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  1. Clapper denies wiretap of Trump Tower

    Former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper on Sunday denied President Trump’s allegations that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower before the election.

    During an interview on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” Clapper was asked if he would be aware if something like that had happened.

    “I would certainly hope so … Obviously I can’t speak officially anymore,” Clapper said on NBC’s “Meet The Press.”

    “But I will say that for the part of the national security apparatus that I oversaw as DNI, there was no such wiretap activity mounted against the president-elect at the time, as a candidate, or against his campaign.”

    Clapper also said he would know if a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court order existed for “something like this.”
    “And at this point you can’t confirm or deny whether that exists?” host Chuck Todd asked.

    “I can deny it,” Clapper said in response.

    “There is no FISA court order,” Todd asked.

    “Not to my knowledge,” Clapper responded.

    http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/322411-clapper-denies-wiretap-of-trump-tower

    Reply
    • Nelly Smickers

       /  March 6, 2017

      7:42 am *JUST IN*…

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  March 6, 2017

        The plot thickens – or the pundits do. Whatever.

        Reply
      • Joe Bloggs

         /  March 6, 2017

        Yup, it’s gotta be an Obama conspiracy. Couldn’t be anything like an administration at war with itself where various people are all angling for influence by leaking stories which undercut others in the administration. Nope, that couldn’t be it at all.

        Reply
    • David

       /  March 6, 2017

      Clapper has a history of ‘forgetfulness’, perhaps he just forgot about it…..

      Reply
  2. Gezza

     /  March 6, 2017

    Damn! Too slow off the mark. The boss beat me to the office today.

    THE DONALD OF THE UNITED STATES’s best tweets so far today:
    https://yt3.ggpht.com/-IPUHnxNf_Ow/AAAAAAAAAAI/AAAAAAAAAAA/RUjLyrlNsgw/s88-c-k-no-mo-rj-c0xffffff/jpg
    [45th POTUS, 1st DOTUS]
    ……..
    Is it true the DNC would not allow the FBI access to check server or other equipment after learning it was hacked? Can that be possible?

    Anything’s possible, they say. The more relevant question is, is it true? Ed.
    ……..
    Who was it that secretly said to Russian President, “Tell Vladimir that after the election I’ll have more flexibility?” ‪@foxandfriends‬

    Kim Dotcom? Ed.
    ……..
    Thank you for the great rallies all across the country. Tremendous support. Make America Great Again!

    They’re a beautiful thing. What great rallies across the country?? Ed.
    ……..
    Hopefully, paving completed today, with assistance from night strength deep heat & 2 x panadol optizorb every four hours. There are downsides to being ruthlessly determined to complete manly projects in minimum timeframes. Ed.
    ……..
    More Trump tweets may possibly be found here when El Presidente has spare time: https://mobile.twitter.com/realdonaldtrump
    ……
    Mon 6 Mar 2017. 0700 hours

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  March 6, 2017

      Rat! Obviously I still have an *image problem*. 😡
      Better get on to a fix before tomorrow. 😳

      Reply
  3. Nelly Smickers

     /  March 6, 2017

    *Suzie D* provides ‘proof’, [in easy to follow format o_O ], that the Russians didn’t do DNC hack……

    Reply
  4. Joe Bloggs

     /  March 6, 2017

    trumps claims are so free of any evidence that even his aides refuse to defend him

    This is a familiar dance from the White House. Trump sees a piece of information from a less-than-reputable news source that fits into his conspiracy theory-oriented worldview. He then states it as fact to rile up his supporters and cast himself as the victim of an effort to undermine him. Then his spokesmen go out there and don’t really vouch for him but say what he said should be investigated.

    The exact thing happened with Trump’s allegations that millions of illegal votes were cast for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 campaign: Trump drops a bomb, offers no proof and then leaves it to those around him to investigate it. And, in this case, Congress is in the unhappy position of possibly having to fold this claim into its existing Russia investigations, while the White House attempts to wash its hands of Trump’s conspiracy theory-mongering.

    But the fact remains that the White House is defending a President Trump who doesn’t exist. They’re not defending a man who thinks his claim is worth investigating; they’re defending a man who says what he claimed actually happened. And it’s a claim that is so over its own skis that even his top spokesmen won’t attach their names to it.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/03/05/trumps-evidence-free-claim-about-obama-wiretapping-him-is-indefensible-so-his-aides-arent-defending-it/?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_fix-trumpaides-157pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.b8c21aeecb20

    Reply
    • Nelly Smickers

       /  March 6, 2017

      Reply
      • Joe Bloggs

         /  March 6, 2017

        In order to see and raise, you first need to meet the table stake. As a mouthpiece for conservative America, National Review fails to do so. This “article” blaming the OBama administration for Trump’s malfeasance and deceit, is garbage. A Fisa investigation cannot be instituted by a president, nor can a president or his staff be involved. This “article” is a load of alt right manure. Shameful and well below your usual dreck.

        moderately to strongly biased toward conservative causes through story selection and/or political affiliation. They may utilize strong loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes), publish misleading reports and omit reporting of information that may damage conservative causes. Some sources in this category may be untrustworthy.

        https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/national-review/

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  March 6, 2017

          If you think WaPo is even moderately biased I have a harbour bridge to sell you.

          Reply
          • Joe Bloggs

             /  March 6, 2017

            Even news organisations that strive to be unbiased have bias, however they also strive for honesty and credibility in a way that trump and his alt-right/alt-white supporters have forsaken.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  March 6, 2017

              If you think WaPo strives to be unbiased I have a London bridge to sell you as well.

      • Joe Bloggs

         /  March 6, 2017

        and to shine a little more sunlight on the fatal flaw that is inherent in relying on any commentary from Andy McCarthy, McCarthy is the conspiracy theorist who posited in a paranoia-tinged diatribe that Barack Obama is allied with Islamists in a “grand jihad” against America. Yeah, right, whatever…

        McCarthy comes from the same school of tin-foil hatted fuckwittery as Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin – and it’s notable that it was Mark Levin’s line of BS that appears to have triggered trump’s own twitter melt-down…

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  March 6, 2017

          Lefty songbook: Attack the messenger.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  March 6, 2017

            Trumpoholic Songbook – attack the messenger by saying they’re attacking the messenger.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  March 6, 2017

              G Songbook – attack the messenger by saying they’re attacking the messenger by saying they’re attacking the messenger.

            • Gezza

               /  March 6, 2017

              For heaven’s sake Alan. You know I love you like a wayward brother, but you’ve got intellectually lazy. Put some cerebral effort into your comments, like some of these other chaps & chappesses. I’ll say no more. Others will know what I mean.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  March 6, 2017

              Of course you’ll say more. You always do. Must be the Irish genes coming through. As for cerebral effort, there is nothing worth putting any into today. Just more irrelevant verbal skirmishes in the ongoing war.

              Got another possum yesterday. That three in the same spot in the forest. Think I’ll go out and check it again and do some more work on the fans. Just waiting on a few bits now.

            • Gezza

               /  March 6, 2017

              Paving. Back muscles killing me. Hurts. Doing it in howling bloody wind tunnel under grey skies. Eating some lunch & checking whether you’ve upped your gsme yet. Grumpy. Soon, more panadol & back into it, before Rest Home stint.

            • Conspiratoor

               /  March 6, 2017

              Too late to dispense some well inentioned free advice G, the damage is done. But never expose your lower back to the wind when the muscles in the back are employed. As age increases the damage threshold falls. Cheers,c

            • Gezza

               /  March 6, 2017

              Arrgh. I keep having to take breaks to straighten up & grunt the pain away! It was being daft enough to hoist two heavy clay pots I’d just potted rosebushes into, soil-packed & watered, two days ago, that did the nasty I think, c.

              By the time I thought “WTF aren’t I using the two-wheel trolley in the garage for this job?”, the damage was done. Ouch City, North Wellington. 😬

              Yeah, I know about the wind on yer back. Breaking out concrete lumps from a fence-footing is slowing things up too, but I can do it sitting. Just doing me darndest to get these pavers in before the wet, forecast for Tuesday. I’ve got a big enough job working on set list & concert rehearsals after this is done & want to focus on that.

            • Conspiratoor

               /  March 6, 2017

              A man your age G should uplift nothing more weighty than an iPad …and pay a boy to lift rocks. Naughty!

            • Gezza

               /  March 6, 2017

              Don’t be rrrude, laddie. Sumo wrestlers still git oot a ma waay wen ahm kimmin thru. 😎 💪 👍

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  March 6, 2017

              Another gorgeous day up here. Dogs looked at the midday heat and said “You must be joking about running from the gate; we’re staying in the truck.” Then we had a shady walk thru the forest to the trap but no dead possum today. Give it one more night there and I’ll shift it again.

          • Joe Bloggs

             /  March 6, 2017

            Righty songbook:

            – deny trump’s mendacity, xenophobia, misogyny, racism, and gerenal cluelessness
            – ignore the conspiracy theories, lies and outright bullshit promulgated by trump supporters
            – blame liberals for everything
            – divert, distract, deny, decry, deflect, dissemble, and dismiss

            Reply
            • Joe Bloggs

               /  March 6, 2017

              yikes – fat fingers

              sp* general cluelessness; as in the type displayed by Nixon in his darkest hours, minus 50 IQ points

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  March 6, 2017

              Luckily I’m not a Righty then, JB.

  5. Joe Bloggs

     /  March 6, 2017

    The F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, asked the Justice Department this weekend to publicly reject President Trump’s assertion that President Barack Obama ordered the tapping of Mr. Trump’s phones, senior American officials said on Sunday. Mr. Comey has argued that the highly charged claim is false and must be corrected, they said, but the department has not released any such statement.

    Mr. Comey made the request on Saturday after Mr. Trump leveled his allegation on Twitter. Mr. Comey has been working to get the Justice Department to knock down Mr. Trump’s claim because there is no evidence to support it and it insinuates that the F.B.I. broke the law, the officials said.

    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/03/05/us/politics/trump-seeks-inquiry-into-allegations-that-obama-tapped-his-phones.html

    This behind-the-scenes loibbying by Comey contrasts strongly with his very public shellacking of Clinton’s email case when he disregarded Justice Department entreaties not to comment.

    Meanwhile trump and Dark-President Bannon ratchet up the lies and bullshit to delegitimise past executive branch officials, the intelligence agencies, the judicial system, and eventually Congress, which at this point seems too self absorbed to fully understand the path down which the trump team is leading America.

    How much longer will trumpophiles continue to exercise wilful blindness to their actions?

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  March 6, 2017

      So an unidentified source claims that Comey asked the Justice Department to make a statement that Comey could have made himself. Is that Fake News or what?

      Reply
      • Joe Bloggs

         /  March 6, 2017

        more than one unidentified source – note that plural officials denote more than one senior official

        This story’s already had wide coverage across different media and Comey has made no effort to issue any form of denial – ipso facto, the story can be considered reliable, more reliable at least than trump’s bullshit claim.

        And more compelling at least than your effort to undermine media reporting of another bizarre trump brainfart.

        Let me remind you that trump and his crooked cronies have offered no evidence whatsoever of Obama’s involvement in a wiretap. Zip. Zero. Nada. Not even the White House aides are offering any scintilla of evidence.

        Reply
  6. Gezza

     /  March 6, 2017

    This whole situation is unreal, when I think about it.

    A once-great country is so completely fed up & untrusting of its generally bought & paid for (by someone, or some organisation, benign or otherwise) entrenched, troughing, Financier-beholden, out-of-touch, self-promoting politicians, they let some narcissistic, petty, bullshitting, conspiracy-promoting, reality TV “boss man, *supposed* billionaire, businessman & professional con artist hijack – first, the Republican Party, & then the entire electoral system, & become President – & turn the whole shebang into the world’s biggest ever combined reality tv & tragi-comedy show. 🙄

    Reply
    • MaureenW

       /  March 6, 2017

      Oh, Gezza, you don’t remember the photos from “the Situation Room”, Geronimo, Geronimo Enemy Killed in Action!!!!
      The reality show didn’t start with Trump, there was of course Bush, with his “Mission Accomplished” photo op.
      US Politics is utter crap – it’s not a Trump thing.

      Reply
    • PDB

       /  March 6, 2017

      Gezza: “A once-great country” – You mean the one that more than likely assisted in assassinating their own President and turned a blind eye to the growing Mafia? Or the one where huge numbers of law enforcement & public officials were in the pockets of organized crime? Or maybe the one that treated blacks as slaves? Or the one that started wars with other countries under dubious circumstances, assassinated other world leaders they didn’t like the look of, or financed terrorist groups that later got out of control?

      The real question is: Was America ever ‘great’?

      Reply
      • MaureenW

         /  March 6, 2017

        We came, we saw, he died . Ha, ha, ha ha ha ha ha ha .

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  March 6, 2017

          They didn’t just treat blacks as slaves, they owned them as slaves.

          Nobody seems to thought that ‘Make America Great Again’ was very unflattering. I know that political slogans aren’t usually profound, they can’t be as they have to be short and sound good as well as being memorable- but this one is insulting.

          PDB, do you think that there was much more to Kennedy’s killing than some lone nutter ? I am NOT a conspiracy theorist, but the Oswald story just seems improbable, as does his own shooting before he could say anything-and his own words were that he’d been had for a mug (or a patsy-anyway, not ‘It wasn’t me !’ or anything like that)

          Reply
          • PDB

             /  March 6, 2017

            Kitty: The last official word on the Kennedy killing was by the United States House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) who concluded: ” that Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_House_Select_Committee_on_Assassinations

            Only the US government could have organized, carried out, and covered up such a ‘conspiracy’ so great was the scope of it. You only have to look who ultimately directly benefited from the death to find the culprits – Lyndon Johnson, Big oil, & military companies making money from the Vietnam war.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  March 6, 2017

              It is unlikely to be ever, ever proved-too late now, anyway. I grew up thinking that it was Oswald, but then began wondering when I read his words-they sounded more like someone realising that he’s been had than someone who’s dunnit and is denying it. The Ruby thing was just too much of a coincidence :-/ I don’t know enough about it to make an intelligent guess myself as to who it WAS, but I am sure that I know who it WASN’T. How likely is it that Ruby or anyone else would be able to shoot the main suspect before he’d been questioned ? Only a fool, no matter how much they were willing to be the lookout or whatever-we will never know-is going to take the blame and go to the gallows (or whatever they had there) They’d sing like a canary. Oswald was a Commie sympathiser-the perfect mug, walking around with mug written all over him.

              It HAD to be a conspiracy, or rather, it’s not impossible that one person could want to and would shoot him, but this just doesn’t ring true here. It’s too far-fetched to be a lone gunman.

            • PDB

               /  March 6, 2017

              “Oswald was a Commie sympathizer”

              I think evidence now points strongly to Oswald being CIA at a time the CIA and the Mafia were working hand-in-hand on various operations against Cuba and the like. Appearing to be a communist was but a cover for his anti-communist activities. He would have been aware of the assassination attempt as he was there on behalf of the CIA (likely as a lookout on the lower floors where he was first found moments after the shootings) and he would have known Ruby as Ruby was a well known ‘go-between’ between CIA and Mafia operatives at his night clubs as well as a mafia bagman paying off various law enforcement officials (contacts within police also got him into the locked-down carpark area in order to shoot Oswald). As I mentioned the US govt were the only ones who could have covered up such a conspiracy, breaking the law in taking the body of JFK away by force before an autopsy could be completed in Texas by officials there etc

            • patupaiarehe

               /  March 6, 2017

              Some food for thought, you two…
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Northwoods
              The plan was drafted by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, signed by Chairman Lyman Lemnitzer and sent to the Secretary of Defense. Although part of the U.S. government’s anti-communist Cuban Project, Operation Northwoods was never officially accepted; it was authorized by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but then rejected by President John F. Kennedy. According to currently released documentation, none of the operations became active under the auspices of the Operation Northwoods proposals.

            • PDB

               /  March 6, 2017

              “The proposals called for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) or other U.S. government operatives to commit acts of terrorism against American civilians and military targets, blaming it on the Cuban government, and using it to justify a war against Cuba.”

              ….with a few extreme tweaks it sounds somewhat familiar……..

      • Gezza

         /  March 6, 2017

        “The real question is: Was America ever ‘great’?”

        Yeah it’s had its moments of greatness for a decade or two several times, starting with The war of Independence. The FDR years & the Eisenhower years were generally pretty good ones, The JFK years were pretty mixed but good things happened in places. As Great Powers go its history’s no worse than those of the historical others & in some ways probably better. Perfect? Never! To be implicitly trusted & accepted to be “the leader of the free world”? Don’t make me laugh. Lost track of how many unprosecutable war criminals it’s been led or championed by. Still rather live there than, say, Russia or China or France, if I was forced to emigrate by a local nazi regime.

        Reply
  7. Conspiratoor

     /  March 6, 2017

    Putting aside the hyperbole, claims, counter claims, whos up who …here’s a list of Trumps achievements in the first six weeks or so…

    Freezing all Federal Hiring Outside of the Military
    Pulling Support for the Obama Drive to Force Women to Allow Men in Their Bathrooms
    Reinstating The Mexico City Policy
    Ordered Federal Agencies To Cut Two Regulations For Every New One They Propose:
    Putting Out An Executive Order Asking The DOJ And Homeland Security to Withhold “Federal Funds, Except As Mandated By Law” From Sanctuary Cities
    Approving The Dakota Access Pipeline And The Keystone Pipeline
    Killing The Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Deal
    Undermining Obamacare
    Ordering The Construction Of The Border Wall
    Selecting Neil Gorsuch For The Supreme Court

    Reply
    • Joe Bloggs

       /  March 6, 2017

      Not forgetting that he’s wiped out ISIS

      One of Trump’s oft-repeated campaign promises was a “guaranteed” plan to wipe out Islamic State within 30 days of taking office. Understandably, he refused to tell anyone exactly what that plan was. “Everyone will take the idea, run with it, and the people will forget where it came from,” he explained. During the third presidential debate, he tipped his hand slightly: “Whatever happened to the element of surprise, OK? These people have all left. They’ve all left. Douglas MacArthur, George Patton are spinning in their graves at the stupidity of our country.”

      I, for one, am willing to believe my president is a man of action. Thus I can only assume that at some point, on or around 20 February of this year, Trump exterminated Isis. Any subsequent media mention of their nefarious activity is “fake news”.

      Obviously, we don’t know exactly how this all went down because if Trump revealed that intel, someone would steal it, use it to wipe out other terrorist organisations and forget to give him due credit, which is downright rude.

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/commentisfree/2017/mar/05/trump-promised-to-wipe-out-isis-perhaps-he-already-has-

      Reply
      • Conspiratoor

         /  March 6, 2017

        Settle down Joe. ‘He’s wiped out ISIS’ is your spin and fairly typical of the stuff you’ve been spouting. What you have alleged he said was he would ‘deliver a plan’ within 30 days. And you may have also heard him say he’s not about to tell ISIS what the plan is. Seems sensible to me. Cheers,c

        Reply
        • Joe Bloggs

           /  March 6, 2017

          um, au contraire my dear Conspiratoor – I’m simply citing published sources, as is patently clear.

          trumpy eh…all mouth and trousers. Cheers, JB

          Reply
          • High Flying Duck

             /  March 6, 2017

            September 2016:
            In a military speech this week, Trump said he would ask generals to give him a plan within 30 days to defeat ISIS. Trump said Wednesday he would consider using a combination of his own plan and proposals from the generals to fight the terror group.

            Reply
            • Joe Bloggs

               /  March 6, 2017

              thank you – a succinct summary of what I posted above – quod erat demonstrandum

            • High Flying Duck

               /  March 6, 2017

              If you cannot discern between delivery of a a plan within 30 days to defeat ISIS as actually articulated & a plan to defeat ISIS in 30 days as so smugly reported then I can see why the finer points of accurate reporting have passed you by on every other issue you comment about.

          • High Flying Duck

             /  March 6, 2017

            A media article mis-reporting on Trump – By God you’ve found a first Bloggsie!

            Reply
          • Conspiratoor

             /  March 6, 2017

            Here’s the thing joe, and this illustrates it very well. You are so desparate to score points that you’ll swallow anything the media says. Can you point to a direct quote wherein trump promised to ‘wipe out Islamic State within 30 days of taking office’ as spun in the above piece from that bastion of truth and honesty, the guardian

            Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  March 6, 2017

      Pissed off the Left and its media hacks,
      Fired a lot of Obama stooges. More to go.
      Kept his name and administration on every front page including those of his enemies.
      Got in a few games of golf and plenty of visits to Florida.
      All well in Trump Tower.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  March 6, 2017

        He did say that he’d wipe out ISIS, ergo, as that time has passed, he has done it and modestly kept it quiet.

        The saying about there being no such thing as bad publicity is nonsense.Being on the front page for the sort of things Trump’s been there for is hardly confidence-inspiring.

        Reply
        • High Flying Duck

           /  March 6, 2017

          See above – he said he would ask for a plan within 30 days. The report JB quoted was typical twisting of words from a partisan rag..

          Reply
      • Gezza

         /  March 6, 2017

        Still early days yet, Al. I find him rich territory for satire because he obviously likes making himself a carricature. But he might still pull it off, if he can stop pulling it off.

        Reply
  8. High Flying Duck

     /  March 6, 2017

    The Basic Formula For Every Shocking Russia/Trump Revelation

    The basic formula for every breaking Trump/Russia story is essentially as follows:

    1. The New York Times or Washington Post releases an article that at first blush appears extremely damning.

    2. Anti-Trump pundits and Democrats react reflexively to the news, express shrieking outrage, and proclaim that this finally proves untoward collusion between Trump and Russia — a smoking gun, at last.

    3. Aggrieved former Clinton apparatchiks *connect the dots* in a manner eerily reminiscent of right-wing Glenn Beck-esque prognostication circa 2009.

    4. Self-proclaimed legal experts rashly opine as to whether the new revelation entails some kind of criminally actionable offense. (Recall the now-laughable certitude that felled National Security Advisor Mike Flynn violated the 200+ year old Logan Act.) This latest version is the certitude that Jeff Sessions committed perjury, when that at the very least is highly questionable.

    (Probably best to at least read the relevant statute first.)

    5. The notion of Russian “collusion” being key to toppling Trump becomes further implanted in the minds of the most energized Democratic activists, as evidenced this time around by a troupe of protesters who showed up to the Department of Justice headquarters brandishing trademarked “Resist” placards, chanting “Lock Him Up,” and (as usual) hyperventilating about Putin. As I’ve written before, Trump/Putin theories are increasingly the top concern that plugged-in “Resistance” types bring up at the highly-charged town hall meetings that have received so much attention of late.

    6. Pointing out these glaring flaws in the latest anti-Russia frenzy is immediately construed by cynics as “defending Trump” or “defending Sessions” when it most assuredly is not. At least in my own case, it’s a defense of not getting enraptured by irrational hysterics to further short-term political aims.

    7. People who’d spent the past 12 hours frothing at the mouth gradually come to realize that their initial furor was probably overblown, and that a more sober look at the actual facts at hand reveal that the anti-Trump chorus probably got ahead of itself…again.

    8. Democrats who sought to capitalize on the uproar end up looking extremely foolish.

    9. It becomes “normalized” (that new favorite buzzword!) to cast any meetings or contacts with Russian officials as inherently sinister. Rather than just a basic function of a Senator’s ordinary duties, meeting with “The Russians” is increasingly viewed as evidence of nefarious intent, and perhaps participation in a grand global conspiracy.

    10. Political ineptitude and clumsiness (as was very probably the case with Flynn) gets interpreted as something more calculated than it really is. Sessions could’ve avoided this ridiculous controversy by saying something to the effect of: “I did not meet with any Russian officials in my informal capacity as Trump campaign surrogate, but I did speak with Russian officials over the course of my ordinary Senatorial duties.” The problem is, such an admission would’ve probably blown up into a big political snafu; Democrats would’ve seized on it as evidence of Russian collusion. So Sessions tried to lawyer himself out of trouble with an ambiguous comment during sworn testimony. This allowed him to sneak through the confirmation process, but created an even bigger political storm later.

    11. A Trump official’s least egregious quality ends up being portrayed as his most egregious quality. There were any number of reasons to be highly worried about the presence of Mike Flynn in the Trump administration, from his bellicose posture toward Iran, to his outlandish views on the alleged threat posed by Islam. Conversing with the Russian ambassador about reducing tensions would very clearly not have been on the “reasons to be worried about Flynn” list. Likewise, Jeff Sessions is a troubling figure for a whole host of reasons, ranging from his hawkishly retrograde attitude about Drug Prohibition to his dicey history on racial matters. That he spoke to the Russian Ambassador in September 2016 would not be on the “reasons to be worried about Sessions” list.

    12. The overall political climate gets further degraded and warped without any commensurate upside.

    13. Repeat.

    View story at Medium.com

    Reply
    • Joe Bloggs

       /  March 6, 2017

      I think we’ve moved past Sessions HFD – we’re now on to/back to Obama conspiracy theories. Do keep up, old duck

      Reply
      • High Flying Duck

         /  March 6, 2017

        Until the next breathless Russian conversation is news again tomorrow…

        Reply
        • Joe Bloggs

           /  March 6, 2017

          well yes You have me there – it seems that with each new day there appears yet another covert link between trump, his administration, and Russia… hence trump’s diversionary tactics I suspect. As I said above: divert, distract, deny, decry, deflect, dissemble, and dismiss

          http://edition.cnn.com/2017/03/05/politics/trump-russia-fallout/

          the sooner a bipartisan congressional inquiry is carried out the better. It will either exonerate trump and we can all move on, or it will reveal something altogether more sinister

          Reply
          • High Flying Duck

             /  March 6, 2017

            Wow – we moved past the Russia thing for all of how many minutes there Joe?
            The above was written by a Democrat supporting journalist (yes – they do exist) who is fed up with the dire state of political discourse from NYT and WAPO who have continued their non-stop hissy fit since the election.

            Reply
      • PDB

         /  March 6, 2017

        Compare & contrast;

        *Trump accused of being in Russia’s pocket – no hard evidence – must be true.
        *Obama accused of being aware/organising bugging of Trump – no hard evidence – must be false.

        I’ve no skin in the game either way in terms of Trump but I do have an interest in how a predominantly left-wing MSM are reporting this stuff.

        Reply
        • Joe Bloggs

           /  March 6, 2017

          If Trump Tower was wiretapped during the 2016 presidential campaign, as trump has claimed, he can do much more than say so on twitter: Presidents have the power to declassify anything at any time, so trump could immediately make public any government records of such surveillance.

          He hasn’t done so – a pity really ‘cos if he had done so then he would have been seen as a little more credible.

          Reply
          • PDB

             /  March 6, 2017

            Perhaps – but that’s not my point regarding media bias. Both stories are unproven to date but one was immediately attacked as being false and the other immediately assumed to be true. The only difference was the political persuasion of the group central to the accusations.

            Reply
        • Joe Bloggs

           /  March 6, 2017

          The trump camp and trump himself have changed the narrative around this story from “there were no contacts between any trump surrogates and either the Russian government or Russians of influence within government circles” to “there were conversations but they were in the ordinary course of business and there was nothing out of the ordinary”.

          The narrative has changed because there has been solid evidence that the contacts were made by Flynn, Sessions and others in the trump camp.

          I suppose my first question is why the lies? Why did trump, Spicer, Sessions, Flynn, Conway, et al decide to try and cover the meetings up and lie to the media and in Sessions case to a Senate Committee about what were supposed to be? If, as trump is now wanting us all to believe, there was nothing out of the ordinary happening, and accepting that if this had been the initial narrative the could possibly have sold it to the public, then why the deceit, why lie about it?

          Reply
          • PDB

             /  March 6, 2017

            Time will tell.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  March 6, 2017

              Hope so. I’m pretty sure Trump won’t. Or that if he does the explanation won’t stack up. And will start another round of botherings.

  9. Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  March 6, 2017

      I guess that’s fair. The media is at least 85% Democrat.

      Reply

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