Dirty democracy: Clinton, Trump, Russia

Investigations and revelations continue on dirty democracy involving the US and Russia.

The use of Facebook by Russians continues – CNBC: House panel plans to release Russian ads that ran on Facebook, committee leaders say

The House Intelligence Committee plans to release Russia-linked ads that ran on Facebook during the 2016 election, the panel’s leaders said Wednesday, according to NBC News.

The House committee is investigating Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election and possible collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign. Reps. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, and Adam Schiff, D-Calif., are leading the probe.

Facebook has already shared about 3,000 ads bought by Russia-linked groups with the congressional committees investigating the Russian influence campaign.

Google also has discovered that Russian operatives spent tens of thousands of dollars on ads on its platforms, according to reports.

Recode:  Facebook admits Russia agents used Messenger to disrupt U.S. presidential election

A top Facebook executive admitted Wednesday that Russian agents had used the social network’s popular Messenger platform to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

Facebook Messenger boss David Marcus disclosed that a “very small” number of the 470 accounts active in the Russian interference campaign were using Messenger to communicate with their users.

Messenger was reportedly used by some pages with ties to Russian operatives. Marcus, like other Facebook executives, argued that the work done by Facebook around the world was being wrongly “overshadowed” by the Russia “narrative.”

Investigations continue into possible links between the trump campaign and Russians.

Newsweek: DID TRUMP FAMILY, ASSOCIATES BREAK LAW WITH RUSSIA? A GUIDE TO POTENTIAL SUSPECTS IN MUELLER’S PROBE

It has been a big few days in the ongoing investigation into Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 election and possibly collude with Donald Trump’s campaign. The president’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, has appeared before multiple congressional committees…

Paul Manafort: At the same time, the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller is delving deeper into Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager.

This week, it was reported that the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan, in conjunction with Mueller, is investigating Manafort for money laundering. It is widely believed that Mueller aims to use the money laundering charges to flip Manafort and turn him into a witness against Trump.

Roger Stone: A longtime adviser to Trump, Stone boasted during the campaign that he was in communication with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange before that outfit released emails from the account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta. Stone has also confirmed that he exchanged messages with a hacker believed to be responsible for attacking the Democratic National Committee.

NBC:  Kushner Under Scrutiny By FBI as Part of Russia Investigation

Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and one of his senior advisers, has come under FBI scrutiny in the Russia investigation, multiple US officials tell NBC Nightly News.

And the Clinton campaign is also reported to be close to Russia in it’s dirty campaigning too – Washington Post: Clinton campaign, DNC paid for research that led to Russia dossier

The Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund research that resulted in a now-famous dossier containing allegations about President Trump’s connections to Russia and possible coordination between his campaign and the Kremlin, people familiar with the matter said.

Marc E. Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington firm, to conduct the research.

After that, Fusion GPS hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community, according to those people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Elias and his law firm, Perkins Coie, retained the company in April 2016 on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC. Before that agreement, Fusion GPS’s research into Trump was funded by an unknown Republican client during the GOP primary.

So both the Republicans and then the Clinton campaign have had Russian connections in what appears to have been a particularly dirty campaign.

The US and Russia have interfered in other democracies for a long time, but it is becoming increasingly apparent that Russia has tried to interfere in the US election, and both sides have had connections to Russia in conducting their campaigns.

Vanity Fair: THE DIRTY TRUTH ABOUT THE STEELE DOSSIER

On many levels, the Post story merely confirms earlier reports about Steele’s backers. The same day that BuzzFeed published the dossier in its entirety, CNN confirmed much of Corn’s earlier reporting. “The memos originated as opposition research, first commissioned by anti-Trump Republicans, and later by Democrats,” Evan Perez, Jim Sciutto, Jake Tapper and Carl Bernstein wrote. (As Howard Blum recently reported for Vanity Fair, the funding for the research originally came from a “Never Trump” Republican but not specifically from the war chest of one of Trump’s rivals in the G.O.P. primary, according to a friend of Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson.)

The involvement of Clinton and the D.N.C. in funding the Steele dossier is not surprising, but it does add fuel to the partisan fire. “I have to say, the whole Russian thing is what it’s turned out to be,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Wednesday morning. “This was the Democrats coming up with an excuse for losing an election.” Conservative pundits and commentators celebrated on Twitter, seeing in the Post story validation of their arguments that the connections between the Trump campaign and Russia were overblown, if not fabricated.

Complicating matters is the fact that Fusion GPS has also worked with Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer who attended the infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting, in which Donald Trump Jr. was promised damaging information on Clinton as part of what was described to him as a Russian government effort to help elect his father.

It is all extremely messy.

It has become a very dirty democracy in the US, with mud covered credibility. I don’t know if it is repairable.

The end result so far is the Trump presidency that risks becoming an increasingly disastrous train wreck.

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18 Comments

  1. MaureenW

     /  27th October 2017

    The Uranium story is not included in the above summary and the money the flowed in to the Clinton Foundation from this deal. IMO the above stories are the cover-up stories – the real dirt is in the Uramium One deal.

    Reply
    • Joe Bloggs

       /  27th October 2017

      https://www.snopes.com/hillary-clinton-uranium-russia-deal/

      But don’t forget Benghazi… or Obama’s Kenyan birthplace… or pizzagate… or Bill’s hit on Vince Foster… or Obama’s hit on Antonin Scalia… or Obama’s ‘false flags’ in Orlando, Sandy Hook, Boston, Brussels, etc….

      I’ve got a roll of tinfoil with your name on it Maureen.

      Reply
      • PDB

         /  27th October 2017

        You’re being close-minded Bloggs – the Uranium story seems to have more to it and the story is developing as we write.

        Reply
        • Sorry Joe the Uranium deal has legs

          Reply
        • Joe Bloggs

           /  27th October 2017

          Yeah, nah… all this was investigated by the DoJ from 2009-2015 and was reported in NYTimes back in April 2015 – not a lot has changed since then, except for the Republicans wanting to divert attention from the bizarre behaviours of their revered 45

          Uranium One required multiple approvals by the U.S., beginning with the Committee on Foreign Investments and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in the United States.

          And as at yesterday, there was still no evidence that donations to the Clinton Foundation or Billy-Boy’s speaking fee had any influence on the approvals granted:

          http://www.factcheck.org/2017/10/facts-uranium-one/

          Reply
      • MaureenW

         /  27th October 2017

        Joe, the tinfoil is a better fit on you. Pay attention, son.

        Reply
        • Joe Bloggs

           /  28th October 2017

          here’s a link explaining your ‘what about-ism’, Grandma…

          The latest instance of “what-aboutism” is the House Republican decision to open an investigation of the Uranium One transaction—the allegation that Hillary Clinton transferred control of 20% of America’s uranium mining output to a Russian company, in exchange for substantial contributions to the Clinton Foundation from the executives of that same Russian company.

          Perhaps fearing future revelations of Trump’s closeness to Russia, the evident purpose of the investigation is to establish a “Hillary too” counterpoint. Based on what is currently in the public record, little, if anything about the allegation is plausible.

          In this post, I want to summarize the legal context and known facts regarding the transfer and put the allegations of impropriety in context. (I focus exclusively on the transfer and the U.S. government’s approval of it. I am not, in this post, considering the evidence—such as it is—of donations to the Clinton Foundation. My reasoning is simple: if there is no “quo” to be given, the question of a “quid” is moot.)

          https://www.lawfareblog.com/unpacking-uranium-one-hype-and-law

          Reply
  2. David

     /  27th October 2017

    It is starting to look like the Russia investigation that has so far got nothing on Trump aside from a tenuous link to Manafort who was a temporary player is going to turn very ugly for Clinton. Her campaign people are now retrospectively registering themselves to deal with foreign players or some could be looking at time. Its not looking good for former Comey and friends either as they paid Fusion GPS and looks like they could be complicit in leaking the much dismissed dossier as a reason to tap Trump Tower, unmask and various other things, he is already being recalled to testify as it seems he dismissed any charges against her before interviewing her and its usually the DOJ who decide to prosecute.
    Funny how the Russia Russia Russia hysteria from the Dems is boomeranging pretty hard even before the Russian 140 million donation to the Clinton Foundation ahead of the Uranium One deal gets investigated by now 3 congressional committees.
    Meanwhile Trump passes his budget and moves forward with historic tax reforms.

    Reply
    • David, you had me with much of your position, but lost me with your ” meanwhile Trump moves forward….”. At best he’s running on the spot, at best….

      Reply
      • David

         /  27th October 2017

        i think he has shredded 600 plus Obama regulations, started to change Obamacare via executive order, wiped out ISIS in Iraq, stopped Assad re using chemical weapons, the stockmarkets have put on 5.2 trillion ofgains, food stamp use at its lowest in 40 years, stopped many jobs going over the border, slashed illegal immigration by 70%. Look at the deals done forexample the Saudi,s who now have US support entered into 600 billion of commercial deals hen outed terrorist supporter Qatar ad are now finally reigning in the spreaders of islamist violence.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  28th October 2017

          wiped out ISIS in Iraq,
          No – we’ve had this discussion before. The Iraqis did that, in a campaign planned, resourced & begun & fought since well before Trump bullshitted his way into office. A few yank air warriors from a safe distance occasionally put bombs where they’re told to by the Iraqis.

          You need to stop repeating this claim: it’s just not true, & you’ll get a reputation for telling whoppers too if you carry on with it.

          Reply
        • Gezza

           /  28th October 2017

          You really are out of touch with reality David. The Saudis are actually the spreaders of Islamist violence. Qatar knows it & doesn’t hold back from criticising them. That, and wanting to replace the ISIS caliphate with their own is what Saudi’s up to. Tillerson, watch & listen to Tillerson. He’s clicked to what’s going on but his doofus boss – the moron – has no idea because the Saudis flattered his ego & that’s all it takes to make him go blind & dum.

          Reply
  3. Patzcuaro

     /  27th October 2017

    Attached link has an interesting take on how the Russians have been able to exploit the weaknesses of Trump and those around him based on MICE.

    “How do you get someone to do something they should not do?

    Generally, an intelligence officer looks for a person’s vulnerabilities and explores ways to exploit them. It usually comes down to four things, which—in true government style—the CIA has encompassed in an acronym, MICE: Money, Ideology, Coercion, Ego. Want to get someone to betray his country? Figure out which of these four motivators drives the person and exploit the hell out of it.”

    Paul Manafort: Money
    Michael Flynn: Money, Ideology, Ego
    Felix Sater: Money, Coercion, Ego
    Jared Kushner: Money, Coercion
    Donald Trump Jr.: Money, Ego
    Donald Trump: Ego

    Then it goes into detail for each.

    I’m sure the same could be done for the Clintons.

    Reply
  4. David

     /  27th October 2017

    Well, it does look like everyone was colluding with Russia except for Trump

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  28th October 2017

      Trumpy’s too busy colluding with his mobile twitter account & his mirror to have time to collude with anybody else.

      Reply
    • Joe Bloggs

       /  28th October 2017

      Keep repeating those fantasies David… I’m sure that Bannon has a spot for you at Breitbart

      Reply
      • David

         /  28th October 2017

        Mate, your just a joke. There is now clearly, and demonstrably much more evidence of Clinton/Russian collusion than there has even been for Trump/Russian collusion, yet you keep singing the same song.

        Reply

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