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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Trump and the art of betrayal

A recent poll reported by CNN shows that 90 percent of Republicans surveyed approve of Trump.  That means that one of our major political parties endorses and supports a proven despot and criminal.  In the most recent action, Trump was ordered to pay $2 million to charities that his Foundation  had bilked.

Among the frauds to which he admitted:  "The [Foundation] gave his campaign complete control over disbursing the $2.8 million that the foundation had raised at a fund-raiser for veterans in Iowa in January 2016, only days before the state’s presidential nominating caucuses. The fund-raiser, he acknowledged, was in fact a campaign event."  Trump's mass approval by the GOP is a signal that the United States have become the opposite of what they were intended to become.  As a Daily Beast columnist has noted, the GOP has transformed itself: “It’s still the case that too few people understand the truth about the modern GOP. It is an un-American party. It is not interested in democracy. It is interested in power. It doesn’t care how it gets it.”

The corruption and malice of Donald Trump portrays the values of a large segment of the electorate.  That segment is imposing the rule of criminality on the nation.  It is consumed by avarice and the desire for the power and openly betrays the founding principles of the nation.

The Mueller report is a detailed analysis of betrayal of the nation.  It specifies how the Trump campaign invited and often participated in a foreign government's manipulation of an American election.  And now we have a transcript of Trump openly trying to extort a foreign government into intruding into our next national election.  

The GOP has tried to divert attention away from the Mueller report and to obfuscate its findings.  The report states. "while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."

The investigation did not find a formal arrangement by the Trump campaign with the Russians, but it found an eagerness to make use of the Russian tactics:

In sum, the investigation established multiple links between Trump Campaign officials and individuals tied to the Russian government. Those links included Russian offers of assistance to the Campaign. In some instances, the Campaign was receptive to the offer, while in other instances the Campaign officials shied away. Ultimately, the investigation did not establish that the Campaign coordinated or conspired with the Russian government in its election-interference activities.

The  controlling concern was the assault on American sovereignty: "The Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion."

And the investigators found an active interest in the Russian activities by the campaign:

  • The presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump (“Trump Campaign” or “Campaign”) showed interest in WikiLeaks’s releases of documents and welcomed their potential to damage candidate Clinton 
  • The Russian contacts consisted of business connections, offers of assistance to the Campaign, invitations for candidate Trump and Putin to meet in person, invitations for Campaign officials and representatives of the Russian government to meet, and policy positions seeking improved U.S.-Russian relations.
Here are some instances of that active interest at work:

  • Summer 2016. Russian outreach to the Trump Campaign continued into the summer of 2016, as candidate Trump was becoming the presumptive Republican nominee for President. On June 9, 2016, for example, a Russian lawyer met with senior Trump Campaign officials Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and campaign chairman Paul Manafort to deliver what the email proposing the meeting had described as “official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary.” The materials were offered to Trump Jr. as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” The written communications setting up the meeting showed that the Campaign anticipated receiving information from Russia that could assist candidate Trump’s electoral prospects, but the Russian lawyer’s presentation did not provide such information. 
  • Separately, on August 2, 2016, Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort met in New York City with his long-time business associate Konstantin Kilimnik, who the FBI assesses to have ties to Russian intelligence. Kilimnik requested the meeting to deliver in person a peace plan for Ukraine that Manafort acknowledged to the Special Counsel’s Office was a “backdoor” way for Russia to control part of eastern Ukraine; both men believed the plan would require candidate Trump’s assent to succeed (were he to be elected President). They also discussed the status of the Trump Campaign and Manafort’s strategy for winning Democratic votes in Midwestern states. Months before that meeting, Manafort had caused internal polling data to be shared with Kilimnik, and the sharing continued for some period of time after their August meeting. 
  • Post-2016 Election. Immediately after the November 8 election, Russian government officials and prominent Russian businessmen began trying to make inroads into the new administration. The most senior levels of the Russian government encouraged these efforts. The Russian Embassy made contact hours after the election to congratulate the President-Elect and to arrange a call with President Putin. Several Russian businessmen picked up the effort from there.
  • On January 6, 2017, members of the intelligence community briefed President-Elect Trump on a joint assessment—drafted and coordinated among the Central Intelligence Agency, FBI, andNational Security Agency—that concluded with high confidence that Russia had intervened in the election through a variety of means to assist Trump’s candidacy and harm Clinton’s. A declassified version of the assessment was publicly released that same day.While the investigation identified numerous links between individuals with ties to the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump Campaign, the evidence was not sufficient to support criminal charges. 
  • ...the investigation established that several individuals affiliated with the Trump Campaign lied to the Office, and to Congress, about their interactions with Russian-affiliated individuals and related matters. Those lies materially impaired the investigation of Russian election interference. 
  • Further, the Office learned that some of the individuals we interviewed or whose conduct we investigated—including some associated with the Trump Campaign—deleted relevant communications or communicated during the relevant period using applications that feature encryption or that do not provide for long-term retention of data or communications records. In such cases, the Office was not able to corroborate witness statements through comparison to contemporaneous communications or fully question witnesses about statements that appeared inconsistent with other known facts.
  • Accordingly, while this report embodies factual and legal determinations that the Office believes to be accurate and complete to the greatest extent possible, given these identified gaps, the Office cannot rule out the possibility that the unavailable information would shed additional light on (or cast in a new light) the events described in the report. 
  • Among the U.S. “leaders of public opinion” targeted by the IRA (The Russian Internert Research Agency) were various members and surrogates of the Trump Campaign. In total, Trump Campaign affiliates promoted dozens of tweets, posts, and other political content created by the IRA. 
  • Posts from the IRA-controlled Twitter account @TEN_GOP were cited or retweeted bymultiple Trump Campaign officials and surrogates, including Donald J. Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Kellyanne Conway, Brad Parscale, and Michael T. Flynn. These posts included as well as allegations that Secretary Clinton had mishandled classified information.

Trump, his campaign, and his administration were fully aware of Russian efforts to intrude into American politics, and the encouraged them and made use of them.  Trump's dissembling and denials about Russian intrusion are contradicted by the hard facts.

When Trump asked the new Ukraine president to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter for any dirt that could be dug up or created about them, he was openly inviting a foreign nation to intervene in American elections.  He claims he had no part in Russian intrusions, but openly invites Ukraine to play such a role.  That invitation demolishes his denials about Russia.  In inviting Ukraine to  be an accomplice to his subterfuges, he betrayed the United States.  He runs the country with same vicious dishonesty that he runs his businesses.  

Trump is helped and supported by the GOP which has taken up the betrayal of the U.S. as a mission.  Freedom, equality, and justice are labeled "socialism" and must be banished rom the land.  Trump's mindless minions are being taught the art of betrayal.  And they love practicing it.  They dream of  America as The Fourth Reich.


larry kurtz said...

Trump was allowed to win so he could destroy the Republican Party. He has made the country more cynical, dishonest and self-destructive. When John Thune defects to the Romney wing he’ll take Ben Sasse, Roy Blount, John Hoeven, Cory Gardner and Mike Enzi with him. My hope is that President Obama and Secretary Clinton already know the outcome of her choice to throw the election.

larry kurtz said...

And, had former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton been elected in 2016 Paul Ryan would be president today. Her campaign knew that if Hillary won the rabid Republican House would have impeached her, the Senate would have removed her before midterms and Trump would be on the sidelines egging them on. Somebody (Robert Mercer and Cambridge Analytica) promised Paul Ryan the presidency had Clinton been removed and Tim Kaine met an unfortunate end but that all crashed when Trump was installed. There’s no way in Hell the GOP would have given a President Kaine the time to choose a Veep.

mike from iowa said...

It’s still the case that too few people understand the truth about the modern GOP. It is an un-American party. It is not interested in democracy. It is interested in power. It doesn’t care how it gets it.”

This is virtually the exact opposite of what AG Barr spewed at the Federalist Society soire. He makes these claims about progressives.

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