Tag Archives: Russia

POTUS becomes Russian disinformation mouthpiece … unbelievable!

It wasn’t enough that Donald Trump stood next to Vladimir Putin in Helsinki and said he believed Putin’s denial of Russian interference in our 2016 electoral system.

Oh, no. Nor was it enough that he denigrated our intelligence network’s assertion that the Russians did what was alleged.

Now he has adopted the Russian lyric that Ukraine played a major role in the 2016 election hack. He is helping the Russia propaganda machine spread the lie that the U.S. intelligence experts have debunked.

The director of national intelligence, the CIA, the FBI, the National Security Agency, the Treasury Department, the Joint Chiefs of Staff … they all say the same thing. The Russians did it!

And yet the president of the United States continues to double down on the lie being pushed by the Russians and endorsed by congressional Republicans who are dissing Ukraine as part of their strategy to defend the president against the impeachment wave that is swelling in the House of Representatives.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are witnessing an astonishing act of political malfeasance by the president.

He is defending the Russian strongman/president yet again critics here at home who view the Russians as an existential threat to the integrity of our electoral system. The Russians have embarked on a campaign to do to the 2020 election what they did in 2016.

Former special counsel Robert Mueller III told us this past summer that the Russians are mobilizing their election interference machine at this moment. He endorsed fully the intelligence community’s assessment that the Russians pose the threat to our democratic electoral system.

Donald Trump took an oath to protect our system against such an outright attack. He has forsaken that oath for personal political gain.

Shameful.

Correcting small part of ‘the record’

I have been called out.

The release of a document chronicling a phone call between Donald Trump and Volodymyr Zelenskiy is not a “transcript.” It is a memo, the contents of which are taken from a transcript of the phone call.

A social media friend mentioned it to me in response to a blog item I published in which I referred to the document as a “transcript.”

That’s my bad.

The recognition does lend credence to the view that the memo requires release of the full unredacted transcript and the whistleblower’s report that blew this case wide open.

At issue is whether Trump asked the Ukrainian president, Zelenskiy, for information regarding Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. Trump appears to be seeking this information to use as a weapon against Joe Biden, who is a potential political opponent.

There you have it. The president allegedly used the immense power of his office to obtain ammunition to use against a political foe. He allegedly withheld military aid money for Ukraine if or until Zelenskiy produced the information requested.

The two men’s phone chat has been reported extensively throughout the day. However, we didn’t get the “transcript.” We got a memo describing the phone call, complete with ellipses that keep perhaps important segments of that phone call from full public view.

The impeachment saga continues to gather steam.

 

Trump shows his self-punishment gluttony

Donald Trump surely must be a glutton for punishment.

He has left the G7 meeting in France and now wants to play host to the next summit of the world’s economic powers at his Florida resort at Doral.

Can you say “Emoluments Clause,” anyone? Anyone?

That’s the part of the U.S. Constitution that makes it illegal for presidents of the United States to profit from their public service. You know, taking gifts from the foreign heads of state, kings, princes and potentates. That kind of thing.

So why is Trump pitching this idea of playing host to G7 powers at his glitzy estates? He still owns the place. He is still earning a substantial living from it. He didn’t divest his financial interests after taking office as president.

I don’t get this one single bit.

Trump kept delivering impromptu infomercials to his fellow G7 participants.

Then there’s this: He wants Russian strongman Vladimir Putin to attend the next G7 summit. Yep, Russia. The country got booted out of the G7 because of its aggression against Ukraine. The member nations made the call.

Yet the dictator’s BFF, Donald Trump, wants to give him a pass. Bring him back, says Trump. Let’s make the G7 the G8, even though Russia is a third-rate economic power.

Trump is inviting more trouble for himself.

Unbelievable.

Russia needs to change its ways, Mr. President

Mr. President, I know you’re busy hobnobbing with world leaders at the G7 summit, but bear with me for a moment or two.

You’re insistence that Russia be brought back into the group of leading industrialized nations misses at least a couple of  fundamental points.

First, the entire coalition of nations kicked Russia out of its ranks because of Vladimir Putin’s interference in Ukrainian affairs. It was President Obama’s deal; Obama wasn’t “outsmarted” by Putin or anyone else.

Yet you keep blaming your immediate predecessor for matters over which he had little actual singular impact. Knock that off, Mr. President.

Second, Russia is a third-rate industrial and economic power. It can barely feed its people. Several U.S. states produced more Gross Domestic Product than Russia. I’d bet real money that Texas, California, New York and Florida all outperform the Russian economy.

The G7 comprises economic powerhouses, Mr. President. Russia ain’t there. It’s a struggling Third World nation with admittedly lots of nuclear weapons held over from the Soviet days and the Cold War the USSR lost when it competed against the United States.

Why did the Soviet Union collapse? I’ll tell you why. It collapsed because the communists were spent. They ran out of gas. They couldn’t compete any longer with the West, the United States, with anyone. It faded into oblivion and left behind a corrupt, crime-ridden government that sought to create some form of “democratic” rule, but has devolved into the authoritarian system you seem to admire.

And why in the world do you want to be partners with a nation that attacked our electoral system in 2016? Oh, wait! I almost forgot! Putin said he didn’t do it and you believe him over the word of our crack intelligence team that says the Russians attacked us with the aim of getting you elected president.

Russia doesn’t deserve to be a part of any sort of coalition of industrialized powers. Not until it actually becomes one.

And for crying out loud, Mr. President, not until you finally, if ever, condemn the Russians for attacking the system of government you swore you would protect.

Your kowtowing to the Russians makes me sick.

Then again, so do you!

Yep, the biggest threat to the nation is its president

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee drew the biggest round of cheers tonight with what might have come off as a quip, but which — the more I think about it — now sounds like the brutal truth.

He and the nine other Democratic presidential candidates gathered on the debate stage in Miami were asked to name the greatest geopolitical threat to the United States: Inslee said it is Donald John Trump.

Not Russia. Nor the People’s Republic of China. Or Iran. Or terrorist organizations. Or even climate change, which happens to be Inslee’s signature campaign issue.

He said the biggest threat is the president of the United States of America. I agree with him.

Donald Trump is systematically destroying our alliances with Europe, with Asia, with Latin America. He’s gone after Australia and Canada, for crying out loud!

Donald Trump has isolated the nation from the rest of a shrinking world. He cozies up to tyrants — Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin being the most notable. He challenges the nation’s intelligence network’s findings. He makes foreign and domestic policy pronouncements via Twitter, without advising his senior policy  advisers.

Trump has burned through two national security advisers. He is talking openly about possible war with Iran without a defense secretary on board. He is reportedly losing patience with his third White House chief of staff.

Yes, Gov. Inslee was right. Donald Trump has become the greatest existential threat to the very nation he was elected to govern.

Wow!

Too early to call Trump worst POTUS in history?

Is it fair to ask whether Donald John Trump Sr. can be judged the worst president in U.S. history?

Events of just the past few days suggest he is making a run at being called The Worst Ever.

He cannot make up his mind. For instance, just in the past couple of days, the president:

  • Has declared his intention to push for immediate repeal of the Affordable Care Act and then has changed his mind, saying he intends to wait until after the next presidential election.
  •  Vowed to shut down the U.S. border with Mexico and then decided to back off, citing Mexico’s efforts to stem the tide of migrants coming through that country en route to this country.

That’s just two matters. They are so illustrative of the way this man governs. He issues policy pronouncements via Twitter, bypassing “the best people” he vowed to hire. He confounds allies, key aides, senators and House members, Cabinet officers, everyone.

He has made a hash of our international alliances.

Trump has burned through multiple Cabinet members in just the first half of his four-year term. He cannot fill critical posts.

The president trashes Americans who live in a severely damaged U.S. territory, Puerto Rico.

And then . . .

We have this Russia stuff. He cozies up to the Russian dictator and refuses to acknowledge that the dictator’s government has interfered in our electoral system.

He hails the exploits of dictators, disparages the work of U.S. intelligence officials. Trump vows that he “likes” a North Korean tyrant who starves his people.

My goodness, I have just scratched the surface.

The nation has elected a bunch of doozies during its 200-plus years of existence. James Buchanan is generally regarded as the worst president in history. My money, though, goes to William Henry Harrison, who caught pneumonia in Inauguration Day, 1841, was bed-ridden for a month and then died.

Donald Trump, through his series of unbelievable and astonishing missteps, gaffes, broken promises, insults and feuds is mounting a serious bid to become the worst U.S. president in history.

Stand tall, Mr. President.

Trump didn’t read what he’s criticizing?

This is amazing, even for Donald John “Liar in Chief” Trump.

The president has acknowledged that he didn’t read the intelligence report that challenges his assertions about ISIS, North Korea, Russian election interference and Iranian nukes.

And then he criticizes the reporting on it, saying that the media reportedly mischaracterized the intelligence chiefs’ analysis of what they have concluded. He called the reporting “fake news” and then declined to support the work of the people he appointed to lead our nation’s intelligence apparatus.

So, he didn’t read the report. He doesn’t know what it contains. He is jumping to conclusions about the most sensitive of national security matters.

Oh, wait! He went to the best schools, hired the best people, he knows the best words.

Donald Trump doesn’t need to read these reports. He gets his national security advice from “the TV shows.”

Yep. That’s how you make America great again.

I am scared.

Intel chiefs providing ‘fake news’? Are you serious, Mr. POTUS?

Donald J. Trump’s penchant for prevarication has taken a stunning new turn. Yes, it’s stunning even for this president of the United States.

He now says that his intelligence brain trust — three individuals he appointed to their posts — are providing “fake news” while challenging his own (false) assertions about the U.S. effort at combating terrorism around the world.

Trump’s handpicked appointees — Gina Haspel at CIA, Christopher Wray at FBI and Dan Coats as director of national intelligence — all say that North Korea still poses a nuclear threat, that ISIS is not defeated, that Russia interfered in our 2016 election and is planning to do the same thing in 2020.

Trump now says they were quoted “out of context” and that the media twisted their comments.

Huh? What the . . . ? Is this clown for real?

Good, ever-lovin’ grief! I’ve heard their complete comments given this week during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing. They weren’t taken out of context. There was nothing to dispute.

They have spoken, as the saying goes, “truth to power.” They are challenging Trump’s assertion that “ISIS is defeated,” that North Korea is “no longer a threat” and that Russian strongman Vladimir Putin has “denied” Russian interference in our election.

Simply astonishing!

NATO pullout back on the top shelf

In 2018, when Donald J. Trump decided to scold the leaders of our most trustworthy military alliance, he sounded like someone who wanted to pull the United States out of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Those leaders need to pay more of their share of the defense of Europe, Trump said, or else face the consequences, which might involve a U.S. pullout.

Now, against that backdrop we have The New York Times report about an alleged investigation by the FBI into whether Trump was an “agent” of Russia.

The connection? Well, Russia wants NATO weakened badly. He would prefer that NATO be destroyed. Why is that? Because NATO came into being after World War II as a military alliance to defend Europe against the Soviet Union’s bloc of satellite nations. Russia, you’ll remember, was known as the Soviet Union from 1917 until 1991, when it collapsed under its own weight.

But NATO remains as a bulwark against Russian aggression. Therefore, Russia wants NATO to go away.

So, what connection is there between Donald Trump’s implied threat and Russia’s stated aim of ensuring that NATO withers away and dies? Is there a connection? Trump says “no!” I do not believe Trump’s declaration on its face. I want to know the truth.

If only I could find where the truth is hiding.

‘I have never worked for Russia’

I suppose I’d never thought I would hear the president of the United States have to answer such a question.

“Have you ever worked for Russia?” came the question from a reporter.

Donald J. Trump — who had fielded that question from Jeannine Pirro on Fox News — didn’t exactly say “no” to Pirro. Then he had to say it to the reporter on the White House grounds.

I find it astonishing in the extreme that the president of the United States would ever ask the question. It has become necessary because of The New York Times story that disclosed that the FBI launched an investigation into whether Trump had become an “agent” of Russia. I just will not believe the FBI launched this probe because someone inside the J. Edgar Hoover Building wanted to “get” the president.

Do you recall the time Richard Nixon felt compelled to tell the nation that “I am not a crook”? He wasn’t very convincing at the time he said it in 1973. It turned out that while he wasn’t a “crook” in the classic definition of the term, he was corrupt enough to have to quit just ahead of a certain impeachment and trial by Congress.

This is the backdrop we might be facing yet again with the presidency of Donald J. Trump. He has called the NY Times report an “insult” and says the questions about whether he worked for Russia are “insulting.”

Meanwhile, special counsel Robert Mueller is finishing — reportedly — his report we hope will get to the truth about Trump’s relationship with Russia, if any exist. The president keeps telling us there is no relationship. He keeps yapping about the “hoax” and that Mueller is in the middle of a “witch hunt.”

It’s just frightening on its face that our head of state, our commander in chief is having to answer questions about whether he works for the nation’s No. 1 geopolitical foe.

Finish your work, Mr. Special Counsel Mueller.