradise Papers expose how large the off shore industry is.

    Trump like doing business with Russians during a time when Russian oligarchs were hiding the money they pulled from the Soviet coffers. I think it has gotten him in trouble.

    Also interesting is the accounts of what has happen with the Inslaw / PROMIS case and Bill Hamilton. Was this software and early version of what CIA and NSA use to monitor the world now?

    One last thing in your last paragraph here you claim the Dimocraps have gone off the deep end with the Russian Connection thing. Dan the dimocraps went off the deep end with their undying allegiance to Israel. And they do little damned else.

    When this is finished if CIA allows the release of the Dogdamned files maybe we will learn what happened. Chill my brotha !

    • kntlt
      May 20, 2018 at 6:14 pm

      Listen to this man.

  23. drC
    May 19, 2018 at 7:27 pm

    “The press, the intelligence community, and the Democrats” have committed FAR MORE than a mere “crime against journalism”. For kryssakes, this isn’t a debating society at Yale! They have provoked international tensions, suspicions and distrust that have pushed the world far closer to the brink of a third world war, damaging national economies across the globe & negatively impacting the lives of millions.

  24. jose
    May 19, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    I was convinced that Russiagate was a complete fabrication after reading the following penned by Caitling Johnstone:”… this administration has already killed Russians in Syria, greatly escalated nuclear tensions with Russia, allowed the sale of arms to Ukraine, established a permanent military presence in Syria with the goal of effecting regime change, forced RT and Sputnik to register as foreign agents, expanded NATO with the addition of Montenegro, assigned Russia hawk Kurt Volker as special representative to Ukraine, shut down a Russian consulate in San Francisco and expelled Russian diplomats…” Since the US national media have been aware of the lack of solid evidence against Russia allege meddling case, they now want to pretend it has not been their fault. Their sheer dishonesty underscores their deviant reporting.

  25. ranney
    May 19, 2018 at 5:54 pm

    Joe, Abe, Andrew, Sam, Mike,
    You are all correct in blaming the MSM for ignoring Israel in all this and whitewashing the main cause of our problems in the middle east. I agree that Russia has not been interfering in our politics any more than virtually all the other countries in the world who have embassys here and things they want to “lobby” for. I believe spying is universal and the US does it more than most, but everyone does it including Russia (and UK, France Germany Israel, Ukraine and on and on for everyone on the map).
    What I find increasingly strange is the fact that the MSM and just about everyone else is ignoring the fact that Trump did indeed have business with Russia. He was trying to get permission and financial backing for a Trump tower to be built in Moscow. and he had been trying for a while before he even thought of running for president. THAT is what his now indicted lawyer was doing initially, along with others in Trump’s employ. That is why there is indeed evidence of contact with Russians during the pre- campaign and during the campaign as well. Trump didn’t want to lose this lucrative deal which, also involves money laundering and other illegal, and/or shady dealings.
    I can’t figure out why Muller hasn’t subpoenaed or somehow got hold of Trump’s tax returns. I’m pretty sure he’d find all the crimes we need to impeach him. Trump is a thug and a money laundering crook, not a machievelian plotter. His total ignorance of world politics is dangerously leading us to armagedden. And I can’t help but wonder why Muller is slow walking this whole investigation. I’m pretty sure he can see what I can see. Trump is a crooked, money launderer, ultra con man with his Trump towers and other ploys, and too dumb and ignorant of history and science to understand how dangerous the game he plays is to the world when he has the power of the presidency. But Muller knows that! So what else is really going on that explains why he has moved at snails pace to stop the damage?
    Does anyone have a good guess at that? I’d really like to read it.

    • Realist
      May 20, 2018 at 2:34 am

      The entrenched insiders are not worried because they have Trump thoroughly constrained as to what policy he can actually order into effect. Probably even his tweets are filtered by handlers. Ask Kerry and Obama about how the military ignored their directives at will. The presidency is just window dressing and not the actual center of power. Neither is the Congress nor the Court. How else to explain the dramatic before- and after-election rhetoric of every president in recent history and the constancy of policy, especially foreign policy?

      • Skip Scott
        May 20, 2018 at 7:56 am

        Realist-

        Yes, in this respect the Mueller investigation has done it’s job perfectly. They just yank on Trump’s leash whenever necessary. What will be interesting is how they manage to quash the referral for prosecution of Deep State players by I.G. Horowitz. Nunes has been a rogue player as well, and will need to be corralled. We hear nothings but “crickets” from the MSM regarding this with the exception of Fox, which is telling; but it has me wondering how and why Fox has gotten away with it.

    • Skip Scott
      May 20, 2018 at 7:44 am

      ranney-

      I think Mueller has “slow walked” this thing because he has to be careful of stepping on the wrong toes. As Abe has pointed out, a lot of RussiaGate is actually IsraelGate. His questionable business dealings were with duel Russian/Israeli citizens. My guess is Mueller will have to settle for Trump’s paying hush money to a porn star.

    • michael
      May 20, 2018 at 10:05 am

      While others in this thread have noted that the “Russian Investigation” is mostly for keeping Trump in line with the the neolib/ neocon agenda for WWIII, the pure partisanship of the Investigation (which would be more interesting and effective if not solely focused on Trump but rather any Americans interacting with Russia) suggests that Mueller’s slow walking is to keep this issue out in front of the Public until the Midterm Elections. The big question is whether the tone-deaf MSM will trash and demean Trump to the point that there is backlash, much as put him in office in the first place.

      • ranney
        May 20, 2018 at 5:40 pm

        Skip and Michael,
        Thanks for your responses. Maybe you’re right. Maybe Muller doesn’t want to step on Israeli toes, but why not? And maybe the idea is to keep people worked up so they’ll vote against Republicans in the 2018 elections, but I find it hard to think that Muller is that partisan for Democrats.
        I wonder if the prevailing plan of the “dark state” is to keep Trump in, but with no power, since a Pence presidency could be worse than Trump – though at this point it’s hard to see how. Whatever the plan and whatever we think we see going on is probably not what is actually happening. Hopefully we’ll see a glimmer of the truth in six months.

        • Skip Scott
          May 21, 2018 at 7:22 am

          ranney-

          I would think it is quite obvious why Mueller doesn’t want to step on Israel’s toes. They own us! Look at the power of people like Bill Browder, and what they are capable of accomplishing through Congress. I was able to view Nekrasov’s film “The Magnitsky Act, Behind the Scenes”, and it was a big eye opener. If you’re interested let me know. It takes a while to pursue, but is well worth the effort. AIPAC is a HUGE player as well.

    • Anna
      May 20, 2018 at 5:41 pm

      Do Uranium One and the $500.000 fee for Bill’s blabbering to Russians concern you?
      You write, fervently, “Trump is a thug and a money laundering crook.” What about Clintons the thugs (Lybia? Croatia? Kosovo? Iraq?) and their Clinton-Foundation money machine tuned to do the US for sale? What about the 33.000 “lost” emails? What about the treasonous Awan affair under the tutelage of Clinton?

  26. Drew Hunkins
    May 19, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    I’m so proud of Consortiumnews and 95% of the fine folks who post on this website. We were correct all along, the establishment that ridiculed, mocked or ignored us was wrong, period. We saw through the charade. Of course we all fully realize we’ll never get a mea culpa.

    I’m proud that during the initial hysteria way back in November/Dec. of 2016 the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel newspaper published the following letter of mine:

    Dear editor: The absurd propaganda over Russia purportedly “hacking the election” is now reaching a fevered pitch. It’s this type of group think that ultimately hardens into orthodoxy after it’s repeated ad nauseam by all the “smart and most important people” in Washington and the mass media.

    This hysteria we’re witnessing is genuinely disconcerting. Like him or not, Donald Trump’s recent riposte that ‘these are the same hucksters who assured you that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction’ was right on target. I’m certainly no fan of Trump, but right here he’s spot-on.

    On one side is the small group of critical thinking citizens who haven’t been brainwashed along with Trump and members of his administration and Julian Assange; while on the other side sits the entire mainstream press along with the Marco Rubio types, Mitch McConnell, Barack Obama, the Democratic National Committee, Rachel Maddow, and much of the CIA who are peddling this outlandish notion that the Kremlin hacked the election.

    What we’re witnessing is a squalid demonstration of where intelligent critical thinking is among the public and Washington intelligentsia. That so many otherwise peace-loving and intelligent people are being manipulated on this issue has the potential to spiral out of control.

    Drew Hunkins
    Madison, WI

    Then recently in Feb 2018 I had the following letter published in the Madison Capital Times and Wisconsin State Journal newspapers:

    Dear Editor: Since we all know — at least the few of us who haven’t drunk the Kool-Aid and are astute observers of the politico-economic scene — that there’s absolutely no credible evidence whatsoever pointing to the Kremlin hacking or interfering in the 2016 presidential election to favor Trump, this indicates there must be a faction of our elites that’s wholly intent on propagating all this group think about Russia-gate.

    I believe I’ve identified two of the key elements of our ruling class that are committed to this alarming Russophobic narrative:

    1) The biggest purveyors and prevaricators are the establishment DNC along with Rachel Maddow, Masha Gessen (the nauseating intellectual muscle behind much of this) and the DNC sycophants at MSNBC, CNN, NY Times, NPR and WaPo. They simply cannot accept that they ran a repellent Wall Street warmongering candidate who lost to the deplorable Trump, of all people. Ergo, they must discredit and delegitimize the Trump election and presidency at all costs.

    2) The careerist Washington militarists (both public and private entities) who make their promotions and budgets off the vilification of Putin and Moscow. These dangerous sociopaths were genuinely terrified when Trump advocated a rapprochement of sorts with Russia. One of the very, very few issues Trump actually got right.

    That these two groups are coalescing on this fraudulent Russiagate baloney is putting the world on the brink of nuclear war. How long will Moscow continue to be a stoic punching bag in the face of all the Western disinformation and provocations?

    Drew Hunkins
    Madison

    Very gratifying to be on the record. And I’m so happy that so many fellow CN enthusiasts were also on the record a long time ago.

    Let’s keep up the good fight.

    • backwardsevolution
      May 19, 2018 at 8:12 pm

      Drew Hunkins – good letters, Drew, and kudos to the newspapers who printed them.

      • Realist
        May 20, 2018 at 2:54 am

        That the newspapers actually printed them is the most remarkable thing. Most of us expressing Drew’s point of view can’t even get a post up on “mainstream” newspaper forums, since everything is now instantaneously moderated.

        Yes, Wisconsin is a “liberal” blue state, but it also displays uncommon deviance from the herd when pressed by fantastical narratives, hence the abandonment of Clinton’s candidacy. If the cheeseheads simply did as expected, Madam President would be leading the war effort right now and domestic turmoil might even be greater than it is. What a special prosecutor would be subpoenaing now would, in fact, be the emails of John Podesta and the DNC. The corruption of ALL the major players in American politics is so blatant it is just out there in plain sight.

        • Al Pinto
          May 20, 2018 at 8:44 am

          @Realist…

          “That the newspapers actually printed them is the most remarkable thing. Most of us expressing Drew’s point of view can’t even get a post up on “mainstream” newspaper forums, since everything is now instantaneously moderated.”

          While that’s generally true…

          h**p://time.com/magazine/

          In my view, the article pretty much summarizes why HRC lost the election; nor, it’s not the Russians:

          “The frustrated, disillusioned Americans who voted for President Trump committed the ultimate act of rejecting the meritocrats – epitomized by the hardworking, always prepared, Yale Law – educated Hillary Clinton – in favor of an inexperienced, never-prepared, shoot-from-the-hip heir to a real estate fortune whose businesses had declared bankruptcy six times. He would “drain the swamp” in Washington, he promised. He would take the coal industry back to the greatness it had enjoyed 80 years before. He would rebuild the cities, block immigrants with a great wall, provide health care for all and make the country’s infrastructure the envy of the world, while cutting everyone’s taxes. Forty-six percent of those who voted figured that things were so bad, they might as well let him try.”

    • Bob Van Noy
      May 20, 2018 at 10:13 am

      Drew, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge your fundamental sanity throughout this mess. The great and underlying value of this site is truthful reporting and an ongoing string of accurate commentary which reaches out across this vast country like a safety net indicating that real clarity, while rare, is still possible. It even leads to hope…

  27. backwardsevolution
    May 19, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    Daniel Lazare – good article.

    “The FBI thus made the classic methodological error of allowing its investigation to be contaminated by its preconceived beliefs. Objectivity fell by the wayside.”

    This part I cannot agree with, though. I do not think for one second that the FBI made an “error”. The whole lot of them conspired to get Hillary Clinton exonerated of her email crimes, and then get her elected. They set out purposely and with intent to infiltrate Trump’s campaign, spy on him, leak information and disparage him as much as humanely possible. Once he did get elected, they set out to impeach him any way they could. The media has been on side.

    This was all done with “intent”. They knew from the get-go that there was no Russian collusion. They made it up. Hillary Clinton’s campaign paid for the phony Steele dossier, although this information was not made apparent to the FISA Court.

    This has all been an attempted coup to unseat the President of the United States. Criminal referrals have been made by Horowitz (the Inspector General). Heads are going to roll.

    To paraphrase what Hillary said during the campaign: “If they find out what we’ve done, we’ll all hang.”

    • Realist
      May 20, 2018 at 2:57 am

      I agree.

    • Joe Tedesky
      May 20, 2018 at 9:46 am

      And we should not lose sight of what you just wrote here backwardsevolution. Good one. Joe

    • andy--s
      May 23, 2018 at 12:29 am

      Further more… Conservatives and a leftie, (me) are convinced that the bad actors got busted using the NSA database in April 2016(look up Admiral Rodgers) and they needed a cover to keep spying on Trump and retro activly legitimize the NSA query abuse.

      Read 70 page summary of FISA abust from judge Collier. .

  28. backwardsevolution
    May 19, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    Tucker Carlson’s three-minute interview with Don Di Genova, former U.S. attorney:

    “We know that Hillary Clinton was illegally exonerated. We knew that a year ago. We know that there was a substantial effort to frame the current President of the United States with crimes by infiltrating his campaign and then his administration with spies that the FBI had set upon them. We have learned that the crimes were committed by the FBI, senior members of the Department of Justice, John Brennan, Mr. Clapper, Mr. Comey and others associated with the Democratic Party, and that Donald Trump and his associates committed no crimes. […]

    As of today, I understand that a referral for criminal prosecution has been made by Mr. Horowitz [Inspector General] to Mr. Huber, who is investigating the FISA leaks, the unmasking, the leaks of the unmasking, and everything we described tonight. Criminal referrals have already been made.

    l suggest that Mr. Brennan, who loves to make comment about the process, get himself a good lawyer, not a good writer. […]

    Yes, NBC News’ consultant, the former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, the most partisan hack leader of the CIA in history, needs a very, very good lawyer. […] Yes, a criminal lawyer. He doesn’t need a ‘slip and fall’ lawyer, although he’s going to slip and fall. He’s going to be in front of a Grand Jury shortly.”

  29. May 19, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    Keep in mind this Halper guy was an old Bush operative. And Bush began the Dossier thing.

    • Russell Harris
      May 19, 2018 at 3:35 pm

      It wasn’t Bush who started it, it was Matthew Continetti of the Free Beacon who started it but quickly bailed…

      The Bush mention you made I think is quite on the target in one, the Bushes were/are anti-Trumpers RINOs to their marrow…

    • chet roman
      May 19, 2018 at 4:21 pm

      Not even close. Fusion GPS was initially hired by the Washington Free Beacon (a neocon rag funded by billionaire Paul Singer) to do some background investigation on all Republican presidential candidates. After Trump won the nomination the Beacon ended its business ties to Fusion GPS and then, and only then, did the DNC/Hillary Campaign begin their funding of Fusion GPS through a “cut out” law firm (Perkins Coie) to hide their activities. Christopher Steele was hired by Fusion GPS only after the DNC/Hillary got involved, it had nothing to do with Bush or the Republican party.

      It’s quite likely that Christopher Steele, a former MI6 spy, knew Stepan Halper (CIA and FBI spy who began his spying on Trump campaign long before the FBI “officially” started spying) who is a friend of the head of MI6, Richard Dearlove and may have used him to support the dossier. Also, Christopher Steele’s company Orbis also hired another MI6 agent by the name of Pablo Miller who lives in Salisbury and who is the MI6 agent that originally recruited MI6 spy Sergei Skripal. Miller deleted his ties to Orbis on his Linkedin account but reporters found archival evidence. All this seems to indicate that Skripal may have been a source of the misinformation in the dossier and poisoned by MI6/CIA spooks to shift more blame on the Russians.

      • andy--s
        May 23, 2018 at 12:34 am

        The Zenith occures when Fusion GPS hires Chris Steel, april 2016, same time DNC money gets to them. Fusion GPS immediatly hire Nellie Orh. Nelli’es husband Bruce then fed NSA query data to Fusion GPS and steel assembled it.

      • andy--s
        May 23, 2018 at 12:34 am

        you got it! :)

  30. May 19, 2018 at 1:51 pm

    Meanwhile “dual-citizen” John “freaking” Bolton our U.S. National Security Advisor is lobbying for policies toward Iran that miraculously somehow manage to mirror those of Israel’s psychopath-in-chief Netanyahu – what a “freaking” coincidence, but, we’re all supposed to keep repeating the official deep state mantra: “Russia, Russia, Russia, Putin, oh my!” – like good little zombies.

  31. Abe
    May 19, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    Russia-gate distractions are perpetuated to divert attention from the reality of Israel’s interference in American electoral politics and U.S. foreign policy.

    Of urgent concern is Trump’s decision the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement on the nuclear program of Iran, which provokes a situation of extreme danger not only for the Middle East.

    To understand the implications of such decision, taken under pressure by Israel that describes the agreement as “the surrender of the West to the axis of evil led by Iran”, we must start from a precise fact: Israel has the Bomb, not Iran.

    In “The Art of War” series for independent Pandora TV, political scientist Manlio Dinucci examines the threat posed by the Israeli nuclear arsenal

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=549&v=Rh6OBut_bHk

    For over fifty years, Israel has been producing nuclear weapons at the Dimona plant, built with the help mainly of France and the United States. It is not subject to inspections because Israel, the only nuclear power in the Middle East, does not adhere to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which Iran signed fifty years ago.

    Dinucci notes that Israeli nuclear forces are integrated into the NATO electronic system, within the framework of the “Individual Cooperation Program” with Israel, a country which, although not a member of the Alliance, has a permanent mission to NATO headquarters in Brussels.

    According to the plan tested in the US-Israel Juniper Cobra 2018 exercise, US and NATO forces would come from Europe (especially from the bases in Italy) to support Israel in a war against Iran.

    • May 19, 2018 at 1:29 pm

      Dan, excellent piece. thanks ray mcgovern

  32. Dennis Rice
    May 19, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    I agree with Strngr – Tgthr, “this article is bogus”, but for different reasons than he has listed.
    There is no way that the “friends” of Trump, and some members of his own family can be so shady, but Trump himself is clean as a whistle, whether its with business relations or politics. And why shouldn’t the Russians exploit our elections? Our own CIA does it in other countries all the time.

    Are we to suppose that the only thing Trump has been concerned about is public release of the so-called “Pee tapes?” Or is there more to this Russian election support than he wants the public to know?

    • Strngr - Tgthr
      May 19, 2018 at 8:41 pm

      Thanks Dennis, These people are all “deniers”. I just throw people out of the house or de-friend them when they start making excuses that are election wasn’t hacked or that we should be friends with the Russians or that are Democracy isn’t under dire threat. It is a constant fight and you never know who they are until they reveal themselves to you, who the enemy is you don’t know. I just can’t wait until Mueller starts throwing people in jail and the impeachment starts. Won’t be soon enough!

    • Realist
      May 20, 2018 at 3:20 am

      Trump was a total political naif before the campaign with no record or experience in cheating at that game, let alone with the Russians (who are also pikers in comparison to American meddlers)! “Russiagate” was clearly a confabulation by Hillary herself, first to stop bleeding at the polls, later to explain away her loss at the ballot box.

      If your mechanism for nailing his hide to the wall is to prove that he has been a master criminal in money laundering, extortion, fraud, tax evasion and other proscribed activities in the business world, why, for the love of god, did you anti-Trumpsters not begin investigations on such things years ago? Mueller easily caught Manafort in his shady dealings with the Ukrainians, and found no connection to Trump. And why, in spite of your furious activity after the election, do your wells keep coming up dry? It’s because your whole premise, based on Hillary’s desperate accusations, is strictly ad hoc, without a real history or logical rationale.

  33. Abe
    May 19, 2018 at 12:06 pm

    Trump received the “Liberty Award” for his contributions to US-Israel relations at a 3 February 2015 gala hosted by The Algemeiner Journal, a New York-based newspaper, covering American and international Jewish and Israel-related news.

    “We love Israel. We will fight for Israel 100 percent, 1000 percent.”
    [VIDEO minutes 2:15-8:06]
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiwBwBw7R-U

    After the event, Trump did not renew his television contract for The Apprentice, which raised speculation about a Trump bid for the presidency. Trump announced his candidacy in June 2015.

    Candidate Trump’s purported break with GOP orthodoxy, questioning of Israel’s commitment to peace, calls for even treatment in Israeli-Palestinian deal-making, refusal to call for Jerusalem to be Israel’s undivided capital, view of the war in Syria, and attitude about relations with Russia, were all stage-managed for the campaign.

    Cheap theatrics notwithstanding, the Netanyahu regime in Israel has received unconditional support from the Trump regime.

    1000-percent Israel Firster Trump’s purported erratic behavior is a managed propaganda script, as is the response from the loyal opposition.

    • Realist
      May 20, 2018 at 3:44 am

      It also seems that Yahoo also has the total (if not enthusiastic) support of Putin these days. Pretty tough to buck Israel and achieve peace in the Middle East when it has the full support of both the American Zionist oligarchs and the Russian Zionist oligarchs (who harbor most of their wealth in the West and represent the Atlanticist faction in Russia, in other words play for team USA) who probably comprise the largest and most influential power factions in both countries. No wonder AIPAC is the most powerful lobby whose existence is vehemently denied. If it comes to pass, World War III may essentially be fought because of perceived grievances by thin-skinned megalomaniacs like Adelson and Browder and their ability to wrap politicians around their pinkies using their billions in wealth. I think the Russians especially dislike being played by con-men like Browder, who gets full support from the bought-off American Congress.

  34. voza0db
    May 19, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    GOOD NEWS EVERYONE!

    Here’s the solution to your RUSSIA HYSTERIA!

    https://youtu.be/M7M4y8jEn_s

  35. Lawrence Magnuson
    May 19, 2018 at 11:34 am

    Excellent in the facts and your conclusions. It is difficult to imagine what you have done in so few words–summarize so clearly what became a maze of groundless speculation early on only to end as major byzantine monument to almost nothing but empty accusation, political invective, widespread loose talk and media posturing/gossiping. You described, in the end, a failed circus of second-rate illusions.

  36. Mike From Jersey
    May 19, 2018 at 10:07 am

    The Times used to be a credible source of information. Now, I won’t even read Times article unless it is on an issue in which I am very well versed. I simply don’t want to be propagandized. And when I read an article in a matter in which I am well versed, I am often outraged at the slants and selective omissions.

    • Zhu Bajie
      May 26, 2018 at 5:13 am

      Is Bolton genuinely a dual citizen?

      • Skip Scott
        May 27, 2018 at 3:44 pm

        Yes. U.S. and Israel.

  37. Joe Tedesky
    May 19, 2018 at 9:22 am

    I have come to the conclusion that they are all bad, and that this constant pounding of Russia interference in our American political establishments is nonsense.

    Whether it be Russia-Gate or Uranium One scandals, it always leads back to Russian collusion, or how Putin is hell bent on subverting American democracy. It’s like the word come down from a Bilderberg high echelon get together where the supreme elite said, ‘now you political puppies go fight amongst yourselves but remember Putin is our target’. After all Putin’s handling of the Rothschild oligarchs is enough to get even the most least powerful leaders into hot water, let a lone the world’s other nuclear super power. So Putin must go.

    So while Palestinians this week died protesting their confinement, N Korea was insulted away from the negotiating table over a Gaddafi inspired threat, as Europeans looked for another currency to replace the U.S. Dollar, our American news media gave little time to those news stories, as it stayed stuck on Russia-Gate, or as FOX is attempting to do with their trying to launch a Hillary investigation into her poor use of computer servers added to her selling off uranium stock, we Americans are isolated by what really should matter. Please keep your eyes on the center ring, for what’s around it doesn’t matter, is the mantra.

    What I’m saying, is that these scandals are in house fights, and that the MSM’s circumventing of any real news, is just another way to dumb us Americans down. Not to say that investigating political chicanery isn’t a priority, but should these investigations be so overwhelmingly reported over any or all other news? If you answered no to that, then should we next begin to wonder to what we are not being told, is exactly the very news we should be talking about?

    • May 19, 2018 at 2:02 pm

      Back in 1973 there was a feeling of inevitability as the Watergate investigation progressed, every week more incriminating details that we know now came from inside the FBI. The Mueller probe, on the contrary, seems to be stumbling forward and not really getting anywhere as it goes fishing for info and issues like Stormy’s accusations take over the news. It’s possible, I suppose, that Mueller will come up with something before November, but there’s no sense of inevitability. How could there be? Sixty three American citizens voted for Trump. Bad news for the country, bad news for Clinton, bad news for the MSM, bad news for the Deep State. Ironies abound.

      • Joe Tedesky
        May 19, 2018 at 2:58 pm

        The one comparison between 1973 and 2018, is that they have the exact same calendar dates. In my mind, the only thing WaterGate has in common with Russia-Gate is that the MSM likes to say that the two scandals are the same. And why not, when you are huckstering the news to sell insurance and pharmaceutical commercials?

        WaterGate was of course a break in, and finding Nixon’s involvement was key. Russia-Gate wasn’t a break in, and as Mueller’s Investigation is struggling to find Russian collusion, Mueller gives the impression that he’s on to something, when eventually we find out he has nothing. I mean the WaterGate investigation started out with the knowledge that there was a break in, but the Russia-Gate investigation began with lots of allegations with no proof to be found. WaterGate didn’t, at least in my opinion, start out as a fishing expedition, but the Russia-Gate Investigation was not only a fishing expedition in as much as it has been a deep sea fishing trip at its best.

        You pointed out the voter support of Trump phillip but might I reference you to the many who didn’t vote, or at least the bunches of voters who left the presidential pick a blank? America is broken phillip, every institution and every agency which operates inside of it is too. In my estimation to make it right we Americans will need to go back to starting from scratch. Let it begin!

        • backwardsevolution
          May 19, 2018 at 8:05 pm

          Joe – Russiagate was made up, fashioned out of nothing. If we want to talk about collusion, we need to talk about Uranium One. Now there’s where some serious money changed hands, and the Clinton’s hands are all over it.

          What is comparable to Watergate, but a hundred times worse, is what is trickling out now and what the media have gone out of their way to cover up – the plot by James Comey and other members of the FBI, John Brennan and others in the CIA, Clapper, the Department of Justice (Rod Rosenstein, Sally Yates, Loretta Lynch, Hillary Clinton) to overthrow a duly-elected President.

          The Inspector General’s report on the FBI and the Department of Justice’s role in all of this is apparently damning. Some of these people may end up in jail.

          I think Russiagate was invented because, as Hillary said, “If they find out what we’ve done, we’ll all hang.” She was trading favors with foreign governments in exchange for cash into the Clinton Foundation. That’s why she was using a private server. She didn’t want to use the government servers as they would have a back-up of her files, and when you’re intent on stealing, the last thing you want is a “back-up” of your dirty dealings.

          All of this Russiagate insanity has been one great big deflection away from the true crimes.

          It looks like all of them are going to have a date with a Grand Jury.

          • Joe Tedesky
            May 19, 2018 at 9:03 pm

            I think RussiaGate was invented also. I also think it’s pretty obvious that Hillary gets a free get out of jail card when it comes to any FBI investigation over her. I also believe that if Trump were in cahoots with Putin, that Mueller by now would have revealed it, as Democrates would be whooping it up better than a homeless person hitting the super multi-million dollar lotto.

            The Empire is falling, and the Empire is blaming all it’s idiotic decisions on the Russians. Our MSM which was always a subject of debate, has gone off the rails with this 24/7 anti-Trump, anti-Russian, news business. I’m suffering from all this hate aimed at Russia, and I’m believing that our MSM is winning on that front. Like I said, both Hillary and Donald’s past practices may need investigated, but when will we Americans start discussing the many other issues of our day, is all I’m asking?

            I’m tired of the constant insinuating that Trump is a Putin puppet, as I’m also experiencing fatigue over Hillary’s being continually left off the hook. Although even more so, I’m sick of all of them, I’m just venting over our sad state of us citizens being well informed.

            Good to hear from you backwardsevolution. Joe

          • backwardsevolution
            May 19, 2018 at 9:48 pm

            Joe Tedesky – “Like I said, both Hillary and Donald’s past practices may need investigated, but when will we Americans start discussing the many other issues of our day, is all I’m asking?”

            Yes, you are so right, Joe, because those other issues are what the average American really cares about: the price of health care and housing, and whether they’re going to be able to put food on the table.

            Of course, had Donald Trump been colluding with the Russians, that certainly would have been of importance to the country, but they’ve been looking under every rock for almost two years now and haven’t found anything. Well, Stormy Daniels did pop up, but, hey, Trump never professed to be an angel. All they’ve done is tied him up in knots and prevented him from dealing with the important issues. They have also left far too many Americans with the impression that he’s a traitor when he’s not, and by holding these charges above his head, they’ve probably pushed him into doing things that he wouldn’t ordinarily have done.

            If what I’m hearing about the Inspector General’s report is anything close to the truth, then these people (the Deep State people I mentioned above) tried to overthrow a sitting President. These people are running a parallel government. That is very dangerous and will have to be dealt with severely, with criminal charges.

            Hey, Joe, on that happy note, you have a good night.

          • Joe Tedesky
            May 19, 2018 at 10:37 pm

            I’m suffering from RussiaGate fatigue, like I said. I never bought into the Russian collusion thing. I’m more bothered by the forever nonsense the MSM has us on, where there is no closure. I mean you sit and listen to people like Rachel go through their hysterics and after 20 minutes per monologue she gives you nothing.

            The Hillary crimes are frustrating because nothing comes of her getting to meet the hard justice she deserves. Seriously this evil witch starts a civil war withinside of our governments bureaucracy, and yet no one hears that much about it the way it’s going down. On the other hand Donald Trump for mostly the bad of it, gets news coverage beyond what any America politician ever gets, and we’re suppose to believe we are operating on normal.

            No backwardsevolution the Empire is in trouble, and we are watching it make an ass out of itself while it goes down the drain. I’m sorry at this point in time I don’t see any good guys, or gals.

            I might add Trump’s Middle East policies among his other hard nosed geopolitical endeavors leaves me exhausted trying to figure him out. Hillary should no doubt be in jail, but here we are still on the down low and nothing seems to be working as it should.

            Thanks, I do value your opinion. Joe

          • backwardsevolution
            May 19, 2018 at 11:38 pm

            Joe Tedesky – “I’m sorry at this point in time I don’t see any good guys, or gals.”

            Yes, I agree. One good thing about Trump’s presidency is that it has exposed the Deep State actors. These are the people who run the government, not the President, and it doesn’t matter who is elected. If you don’t play along, you’re Kennedy’d! That’s why so few good people ever vie for top positions; you get hammered.

            Joe, the World Cup is coming and all is well! I’m going to knock off, watch some old videos, and get myself psyched up. Good talking to you, Joe, as always.

        • Realist
          May 20, 2018 at 4:06 am

          Watergate was focussed. Iran-Contra was focussed. Underlings were convicted in both on charges directly related to the main issues. Nixon resigned and Reagan retired, the Congress not having the will to impeach him, which would have been politically unpopular. “Out-of-the-loop” Bushdaddy saved himself from later impeachment by pardoning some key cabinet members under Reagan (most notably Caspar Weinberger). In contrast, Whitewater blossomed into a full-blown fishing expedition, as has so-called Russiagate. Ken Starr didn’t just investigate a land deal or management of the White House travel office, but went over the lives of both Clinton’s with a fine tooth comb, eventually precipitating impeachment charges over a stained blue dress. Now, I suppose, the Clinton’s and their Democratic adherents feel that turnabout is fair play, though it is undoubtedly just as divisive and destructive to the country as their go round. The woman has obviously been traumatized during her years in the public arena and in the aftermath of the election, but she does the country a great disservice by pushing her vendetta.

          • Joe Tedesky
            May 20, 2018 at 9:09 am

            The Clinton pass was always going to be a problem, and many people knew that going into the 2016 Presidential Election Campaign. This didn’t stop Hillary though. Why, many here on this comment board wrote with good reason why the Clintons should remain in retirement, but oh no Hillary was going to run come hell or high water. Only a sociopath would overlook so many good reasons of why not to run.

            Great perspective Realist. One would think you had a scientific mind…. oh wait you do. Joe

  38. May 19, 2018 at 9:09 am

    As I’m sure others commenters on this site will note, those guilty of trying to create a lynch mob and encourage hysteria, will as with Iraq WMD’s, emerge unscathed, even more honored for their service to America. And with and increasing number of Americans, we will feel more and more that you cant believe anything anymore and that is a disastrous position to be in for a nation.

    • mike k
      May 19, 2018 at 9:59 am

      Herman, it has always been a mistake to rely on belief without careful examination. Plato said that the unexamined life is not worth living. Discerning the truth is intellectual work – something our false educational system does not teach us to do. Those who learn to sort things out and demand the real truth are mostly self-educated. To wake others up who have been taught to conform and accept authorities, is a lengthy and often thankless task. The tenacity with which many hold onto their false beliefs, is a formidable obstacle to creating a new and better society. I wish I knew a way to accomplish this awakening of our fellows, but I do not. We are left with the option of shortcuts, which are no better than new forms of propaganda to compete with those our subjects have already incorporated in their thinking and character. Following a new leader or movement seems the most one can expect from our brainwashed brothers and sisters………

  39. jsinton
    May 19, 2018 at 8:49 am

    Since day one, I felt the entire Russia-gate fiasco was horse excrement. It just never passed the smell test. My suspicions were confirmed day by day as Mueller came up with nothing. To my amazement, the MSM pushed the story to the limit with no objectivity, agenda driven, politically motivated, journalistic suicide. They’ve shown themselves as the propaganda outlets they always were, but we were loath to admit.

  40. Robert Emmett
    May 19, 2018 at 8:43 am

    “They misled their readers, they made fools of themselves, and they committed a crime against journalism. And now they’re trying to dodge the blame.”
    That may well be. And Robert Parry meticulously documented such a case. Nevertheless, their work is done. The poison seeds of their lies have been planted in millions of unquestioning U.S. brains, from the high and mighty to the average consumer of “news” and will continue to sprout and spread. More lies are needed to cover up the first lies and on and on and on it goes. That’s the nature of a infectious culture of lies. The cultured medium explodes, escapes the lab and runs rampant, leaving those who initiated the whole mess to scramble in a mad attempt to “save face”. It wouldn’t surprise me if the H-ill-re eventually becomes the first, and last, U.S. woman CEO to drop the big one. If you sometimes hear a faint glug-glug-glug pulsing in your ears, that’s the sound of U.S. circling the drain.

    • mike k
      May 19, 2018 at 10:03 am

      Very well stated Robert. I like the virus metaphor for propaganda. It’s like gossip – spreading, infecting the gullible with lies…….

    • Rob
      May 19, 2018 at 1:51 pm

      Excellent point. As you say, their work is done. The Russiagate meme is now firmly implanted in the minds of tens of millions of Americans, and nothing short of a public confession by the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton that they fabricated the story and fanned the flames in the media will dislodge it. I cannot envision any other means of killing this particular virus. All contrary facts and logic will be brushed aside as fake news created by Russian agents or stooges.

    • Dave P.
      May 19, 2018 at 2:26 pm

      Robert Emmet,

      ” . . . Nevertheless, their work is done. The poison seeds of their lies have been planted in millions of unquestioning U.S. brains, from the high and mighty to the average consumer of “news” and will continue to sprout and spread. More lies are needed to cover up the first lies and on and on and on it goes. . .”

      Yes. You have summarized it very well. That is how it is in our home too. My wife had been listening to this for some time, Russia, Russia, Russia, and Putin , Putin, evil Putin destroying our democracy, and so on on TV and in Newspapers, that it has gone into the subconscious now. And I read that they, the Ruling Power Structures have done the same to people in Western Europe too.

  41. j. D. D.
    May 19, 2018 at 7:54 am

    While many of the particulars are correct regaring the paucity of evidence against associates of the President, the author misses two key points, upon which the entire Mueller coup operation rests. First, that the campaign against Trump started not in the Clinton campaign or anywhere related, but rather in London with British intelligence, as the Guardian itself has boasted. Not only did MI6’s Steele prepare the document that formed the basis of the allegations of “collusion” but it is well known that GCHQ’s Hannigan met personally with Brennan in the summer of 2016 to sound the alarm with a “not yet with it” US intel community. Second, the basis of the investigation itself hinges on the alleged “hacking” of the Clinton/DNC emailswhich showed her to be a craven puppet of Wall Street, released just prior to the Democratic Convention. That entire scenario, that the source of the infamous emails were a result of “Russian hacking,” was conclusively and repeatedly demolished on this website by fomer top NSA analyst William Binney, and his cohorts at the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

    • mike k
      May 19, 2018 at 10:07 am

      The Clinton campaign paid Steele to do his thing. Their operation against Trump began the day after his surprise victory.

      • backwardsevolution
        May 19, 2018 at 9:16 pm

        Their operation began long before Trump’s victory. It began in earnest just a few days after Hillary Clinton was wrongfully exonerated, way back in July of 2016.

  42. Brendan
    May 19, 2018 at 6:39 am

    There are a number of reasons to suspect that Sergei Skripal was, and is, being silenced because of fears of what he might reveal about the Steele dossier. Although he is a minor character in this affair, there are many facts – too many for me to go into here – that connect him and his alleged MI6 handler Pablo Miller to Christopher Steele and the dossier.

    The entire official story of what happened to Skripal in Salisbury on 4 March is unbelievable anyway, but the way that he and his daughter Yulia are now being kept incommunicado looks even more suspicious. The two of them are apparently not even speaking to their friends and family after being discharged from hospital, even though Yulia phoned her cousin Viktoria from the hospital in early April.

    Add to this the fact that the British authorities are not doing anything to dispel doubts that the Skripals are acting of their own free will. They have made no effort to allow either the Russian embassy, or even an independent third party, to speak to either Sergei or Yulia.

    This all suggests that the Skripals are being detained against their will in order to keep them quiet about something.

    • J. Decker
      May 19, 2018 at 7:25 am

      “British authorities…have made no effort to allow either the Russian embassy, or even an independent third party, to speak to either Sergei or Yulia”

      Isn’t this disallowed in international relations? And why is Russia rolling over rather than taking the case to the Hague?

      • May 19, 2018 at 2:11 pm

        Russia may have decided that taking it seriously would be a mistake by giving it too much attention with all the distortions that would arrive from the MSM. Putin is a Machiavellian and doesn’t rush into things. I predicted weeks ago that we would hear about the miraculous efforts of British medicine to “rescue” the Skripals. That’s what happened. The Skripals are being silenced rather than allowed to tell their story. Obvious beyond any doubt.

    • J. Decker
      May 19, 2018 at 7:31 am

      Brilliant piece Daniel Lazare. Many thanks! And as well to Consortium News for broadcasting. I am getting more than I give to you each month in support. You are a a light to us moths, most others have been put out.

    • Sam F
      May 19, 2018 at 8:42 am

      Yes, the isolation of the Skripals strongly suggests UK complicity in the whole incident.
      The lack of transparency requires the presumption of wrongful intent.

    • mike k
      May 19, 2018 at 10:09 am

      You can leave the “suggests” out of your accurate account. Everything you have said is simply a fact.

    • May 19, 2018 at 3:58 pm

      Yulia and Sergei Skripal: … The father and son whose whereabouts and physical condition are currently unknown, and whose important story is little-known, massively and scandalously suppressed and being kept from the awareness of the people of Earth.

      Neither U.S. President Donald Trump, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May nor France President Emmanuel Macron have offered anything approaching a public statement, by way of explanation – over the now “vanished” Yulia and Sergei Skripal.

      It is equally important to note and remember that none of these “leaders” have issued public statements with regard to the Douma, Syria confirmed false flag operation. In particular, they have not apologized for dangerously and illegally launching over 100 missiles on Syria based on an obvious lie.

      ***

      Question:
      Will Donald Trump, Theresa May and Emmanuel Macron rightfully provide their citizens in America, Britain and France with logical explanations for the massive unresolved controversies surrounding the Skripal and Douma events?

      Answer:
      Only if men and women around the Earth join, accumulate sufficient power, and demand legitimate, honest answers – making it impossible for them to further obfuscate, deflect and/or otherwise ignore.

  43. voza0db
    May 19, 2018 at 6:29 am

    The funniest part of all this nonsense is that the democrats are going to keep this Illusion of RUSSIAGATE alive until the next elections!
    So after the next loss in the upcoming elections we all know who to blame for another democratic loss, right?!

    • Zhu Bajie
      May 26, 2018 at 5:24 am

      What else do they have to offer the voters?

  44. RnM
    May 19, 2018 at 3:34 am

    You paint a nearly hopeless picture, Mike.
    Let us all trust that Mr. Trump, who, despite the intentions of the Totalitarians outed in Daniel Lazare’s fine summary article, is the DULY ELECTED POTUS (by the common folk – no one has made a serious demonstration of vote counting fraud, from my recollections), continues in office.
    The American Experiment (in enlightened governance of, by, and for the governed) is in grave jeopardy. The enemy of the Enlightenment’s fine accomplishment is Monotheism, which is the philosophical parent of Monarchy, which is the civic governing manifestation of said religious thought patterns.

    • Sam F
      May 19, 2018 at 8:52 am

      I’ll suggest that the “American Experiment” is threatened by money power, more than religion, although many fundamentalists are deluded to support zionism. Religion is a problem where it rationalizes simplistic political views, but the root causes are ignorance and selfishness. Monotheism is not really the problem now that there are few monarchies. The Enlightenment, and enlightenment of individuals, has many enemies.

    • mike k
      May 19, 2018 at 10:12 am

      The enemies of good government are the greedy and powerful oligarchs who hate democracy, and do everything to distort and destroy it. No need to drag monotheism into it.

      • RnM
        May 19, 2018 at 4:25 pm

        My career was spent working with local rural politics. Good governance is by far imperiled by corrupt locals on the take.
        Also, Stalin did his purging by setting up secret local committees of three, who fed him names through a beaurocratic pipeline. The Big Guy gets the blame (or credit), but the little fellas do the dirty work.

        • Sam F
          May 20, 2018 at 4:21 pm

          You are very right about local government corruption, which may have factions based upon tribal loyalties, but is caused by poor moral standards throughout our society. Most local officials are elected with little or no public knowledge of who they are, and as a result are mere low-end power-seekers who will abuse whatever power they can get.

  45. David G
    May 19, 2018 at 2:50 am

    “[The NY Times] article fails to mention that at the time the conversation with the Australian ambassador took place, the Clinton communications in the news were the 30,000 State Department emails that she had improperly stored on her private computer.… Instead of spilling the beans about a data breach yet to come, it’s more likely that Papadopoulos was referring to emails that were already in the news – a possibility the Times fails to discuss.”

    I’ve been shouting just this at my TV set (oddly, to little effect). And the same goes for other allegedly damning references to “Clinton emails” in connection with the infamous Trump Tower meeting and probably elsewhere.

    Thanks to Daniel Lazare for pointing it out.

    • jsinton
      May 19, 2018 at 8:53 am

      Yeah, they bob & weave, don’t they?

    • mike k
      May 19, 2018 at 10:14 am

      Keep shouting at that TV set, it deserves it!

  46. David G
    May 19, 2018 at 2:25 am

    Eds:

    I believe this passage:

    “The ‘assessment’ contains this disclaimer:”

    is meant to be followed by the disclaimer.

  47. Strngr - Tgthr
    May 19, 2018 at 2:12 am

    I find this article to be completely BOGUS.

    1] Russia hacked the DNC and Podesta (100% certainty) 17 intelligence agencies Obama and Hillary said so. This will all become clear when we an finally bring Julian Assange to justice. (just wait)

    2] Russia hacked Brexit:

    Russian bid to influence Brexit vote detailed in new US Senate report
    h**ps://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/10/russian-influence-brexit-vote-detailed-us-senate-report

    3] Russia hacked France:

    U.S. increasingly convinced that Russia hacked French election
    h**ps://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-election-russia/u-s-increasingly-convinced-that-russia-hacked-french-election-sources-idUSKBN1852KO

    4] Russia hacked Italy:

    Russia Blamed For Italian Election Outcome
    h**p://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2018/march/06/russia-blamed-for-italian-election-outcome/

    5] Russia hacked Spain:

    Spain sees Russian interference in Catalonia separatist vote
    h**ps://www.reuters.com/article/us-spain-politics-catalonia-russia/spain-sees-russian-interference-in-catalonia-separatist-vote-idUSKBN1DD20Y

    6] Russia hacked Germany:

    The impact of Russian interference on Germany’s 2017 elections
    h**ps://www.brookings.edu/testimonies/the-impact-of-russian-interference-on-germanys-2017-elections/

    7] Russia hacked Holland:

    RUSSIA HACKING DUTCH ELECTION A WARM-UP FOR GERMANY, FRANCE INTERFERENCE
    h**ps://nltimes.nl/2017/03/10/russia-hacking-dutch-election-warm-germany-france-interference-report

    8] Russia hacked Norway:

    Russia Hacked Norway Like US? Cyberattack Similar To Trump Election In 2016
    h**p://www.ibtimes.com/russia-hacked-norway-us-cyberattack-similar-trump-election-2016-2485956

    9] Russia hacked Sweden:

    Sweden PM ‘can’t rule out’ Russian interference in Swedish elections
    h**ps://www.thelocal.se/20170109/sweden-pm-cant-rule-out-russian-interference-in-swedish-elections

    10] Russia hacked Scotland:

    Russia meddled in Scottish independence referendum to aid SNP, claims security expert
    h**ps://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/754332/russia-spies-scotland-independence-referendum-aid-snp-claims-security-expert

    And the list goes on: Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland …

    We just need to let Robert Mueller do his job and all will be made perfectly clear. All the NYT is saying is that the FBI and CIA were to lackadaisical and needed to press Trump harder. Look at all they are guilty of! Well Mueller will do that as people looking a life sentences will start squealing big time. All we have here now is the lull before the storm and the press is getting impatient.

    • john wilson
      May 19, 2018 at 2:30 am

      And don’t forget Stngr, Russia also hacked the Russian election for Putin to get in when really an small time farmer somewhere out in Siberia should have won.

    • Adrian E.
      May 19, 2018 at 4:29 am

      A lot of accusations that are not backed up by any evidence and some of which have officially been rejected by the officials that investigated the case (e.g. as far as France is concerned see https://www.yahoo.com/news/latest-putin-says-attempts-contain-russia-wont-101117186.html ).

      But unfortunately, there are many people who don’t care about evidence and rational inquiry, and they prefer believing in evidencefree conspiracy theories that match their prejudices. One accusation that is not backed up by any evidence is used to making other accusations that are not based on evidence look more likely.

      • voza0db
        May 19, 2018 at 6:49 am

        :lol: “A lot of accusations that are not backed up by any evidence” the good old PROPAGANDA! It’s alive and kicking

    • voza0db
      May 19, 2018 at 6:47 am

      Russia is in fact the only REAL EMPIRE in this world!

      They hack and manipulate everything and everyone…

      • Anna
        May 19, 2018 at 8:26 am

        Have you checked the number of US overseas military bases recently?
        Do you know why the US Congress is called “Israel-occupied territory?”
        Don’t you love – love! – MSM.

        • voza0db
          May 19, 2018 at 3:35 pm

          Hello Anna!

          I know that my written sarcasm is very bad… sorry about that!

          And yes… I do love MainShitMedia! Their the best.

      • jsinton
        May 19, 2018 at 8:55 am

        I know, they’re swimming in my coffee now.

        • voza0db
          May 19, 2018 at 3:38 pm

          Hello jsinton!

          Enjoy your coffee… but if you take it with Sovieta you’ll feel much better ;-)

          • David
            May 19, 2018 at 5:12 pm

            No. Try Stupidamin. It keeps you comfortable while watching television.

      • David A Hart
        May 19, 2018 at 6:51 pm

        I blame Putin. For everything.

    • Sam F
      May 19, 2018 at 7:08 am

      Try defining “hacking an election.” The term pretends that a few techies tampered machines.
      In the US the election machine makers do that, no doubt, but not likely elsewhere.

      The US has a very long history of manipulating elections throughout the world and in the US.
      Even while it pretends to be “promoting democracy” it is installing dictators and faking elections.

      The ultimate election hack is allowing big money to control mass media and political campaigns, as in the US.
      Only when we restrict funding of mass media and elections to limited contributions will we restore democracy.

      • Skip Scott
        May 19, 2018 at 8:31 am

        Sam F-

        I have my suspicions about Strgr. I think he or she may be a foreign provocateur. I have seen him/her use “are” for “our”, “witch” for “which”, and “heel” for “heal”. I think this strongly suggests someone whose main language is not English. That he/she would come repeatedly to this site to spout nearly all the DNC and MSM main talking points is a bit suspicious as well. Strgr acts like a “pin setter”, like in the old days of bowling when they paid somebody to set the pins for you to just knock them down again. If he/she is a real person, I picture someone in a pink pussy hat yelling “BUT, BUT, BUT” as they read the articles here at Consortium.

        • Sam F
          May 19, 2018 at 8:57 am

          Yes, he/she is apparently a troll, sent to distract by saying much that needs refutation.

          • Realist
            May 21, 2018 at 3:29 am

            A troll who gets protection. I see my whimsical pretext for linking him to Netanyahoo was taken down. Certain people you just can’t mess with, no matter the intent. Ah, well, no one’s coming back to visit old articles anyway.

          • Skip Scott
            May 21, 2018 at 7:29 am

            Yeah Realist-

            I noticed a couple of mine gone as well. I suggested Strngr needs to take an ESL course, and it’s gone.

      • Realist
        May 20, 2018 at 4:21 am

        Washington and its media tools have hacked this guy’s brain is what it amounts to.

        They could tell the American public anything and have it believed, like, for instance, that the ideal gas law does not apply to inflated footballs in cold weather.

    • J. Decker
      May 19, 2018 at 7:35 am

      Yes, I confess, I’m Grigor, that small village farmer and all that John and CNN says is true.

    • Tom F
      May 19, 2018 at 8:00 am

      Strngr Tgthr it’s not just about elections and you shpould have mentioned how Russia has recently launched pointless missile strikes on Syria, while at the same it was preparing to scupper the JCPOA, leaving the US and others to salvage something from the mess. Do not let Putin off the hook.

      • Vivian O'Blivion
        May 19, 2018 at 8:28 am

        Tom.
        Judging by their post, I doubt strngr is capable of processing sarcasm.

      • jsinton
        May 19, 2018 at 8:56 am

        And those Russians gunned down all those unarmed protesters in Gaza too. It’s true!

    • Vivian O'Blivion
      May 19, 2018 at 8:09 am

      strngr
      You cite quite a number of examples, presumably without detailed knowledge of few, if any. I will not fall into the same trap.

      The Brexit vote was an outbreak of mass hysteria amongst English and Welsh working class voters. The sentiment that powered the grass roots “rebellion” against the perceived wisdom of the ruling elite was understandable frustration at social and economic neglect. My guess is that in this regard it was a mirror of the rise of Trumpism. Interestingly Scotland voted to remain in the EU by a substantially stronger margin than England voted to leave, because there was already established a vivid, informed, grass roots political discourse mainly based on Scottish social media. The Brexit outcome was influenced by some pretty underhand digital media manipulation, but those doing the manipulation were domestic and hard right wing, not Russian. The Guardian cannot be considered a source of untainted information, it is increasingly Atlantasist and Zionist.

      The Scottish independence vote in 2014 was heavily influenced by digital media but it was entirely indigenous and grass roots. There was no credible claim of Russian interference then or since. The Daily Express is a far right rag owned at the time of the article you cite by a pornographer, and deeply unpleasant Zionist.

      Over to a more general discussion.

      Is there on any level a Russian state programme using a digital platform to influence politics and social cohesion in other states? Frankly I would be astonished if there wasn’t.
      The UK has had the British Council working out of its embassies since the beginning of time.
      The American State Department has been creating and financing Atlantasist think tanks and associations for decades to skew British politics to meet American ends.
      I doubt there is a country on the planet that has not felt the malign influence of the State Department or CIA.
      In the circumstances, Russia would be entirely justified in operating troll factories and similar vehicles.

      Next, what would the objectives of a Russian cyber operation be in the run up to the American Presidential election? All academic evaluation of content believed to originate in Russia and to be presented as domestic American input, suggests that the goal of the intervention was to sew discord and chaos in society. That is to say that the Kremlin did not have a favoured candidate.
      How effective would the efforts of the St Petersburg troll factory be in exasperating social divisions? My guess is that it would have been analogous with taking a hair dryer outside in a category 5 hurricane.

      Let us consider the Trump Tower meeting with the Russian delegation. As Steve Bannon stated, meeting with the Russians at a venue under Secret Service control was monumentally stupid. Monumentally stupid is entirely believable of Donald Jr., Jared Kushner and possibly Manafort, but the Russians can’t have been that dumb. By meeting at a venue where their names would be openly logged by the State, they would be sabotaging any serious attempt to “get their man into the White House”, if that was their true goal. Taking this into account, the object of the meeting from a Russian perspective can only have been to generate chaos. Seventeen months on in the new administration and if I were them I would be awarding myself an A+.

      Try this though experiment and subdue your moral indignation at Russian interference for a minute. In the circumstances is Russia entitled to do that which it you accuse it of? I will not offer an answer to the question I pose, I am genuinely asking that you try and project to see an alternative perspective.

    • mike k
      May 19, 2018 at 10:19 am

      This troll has voluminous “evidence” to back up his nonsense. I guess we are supposed to bite, and painstakingly deconstruct each of these bogus “proofs”?
      But life is too short to waste it on arguing with such obvious propaganda.

    • Mike From Jersey
      May 19, 2018 at 10:56 am

      Strngr, Let’s be realistic about interference. Hillary Clinton was directly involved in the overthrow or attempted overthrow of entire nations. Most often this was done by military means resulting in countless deaths of innocent civilians and massive social disruption. Even assuming, arguendo, the truth of election interference by the Russians – the multiple, military attacks on foreign governments that Clinton engaged in, is far more egregious and reprehensible.

    • j. D. D.
      May 19, 2018 at 11:34 am

      Please check under your bed, you may find a Russian there as well.

    • Lisa
      May 19, 2018 at 1:27 pm

      Don’t you see that “Strngr Tgthr” has compiled the list of articles as a great piece of humour? Gossip, rumours, guessings, “can’t rule out” evidence. And the pseudonym, as you all must have noticed, is Mme Hillary’s campaign slogan, without the vowels. Funny as well. Just relax and giggle.

    • Realist
      May 21, 2018 at 3:32 am

      Correction: All your unfounded assertions are bogus.

      Just read this one simple piece that just came out for the accurate course of events.

      https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-05-20/how-fbi-and-cia-restarted-cold-war-protect-themselves

    • Zhu Bajie
      May 26, 2018 at 5:28 am

      There is no connection between monarchy, monotheism or the decadence of the US political system.

  48. robjira
    May 18, 2018 at 11:17 pm

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/05/russian-spy-sergei-skripal-discharged-uk-hospital-180518135555333.html
    They Live…but are incarcerated. The depth to which the Lords of Capital (and we, who as a supine populace made all this possible) have sunk is appalling. I’m really afraid Russia may once again have to defend themselves against fascism.
    I’m ashamed to be a taxpayer.

  49. May 18, 2018 at 11:08 pm

    The Mueller investigation is not perfect, but, I disagree that zero Russia connection exists. https://socraticgadfly.blogspot.com/2018/05/muellertime-one-year-on.html

    As far as the contradictions in the Steele dossier, or seeming contradictions?

    If Russians offered business deals on terms Trump wouldn’t accept, no contraction.

    As a Green voter who did my duopoly exit on presidential races at the start of this century, I don’t play two-siderism.

    • David G
      May 19, 2018 at 2:20 am

      While I am fully on board with rubbishing Russia-gate as malignant nonsense, I do think it may be a mistake to rely too much on there turning out to be no nefarious nexus between Trump and Russia.

      In Trump we have someone devoid of knowledge, sense, or character, an almost altogether wrong guy – very much including his views on U.S. foreign policy – who for some reason has a positive and constructive attitude toward Russia and Putin (though, of course, he has mostly gone along with the anti-Russia Beltway consensus in his actions as president when pressured).

      It’s possibly it’s just an isolated, unexplained instance of Trumpian sanity, but to me it’s at least as likely to be the result of greed or fear, based on some grubby link to Russia that is as yet undisclosed.

      • J. Decker
        May 19, 2018 at 7:43 am

        “who for some reason has a positive and constructive attitude toward Russia and Putin”.

        Maybe the reason is that Putin is one of history’s penultimate statesman who presents the strongest opposition to the global war/banking beast and last bastion of hope? Time magazine’s Most Powerful Man of the Year (or something like that as I wouldn’t be caught dead reading it.

        So…does that make Trump a puppet for Russia or a keen observer?

        • David G
          May 19, 2018 at 11:54 am

          Do you think Cheeto Dust really capable of appreciating Putin for the reasons you cite?

          “Keen” isn’t a word that springs to my mind when I think of Trump.

          • backwardsevolution
            May 20, 2018 at 2:32 am

            David G – maybe you need to oil your springs. When you’re trying to navigate your way through the swamp, you tend to notice capable players who are doing it and admire them for it.

    • Anna
      May 19, 2018 at 8:28 am

      Let’s begin with Uranium One and the $500.000 fee for a half-hour speech by Bill.

    • Mike From Jersey
      May 19, 2018 at 1:59 pm

      I am also a Green voter. When the choice became Hillary vs Donald that – for me – was the last straw. I de-registered as a Democrat and registered as a Green.

      • Skip Scott
        May 21, 2018 at 7:32 am

        Good for you Mike. I refuse to be a part of the “lesser of two evils” gambit any longer. Let’s hope we can build a movement.

  50. andrew
    May 18, 2018 at 10:40 pm

    the core accusations are
    1. that the russians hacked the dnc, …there is no evidence and no basis for this accusation. none.
    2. that the russians spread a deadly fake news virus that was incredibly damaging to hillary’s campaign. there is no evidence of this and it is a completely ridiculous idea if one just stops for a moment to contemplate the astronomical amount of fake news available at all times on the internet and television. what was the fake news lie that was so supremely effective? nobody knows. there wasn’t one. there was for hillary unfortunately a real news truth about the dnc released by wikileaks…but that was not from russians or a lie.
    3. that the russians hacked the election. again absolutely no proof or evidence of this has been offered.

    it is in fact a political witch hunt that has been incredibly destructive. it has distracted energy and attention away from real things that have happened. it has instigated proxy warfare with russia in syria. it has discredited journalism. it has made an honest man out of trump.

    personally i blame clinton. this mendacious , self defeating , and bizarre ruse is so in keeping with so many of her and bill’s greatest hits. these two people continue to damage the progressive movement . they won’t go away it would seem. i hope after russiagate sputters to a stop …the clintons will finally be finished.

    • David G
      May 19, 2018 at 1:59 am

      well said, andrew

    • RnM
      May 19, 2018 at 4:37 am

      A Witch Hunt, alright! Not FOR a witch, but BY a witch.

    • J. Decker
      May 19, 2018 at 7:51 am

      “… personally i blame clinton”
      Personally I blame AIPAC, BIS, and the Shadow Masters… Clinton is just another scapegoat-puppet.

    • J. Decker
      May 19, 2018 at 7:54 am

      And personally, after rereading your post, I am gaining confidence in declaring that you are a very high profile troll for the aforementioned cartel. Such a perfectly executed deflection…well?

    • J. Decker
      May 19, 2018 at 7:58 am

      O.K. Nope. I take that back. Apologies. I have a twitchy finger these days on the alert ya know. What you’ve said is 100% bang on mate. It’s just I feel that you don’t pull back the curtain far enough.

    • j. D. D.
      May 19, 2018 at 11:41 am

      Yes, all true but you fail to identify the cause, which goes well beyond naming Russia as an excuse for Hillary’s defeat. It was British Intelligence which first sounded the alarm wrt pre-candidate Trump due to his stated intention to establish a positive relationship with Putin and Russia, thus overturning the basis for the entire post-war paradigm based on the division of the world into East and West.

    • Jeff
      May 19, 2018 at 11:59 am

      Thanx, Andrew. You wrote the comment I was going to write. I do, however, have one nit. Russia-gate has not made an honest man out of Trump. Nothing could make an honest man out of Trump. He is nothing but an incompetent con artist whose real skill was getting people to lend him money after he had blown it all on bad deals and lousy management. I personally suspect that the connection between Trump and Russia is not with the Russian government but with the Russian oligarchs who are laundering their ill-gotten gains looting Russian state enterprises through Trump.

  51. mike k
    May 18, 2018 at 10:28 pm

    The slimy rats always indulge in phony alibis for their criminal tricks. They should be investigated and charged with falsely accusing an elected President, in order to unseat him. Anyone who votes for a “democrat” in the future is just a simple clueless idiot. Trump is a horrible President, but this does not justify the criminal conspiracy to unseat him through slander and innuendo lacking any evidence whatever. The appointment of a “special council” was meant to change the result of the presidential election, and nothing else.

    • mike k
      May 18, 2018 at 10:32 pm

      If Trump were to be impeached on the basis of this phony witch hunt, it would be the end of whatever semblance we have of a democracy forever. The whole affair reminds me of the criminal removal of the President of Brazil recently.

      • mike k
        May 18, 2018 at 10:35 pm

        Adam Shiff is the most revolting presence I have ever seen on TV. He is way beyond slimy…….

        • mike k
          May 18, 2018 at 10:38 pm

          I am all for impeaching Trump – on legitimate bases. Then we could work on getting rid of Pence by the same route.

          • backwardsevolution
            May 20, 2018 at 2:37 am

            Really? You want to take out two Presidents? I don’t like who the people chose, so let’s impeach them? Talk about tampering with the voting system!

      • David A Hart
        May 19, 2018 at 6:54 pm

        I will say, however, that if this so-called “investigation” lands Erik Prince in jail for the rest of his life, I will be one very happy man.

    • Al Pinto
      May 19, 2018 at 11:01 am

      In my view, the purpose of the congress authorized investigation is not to impeach POTUS. That would provide a precedent that neither the democrats, nor the republican would accept. Instead, the investigation is intended to discredit the president and by proxy, the republicans for the upcoming elections. The results of the investigations, actual and/or fabricated, will be invaluable campaign material for the democrats. Especially with the help of the main stream media, it’s going to very effective headlines to grab the limited attention that most people in the US have for politics…

    • will
      May 24, 2018 at 2:25 pm

      by all means, vote Republican, Mike!

      • Skip Scott
        May 29, 2018 at 7:28 am

        By all means will, keep voting for wall street loving warmongers.

  52. Abe
    May 18, 2018 at 10:11 pm

    Daniel Lazare’s article makes no mention of Israel and Israeli interference in the 2016 presidential election, the Israel-gate reality underlying all the Russia-gate fictions.

    For example, George Papadopoulos is directly connected to the pro-Israel Lobby, right wing Israeli political interests, and Israeli government efforts to control regional energy resources.

    Papadopoulos’ LinkedIn page lists his association with the right wing Hudson Institute. The Washington, D.C.-based think tank part of pro-Israel Lobby web of militaristic security policy institutes that promote Israel-centric U.S. foreign policy.

    The Hudson Institute confirmed that Papadopoulos was an intern who left the neoconservative think tank in 2014.

    In 2014, Papadopoulos authored op-ed pieces in Israeli publications.

    In an op-ed published in Arutz Sheva, media organ of the right wing Religionist Zionist movement embraced by the Israeli “settler” movement, Papadopoulos argued that the U.S. should focus on its “stalwart allies” Israel, Greece, and Cyprus to “contain the newly emergent Russian fleet”.

    In another op-ed published in Ha’aretz, Papadopoulos contended that Israel should exploit its natural gas resources in partnership with Cyprus and Greece rather than Turkey.

    In November 2015, Papadapalous participated in a conference in Tel Aviv, discussing the export of natural gas from Israel with a panel of current and past Israeli government officials including Ron Adam, a representative of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Eran Lerman, a former Israeli Deputy National Security Adviser.

    Among Israel’s numerous violations of United Nations Resolution 242 was its annexation of the Syrian Golan Heights in 1981. Recent Israeli threatened military threats against Lebanon and Syria have a lot to do with control of natural gas resources, both offshore from Gaza and on land in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights region.

    The Israel-gate realities are predictably ignored by the mainstream media, which continues to salivate at every moldy scrap of Russia-gate fiction.

    Even the Bellingcat team of fake “citizen investigative journalists” got busy on the case with more of their signature “creative Googling”. This time it was a photograph of Papadopoulos in London
    https://www.bellingcat.com/news/americas/2017/10/31/new-george-papadopoulos-photograph-actually-years-old/

    Eliot Higgins and his UK-based bogus “online investigations” crew assiduously avoid performing any actual journalism or substantive investigation. The function of the Atlantic Council’s Bellingcat site is to serve as a propaganda channel for “fake news” and “alternative facts”.

    • andre
      May 18, 2018 at 10:47 pm

      well one thing is for sure, israeli fascism is getting crazier by the day and nobody in the media or govt. wants to talk about it. leading dems are actually abetting trump as he eggs israel on to fresh crimes and provocations. chuck schumer…sheesh.

      • J. Decker
        May 19, 2018 at 8:22 am

        You are so right and for the reason I mention below.
        But I personally have met Trump before he was elected and I can tell you
        that I firmly believe he has been given an offer he can’t refuse.

        Scene Take 23: “You have a beautiful daughter Mr. Trump. She must be so precious to you as well as that handsome son of yours Baron”.

        Scene Take 37: “You know Mr. President, your direction on that issue reminds me that John Kennedy also felt the same way”.

        Scene now: “Oh and yes that Stormy thing…”

        See how easy it is?

  53. Sam F
    May 18, 2018 at 10:10 pm

    The Russia-gate hysteria worked fine as a distraction from Israel-gate.
    All of Hillary’s top ten donors were zionists, and Trump appointed Goldman Sachs to run the economy.
    Not that KSA, the MIC, or WallSt et al lost any bribery chances.
    Russia-gate also pressured Trump into the zionist camp. Just what Israel ordered.
    Of course the US mass media are almost entirely owned by zionists.
    Mission accomplished; time to backtrack; we never really said that.

    • Joe Tedesky
      May 18, 2018 at 11:34 pm

      Good one Sam. Joe

    • J. Decker
      May 19, 2018 at 8:29 am

      Thank you Sam.

    • J. Decker
      May 19, 2018 at 8:41 am

      And Donald, if by chance you are reading this, I know you had to take their money to keep from going bankrupt in Resorts and other escapades. As such you should have known they could control you and you should have opted out. But you saw the menace, and “draining the swamp” ignited a firestorm that blew you into office.

      You are such an egotistical fool, They have you fawning over your importance after putting you on their reality show. Time for the citizens to rise up and keep the swamp from drowning you and destroying civilization. Sadly, they all have been turned into TV potato-heads brought to you by who?…and the circle is complete!

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