Friday, January 6, 2017

Random Posts on the Trump Putin Bromance

Actually, it seems to have become a menage a bros with Julian Assange thrown into the mix. In no special order let's start with the cheering Russians. No word on the cheering Muslims of 9/11, but these guys have been spotted.

U.S. intelligence agencies intercepted the joyous Russian communications after Trump’s defeat of Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonThe Washington Post reports.

“The Russians felt pretty good about what happened on Nov. 8 and they also felt pretty good about what they did,” a senior U.S. official told the newspaper, referencing Russian attempts to meddle in the 2016 presidential race.

Well done from their perspective. I'm not going to link to a Hugh Hewitt piece that says Trump is just playing the Russians. This is a fake news-free zone. Next up, are Republican Congressmembers dancing a jig

Many Republicans want to be on the right side of history in standing up to Putin, who U.S. intelligence officials say led a massive effort to undermine the presidential election. But they also understand the need to protect Trump’s standing at home.

Already, the president-elect is poised to enter the Oval Office on Jan. 20 as the least popular new president in the modern polling era. On Thursday, congressional Republicans made clear that they are determined to reassure Americans that Trump won on the merits.

How sad that they're having problems reconciling this issue. Well, I would be sad if I wasn't concerned about the future of my health insurance. Let's hear from the always lovable David Ignatius

The showdown between Clapper and Trump over allegations of Russian hacking will shape public perceptions of the next president in the two weeks before his inauguration. We'll learn more about what Russian hackers did during the 2016 campaign. We'll also learn more about Trump and whether he will bring his Russophilia into the White House.

My money is on Clapper. 

After this week's briefings of Trump and President Obama, the real circus will come next week, when members of Congress receive their own classified reports. Democrats would be wise if they kept their mouths shut and let GOP Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham do the talking.

No bets on the Dems doing anything smart. Can't wait for the circus to come to town, tho. 

Anyone who thinks that the Russian hacking charges are simply an attempt to belittle or discredit Trump should study Russia's current covert-action campaign in Europe. Benner and Hohmann quote Bruno Kahl, the chief of Germany's intelligence service, who told a newspaper there that "cyberattacks are taking place that have no purpose other than to elicit uncertainty."

That's what gets me is the constant attempts by Trump to say let's move on because he won. As if it's all about the politics and nothing else. Me doth think he protests too much. Moving on to the occasionally lovely, of late, Jen Rubin. Enemy of my enemy and all that. 

Quote from James Clapper:

“The intelligence community is not perfect. We are an organization of human beings. We are prone sometimes to make errors. … I don’t think the intelligence community gets the credit it’s due for what it does day in and day out to keep this nation secure.”

Rubin's list of problems for Trump:

1.       McCain and others were careful to separate the issue of national security from the notion that Russia could have swayed election results.
 Trump’s ongoing defense of Russia and citation of Julian Assange look even more ridiculous. 
 Trump’s nominees will have no choice but to address the issue, the testimony and the facts raised in the hearing. 
 Democrats continue to demand that an independent select committee be created. That’s a popular position with voters, and it puts pressure on both the House and Senate to show that they can run credible, effective and timely investigations.
 The intelligence agencies will release their unclassified report next week and will brief members of Congress on the classified report. Clapper said he would err on the side of disclosure in the unclassified report. Should Trump begin disparaging the testimony, he runs the risk of being contradicted by the authoritative final report.

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