Tag Archives: Vladimir Putin

Still nothing about bounties? Really?

What in the name of national security gives with Donald J. Trump?

The U.S. president gets on the phone with Russian dictator/hitman Vladimir Putin and doesn’t bring up the allegation that Russian intelligence goons put bounties on U.S. service personnel?

Then we hear that Trump wants to remove 12,000 U.S. troops from Germany, which would do nothing but tickle Putin’s fancy, given that those troops have been stationed there as part of the front line against potential Russian aggression.

The bounty allegation has legs. Of that I have no doubt. Nor do any serious watchers of U.S.-Russia relations. It is utterly amazing to many of us that Trump has yet to condemn the allegation, pledging to find out whether it’s true or seeking answers from Vladimir Putin.

Trump told Axios that he and Putin talked about “other things.” Are you kidding me? Why in the world didn’t he mention the allegation? Why doesn’t he demand Putin to demonstrate he hasn’t done what many of us believe he has allowed?

This information reportedly found its way to Trump’s desk, but Trump continues to deny knowing about it in the moment. He said the intelligence reportedly placed in his daily briefing didn’t add up. What a crock of dookey!

I believe in my gut that Trump has been derelict in his duty as commander in chief. For the president to refuse to confront Vladimir Putin directly on it confirms my belief.

As for the troop withdrawal from Germany, let’s just say that Putin must be dancing one of those Russian jigs in the Kremlin. Trump is reducing the U.S. force commitment by one-third. He chides Germany for failing to pay it’s share of defense and suggests the United States won’t be “suckered” any longer.

The drawdown will cost billions of dollars. The troops will need to be relocated. For what reason? Because the president is angry with Germany over whether it’s paying enough for its own defense? It looks to me as though there is a larger national security issue in play, which involves whether the United States — as a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization — is doing its part to assure the defense of Europe against possible aggression.

Who is the beneficiary? None other than Vladimir Putin.

What if it’s Biden?

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Let’s play a game of “What if?” … shall we?

Bear in mind that I am not predicting any sort of presidential election outcome. I merely am pondering the possibilities if my preferred result occurs at the end of ballot counting on Nov. 3.

  • What if Joe Biden beats Donald Trump in a landslide? Trump has indicated he might “not accept” the results of a free and fair election. He will suggest it was “rigged.” Will the president-elect summon the Secret Service to escort the previous first family out out of the White House? I would pay real American money to see that occur.
  • What if Biden is given the chance to “lead” the nation through the coronavirus pandemic? Trump has failed at virtually every level possible, no matter what VP Mike “The Sycophant” Pence says to the contrary. How will that leadership present itself? My hope is that the new president starts simply by expressing sincere compassion and empathy for the suffering of millions of Americans.
  • What if Joe Biden inherits an economy in absolute free fall? The nature and scope of our economic collapse makes the 2009 mess that Biden and President Obama inherited when they took over resemble a walk in the park. It’s related directly to the pandemic. Millions of Americans have been tossed out of their jobs. Where does the new president find the money to boost an economy that already is teetering on the precipice of a depression?
  • What if Joe Biden takes over as head of the world’s most indispensable nation and finds that our allies are laughing at us? The wreckage that Trump has brought to those alliances is epic in its scope. Trump has scolded our European allies for not doing enough to defend themselves against Russia. He has chided our continental neighbors in Canada and Mexico personally. Joe Biden, the master of diplomacy, needs to mend those fences in a major hurry.
  • What if Joe Biden gets to sit down face to face with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin? This is where the new president needs to wag his finger in Putin’s mug and warn him about the economic and diplomatic consequences that await him if (a) he continues to interfere in our elections and (b) continues to pay bounties to the Taliban for killing our troops.

A new president will have a monumental repair job awaiting him after the wreckage that Donald Trump has brought.

Putin isn’t on the ballot, however…

Vladimir Putin just won’t go away.

The Russian president launched a campaign in 2016 — at the invitation of Donald Trump — to interfere in our presidential election. His aim was to disrupt our political discourse, to sow seeds of suspicion. He succeeded infamously.

Donald Trump benefitted from the Russian interference. The U.S. president hasn’t yet been willing to acknowledge the Russian dictator’s role in that political heist.

Now he’s at it again. He is injecting himself into the 2020 election, but in ways none of us saw coming.

We have these reports of Russians placing bounties on the lives of Americans fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan. Trump is dismissing the media reporting. He calls it a hoax. He is angry at the reporting, but is silent about the subject of that reporting.

There he is, Vladimir Putin is injecting himself into the American political process. He isn’t on the ballot, but his presence on our political landscape seems to all but guarantee that part of our voters’ calculation on for whom we cast our ballots will include Vladimir Putin.

To be clear, my mind is made up. Still, Putin’s presence in our political discourse is maddening. He has wormed and wiggled his way into our processes. Putin can declare “mission accomplished” from his 2016 electoral interference. It’s not enough, though, for Putin merely to win that first round.

He is going to interfere yet again this year, along perhaps with China or Ukraine or any other nation that has an axe to grind with the U.S. political system.

To be clear, it is confusing in the extreme for me to grasp how the Russian bounty story is going to benefit Donald Trump. To that end, Putin’s continuing presence in our political process sends a seriously mixed message.

Still, the Russian brute is there. He is part of our political discussion.

If only he would just disappear. Forever.

Why hasn’t Trump responded with outrage?

I now will clear the air:  I believe that Russia paid bounties to Taliban fighters who killed American troops on the battlefield in Afghanistan.

Moreover, I also believe the essence of those reports has been established by thorough media investigations. The question remains, though, about what Donald Trump knew and when he knew it.

If the worst case is true, that Trump knew of the bounties being paid and did nothing, then we have a series crisis on our hands. We have a president who has fundamentally violated his oath as commander in chief by refusing to protect the men and women he sends into harm’s way. To be fair, the worst case hasn’t been established.

There really is no “best case,” given what I believe we know … that the Russians placed bounties on the heads of our service personnel.

What if Trump didn’t get the briefing? What if it landed on his desk but he didn’t open up the folder to read its contents?

That all is on the table now for discussion and further inquiry.

Here’s my question of the day: Given that the president now knows what the world knows, that the Russian intelligence network paid money for our service personnel’s lives, why in the name of all that is sacred has he not raised holy hell with Vladimir Putin?

Why does our president remain stone-cold silent on the deed that many of us believe occurred?

Instead, he talks with Putin on the phone. He yaps about getting Russia installed as a member of the G7 coalition of leading industrialized nations — over the objections of the other members. He doesn’t seem to accept the notion that Russia is a third- or maybe fourth-rate economic power and doesn’t qualify as a player among the leading industrialized nations.

This story isn’t going anywhere any time soon. If I were to venture a guess I am willing to suggest that it likely won’t end well for Donald Trump.

We need answers. Right now!

Trump commits grievous act

(Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

There is no limit, no depth to the measures that Donald Trump would use to betray the sacred oath he took when he became president of the United States.

I think we are witnessing the worst case imaginable. My outrage is challenging my ability to control myself.

Media reports indicated that Russian spies paid bounties to Taliban fighters for Americans they kill in Afghanistan. Donald Trump denied the reporting. Now it appears that intelligence officials have confirmed to the media that they placed reports of those bounties on Trump’s desk. They were contained in his briefing papers … at least three months ago.

And yet the president did nothing! He didn’t intercede on behalf of the troops he swore to protect.

I don’t know how others would define that, but my sense is that we have a commander in chief who is aiding and abetting a terrorist organization. He has the legal and political authority — if not the moral standing — to raise holy hell with Russian strongman Vladimir Putin. He didn’t do it. Donald Trump sat by silently while Putin was authorizing payments to Taliban terrorists who killed our men and women in battle.

Let that sink in. Have you ever in your life heard of anything so outrageous, so disgraceful, so reprehensible? We appear to have a president of the United States, when given reportedly actionable intelligence that the leader of a hostile power is paying bounties on the deaths of our service personnel, has done not a damn thing to halt it!

I’ll pose this question: Is this the act of a traitor?

We need to get straight to the root of what has been reported.

This is what ignorance produces … allegedly!

Donald J. “Ignoramus in Chief” Trump is known to disregard his daily  presidential briefing material, which he says is “boring.”

He relies on his own instincts, he says. Well, perhaps he ought to rethink the value of such idiocy.

CNN is reporting that Trump received word in the spring about Russian intelligence officials offering bounties to Taliban terrorists for every American serviceman and woman they kill. Trump got the information in his Daily Presidential Briefing, which used to be required reading for presidents. Not with this clown.

Trump has dismissed the reporting on the bounty story, calling it “fake news.”

However, it did arrive on his desk in the form of his PDB, why in the name of competent governance didn’t he know about it? This looks to me to be yet another example of stunning incompetence on the part of our commander in chief.

The PDB is intended to provide the president with classified information he can use to make command decisions. It seems to be that such PDB info on Russian goons paying terrorists money to kill our troops qualifies as the kind of intelligence the president would deem critical. Don’t you think?

No one on his national security staff thought to bring this information directly to Trump’s attention? Is that what we are led to believe? I have to wonder whether Trump has hired a cabal of rubes to advise him on these matters of critical importance.

My own sense is that Trump knew about the bounty being offered but chose to ignore it because it would anger Vladimir Putin, the former Soviet spy who now governs as Russian president.

I will venture to note that it means to me that Donald Trump is looking the other way when Russia behaves as a state sponsor of terrorism. Hey, I thought Donald Trump took an oath to protect our fighting men and women against this kind of battlefield horror.

Have you given Vlad fair warning, Mr. POTUS?

OK, Mr. President … the cat is out of the bag.

Our nation’s intelligence network — yeah, the folks you have denigrated in front of Vladimir Putin — have come up with some intel that says Russian spooks are paying Taliban terrorists money for every American serviceman or woman they kill on the battlefield in Afghanistan.

You said you weren’t briefed on it by the CIA, the DNI, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the FBI, the National Security Council or the national security adviser. I don’t believe that for a second.

Still, the word is out. The New York Times has reported it. You dismiss it as “fake news.” C’mon! Get real. The Times is standing foursquare behind its story and the reporting that went into it.

You now need to get on that secure phone in the West Wing, you need to call Russian goon in chief Vladimir Putin and read him the riot act. Except you likely won’t do that. Why? I only can figure that Putin has some goods on you.

I mean, former national security adviser John Bolton says Putin plays you “like a fiddle.” I happen to believe Bolton. You dismiss your former adviser — one of the so-called “best people” — as a “wacko” and a “disgruntled employee.”

So now that the whole world has heard the story about the bounty, what in the name of tough-guy leadership are you going to do about it? Anything? Or are you going to roll over to get your overfed gut patted by the strongman who is laughing his a** off at the havoc he is creating within our system of government.

Report confirms it: Russians attacked our election in 2016

(Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

As if we didn’t know it already.

KHOU-TV in Houston reports that a Senate committee has determined that Russia attacked our electoral system in 2016, a notion that Donald John Trump has disputed, siding with Russian strongman Vladimir Putin and denigrating our intelligence community’s analysis.

KHOU said: A bipartisan Senate report released Tuesday confirms the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusions that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election to sow chaos. Senators warned that it could happen again this presidential election year.

What do you know about that?

This whole story became served as the starting point for the lengthy investigation into Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Trump fought it like crazy. He disparaged special counsel Robert Mueller III’s work to get at the truth. Trump kept insisting it was “fake news,” and a “hoax.”

It was nothing of the sort.

Then he stood before the world in Helsinki and said he believed Putin’s denial and dismissed the consensus developed by the nation’s intelligence network.

This investigation effectively closes the book on that terrible chapter in our electoral history. However, the warning from senators should not be ignored, that the Russians are doing it again this year. They are seeking to sow chaos once more.

Are we going to impose security measures that build impenetrable walls around our voting process? Isn’t this a matter of national security?

Donald Trump took an oath to protect our way of life, to be on guard against hostile actions from foreign nations and to take action to defend us.

This prediction is an easy one to make: Donald Trump is going to violate his oath of office once again by doing nothing to stop this likely attack from a hostile power.

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!