Category Archives: Russia

Follow the Unmasking

unmasking

The Trump/Russian conspiracy theory is dragging. For one thing, no real evidence is being presented. And for another Trump bombed Syria, the ally of his alleged co-conspirator Vladimir Putin.

Meanwhile, there is evidence Team Obama spied on Team Trump. Bloomberg‘s Eli Lake and others broke the story last week. Obama national security adviser Susan Rice purused raw intelligence data on Russians’ conversations with Trump associates. Spying on foreigners is legal but spying on Americans isn’t. When American citizens get caught up in foreign surveillance their names are supposed to be masked in the intelligence report.

Follow the Unmasking

But Susan Rice had American names unmasked. Adam Housley at Fox News reported that she then circulated raw reports with the unmasked names.

The unmasked names, of people associated with Donald Trump, were then sent to all those at the National Security Council, some at the Defense Department, then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and then-CIA Director John Brennan – essentially, the officials at the top, including former Rice deputy Ben Rhodes.

Somewhere along the line somebody leaked Michael Flynn’s name and he was forced to resign as Trump’s national security adviser. Kimberley Strassel in the Wall Street Journal suggests that FBI Director Comey has a conflict of interest in all this. And that it’s even possible “his staff was among the leakers.”

Andrew McCarthy wrote a column in National Review titled Susan Rice’s Unmasking: a Watergate style scandal.

 

Conspiracy Theories Run Wild in Washington

conspiracy theories

Conspiracy theories are running wild in Washington. But there is no evidence that President Obama climbed a pole and personally wiretapped President Trump’s phone. Angela Merkel’s phone? Well, maybe a little.

Fox News’s Judge Napolitano says Obama got the Brits to do it for him.

Update 3/21/17:

The L.A. Times reports that Fox News has pulled Judge Andrew Napolitano off the air. He had claimed to have unnamed sources who say Obama used British intelligence to spy on Trump. The Brits say that’s ridiculous.

“By bypassing all American intelligence services, Obama would have had access to what he wanted with no Obama administration fingerprints,” Napolitano wrote in a column on FoxNews.com.

The judge also claimed that Fox News backed up his claim.

“Fox News knows of no evidence of any kind that the now-president of the United States was surveilled at any time, in any way,” Shepard Smith told viewers Friday.

 

Are You Now, Or Have You Ever Been, In a Russian Golden Shower?

are you now or have you ever been

The right leaning New York Post, Townhall, and left leaning Nation editor and publisher, Katrina vanden Heuvel, writing in the Washington Post, have something in common. They all compare the senate Democrats’ obsession with Russians to McCarthyism of 50 years ago. Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?

It’s fitting and proper that a comedian got the ball rolling for the Jeff Sessions act in this Russian circus. Senator Al Franken based a question to Senator Sessions on a bogus story in Buzzfeed about a Russian dossier on Donald Trump. It claims Trump hired prostitutes to pee on a bed Barack and Michelle had slept on in a Russian hotel.

Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been?

Franken asked the senator what he would do if there’s any evidence of contact with Russians in the course of the Trump campaign. Sessions replied, “Senator Franken, I’m not aware of any of those activities. I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I didn’t have — did not have communications with the Russians, and I’m unable to comment on it.” You can roll the tape here on Politifact.

Then, as night follows day, two meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak surfaced. One was in Sessions’ senate office. The other was a group introduction at the RNC in Cleveland.  Senator Sessions says those meetings were in the course of his role as a senator and didn’t involve the Trump campaign.

Senator Claire McCaskill insisted that sort of thing  just isn’t done. But her twitter account says otherwise.

 

Deep State Is No Deep Throat

 

Deep Throat was the secret source who led Woodward and Bernstein to break the Watergate story that brought down Richard Nixon.

I never heard of Deep State until a few weeks ago.  That’s when quotes from unnamed sources started turning up in news stories about alleged connections between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. The anonymous sources came from intelligence in the permanent government known as the “Deep State.” That would be the state previously known as “the bureaucracy”.

The Resist Trump crowd is hoping Deep State will work some Deep Throat magic on Donald Trump

Deep State is no Deep Throat

Anyway, none of the Russian allegations were proven but they still managed to bring down National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Now the Deep State is following the same playbook to go after Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Rush Limbaugh thinks the Deep State is conspiring with the Mainstream Media to sabotage the Trump presidency. The muckraking investigative news website Consortiumnews.com seems to agree with Rush. Writing for Consortiumnews.com, Daniel Lazar quotes NYT reporters Glenn Thrush and Michale Grynbaum bragging that,”Trump is being force-fed lessons all presidents eventually learn – that the iron triangle of the Washington press corps, West Wing staff and federal bureaucracy is simply too powerful to bully.” Lazare – no fan of Trump – is skeptical:

Iron triangle? Permanent government? In its tale of how Trump went from being a favorite of the New York Post and Daily News to fodder for the big-time Washington news media, the Times seems to be going out of its way to confirm dark paranoid fears of a “deep state” lurking behind the scenes and dictating what political leaders can and cannot do.

…Entrenched interests are nothing new, of course. But a major news outlet bragging about collaborating with such elements in order to cripple a legally established government is.

…So if the conflict between president and the deep state ever comes down to a question of legitimacy, there is no doubt who will come out ahead: The Donald.

 

Voter Fraud

voter fraud

Some Democrats insist there was no foreign voter fraud in the 2016 election. But they also insist the Russians got Trump elected. That, they claim, makes him an illegitimate president.

Holman Jenkins, writing in the WSJ, doesn’t buy it:

The idea of Mr. Trump as Russian agent is one more failure of imagination by the media—a striving to believe that some hidden, sinister logic explains his rise (and also excuses Robby Mook).

Robby Mook was Hillary’s campaign manager. He wants to pin his electoral failure on the Russians. “Incredibly scary,” says Mook.

Here’s what Jenkins has to say about intelligence leaks about links between Trump and Moscow:

All this smacks too much of the little Walter Mittys of our overfunded, underdelivering intelligence bureaucracy trying to punish Americans for how they voted.