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The Russia Investigation: Judge Tells Flynn He Sold His Country Out; Sentencing Postponed

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11 minutes ago, Weebs210 said:

Man liberals are getting desperate. Guys, it's over.

@Joe Bryant 

Yo mods. This is a prime example of a post that should be deleted and the poster given a timeout. Serves no purpose to the discussion at hand.

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1 minute ago, Bucky86 said:

@Joe Bryant 

Yo mods. This is a prime example of a post that should be deleted and the poster given a timeout. Serves no purpose to the discussion at hand.

That's the one you picked out of all nonsense posted here?  Or the only one that irritates your political beliefs?

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3 minutes ago, Ramblin Wreck said:

That's the one you picked out of all nonsense posted here?  Or the only one that irritates your political beliefs?

He didn't mention you calling people tools, should he have quoted that one?

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4 minutes ago, Ramblin Wreck said:

That's the one you picked out of all nonsense posted here?  Or the only one that irritates your political beliefs?

Or we can have a debate on a subject without generalizing the other side? :shrug:  

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seems like a lot of smoke but no fire (yet) 

i wonder if there is anything here, and if so, why are we just hearing about it now? seems a functioning media would have gone down this rabbit hole and alerted us like a year ago if there was anything substantive underneath this. 

trump can also release his tax and financial records to remove all suspicion (assuming he has nothing to hide) 

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I need to learn how to speak Russian, I want to make our President Putin proud.
Whose followers are worse, Scientology or Trumps? Should really be a poll about these things.

Edited by WheelsUp
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Just now, WheelsUp said:

I need to learn how to speak Russia, I want to make our President Putin proud.
Whose followers are worse, Scientology or Trumps? Should really be a poll about these things.

I'd love to know what % of Scientologists voted for Trump.

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4 minutes ago, WheelsUp said:

I need to learn how to speak Russian, I want to make our President Putin proud.
Whose followers are worse, Scientology or Trumps? Should really be a poll about these things.

@Joe Bryant

He said mean things please delete and give time out.

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34 minutes ago, jamny said:

Where is the Russian connection in that?

Fair question.  Doubt there is a Russian connection with that Trump Taj Majal fine.  It does show behavior consistent with someone willing to business with organized crime, which makes this Russian mob story seem like it's not from nowhere.  

Not proving anything, not certifying the connection.  However, there's a long pattern of behavior from Trump dong shady things himself and working with other shady characters domestically that it wouldn't be a total surprise if he took that act on the road.  

It does seem a little strange that this didn't pop up earlier, but Trump's refusal to release meaningful financial information about himself during the campaign might have played a role in that.

Edited by Bruce Dickinson

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And this is why we can't have nice things...

Could those taking shots at "liberals" and calling people "tools," or those generalizing and insulting Trump supporters please just stop? These are interesting and important issues, and it would be nice if adults could read/discuss such things. 

Of course, if your shtick is funny, please realize I'm not talking about you. 

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To be fair, its hard to read and discuss anything Trump related.
Maybe that should give those who support Trump pause of why MORE than have the countrey is not just upset, but enraged.
Normally you cant discuss a person or his issues seriously if they mocked a disabled person on the campaign trail while also being on camera talking about his one year olds breasts in the past. Oh, and dont forget his Access Hollywood tape, its hard for some to even get past the joke of Trump to talk seriously. So sorry if some of us look at Trump and everything about him as a complete joke.

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13 minutes ago, Getzlaf15 said:

LOL at Bucky calling out something he does all the time.

Really? ALL the time?

Yeah, I have called Trump supporters "Trumpkins." However, once the mods told people to stop using that term.(Trump supporters like their safe spaces too) I stopped. 

 

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5 minutes ago, WheelsUp said:

To be fair, its hard to read and discuss anything Trump related.
Maybe that should give those who support Trump pause of why MORE than have the countrey is not just upset, but enraged.
Normally you cant discuss a person or his issues seriously if they mocked a disabled person on the campaign trail while also being on camera talking about his one year olds breasts in the past. Oh, and dont forget his Access Hollywood tape, its hard for some to even get past the joke of Trump to talk seriously. So sorry if some of us look at Trump and everything about him as a complete joke.

Suck it!  They won!  Woooooohooooo!  

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3 minutes ago, Bucky86 said:

Really? ALL the time?

Yeah, I have called Trump supporters "Trumpkins." However, once the mods told people to stop using that term.(Trump supporters like their safe spaces too) I stopped. 

 

Yea guys this one time he wants a serious discussion.

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1 minute ago, Bucky86 said:

Really? ALL the time?

Yeah, I have called Trump supporters "Trumpkins." However, once the mods told people to stop using that term.(Trump supporters like their safe spaces too) I stopped. 

 

Not a big deal LOL.  OK, a vast majority of your posts are little quips mocking whatever.  I find most of them funny and part of the overall FFA schtick.  I do it alot also :hifive:

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It's as if the hacking allegations aren't panning out, so they decided to go back to the drawing board.  I'm sure everyone of the conspiracy theorists peddling this is just as familiar with Hillary Clinton's ties to the Hot Springs Arkansas mob...  Where was the outrage about that?  One could piece together an extravagant, loosely based story on that as well.

Edited by Quez
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Reposting from @adonis

https://www.lawfareblog.com/trump-russian-agent-legal-analysis

 

Quote

 

Is Trump a Russian Agent? A Legal Analysis

By Susan Hennessey, Benjamin Wittes

 Wednesday, July 27, 2016, 1:46 PM

An amazing debate is taking place among serious analysts and journalists in the United States regarding the relationship between the Republican nominee for President and the Russian state.

This debate is not taking place on the fringes, or in internet comments, but instead in the pages of the New York Review of Books, the Washington Post, the New York Times, Slate, and elsewhere. The participants are undeniably substantive—editors of famed magazines, Pulitzer Prize winners, and authors of esteemed books on Russia, its leader, and its history.

This high-power group is debating whether Donald Trump is a tool, wittingly or unwittingly, of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

On the “yes” side is a remarkable lineup of intellectual firepower. There’s this remarkable essay by Franklin Foer; there’s this piece from Anne Applebaum; there’s this one from Paul Krugman; and there’s this from Josh Marshall. On the other side of the ledger, in addition to the weird comments both from official Russian sources and from Trump himself, is this essay by Putin foe Masha Gessen, who sees the entire Trump-Putin meme as a distraction from the deeply American dangers of Trump.

The fact that serious people can have a serious discussion of whether a major party candidate for president is operating on behalf of an adversarial foreign nuclear power is alone gobsmacking. And we don’t propose to resolve the dispute here, at least not in any final kind of way.

We do think, however, that the discussion would benefit from slightly greater clarity of terms. So as a public service, we are offering the following analysis of the Trump-Putin evidence against several different legal and non-legal standards.

 

Question #1: Is Donald Trump an Agent of a Foreign Power Targetable Under FISA?

Answer: Not On the Current Record.

One way of asking whether a U.S. person is a Manchurian Candidate is to look at whether he meets the criteria for surveillance under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The fact that we are even writing this sentence about a presidential candidate is a reflection of what a strange year 2016 is.

FISA defines an “agent of a foreign power,” in relevant part, as follows: any person who “knowingly engages in clandestine intelligence gathering activities for or on behalf of a foreign power, which activities involve or may involve a violation of the criminal statutes of the United States”; or who “pursuant to the direction of an intelligence service or network of a foreign power, knowingly engages in any other clandestine intelligence activities for or on behalf of such foreign power, which activities involve or are about to involve a violation of the criminal statutes of the United States.”

The DNC hack provides considerable evidence that Trump is the beneficiary of the clandestine activity of “a foreign power.” And there is plenty of evidence that Trump has spoken in a fashion that would reasonably please the foreign actor in question. But there is no evidence at all that Trump has engaged in or abetted clandestine espionage activity himself, much less that he has done so in probable violation of any U.S. law.

So if the Manchurian Candidate question is one of whether Trump is a Putin agent within the meaning of FISA, the public record certainly does not support that.  

 

Question #2: Is Trump an Agent of a Foreign Principal Under FARA?

Answer: Not on the current record.

Under the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA), every non-exempt agent of a foreign principal is required to register with the Department of Justice.

Donald Trump is clearly a “person” within the meaning of the Act (less obviously in other senses of the word). His corporations, partnerships and organizations also qualify, though we’ll treat him as an individual for now. A foreign principal includes “a government of a foreign country and a foreign political party” or any non-US citizen outside the United States (subject to exceptions). Here, the Russian government, Vladimir Putin, and most of the various associated actors clearly qualify.

The important legal question under FARA is whether Trump (a person) qualifies as an “agent” of Russia (a foreign principal). An agent of a foreign principal is any person who acts “at the order, request, or under the direction or control of” that principal, anyone “whose activities are directly or indirectly supervised, directed, controlled, financed, or subsidized” by that principal and who then “engages within the United States in political activities for or in the interest of such foreign principal.” Separately, an agent of a foreign principal under FARA is “any person who agrees, consents, assumes, or purports to act as, or who is or holds himself out to be … an agent of a foreign principal” as otherwise defined.

Based on the facts in evidence, Donald Trump does not qualify as a foreign agent within the Act. Previously, FARA was primarily focused on countering propaganda and did not require a direct nexus or connection. But the law has been amended to more narrowly define the requirements for an agent relationship. While Trump has ties to Russia and has expressed surprising affinity and admiration for its strongman leader, there is no evidence that he is actually working under the direction or control of Russia or Putin and he expressly disavows that characterization. On the present record, at least, to borrow language from the ISIS discussion, Trump seems to be more inspired by Putin than directed by him. (Note: it is more plausible that particular Trump campaign advisors—who are engaging in “political activity” by virtue of their participation in his campaign—would be required to register under the Act.)

If Trump were to be deemed an agent of a foreign power, that would be a rather serious matter. While the United States has not successfully prosecuted any criminal violations of FARA in a half-century, it does routinely seek civil enforcement against covered individuals who fail to register. Moreover, if Trump were a foreign agent within the Act and actually won the Presidency, he would be in violation of 18 USC 219, which prohibits any “public official” from being an agent of a foreign principal. Public officials include Members of Congress and “an officer or employee or person acting for on on behalf of the United States, or any department, agency or branch of Government thereof… in any official function.” Being President of the United States would appear to qualify.   

 

Question: Is Russia Actively Supporting Trump’s Candidacy?

Answer: Damn Straight!

The evidence that Russia is actively supporting Trump’s candidacy using covert intelligence means seems, at this point, pretty strong. This does not mean, of course, that Trump is a Russian agent. But apparently without his direction or control, Russian intelligence agencies have a laid a bet on the man. Susan summarized the evidence of this the other day: 

Defense One lays out the powerful, though not definitive, public evidence of Russian involvement. The New York Times offers a somewhat more tempered assessment. It is important to recognize that the strongest evidence regarding attribution was made public long before the most recent batch of emails was released:

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper reported in May that the intelligence community had evidence that foreign governments were targeting campaigns.

In June, Crowdstrike published its account, specifically naming Russian state actors as behind the DNC hack.

While the Russians have long been known to use information and disinformation campaigns to influence foreign elections, there was initial skepticism regarding the degree of Crowdstrike’s certainty. However, the discovery of incriminating metadata—first noticed by Matt Tait who tweets under @pwnallthethings—and other evidence quickly corroborated the Crowdstrike assessment.

There are well-documented connections between Wikileaks—the chosen vehicle for the leak release—its founder Julian Assange, and the Russian state apparatus.

Paired with the technical indicators, the sum total of evidence is about as close to a smoking gun as can be expected where a sophisticated nation state is involved.  

Since then, the evidence has only grown stronger. The New York Timesyesterday reported that “American intelligence agencies have told the White House they now have ‘high confidence’ that the Russian government was behind the theft of emails and documents from the Democratic National Committee.”

Even if there were no covert actions, the overt ones alone are pretty telling. Putin and others in the Russian leadership have repeatedly praised Trump. They are not playing their cards close to their vests about liking him and disliking his opponent. In U.S. presidential elections, the distinction between working on behalf of one candidate versus against the other is largely semantic. Harm done to one of the candidates in a two-party system necessarily benefits the other. So it is difficult to understand how much Russia is motivated by liking Trump and how much it is motivated by hating Clinton. Probably a bit of a both.

Bottom line: Trump may not be acting (legally speaking) on behalf of Russia, but Russia is acting on behalf of him.

 

Question: Is Trump a “Useful Idiot” for Putin?

Answer: Yup.

The phrase “useful idiots” (полезные дураки, in Russian) is often attributed to Lenin—though probably not accurately—and refers to people in the West who can be counted upon by virtue of naivete or stupidity to act on Russia’s behalf while not being active agents. This is probably the best way to understand the relationship between Trump and Putin. The evidence of a bromance between them is uncontestable. The evidence of an affinity in personality and strongman nastiness is as well.

Moreover, the evidence is neither contested or contestable that Trump has taken public positions exceedingly favorable to Russia and far outside of the American mainstream. As Foer points out at great length in his excellent piece, Trump has repeatedly sought to do business in Russia and acquired financing from Russian sources. He has proposed Russia-friendly policies, even to the point of proposing to abandon NATO allies. He has praised Putin repeatedly. And he has surrounded himself with people who have extensive histories representing the interests of those close to Putin. Only today, Trump openly sided with Russian intelligence against the United States and urged further spying.

Small wonder that Russia has responded by seeking to advance Trump’s cause domestically, both by covert and overt means. Who needs an agent when you get so much for free?

 

 

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I think the hacking allegations proved quite a bit and told us a lot. I'm not sure what anyone should have realistically expected the information to do in terms of its impact, though. The general public who voted for Trump clearly wasn't going to be influenced by those results. He's done and said far worse and they still support him. The prominent Republicans who back him aren't going to change positions now. They've made their choice and it will stick for four more years.

I think any legitimate information about Trump should be brought to light. I just question the impact any of it will have. I think he's untouchable at this point. I'd love to be wrong about that but seeing everything he did that resulted in him being prominently supported and ultimately elected has me dubious that any bit of information will prove to be his undoing now. 

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1 minute ago, packersfan said:

I think the hacking allegations proved quite a bit and told us a lot. 

I think any legitimate information about Trump should be brought to light.

I just question the impact any of it will have. I think he's untouchable at this point. 

They proved most were unwilling to change their opinions based on allegations with lack of strong evidence.  If allegations with legitimate evidence ever came about, that would be a different story.  So far he is untouchable to allegations with weak evidence.

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Quote

 

Russia says it was in touch with Trump's campaign during election

By Andrew Osborn | MOSCOW

The Russian government was in touch with members of President-elect Donald Trump's political team during the U.S. election campaign and knows most of his entourage, one of Russia's most senior diplomats told the Interfax news agency on Thursday.

Accused by defeated Democratic contender Hillary Clinton of being a puppet of President Vladimir Putin after praising the Russian leader, Trump has dismissed suggestions he had anything to do with the Russian government during the campaign.

But in comments that could prove politically awkward for the president-elect, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said there had indeed been some communications.

"There were contacts," Interfax cited Ryabkov as saying. "We are doing this and have been doing this during the election campaign."

Such contacts would continue, he added, saying the Russian government knew and had been in touch with many of Trump's closest allies. He did not name names.

"Obviously, we know most of the people from his (Trump's)entourage. Those people have always been in the limelight in the United States and have occupied high-ranking positions," he said.

"I cannot say that all of them, but quite a few have been staying in touch with Russian representatives."

Moscow was just beginning to consider how to go about setting up more formal channels to communicate with the future Trump administration, said Ryabkov.

A spokeswoman for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

FBI INQUIRY

The Federal Bureau of Investigation opened a preliminary inquiry in recent months into allegations that Trump or his associates might have had questionable dealings with Russian people or businesses, but found no evidence to warrant opening a full investigation, according to sources familiar with the matter. The agency has not publicly discussed the probe.

The U.S. government has blamed Russia for cyber attacks on Democratic Party organizations.

Trump, who has spoken of his desire to improve tattered U.S.-Russia ties, has said he might meet Putin before his inauguration, but Putin's spokesman has said there are currently no plans for such a meeting.

Interfax reported on Wednesday that Dmitry Peskov, Putin's spokesman, would be in New York this week for a chess tournament, a few blocks from Trump Tower, where the president-elect has his office.

But it cited Peskov as saying he did not plan to pass any message to Trump from Putin.

The Russian parliament erupted in applause on Wednesday when it heard that Trump had been elected and Putin told foreign ambassadors he was ready to fully restore ties with Washington.

Ryabkov was more circumspect though, saying the Russian Foreign Ministry felt no euphoria about the Republican's win despite wanting to normalise relations with Washington.

Moscow and Washington are at odds over Syria, Ukraine and NATO.

Ryabkov said Trump's allies had made some tough statements about Russia during the campaign and that his ministry was therefore not harbouring any "rose-tinted" hopes.

"We are not expecting anything in particular from the new U.S. administration," Interfax cited Ryabkov as saying.

(Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-russia-trump-idUSKBN1351RJ 

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Hi guys, I'm back (maybe only briefly) and I wanted to offer an opinion here.

During the election, I was pretty consistent in dismissing the various Hillary scandals as unimportant, at least to me, particularly because there was no proof of her wrongdoing. To me this is not much different. Unless somebody produces proof that Trump was actively involved with Russia in hacking the DNC, I honestly don't see much of a story here. It's a distraction from more serious issues. 

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1 hour ago, Weebs210 said:

Man liberals are getting desperate. Guys, it's over.

They can't even make it 24 after same thread was banned , desperate for something to blame. :loco:

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1 minute ago, timschochet said:

Hi guys, I'm back (maybe only briefly) and I wanted to offer an opinion here.

During the election, I was pretty consistent in dismissing the various Hillary scandals as unimportant, at least to me, particularly because there was no proof of her wrongdoing. To me this is not much different. Unless somebody produces proof that Trump was actively involved with Russia in hacking the DNC, I honestly don't see much of a story here. It's a distraction from more serious issues. 

Quote

“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Mr. Trump said during a news conference here in an apparent reference to Mrs. Clinton’s deleted emails. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/28/us/politics/donald-trump-russia-clinton-emails.html

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I don't know if there is a smoking gun here.  I will say there is a hell of a lot of smoke.  Much more smoke than there ever was about Obama being born in Kenya.

I have the feeling like we are at the tip of the iceberg. 

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Just now, timschochet said:

Hi guys, I'm back (maybe only briefly) and I wanted to offer an opinion here.

During the election, I was pretty consistent in dismissing the various Hillary scandals as unimportant, at least to me, particularly because there was no proof of her wrongdoing. To me this is not much different. Unless somebody produces proof that Trump was actively involved with Russia in hacking the DNC, I honestly don't see much of a story here. It's a distraction from more serious issues. 

Glad you came back to tell us what you thought.  Folks were saying I was you, several of them.  Not sure if it was intended as an insult or not, but you seem like a nice enough person.  I agree in general though...seems like a lot of stretched connections at this point.  However, there is a lot of smoke around Trump and Russia, some of it created by Trump himself, some by past comments on the record about business holdings with Russia, some confirmed by the Intelligence Community about a covert operation to get Trump elected, and more concern based on how Trump has reacted to the claims. 

Now a reputable journalism source is reporting some troubling associations.  It's not proof, but it's more smoke in the same area where there's already a ton of it.  Most conspiracy theories start with just the most minor scent of smoke.  This is a suffocating amount of it right now.  No need to jump to conclusions just yet, but it's certainly starting to get hard to see anything else here.

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32 minutes ago, packersfan said:

Conway says Trump may roll back some of Obama's sanctions against Russia once he takes office.

Gee, there's a shock.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/01/09/conway-trump-russia-probe-congress-hacking-obama/96338952/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

The good news is, we won't have to guess for much longer how deep his ties are to Russia.  His actions after being sworn in as POTUS will tell us all we need to know. 

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Let's go further with this, and get to the heart of the matter:

Trump says he wants closer ties with Russia. But who the heck knows what that means? I don't believe that Trump would stand by and do nothing while Russia absorbs the rest of the Ukraine. I also don't believe that we're going to stop Russia from bombing the crap out of Syria. Perhaps we are going to end our current limited embargo on Russia, as it appears our new Secretary of State is keen on that- and maybe that's a good thing. But it's not, in the larger scheme of things, that important. 

In short, there's a lot of words being thrown around, both by Trump and his detractors, but in the end I don't see him being that much different from Obama and previous presidents.  when it comes to Russia.

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for the record, below is Schindlers tweet-storm.  Schindler may or may not be a reputable source, so let's keep that in mind.

============================

  • Kicking off with the below tweet - see whole thread - it's time to have an official CI Tweetstorm on this issue. /1 ( IOW, Trump Org has functioned as money-laundering front for Russia's biggest OC group, which is functionally RIS.)
  • Trump Org's secret ties to Russian OC are well known in certain circles, including some IC folks. But MSM has been (mostly) derelict. /2
  • MSM has been reluctant to seriously explore Trump's Kremlin ties because Don loves suing everyone. And his Russia mafia pals kill people. /3
  • Moreover, actually grasping what the Trump Org does -- which Don works hard at anyone getting a look at -- requires a lot of knowledge. /4
  • You need to understand real estate finance, and Russian organized crime AND Russian intelligence...if you do, the picture is quite clear. /5
  • Mogilevich is the biggest mob boss in Russia -- maybe the world -- and his capos+footprints are all over the Trump Org since early 1990s. /6
  • Mogilevich launders money in the West, including the USA, on a gargantuan scale; he is clever and good at this. FBI knows all about it. /7
  • In 1992, Mogilevich sent a capo to NYC to run his US show. That was Yaponchik AKA Vyacheslav Ivankov, who was murdered in Moscow in 2009. /8
  • Yaponchik/Ivankov -- for 3 years until the FBI caught up with him -- was dividing his time between Trump Tower & Don's Taj Mahal Casino. /9
  • There are literally dozens of Russian OC scams, some gargantuan, that we know were based at Trump properties -- quite a coincidence. /10
  • The real issue is how Mogilevich made the Trump Org one of his overseas subsidiaries, de facto, back in the 1990s. FBI knows this too. /11
  • Also, Mogilevich has a very cozy relationship with Putin & his special services, going back to KGB days. They help each other non-stop. /12
  • Not long after Sasha Litvinenko told reporters about Putin's close links to Mogilevich, FSB gave him atomic tea. Another coincidence. /13
  • There's an old IC joke about Russian organized crime: "Who do you think organized them?" Trump being in bed with ROC = in bed with FSB /14
  • End of Tweetstorm -- for now. Would be nice if Congress took a look at the evidence here, it's overwhelming. Very, very soon would help. /15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by moleculo

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2 minutes ago, timschochet said:
4 minutes ago, Slapdash said:

That's just talk, though. Trump throws out a lot of crap. 

This crap was asking Russia to do more of what they were already doing though.  We're expected to believe it's a coincidence that Trump was asking Russia to further intervene on his behalf.  Sure, it could be coincidence, but it also might be that he knew what they were doing and was asking them to do more of it.

Oh, and it's also perilously close to treason to encourage foreign acts of espionage against your political opponent for your own benefit.  But yeah, let's just dismiss it as though it happens all the time and give DJT the benefit of the doubt here because he so richly deserves it, based on other things we know about him and Russia, who was in his campaign and their ties to Russia, what came out from the IC about Russia influencing our election in his favor via hacking and propaganda, and his business ties, and his unfailingly positive comments about Putin...the list goes on.

At a certain point, one has to admit that there are a lot of threads, thin as some of them are, that are converging around something not being right around Trump and Russia and Putin.  

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3 hours ago, whoknew said:

Well I hope this doesn't get me banned, but its an important story that should be discussed.

John Schindler went on a tweet storm about Trump's Russian mob ties this morning. Here is the storified version.

The basic premise is that the Trump organization has had Russian mob ties since the 90s. And this is well known in the intelligence community.

 

Loving this Schindler guy. I feel like I need to read all his stuff quickly before he gets snuffed out.

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10 minutes ago, timschochet said:

Hi guys, I'm back (maybe only briefly) and I wanted to offer an opinion here.

During the election, I was pretty consistent in dismissing the various Hillary scandals as unimportant, at least to me, particularly because there was no proof of her wrongdoing. To me this is not much different. Unless somebody produces proof that Trump was actively involved with Russia in hacking the DNC, I honestly don't see much of a story here. It's a distraction from more serious issues. 

Trump's affiliation with Putin and Russia is an incredibly serious issue in my opinion. As I said in the thread which no longer exists I'm not concerned about the results of the election. That's done. Trump won. But I am concerned with how Trump's relationship with Putin will impact his presidency and potentially shape his decision making. I consider that extremely serious. For me, none of this is about trying to dispute the results of the election and I think focusing on that ignores the greater concerns that should be prominent here.

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2 minutes ago, timschochet said:

Let's go further with this, and get to the heart of the matter:

Trump says he wants closer ties with Russia. But who the heck knows what that means? I don't believe that Trump would stand by and do nothing while Russia absorbs the rest of the Ukraine. I also don't believe that we're going to stop Russia from bombing the crap out of Syria. Perhaps we are going to end our current limited embargo on Russia, as it appears our new Secretary of State is keen on that- and maybe that's a good thing. But it's not, in the larger scheme of things, that important. 

In short, there's a lot of words being thrown around, both by Trump and his detractors, but in the end I don't see him being that much different from Obama and previous presidents.  when it comes to Russia.

Do you think he would draw the line on NATO nations in the Balkans?  Or are his anti-NATO remarks to be disregarded?

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3 minutes ago, timschochet said:

Let's go further with this, and get to the heart of the matter:

Trump says he wants closer ties with Russia. But who the heck knows what that means? I don't believe that Trump would stand by and do nothing while Russia absorbs the rest of the Ukraine. I also don't believe that we're going to stop Russia from bombing the crap out of Syria. Perhaps we are going to end our current limited embargo on Russia, as it appears our new Secretary of State is keen on that- and maybe that's a good thing. But it's not, in the larger scheme of things, that important. 

In short, there's a lot of words being thrown around, both by Trump and his detractors, but in the end I don't see him being that much different from Obama and previous presidents.  when it comes to Russia.

Tim!!!!!!!! :) 

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1 minute ago, timschochet said:

Let's go further with this, and get to the heart of the matter:

Trump says he wants closer ties with Russia. But who the heck knows what that means? I don't believe that Trump would stand by and do nothing while Russia absorbs the rest of the Ukraine. I also don't believe that we're going to stop Russia from bombing the crap out of Syria. Perhaps we are going to end our current limited embargo on Russia, as it appears our new Secretary of State is keen on that- and maybe that's a good thing. But it's not, in the larger scheme of things, that important. 

In short, there's a lot of words being thrown around, both by Trump and his detractors, but in the end I don't see him being that much different from Obama and previous presidents.  when it comes to Russia.

Many folks in our intelligence community consider Russia and Putin to be our number 1 global threat.  Trumps team wants to treat them with kid gloves.  They consider ISIS the biggest global threat.  

It matters whether the person we just elected has had improper relationships with Russia in the past that would make him unfit to control our foreign policy as it relates to them.

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4 minutes ago, adonis said:

Glad you came back to tell us what you thought.  Folks were saying I was you, several of them.  Not sure if it was intended as an insult or not, but you seem like a nice enough person.  I agree in general though...seems like a lot of stretched connections at this point.  However, there is a lot of smoke around Trump and Russia, some of it created by Trump himself, some by past comments on the record about business holdings with Russia, some confirmed by the Intelligence Community about a covert operation to get Trump elected, and more concern based on how Trump has reacted to the claims. 

Now a reputable journalism source is reporting some troubling associations.  It's not proof, but it's more smoke in the same area where there's already a ton of it.  Most conspiracy theories start with just the most minor scent of smoke.  This is a suffocating amount of it right now.  No need to jump to conclusions just yet, but it's certainly starting to get hard to see anything else here.

Adonis, any comparison between you and I is a great compliment to me. 

Trump has troubling associations. More than any other guy we've had in the office in modern times, for sure. His background has all kinds of sleazy stuff to it. I didn't want him in there partly for that reason. I won't be surprised by anything we find out about him.

But- I also wrote on November 9, the majority of the voters who matter didn't care about this stuff. So be it. Donald Trump deserves a clean slate until he actually does stuff that negatively affects people. 

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1 minute ago, timschochet said:

Adonis, any comparison between you and I is a great compliment to me. 

Trump has troubling associations. More than any other guy we've had in the office in modern times, for sure. His background has all kinds of sleazy stuff to it. I didn't want him in there partly for that reason. I won't be surprised by anything we find out about him.

But- I also wrote on November 9, the majority of the voters who matter didn't care about this stuff. So be it. Donald Trump deserves a clean slate until he actually does stuff that negatively affects people. 

If there are legitimate issues that could threaten this country or impact his decision making I think the time to investigate and take action is before he does anything that negatively affects people. Not after. 

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1 minute ago, timschochet said:

Trump has troubling associations. More than any other guy we've had in the office in modern times, for sure. His background has all kinds of sleazy stuff to it. I didn't want him in there partly for that reason. I won't be surprised by anything we find out about him.

But- I also wrote on November 9, the majority of the voters who matter didn't care about this stuff. So be it. Donald Trump deserves a clean slate until he actually does stuff that negatively affects people. 

Not if it can be shown that he was colluding with Russia to win the presidential election.  Not if it can be shown that his various interests in Russia will cause him to have a conflict of interest with any dealings with Putin, regarding Ukraine/Crimea, regarding future aggressions, regarding sanctions being imposed/lifted, regarding what we do at the UN with respect to Russia.

This all matters, and if we have a president who can't be trusted to operate with a major foreign adversary without respect to a huge conflict of interest, that's a problem.  Like I said, there's so much smoke in this area, that it's certainly reasonable to be concerned about this playing a role.  

I would love to be able to just sit back and give Trump the benefit of the doubt here, and wait until he starts doing things, but these questions are only getting more numerous, as evidence comes out, strong evidence, to support more and more russian ties.  It's concerning, and there's really no reason to just sit and wait.  We should be aware of what's going on, what has gone on, and look to the future with this knowledge in mind as we see what he's doing as president.

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1 minute ago, Slapdash said:

Do you think he would draw the line on NATO nations in the Balkans?  Or are his anti-NATO remarks to be disregarded?

At the time that he made his initial comments about NATO, I regarded them as disqualifying him for the Presidency, over and above everything else the man said during the campaign. 

But like so many other comments made by Trump, he quickly retracted them, and in various interviews has said many contradictory things. So here's the point: I think that in the end President Trump will stand by NATO, and I think that if he doesn't, there will be a revolt in Congress, led by Republicans. But I don't believe any of this will come about, because I don't think Putin will ever challenge NATO. He'll talk about it, and Trump will talk about it, but it won't happen. 

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