US update

Some bits from the US.

Trying to divert blame to Obama for Trump Jnr’s meeting:

Fox: Trump slams media for coverage of mysterious Russian lawyer, lays blame on Lynch

President Trump lashed out at the media and the Obama administration Thursday over the criticism his team is facing for his eldest son’s 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer thought to have damaging information on Hillary Clinton.

But support is limited, even from conservatives.

Fox: Conservative carping: Why many on the right aren’t defending Don Jr.

During the long campaign, some of Donald Trump’s toughest critics in the media were conservatives.

Now, with the media furor over Don Jr. and his emails, they have ramped up their criticism once again. And that has deprived the White House of much of a cheering squad as the Russia story heats up once again.

It’s not that these conservative critics have a megaphone that approaches that of the White House. But it muddies the case that the “liberal media” are out to get Trump.

There are exceptions, of course. Sean Hannity, who interviewed Don Jr. Tuesday—the president’s son said that in retrospect he probably would have done things differently—told him during the sitdown: “Liberals in the destroy Trump media once again have worked themselves into frenzy. They’re frothing at the mouth.”

Rush Limbaugh took on the “Drive-By Media,” saying: “I actually think I’m watching people lose their minds…This is the story that’s gonna get Trump thrown out of office. This is the story that’s gonna cause an uprising among the American people. Except they have done that practically every day for the last year, and certainly for the last six months.”

But others on the right said that Trump Jr.’s meeting with the Russian lawyer he was told had oppo research on Hillary Clinton—as documented in the emails he released—was troubling.

In “Don Jr.’s Disgraceful Meeting,” National Review says: “No campaign professional would have accepted such a dodgy meeting the way Trump Jr. did, and no person with a strong sense of propriety — Russia is a hostile power run by a deeply corrupt regime — would have wanted to.”

The Weekly Standard, writing about U.S. sanctions against Moscow, says that “the Trump team has lost all credibility on the question of Russia. Second-guessing by the media and politicians of both parties will be the inevitable accompaniment to every White House announcement about Vladimir Putin or Russia.”

Fox’s Charles Krauthammer said this about the president’s son, in light of the fact that his meeting with Veselnitskaya apparently went nowhere: “It’s a hell of a defense to say your collusion might be incompetent…

“If you get a call to go to a certain place in the middle of the night to pick up stolen goods and it turns out the stolen goods don’t show up but the cops show up,” he noted. “I think you’re going to have a very weak story saying, ‘Well, I got swindled here.’”

Ex spooks:  Clapper: Trump Jr. Emails “Only One Anecdote in a Much Larger Story”

Donald Trump Jr. eagerly accepted help connected with what he was explicitly told was the Russian government’s effort to boost his father’s campaign, a move that former top Intelligence Community officials said comes straight out of the Russian playbook on tradecraft and raises alarming new questions about Russian interference in the 2016 election.

“I’ll leave it to the special counsel to determine whether the legal threshold of collusion was breached, but from this layman’s point of view, it certainly appears that way to me,” former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said.

Former Acting Director of the CIA John McLaughlin said that based on what has been reported about the emails Trump Jr. released on Tuesday, “it looks to me like an elaborate operation carried out through intermediaries to probe the receptivity of the Trump campaign to assistance from the Russian government during the campaign.”

“It is not unusual for it to be carried out through such a long chain of intermediaries, because the tradecraft objective here is to separate the original ambition as far as possible from the ultimate result so it becomes very hard to trace back, as it is in this case, exactly what happened and who did what,” he said.

This email exchange is “huge,” former CIA Acting Director Michael Morell said, given it “shows that a senior member of the Trump team” knew in early summer of 2016 that “the Russians were working on behalf of Trump.”

“Any person with integrity would have picked up the phone and called the FBI, and they would not have attended the meeting,” Morell said. “The fact that Donald Jr. did not call the FBI — and the fact that he went ahead with the meeting with such enthusiasm — shows a willingness to collude with a foreign government, even though there was probably no actual collusion during the meeting itself, if it played out as described.”

But someone claims to be clean.

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31 Comments

  1. Patzcuaro

     /  July 14, 2017

    Trump continues with charm offside in Europe.

    “You’re in such good shape … beautiful,” the US President remarks as he looks Brigitte Macron, 64, up and down.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11890482

    Reply
    • Patzcuaro

       /  July 14, 2017

      He’s offside but I meant offensive.

      Reply
    • David

       /  July 14, 2017

      He’s trolling Emmanuel Macron, the sub-text is “Your wife is an old boiler and she looks like your mother”.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  July 14, 2017

        He’s both. I could well imagine him giving her the up-down-up look and thinking that she will be immansely flattered. How patronising to say that someone’s in good shape. I don’t see sexism in every compliment-but this is a sexist one. And an ageist one.

        If I had been her, I would have done the old pretending not to hear this remark thing and let it hang there. This is very effective.

        His charm offensive IS offensive, One would say that to a friend-I did to a friend who has lost an incredible amount of weight, or said words to that effect.

        I hope that Mme M was wearing heavy duty undies.

        Reply
        • “I hope that Mme M was wearing heavy duty undies.”

          Of course she does KC

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  July 14, 2017

            Bingo, trav!

            Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  July 15, 2017

            I imagine that these are de rigeur when a woman with any self-respect meets Trump for the first time !!!

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  July 15, 2017

              Gotta hand it to Dame Edna – she knows how to put a brave face on it.

  2. artcroft

     /  July 14, 2017

    Someone needs to ecolsin good manners to Mr Trump.

    Reply
  3. Joe Bloggs

     /  July 14, 2017

    * Russia didn’t interfere with our election.

    * Russia interfered with our election, but there was no contact between the trump campaign and Russia!

    * There was contact between the trump campaign and Russia, but there was no collusion!

    * There was collusion, but it was Obama!

    * Collusion is not even illegal!

    * Obama didn’t stop us!

    * it’s all Loretta Lynch’s doing

    Reply
  4. Joe Bloggs

     /  July 14, 2017

    The real collusion in trumpworld isn’t with the Russians, but with private wealth:

    The top priority in Congress right now is to move a health bill that would gut Medicaid and throw at least 22 million Americans off their insurance — while loosening regulations on insurance companies and cutting taxes on the wealthiest by over $346 billion.

    As few as 12 percent of Americans support that bill, but the allegiance of its supporters isn’t to voters — it’s plainly to the wealthy donors who’d get those tax cuts.

    Meanwhile, majorities of Americans in every single congressional district support efforts to curb local pollution, limit carbon emissions, and transition to wind and solar. And majorities in every single state back the Paris climate agreement.

    Yet even as scientists warn large parts of the planet could soon become uninhabitable, the fossil fuel-backed Trump administration has put a climate denier in charge of the EPA, pulled the U.S. out of Paris, and signed legislation to let coal companies dump toxic ash in local waterways.

    Meanwhile, as the administration escalates the unpopular Afghan war once again, Kushner invited billionaire military contractors — including Blackwater founder Erik Prince — to advise on policy there.

    Elsewhere, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon and other architects of the housing crash are advising Trump on financial deregulation, while student debt profiteers set policy at the Department of Education.

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/07/13/trumps-worst-collusion-isnt-with-russia-its-with-corporations/

    Reply
  5. Joe Bloggs

     /  July 14, 2017

    But while the subject of Russia is still fresh in our minds, this series of events looks somewhat more than coincidental:

    Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya was in the United States to defend her client, Prevezon Holdings.

    Prevezon was a real-estate holding firm, operating out of Cyprus, that was accused of money laundering. It had been charged and was being prosecuted by Preet Bharara.

    After trump moved into the White House, he fired Preet Bharara, even though he had earlier told the prosecutor he would keep his position.

    Two months later, the trump Justice Department under Jefferson Sessions abruptly settled the Prevezon Holdings case for half what the government had been expecting to collect.

    Cue outraged trumpanista messaging – “it was all Obama’s fault”

    Reply
  6. Joe Bloggs

     /  July 14, 2017

    Aaaand in the latest update the bigly liar in the WH has done a 180 on his previous claim that he knew nothing and has conceded to reporters on AF1 that “maybe the meeting was mentioned to him”…

    #DrainTheSwamp

    Reply
  7. Alan Wilkinson

     /  July 14, 2017

    Outside the drivelling world view of the loony Left, important stuff happens:
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-gives-beijing-a-lesson-in-the-art-of-the-deal-1499899021

    Reply
    • Mefrostate

       /  July 14, 2017

      Both Trump’s policy moves and his Russia connections are important.

      Some people have the mental capacity to think critically about both.

      Reply
  8. Alan Wilkinson

     /  July 14, 2017

    High stakes in the Senate for repeal of Obamacare:
    https://t.co/KKkxplHvCm

    Reply
  9. Conspiratoor

     /  July 14, 2017

    Watch Doctor Gorka, a white house insider, totally own CNN’s Anderson Cooper. It’s brutal. “Your ratings have slipped below yogi bear reruns”. I wanted to yell “lurch is still watching”

    Reply
  10. Patzcuaro

     /  July 14, 2017

    Some interesting thoughts from 2 ex Presidents

    Clinton said: “If you want to be president, realize it’s about the people, not about you.

    “You want to be able to say ‘things were better off when I quit, kid’s had a better future, things were coming together.’ You don’t want to say, ‘God, look at all the people I beat.'”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-politics-presidents-idUSKBN19Z02N

    Reply
    • PDB

       /  July 14, 2017

      “Clinton said: “If you want to be president, realize it’s about the people, not about you.”

      He obviously didn’t tell his wife.

      Reply
      • Clearly. At least Obama waited until he was out of government before accepting the half million lecture baubles Hillary !

        Reply

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