Reason Roundup

Compromised, Proud, or Diplomatic? Trump's Performance With Putin Gets Wildly Mixed Reviews: Reason Roundup

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Kremlin Pool/ZUMA Press/Newscom

"I don't see any reason why it would be" Russia who hacked the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic Party's emails during the 2016 election, President Donald Trump told reporters yesterday following his private talk with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland. That, of course, is not what U.S. law enforcement and intelligence leaders say. So, to many people, Trump's comments are yet more proof that he's a puppet of Putin. "Compromised," said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) this morning on MSNBC. Treason!, howled many, including former CIA Director John Brennan.

There's a simpler explanation, one rooted in less sinister circumstances, if not necessarily less sinister an outcome. We can even say it without speculating about Trump's particular sort of damaged psyche in clinical terms. Put simply, Trump is too damn proud to react to Russia in anything like what we might think of as a normal way. To concede that Russia interfered in any way in the election, even all on its own, challenges the meritocratic or populist spin on Trump's win. Trump thinks, or wants to think, or wants us to think that he did this all on his own.

And then the even simpler explanation, the one being pushed by Trump's tried and true cheerleaders: Trump was just trying to keep things going smoothly with Russia, and lashing out at Putin while he's right there on stage next to him would be counterproductive.

My inclination is to the erratic pride explanation here, with some of the peacemaking instinct his fans are postulating. There is some wisdom to not insulting tempestuous enemies with large nuclear arsenals directly to their face.

But Slate's Ben Mathis-Lilley called Trump's full answer "an astounding word salad of debunked conspiracy theories," and this is also a very fair assessment. Here's the full exchange between Trump and an Associated Press reporter:

AP: Just now president Putin denied having anything to do with the election interference in 2016. Every U.S. intelligence agency has concluded Russia did. My first question for you, sir, is who do you believe? My second question is would you now with the whole world watching tell president Putin—would you denounce what happened in 2016 and would you warn him to never do it again?

TRUMP: So let me just say we have two thoughts. We have groups that are wondering why the FBI never took the server. Why haven't they taken the server? Why was the FBI told to leave the office of the Democratic National Committee? I've been wondering that. I've been asking that for months and months and tweeting it out and calling it out on social media. Where is the server? I want to know, where is the server, and what is the server saying? With that being said, all I can do is ask the question, my people came to me, [director of national intelligence] Dan Coats came to me, and some others, they said, they think it's Russia. I have President Putin. He just said it's not Russia. I will say this. I don't see any reason why it would be, but I really do want to see the server, but I have—I have confidence in both parties. I really believe that this will probably go on for a while, but I don't think it can go on without finding out what happened to the server. What happened to the servers of the Pakistani gentleman that worked on the DNC. Where are those servers? They're missing. Where are they? What happened to Hillary Clinton's e-mails? 33,000 emails gone, just gone. I think in Russia they wouldn't be gone so easily. I think it's a disgrace we can't get Hillary Clinton's 33,000 emails. So I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today. And what he did, is an incredible offer. He offered to have the people working on the case come and work with their investigators, with respect to the 12 people. I think that's an incredible offer. OK? Thank you.

Fox News contributor Byron York called Trump's comments "appalling" but suggested that they were connected to Trump's feeling that "if he gives an inch on the what-Russia-did-part" of this story, "his adversaries will take a mile on the get-Trump part. That's consistent with how Trump approaches other problems."

The Republican senators from Arizona weren't quite so forgiving. "I never thought I would see the day when our American President would stand on the stage with the Russian President and place blame on the United States for Russian aggression," tweeted Jeff Flake. "This is shameful." John McCain called it "one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory….No prior president has ever based himself more abjectly before a tyrant."

Their responses are comparatively restrained.

For a few more Reason-able takes (beating you to the bad pun this time!), see Robby Soave ("disappointment with Trump's behavior is well-justified….He could have signaled a desire to work toward more peaceful relations without coming across like a dupe"…but treason?) and Peter Suderman writing here yesterday.

Protesters who gathered in front of the White House last night, calling it #OccupyLafayettePark, promised they would be back tonight.

Erin Scott/ZUMA Press/Newscom

FREE MINDS

Los Angeles Times order "not plausibly lawful." More from Ken "Popehat" White on the story mentioned here yesterday about a federal court judge, John F. Walter, ordering the Los Angeles Times to pull a factual story about a shady detective. The judge "also ordered the Times to appear in Court this Wednesday to argue whether the temporary order should be made into a permanent injunction," White notes.

In other words, based on an emergency request from the defendant, with no prior opportunity to be heard, a federal judge ordered a major newspaper (1) not to write about the details of a federal plea agreement it had obtained lawfully, (2) not to write anything that "relies on, or is derived in any way" from the plea agreement, an incredibly broad and vague term that is extraordinarily chilling to speech about the case, (3) to take down any story it's already published, and (4) told the paper they can see the order, but not the application stating the legal and factual grounds for the order.

White concludes that "Judge Walter's order is not plausibly lawful" and is "patently unconstitutional, and the sort of order that is only issued when a judge deliberately defies First Amendment law or is asleep at the switch." He explains why in detail here.

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  1. “I don’t see any reason why it would be” Russia who hacked the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic Party’s emails during the 2016 election…

    Apparently he doesn’t know about the reset button debacle.

    1. Hello.

      Wo! Back it up! Beep, beep, beep!

      McCain is still alive?

      1. McCain probably wrote that down sometime around November 2016 and put it in a glass box that said “break in case we’re not at war with Russia.”

        1. I heard he asked for pictures of dead Iraqis to be buried with him, along with his other prized possessions.

          1. The whole point of being Dick Cheney is you don’t settle for pictures.

  2. Jeanine Pirro on Fox & Friends: “What was he supposed to do, take a gun out and shoot Putin?” pic.twitter.com/0839HfMRI2
    ? John Whitehouse (@existentialfish) July 17, 2018

    He wasn’t in the middle of Times Square so he might have been arrested.

    1. Trump totally missed the mark. He said his supporters would defend him if he shot someone. He never considered that they might even encourage him to shoot someone. Jeanine has really upped her MAGA game.

      1. Except it’s his opponents who are encouraging him to shoot someone in that hypothetical.

  3. A young Russian woman named Maria Butina was indicted yesterday for allegedly “infiltrating organizations having influence in American politics”?including the NRA?”for the purpose of advancing the interests of the Russian Federation.”

    She should have tried doing that to a country that has free speech protections.

    1. I’m not sure why that should be a crime.

      1. http://www.thehill.com/regulation/cou…..ating-make

        A lot of these indictments seem to be based on criminalizing things that are not crimes

      2. They also had warrants to search her apartment months ago, I don’t think the timing of the last two indictments were a coincidence that they drop while Trump is meeting with Putin.

      3. They reference the foreign agent registration statute (18 USC 951) in the indictment.

    2. That’s pretty much my take.

    3. Yeah, this seems really unacceptable.
      It would be farcical if it weren’t so worrying.

  4. What’s up, Peanuts?

    “As a result, certain false ideas about conservatives and how they differ from liberals may have taken hold.”

    This is interesting right above the Hayek book as he had thought conservatives were dull and stupid.

    Also a GDP graph for the MAGA idiots — https://goo.gl/WidJ4T

    1. Except it hit 3% in 2017.

      https://bit.ly/2zLal9H

      1. By quarter, annualized. In three of the four quarters (more or less).
        Total 2017 was less than 3%.

    2. Could you splain what please oh well no thought so.

  5. When we meddle with elections, like we did 80+ times in the last century (not counting coups and full on regime changes) it’s wonderful. But if Russia hacks the DNC server, and wiki leaks airs all of their dirty laundry, it is 100% agreed that we must poke the bear to the brink of nuclear war.

    1. Check out this Russian bot.

      No one is talking about war. You’re paranoid. We just want Trump to call out Putin or something somehow. I mean, arming the Ukrainians, reestablishing missiles in eastern Europe, and imposing trade sanctions are nice, but something needs to be done! And we’re totally not talking about war or anything, but something or other instead.

      1. Oooh, tariffs! Tariffs are always good!

        1. When imposed on baddies like Russia. But, tariffs against China are awful because reasons.

          1. Somebody always rises to the red meat.

            1. Hey, I love tariffs against make believe bad guys as much as the next guy.

              1. Sanctions aren’t tariffs. Different goals, different mechanisms, different laws.

                The poisoned people in London, 300 dead airline passengers, and people killed in Eastern Ukraine aren’t make believe.

                1. “Sanctions aren’t tariffs.”

                  LOL- I love this guy

                  1. I’ll try to use short words for you to understand.

                    Sanctions are a block on particular transactions, either economic, military, travel, etc. with a goal to change the behavior of those on the receiving end, whether a nation, a company, or an individual. They are not taxes. It makes it a crime to make the transaction.

                    Tariffs are taxes on particular transactions. The goal can be to raise government revenue or protect favored industries. They are taxes. It is not a criminal sanction, it is economic.

                    Are you being paid to be this dumb?

                2. “If goods don’t flow across borders than surely soldiers will- with the exception of Russia- no one’s talking about war. These aren’t “tariffs”, they’re “sanctions” which are exactly the same, but different in a way that makes me sound consistent, but incomprehensible.”

                  – Federic Bastiat

          2. “But, tariffs against China are awful because reasons.”

            That reason is (basic) economics.

            1. “That reason is (basic) economics.”

              Which seem to be suspended when we talk about Russia

              1. The only people talking about tariffs are you and Shirley.

                1. Pretty sure that Congress imposed tariffs on Russia recently and explicitly made it so that the president could not rescind those tariffs

                  http://www.cnn.com/2018/04/06/politic…..index.html

                  1. Sanctions aren’t tariffs. I don’t know the specifics about these, but sanctions are usually a ban on business (likely trade in this case), not a tax. These sanctions seem to be pretty targeted against 7 people and 12 businesses who are accused of wrongdoing.

                    Sanctions are tools of diplomacy, so it’s hard to assess them purely from an economic standpoint. There are other trade-offs to consider beyond just the economics of it. Tariffs are economic tools.

                    1. “Sanctions aren’t tariffs.”

                      This is gold.

                    2. “If good don’t flow across borders than surely soldier will- with the exception of Russia- no one’s talking about war. These aren’t “tariffs”, they’re “sanctions” which are exactly the same, but different in a way that makes me sound consistent, but incomprehensible.”

                      – Federic Bastiat

                    3. I’m actually not defending the sanctions at all. I made no value judgement in my post. I admitted that I don’t know any of the specifics of these other than what was in the CNN article you linked.

                      But sanctions and tariffs are certainly different things. Both are bad ideas from a pure economic standpoint. I merely pointed out that there are generally diplomatic reasons for sanctions.

                      If you equate sanctions and tariffs then I’m wondering how you can defend imposing tariffs on our allies. Seems like an inconsistency on your part.

                    4. “If you equate sanctions and tariffs then I’m wondering how you can defend imposing tariffs on our allies. Seems like an inconsistency on your part.”

                      It would be inconsistent. But, I’m not defending Trump’s tariffs. I agree that they are economically illiterate, but the more persuasive case for managed trade deals is that they foster peace between nations.

                      Just because I oppose Russiaphobia does not mean that I support Trump. Some of us have not changed our position on warmongering.

                    5. I can see where you think that I was defending Trump’s tariffs now. Because I used the “China” example. I meant more so that it’s inconsistent to put tariffs on Russia and not see a problem with that, while assailing tariffs against China. Russia is no more a threat to the US than China. And both of them are not really much of a threat

                    6. I admitted that I don’t know any of the specifics of these other than what was in the CNN article you linked.

                      Having been confronted with his hypocrisy, the hypocrite plays dumb.

                    7. “sanctions and tariffs are certainly different things”

                      They are economic costs imposed for the purpose of affecting behavior.

                      Different names, same thing.

                    8. Other things that are “economic costs imposed for the purpose of affecting behavior”:
                      Minimum wages
                      Price floors/ceilings
                      Excise taxes
                      Fines
                      … (many more examples, I’m sure)

                      Are these things also tariffs?

                      I suspect from a purely denotative view, all of these things are sanctions. “Sanction” is a more general term than the rest. But clearly not all sanctions are tariffs, so I stand by my original statement.


                    9. But sanctions and tariffs are certainly different things. Both are bad ideas from a pure economic standpoint. I merely pointed out that there are generally diplomatic reasons for sanctions.

                      They are different, as you note. One is a ban, one is not a ban. Generally speaking, of course, as ‘sanctions’ covers a wide area whereas ‘tariff’ is a narrower term.

                      That said, there are also diplomatic reasons for tariffs. In that way, at least, they are the same. It’s more of a difference in degree of leverage, I’d say.

                      Reason is one of the many publications that must pretend that tariffs have no diplomatic use even while they curiously note their diplomatic ramifications. Head-up-their-ass syndrome, or just garden variety TDS?

                    10. “That said, there are also diplomatic reasons for tariffs.”

                      Tariffs generally aren’t raised because of diplomacy. They are typically raised in order to protect some national industry. Tariffs often have diplomatic ramifications, but that isn’t generally the intended purpose.

                      Sanctions on the other hand are issued because of diplomacy, primarily. You want to punish someone and it’s basically a step that can be taken prior to war. They have economic ramifications, but that isn’t generally the intended purpose.

                      Also, what they physically do is different.

                  2. What is the tariff rate? How much money will be collected by the treasury from these tariffs?

                    Not applicable, and zero. Because they aren’t fucking tariffs.

                    1. Exactly.

            2. Dirty commies are good now. You didn’t get the memo?

          3. Uhh, tariffs are taxes on the locals, not the damned furriners.

      2. Something tells me that if Hillary was elected, with her outstanding grasp of foreign policy, we would have brain surgeons like Brennan whispering in her ear and war with the bear would definitely be closer than it is now.

      3. Strongly worded letter.

      4. We just want Trump to call out Putin or something somehow.

        I mean, he could start by treating him like he treats Angela Merkel.

        1. Do we arm Germany’s neighbors and sanction her? I didn’t realize that.

          1. The Trump administration has:

            – Armed Ukraine (which the previous administration wouldn’t do)

            – Put missiles back in Eastern Europe (which the previous administration dismantled)

            – And Congress has imposed further sanctions

            I’m old enough to remember when Trump would have been criticized for needlessly provoking Russia, as he should be. But, progressives are thirsting for war and woketarians are more than willing to indulge their fantasies

            1. Yes, you are correct that Trump administration policy is at odds with the words and behavior of Trump himself.

    2. Seems to me the anti-Trump people (and to some extent Trump people) are giving Russia exactly what they want. I see no reason to doubt that Russia did some election related trolling and fuckery. But I don’t think they really cared about election results. They just want to sow political and social division. And everyone is playing right into their hands.

      I’m far from certain that my analysis is correct, but that’s the best I can make of it at the moment.

      1. I tend to agree with this. I do think the Russians mainly wanted to diminish Clinton – and started out trying to de facto help Sanders with his attacks on how the DNC was helping her.

        But the fact that Trump’s ego is incapable of distinguishing between himself and the US – and that D/R’s are incapable of seeing anything except their domestic partisan squabbles – made the Russian infiltration far more successful than they could have ever imagined and it remains so today. It turned what may have started out as little more than hacker pranks into an actual psyops cyberwar opportunity

        1. You make Dick Cheney proud. Thatta boy

      2. You didn’t watch the press conference. Putin was asked and said he preferred Trump over Hillary.

        1. And he’s reliable because ….

        2. Of course he said that. Like Trump, he understands the concept of being diplomatic when you’re face to face with another guy who has a nuclear arsenal.

          It’s possible he does prefer Trump; It’s not in Russia’s interest that the US become a Chinese puppet, and it’s not like he could have out-bid China for Hillary’s loyalty.

      3. Given that countries like France, Sweden and Germany have complained about Russian shenanigans in their elections, there seems to be a pattern of activity aimed at weakening public trust in societal institutions.

        Also, given what is reasonably widely regarded as Russian hacking into Ukraine’s power infrastructure over the past couple years, it seems the Russians see the cyber realm as fertile ground for pressuring their rivals and enemies.

        1. http://www.apnews.com/fc570e4b400f4c7db3b0d739e9dc5d4d

          Probably explains why France and Germany have taken such a firm stance against Russia, including building a pipeline that Eastern Europe has complained about

          1. So, what’s your take at this point? Hard to tell with the heavy sarcasm. Do you think it’s all BS and Russia hasn’t tried to stir shit up politically in countries it sees as rivals? Or just that people make way too much of it?

            1. My point is that if the Europeans were actually weary of Russia they would probably be more antagonistic toward them in literally any material fashion. Eastern Europe is antagonistic toward Russia, because they border them. But, amazingly, these Eastern European countries like Poland and Hungary are then portrayed as lackies of Putin even though they are far more aggressive toward his regime than Western Europe in every imaginable way. How does any of that make sense other than the fact that “Russia” is just a scapegoat to smear governments that are not as friendly to the EU as Germany and France would like them to be.

              We’ve given Easter Europe missiles again under this administration and armed Ukraine. All things that, frankly, the Trump administration should be chastised for. And yet, somehow, we aren’t doing enough. What is the next step from this posture?

              Russia stirs up as much “political shit” as any other country, but they have become a convenient scapegoat every time the EU loses an election. Meanwhile, a lot of people are pushing Russiaphobia with less evidence than there was about Iraq and WMDs.

              1. But, amazingly, these Eastern European countries like Poland and Hungary are then portrayed as lackies of Putin even though they are far more aggressive toward his regime than Western Europe in every imaginable way.

                Portrayed by whom?

                We’ve given Easter Europe missiles again under this administration and armed Ukraine. All things that, frankly, the Trump administration should be chastised for. And yet, somehow, we aren’t doing enough. What is the next step from this posture?

                The complaints aren’t about administration policy. They’re about Trump’s personal behavior. The complaint isn’t “we aren’t doing enough,” it’s “Trump shouldn’t act like this.”

                1. “The complaints aren’t about administration policy. They’re about Trump’s personal behavior.”

                  Ah yes, the “words are more important than actions so allow me to needlessly push apeshit crazy theories about how we need to confront Russia more”.

                  1. The people pushing apeshit crazy theories are in your head. Why don’t you try arguing that Trump should in fact suck Putin’s dick in front of the international press, and should not treat him like he treats Merkel and Theresa May?

                    1. You’re reciting neoconservative talking points about Russia from the end of the Bush administration. Unbelievable.

              2. OK, then, I think we pretty much agree on most of that.

                I’m far less certain about any of the international relations stuff than you seem to be, but it’s not something I follow terribly closely.


              3. Meanwhile, a lot of people are pushing Russiaphobia with less evidence than there was about Iraq and WMDs.

                This needs to be recited loudly and often, I think. Well said, JS.

              4. “Just Say’n|7.17.18 @ 11:29AM|#

                My point is that if the Europeans were actually weary of Russia they would probably be more antagonistic toward them in literally any material fashion. Eastern Europe is antagonistic toward Russia, because they border them. But, amazingly, these Eastern European countries like Poland and Hungary are then portrayed as lackies of Putin even though they are far more aggressive toward his regime than Western Europe in every imaginable way. How does any of that make sense other than the fact that “Russia” is just a scapegoat to smear governments that are not as friendly to the EU as Germany and France would like them to be.

                We’ve given Easter Europe missiles again under this administration and armed Ukraine. All things that, frankly, the Trump administration should be chastised for. And yet, somehow, we aren’t doing enough. What is the next step from this posture?

                Russia stirs up as much “political shit” as any other country, but they have become a convenient scapegoat every time the EU loses an election. Meanwhile, a lot of people are pushing Russiaphobia with less evidence than there was about Iraq and WMDs.”

                ^this exactly
                Well said

          2. Oooh, dilemma: believe French intelligence, or believe US intelligence???

            To your second poing: France and Germany had similar stances wrt the USSR when it began piping oil and natural gas to Europe.

            1. *point

            2. We should definitely continue spreading fairy tales about Russia. That seems like the best bet

              1. This is a terrific summary of my point.


      4. They just want to sow political and social division. And everyone is playing right into their hands.

        Somewhat ironically, Trump hand waving away the idea that they ‘hacked the election’ is not playing into their hands since no one at all, anywhere, has proven any actual election tampering and ignoring the Russians is hardly the fear mongering pushed by the left.

        Russia, if everything said about them were true, would be much happier if Trump was constantly playing the ‘Russia hacked the election’ card since it would sow more ‘political and social division’ rather than less, which is the result of his comments here.

      5. I completely agree with your take on this, Zeb.

        The Democrats have joined in with the Russians to disrupt our election processes and sow discord.

        Remember the basis for this whole thing. The Russians might have hacked (or it might have been somebody internal to the DNC) into the DNC and exposed what was actually going on in the DNC. Note for clarity: the DNC engaged in shitty tactics, they were simply exposed. Then the Russians spent $100K on facebook to further their goal of flinging shit to sow discord. Not a single vote was changed. The Russians have been doing this shit for the last 70 years, but suddenly it’s a crisis.

        This a big nothing burger that the left-wing seems intent to change into a forty course dinner.

        The alternative to Trump was Clinton and her criminal enterprise.

        1. And nobody has, to this day, claimed that ANYTHING leaked was altered or doctored.

          The outrage is that REALITY came out. The TRUTH was set free.

          THIS is the massive controversy. Some unpleasant truths were exposed to the voting public.

    3. Seeing all of these leftards in the JournoList suddenly transform in real life versions of General Jack D. Ripper from “Dr. Strangelove” almost overnight is a bit surreal, isn’t it?

  6. If I understand the woketarian position ICE needs to be disbanded, but we should trust the CIA and FBI.

    1. A deeply held, principled conviction going all the way back to November of 2016.

    2. I think it’s more like something in the middle between “believe every word of what the FBI says” (the left) and “reject every word of what the FBI says” (the right)

      1. Ah yes, the mushy moderate position. The dumbest position of all

        1. *offer not valid for ICE or local police, which somehow makes sense if you suspend logic*

        2. In this case, it’s the thoughtful position. Rather than generalize them all as “deep state moles” or “noble truth tellers”, let’s evaluate the evidence as it emerges.

          1. OK, that’s a good point. I’m not saying that everything is a “deep state mole”, but I’m definitely never going to assert that there is anything noble about the intelligence community. And I haven’t seen any evidence to justify the John Bircher insanity that permeates right now

          2. Did we all just forget about wikileaks vault 7?

            The guys telling us the evidence have been publicly exposed for programs that fabricate evidence.
            But I’m sure they’ll tell us if it’s real or fake evidence…

            1. See, here is an example of what I’m talking about.

              Because someone has the capacity to fabricate evidence, doesn’t necessarily mean that all evidence from that source is fabricated.

              So instead of just telling us “they have the capacity to lie!” (well duh), why not actually show that the evidence presented is in fact fraudulent.

              1. And by the way.

                I am open to the possibility that the entire investigation is actually just a witch hunt.

                I’m also open to the possibility that Trump really is covering up some shady behavior.

                I’m also open to the possibility that the investigators themselves are the ones doing the shady work.

                But it will take more than bare assertions and appeals to tribalism before you convince me of any of these points of view.

                1. Pretty sure that criticizing people pimping war with Russia over faith alone should defy tribal politics

                2. You’ve always been wishy-washy like that Jeff. Can’t you just pick a position and scream about it like everyone else?

              2. So, you get to pick and choose your evidence to support your already reached conclusion? Sounds about right.

                1. The ability of a source to fabricate evidence casts doubt upon all evidence presented by that source.
                  In the case of the DNC “hack” the only entity to examine the server is a subcontractor owned by a Ukrainian with close ties to the Clinton machine. Their report, not the actual server, was taken as gospel by the US government to blame Russia. No other hypothesis has been considered.
                  On top of the missing server, we know the CIA created software to specifically frame others for the CIA’s own hacks. Also, Seth Rich was murdered.
                  The foundation for all this Russia warmongering is emptier than WMDs by miles.

                  1. The ability of a source to fabricate evidence casts doubt upon all evidence presented by that source.

                    Sure it does. But it does not *disprove* the validity of the evidence.

                    1. Could you provide us with this evidence?

                    2. But it does not *disprove* the validity of the evidence.

                      So that’s the standard now? All evidence must be assumed valid until its validity is disproven?

                    3. This is why it is hard to take Jeff seriously.


                    4. This is why it is hard to take Jeff seriously.

                      Absolutely. He doesn’t understand burden of proof, among many other things.

                    5. It neither proves nor disproves the evidence presented, but it certainly taints it.

                      It seems you think that pointing out the unreliability of the evidence is the same as dismissing it. You’re the one making assumptions because it fits your prejudices.

                  2. The ability of a source to fabricate evidence casts doubt upon all evidence presented by that source.

                    And this is also why none of us believes anything Trump says, right?

                    I mean, you all realize that is the alternative.

                    1. “And this is also why none of us believes anything Trump says, right?”

                      Me: What proof is there?

                      Cathy: Trump isn’t mean enough to Putin

                      Me: Well that’s good, because that would be terrible foreign policy

                      Cathy: But, the FBI and CIA have super secret evidence of which cannot be shared with Congress or the American people

                      Me: I’m not going to blindly trust the intelligence community

                      Cathy: Then you can’t trust Trump

                      Me: What does Trump have to do with this? The guy is a known liar and so what does that have to do with the intelligence community?

                      Cathy: You love Trump

          3. Rather than generalize them all as “deep state moles” or “noble truth tellers”, let’s evaluate the evidence as it emerges.

            Evaluate based on what criteria? Because it sure seems like the criterion being used is to believe without question anything that is bad for Trump.

            “Nuance” and “changing your mind when the facts change” sounds great, but is often used as a cover for simply being dishonest, hypocritical, and inconsistent.

            1. Dishonest people will do dishonest things. You can’t control them or change them. All you can do is control how you behave and how you react. Because SOME people make dishonest arguments doesn’t mean YOU have to make dishonest arguments, or enable their dishonesty.

              1. You’re not answering the question.

                You defended Reason by saying they’re taking a position of evaluating the evidence as it emerges. What criteria do you believe they are using to evaluate the evidence as it emerges?

        3. Most of reality is pretty mushy. I don’t believe either that there is some grand conspiracy of lies (though there are probably some small ones) or that the FBI or CIA are noble and pure in their motivations.

          1. Our intelligence community has never lied before in order to engage us in further conflict overseas.

            1. I know that’s sarcasm, but it’s a sadly long and costly list.

            2. Are you suggesting I would claim otherwise?

      2. You take the most radical position on nearly every issue, chemjeff. And you’re generally honest in your points. So, seriously, can you explain this thinking to me, because this pivoting on the FBI and CIA seems awfully situational

        1. it’s not a question of what *ought* to happen, it’s a question of discovering what actually did happen. No amount of radical ideology will serve to uncover the facts.

          1. I’m old enough to remember when disbanding the CIA was a common goal

            1. I am totally fine with disbanding the CIA.

            2. Disbanding the CIA should have nothing – AT ALL – to do with how one defines Russia v US.

              Once you let your domestic attitude/ideology affect how you actually perceive realities outside the US; then you will, guaranteed, make the stupidest possible foreign policy decisions whether the CIA is in place or disbanded. Which then means it won’t matter one whit whether the CIA is disbanded or not – because you will still remain stupid/blindered.

              1. “Once you let your domestic attitude/ideology affect how you actually perceive realities outside the US”

                You sure I’m the one doing that or did you not also laugh when Romney declared Russia our number one geopolitical threat in 2012?

                1. You sure I’m the one doing that or did you not also laugh when Romney declared Russia our number one geopolitical threat in 2012?

                  Yes – YOU are doing that – and the evidence is that you are referencing Romney 2012 as your point of reference for assessing Russia.

                  1. “Yes – YOU are doing that – and the evidence is that you are referencing Romney 2012 as your point of reference for assessing Russia.”

                    This doesn’t make a lot of sense. So a person who opposed Russiaphobia when pushed by both political parties is a partisan, but the guy who suddenly embraces Russiaphobia (despite mocking it before) is totally not a partisan?

                    1. This doesn’t make a lot of sense.

                      It doesn’t make sense TO YOU. Because everything I have ever seen you write re something outside the US is based on something that someone in the US – with an overtly domestic agenda – says about it. As if the entire rest of the world exists only to further a domestic narrative about domestic electoral politics in the US.

                      This isn’t just a blind spot that you have. It is fucking pervasive among Americans – has been for decades – and is a major reason why we are often so completely clueless overseas.

                    2. “Because everything I have ever seen you write re something outside the US is based on something that someone in the US – with an overtly domestic agenda – says about it.”

                      That’s me, alright. When I opposed Trump withdrawing from the Iran deal I was infected with TDS and now opposing Russia fever dreams makes me a Trump supporter.

      3. It’s partisanship all the way down. The traditional position of the left is to distrust law enforcement while the right typically defends them to the death.

        It’s simply amazing what team politics can do to the majority of people. One of the joys of libertarianism is that we’re always the losing team so there’s really no need to get wrapped up in it.

        1. “One of the joys of libertarianism is that we’re always the losing team so there’s really no need to get wrapped up in it.”

          Man, I must be really old, because I’m old enough to remember when Romney was rightly assailed for spreading Bircher talking points about Russia. I guess it’s different now, because reasons

          1. I don’t get your point, relative to my post.

          2. This is what Romney said:

            “This is without question our No. 1 geopolitical foe. They fight for every cause for the world’s worst actors. The idea that he has more flexibility in mind for Russia is very, very troubling indeed.”

            It’s hardly Bircherism except to those who have no concept of Bircherism. It’s interesting so many people here complain about lib / con extremism while demonstrating libertarian extremism.

      4. “reject every word of what the FBI says” (the right)

        you give the right a lot more credit than they deserve

      5. “reject every word of what the FBI says” (the right)

        you give the right a lot more credit than they deserve

  7. “As a result, certain false ideas about conservatives and how they differ from liberals may have taken hold.”

    Nope. Once you put on that white lab coat, you are free of bias and groupthink.

  8. A young Russian woman named Maria Butina was indicted yesterday for allegedly “infiltrating organizations having influence in American politics”?including the NRA?”for the purpose of advancing the interests of the Russian Federation.”

    We Americans only love guns because them dadgum Russkies have successfully penetrated into our brains through our dental fillings.

    1. Seriously. When does a behavior shift form “joins” to “infiltrates”?
      When the intent is to somehow modify the group’s goals? Who doesn’t join with the intention of fostering a set of goals, either by sustaining, modifying, or introducing those goals?
      How does that work if the majority of the membership finds one or more of those goals discordant?
      The whole thing is “Mom, she’s on my half of the seat. Mom, she’s staring at me!” Petty nonsense targeting a specific nationality out of spite.

      1. There are laws against foreign donations to political candidates. These laws have universally been ruled constitutional. Laundering foreign money into election funds through 501c4s is a federal crime.

        1. Tell that to Al “no controlling legal authority” Gore and his Chicom money laundered through a Buddhist monastery.

  9. White concludes that “Judge Walter’s order is not plausibly lawful” and is “patently unconstitutional, and the sort of order that is only issued when a judge deliberately defies First Amendment law or is asleep at the switch.”

    But still collects a paycheck either way.

  10. Jeanine Pirro on Fox & Friends:

    That bitch is extra crispy crazy. Thanks for the warning, ENB. Good stuff as usual. Hayek and all the rest.

    1. Do you think Hayek would like Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, the CFPB, etc. like you do?

  11. I don’t know of a single person who wasn’t influenced by the Russian hacking. Everyone I know made their decision based upon what the Russians said on Facebook. Even the people who aren’t on Facebook. I mean, nobody had a mind of their own. No one. They do what the Internet tells them to do.

    1. Except until they woke from the righteousness of woketarian thought. That was purely from independent thinkers all independently thinking alike.

    2. I’m an absolutely free thinking libertarian type myself. No propoganda affects my mind. So when I voted for Hillary I did it of my total and complete will.

    3. I guess I was influenced by Russian hacking; When I finally saw some of the facebook memes they’d produced, I did recall having a hearty laugh when I’d originally seen them. That counts as “influence”, doesn’t it?

      1. I was going to vote for Hillary until I saw that cartoon of Jesus wrestling Satan for the soul of America.

  12. “A young Russian woman named Maria Butina was indicted yesterday for allegedly “infiltrating organizations having influence in American politics”?including the NRA?”for the purpose of advancing the interests of the Russian Federation.”

    Well, indictments that will never be brought to trial, is a kind of proof, I guess. I mean what other evidence do you need a mushroom cloud or something?

    1. It’s going to trial. She’s being held in jail. No bail.

      Well, she might cooperate.

  13. If Kavanaugh is confirmed, you can kiss the right to vote goodbye

    Drumpf knows he has no chance of reelection even with Putin’s help. That’s why he forced Anthony Kennedy to retire, so he could replace him with someone who will take away our voting rights. Orange Hitler wants to “win” a 2020 election that’s obviously even less legitimate than 2016’s.

    Have you contacted your US Senators yet? Get them to promise they’ll oppose the right-wing takeover of the Supreme Court.

    #Resist
    #StopKavanaugh

    1. I use to think that you were a parody, but over the past few days it seems more like you’re someone on staff

    2. #EndOfDemocracy
      #CivilWar
      #OMGWEREDEAD

    3. #StillWithHim
      #InternsToo
      #Incest

  14. Trump was just trying to keep things going smoothly with Russia

    So, like every politician on the international stage ever? Yeah, only a crazy Trumpkin would go with that theory.

    1. Have you seen how Trump talks to our allies?

      1. Our allies who are so concerned about Russia that they won’t impose sanctions and are actually building a pipeline with Russia?

      2. You mean our “allies”

      3. “Allies” that undermine the USA at every turn, want a trade war with the USA, and didnt even pay their agreed portion of NATO costs until Trump complained?

  15. ENB linkz need moar sekhs

    1. She just got married. The last thing the poor girl needs is moar.

      1. Since when do married people have sex?

  16. lashing out at Putin while he’s right there on stage next to him would be counterproductive

    Yeah prob. Esp since he’s a fat old man who’s never been in an actual brawl caused by his mouth.

    But there’s a big difference between a pointless lashing out and being a surrender monkey. And Trump was pwned. Starting the second he allowed Putin to show up an hour late for their meeting with no consequences

    1. Diplomacy is all about punking out the other guy

    2. What was he gonna do, start without Putin? Go home?

      1. This is a well-known power play by Putin. He does it always – to everyone.

        And the existence of the meeting itself – esp in Finland which is far nearer Putin’s territory than to Trump’s (which means Trump already has the travel time burden) – gives Putin more than Trump. So – yeah – THAT is the consequence. It means make alternative plans for the Prez schedule, knock off 2 mins at the back end of the meeting for every 1 min that Putin is late.

        Which means that yeah the scheduled meeting can quickly get cancelled if Putin is trying to play games with the schedule itself. And since this is all very well-known and predictable behavior by Putin, it was not a good idea to even schedule that level of meeting yet without the lower-level meetings that precede higher-level meetings for precisely this reason.

        1. We get it, you think it’s a dick measuring contest

    3. Starting the second he allowed Putin to show up an hour late for their meeting with no consequences.

      Yes, he should have definitely made Putin wear a dunce hat and stand in the corner.

    4. Tell me how you would have done it. Tell me how you would have given your laundry list of offenses Russia has committed and then tell me how that would have resulted in a change of behavior by Russia in the future.

  17. Protesters who gathered in front of the White House last night

    Sigh. What are we protesting this time? Trump not starting shit with Putin?

    1. that they have to wait until April of 2019 for the next season of Handmaid’s Tale? Something like that

    2. What ever happened to make love, not war?

      1. What ever happened to make love, not war?

        Have you seen these people? They have, and even they aren’t crazy to have sex with one another.

    3. Yup, he should have slapped Putin with his gauntlet and challenged him to single combat.

    4. “”Sigh. What are we protesting this time? Trump not starting shit with Putin?”‘

      Well they are acting out because that nuclear war with N. Korea didn’t pan out like that thought.

  18. http://www.theamericanconservative.co…..nt-8556440

    This guy is obviously a stooge of Putin

    1. Their mistake is thinking that anyone wants to hear what’s actually going on.

    2. Why is the perspective that article puts forth such a radical opinion? The fact that it is considered radical is why its so hard to even pay the barest attention to the media coverage of Russia.

      1. Congrats, you’re a Russian plant now

  19. The reviews weren’t mixed, unless you give Trump and his ridiculous toady Pence loads of extra credit for their opinions. This is 3% on Rotten Tomatoes if the director of the movie got to write a review.

    1. I love how you’ve become what you supposedly hated so much about the Bush administration

      1. Really, because I despise what Trump apologists are and have always been, which is fucking morons who would destroy human civilization through sheer stupidity.

        1. You said you became a Democrat because of Bush’s warmongering and now you are doing the exact same thing. There isn’t a lot of daylight between you and Dick Cheney at this point.

          1. Nobody wants a war with Russia you probable paid stooge.

            Some of us just don’t care for our president being the biggest stooge of all.

            1. Tony, I didn’t insult you. Take it down.

              And again, I must reiterate- what is the point if not war, then?

              This administration should be chastised for needlessly provoking Russia by arming Ukraine and putting missiles back in Eastern Europe (all things that Obama rightly refused to do). Along with Congress imposing trade sanctions.

              So what is the next step? Seems like out had has been exhausted with the exception of one trump card

              1. “Nobody wants a war with Russia you probable paid stooge.”

                Also, Russia doesn’t pay me. I just get shirtless pictures of Putin for my efforts.

              2. Not giving Putin a taint job in reward for undermining a US election would be a good start.

                1. I don’t know why I engage you civilly, Tony

                  1. Newt Gingrich is being more critical of this ridiculous shitshow than you are.

                    1. Did you just use Newt Gingrich as an example that your position is not just obtuse warmongering?

        2. Says the faggot that wants to worsen relations with the only nation that can nuke the US out of existence with relative ease because of an unfounded conspiracy theory and actively siding with people like John McCain, Pelosi the Bushes and half the neocons/neolibs, well-known war-monger that sold us nothing but war after goddamn war for 15 years.

          1. If it were Obama your opinion would be 180 degrees different. That’s why you deserve hatred.

            1. No. I would have accredited Obama for trying to defuse a volatile situation, because I don’t want to die in a nuclear holocaust and I think we are past the days of the Cold War, like even he said in 2012. I mean that was his reasoning for bettering relations with Cuba, which is one of the few things I liked about Obama’s foreign policy when he wasn’t toppling Middle Eastern gov’ts like that of Syria and Libya and Trump is still continuing to do, albeit to a lesser extent. Unfortunately for you, I’m not partisan enough to hate someone when they try to do some good in the world.

              1. Also, I want to add Tony, why weren’t you outraged when Trump armed Ukrainian rebels, a thing which Obama didn’t do (and good on him for not doing it), which was going to provoke Russia? Is it only a problem when Trump is trying to deescalate a problem he directly contributed to, in the name of diplomacy, or are you just a mindless partisan hack who pretends to be a libertarian for them Good Boy Points, even if half the shit he says about Russia is antagonistic to the libertarian principles of non-interventionism and he agrees with people that are well-known warmongers? My money’s on the latter.

            2. Are you pretending that remark doesn’t apply impeccably to you as well?

        3. “Really, because I despise what Trump apologists are and have always been, which is fucking morons who would destroy human civilization through sheer stupidity.”

          You have zero principles other than ‘might makes right’, and you lost, loser.
          There is nothing else worth knowing about you.

          1. You have zero principles other than ‘might makes right’, and you lost, loser.

            Yeah. You said that.

            1. Yes I did, loser.

    2. Here’s a clear example.

    3. That reminds me: did Democrats stop existing sometime around 2016?

      All I hear about are Nacy Pelosi’s brain farts and the crazy Uncle Commie Sanders screaming in the basement.

  20. “Compromised, Proud, or Diplomatic? Trump’s Performance With Putin Gets Wildly Mixed Reviews”

    The “reviews” have nothing to do with what Trump did or did not do; the “reviews” are “reviews” of the people doing the “reviews”.

  21. We voted for different, we got different. What was so great about the past?

  22. Look, if you think Trump’s a traitor, impeach him already. What are you waiting for? It seems like an urgent matter. You’ve got all the evidence, right? That’s what you keep saying, anyway. Make a case. Persuade.

    I won’t mind if he’s impeached. Shit, if I had my druthers every swingin’ dick president in my lifetime would have been impeached. We at least need to turn it into a viable process, which it isn’t now. It will only work if it’s done with actual evidence rather than mindless ranting from the likes of Mad Aunty Maxine.

    1. The reason, we are told by serious-minded political analysts, is that impeachment would precipitate a “constitutional crisis” that would seriously damage our republic.

      I don’t buy that. Congress has full authority under the Constitution to impeach and remove the president; the system working as it was designed does not constitute a “crisis”.

      The House has the power to impeach Trump tomorrow for whatever 218 representatives believe falls under the definition of ” high crimes and misdemeanors. The only things stopping them are the trial in the Senate and the voters in 2018.

      And therein lies the real reason the Democrats won’t impeach Trump, even if they win control of Congress this fall: it would be political suicide. So it’s easier to screech “TREASON!!” and the hope Mueller can pull a rabbit out of his hat.

      1. The Democrat leadership vastly prefers Trump as an opponent compared to Mike Pence. They want to impeach & remove Trump as much as the GOP wanted to repeal Obamacare, i.e. not at all.

    2. “Shit, if I had my druthers every swingin’ dick president in my lifetime would have been impeached.”

      I hear you. If Trump never does anything to merit impeachment, he’ll be the first President in my lifetime to be that innocent, and I’m pushing 60.

  23. FDR didn’t meet w/ the Japanese after Pearl Harbor. George H.W. Bush didn’t meet w/ Saddam after Iraq invaded Kuwait. And George W. Bush didn’t meet w/ Bin Laden after 9/11. So tell me, @realDonaldTrump, what does America get out of you meeting w/ Putin after he attacked us?
    ? Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) July 15, 2018

    Outstanding. Who wouldn’t equate 3,000 dead with Hillary losing an election she was destined to lose either way.

    1. You can easily see the ‘negative’ reviews of his meeting are based on a rational understanding of the issues…

    2. You know who else didn’t want to meet with Russians after they attacked him…

      1. Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn?

    3. That’s… impressive, even for a Bay Area Democrat.

    4. If you really want to see just how far down the rabbit hole we have gone, the Left is having a collective orgasm overan editorial in today’s Politico featuring a retired three-star doing his best Jack D. Ripper imitation.

      I’m so old I can remember when liberals (and libertarians) were automatically suspicious of warmongering generals.

      What hath Trump wrought?

  24. John McCain called it “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory….No prior president has ever based himself more abjectly before a tyrant.”

    Obama bowed before King Saud and criticized America in his speech in Cairo under the Mubarak regime.

    And of course, FDR handed Eastern Europe to Stalin at the Yalta conference because he thought Stalin wanted to work with him for world peace once WW2 was over.

    1. Stalin routinely bent FDR over his wheelchair during their meetings, and Eastern Europe paid the price.

    2. I didn’t have any use for McCain’s opinions back when he still had an intact brain. I’m sure not going to respect them when he’s brain damaged and doesn’t even have the sense to resign so that Arizona can have a vertical Senator.

  25. On the plus side, all the John Bircher stuff will be a boon for the Weld campaign. I mean, who is going to tougher on Putin- Elizabeth Warren, Trump, or the guy who has supported every American intervention overseas for the past twenty years?

    Libertarian Moment!

    1. You know the pro-war Reason article is coming, the only question is what form will it assume?

      Will it be a dry, serious-minded Sullum piece explaining how Russia, like Carthage, must be destroyed?

      Or a hyperbolic Shikha screed where she connects Putin with family deportations and the construction of a border wall?

      Or a snarky Gillespie piece where he reveals Tsarist Russia refused to allow his Italian and Irish ancestors to immigrate?

      Post your predictions with author and title here, folks.

  26. “A growing insurgency within ALL OF psychology has begun to argue, credibly, that…ALL psych researchers, centering their work on liberal values and political opinions, have built up a body of knowledge that is fundamentally flawed and biased,”

    Psychology is turning out to be a pseudoscience no different than phrenology.

  27. We can even say it without speculating about Trump’s particular sort of damaged psyche

    just because you don’t like a person doesn’t mean they are damage these types of comments are why so many no longer listen or read opposing views. it is no better than calling everyone right of the left racist. every time such descripters are used it does not move the conversation forward it only makes a a non debatable claim while pretending to put forward a thoughtful argument that at its core is just word salad to make the claiment feel intelligent. we all see through the BS.

  28. Russia hacking the DNC server (assuming that’s even true) and trying to influence the election outcome via facebook is nothing like the US backed coup in the Ukraine.

    No one has been better than interfering with other countries elections or their leaders than the US.

    If this type of interference is criminal, then we should some of our own people accountable for what they have done. But no, we are not interested in being accountable to how we interfere with the rest of the world.

    1. (cranks up booming voice)

      “PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE MAN IN RED WHITE AND BLUE HANDING OUT WEAPONS BEHIND THE CURTAIN!”

      1. That man has been there for a long time too.

  29. That linked article about Prop13 by Postrel is really solid. Finally a libertarian who gets it.

  30. Does anybody really believe that the timing of indictment of those Russian hackers, the eve before Trump’s meeting with Putin, was purely coincidental?

    Whatever you think of Trump’s policies and justifications, looks to me as though Mueller is trying to interfere in the president’s ability to conduct foreign policy–which is clearly beyond the mandate of any special prosecutor.

    At the very least, Mueller should be made to answer for that. Trump would be justified in firing Mueller for that reason alone.

    1. Right. At this point it isn’t paranoia to think they’re out to get him. They’re not even bothering to pretend anymore.

      I mean, did you catch Strzok’s testimony before Congress? It was like they’d called central casting, and asked for a sociopath. I swear, if it had been a movie, at some point he would have stood up, and announced, “This farce is over, now. Guards, drag them off!”

    2. Ken, excellent point.

    3. I think Mueller wants that.

      He knows he’s got nothing, but also knows that he’ll be a fart in church if he doesn’t produce something.

      So getting fired would be his crowning achievement.

  31. “Trump is too damn proud to react to Russia in anything like what we might think of as a normal way. To concede that Russia interfered in any way in the election, even all on its own, challenges the meritocratic or populist spin on Trump’s win. Trump thinks, or wants to think, or wants us to think that he did this all on his own.”

    ^^It’s a simple as this.

    He’s willing to throw his whole intelligence community under the bus just so no one can say Russia helped him or even tried to help him.

    That Russia tried to help him is apparent. They probably didn’t have that much impact, but yes, they tried to meddle. Trump looks like a boot-licking wimp.

    1. Oh look. It’s another idiot spouting neocon talking points when talking about US diplomacy. I mean, if the US intelligence community wants to be trusted so much, shouldn’t they be more open about their findings and not have a history of fabricating evidence like what happened in the Gulf of Tonkin and Iraq? It’s as simple as that. They also should have had the foresight to not spy on a presidential candidate and think about the possible deep shit they would be in if he won the election.

    2. “””””He’s willing to throw his whole intelligence community under the bus just so no one can say Russia helped him or even tried to help him.””””

      I thought that throwing the whole intelligence community under a bus was a Libertarian party plank.

      After all its not like the US intelligence community is worth a bucked full of spit. They missed the collapse of the Soviet Union, they missed the invasion of Kuwait, They missed ISIS. For all the billions spent we would be better off with a dart board. Even this Russian hacking they missed when they say it was happening

    3. Yeah, it was the Russians who made Trump POTUS.

      Not his cold, wholly unlikeable opponent, Shrillary, with her obvious but lamely denied health problems, or her boneheaded campaign decision to avoid the advice of her husband, who just might know a thing or two about how to win the damn election.

      Yeah, keep telling yourself that.

      Because, sure as shit, there is nobody else who is going to accept your premise.

    4. “”they tried to meddle.”‘

      The cornerstone of US policy. We meddle everywhere. Now that it’s happening to us we cry foul. At least no one has tried to forcefully oust Trump. Like we did with Noriega in Panama, Gaddafi in Lybia, Saddam in Iraq.

      If we don’t want other counties meddling, perhaps we should check the mirror first.

      1. Oust Trump or any other sitting president.

  32. “””””” including former CIA Director John Brennan.”””””

    If you can’t trust a guy who voted for the Communist Party USA then who can you trust?

  33. Given Putin’s Bond villain type behavior, up to and including invading neighbors and killing people with radiation, I’d be surprised if he *wasn’t* trying to mess with the U. S. with dubious methods.

    Fortunately, with our limitless resources and lack of national debt, plus the lack of risk of military escalation with a nuclear-armed power, it should be simplicity itself to stand up to Russia and reform that country’s behavior. /sarc

  34. Elizabeth Warren says “I am a capitalist to my bones – which I think means she’s running for President.

    1. She’s as much a capitalist as she is an Indian. I’m guessing < 1%.

      1. Elizabeth Pocahontas Bezos Warren?

  35. “A growing insurgency within social and political psychology has begun to argue, credibly, that…liberal psych researchers, centering their work on liberal values and political opinions, have built up a body of knowledge that is fundamentally flawed and biased,”

    this can’t possibly be a surprise to anyone with a modicum of critical thinking ability.

  36. A young Russian woman named Maria Butina was indicted yesterday for allegedly “infiltrating organizations having influence in American politics”?including the NRA?”for the purpose of advancing the interests of the Russian Federation.”
    “On or around August 2016,.BUTINA entered the United States on an F-l Student Visa, for the purported purpose of attending university full time in the District of Columbia’ when in truth and in fact, BUTINA continued to act as an agent on behalf of the Russian Federation and the official of the Russian Federation….”

    Red Sparrow?

  37. This is all created by a psychological problem with liberals. They’ve been so ensconced in their collective narcissism for the last two decades that they’ve convinced themselves that progressive socialism is the righteous truth, the light and the destiny of the global political hegemony. They can’t fathom a world where anyone would vote against their superior worldview so when they lose they imagine that it must be because dark nefarious forces intervened on the behalf of Trump. At the core of this and what they refuse to admit is that Trump won fair and square because he’s a good strategist and far more in touch with the culture of Middle America than Hillary was.

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