Jason Kander @JasonKander
In Syria (and in Ukraine), Trump basically switched which side we were on in a war. He switched us to the Russian side. Counter to America’s interest, over and over, he does what’s best for Russia. (1/x)
11:19 PM · Oct 6, 2019
Jason Kander @JasonKander
He has no strong convictions on foreign policy other than when he’s advancing Russia’s agenda or defending Putin.
He is obviously compromised. Why are we acting as though there’s any chance in the world he’s not? (2/x)
11:21 PM · Oct 6, 2019
Jason Kander @JasonKander
It doesn’t even matter if there’s Russian money in his businesses or whether there’s a pee tape. At this point, he’s EITHER afraid they’ll undermine his legitimacy by admitting they helped him win OR that they won’t help him win next time. Either way, Russia owns him! (3/x)
11:26 PM · Oct 6, 2019
Jason Kander @JasonKander
At every step of the way, he is executing Russian foreign policy. He is basically Putin’s foreign minister. They have him. It’s over.
Reason enough to impeach. (4/4)
11:27 PM · Oct 6, 2019
Some of the responses:
This is his way of changing the news cycle for the week. No one will be talking about Ukraine or impeachment. They will now be talking about his latest disgusting act as POTUS
Unfortunately, impeaching Trump won’t remove him from office, unless a whole bunch of a Republican senators find both a moral compass and a spine. The entire GOP is compromised.
How can the vets is the Senate who helped fight ISIS support this? How can they stay quiet? #GOPCowards
Donald Trump is America’s Quisling! Cowardly Republicans remain silent and complicit
The Kurds are now in unbelievable danger. This is our thank you for all they’ve done for us?
you’re entirely wrong. I read about these real Americans in a diner in Ohio and this policy shift re Syria/Turkey/Kurds is *exactly* why they voted for him. That and her emails, obv. #notfunnyiknow
This has been in the works for at least a year. Mattis resigned over this. It’s a terrible day for America.
Trump isn’t loyal to anyone but himself, just ask his ex-wives.
And his current one.
This is why transcripts of conversations with Putin need to be released. What is Trump’s quid pro quo on this arrangement?
Yes we need to see the Putin/trump transcripts ASAP
#DonTheCon is #PutinsPuppet
“He’s just doing it to ‘gig’ the media”….said the sycophants.
In light of what we now know about @realDonaldTrump’s willingness to let foreign influence and personal emoluments determine US foreign policy, we need to ask what prompted this major policy shift. #Turkey #Kurds
Well, you’ve got to give #Trump points for obedience.
Putin putting pressure on an asset he knows is about to become worthless
She warned us.
Impeachment: Consciousness of Guilt (September 24, 2019)
Impeachment: Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D) (September 24, 2019)
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (r): gaslighting (September 24, 2019)
Impeachment: Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D) – “Tell your people to obey the law.” (September 25, 2019)
Impeachment: the smell of fear (September 25, 2019)
Impeachment: It became self aware at 6:24 a.m., September 26, 2019… (September 26, 2019)
Impeachment: NPR/PBS NewsHour Marist Poll – September 25, 2019 (September 26, 2019)
Flop sweat (September 27, 2019)
Impeachment: this morning’s “Executive Time” (September 28, 2019)
Impeachment: unhinged (September 29, 2019)
Hillary Clinton (D) is living rent free inside of Donald Trump’s (r) head (September 29, 2019)
Going 0-2 (September 30, 2019)
Impeachment: almost too stupid to remember to breathe (October 1, 2019)
Hillary Clinton (D) is having fun these days (October 1, 2019)
Impeachment: in a panic (October 2, 2019)
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (r): clap louder (October 3, 2019)
Impeachment: why we can’t have nice things (October 4, 2019)
Impeachment: “…and getting caught in Ukraine…” (October 5, 2019)
Sen. Roy Blunt (r): see nothing, hear nothing, know nothing (October 6, 2019)
Who is it who really, really wants to keep the congress in GOP hands? If you wanna know just take a look at who’s targeting Missouri’s Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, widely perceived to be vulnerable to raging Trumpites when she comes up for reelection this November.
There’s the 1% -the folks like the Kochs who – via their front group, Americans for Prosperity – are throwing $1.8 million dollars in ad buys at her. They think that emphasizing the GOP shaft-the-middle-class tax cut will do the trick. I guess the richest of the rich really like increasing the national debt on the backs of working Americans. (Didn’t Republicans oppose debt once upon a time? Like when it was a question of providing Americans with healthcare? And there wasn’t any debt increase in spite their efforts to gull the gullible?)
But, hey, we’ve known for years about how wealthy Americans try to purchase elections with their talking – no – their shouting, money. Nothing new to see there. Sadly.
There is, however, a new wrinkle: Russians:
The Russian intelligence agency behind the 2016 election cyberattacks targeted Sen. Claire McCaskill as she began her 2018 re-election campaign in earnest, a Daily Beast forensic analysis reveals. That makes the Missouri Democrat the first identified target of the Kremlin’s 2018 election interference.
McCaskill responded with her usual verve:
“Russia continues to engage in cyber warfare against our democracy,” McCaskill said in a press release Thursday evening. “While this attack was not successful, it is outrageous that they think they can get away with this. I will not be intimidated. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is a thug and a bully.”
McCaskill was one of three midterm candidates targeted by “spearphishing” efforts. We’ve known that such attacks (and other types of meddling) were likely for some time but our intrepid GOP-majority congress and the Russia-friendly Trump administration have dithered and done little to forestall the threat. Missouri’s own Secretary of State, jolly little Jay Ashcroft, has said domestic election fraud is a bigger threat in November – despite no evidence to that effect.
But, hey, Senator McCaskill doesn’t need to worry – no less an eminence than our reality star president has acknowledged the threat. He just declared that the Russians are hard at work to help Democrats. Because he’s so hard on the Russians (not).
When it rains it pours.
Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 16, 2018
A criminal complaint was unsealed today in the District of Columbia charging a Russian national with conspiracy to act as an agent of the Russian Federation within the United States without prior notification to the Attorney General.
The announcement was made by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Jessie K. Liu, and Nancy McNamara, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.
Maria Butina, 29, a Russian citizen residing in Washington D.C., was arrested on July 15, 2018, in Washington, D.C., and made her initial appearance this afternoon before Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. She was ordered held pending a hearing set for July 18, 2018.
According to the affidavit in support of the complaint, from as early as 2015 and continuing through at least February 2017, Butina worked at the direction of a high-level official in the Russian government who was previously a member of the legislature of the Russian Federation and later became a top official at the Russian Central Bank. This Russian official was sanctioned by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control in April 2018.
The court filings detail the Russian official’s and Butina’s efforts for Butina to act as an agent of Russia inside the United States by developing relationships with U.S. persons and infiltrating organizations having influence in American politics, for the purpose of advancing the interests of the Russian Federation. The filings also describe certain actions taken by Butina to further this effort during multiple visits from Russia and, later, when she entered and resided in the United States on a student visa. The filings allege that she undertook her activities without officially disclosing the fact that she was acting as an agent of Russian government, as required by law.
The charges in criminal complaints are merely allegations and every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The maximum penalty for conspiracy is five years. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes. If convicted of any offense, a defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court based on the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The investigation into this matter was conducted by the FBI’s Washington Field Office. The case is being prosecuted by the National Security Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the National Security Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.
There’s some very interesting stuff in the affidavit:
7. U.S. Person 1 is a United States citizen and an American political operative. BUTINA established contact with U.S. Person 1 in Moscow in or around 2013. U.S. person 1 worked with Butina to jointly arrange introductions to U.S. persons having influence in American politics, including an organization promoting gun rights (hereinafter “GUN RIGHTS ORGANIZATION”), for the purpose of advancing the agenda of the Russian Federation.
I can’t wait for the explanation from the “gun rights organization”.
Pass the popcorn.
Senator Roy Blunt (R) is a piece of work. Donald Trump, the leader of his party, is demonstrably, publicly corrupt, and almost surely owes his slim election victory, at least partly, to the machinations of a hostile and equally corrupt Russian autocrat. Yet now that the evidence of Trump campaign collusion with said autocrat is all but undeniable, thanks to the missteps of president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., Senator Blunt still wants to equivocate.
With a straight face Blunt declares that he believes that the Senate Intelligence Committee, of which he is a member, should indeed ” follow wherever the facts take them, including the possible involvement of President Donald Trump’s campaign with the Russian government.” Nothing wrong with that statement in itself, but did you note the use of the qualifier “possible” to weaken its impact? At this stage of the game yet? And he almost immediately qualified his dedication to finding the truth in three ways that, parsed carefully, make it clear that he is not really interested in what Trump actually did or didn’t do:
Roy Blunt sees no evil if it comes wrapped in dollar bills:
First, Blunt asserted that, although the entire situation with its suggestion of unsavory business contacts reeks of ill-gotten gains, money laundering and influence peddling, “following the money” should be off limits:
Blunt told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd Wednesday afternoon that the Intelligence committee, which he sits on, shouldn’t examine financial ties between Russian and the Trump campaign organization.
“I wouldn’t think so” said Blunt. “I would think that the intel committee, when we get this more pressing issue of Russian involvement in the election, and any involvement that others had with them, if that turns out to be the case, I thinks that’s got to be the top priority.”
Blunt, evidently, doesn’t think it’s remotely possible that there’s a financial angle to the corruption of our electoral process by Russia, and, if there is, it shouldn’t be of interest to the committee investigating said corruption. Whose leg is Blunt trying to pull anyway? Given his glory days in the House of representatives where he served to great renown as corruption meister, Tom DeLay’s, chief GOP bagman, he surely recognizes the stench that often arises at the intersection of money and power.
It’s now well-established that the powerful President of Russia directed an extensive and sophisticated intervention in the 2016 U.S. election. This intervention was intended to aid the candidacy of Donald Trump, a man who has shown himself willing to use the Presidency to line his own pockets, hides his tax returns, and who, according to all indications, has had shady dealings, likely of a financial nature, with the new, gangster-style Russian oligarchy. Evidently Roy Blunt hasn’t heard of kompromat. Yet Roy Blunt sees no potential in pursuing the financial issues.
Roy Blunt would prefer to hear no evil:
After asserting that exploring the relationship between Trumpian corruption, possible Russian extortion, etc. should be off limits in the Intelligence Committee’s RussiaGate investigation, Blunt managed to declare that he wanted to cut off the information spout that led to the investigation in the first place:
Blunt wants the committee to expand its inquiry to find out who in the federal government is leaking classified and confidential information to the press.
“It’s within our responsibility as the intel committee in the Senate to look at the leaks, to look at how secure our own national security structure is” Blunt told MSNBC. “That’s probably where we expand to.”
A number of Republicans have accused career government employees of trying to sabotage the Trump presidency with a flood of leaks.
Can you imagine folks so devoid of a moral center they think that it’s okay to ignore the crime and go after the whistleblowers – no matter that the “presidency” they may be “trying to sabotage” is clearly sinking under the weight of its own corruption and ineptitude? I can. We call them Republicans and that fact goes a long way toward explaining Blunt’s investigative druthers.
Roy Blunt will, though, speak a little backhanded evil :
Blunt was, however, unable to resist indulging in a little Schadenfreude on the topic of Trump, Inc. troubles. The consummate insider just couldn’t resist having a little fun at the expense of the bumbling reality star and his stable of incompetents who are mucking up the business of government after bad-mouthing pros such as Blunt:
Blunt doesn’t think the Trump campaign had the political experience to entertain the notion of collusion. “What you had in the Trump campaign was a candidate who had figured out the exact communicating spot to be with the American people in 2016, and a campaign around him that I was never sure had the capacity to collude with the Republican National Committee, let alone anybody else” said Blunt on MSNBC.
Well of course they didn’t. That’s why they’re in the hot seat now. The New York Post said it best when it proclaimed in an editorial headline that Donald Trump Jr. is an idiot. Apropos of which, it’s clear that Trump Jr. is his father’s son, and that, as far as their team goes, like attracts like. Neither incompetence or stupidity, however, is a defense.
Several commentators have also brought up the lack of a “moral compass” when discussing Trump’s campaign machinations. Perhaps congressmen like Senator Blunt, who clearly understand how huge the stakes are for the country, might be said to lack the same accoutrement as well when they show themselves willing to hedge and deflect serious issues surrounding our openly compromised president in order to preserve the advantages of partisan power
*First two paragraphs revised for stylistic and clarity reasons.
I’ll admit it. As we approach the Trumpocalypse, I’ve been worried about the ability of Missouri Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill to withstand conservative pressure and refuse to play nice with Republicans intent on crippling government’s role in ensuring the welfare of what the Tea Party used to routinely and pompously refer to as “We the People.” She’s a Democrat who’ll soon be facing an election battle in what has become a rabidly red state – and it isn’t likely that she’ll get a gift like Todd Akin running against her in the next election.
Now, however, I need to give credit where it’s due. And it’s due to Senator McCaskill. At the Senate Armed Services Committee opening hearing today, McCaskill’s expressed loud and clear outrage about the Trump cabal’s dismissal of Russian interference. As Politico‘s Nolan D. McCaskill (a coincidental convergence of names?) reports:
Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill accused the president-elect of putting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, whose site released many of the most damaging hacked Democratic emails, “on a pedestal,” adding: “I think it should bring about a hue and cry. … No matter whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, there should be howls. And mark my word: If the roles were reversed, there would be howls from the Republican side of the aisle.”
This is the Claire McCaskill who keeps progressives trotting off to the polls election after election with the intention of sending her back to Washington one more time, hoping that she has an inner Elizabeth Warren who might peek out from time to time.
Despite threats from corporate GOP groups to pressure red-state centrists like McCaskill, there could be a bonus in vocal opposition to the GOP plan to strangle responsible government. If the terrible promise of shock-therapy governance under a fringe-right GOP and their Great Orange Legislation Signing Machine in the White House materializes, it could mean good things for Democrats in 2018 when some of the more misguided Trump voters realize what havoc they have unleashed.
But if every action generates a reaction, we have to make sure the reaction is correctly targeted. Busy, essentially apolitical folks have to realize who is sending out the raiding parties, who is responsible for the collapse of important government programs, and, of course, who is looking the other way to the detriment of national security when Trump cozies up to Putin and other ethno-nationalist, facist leaders in his foreign policy preferences.
It will be up to Democrats to put the correct targets into relief. The only way that is going to happen is if leaders like McCaskill refuse to take part in the potential debacle. If they stand up in opposition and refuse to participate in the GOP feeding frenzy that is on the way, they may be able to buck the odds come next election. Trump used emotive propaganda to convince his gullible base that an essentially prosperous and growing economy was in decline, but when the real thing is unleashed, he and the GOP congress he promises to loose upon us need to take the fall all by their lonsies.
We need to thank McCaskill for beginning the process of differentiating principled Democratic opposition from GOP Trump-toadying today in the Senate Armed Forces Committee hearing, and standing up for national security in a cyber-insecure world. And while we’re at it, let her know that we’re waiting to hear her voice raised in the same way in opposition to cabinet appointees like the racist Jeff Sessions, the destruction of Obamacare, or the gutting of Social Security and Medicare under the false rubric of “reform.”