Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Trump's Big CON: What's He Hiding: Is Trump a Russian Agent? (Cont.)

UPDATE II:  "The constant flow of bizarre and incriminating information, just the portion of which has seeped out, is becoming so voluminous that the Trump administration can no longer wave this off as much to do about nothing. . .

The Trump obsession with 'unmasking' names is a blatant attempt to distract and obviously irrelevant. It’s not even helpful to Trump’s case. There are many legitimate reasons for unmasking, and nothing suggests requesting information about the identities of those Russia was trying to assist was illegal or improper. Ironically, by focusing on unmasking, the Trump spinners just remind us that there was an extensive, serious investigation underway because of  a comprehensive Russian effort to manipulate American voters and because of unprecedented connections between one candidate’s team and Russia. . .

Listen, if you were the national security adviser and learned of this extensive Russian campaign of active measures, knew about all sorts of connections between Russia and one campaign, and found out associates of one candidate were picked up in monitored conversations with Russian agents, wouldn’t you demand to know the names of those involved? Any national security adviser who didn’t would be accused of burying his or her head in the sand. Nothing regarding alleged unmasking that we have heard or seen so far bolsters Trump’s “wiretapping” claim or suggests that anyone in the Obama administration did something illegal or wrong, nor does it tell us who revealed that Flynn was one of the people picked up in surveillance of Russians. What it does confirm is that there was so much evidence of a Russian disinformation scheme and of questionable connections between Trump associates and Russians that it warranted a substantial intelligence investigation.

The Trump spin squad appears so desperate to create confusion . . . that it has confused itself about what is helpful and what is not. When you hear breathless accusations from Fox Non-News hosts, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) or enlisted right-wing journalists eager for a scoop — ask yourself why it is the least bit unusual for national security officials to be looking for Russia’s points of contacts. It’s not, and it does not detract from the enormity of the scheme of manipulation, disinformation, cultivation and other tried-and-true Soviet-style techniques unfolding before our eyes. And that is merely what we presently know about the Russia-Trump scandal."

Read the Washington Post, The Russia scandal gets weirder and weirder.

UPDATE:  "From the moment President Donald Trump tweeted that he had been "wiretapped" by President Barack Obama during the course of the 2016 election, he and his senior aides have been desperately searching for evidence that makes that allegation true. . .

What Trump and his associates are doing is pursuing a strategy of muddying the waters as they try to get out from under a decidedly ill-advised tweet from the President.

With no evidence that he was wiretapped, they are hoping that these unmasking allegations -- or the possibility that Trump transition officials were surveilled as a result of incidental collection for probes related to foreign operatives -- give the president enough cover to credibly say 'See, told you! Now, let's move on.'

That's fine as a political strategy. But the facts are still the facts. And the fact is that this latest unmasking episode is a smokescreen to distract from the broader issue -- which is that the President of the United States made a completely unfounded and very serious allegation against his immediate predecessor."

Read CNN, Trump just keeps creating smokescreens to mask his Russia problem

"The now president of the United States and his campaign team either wittingly or unwittingly helped carry Russian disinformation targeted at American democracy. The magnitude of that analysis has yet to sink in. Consider the number of questions that raises, and the implications for the investigation underway.

How did Paul Manafort, Carter Page and Michael T. Flynn, all enriched by surrogates of Russia (in Manafort’s case by the Kremlin’s stooge in Ukraine and in Flynn’s case, RT, among others) come to work on a single campaign? Did whoever put them there know the extent of their Russian connections? Did Trump? Never in any campaign have so many pro-Russian, Russian-paid advisers worked for a single presidential  candidate — one who wound up refusing to criticize Russia and indeed echoing its disinformation."

Read the Washington Post, The big Russia questions loom even larger.

Read also Trump's Big CON: What's He Hiding: Is Trump a Russian Agent?, where I noted that Trump "may be an unwitting agent, but Putin has the kompromat to control Trump, and Trump knows it since he knows his own compromising financial and personal information."