Still Waiting for Evidence of a Russian Hack

More than two years after the allegation of Russian hacking of the 2016 U.S. presidential election was first made, conclusive proof is still lacking and may never be produced, says Ray McGovern.

By Ray McGovern Special to Consortium News

If you are wondering why so little is heard these days of accusations that Russia hacked into the U.S. election in 2016, it could be because those charges could not withstand close scrutiny. It could also be because special counsel Robert Mueller appears to have never bothered to investigate what was once the central alleged crime in Russia-gate as no one associated with WikiLeaks has ever been questioned by his team.

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity — including two “alumni” who were former National Security Agency technical directors — have long since concluded that Julian Assange did not acquire what he called the “emails related to Hillary Clinton” via a “hack” by the Russians or anyone else. They found, rather, that he got them from someone with physical access to Democratic National Committee computers who copied the material onto an external storage device — probably a thumb drive. In December 2016 VIPS explained this in some detail in an open Memorandum to President Barack Obama.

On January 18, 2017 President Obama admitted that the “conclusions” of U.S. intelligence regarding how the alleged Russian hacking got to WikiLeaks were “inconclusive.” Even the vapid FBI/CIA/NSA “Intelligence Community Assessment of Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections” of January 6, 2017, which tried to blame Russian President Vladimir Putin for election interference, contained no direct evidence of Russian involvement.  That did not prevent the “handpicked” authors of that poor excuse for intelligence analysis from expressing “high confidence” that Russian intelligence “relayed material it acquired from the Democratic National Committee … to WikiLeaks.”  Handpicked analysts, of course, say what they are handpicked to say.

Never mind. The FBI/CIA/NSA “assessment” became bible truth for partisans like Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, who was among the first off the blocks to blame Russia for interfering to help Trump.  It simply could not have been that Hillary Clinton was quite capable of snatching defeat out of victory all by herself.  No, it had to have been the Russians.

Five days into the Trump presidency, I had a chance to challenge Schiff personally on the gaping disconnect between the Russians and WikiLeaks. Schiff still “can’t share the evidence” with me … or with anyone else, because it does not exist.

WikiLeaks

Schiff: Can’t share evidence.

It was on June 12, 2016, just six weeks before the Democratic National Convention, that Assange announced the pending publication of “emails related to Hillary Clinton,” throwing the Clinton campaign into panic mode, since the emails would document strong bias in favor of Clinton and successful attempts to sabotage the campaign of Bernie Sanders.  When the emails were published on July 22, just three days before the convention began, the campaign decided to create what I call a Magnificent Diversion, drawing attention away from the substance of the emails by blaming Russia for their release.

Clinton’s PR chief Jennifer Palmieri later admitted that she golf-carted around to various media outlets at the convention with instructions “to get the press to focus on something even we found difficult to process: the prospect that Russia had not only hacked and stolen emails from the DNC, but that it had done so to help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton.”  The diversion worked like a charm.  Mainstream media kept shouting “The Russians did it,” and gave little, if any, play to the DNC skullduggery revealed in the emails themselves. And like Brer’ Fox, Bernie didn’t say nothin’.

Meanwhile, highly sophisticated technical experts, were hard at work fabricating “forensic facts” to “prove” the Russians did it.  Here’s how it played out:

June 12, 2016: Assange announces that WikiLeaks is about to publish “emails related to Hillary Clinton.”

June 14, 2016: DNC contractor CrowdStrike, (with a dubious professional record and multiple conflicts of interest) announces that malware has been found on the DNC server and claims there is evidence it was injected by Russians.

June 15, 2016: “Guccifer 2.0” affirms the DNC statement; claims responsibility for the “hack;” claims to be a WikiLeaks source; and posts a document that the forensics show was synthetically tainted with “Russian fingerprints.”

The June 12, 14, & 15 timing was hardly coincidence. Rather, it was the start of a pre-emptive move to associate Russia with anything WikiLeaks might have been about to publish and to “show” that it came from a Russian hack.

Enter Independent Investigators

A year ago independent cyber-investigators completed the kind of forensic work that, for reasons best known to then-FBI Director James Comey, neither he nor the “handpicked analysts” who wrote the Jan. 6, 2017 assessment bothered to do.  The independent investigators found verifiable evidence from metadata found in the record of an alleged Russian hack of July 5, 2016 showing that the “hack” that day of the DNC by Guccifer 2.0 was not a hack, by Russia or anyone else.

Rather it originated with a copy (onto an external storage device – a thumb drive, for example) by an insider — the same process used by the DNC insider/leaker before June 12, 2016 for an altogether different purpose. (Once the metadata was found and the “fluid dynamics” principle of physics applied, this was not difficult to disprove the validity of the claim that Russia was responsible.)

One of these independent investigators publishing under the name of The Forensicator on May 31 published new evidence that the Guccifer 2.0 persona uploaded a document from the West Coast of the United States, and not from Russia.

In our July 24, 2017 Memorandum to President Donald Trump we stated, “We do not know who or what the murky Guccifer 2.0 is. You may wish to ask the FBI.”

Our July 24 Memorandum continued: “Mr. President, the disclosure described below may be related. Even if it is not, it is something we think you should be made aware of in this general connection. On March 7, 2017, WikiLeaks began to publish a trove of original CIA documents that WikiLeaks labeled ‘Vault 7.’ WikiLeaks said it got the trove from a current or former CIA contractor and described it as comparable in scale and significance to the information Edward Snowden gave to reporters in 2013.

“No one has challenged the authenticity of the original documents of Vault 7, which disclosed a vast array of cyber warfare tools developed, probably with help from NSA, by CIA’s Engineering Development Group. That Group was part of the sprawling CIA Directorate of Digital Innovation – a growth industry established by John Brennan in 2015. [ (VIPS warned President Obama of some of the dangers of that basic CIA reorganization at the time.]

Marbled

“Scarcely imaginable digital tools – that can take control of your car and make it race over 100 mph, for example, or can enable remote spying through a TV – were described and duly reported in the New York Times and other media throughout March. But the Vault 7, part 3 release on March 31 that exposed the “Marble Framework” program apparently was judged too delicate to qualify as ‘news fit to print’ and was kept out of the Times at the time, and has never been mentioned since.

“The Washington Post’s Ellen Nakashima, it seems, ‘did not get the memo’ in time. Her March 31 article bore the catching (and accurate) headline: ‘WikiLeaks’ latest release of CIA cyber-tools could blow the cover on agency hacking operations.’

“The WikiLeaks release indicated that Marble was designed for flexible and easy-to-use ‘obfuscation,’ and that Marble source code includes a “de-obfuscator” to reverse CIA text obfuscation.

“More important, the CIA reportedly used Marble during 2016. In her Washington Post report, Nakashima left that out, but did include another significant point made by WikiLeaks; namely, that the obfuscation tool could be used to conduct a ‘forensic attribution double game’ or false-flag operation because it included test samples in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic and Farsi.”

A few weeks later William Binney, a former NSA technical director, and I commented on Vault 7 Marble, and were able to get a shortened op-ed version published in The Baltimore Sun.

The CIA’s reaction to the WikiLeaks disclosure of the Marble Framework tool was neuralgic. Then Director Mike Pompeo lashed out two weeks later, calling Assange and his associates “demons,” and insisting; “It’s time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is, a non-state hostile intelligence service, often abetted by state actors like Russia.”

Our July 24 Memorandum continued:  “Mr. President, we do not know if CIA’s Marble Framework, or tools like it, played some kind of role in the campaign to blame Russia for hacking the DNC. Nor do we know how candid the denizens of CIA’s Digital Innovation Directorate have been with you and with Director Pompeo. These are areas that might profit from early White House review.  [ President Trump then directed Pompeo to invite Binney, one of the authors of the July 24, 2017 VIPS Memorandum to the President, to discuss all this.  Binney and Pompeo spent an hour together at CIA Headquarters on October 24, 2017, during which Binney briefed Pompeo with his customary straightforwardness. ]

We also do not know if you have discussed cyber issues in any detail with President Putin. In his interview with NBC’s Megyn Kelly he seemed quite willing – perhaps even eager – to address issues related to the kind of cyber tools revealed in the Vault 7 disclosures, if only to indicate he has been briefed on them. Putin pointed out that today’s technology enables hacking to be ‘masked and camouflaged to an extent that no one can understand the origin’ [of the hack] … And, vice versa, it is possible to set up any entity or any individual that everyone will think that they are the exact source of that attack.

“‘Hackers may be anywhere,’ he said. ‘There may be hackers, by the way, in the United States who very craftily and professionally passed the buck to Russia. Can’t you imagine such a scenario? … I can.’

New attention has been drawn to these issues after I discussed them in a widely published 16-minute interview last Friday.

In view of the highly politicized environment surrounding these issues, I believe I must append here the same notice that VIPS felt compelled to add to our key Memorandum of July 24, 2017:

“Full Disclosure: Over recent decades the ethos of our intelligence profession has eroded in the public mind to the point that agenda-free analysis is deemed well nigh impossible. Thus, we add this disclaimer, which applies to everything we in VIPS say and do: We have no political agenda; our sole purpose is to spread truth around and, when necessary, hold to account our former intelligence colleagues.

“We speak and write without fear or favor. Consequently, any resemblance between what we say and what presidents, politicians and pundits say is purely coincidental.” The fact we find it is necessary to include that reminder speaks volumes about these highly politicized times.

Ray McGovern works for Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Savior in inner-city Washington.  He was an Army infantry/intelligence officer before serving as a CIA analyst for 27 years.  His duties included preparing, and briefing one-on-one, the President’s Daily Brief.

If you enjoyed this original article please consider making a donation to Consortium News so we can bring you more stories like this one.

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111 comments for “Still Waiting for Evidence of a Russian Hack

  1. Mild -ly Facetious
    June 14, 2018 at 9:19 am

    “Still Waiting for Evidence of a Russian Hack”

    INSPECTOR GENERAL’S REPORT — TODAY, JUNE 14, 2018 … .

  2. jsinton
    June 13, 2018 at 4:49 am

    Hey Ray, did you see this one?

    Mueller Scrambles To Limit Evidence After Indicted Russians Actually Show Up In Court

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-06-12/mueller-scrambles-limit-evidence-after-indicted-russians-actually-show-court

    • June 15, 2018 at 9:38 pm

      Thanks, Jsinton. Speaks volumes, no? best, ray

  3. Jeff Lee
    June 11, 2018 at 9:38 pm

    Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh said in an interview he does not believe the U.S. intelligence community proved its case President Vladimir Putin directed a hacking campaign aimed at securing the election of Donald Trump. He blasted news organizations for lazily broadcasting the assertions of U.S. intelligence officials as established facts.

    Hersh denounced news organizations as “crazy town” for their uncritical promotion of the pronouncements of the director of national intelligence and the CIA, given their track records of lying and misleading the public.

    “The way they behaved on the Russia stuff was outrageous,” Hersh said. “They were just so willing to believe stuff. And when the heads of intelligence give them that summary of the allegations, instead of attacking the CIA for doing that, which is what I would have done,” they reported it as fact. Most news organizations missed an important component of the story: the extent to which the White House was going and permitting the agency to go public with the assessment.”

    “It’s high camp stuff. What does an assessment mean? It’s not a national intelligence estimate. If you had a real estimate, you would have five or six dissents. One time they said 17 agencies all agreed. Oh really? The Coast Guard and the Air Force — they all agreed on it? And it was outrageous and nobody did that story. An assessment is simply an opinion. If they had a fact, they’d give it to you. An assessment is just that. It’s a belief. And they’ve done it many times.”

    “If I had been covering the story, I would have made John Brennan into a buffoon. A yapping buffoon in the last few days. Instead, everything is reported seriously.”

    https://theintercept.com/2017/01/25/seymour-hersh-blasts-media-for-uncritically-promoting-russian-hacking-story/

    • jsinton
      June 13, 2018 at 5:38 am

      This is 18 months old?

  4. Jeff Lee
    June 11, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    Wonderful to see Ray can type despite his recently dislocated left shoulder. Thanks for sharing the sanity.

    Most of my conversations with folks about Russiagate leave me with the distinct sensation that I have just had a religious conversation. Not a scientific conversation or even a political one, but rather one rooted solely in faith and belief.

    Hence, I would like to speak to the above comment of Schmid’s about what “proving/ disproving the existence of God” means in this context, for this seems to be at the crux of forming public opinion.

    “I ought to call myself an agnostic; Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of skeptics to disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them. This is, of course, a mistake. If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion, provided I were careful to add the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense.”

    Bertrand Russell’s teapot: http://russell.mcmaster.ca/cpbr11p69.pdf

    Thus, we begin by taking an agnostic position. We claim neither to know or to not-know the outcome of this Russiagate investigation. As Seymour Hersh said in a recent interview:

    “The first two words you hear 90 percent of the time from the panelists are the most lethal words, ‘I think,’ in the language today: ‘I think.’ I don’t care what somebody thinks. I want to know what they know.”

    https://www.thenation.com/article/dont-underestimate-trump-seymour-hersh-news-past-present/

    What do we know?

    Well, the first thing is we know there is a past history of the US and Russia interfering in elections.

    Interfering in each other’s elections:

    http://content.time.com/time/magazine/0,9263,7601960715,00.html

    The US and/ or Russia interfere with 1 out of 9 elections world-wide:

    https://academic.oup.com/isq/article-abstract/60/2/189/1750842

    Therefore, it is almost certain the Russians “meddled” in the 2016 US presidential election, to some extent or other. That’s their job. The Russian SVR are “go to gulag” if they are *not* meddling in US elections.

    It’s also job description of the US CIA: regime change, as in overthrow foreign governments through use of force, election rigging, money, and so on. Could the US CIA/FBI/NSA be interfering in the 2016 American presidential election, through schema such as Russiagate? Of course they could!

    We know Hillary Clinton and the DNC interfered in the primary election. She effectively was nominated prior to the first vote being cast, as we now know the money, time, and votes of Bernie Sanders’ campaign were made irrelevant. We also know Robert Mercer, Steve Bannon, and Cambridge Analytica interfered with the general election on behalf of Donald Trump.

    We know Americans had their fingers all in the pie. All ten of them!

    In light of this evidence, as our starting point, we can all agree there is some meddling in elections. Russia did something in the US in 2016. They always do something. Americans did something to our own election as well. So what?

    Our real question is whether or not the “something” is significant. Are we talking Boris Yelsin 1996, with the US publicly bragging about how we rigged the election?

    In sum, we cannot prove the Russians did *not* meddle in the US election. We *can* observe the evidence we have on hand. Empirically evaluate it both quantitatively and qualitatively.

    I don’t care what you believe or what you think. What do we know?

    What is the evidence? What are the facts?

    https://www.thenation.com/article/amid-russiagate-hysteria-what-are-the-facts/

    When we do this evaluation with a skeptical eye, placing the burden of proof squarely on the shoulders of those making the claims to prove their case (rather than the shoulders of the skeptic to disprove it), then we see clearly the evidence we have been presented with thus far amounts to: “Trust us. Because we said so.” No actual evidence is put forth. Only that we should trust those government officials because *they* have seen it.

    “Trust us. Because we said so.” is an appeal to authority.

    We are supposed to believe what is said because Hillary/ Obama/ Brennan and so on told us to believe it.

    This is authoritarianism.

    No way José!

    I am no fan of Donald Trump. He’s an incompetent authoritarian. But at least he’s incompetent…

  5. willow
    June 11, 2018 at 2:14 pm

    For those who want to understand how we got Russia-gate, read this excellent article by the late great Michael Hastings about the nefarious motives for repealing the US propaganda ban. It’s a small consolation that he didn’t live to witness his prediction of its devastating consequences come true.

    https://www.buzzfeed.com/mhastings/congressmen-seek-to-lift-propaganda-ban via @buzzfeed

    • Mild -ly Facetious
      June 11, 2018 at 6:22 pm

      AS IF misinformation IS SOMETHING NOVEL or NEW in america… !

      (from the United States Peace Index) —— The United States Peace Index

      The least peaceful states on the index are, from the bottom up, Louisiana, Tennessee, Nevada, Florida, and Alabama. Pennsylvania and New Jersey ranked 21st and 26th, respectively. New Jersey has shown a greater increase in peacefulness over the past two decades, however, improving 16.4 percent, while Pennsylvania’s has fallen 10.1 percent.

      The index’s most peaceful states have some of the highest rates of health coverage, high school graduation, educational opportunity, and perceived access to basic services, as well as among the lowest rates of teen pregnancy, income inequality, poverty, and infant mortality. Given the well-established correlations among inequality, poverty, and violence, none of this is terribly surprising.

      Educating children, insuring residents, providing basic services, preventing teen pregnancy and infant mortality, and lowering poverty and inequality rates reduces the prevalence of violent crime, incarceration, policing, and gun trafficking. A state’s ability to provide for its population in these areas dramatically increases its capacity to diminish violence.

      States such as Wisconsin, Ohio, and Florida, then, would do well to reconsider budget cuts that have eaten away at education, health care, basic services, and economic opportunity over the last year. In Wisconsin, for example, a 25 percent reduction in violence would save the state almost $1.7 billion annually. In Ohio, the same reduction would save more than $3.6 billion, and in Florida, the savings would surpass $9.3 billion. (For Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the corresponding figures would be $4.4 billion and $2.7 billion, respectively.) Halving the violence in those three states would save almost $30 billion, and that’s using conservative calculations.

      The country spends $80 billion a year on prisons, meanwhile, or about $35,000 per inmate. Total cost of productivity lost as a result: $97.7 billion.

      America’s tendency is to pursue policies that react to violence rather than prevent it. As a result, the country is not only less prosperous, but less peaceful.
      ()

      If Russia gate IS a hoax, ?$! — Isn’t it the perfect blindspot cover for the massive deleterious erosion of Administrative Authority?

      Pruitt is Prime example – the other TRUMP administrators are also as THERMITE vis-a-vis the designed functions of these agencies.

      — whatdowehaveherenow —? The Rise of a Beatific Founder of The New & Improved America, The Beautiful?
      Land of the Free /rich and white\ ( and home of the subservient huddled masses/yearning to breathe free? )

      Are we looking, seriously, at the complete overthrow of any semblance of the United States of Roosevelt — Eisenhower America?

      What do you think Trump would proceed to if totally exhonarated of the charges against him?

      If you fail to recognize what lies ahead under Trump… — “God Bless The Dead” and to all that survive under his Corrupt Power. …

    • Mild -ly Facetious
      June 11, 2018 at 6:30 pm

      http://www.michaelshank.tv/measuring-the-cost-of-violence/

      Trump-O-Nomics

      The US Government under Trump… .

    • Jeff Lee
      June 11, 2018 at 9:24 pm

      This became law. It is now legal for the US government to use the same propaganda on American citizens it uses on foreign countries.

      http://foreignpolicy.com/2013/07/14/u-s-repeals-propaganda-ban-spreads-government-made-news-to-americans/

    • June 13, 2018 at 6:28 pm

      Willow – thanks for sharing the Hastings article. Spot on in your analysis. The massive uniform nature of the MSM Russia-gate nonsense certainly has the feel of something new and different, beyond the typical “buildup to war” propaganda blitzes we are used to. The Wikileaks Vault 7 releases certainly confirmed what most of us thought given the evidence on the ground, which is that Hastings was assassinated using his car as the weapon. One thing we can be quite sure of is that the NYT’s & WaPo won’t be doing any articles contemplating the evidence and possibility that the U.S. government killed Hastings – the way they are ever-ready to do if a Russian journalist dies anywhere on the planet.

  6. Mild - ly Facetious
    June 10, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    I am perplexed and dumbfounded vis-a-vis the support among intellectuals here for the idea of a “Russia Gate” hoax.
    My perplexity circles around the multiple nefarious syndromes that accompany Donald Trumps’ presidency.

    Is Mr. McGovern so unforgettably incensed with the severely harsh and injurious treatment he suffered at a Hillary campaign venue?
    Can personal enmity delve so deep as to distort one reality into a staunch personally biased appraisal of antagonism w/reprisal?

    “Russia-Gate” is a hoax? — Trump isn’t dreaming about Towers in Moscow and St. Petersburg and Central Asia ??? !
    Question is this. Is McGovern’s endorsement of Trump’s “innocence” a denouncement of or a repudiation of Hillary Clinton!!! ?

    • mbob
      June 10, 2018 at 7:16 pm

      If you trust the NYT, CNN, the Washington Post, the establishment Democratic party, then it’s not at all surprising you’re perplexed. But there is little reason to trust those sources in general, and in the specific instance of Russiagate, not only should you *not* trust them, you should positively distrust them.

      First, there’s no evidence to support Russiagate. The claim of so-called 17 intelligence agency agreement, touted by Clinton and the NYT was retracted by the NYT. Are you aware of that? Do you know that the government was never permitted to examine the DNC servers? Do you know the DNC servers have been destroyed? Are you aware that Wikileaks claims it did *not* receive the DNC emails from Russia or a Russian agent? Are you aware there are no reports of any votes being changed by Russian hacking (though there are plenty of headlines that suggest the opposite)? Have you done the math to compare $100K in supposed Russian Facebook ads versus the $2 billion or more in election spending?

      After two years there is no evidence of collusion between Trump and the Russians. There is no reason to believe there was such collusion or election hacking. At worst the Russians may have tried to *influence* people’s votes through advertising. Compare that with what US corporations have being done and if the Russians were able to prevail, we should invest in Russia rather than US corporations.

      Second, the 2016 election was extraordinarily eye-opening regarding the role of the US media in manipulating the American public in support of corporate agendas. The NYT and CNN were egregious in that regard. The transparent media agenda was to get Clinton elected. The media first pushed the notion that, regarding party nominations, Trump was the only choice for Republicans and Clinton was the only choice for Democrats. Once they succeeded at that, the media worked tirelessly to advance the idea that no one with any brains or soul could possibly support Trump. Surprisingly they failed.

      When Trump won, the media and the Establishment Democrats were faced with a huge problem. How could they have been so wrong? If Clinton was clearly the right (the “only”) choice, how did Trump win? If Obama was such a great President, why didn’t people vote for his clear successor? Do you remember what happened?

      They initially tried to blame the election on racists and misogynists. That failed because many of the votes that went to Trump had previously gone (twice!) to Obama. Next they tried to blame Sanders. But that failed too. There is no way to deny that, after the convention, Sanders worked as hard as he could to get Clinton elected. In fact, after the convention *he* worked harder for her than she did. So that failed too.

      Lastly, they blamed it on Russia. That’s the story and they’re sticking to it. It’s not because of the neoliberal/globalist agenda that destroyed the US middle and working classes. It’s not because of NAFTA and the TPP. It’s not because the two-party system works solely for the benefit of the uber-rich and uber-powerful. No. It’s because of Russia that Trump won.

      Believe it if you want, but I don’t.

      • Realist
        June 11, 2018 at 3:44 am

        The excellent analysis you gave has been spelled out a million times already, only not in the mainstream media where most Americans get their brains cleansed and sanitized daily. You have to turn to independent news sources like CN or foreign ones, which the MSM strives mightily to dismiss, demonize and try to have banned. The free press, or an unbiased media, has conspicuously disappeared from the American scene, or rather it was quietly but purposefully disappeared by the establishment insiders.

        • willow
          June 11, 2018 at 1:50 pm

          Dear Realist. you wrote, “it was quietly but purposefully disappeared by the establishment insiders.”
          You are exactly right, and they did it by repealing Smith-Mundt, the ban on domestic propaganda.

          https://www.rt.com/usa/smith-mundt-domestic-propaganda-121/

        • Skip Scott
          June 13, 2018 at 7:23 am

          Mildly’s hatred for Trump blinds him/her to the machinations of the Deep State to control his actions and/or get rid of him.

          I have seen Mildly repeatedly ignore the actual contents of articles here to go on a rant about the Donald. Not that I like the guy, I just don’t let it blind me to what’s really going on. It is ironic that Mildly accuses Ray of being blinded by his harsh treatment at a Hillary event, when it is Mildly who is repeatedly showing blindness due to hatred of Trump.

          And it is funny that he/she mentions Trump dreaming of building towers in Moscow, because if they had actually been colluding with Trump those dreams wouldn’t have been thwarted.

    • Abby
      June 10, 2018 at 11:02 pm

      In addition to the other excellent comments here, I’ll add this one fact. The DNC is a private organization, not at all connected to the government. As was Podesta’s computer which wasn’t “hacked” to get his emails, he gave out his password after someone ‘phished’ him.

      Now if an outside organization “hacked” your computer or you gave out your password during a ‘phishing’ attempt would you expect the government to open an investigation into what happened to you? Probably not. So why has Mueller spent over a year and over $10 million looking into the DNC’s computer “hack” when the DNC refused to let the FBI examine their computers?

      Maybe your next question will be, “but what about all the indictments that Mueller has gotten?” Can you name one person who has been charged with “colluding with Russia to put Trump into office?” That answer is no. Flynn was charged with lying to the FBI, but did he really? Manafort has been charged for not registering as a foreign lobbyist, money laundering and not paying his taxes.

      So where is the evidence that “Russia colluded with Trump of interfered with the election?” The Facebook ads? Most of them were aimed towards Russians who live here and more than 60% of them were placed after the election was over.

      The real election interference has always been Israel and other foreign governments. But the biggest interference with our elections comes from the Koch brothers and the other billionaires who give unlimited amounts of money to the candidates of their choice.

      BTW, Hillary’s campaign laundered close to $84 million that should have been given to the down stream stated that people thought that they were donating to. Then there’s Hillary’s Correct the Record campaign where her campaign spent over $1 million on people who went on websites where people were critical of her and they “Corrected the Record” by informing people that their opinions on her were incorrect. This was possibly against election law, but who’s going to care about now that she lost the election?

      • Realist
        June 11, 2018 at 3:53 am

        Excellent. All the rational and articulate people are readers of and commenters on CN. Only the most punctilious of America’s top notch buffoons get selected to read what they are handed in front of a camera or lend their name to a piece of propaganda prepared for what now passes as our press.

        • Mild-ly Facetious
          June 11, 2018 at 6:54 pm

          “Appeasement” as Global Policy. Trump’s “Will to Power”. America’s Drive for World Domination

          By Prof. James Petras
          Global Research,
          June 08, 2018

          Appeasement and Trump’s ‘Triumph of Will’

          EU kowtowing to President Trump’s grab for global power, has only aroused his desire to dominate their markets, dictate their trade relations and defense spending. Trump tells the EU that his enemies are theirs.

          Trump believes in the doctrine of unilateral trade and ‘deals’ based on the principle that the US decides what you sell, how much you pay, and what you buy. The giant French oil multinational, Total, which had promised to invest in Iran, submitted to Trump and withdrew from its agreement and turned a deaf-ear to the French President.

          President Macron facing US tariffs on French exports bent his knee to Trump. Paris would support ‘joint efforts to reduce overcapacities, regulate subsidies and protect intellectual property’. Trump heard the ring of the EU begging cup and imposed tariffs and demanded more.

          The EU ‘vowed’ to retaliate to Trump’s tariffs by . . . sucking up to Trump’s trade war with China. The European Commission (EC) announced it was launching a case against . . . China! Echoing Trump’s allegations that Beijing was committing the ‘crime’ of insisting (‘forcing’ in EU rhetoric) foreign investors transfer technology as part of the basis for doing business.

          Trump turned on Mexico and Canada, his flunky allies in NAFTA by slapping both with tariffs.

          Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was ‘dismayed’ after wining and dining Trump in an embarrassing charm offensive, Trump ate, drank, and slapped a tariff on steel and aluminum and threatened to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement.

          In response Trudeau cited Canada’s century and a half military support for US imperial wars. To no avail!

          For Trump, the past is the past. It’s time to move ahead and for Canada to ‘buy American’.

          And when Trudeau talked of imposing reciprocal tariffs on US exports, Trump countered by threatening to break all trading agreements. At which point Trudeau proposed ‘further’ negotiations.

          Trump’s tariff on Mexican steel and aluminum exports evoked the robust response of a true Treaty lackey – the Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto claimed negotiations were ‘continuing’ and US companies were ‘involved’!

          The harder Trump pushed, the greater the retreat of his EU and North American ‘allies’. Facing rhetorical retaliation from the EU, Trump tweeted German Prime Minister Merkle’s nose out of shape, by threatening to slap Germany with car tariffs worth $20 billion dollars.

          The German Prime Minister and the head of Volkswagen broke ranks with the EU, and forgot all talk of retaliation and EU ‘unity’. They embraced negotiations and proposed ‘bilateral trans-Atlantic agreements based on Trump’s terms!

          Trump is not improvising’, nor is he ‘erratic’. He wields power; he knows that his competitors’ spinelessness is accompanied by mutual back-stabbing and he is exploiting their appeasement, by encouraging their belly crawling.

          President Trump exhibits a ‘will to power’.

          Appeasement in the nineteen thirties allowed Germany to defeat and occupy Europe. President Trump ,in the 21st century. is defeating the EU and conquering its markets.

          The language of politics is the politics of dominant world powers. Trump’s ‘reforms’ have deformed all past and present treaties, alliances and agreements in his drive for world domination.

          While the UK and the Ukraine run errands, fabricating Russian assassinations and resurrecting victims, Trump has his eyes on the prize; the world’s biggest markets — the EU and China.

          Yes, Trump may thank the Canadians for dying for US wars in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, but he tells Prime Minister Trudeau, ‘Business is business Justin, now bend over and sing, ‘God Bless America’.

          The same goes for Theresa May and Boris Johnson: Close your eyes and enjoy watching our tariffs close steel mills now and auto plants tomorrow.

          Trump knows his prostrate allies. He moralizes: ‘the more you screw them the better they like it’!

          That’s the Trump doctrine. And it’s not only his personal views: the stock market loves it; the Silicon billionaires and the manufacturers are cashing in on protection at home and free markets overseas.

          Trump will be entertained by the quartet of Trudeau, Macron, Merkel and May who will perform an original composition; “Making America Strong in a World of Wimps”.

          *Prof. James Petras

      • susan sunflower
        June 11, 2018 at 1:47 pm

        Thank you for points raised (that are all too conveniently ignored) … I’d add that if advertised as “Clinton E-mails” or “Clinton dirt”, the DNC emails were misrepresented … there was very truthful “dirt” about the DNC and some (courtesy of Podesta) some quite old, but still interesting information/verification wrt the management of the Clinton Foundation (with no indication of reparative steps taken/changes made in response to those reports….5 or 10 year old lapses are interest but one might hope do not current practices).

        But again, to repeat your point, the DNC is not part of the government … and had been warned I think twice by the FBI about hacking-type dangers … and still failed to demand FBI verification of Crowdstrike’s assessment (or to “gift” the FBI with their own proof of Russian involvement as defined and stress tested by the FBI). (The Hillary Clinton’s participation in the management of the Clinton Foundation was purposefully kept at a minimun/level of plausible deniability of any responsibility)

        On this “end of net neutrality day” I found Patrick Cockburn’s column about his father’s trials wrt to the relative importance of “facts” reassuring … as various lies and consensuses about false assumptions labeled now as “facts” (and various “conspiracy theories and their bretheren) make discussion of some many things damn near impossible

        https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/06/11/all-facts-are-not-equal-inside-claud-cockburns-mi5-file/

        it does depend on the quality of those who asses those facts and create and place them in contest.

        All True Scotsmen seems to have won the day.

    • JoeD
      June 11, 2018 at 11:23 am

      Trolls start to appear on Consortium News. How lovely.

      As the title of the article states: Still Waiting for Evidence of a Russian Hack.

      1. We have no evidence that a hack took place.
      2. We have no evidence that the Russian government and President Trump work together to hack the DNC servers.
      3. We have no evidence that the Russian government and President Trump work colluded on anything.

      So yeah keep pushing that conspiracy theory. We await evidence.

      • andy--s
        June 11, 2018 at 11:52 pm

        Furthermore, if the FBI truly believed Russians had access to clinton emails, then why was papadopoulos investigated instead of Mifsud, the guy alleged to have access?

        You’ll find the FBI made trivial effort at best to look outside of Trump campaign members for a trail leading to hackers.

  7. June 10, 2018 at 3:32 pm

    So who else is waiting for Trumpie to bring back the TPP? I mean, since he’s pretty much gone and followed everything his long-time good friend was trumpeting before she didn’t win the imperial crown, I just keep wondering how long it’ll be before he brings that back up.

    Anybody know if Trump has passed Obama’s record of deportations yet? Sessions is striving for a new record!

    As to whomever is this strangertogether poster, why even bother commenting on CS? Nearly everyone here knows better, dude. The people that read this site are into reality and avoiding propaganda whenever possible. You are a waste of space.

    FG and his ditties are hilarious. And dead on. Keep them coming Sanford person! We all need to be able to smile once in a while.

    But in reality we are so screwed. Class War has been going on forever, or at least as long as human written history, and guess which side has nearly always lost? And the small ‘wins’ that happened were only temporary until the power of wealth and corruption took them back. Counting in the ongoing and rapidly escalating catastrophe of climate collapse into this mix and we’re all going to be wishing we had a Planet B…but then we’d get there and find the wealthy had already brought the Class War to it.

    Still reading the ‘Untold History of the United States’ by Oliver Stone/Peter Kusnick along with the book ‘War-What For?’ published 1912 that I found in a box of 2nd hand donations. Complimentary readings no doubt. They both certainly show why we are where we are. Like the earlier Zinn’s ‘People’s History’ book these should also be required reading in school curriculum but of course that would never be allowed…. Can’t have the peasants thinking.

    Now kids don’t even need to know how to write in cursive any longer. Printing like a third graders is just fine for US. Ignorance is Strength!

    sealintheSelkirks

    • Realist
      June 11, 2018 at 4:07 am

      I believe the miserable have always vastly outnumbered the comfortable by many orders of magnitude. It’s fascinating though, how concepts like freedom, justice, decency, sharing and love of humanity repeatedly emerge from the experiences of the miserables, only to later get shoved down their throats by the non-practicing but pompously posturing comfortables. All they will ever do to help is to tell the downtrodden to suck it up but don’t ever dare to threaten their privilege for that would be unjust and repressive, a violation of all the revealed sacred principles.

  8. H.J.Schmid
    June 9, 2018 at 11:56 pm

    With all due respect and despite my great admiration for Mr. McGovern and his friends of Sanity crew, I must state that they got things all wrong from the very beginning. Their attempt to prove that there was NO COLLUSION BETWEEN TRUMP AND THE RUSSIANS (which I certainly believe there wasn’t any), their efforts are tantamount to trying to prove that God does not exist. That means allthough their intentions and their intellectual and investigative efforts are thoroughly honnest and laudable in the highest degree, their mission is doomed to fail.
    But the real shortcoming of their efforts is not their Don Quixotte charge at the windmills of Russiagate, it is the failure of adressing the REAL SCANDAL of 2016 and beyond.
    THE SYSTEMATIC RIGGING OF THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARIES, with its nationwide, well orchestrated cheating that disenfranchised millions of Americans of their right to vote in all kind of carefully planned and ruthlessly executed manipulations of voter registration documents. You want to dry the swamp? Go after the unconstitutional, unlawful actors of the Deep State? Then bring those people to justice, give their names to the public, that authorised, ordered and executed those changes in peoples party affiliation behind the voters backs!
    Dear Mr. McGovern! Fight for the right of every American to cast a counting vote before doing anything else. This is not the time for a debate whether you can walk and chew gum at the same time. Clean and fair elections are CONDITIO SINE QUA NON, not just for a Democracy, but for having an actual state of law. Right now you have no legitimate government, no legitimate institutions, no nothing, but a brutal machinery of death and mayhem fueled by greed and fear, that is running rogue, serving the highest bidder mostly and for the rest, anyone is left to the luck of the moment. The USA is on the superfast highway to hell.
    It’s time to fix that.

    • Realist
      June 11, 2018 at 4:24 am

      I don’t think that McGovern et al. are simply trying to prove a negative. They are trying to establish that the perpetrators of what is an attempted soft coup are liars and dangerous hombres, much more dangerous than any of the people they are trying to defame and destroy. They are trying to not only steal power but to destroy our constitution in the process. I think the facts you want exposed about voter disenfranchisement will be made crystal clear by activists like McGovern as the movement goes forward, even impeded as it is by those entrenched in power. An important step in the process will be to definitively expose those establishment elites as the liars, manipulators, conspirators and thugs that they are. It must be shown that they ARE precisely what they so haughtily condemn.

  9. John Davidson
    June 9, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    “And like Brer’ Fox, Bernie didn’t say nothin’.”

    It was the tar baby that sat there and didn’t say nothin’.

    I thought you were for being candid and accurate.

  10. susan sunflower
    June 9, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    One of the biggest “tells” is that lack of any particular bipartisan (or even partisan) plan to “protect” the midterms or the 2020 election … EVEN as the newspapers insist that Russian interference is ongoing and more is planned … be very afraid.

    It may be a lot like the Facebook dilemma, where they can’t fix the problem without destroying the internets(s) (or at least Facebook) and all the lovely surveillance and expert MIC internet intelligence cooperation, that is sold and given to our “allies”, etc. Like fighting the moonshiners, don’t want to be too effective or there’d be nothing to drink …

  11. June 9, 2018 at 11:22 am

    I have met Ray McGovern and believe he is truthful and honest, working at the truth for the American people. Trump has authoritarian tendencies, like Putin and other far right around the world. I do however question whether Russia who has spied against European elections, Brexit et al, actually did have dirt on Trump and threatened to use it, unless Trump does their bidding. Trump is turning our country into an authoritarian regime, our founders never wanted a King…but Trump sees himself as a King. He has oligharch envy, he wants to be Putin, every deal he does is transactional…he is the most corrupt, russian owned President ever.

  12. ThomasGilroy
    June 9, 2018 at 9:44 am

    “More important, the CIA reportedly used Marble during 2016. In her Washington Post report, Nakashima left that out, but did include another significant point made by WikiLeaks; namely, that the obfuscation tool could be used to conduct a ‘forensic attribution double game’ or false-flag operation because it included test samples in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic and Farsi.”

    Another false flag operation? Suddenly false flag operations have become the weapon of choice. Interestingly enough, they are nefariously (always) committed by the US or US allies. MH17 was a false flag with an SU-25 Ukraine jet responsible for downing the passenger jet (to blame Russia). All of the chemical attacks in Syria were false flag operations with the supply of sarin/chlorine made in Turkey or directly given to the “rebels” by the CIA or US allies. The White Helmets were of course in on all of the details. Assad was just simply not capable of doing that to “his” people. Forget that the sarin had the chemical signature of the Assad regime sarin supply. Next it was the snipers who used a false flag operation during the Maidan revolution to shoot protesters and police to oust Yanukovych. Only the neo-Nazis could be capable of shooting the Maidan protesters so they could take power. And then Seth Rich was murdered so he couldn’t reveal he was the “real” source of the leak. This was hinted by Assange when he offered a reward to find the killers.

    The author tosses out that the DNC hack was (potentially) a false flag operation by the CIA obviously to undermine Trump while victimizing Russia. It must be the Gulf of Tonkin all over again. While Crowdstrike might have a “dubious professional record and multiple conflicts of interest”, their results were also confirmed by several other cyber-security firms (Wikipedia):

    cybersecurity experts and firms, including CrowdStrike, Fidelis Cybersecurity, Mandiant, SecureWorks, ThreatConnect, and the editor for Ars Technica, have rejected the claims of “Guccifer 2.0” and have determined, on the basis of substantial evidence, that the cyberattacks were committed by two Russian state-sponsored groups (Cozy Bear and Fancy Bear).

    Then there was Papadopoulas who coincidentally was given the information that Russia had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of thousands of emails. Obviously, they were illegally obtained (unless this was another CIA false flag operation). This was before the release of the emails by WikiLeaks. This was followed by the Trump Tower meeting with Russians with connections to the Russian government and the release of the emails by WikiLeaks shortly thereafter. Additionally, Russia had the motive to defeat HRC and elect Trump. Yesterday, Trump pushed for the reinstatement of Russia at the G-7 summit. What a shock! All known evidence and motive points the finger directly at Russia.

    Calling everything a false flag operation is really the easy way out, but ultimately, it lets the responsible culprits off of the hook.

    • anon
      June 9, 2018 at 11:28 am

      I don’t seen any cause to say that any false-flag theory you don’t like is merely “tossed out” propaganda.
      One cannot tell in your comment where you think the accounts are credible and where not.
      No evidence that the Syria CW attacks “had the chemical signature of the Assad regime sarin supply.”

      • June 10, 2018 at 10:18 am

        anon – agree. I sounds like someone hasn’t quite pulled themselves out of the rabbit hole yet. Listing a series of Western false flag attacks and then suggesting incredulity that they could possibly all be Western “false flag attacks” hardly registers as anything resembling an “argument.” Then again, referencing “Wikipedia” to support one’s argument takes it all to the netherworld.

    • Bob In Portland
      June 9, 2018 at 12:49 pm

      If one looks at the history of the CIA, State Department et al, false flags have always been an essential tool. They suggest a violent, inexplicable act of violence as having had to have come from the US’s targeted enemy when it turns out that the US itself created such an incident.

      It has become clear that the firing on protesters in Maidan Square in Kiev was in fact done by people aligned with the fascist takeover of Ukraine’s government. The same claim of government snipers shooting at peaceful demonstrations has been used in Venezuela and Syria. Similarly, Ronald Reagan had to invade the island of Grenada to save the lives of American medical students “in peril”. The same paranoia about Iran’s bomb was used against Saddam Hussein. Over and over our intelligence services have lied us into wars and military actions.

      Today Russia is “threatening” Europe, apparently, by existing where it exists, so the US and its allies must surround it, put missile systems and NATO forces in place around it and somehow out threaten Russia. These action inevitably lead to war.

      There is no reason today to have any faith in our intelligence services, or either political party, to end our endless wars. False flags are not a new invention. It was baked into the cake a long time ago.

      • Realist
        June 11, 2018 at 4:36 am

        Yep, all the Russians want to do is sell Europe their fossil fuels so they can take the money, expand their own economy and buy nice things like everyone else has. But Washington would have you believe that any country (other than the United States, of course) that sells goods or services to another nation exerts undue influence over the buyer, and that the American sheriff of the world cannot allow… even if the obstruction damages the interests of both buyer and seller. Are there any countries left which we are now not sanctioning, embargoing or smacking with tariffs?

    • jeff montanye
      June 9, 2018 at 9:19 pm

      hogwash as to the russian hacking of the dnc. if it were even a little bit true the fbi would have taken apart the dnc servers with the thanks and blessings of the dnc. it wasn’t and they didn’t.

    • JoeD
      June 11, 2018 at 11:30 am

      Several 3rd party cyber-security firms, but not the FBI. The DNC claims a crime took pace but refused to let the FBI analyze their server. The FBI can look over Scarlett Johansson’s and Jennifer Lawrence’s phones but not the DNC server??

      Sorry Charlie but there ZERO evidence that Trump and the Russian government worked together to elect Trump, let alone that Russia hacked the DNC server.

  13. CitizenOne
    June 8, 2018 at 11:40 pm

    There can be no doubt that counterintelligence tools would be pursued by our intelligence agencies as a means to create narratives and false evidence based on the production of false flags which support desired geopolitical outcomes. There would be a need to create false flags using technology to support the geopolitical agenda which would be hard or impossible to trace using the forensic tools used by cyber sleuths.

    In pre computer technology days there were also many false flags which were set up to create real world scenarios which suited the geopolitical agenda. Even today, there are many examples of tactical false flag operations either organized and orchestrated or utilized by the intelligence agencies to create the narrative which supports geopolitical objectives.

    Examples:

    The US loaded munitions in broad daylight visible to German spies onto the passenger ship Lusitania despite German warnings that they would torpedo any vessels suspected of carrying munitions. The Lusitania then proceeded to loiter unaccompanied by escorts in an area off the Ireland coast treading over the same waters until it was spotted by a German U-Boat and was torpedoed. This was not exactly a false flag since the German U-Boat pulled the trigger but it was required to gain public support for the entrance of the US into WWI. It worked.

    There is evidence that the US was deliberately caught “off guard” in the Pearl Harbor Attack. Numerous coded communication intercepts were made but somehow the advanced warning radar on the island of Hawaii was mysteriously turned off in the hours before and during the Japanese attack which guaranteed that the attack would be successful and also guaranteed that our population would instantly sign on to the war against Japan. It worked.

    There is evidence that the US deliberately ignored the intelligence reports that UBL was planning to conduct an attack on the US using planes as bombs. The terrorists who carried out the attacks on the twin towers were “allowed” to conduct them. The result was the war in Iraq which was sold based on a pack of lies about WMDs and which we used to go to war with Iraq.

    The Tonkin Gulf incident which historians doubt actually happened or believe if it did was greatly exaggerated by intelligence and military sources was used to justify the war in Vietnam.

    The Spanish American War was ginned up by William Randolph Hearst and his yellow journalism empire to justify attacking Cuba, Panama and the Philippines. The facts revealed by forensic analysis of the exploded USS Maine have shown that the cataclysm was caused by a boiler explosion not an enemy mine. At the time this was also widely believed to not be caused by a Spanish mine in the harbor but the news sold the story of Spanish treachery and war was waged.

    In each case of physical false flags created on purpose, or allowed to happen or just made up by fictions based on useful information that could be manipulated and distorted the US was led to war. Some of these wars were just wars and others were wars of choice but in every case a false flag was needed to bring the nation into a state where we believed we were under attack and under the circumstances flocked to war. I will not be the judge of history or justice here since each of these events had both negative and positive consequences for our nation. What I will state is that it is obvious that the willingness to allow or create or just capitalize on the events which have led to war are an essential ingredient. Without a publicly perceived and publicly supported cause for war there can be no widespread support for war. I can also say our leaders have always known this.

    Enter the age of technology and the computer age with the electronic contraptions which enable global communication and commerce.

    Is it such a stretch to imagine that the governments desire to shape world events based on military actions would result in a plan to use these modern technologies to once again create in our minds a cyber scenario in which we are once again as a result of the “cyber” false flag prepared for us to go to war? Would it be too much of a stretch to imagine that the government would use the new electronic frontier just as it used the old physical world events to justify military action?

    Again, I will not go on to condemn any action by our military but will focus on how did we get there and how did we arrive at a place where a majority favored war.

    Whether created by physical or cyberspace methods we can conclude that such false flags will happen for better or worse in any medium available.

  14. DH Fabian
    June 8, 2018 at 9:16 pm

    “Iraq’s stockpiles of wmd.” “Russia stole the election.” Propaganda 101: Any lie, no matter how illogical, comes to be accepted as fact by the broader public if repeated often enough by media.

  15. susan sunflower
    June 8, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    I’d like “evidence” and I’d also like “context” since apparently international electoral “highjinks” and monkey-wrenching and rat-f*cking have a long tradition and history (before anyone draws a weapon, kills a candidate or sicc’s death squads on the citizenry.

    The DNC e-mail publication “theft” I suspect represents very small small potatoes for so many reasons … As Dixon at Black Agenda Report put it …. Russia-gate is American Exceptionalism writ large which takes on a more sinister aspect as groups like BLM and others are “linked” to alleged “Russian funding”on one and and Soros funding on another …

    https://www.blackagendareport.com/russia-gate-and-crisis-american-exceptionalism

    (FWIW, this is a new neoliberal phenomenon when the ultra-rich “liberals” can quietly fund marches on Washington and “grassroots” networking … making those neophyte movements too easy targets with questionable robust foundation (color revolutions are possible when anyone is able to foot the cost of 1,000 or 2000 “free” signs or t-shirts — impecccably designed and printed.

    • DH Fabian
      June 8, 2018 at 9:28 pm

      Go back to square one: The entire anti-Russian campaign began shortly after the 2016 election as the Clinton wing’s excuse for their defeat. Since the election, the core allegation has been that Russia somehow hacked into voting machines to ensure that Trump got the most votes. Check the 2016 election results. Clinton got the most votes, in spite of much opposition (to the Clinton wing) from the Dem voting base. Trump is president because he got the most electoral votes — something that a foreign entity couldn’t hack into, influence, steal, etc. (Learn about electoral college process, and the efforts to end it, to rely on the direct vote count.) The continued anti-Russian tale sells because so many Americans know so little about contemporary Russia, and international policy overall.

    • DH Fabian
      June 8, 2018 at 9:42 pm

      The key point that Democrats avoid: As research has consistently shown, most voting choices come down to economic issues. The Dem voting base had long consisted of the poor and middle class. The Clinton administration split this base wide apart back in the 1990s, middle class vs. poor, workers vs. those who are phased out of the job market. The Obama years confirmed that this split is permanent. That said, I don’t know how much of a role this played in the 2016 election, as both candidates were opposed by much of their own voting bases, for some of the same reasons. Roughly half of all voters rejected both, and either voted third party or withheld their votes.In the end, Clinton got the most votes, but Trump got the most electoral votes. While not common, this isn’t the first time the candidate with the most votes lost the election because of our antiquated electoral college process. (And no, Russia still had nothing to do with any of it.)

  16. Ellen Murphy
    June 8, 2018 at 6:05 pm

    Thank you, Ray. I pray you are recovering well from the latest assault upon you.

  17. Al Pinto
    June 8, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    The Washington Capitals had won the NHL Stanly Cup, lead by Russians to secure the second most important Russian victory in Washington. This victory gives DJT legitimate reason for inviting Russians in to the White House. Meddling with the outcome of the NHL Stanley Cup must be investigated… :)

    • DH Fabian
      June 8, 2018 at 9:57 pm

      That defies all logic. Do you follow politics as well as sports? Since Trump took office, the world has watched the buildup of US/NATO troops near the Russian border, widely considered a potential US (Trump) provocation of war, against Russia (Putin) — not a gesture of friendship. Since Trump took office, we’ve been subjected to a barrage of anti-Russian propaganda, with media virtually censoring-out those who dispute this propaganda. Add in the Trump administration’s reinforced economic sanctions against Russia, and top it off with the increased US “meddling” in Ukraine. What the international community sees is Trump repeatedly trying to provoke a catastrophic war against Russia. Clearly, Americans learned little from Bush’s lies about “Iraq’s stockpiles of WMD.”

  18. June 8, 2018 at 11:08 am

    Excellent post. Thanks also for reminding me I need to revisit the Vault 7 information as source material. These are incredibly important leaks that help connect the dots of criminal State intelligence activities designed to have remained forever hidden.

    • Skip Scott
      June 8, 2018 at 1:07 pm

      I can’t think of any single piece of evidence that our MSM is under the very strict control of our so-called intelligence agencies than how fast and completely the Vault 7 releases got flushed down the memory hole. “Nothing to see here folks, move along.”

  19. jsinton
    June 8, 2018 at 8:35 am

    I saw a compelling statistic the other day. Apparently, 12% of Sanders supporters eventually went on to vote Trump. If true, a very good argument can be made that this is by far the biggest “upset factor” in the election. So why can’t our MSM see that?

    My initial reaction to Russia-gate still holds true today: It’s an easy way to deflect self-examination by the Dems on “why” they lost the election, while simultaniously smearing Trump and the Russians… all in the same sentence! I felt that, in a word, Russia-gate was “bullshit”.

    • Al Pinto
      June 8, 2018 at 2:01 pm

      Here’s a link the referenced voting statistics for SOS (Sell Out Sanders):

      https://townhall.com/tipsheet/christinerousselle/2017/08/23/wow-12-percent-of-bernie-voters-voted-for-trump-n2372351

      Quote from the link above:

      “More important, in the three critical states that tipped the election, Sanders-to-Trump voters ultimately gave Trump the margin he needed to win:

      – In Wisconsin, roughly 51K Sanders voters backed Trump in a state he won by just 22K votes.

      – In Michigan, roughly 47K Sanders voters backed Trump in a state he won by just 10K votes.

      – In Pennsylvania, roughly 116K Sanders voters backed Trump in a state he won by just 44K votes.”

      Yes, Sanders could have run as independent and probably still won the election over RHC and DJT, at least in my view…

      Disclaimer: I’ve changed my party affiliation just to vote for Sanders in the primary. To say that I’ve been disappointed in him to cave in for HRC is an understatement….

      • mbob
        June 8, 2018 at 3:01 pm

        Sanders would *not* have won. The US and the media were not ready for a third-party candidate in 2016. (Yes I know that Ross Perot won 19% of the vote in 1992. Sanders might have done better, but not enough better to win.)

        Given that, he was damned either way. Had he run, your own numbers show he would have taken more from Clinton than from Trump. Trump would still have won. And Sanders (and his supporters) would have been blamed. There’d be no Russiagate: there’d be a Sandersgate. Given the magnitude of the purely made up Russiagate hysteria, can you begin to imagine what the democrats and the media would have done to Sanders and his supporters?

        His political career would be over, but much more importantly, the Sanders-inspired progressive movements would have been stopped before they could even start. The democratic party would be even more Clinton-controlled and even more attached to their neoliberal/globalist agenda. Instead, Sanders is the most popular politician in the US and his supporters are growing in numbers and in strength. Sanders-inspired candidates and Sanders-inspired initiatives are making inroads.

        Given the failure in 2016 of the two-party system to produce a candidate that the public wanted, it’s even possible the US will be ready for a third-party candidate in 2020. It’d be terrific if that candidate was Sanders or someone who shares his agenda.

        • irina
          June 8, 2018 at 3:36 pm

          Alaska’s 2018 race for governor is shaping up to be an actual 3-way race,
          after former Senator Mark Begich threw his hat in the ring at the last minute,
          filing as a Democratic candidate. Now the incumbent team of Bill Walker and
          Byron Mallot are planning to run as Independents (they would have run on the
          Democratic ticket if nobody filed). And there are several candidates jostling for
          the Republican nomination. This will be an interesting litmus test for 2020 !

        • Al Pinto
          June 8, 2018 at 4:36 pm

          You are probably correct and it’s been just my wishful thinking…

          On the other hand, the media had not been ready to accepted DJT for POTUS and yet, he has been elected. This indicates that people have their own evaluation method, at least a sizable number of them, instead of listening to the media.

          Knowing that the MSM media is owned outright by oligarchs, it’s hard to imagine that it will ever be ready for a third-party candidate. While this might be acceptable on the state level, the federal level probably requires more time than couple of years.

          And even if the MSM will be ready in 2020, I would not vote for Sander. As the old saying goes, “If you burn me once, shame on you…”

        • Realist
          June 8, 2018 at 4:45 pm

          You spell out Sander’s realistic decision with crystal clarity, something I’ve not seen done so lucidly before. Sanders would have destroyed the progressive movement had he bolted from the Democratic party, which he promised to support when he entered the campaign, thereby giving the election to Trump. Trump won without any help from Bernie. In fact, all indications are that Bernie would have won as a Democrat, but not yet as an independent. Still far too much mindless loyalty (and chits owed) to the party. The Dems screwed themselves by sabotaging his campaign to secure the nomination for the unpopular acid-tongued Clinton. Now is when he should become the truthteller and deliver a full broadside against Pelosi, Schumer, Schiff and the other party insiders who are the actual culprits in destroying the party’s future with their attempted soft coup.

          • Sam F
            June 8, 2018 at 7:56 pm

            I suspect that Sanders knows that the DNC would not back him, because he is not pleasing to their oligarchs. Likely he will continue to sheepdog liberals to the zionist/WallSt/MIC candidate.
            So he is not what he seems, which is his job.

          • mbob
            June 8, 2018 at 11:04 pm

            Thank you. I agree that Sanders would likely have won had he been the Democratic nominee, but not otherwise. I understand and share the profound disappointment many have that he’s not our president. But I don’t understand the anger directed at him. Given that he wasn’t nominated, he had no choice but to do what he did. He didn’t betray anyone. Nor did he cost Clinton the election.

            On the other hand, I *do* think that the Democratic party did betray us. So, after 40+ years of being a registered Democrat, I left the party and registered as Independent.

            Lastly, why does Obama get a pass, but not Sanders? Sanders gets criticized in ways Obama never was. Obama is an admitted globalist and neoliberal. The TPP he pushed so vigorously would have been a betrayal of all Americans who work. Obama blatantly favored Clinton, another neoliberal/globalist, as his successor.

            Sanders, while admittedly imperfect, was on the right side of the TPP and most other issues. He’s worked with amazing vigor to revive the progressive movement that languished under Obama. His efforts are receiving tangible results. Obama never did anything of the sort. Neither did Biden, who may be Democrat’s 2020 presidential candidate.

            So why so much hostility toward Sanders and so little toward Obama?

          • Realist
            June 9, 2018 at 1:35 am

            I’m with you again on your analysis, mbob. I’ve been a registered Dem myself for fifty years in three different states. I haven’t changed my registration because I want to give them a message in their primaries that the direction they have been taking is distinctly wrong and will not be rewarded in the general elections. I don’t think I will have much impact in the coming campaign, however, based on the analysis by Mike Whitney (below) that the Dems are currently skewing towards hard core military and intelligence agency candidates and running away from progressives:

            “The Democratic Party has made a strategic decision to bypass candidates from its progressive wing and recruit former members of the military and intelligence agencies to compete with Republicans in the upcoming midterm elections. The shift away from liberal politicians to center-right government agents and military personnel is part of a broader plan to rebuild the party so it better serves the interests of its core constituents, Wall Street, big business, and the foreign policy establishment. Democrat leaders want to eliminate left-leaning candidates who think the party should promote issues that are important to working people and replace them with career bureaucrats who will be more responsive to the needs of business. The ultimate objective of this organization-remake is to create a center-right superparty comprised almost entirely of trusted allies from the national security state who can be depended on to implement the regressive policies required by their wealthy contributors. Here’s more background from Patrick Martin at the World Socialist Web Site…” (Citation attached)

            Whitney doesn’t give Sanders a pass, basically characterising him as a Judas goat misleading progressives to vote for neoliberal Wall Street candidates, as SamF says. But then, he doesn’t give Obama or Biden a pass either. Actually, there is a lot of “dislike” out there for Obama and the whole crew he recruited into his administration, e.g., Biden, Clinton, Gates, Rice, Power, Carter and Nuland, gangsters all. They campaigned as progressive peaceniks but proved themselves to be neoliberal warmongers. I will never vote for their ilk again even if Bernie begs pretty please. I don’t follow messiahs or party orders. Bernie still has the support of his people who are NOT mainstream Dems of this era, but that faction of the party has little clout regardless of their appeal at the ballot box.

        • Skip Scott
          June 9, 2018 at 7:05 am

          Mbob-

          I don’t think anyone can predict whether or not Sanders would have won as a 3rd party candidate. He ran a remarkable campaign, but when he caved to the Clinton machine he lost a lot of supporters, including me. If he had stood up at the convention and talked of the DNC skullduggery exposed by Wikileaks, and said “either I run as a democrat, or I run as a Green, but I’m running”, he would have at least gotten 15 pct to make the TV debates, and who knows what could have happened after that. 40 pct of registered voters didn’t vote. That alone tells you it is possible he might have won.

          Instead he expected us to follow him like he was the f’ing Pied Piper to elect another Wall St. loving warmonger. That’s why he gets no “pass” from me. He (and the Queen of Chaos) gave us Trump. BTW, Obama doesn’t get a “pass” either.

          • mbob
            June 9, 2018 at 11:46 am

            Scott – I agree we can’t know how Sanders would have done. But we can get a pretty good idea.

            Was it even possible for him to run as an Independent once he lost the Democratic party nomination? Technically, yes, but let’s look at some numbers. The Democratic national convention ended on July 28, 2016. Suppose Sanders immediately decided to run as Independent. According to Ballotpedia, by that date he was already too late to qualify for the ballot in 13 states, including Florida, Texas, Illinois, Oklahoma and Washington. He would have had 3-4 days to qualify in an additional 12 states, including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. He’d have only 9 days more to qualify in most of the rest of the country, including California. Was that do-able? Did he have the manpower/resources to get enough signatures? I can’t imagine it was possible.

            Moreover, he promised, as condition of being allowed to campaign as a Democrat, that he’d support the party nominee. How many Democrats would have left Sanders in disgust had he reneged? For every progressive like you (and me) that would have been thrilled to be able to vote for him, he likely would have lost a vote from a “real” Democrat. Even had he run, he would have lost.

            And, as I said earlier, had he run (and lost) Clinton would still have lost. And Sanders would have been blamed. There’d be no Russiagate (which would be great) but there’d be no progressive movement in the US at all. It would be Naderized. Even progressives to the left of Sanders, such as Margaret Flowers, would be silenced. There would be no talk at all of Medicare for All, single-payer, or a $15 per hour minimum wage.

            I’m sorry you feel angered and betrayed. Sanders did all he could. He opted to “live to fight another day” rather than go out “in a blaze of glory” and take the entire progressive movement down with him. I think it was a rational and selfless thing to do.

          • Skip Scott
            June 9, 2018 at 12:36 pm

            Mbob-

            He was invited by Jill Stein to lead the Green Party ticket, and he turned her down. With the right speech at the convention, I think he’d either have gotten the Democratic nod, or he’d have caused a major exodus of Democratic voters. His promise to support the Democratic nominee should have been predicated on a fair primary process. All of this could have been said at the convention if Bernie wasn’t a coward. If he made the TV debates, he’d have had a really good shot at winning, even if it had to be a write-in. Let’s not forget the forty pct of non-voters that could have been swayed to vote for Bernie during the TV debates. He had his shot and he blew it. He didn’t do all he could, and the progressive movement is in shambles. Any progressive who stays in the Democratic party didn’t learn a thing in 2016. The Greens are our only hope now, and Bernie isn’t the man to lead us.

        • JoeD
          June 11, 2018 at 11:36 am

          Based on what evidence? Trump ran to the left of Clinton. He ran a populist campaign based on the same policies that Sanders supported. You also forget that voter turn out was low, lower than in 2012.

          Based on the polling numbers and the people showing up to Sanders rallies, Sanders would have easily have beaten Trump. Progressives and Independents as well as Trump supporters would have voted Sanders.

          The notion Sanders would have lost is not supported by the numbers.

    • willow
      June 8, 2018 at 9:24 pm

      It’s all about the money. A big motive for the DNC to conjure up Russia-gate was to keep donors from abandoning any future
      Good Ship Hillary or other Blue Dog Democrat campaigns: “Our brand/platform wasn’t flawed. It was the Rooskies.”

  20. Vivian O'Blivion
    June 8, 2018 at 8:22 am

    An earlier time line.

    March 14th. Popadopoulos has first encounter with Mifsud.
    April 26th. Mifsud tells Popadopoulos that Russians have “dirt” on Clinton, including “thousands of e-mails”.
    May 4th. Trump last man standing in Republican primary.
    May 10th. Popadopoulos gets drunk with London based Australian diplomat and talks about “dirt” but not specifically e-mails.
    June 9th. Don. Jr meets in Trump tower with Russians promising “dirt” but not specifically in form of e-mails.

    It all comes down to who Mifsud is, who he is working for and why he has been “off grid” to journalists (but not presumably Intelligence services) for > 6 months.

    Specific points.
    On March 14th Popadopoulos knew he was transferring from team Carson to team Trump but this was not announced to the (presumably underwhelmed) world ’till March 21st. Whoever put Mifsud onto Popadopoulos was very quick on their feet.
    The Australian diplomat broke chain of command by reporting the drunken conversation to the State Department as opposed to his domestic Intelligence service. If Mifsud was a western asset, Australian Intelligence would likely be aware of his status.
    If Mifsud was a Russian asset why would demonstrably genuine Russians be trying to dish up the dirt on Clinton in June?

    There are missing pieces to this jigsaw puzzle but it’s starting to look like a deep state operation to dirty Trump in the unlikely event that he went on to win.

    • Realist
      June 8, 2018 at 4:28 pm

      Ms. Clinton was personally trying to tar Trump with allusions to “Russia” and being “Putin’s puppet” long before he won the presidency, in fact, quite conspicuously during the two conventions and most pointedly during the debates. She was willing to use that ruse long before her defeat at the ballot box. It was the straw that she clung to and was willing to use as a pretext for overturning the election after the unthinkable happened. But, you are right, smearing Trump through association with Russia was part of her long game going back to the early primaries, especially since her forces (both in politics and in the media) were trying mightily to get him the nomination under the assumption that he would be the easiest (more like the only) Republican candidate that she could defeat come November.

      • susan sunflower
        June 9, 2018 at 12:06 pm

        She also, as a life long fervent opponent of Wikileak, lock stock and barrel was likely delighted to be able to play “victim” and then — pre election, ruff-tuff sheriff — about controlling the internet and protecting YOUR data … (not understanding how overblown it is when folks blame phishing scams on “hacking” …. etc. )

        It was the opportunity to smash Wikileaks that HRC had been looking for … and it appears in die-hard Dem hiives/circle to have “Protect the Queen” worked and branded Assange as a “nasty man”

    • Wcb
      June 8, 2018 at 5:25 pm

      Steven Halper?

  21. Rob Roy
    June 8, 2018 at 1:33 am

    I might add to this informative article that the reason why Julian Assange has been ostracized and isolated from any public appearance, denied a cell phone, internet and visitors is that he tells the truth, and TPTB don’t want him to say yet again that the emails were leaked from the DNC. I’ve heard him say it several times. H. Clinton was so shocked and angry that she didn’t become president as she so confidently expected that her, almost knee-jerk, reaction was to find a reason that was outside of herself on which to blame her defeat. It’s always surprised me that no one talks about what was in those emails which covered her plans for Iran and Russia (disgusting).
    Trump is a sociopath, but the Russians had nothing to do with him becoming elected. I was please to read here that he…or perhaps just Pompeo?… met with Binney. That’s a good thing, though Pompeo, too, is unstable and war hungry to follow Israel into bombing yet another innocent sovereign country. Thank, Mr. McGovern for another excellent coverage of this story.

    • susan sunflower
      June 9, 2018 at 12:13 pm

      It was well known, above-board, that Trump had been trying to get funding for a Trump Hotel in Moscow, and likely brought the Miss Universe Pageant there to “impress” Putin and other rich folks … without success (likely because they knew how desperate for funding and how badly run Trump industries historically were) …. Of course, Trump has multiple Russian ties, he has ties to the crooked and corrupt fly by night wheelers and dealers internationally (as Panama, Singapore and the various ‘Stans attest).

      Gloves came off when he won ….

  22. MLS
    June 7, 2018 at 9:59 pm

    “no one associated with WikiLeaks has ever been questioned by his team”

    Do tell, Ray:

    How do you know what the GOP Congress appointed Special Prosecutor’s investigation – with its unlimited budget, wide mandate, and notable paucity of leaks – has and has not done?

    • strgr-tgther
      June 8, 2018 at 12:14 am

      MLS: Thank you! No one stands up for what is right any more. We have 17 Intelligency agencies that say are election was stolen. And just last week the Republicans Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnel and Trey Gowdy (who I detest) said the FBI and CIA and NSA were just doing there jobs the way ALL AMERICANS woudl want them to. And even Adam Schiff, do you think he will tell any reporter what evidence he does have? #1 It is probably classified and #2 he is probably saving it for the inpeachment. We did not find out about the Nixon missing 18 minutes until the end anyways. All of these articles sound like the writer just copied Sean Hannity and wrote everything down he said, and yesterday he told all suspects in the Mueller investigation to Smash and Bleach there mobile devices, witch is OBSTRUCTION of justice and witness TAMPERING. A great American there!

      • Rob Roy
        June 8, 2018 at 1:48 am

        strgr-tgther:

        Sean Hannity??? Ha, ha, ha.

        As Mr. McGoven wrote…..”any resemblance between what we say and what presidents, politicians and pundits say is purely coincidental.”

      • John
        June 8, 2018 at 5:48 am

        Sorry I had to come back and point out the ultimate irony of ANYONE who supports the Butcher of Libya complaining about having an election stolen from them (after the blatant rigging of the primary that caused her to take the nomination away from the ONE PERSON who was polling ahead of Trump beyond the margin of error of the polls.)

        It is people like you who gave us Trump. The Pied Piper Candidate promoted by the DNC machine (as the emails that were LEAKED, not “hacked”, as the metadata proves conclusively, show.)

      • incontinent reader
        June 8, 2018 at 7:14 am

        What is this baloney? Seventeen Intelligence agencies DID NOT conclude what you are alleging, And in fact, Brennan and his cabal avoided using a National intelligence Estimate, which would have shot down his cherry-picked ‘assessment’ before it got off the ground – and it would have been published for all to read.

        The NSA has everything on everybody, yet has never released anything remotely indicating Russian collusion. Do you think the NSA Director, who, as you may recall, did not give a strong endorsement to the Brennan-Comey assessment, would have held back from the Congress such information, if it had existed, when he was questioned? Furthermore, former technical directors of the NSA, Binney, Wiebe and Loomis- the very best of the best- have proven through forensics that the Wikileaks disclosures were not obtained by hacking the DNC computers, but by a leak, most likely to a thumb drive on the East Coast of the U.S. How many times does it have to be laid out for you before you are willing and able to absorb the facts?

        As for Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, (and Trey Gowdy, who was quite skilled on the Benghazi and the Clinton private email server investigations- investigations during which Schiff ran interference for Clinton- but has seemed unwilling to digest the Strozk, Page, McCabe, et al emails and demand a Bureau housecleaning), who cares what they think or say, what matters is the evidence.

        I suggest you familiarize yourself with the facts- and start by rereading Ray’s articles, and the piece by Joe diGenova posted on Ray’s website.

        • Realist
          June 8, 2018 at 4:12 pm

          The guy’s got Schiff for brains. Everyone who cares about the truth has known since before Mueller started his charade that the “17 intelligence agency” claim was entirely a ruse, bald-faced confected propaganda to anger the public to support the coup attempted by Ms. Clinton and her zombie followers. People are NOT going to support the Democratic party now or in the future when its tactics include subverting our public institutions, including the electoral process under the constitution–whether you like the results or not! If the Democratic party is to be saved, those honest people still in it should endeavor to drain the septic tank that has become their party before we can all drain the swamp that is the federal government and its ex-officio manipulators (otherwise known as the “deep state”) in Washington.

      • Farmer Pete
        June 8, 2018 at 7:30 am

        “We have 17 Intelligency agencies that say are election was stolen.”

        You opened up with a talking point that is factually incorrect. The team of hand-picked spooks that slapped the “high confidence” report together came from 3 agencies. I know, 17 sounds like a lot and very convincing to us peasants. Regardless, it’s important to practice a few ounces of skepticism when it comes to institutions with a long rap sheet of crime and deception. Taking their word for it as a substitute for actual observable evidence is naive to say the least. The rest of your hollow argument is filled with “probably(s)”. If I were you, I’d turn off my TV and stop looking for scapegoats for an epically horrible presidential campaign and candidate.

        • strgr-tgther
          June 8, 2018 at 12:50 pm

          /horrible presidential campaign and candidate/ Say you. But we all went to sleep comfortable the night before the election where 97% of all poles said Clinton was going to be are next President. And that did not happen! So Robert Mueller is going to find out EXACTLY why. Stay tuned!!!

          • irina
            June 8, 2018 at 3:40 pm

            Not ‘all’. I knew she was toast after reading that she had cancelled her election night fireworks
            celebration, early on the morning of Election Day. She must have known it also, too.

            And she was toast in my mind after seeing the ridiculous scene of her virtual image
            ‘breaking the glass ceiling’ during the Democratic Convention. So expensively stupid.

          • Realist
            June 8, 2018 at 3:50 pm

            Mueller is simply orchestrating a dramatic charade to distract you from the obvious reason why she lost: Trump garnered more electoral votes, even after the popular votes were counted and recounted. Any evidence of ballot box stuffing in the key states pointed to the Democrats, so they gave that up. She and her supporters like you have never stopped trying to hoodwink the public either before or after the election. Too many voters were on to you, that’s why she lost.

        • Realist
          June 8, 2018 at 3:57 pm

          Indeed, stop the nonsense which can’t be changed short of a coup d’etat, and start focusing on opposing the bad policy which this administration has been pursuing. I don’t see the Dems doing that even in their incipient campaigns leading up to the November elections. Fact is, they are not inclined to change the policies, which are the same ones that got them “shellacked” at the ballot box in 2016. (I think Obama must own lots of stock in the shellack trade.)

      • Curious
        June 8, 2018 at 6:27 pm

        Ignorance of th facts keep showing up in your posts for some unknown reason. Sentence two: “we have 17 intelligency (sic) agencies that say…”. this statement was debunked a long time ago.
        Have you learned nothing yet regarding the hand-picked people out of three agencies after all this time? Given that set of lies it makes your post impossible to read.
        I would suggest a review of what really happened before you perpetuate more myths and this will benefit all.
        Also, a good reading of the Snowden Docs and vault 7 should scare you out of your shell since our “intelligeny” community can pretend to be Chinese, Russian, Iranian just for starters, and the blame game can start after hours instead of the needed weeks and/or months to determine the veracity of a hack and/or leak.
        It’s past trying to win you over with the actual ‘time lines’ and truths. Mr McGovern has re-emphasized in this article the very things you should be reading.
        Start with Mr Binney and his technical evaluation of the forensics in the DNC docs and build out from there This is just a suggestion.

        What never ceases to amaze me in your posts is the ‘issue’ that many of the docs were bought and paid for by the Clinton team, and yet amnesia has taken over those aspects as well. Shouldn’t you start with the Clintons paying for this dirt before it was ever attributed to Trump?

        • Realist
          June 9, 2018 at 4:19 pm

          He (or she) is simply a diehard Clinton propagandist who will not stop trying to disseminate Hillary’s chosen narratives, even the ones long since debunked. Like Mueller, he can’t handle the truth. He practices Goebel’s dictum, in that the more you repeat a lie, the more people will believe it.

      • Daniel
        June 8, 2018 at 6:38 pm

        Actually, both Brennan and Hayden testified to Congress that only 3 agencies signed off on their claim. They also said that they’d “hand picked” a special team to run their “investigation,” and no other people were involved. So, people known to be perjurers cherry picked “evidence” to make a claim. Let’s invade Iraq again.

        More than 1/2 of their report was about RT, and even though that was all easily viewable public record, they got huge claims wrong. Basically, the best they had was that RT covered Occupy Wall Street and the NO DAPL and BLM protests, and horror of horrors, aired third party debates! In a democracy! How dare they?

        Why didn’t FBI subpoena DNC’s servers so they could run their own forensics on them? Why did they just accept the claims of a private company founded by an Atlantic Council board member? Did you know that CrowdStrike had to backpedal on the exact same claim they made about the DNC server when Ukraine showed they were completely wrong regarding Ukie artillery?

      • JoeD
        June 11, 2018 at 11:39 am

        Stop trolling troll.

        We do not have one single intelligence agency stating fact that the election was stolen, let alone hacked. There was an assessment written by hand picked analysts, not by any agency, that gave an opinion which President Obama later walked back.

        Keep wearing that tin foil hat.

    • Joe Lauria
      June 8, 2018 at 2:12 am

      Until he went incommunicado Assange stated on several occasions that he was never questioned by Muellers team. Craig Murray has said the same. And Kim Dotcom has written to Mueller offering evidence about the source and he says they have never replied to him.

      • Realist
        June 8, 2018 at 3:40 pm

        Mueller is not interested in the truth. He can’t handle the truth. His purpose is not to divulge the truth. He has no use for truthtellers including the critical possessors of the truth whom you mentioned. This aversion to the truth is the biggest clue that Mueller’s activities are a complete sham.

    • June 8, 2018 at 3:28 pm

      MLS wrote, “How do you know what the GOP Congress appointed Special Prosecutor’s investigation – with its unlimited budget, wide mandate, and notable paucity of leaks – has and has not done?”

      Robert Mueller is NOT a Special Prosecutor appointed by the Congress. He is a special counsel appointed by the Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, and is part of the Department of Justice.

      I know no one who dislikes Trumps wants to hear it. But all Mueller’s authority and power to act is derived from Donald J. Trump’s executive authority because he won the 2016 presidential election. Mueller is down the chain of command in the Executive Department.

      That’s why this is all nonsense. What we basically have is Trump investigating himself. The framers of the Constitution never intended this. They intended Congress to investigate the Executive and that’s why they gave Congress the power to remove him or her via impeachment.

      As long as we continue with this folly of expecting the Justice Department to somehow investigate and prosecute a president we end up with two terrible possibilities. Either a corrupt president will exercise his legitimate authority to end the investigation like Nixon did -or- we have a Deep State beyond the reach of the elected president that can effectively investigate and prosecute a corrupt president, but also then has other powers with no democratic control.

      The solution to this dilemma? An empowered Congress elected by the People operating as the Constitution intended.

      As to the rest of your post? It is an example of the “will to believe.” Me? I’ll not act as if there is evidence of Russian interference until I’m shown evidence, not act as if it must be true, because I want to believe that, until it’s fully proven that it didn’t happen.

    • JoeD
      June 11, 2018 at 11:41 am

      It would have been reported in the news and by wikileaks. Keep reaching for those meds.

  23. F. G. Sanford
    June 7, 2018 at 8:22 pm

    There must be some Trump-Russia ties.
    Or so claim those CIA spies-
    McCabe wants a deal, or else he won’t squeal,
    He’ll dissemble when he testifies!

    No one knows what’s on Huma’s computer.
    There’s no jury and no prosecutor.
    Poor Adam Schiff hopes McCabe takes the fifth,
    Special council might someday recruit her!

    Assange is still embassy bound.
    Mueller’s case hasn’t quite come unwound.
    Wayne Madsen implies that there might be some ties,
    To Israelis they haven’t yet found!

    Halper and Mifsud are players.
    John Brennan used cutouts in layers.
    If the scheme falls apart and the bureau is smart,
    They’ll go after them all as betrayers!

    They needed historical fiction.
    A dossier with salacious depiction!
    Some urinous whores could get down on all fours,
    They’d accomplish some bed sheet emiction!

    Pablo Miller and Skripal were cited.
    Sidney Blumenthal might have been slighted.
    Christopher Steele offered Sidney a deal,
    But the dossier’s not copyrighted!

    That story about Novichok,
    Smells a lot like a very large crock.
    But they can’t be deposed or the story disclosed,
    The Skripals have toxic brain block!

    Papadopolis shot off his yap.
    He told Downer, that affable chap-
    There was dirt to report on the Clinton cohort,
    Mifsud hooked him with that honey trap!

    She was blond and a bombshell to boot.
    Papadopolis thought she was cute.
    She worked for Mifsud, a mysterious dude,
    Now poor Paps is in grave disrepute!

    But the trick was to tie it to Russians.
    The Clinton team had some discussions.
    Their big email scandal was easy to handle,
    They’d blame Vlad for the bad repercussions!

    There must have been Russian collusion.
    That explained all the vote count confusion.
    Guccifer Two made the Trump team come through,
    If he won, it was just an illusion!

    Lisa Page and Pete Strzok were disgusted
    They schemed and they plotted and lusted.
    If bald-headed Clapper appealed to Jake Tapper,
    Brennan’s Tweets might get Donald Trump busted!

    There had to be cyber subversion.
    It would serve as the perfect perversion.
    They would claim it was missed if it didn’t exist,
    It’s a logically perfect diversion!

    • June 8, 2018 at 1:03 am

      BRAVO, F.G. … and thanks.
      Ray

    • Rob Roy
      June 8, 2018 at 1:41 am

      F.G., you’ve done it again, and I might add, topped even yourself! Thanks.

  24. KiwiAntz
    June 7, 2018 at 7:30 pm

    What a joke, America, the most dishonest Country on Earth, has meddled, murdered & committed coups to overturn other Govts & interfered & continues to do so in just about every Country on Earth by using Trade sanctions, arming Terrorists & illegal invasions, has the barefaced cheek to puff out its chest & hypocritcally blame Russia for something that it does on a daily basis?? And the point with Mueller’s investigation is not to find any Russian collusion evidence, who needs evidence when you can just make it up? The point is provide the US with a list of unfounded lies & excuses, FIRSTLY to slander & demonise RUSSIA for something they clearly didn’t do! SECONDLY, was to provide a excuse for the Democrats dismal election loss result to the DONALD & his Trump Party which just happens to contain some Republicans? THIRDLY, to conduct a soft Coup by trying to get Trump impeached on “TRUMPED UP CHARGES OF RUSSIAN COLLUSION”? And FOURTLY to divert attention away from scrutiny & cover up Obama & Hillary Clinton’s illegal, money grubbing activities & her treasonous behaviour with her private email server?? After two years of Russiagate nonsense with NOTHING to show for it, I think it’s about time America owes Russia a public apology & compensation for its blatant lying & slander of a innocent Country for a crime they never committed?

  25. Sam F
    June 7, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    Thanks, Ray, for revealing that the CIA’s Digital Innovation Directorate is the likely cause of the Russiagate scams.

    I am sure that they manipulate the digital voting machines directly and indirectly. True elections are now impossible.

    Your disclaimer is hilarious: “We speak and write without fear or favor. Consequently, any resemblance between what we say and what presidents, politicians and pundits say is purely coincidental.”

  26. Antiwar7
    June 7, 2018 at 6:23 pm

    Expecting the evil people running the show to respond to reason is futile, of course. All of these reports are really addressed to the peanut gallery, where true power lies, if only they could realize it.

    Thanks, Ray and VIPS, for keeping up the good fight.

  27. mike k
    June 7, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    For whatever reason, Ray McGovern chose not to mention the murder of Seth Rich, which pretty clearly points to the real source of the leak being him, as hinted by Assange offering a reward for anyone uncovering his killer. The whole thing stinks of a democratic conspiracy.

    And BTW people have become shy about using the word conspiracy, for fear it will automatically brand one as a hoaxer. On the contrary, conspiracies are extremely common, the higher one climbs in the power hierarchy. Like monopolies, conspiracies are central to the way the oligarchs do business.

    • John
      June 8, 2018 at 5:42 am

      Ray, from what I have seen in following his writing for years, meticulously only deals in knowns. The Seth Rich issue is not a known, it is speculation still. Yes, it probably is involved, but unless Craig Murray states that Seth Rich was the one who handed him the USB drive, it is not a known.

      There is a possibility that Seth Rich was not the one who leaked the information, but that the DNC bigwigs THOUGHT he was, in which case, by neither confirming nor denying that Seth Rich was the leaker, it may be that letting the DNC continue to think it was him is being done in protection of the actual leaker. Seth Rich could also have been killed for unrelated reasons, perhaps Imran Awan thought he was on to his doings.

      • Unfettered Fire
        June 8, 2018 at 10:44 am

        Don’t forget this Twitter post by Wikileaks on October 30, 2016:

        Podesta: “I’m definitely for making an example of a suspected leaker whether or not we have any real basis for it.”

        https://www.wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/36082#efmAGSAH-

        • Unfettered Fire
          June 8, 2018 at 10:47 am

          “… whether or not”?!! Wow. That’s an imperialistic statement.

    • Skip Scott
      June 8, 2018 at 12:57 pm

      I have heard speculation that Guccifer was a deliberate maneuver to try to paint the Russians as complicit. He May not even be one person, but several in the employ of one of our so-called intelligence agencies.

  28. Drew Hunkins
    June 7, 2018 at 5:50 pm

    Mueller has nothing and he well knows it. He was willingly roped into this whole pathetic charade and he’s left grasping for anything remotely tied to Trump campaign officials and Russians. Even the most tenuous connections and weak relationships are splashed across the mass media in breathless headlines. Meanwhile, NONE of the supposed skulduggery unearthed by Mueller has anything to do with the Kremlin “hacking” the election to favor Trump. Which was the entire raison d’etre behind Rosenstein and Mueller’s crusade on behalf of the deplorable DNC and Washington militarist-imperialists. Sure be interesting to see how Mueller and his crew ultimately extricate themselves from this giant fraudulent edifice of deceit. Will they even be able to save the most rudimentary amount of face?

    So sickening to see the manner in which many DNC sycophants obsequiously genuflect to their godlike Mueller. A damn prosecutor who was arguably in bed with the Winter Hill Gang!

  29. jose
    June 7, 2018 at 5:13 pm

    If they had had any evidence to inculpate Russia, we would have all seen it by now. They know that by stating that there is an investigation going on: they can blame Russia. The Democratic National Committee is integrated by a pack of liars.

  30. Jeff
    June 7, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    Thanx, Ray. The sad news is that everybody now believes that Russia tried to “meddle” in our election and, since it’s a belief, neither facts nor reality will dislodge it. Your disclaimer should also probably carry the warning – never believe a word a government official says especially if they are in the CIA, NSA, or FBI unless they provide proof. If they tell you that it’s classified, that they can’t divulge it, or anything of that sort, you know they are lying.

  31. john wilson
    June 7, 2018 at 4:09 pm

    I suspect the real reason no evidence has been produced is because there isn’t any. I know this is stating the obvious, but if you think about it, as long as the non extent evidence is supposedly being “investigated” the story remains alive. They know they aren’t going to find anything even remotely plausible that would stand up to any kind of scrutiny, but as long as they are looking, it has the appearance that there might be something.

  32. Joe Tedesky
    June 7, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    I first want to thank Ray and the VIPS for their continuing to follow through on this Russia-Gate story. And it is a story.

    My question is simple, when will we concentrate on reading Hillary’s many emails? After all wasn’t this the reason for the Russian interference mania? Until we do, take apart Hillary’s correspondence with her lackeys, nothing will transpire of any worth. I should not be the one saying this, in as much as Bernie Sanders should be the one screaming it for justice from the highest roof tops, but he isn’t. So what’s up with that? Who all is involved in this scandalous coverup? What do the masters of corruption have on everybody?

    Now we have Sean Hannity making a strong case against the Clinton’s and the FBI’s careful handling of their crimes. What seems out of place, since this should be big news, is that CNN nor MSNBC seems to be covering this story in the same way Hannity is. I mean isn’t this news, meant to be reported as news? Why avoid reporting on Hillary in such a manner? This must be that ‘fake news’ they all talk about…boy am I smart.

    In the end I have decided to be merely an observer, because there are no good guys or gals in our nation’s capital worth believing. In the end even Hannity’s version of what took place leads back to a guilty Russia. So, the way I see it, the swamp is being drained only to make more room for more, and new swamp creatures to emerge. Talk about spinning our wheels. When will good people arrive to finally once and for all drain this freaking swamp, once and for all?

    • Realist
      June 7, 2018 at 5:25 pm

      Ha, ha! Don’t you enjoy the magic show being put on by the insiders desperately trying to hang onto their power even after being voted out of office? Their attempt to distract your attention from reality whilst feeding you their false illusions is worthy of Penn & Teller, or David Copperfield (the magician). Who ya gonna believe? Them or your lying eyes?

      • Joe Tedesky
        June 7, 2018 at 10:00 pm

        Realist, You can bet they will investigate everything but what needs investigated, as our Politico class devolves into survivalist in fighting, the mechanism of war goes uninterrupted. Joe

    • F. G. Sanford
      June 7, 2018 at 5:34 pm

      Joe, speaking of draining the swamp, check out my comment under Ray’s June 1 article about Freddy Fleitz!

      • Sam F
        June 7, 2018 at 6:59 pm

        That is just what I was reminded of; here is an antiseptic but less emphatic last line:
        “Swamp draining progresses apace.
        It’s being accomplished with grace:
        They’re taking great pains to clean out the drains,”
        New swamp creatures will need all that space!

        • Unfettered Fire
          June 8, 2018 at 11:00 am

          We must realize that to them, “the Swamp” refers to those in office who still abide by New Deal policy. Despite the thoroughly discredited neoliberal economic policy, the radical right are driving the world in the libertarian direction of privatization, austerity, private bank control of money creation, dismantling the nation-state, contempt for the Constitution, etc.

      • Joe Tedesky
        June 7, 2018 at 8:29 pm

        I’m glad you referenced your June 1st comment, since I somehow missed it the first time, I like how you hit all the players as you rounded the bases. Okay F.G. Joe

  33. George Lane
    June 7, 2018 at 3:58 pm

    Wonderful, cogent and succinct article; great for sharing with family and friends who have not been following Russiagate critically since the beginning like us Consortium News readers.

    Thanks again, Ray.

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