What Putin Has Always Been Up To
In a troubling yet fascinating article in National Review, David Satter makes the case that Putin’s real goal has always been to degrade America’s institutions, rather than favor any one candidate. In other words, going after Hillary and perhaps holding back attacks on Trump during the election campaign were tactics by the Russian regime. The strategic outcome they seek is a weakened America - in the world’s eyes, and more devastatingly, in the eyes of voters and citizens themselves.
Satter knows something of which he speaks. He was deported forcibly from Russia as a journalist a few years ago. And he was the victim of a salacious slander story - apparently completely fictitious - involving underage prostitutes. Sound familiar? The kompromat slanders and fabrications are hardly new, but they are now a far more lethal weapon than they have been for some time.
Why so lethal? Because they inflame partisan divisions and drag standards down to new lows. The evidence in many blogs talking about the affair, or in some mainstream media reporting on the Trump Dossier, is ample evidence of these lowered standards. And as for Congress, these divisions have been around for decades now.
And for Satter, what matters is that America unite in the face of these provocations by Putin. Rather than use them as weapons in ever-more-divisive political and cultural landscape.
Fine and good. But the partisan divisions have been around for at least a generation. In Academia, in politics, in culture in general. No we don't gather around our TV's anymore to watch One Day at a Time in our millions and millions. We watch the re-make on our devices in the hundreds of thousands. We are fragmented by technology, yes. But that fragmentation was waiting to happen, anyway. That uniting homogenous culture of MASH and All in the Family was imposed on us by the limits of what was available on our screens. Fragmentation reflects who we are, in all our diversity.
And the partisanship in politics? You can make the case that it started, or gained momentum, with radical students in the 60's, which produced both a conservative backlash against what in those days was a very visible but minority share of youth. And it produced the spreading of cultural marxism and/or progressive beliefs that are now the orthodoxy across campuses from coast to coast.
And yes, the Soviet Union was a big part of that radicalization. Sometimes directly, but more often as an alternative to the big bad capitalistic world that us spoiled baby boomers loved to shake a fist at, before settling in to well-paying careers. Imagine that the Soviet Revolution had failed. And the Chinese as well. Marxism would have been the plaything of a select group of academics at places like Columbia and Berkeley. And Ernesto Guevara de Lynch would have been a cafe socialist in the salons of Buenos Aires, while working as a doctor at a private clinic.
But the Soviet Union was real, and was a real danger to the West. And Putin was raised, trained, and indoctrinated in the heart of it's spy system.
So yes, he's a bad guy. Like the Saudi monarchs who run a medieval state. Or the Chinese, who still are communist dictators. Or the dictatorships across Latin America in the 70's who forged relations with the Nixon and Ford administrations precisely because of the Cold War.
Did those relationships work out splendidly for America? Nooo. They were sub-optimal at best. But what were the alternatives? All out nuclear war? Or America blockading all of South America until free and fair elections were held?
How Trump will relate to Putin is shaping up as a the key to its foreign policy. Key because everyone wants to show how Trump is an authoritarian at heart, and thus is drawn to Putin. Couldn't the press and Congress perhaps allow Trump some leeway to negotiate with an adversary? Senator McCain, you were part of the plot to subvert Trump with that Dossier. That undercuts your stance on Russia. The press, and likely you, just want Trump to fail. Even if America is weakened by such a theoretical outcome.
And yes, Trump once he's actually in his office at the White House, will have to take a good hard look at who Putin is and what he's trying to do to America.
Posted by Keeley at January 13, 2017 4:43 PM
Good read Keeley.
I believe that Mr. Trump is a realist regarding world affairs and world powers. He is a superb negotiator and, given the opportunity, will cut deals favorable to us rather than engage in hostility.
It certainly is better for the entire world when Trump, Putin, China and other possible adversaries talk rather than rattle swords.
Unlike Obama and Kerry with their Iran agreement, Mr. Trump will not agree to terms that favor any nation over the United States. His Sec/state nominee, if approved, is the perfect choice to carry Trumps message with force, integrity and clarity.
No nation will be confused about where Trump and the nation stand on issues.
He is a superb negotiator and, given the opportunity, will cut deals favorable to us rather than engage in hostility.
He talks a good game, but I fear he is all hat and no cattle. We’ll find out next week. We live in a complex world that sometimes demands passivity and deference instead of bluster and aggression. A hundred years ago, Europe destroyed itself over the sake of an archduke nobody liked and slaughtered millions of its soldiers in a series of unwinnable battles. We can’t repeat those mistakes.
Something happened yesterday in the House. After Director Comey delivered a classified briefing yesterday, he said some things that caused the Democrats to go wild. Something happened in the Senate, too. All of the sudden, the Senate Selecct Committee on Intelligence is opening an investigation into connections between Trump, his campaign, and the Russians.
It is one bombshell after another. Senator McCain, it turns out, personally delivered the MI-6 information to Comey. The FBI did nothing with it.
There are now a lot of questions about what was going on in the NY FBI office, and questions about Giuliani and his role. Giuliani claimed sources in the NY FBI office told him information. He also claimed to know about an upcoming October surprise- the 2nd ‘investigation’ of HRC’s e-mails, and at one point spread information originating from Russian fake news sites about HRC’s health.
And, there are questions about House Oversight Committee Chaffetz and ethics violations.
General Flynn made five calls in one day to the Russian ambassador when the Obama punishments were announced in late December. Five!
The repercussions from this are setting off controversies in Britain, too. Here is one story from a Brit newspaper:
Meanwhile, Trump is saying about Putin: ““Why would anybody have sanctions if somebody’s doing some really great things?”
And, if anyone is paying attention to the Trump nominees testimonies, most of them seem to have no interest whatsoever in Trump’s agenda of mass deportations, a deportation force, lifting Sanctions on Russia, building a wall. It is like Mattis, Tillerson, and others are not planning on being part of a Trump cabinet. Maybe a Pence cabinet?
phx8, You spend to much time in the grocery store reading the tabloids.
The other day we had the 5th biggest snowfall in Portland OR on record. This is a place that does not have the equipment to deal with snow.
But truly, I have never read a tabloid. On a related topic, Roger Stone, a close connection and informal advisor of Trump’s, owns a tabloid, the National Enquirer. When Trump demanded the press look into the five mistresses of Ted Cruz, and the connection of his father with the JFK assassination, that story came from the Enquirer. Roger Stone himself has said he was in touch with Julian Assange of Wikileaks.
Phx8 I can never find the stuff you write about in any of my News feed.So you must be reading out of some FAKE news outlet.
Sounds like your newsfeed is just fake news.
Warped, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, YAHOO NEWS, FOX, The AP, and many others. The liberal ones YePPPPPP I’d call them FAKE NEWS.
What newsfeed are you using, KAP?
And a correction: The Senate Investigation into Trump, his campaign, and their connections with the Russians is not an independent one. It will be also be classified. Nevertheless, two days ago they were saying there would be no investigation. After Comey’s testimony they did an about face. Comey said something behind closed doors that blew everything to pieces.
By the way, at the end of the news conference the other day, it ended with a question about whether Trump denied he or anyone else had contact with Russia leading up to the election. Trump never answered that question. He changed the subject and then ended the conference.
You need to uninstall your partisan blinders first.
phx8, I search all the MAIN NEWS sources and don’t find a lick of what you are writing about and they include what I wrote in comment 412232.
Warped, Look who’s calling the kettle black!!! LOL you are funny.
Search “Senate Intelligence Committee”. Here is the first one that comes up:
Versions of the same story appear on CNN, NBC, and virtually every other web site of a major news organization. Two days ago they did not plan to do this. After Comey’s testimony they did an about face.
Part of the reason Congressman Lewis is calling Trump illegitimate is because of what Comey said during the classified briefing to the House.
Something hit the fan.
phx8, Wasn’t it you and others when the scandals of the IRS, SoS, and others of the Obama admin. came up and you and those others said that there was nothing to them. The same applies to Trump. CNN and NBC are both biased as you say FOX is. Investigations into Clinton didn’t go no where, even with damning evidence. So you say Trump colluded with Russia, much like what the DNC and Hillary did in sinking the Sanders campaign, except it wasn’t with Russia. So please tell me how Russia influenced the election when your sweet heart Hillary was a weak candidate? What were her policies during the campaign, besides, “Trump bad, me good.” I am certain that Russia would have preferred Hillary rather then Trump. Hillary being weaker and all that and with her home brew server that could or could not have been compromised by Russia and other enemies, could have used the info found on that server as Blackmail of POTUS Hillary. Until DEFINNATIVE PROOF that Trump did something illegal your comments are nothing but SPECULATION and UNFOUNDED, UNCONFIRMED, GARBAGE.
phx8, By the way I did NOT vote for Trump or Hillary. But I will as I did Obama give him a chance.
There was nothing to the so-called scandals during the Obama administration. The Chairman of the Oversight Committee, Issa, send more subpoenas than all the previous Oversight Chairmen combined, and it resulted in not. one. single. indictment. Never mind trials and convictions.
There was no “damning evidence” concerning Hillary Clinton. If there was, there would have been indictments. The FBI investigated and found nothing to prosecute.
You write: “I am certain that Russia would have preferred Hillary rather then Trump.”
Well! You should contact American Intelligence agencies immediately and let them know about your certainty! They concluded:
“We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump.”
You write: “Until DEFINNATIVE PROOF that Trump did something illegal your comments are nothing but SPECULATION and UNFOUNDED, UNCONFIRMED, GARBAGE.”
But that is the whole point. We have moved from acknowledging the Russians did a hack and leak in order to influence our election- to undermine our belief in democracy, harm Hillary Clinton, and help Trump- to asking whether Trump did something illegal. That is part of what is being investigated. Did Trump and his campaign coordinate with the Russians? What role did Giuliani and the NY FBI office play? Why did Director Comey break all precedents and make his announcements about Hillary Clinton, which turned out to have no basis, yet say nothing about Trump, when it turned out the Russians did a hack and leak?
Unless there are new revelations, answering these questions could take a while. However, given the context that I previously mentioned, it certainly appears something very, very wrong happened. Trump and his associates may be facing some very serious charges. The culpability of Director Comey, Giuliani, and the NY FBI remain unclear, but Comey certainly caused a lot of excitement yesterday.
And if Trump does turn out to have committed high crimes, that is not really helpful to liberals, since Pence- assuming he is merely a dupe, and not involved in any wrongdoing- since Pence is just as bad as Trump, and in some ways, worse.
phx8, We all know there was classified info on Hillary’s server and you as a Vet. should know if you did what she did you would be in serious trouble. Lynch’s chance meeting with Bill???? Did that influence the Comey’s we are not going to seek indictment??? Come on we all know this was a dirty campaign on both sides. As far as hacking goes even the W.H. was hacked and God only knows what info came out of that. You say there was nothing to the Obama scandals, I say the same for Trump, there is nothing to the allegations. Now as far as the independent investigation of Comey and the FBI you never know that just may backfire in the Dems faces.
You have no knowledge or understanding on how committees of the Congress work. You have showed that time after time in your writings. It gives the appearance of an ignorant person who is trying to persuade people with your phd. The facts are a problem to your understanding. And truth does get in your way.
Congrats on the snow.
The other day you said you would not reveal where you are getting your information. Still unwilling?
So, what do you use for a newsfeed?
The deluge continues. Information from a Baltic intelligence agency coming out about Trump. Some they sent to us. Some they sent to two Israeli intelligence agencies, who then sent them to us.
The s** videos of Trump are bound to appear sometime soon. Obviously they may be fakes. Who could ever believe Trump would engage in s***** hijinks? Just because a dozen American women reported Trump made unwelcome advances on them, and just because Trump used to brag about his infidelity and said his battles with venereal disease were his own personal Viet Nam, and he was caught on tape saying all you had to do was grab women by the p**** because when you are star you can do anything you want, and just because he has 5 children from three separate marriages, why, who could ever believe a tape like that? Nah. No way.
In yet another development, there has been an investigation by the CIA and others into illegal campaign donations, with two Russian banks sending money to up to three Trump campaign associates.
By the way, the fact that the Baltic intelligence agencies and Israeli agencies are actively opposing Trump tells you something.
“However, given the context that I previously mentioned, it certainly appears something very, very wrong happened.”
Totally agree phx8. Trump won.
Let the conspiracy theories begin.
Let the call for investigations ring throughout the hallowed halls of the democrat wing of congress.
May the demands for impeachment be heard in all the highest levels of Democrat leadership.
May Obama stand ready to mount his White Horse and ride to the rescue.
Yes, Trump won. I am very happy to see conservatives and Republicans own this. Forever.
You write: “Let the call for investigations ring throughout the hallowed halls of the democrat wing of congress.”
Democrats can call all they want. It is up to the GOP. And after hearing Director Comey’s testimony in the Senate, they went from burying the investigation in Committee, to conducting a bi-partisan special committee. You will be glad to know it will be classified and conducted behind closed doors.
Oh, and the AG IG announced investigations into the DOJ and FBI over the Trump stories. That can not be stopped by Trump or anyone else. The IG is independent.
“May the demands for impeachment be heard in all the highest levels of Democrat leadership.
You used to be fond of the Constitution. Do you still support the emoluments clause, or has that fallen by the wayside?
“No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.”
Trump does NOT have a blind trust. Handing his business to his children, Beavis and Butthead, does NOT qualify, not even close. Trump will be in violation of this clause almost from day one. But you don’t care.
Cheer up. Reince Preibus warned the the Ethics Chief “be careful.” Can’t have a bunch of ethics people harassing the president.
I really dislike being rude phx8, however your position on Mr. Trump’s handling of his business interest as president and name-calling his children sounds very much like ENVY.
Lol. Envy? No. If there is one thing I do not do, it is envy bad people.
The sons hunt animals for ‘sport.’ They think it is a game, and they pose with the animals they killed- leopards, elephants, wildebeests, and so on- to show off their skills at killing animals with rifles. When a person kills creatures for fun, I guarantee you, I will never, ever envy them.
And they are not all that smart. Using gel to slick back the hair does not make them business savvy. Sorry.
As for Trump: A man who fathers five children by three wives, and regularly spouts racist, bigoted, misogynist opinions will never, ever be envied by me.
Do you need quotes from Trump to prove my point?
I am far more likely to envy a person who can turn their back on material attachments and pursue spiritual goals. That is hard. But that is impossible for most Christians to understand.
Why was it OK for Obama to accept the Nobel prize when he was in office, but it’s wrong for Trump to run his business? More double standard? Are we supposed to just forget Obama violated the emoluments clause?
Also, they don’t hunt just for fun. The meat acquired during those hunts feed the populations of the villages in the area.
Obama gave his Nobel Prize money to charities. What does this have to do with Trump running his businesses while in office?
And this might seem incredible to you, but the populations of villages can feed themselves without the Trump brothers coming in and shooting the surrounding wildlife; assuming anyone can eat a leopard in the first place.
Anyone who would do something so utterly despicable, they are the a**holes of the universe. Always. Forever. It is cruelty, plain and simple, killing an animal for fun. There is no possible justification for it. None.
Fun fact: animals from lizards on up possess sufficient mental development to be conscious.
Why was it OK for Obama to accept the Nobel prize when he was in office, but it’s wrong for Trump to run his business?
We discussed Obama’s Nobel Prize (at your insistence) in September 2015. Here are a summary of the differences between Trump’s emoluments and Obama’s prize.
1) The funds for the former come directly from a foreign government’s treasury, whereas the funds for the latter comes from the estate of private Swedish citizen who died over a century ago.
2) The people who selected Obama as the recipient of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize are not employees or representatives of the Norwegian government despite being selected by the Storting. They remain private citizens operating a private foundation.
3) Obama did not solicit the Nobel Prize, whereas the Trump organization’s commercial enterprise does solicit foreign government customers.
4) Neither Obama nor his family received financial benefit from the prize as all the funds were donated to charity.
4) Congress has already authorized the President and other USG employees to receive prizes so long as the monies are deposited in the employing government agency. There is no published evidence indicating that Obama did not deposit the prize funds in his employing agency before subsequently donating the money to various charities.
In yet another development, there has been an investigation by the CIA and others into illegal campaign donations, with two Russian banks sending money to up to three Trump campaign associates.
Honestly, this is way more troubling than any kompromat
regarding $ex, urine and Muscovite prostitutes. As we always should, it is best to sit and let the investigations play themselves out. However, if evidence emerges of Russian financial backing of Trump’s campaign, then I have trouble seeing how he remains President after Democrats regain Congress in the 2018 elections.
With the remarks Trump has said about the intel. community, the accusations phx8 has stated doesn’t surprise me. It wouldn’t surprise me that the accusations were made up by a diagrutled CIA agent to get back at Trump. Until all accusations can be proved anything the left brings up, IMO is “FAKE NEWS”.
I find it funny how the “fake news” defense is so often used by some Trump cheerleaders and then they turn around and make unsubstantiated accusations about people. Example: Trump saying Buzzfeed and CNN are make news then claims outgoing head of the CIA is “the Leaker”, what proof does he offer? NONE, just his opinion. But that’s ok right? to make sub substantiated claims about the had of the CIA when you’re president?
Paul, the psychological phenomenon of projection is well-studied. A common response to cognitive dissonance, the human brain attempts to excise uncomfortable truths by pasting them onto others.
I find it funny how the left brings up unfounded and unconfirmed accusations as truth. When the right did it to Hillary or Obama it was called a “Witch hunt”. I suggest both sides, before they write about accusations on someone I suggest that both make sure what is brought up is “FACT” not “FICTION or FAKE NEWS”!!!
Nobody here is bringing up unconfirmed accusations as truth. We are merely speculating on the likelyhood that said allegations are confirmed in the future and what the consequences would be.
Understand that Christopher Steele’s dossier reflects actal investigative work unlike the Right’s beloved pizzagate.
Warped, I suggest you read phx8’s comments carefully.
Yes phx8, ENVY. He who knows not that he knows not is a fool, shun him.
We have all read your braggadocio when you did well with your investments. Envy of Trump’s vastly greater business skill is obvious. Slick back hair is perhaps envied as you may not have any, or what you have may be ugly. And, the Trump children are recognized for their business acumen.
Teach me. Where in Comment #412227 does Phx8 assert an unconfirmed allegation as gospel truth?
It’s interesting to see you are now evaluating the business acumen of people when you’ve neither seen them nor their financial records. I envy your clairvoyance.
I envy your clairvoyance.
Posted by: Warren Porter at January 16, 2017 3:09 PM
Sure wish I could take some credit Warren but I must admit to reading about them for years by business publications.
Warped The Trump dossier thread.
It’s strange how Mark Cuban, Warren Buffet and many other of America’s preeminent businessmen haven’t been reading the same tawdry periodicals as you.
So sad Warren. Neither of those men are business journalists. Could they possibly have a political agenda? Examine your motives Warren and expand your reading.
Perhaps a political agenda underlies your assessment of the Trump family’s business skills?
Comment #412227 contains no direct references to anything claimed solely by the dossier. There’s no reference to kompromat, just reporting about the FBI’s investigation.
Warren, I have read about Mr. Trump and his family long before he ever entertained any political ambition.
Warped, phx8 wrote like he believed every word out of the dossier and IMO so did you. Both of you guys defended it like CNN and buzzfeed found gold.
I’m having trouble following this thread. As far as the dossier goes, the stories about the deviant sexual escapades seem questionable, and even if true, would not deter a Trump supporter. Videos are too easy to fake, and Trump supporters will find a way to justify any and everything.
The financial ties seem far more likely to sink Trump. He has been compromised. He sure acts like it. Scarcely a day goes by without him supporting Putin, and making it clear he intends to undermine Western military and economic alliances. I mean, he is coming right out and saying it. Picking a pointless fight with China serves the same purpose. Trump just did an interview in which he was asked who he trusted more, Merkel or Putin. He replied he would start out trusting both. Remember, Merkel is one of our best allies, and Putin just influenced our election with an attack, a cyber hack and leak.
Meanwhile, the investigations are off and running. The intelligence agencies of our allies are looking high and low for evidence, including the ones who feel most threatened- the Baltic states and Israel.
And by the way, CNN stood by its story and sources.
phx8, The saying goes “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer” I don’t know what is in Trump’s mind but he may be on to something with Russia. As far as CNN they may have stood by their story but the should have dug deeper into it to see if it was “FACT”
Obama releases the largest leaker of classified material, Bradley/Chelsea Manning, and the left worries about Russia hacking the DNC and Podesta.
Frankly Rich, I am not surprised at Obama and his love of partisan politics. He merely took one last swipe at decency.