Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Friday, February 16, 2018

This TrumpWorld Grab-Bag Tries to Keep Up

Sometimes, I think the dumbest thing about the "collusion/no collusion" argument regarding the 2016 presidential campaign is that what Trump's campaign relied on never was all that low-key. Trump was pretty openly loving the Wikileaks' release of carefully curated DNC emails. Russian bots retweeted Trump and WikiLeaks material very heavily in the final push of the campaign. (And, for what it's worth, Russian bots are still giving Trump's agenda a digital assist.) This wasn't subtext--it was text! Trump was briefed on the intel about Russian hacking, and publically continued to deny it was even a thing. Everything, he contended, was rigged against him. Even though, you know...her emails. 

It turns out that WikiLeaks, for their part, really were trying to help Trump! Who knew? (Everyone.)  And Assange seems sympathetic to Russia, and in addition is misogynistic and anti-Semitic. Which probably should make him more of a Pepe peep (I am still kind of salty about people on The Left who have a soft space for this fail-souled Bond villain.) The things you learn, and from The Intercept, at that. Huh.

In other news, a couple days back, it was revealed in a Senate Intelligence Committee sit-down with the IC agency heads that the Trump Administration didn't order the least little thing to do with stopping Russia from interfering with future elections, even though Russia is so totally going to interfere, because that is their thing. This would be kind of shocking, except it isn't because Trump's still pretending he can shout "No collusion" and then on the other hand not enact sanctions that Congress overwhelmingly passed against Russia. For the election interference. Which Trump still denies

You might think that sort of thing would disturb more people. Because once again--it isn't even in hiding but plain sight. Trump does not give a shit about whether Russia interfered because it benefits him, and America First is a neat slogan with a racist past, but it essentially does not mean Trump is putting America First. He puts himself first.

You know who else puts Trump first though? The NRA. They gave a record amount to the Trump and other Republican campaigns in 2016,  but it appears they also received some money from Russia. Could that have been some money laundering right into the Trump Campaign?  That would be a great avenue of inquiry.  (Needless to say, I'm feeling some kind of way about the NRA right now and after every horrifying mass shooting event.)

Now, money laundering--that comes up a lot when I do these TrumpWorld Grab-Bag things. That seems to have been a Paul Manafort specialty,  but there is a interesting thing that has happened in that corner of Bob Mueller's investigation--Manafort's partner Rick Gates looks to be cooperating, and he was active with the campaign even after Manafort was out.  That seems significant. It also strikes me as damn fascinating that Steve Bannon has given about 20 hours of his precious time to Mueller's team (and 4 hours to the Congressional Committee, which might be saying something about the respect accorded to the different investigative bodies). He is sticking with an "executive privilege" line with the Congress critters, but I don't know what he might have given Mueller and his team. I wonder if Trump has any idea?

Lastly, the Rob Porter situation has laid bare a pretty shocking White House story--130 or so White House staffers have not got permanent security clearances for some reason or other.  Maybe because they could be easily subject to blackmail, or, as they say, the Kompromat! I don't pretend I know, but my word, if anyone says "but her emails" ever again  I surely will think about skull-thumping that person with great vigor. Because, like Rob Porter's wife-beating or Jared Kushner's astonishing debt problems, this represents national security problems that feel deliberate, and, with this Administration, are probably not fixable for the foreseeable. Because this Administration is lead by careless jerks who have always been compromised--for reference, see the entirety of the TrumpWorld Grab-Bag page!


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