Is Trump/Russia overblown

There’s no doubt that some Democrats are trying to blow the Trump connections with Russia into a big and damaging story. That’s not unusual in US politics, as Bill Clinton found out when he was president.

There’s no doubt that media blow up many stories more than is justified, and to an extent at least that’s probably happening with the Trump/Russia stories.

But that doesn’t mean there is nothing of importance to see and to investigate. The Washington Post reported factually on Jeff Sessions’ meetings with the Russian ambassador during the election campaign and he failed to disclose this adequately under sworn testimony.

Even @realDonaldTrump conceded to a lack of accuracy in Sessions’ testimony.

Jeff Sessions is an honest man. He did not say anything wrong. He could have stated his response more accurately, but it was clearly not intentional. This whole narrative is a way of saving face for Democrats losing an election that everyone thought they were supposed to win.

The Democrats are overplaying their hand. They lost the election, and now they have lost their grip on reality. The real story is all of the illegal leaks of classified and other information. It is a total “witch hunt!”

I presume Trump is referring to a Democrat “witch hunt!” and not the leaks from within his own administration. He is not the only one referring to a witch hunt. Fox News:

foxwitchhunt

Trump’s response in a series of tweets is in an unusual style for Trump. And it is a classic attempt at diversion.

Attention on Trump’s and his campaign’s links with Russia are unlikely to subside.

Paul Waldman at The Week summarises in How much longer can Republicans defend Trump over Russia?

We should say that it’s possible that Sessions’ conversations with the ambassador were perfectly innocent, even if one has to wonder why he would deny that they had occurred if that were the case.

And it’s possible that there was nothing wrong with Michael Flynn’s contacts with the ambassador, or the money he got from Russian state television.

And there may be a reasonable explanation for why Trump campaign officials suddenly softened the Republican platform’s language about Russia during the GOP convention.

And there may be nothing wrong with former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s work for a pro-Russian strongman in Ukraine

…or with Trump associate Roger Stone’s contacts with WikiLeaks about hacked DNC emails

…or with the Russian ties of Trump Cabinet members like Rex Tillerson and Wilbur Ross.

And maybe Trump’s people had absolutely nothing to do with all the Russian hacking that was meant to help him get elected.

And perhaps no Republicans were involved in the Russian hacking of Democratic congressional candidates, even though Republicans, including a PAC with ties to none other than Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, then used the information from the hacks to attack their opponents (bet you forgot about that one).

Might it even be possible that there’s nothing more to be learned about Trump and Russia, that there are no secrets lying within this web of denial and obfuscation, that it’s all above board and ethical? Sure — anything’s possible. But given everything that we do know, that seems rather unlikely.

From now anything’s possible, but one of the least likely possibilities is that stories about Trump links with Russia are going to fade away any time soon.

Trump himself seems to be ensuring Russia stays in the news. Seven minutes ago:

‘Dems did it too’ diversions are out there, but with a significant difference – the Democrats didn’t praise Russia nor benefit from alleged Russian hacking during the election.

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48 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  March 4, 2017

    Just Trumpy doing the schoolboy nyah nyah thing. He’s emotionally quite a baby, really, isn’t he? 😳

    • Nelly Smickers

       /  March 4, 2017

      You could be right there, Geez XD XD XD

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  March 4, 2017

        Meeeeeeoooowwwwwwww !!!!! 😀

    • Pathetic. Trump is the greatest leader thew USA has ever had. Snivel for eight years, libtards

      • Nelly Smickers

         /  March 4, 2017

        Hey.Pauly…pleeese don’t tar me with your *sniveling libtard* brush ❗

        I only posted that ‘cos I thought DOTUS looked *soooo darn cute* XD

      • Gezza

         /  March 5, 2017

        Hey Paul. 😀 Good to hear from ya, mate. 👍

        Always good to get another perspective. Keep cheering for ya homie & changing his diapers. Hope your TBS responds to therapy eventually.

  2. Corky

     /  March 4, 2017

    Is Trump/Russia overblown? Yes. What’s that old saying: give a man enough rope… Sessions may ultimately be hanged, but the Dems and liberals are starting to create a rope for themselves. I don’t think they realise, protest wise, they are in a ‘diminishing returns’ stage. Next comes public intolerance to their whining. Then comes the New Zealand Labour Party experience…ouch!!

    • artcroft

       /  March 4, 2017

      I don’t think the Dems are in any danger here, even if they are over reaching. The stick of dynamite with the lit fuse, is called ‘Healthcare’ and its in Trump’s hands. He has to get on to this a defuse it quickly (the insurance companies need to plan out 2018 now, so Trump can’t kick this can down the road). With the Republicans controlling Senate and Congress he can’t hide behind Democratic obstruction. If he and the GOP can come up with something that matches his promises he safe for the rest of this term and probably next. If he can’t…

      • David

         /  March 4, 2017

        “I don’t think the Dems are in any danger here, even if they are over reaching. ”

        They are now floating Oprah as the Democratic candidate for 2020. The Dems are about to drive off a cliff.

        • Oprah, really? Seems a dumb idea. Surely they aren’t serious.

          The Democrats are in disarray, this sort of speculation won’t help.

          • David

             /  March 4, 2017

            Disarray? It’s far worse than that, Obama is setting himself up as a shadow president and the opposition to Trump, that will be a train wreck falling off a cliff if they don’t get a grip.

    • Conspiratoor

       /  March 4, 2017

      Putting aside the disturbing mental image of the man in white robes and a hood, here is a man who doesn’t look too bothered by it all. A fly to be swatted. Others may disagree but the southern drawl adds a touch of charm and naivety

      • PDB

         /  March 4, 2017

        Tucker’s continually ‘dumbfounded’ look should be trademarked………

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  March 4, 2017

          Sessions was an idiot not to tell everything, even if it didn’t seem important. ‘Well, I exchanged a few sentences with Ivan Ivanovitch at a cocktail party (or whatever it was) but they were general conversation about the storms and the freezing weather, which he said was like Russia’s winters.’ Better to repeat trivia than risk not saying anything.

          • Nelly Smickers

             /  March 4, 2017

            Or in Trumpy’s case, with that *Russian hooker* at the Moscow Ritz Carlton….*Nora Titoff”

            XD XD XD

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  March 4, 2017

              I thought that that was the author of The Baby’s Revenge-Nora Titzoff.

              Then there was Russian Winters by Ivan Astikoff and Seven Weeks in the Saddle by Major Bumsore 😀 😀 😀

              Rusty Bedsprings by I P Knightley might have been what Trump was reading in Russia 😀 😀 😀

            • Nelly Smickers

               /  March 4, 2017

              Oh’ *gawd* Kitzy…don’t get me started!!

              But if in any doubt, please refer to *second post from the top* XD

  3. artcroft

     /  March 4, 2017

    He has to get on to this a defuse it quickly

    oops! should be “He has to defuse this quickly”

  4. David

     /  March 4, 2017

    I Watch the full question to Sessions in the hearing and as pretty much everyone except Pelosi accepts it wasnt perjury and its a reach to say he deliberately misled the confirmation panel. Americans are pretty emphatic they have had a gutsful of this politicking and they want politicians to get on with some pretty pressing issues, this is a strategic mistake again by the Dems who seem to have learned nothing.

    • It may well have been sort of accidental omission but Sessions should have clarified and rectified immediately it became an issue. He did himself no favours trying to fob it off until pressured to recuse himself.

      And there is cross party support for the need to recuse himself regardless, it would be improper for him to be involved in an investigation into a campaign he was a significant part of.

    • Joe Bloggs

       /  March 4, 2017

      By not disclosing the contacts in January and answering those questions in his hearing, Sessions has shifted the focus from the nature of the conversations themselves, to questions about his honesty and ability to administer justice impartially.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  March 4, 2017

        Yes, if he’d said ‘Oh wait-I spoke to Ivan Ivanovitch at the Hilton for a few moments about the weather.’ it might have made him seem a fusspot, but would have saved a lot of hoohah. Even if he’d sat up in the middle of the night, saying ‘Bugger, I forgot the ….. !.’ and corrected himself the next day, it would have saved a lot of trouble.

  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  March 4, 2017

    On the self-important hysteria of the Washington elite:

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/03/trump-foreign-policy-elites-insiders-experts-international-relations-214846

    “They are definitely not in charge any longer but they have excellent sources.”

  6. David

     /  March 4, 2017

    “‘Dems did it too’ diversions are out there, but with a significant difference – the Democrats didn’t praise Russia nor benefit from alleged Russian hacking during the election.”

    If the hacking is still ‘alleged’, how can anyone benefit from it other than those copy/pasting the story of alleged hacking?

    Seriously, ‘the Russians stole the election’ is the biggest load of BS this century. Not a so much a scrap of evidence, hell, it’s hard to even get a clear story as to what the actual issue is, its just hysterical The Russians! The Russians! while clutching their pearls.

    • Who is claiming ‘the Russians stole the election’? That looks like an attempt at overblowing something that a democratic country should have serious concerns about – whether or not another country tried to interfere in their election, regardless of the result.

      The result is fixed, Trump is president.

      But foreign skulduggery is something that surely should be investigated so that it can be prevented in the future.

      • David

         /  March 4, 2017

        “Who is claiming ‘the Russians stole the election’? That looks like an attempt at overblowing something that a democratic country should have serious concerns about – whether or not another country tried to interfere in their election, regardless of the result.”

        What is the purpose of all this noise about contact with the Russians, other than as an excuse as to why the Democrats lost the election? It wasn’t an issue before the election. Nobody much got excited about Obama promising Putin a more flexible approach following his last election.

        “But foreign skulduggery is something that surely should be investigated so that it can be prevented in the future.”

        Why was Obama not investigating foreign skullduggery before the election? With all the resources of the CIA and FBI, why has not a single piece of evidence, or even a coherent story come out?

        • Concerns were expressed and investigations began well before the election. It was a big issue through the latter stages of the campaign.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  March 4, 2017

            I didn’t know about the skulduggery concerns, but can well believe it. NB, skulduggery has nothing to do with skulls.

  7. Joe Bloggs

     /  March 4, 2017

    There may indeed be nothing to the links between trump, Putin and their respective administrations…but there’s plenty of covering up and lying going on. And when there are cover-ups and lies being told it’s usually for a good reason.

    A Nexis search of “Russia” and “Donald Trump” in US publications in the week leading up to Sessions meeting with Kislyak produces over 800 results.

    Sessions’ defense of that meeting and his failure to disclose it under oath has involved three main claims: 1) he doesn’t have “a strong recollection” of what was said; 2) he took the meeting in his capacity as a senator, not a campaign surrogate; 3) the meeting wasn’t to “discuss issues of the campaign.”

    Those assertions are completely contradictory but they also don’t pass a sniff test in light of the week in headlines before that meeting.

    1) September 1, ABC News: “FBI Warns Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Staffers to Beware of Foreign Spies in US”

    2) September 2, U.S. News: “Putin says DNC Hacks Not From Him”

    3) September 4, Huffington Post: “Tim Kaine Compares Trump’s Russian Hack Comments To Watergate”

    4) September 5, New York Times: “Hillary Clinton Accuses Russia of Interfering With U.S. Election”

    5) September 5, Washington Post: “U.S. investigating potential covert Russian plan to disrupt November elections”

    6) September 5, Politico: “Obama warns of cyber ‘arms race’ with Russia”

    7) September 7, Wall Street Journal: “Ash Carter Warns Russia Against Interfering in ‘Democratic Process’”

    8) September 7, RadioFreeEurope: “Trump Strikes Back At Clinton Over U.S. Relations With Russia”

    9) September 8, Washington Post: “Trump praises Putin at national security forum”

    10) September 8, ABC News: “Kremlin Declines to Comment on Donald Trump’s Latest Praise of Vladimir Putin”

    • Conspiratoor

       /  March 4, 2017

      11) 10 January, evidence emerges of trump making people piss on a bed obama slept in

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  March 4, 2017

        Trump can’t make up his mind whether he knows Putin as a friend, doesn’t know him at all personally, has been on a television show with him (despite the fact that Putin wasn’t in the country at the time and wasn’t on the show), and so on and so forth.

        Yes, it’s a good idea for countries to ‘get along together’, but it’s extremely naive to think that all that’s needed is for them to say so. This is not The Warehouse joining forces with Countdown (not that they have, but you know what I mean)

    • David

       /  March 4, 2017

      “There may indeed be nothing to the links between trump, Putin and their respective administrations…but there’s plenty of covering up and lying going on. ”

      Why have McCaskill and Pelosi lied about their contacts with Russia? They are covering up something.

  8. Hilary’s strategy was to identify a plausible weakness, a chink in the Trump armour to counter the real exposure of her perfidy documented by Wikileaks. She and her followers have built their case for the illegitimacy of Trump’s election on two prongs. The Russians provided Wikileaks with the Emails that had been modified to make Hilary look bad and Hilary won the Popular Vote legitimacy. The Democrats have a war chest of billions to use to discover all sorts of negative scenarios to keep the Russian connection alive. Their motivation is clear, and as long as Trump is in the Oval Office, they will continue their planned campaign. I have been a member of Wikileaks since its first year and am sure that the Clinton Emails and the Podesta emails were unearthed by Wikileaks contacts and not from Russia. I am also interested to note that Barak Obama has not moved back home to Chicago, and has his campaign advisor living in his Washington home. This indicates to me that the rumoured intention of Michelle Obama to stand for President at the next election may have more than just a little merit. Oprah has plenty of money, but has she got the Presidential makeup?

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  March 4, 2017

      I would say yes, she has.She is a very clever woman-think what she has achieved !

      The Obamas may well not want to move back to Chicago, their life there couldn’t just be picked up again. He’s been president, he can’t really be Mr Obama of Smith, Jones and Obama, Legal Firm.

      • David

         /  March 4, 2017

        “I would say yes, she has.She is a very clever woman-think what she has achieved !”

        She lost to Trump. Just how clever can she be?

        “The Obamas may well not want to move back to Chicago, their life there couldn’t just be picked up again. He’s been president, he can’t really be Mr Obama of Smith, Jones and Obama, Legal Firm.”

        Bush moved back to his ranch in Texas, Carter back to his peanut farm etc.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  March 4, 2017

          Oh, yes, be disagreeable, do.

          Oprah lost to Trump-silly me, I forgot that she’d stood for president in the last election.

          There’s a differencr between a ranch and an office. Just a tiny one, but there is one.

      • There may be more to it than that Kitty. He is being accused by the alt/right of being at the centre of an army of Militia based in California that is planning a Remove Trump coup d’etat! What truth there is in it I do not know. However the Justice Department has been tasked to explain how “billions’ of dollars paid over by Wall Street Banks etc as compensation for the losses in the GFC particularly the Mortgages scam has ended up in the bank accounts of a number of Democratic andProgressive NGOs allegedly at Obama’s direction. The bankrupted mortgage holders did not get any of it reportedly

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  March 4, 2017

          I am very glad that I am not an American-especially not an American politician. Trump says that it’s a high honour to live there-you couldn’t pay me enough to live there, especially at the moment.

  9. Joe Bloggs

     /  March 4, 2017

    a great response from Schumer to trump’s efforts to distract and evade, divert and deny:

    Half an hour later, Schumer tweeted back and said the meeting happened 14 years ago. “Happily talk re: my contact w Mr. Putin & his associates, took place in ’03 in full view of press & public under oath. Would you &your team?”

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/mar/03/schumer-trump-doughnuts-putin-tweet

    Meanwhile there’s a deathly silence from trump and son-in-law Kushner about Kushner’s secret meetings with Kislyak

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  March 4, 2017

      Don’t you feel like banging all their heads together and telling them to grow up ???

  10. Alan Wilkinson

     /  March 4, 2017

    It will be 6 to 12 months before Trump’s team takes control of the bureaucracy?:

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/03/trump-obama-appointees-advisers-purge-235629

  11. Joe Bloggs

     /  March 4, 2017

    behind all of this to-do with Russia is trump’s propensity to lie and spin bullshit:

    the major obstacle is Trump’s untrustworthiness. He is a frequently mendacious man, and many of his associates possess the same deficiency in character. I do not know if the many untruths Trump and his team have uttered on this subject are making them appear guiltier than they are or obscuring a shocking reality.

    But the contradictions cannot be ignored.

    A couple weeks ago, Trump gave a lengthy, combative press conference where he was asked, “Can you say whether you are aware that anyone who advised your campaign had contacts with Russia during the course of the election?”

    He said no, aside from Mike Flynn, who ostensibly resigned from the Trump administration for misleading Mike Pence about his conversations with the Russian ambassador.

    Then Trump went much farther.

    “Russia is a ruse. I have nothing to do with Russia. Haven’t made a phone call to Russia in years. Don’t speak to people from Russia. Not that I wouldn’t. I just have nobody to speak to. I spoke to Putin twice. He called me on the election. I told you this. And he called me a few days ago. We had a very good talk, especially the second one … I have nothing to do with Russia. To the best of my knowledge no person that I deal with does. Now, Manafort has totally denied it. He denied it. Now people knew that he was a consultant over in that part of the world for a while, but not for Russia. I think he represented Ukraine or people having to do with Ukraine.”

    Even two weeks ago, Trump’s claims were highly dubious.

    Now consider what we have learned in the last 24 hours.

    “Three weeks before Election Day, Donald Trump Jr. left the campaign trail and the country to speak at a private dinner in Paris organized by an obscure pro-Russia group that promotes Kremlin foreign policy initiatives and has since nominated Russian President Vladimir Putin for the Nobel Peace Prize,” ABC reported.

    Then CNN reported that J.D. Gordon, a former national security adviser to Trump, attended an event with the Russian ambassador at the GOP convention. Trump national-security advisers Carter Page and Walid Phares were there, too. And Jared Kushner and Mike Flynn met with Russia’s ambassador at Trump Tower in December.

    One can imagine non-nefarious explanations for all of these meetings. USA Today’s writeup of the Cleveland RNC event makes it sound especially innocuous.

    But they inevitably create suspicion when they directly contradict bygone untruths told by the president and his team; follow Manafort and Flynn resigning over matters related to Russia; concern a president who will not release his tax returns; and dovetail with a dossier that alleges alarming ties between Trump and the Kremlin.

    Look again at Trump’s words from his press conference: “I have nothing to do with Russia,” the president said. “To the best of my knowledge no person that I deal with does.”

    That is bullshit. Among many other things, Russia’s ambassador clearly made a concerted effort to interact with many on the Trump team and succeeded spectacularly.

    . . .

    As the weeks pass, the press continues to uncover contradictions, and Team Trump’s demonstrable untruths pile up, making it impossible for the public to trust their president when he denies inappropriate contacts with a foreign adversary because they can’t trust anything he says, the need to get to the bottom of whatever they are hiding only grows more urgent—whether to exonerate a president who creates the appearance of serious impropriety with every absurdity he utters about Russia, or to uncover whatever nefarious truth he is contorting himself to hide.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/03/the-untruths-of-president-trump-are-piling-up/518490/

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  March 4, 2017

      Trump chats informally and his every word is scanned for a chance to attack him. The above is a classic example of nitpicking irrelevance.

  12. Joe Bloggs, maybe you should read this:
    After months of Democrats crying-foul and dogging the Trump administration over it’s alleged ‘ties’ to Russia, it turns out the Russian Ambassador was not only popular on liberal side of the aisle, but also Obama’s White House.

    Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak visited the Obama White House at least 22 times between 2009 and 2016 the White House guest log –a public document- confirms.

    The latest meeting took place barely a few months ago in September 2016 between the Ambassador and senior Obama adviser John Holdren.

    The visitors log, which also includes the number of attendees and with whom the Ambassador was meeting, shows that most of the appointments had less than five guests.

    As for Congressional Democrats, they too were cozy with the Russian diplomat. Fox News reports that the Ambassador met with at least seven Democratic senators in 2013. One of those senators was Claire McCaskill, who’s blatant hypocrisy was captured on twitter when she claimed she had never met the Russian Ambassador.”

    But there is more to come!
    Democrats continue to attack Attorney General Jeff Sessions for a pair of meetings he had with the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in 2016 while he was a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and an occasional surrogate for the Trump campaign. However, a new report from Fox News is throwing cold water on the idea that the meetings were part of some nefarious plot between the Trump campaign and Russia.

    Over at FoxNews.com, Hans Von Spakovsky reports that least one of the meetings was actually arranged, in part, by the Obama administration.

    The first [meeting] came at a conference on “Global Partners in Diplomacy,” where Sessions was the keynote speaker. Sponsored by the U.S. State Department, The Heritage Foundation, and several other organizations, it was held in Cleveland during the Republican National Convention.

    The conference was an educational program for ambassadors invited by the Obama State Department to observe the convention. The Obama State Department handled all of the coordination with ambassadors and their staff, of which there were about 100 at the conference.

    Apparently, after Sessions finished speaking, a small group of ambassadors—including the Russian ambassador—approached the senator as he left the stage and thanked him for his remarks. That’s the first “meeting.” And it’s hardly an occasion—much less a venue—in when a conspiracy to “interfere” with the November election could be hatched. (emphasis added)

    So was the Obama administration in on the Russian conspiracy?”

    Source Sean Hannity IHeart Radio

  1. Is Trump/Russia overblown – NZ Conservative Coalition