Michael Flynn’s Lawyers Claim Lisa Page Altered FBI Interview Record to Frame Him

Michael Flynn’s Lawyers Claim Lisa Page Altered FBI Interview Record to Frame Him

Lisa-Page-after-meeeting-lawmakers-Capitol-Hill-ap-640x480
(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/10/25/michael-flynn-lawyers-accuse-fbi-of-laying-trap-withholding-evidence/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=daily&utm_campaign=20191025&utm_content=Final

Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page leaves following an interview with lawmakers behind closed doors on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, July 13, 2018.
JOEL B. POLLAK
25 Oct 2019

Lawyers for former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn reportedly filed a motion on Thursday in which they allege that the Department of Justice manipulated a document to frame their client and is withholding exculpatory evidence.
The apparent “sealed” filing, dated October 24, 2019, was posted to social media on Thursday evening.

US v Flynn; DE 129-2 by Techno Fog on Scribd

The filing by Flynn’s new legal team, which took over the case several weeks ago, argues that the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted an “ambush-interview” of Flynn in the White House not to discover any evidence of criminal activity, but to coax him into making false statements.

When Flynn’s new lawyer Sidney Powell first made those allegations in September, prosecutors replied that she was indulging in “conspiracy theories” and noted his client had already pleaded guilty to the crime of lying to the FBI in 2017. Flynn has been awaiting sentencing since then, and even told the sentencing judge in 2018 that he would not claim FBI misconduct, despite growing evidence that they had departed from normal practice in interviewing him and had only completed their “302” — the report of their meeting — after he had already been forced to resign from his position in the administration over the allegations.

The new defense filing alleges that the government is refusing to turn over a mountain of potentially exculpatory evidence, some of which has begun to emerge in the media — either through leaks or through ongoing inquiries into the origins of the probe into alleged Russia “collusion” with the Trump campaign, later found not to exist.

That evidence, Flynn’s legal team alleges, includes an apparent admission by former FBI lawyer Lisa Page — who resigned after being discovered having an affair with agent Peter Strzok, with whom she shared anti-trump texts — that she had edited the 302 — something that she allegedly told FBI investigators she did not recall, the filing states.

The edits, the filing alleges, were substantive: they included a claim that Flynn said he did not discuss any sanctions with the Russian ambassador. Flynn’s lawyers allege he merely told the FBI he did not recall, and that the claim he said otherwise was added only after a transcript of his discussion with the ambassador had been leaked to the media.

In a footnote, the filing adds that former FBI general counsel James Baker “is believed to be the person who illegally leaked the transcript of Mr. Flynn’s calls to [Washington Post reporter David] Ignatius.” It also alleges that former National Intelligence Director James Clapper told Ignatius to “take the kill shot on Flynn.”

The filing emerged hours after reports that the Department of Justice had shifted its investigation of the origins of the Russia probe to become a criminal investigation under the supervision of prosecutor John H. Durham.

Flynn was subject to surveillance — allegedly in response to claims that he might have violated the Logan Act, an archaic and rarely-enforced law barring private citizens from diplomacy — during President-elect Donald Trump’s transition to office. Flynn’s name was then unmasked in the transcript of his telephone conversation with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, which was then leaked illegally.

Flynn’s subsequent prosecution for lying to the FBI was key to the “Russia collusion” theory, later found to have no substance after a lengthy investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller that took nearly two years to complete.

Critics have alleged that Mueller may have induced Flynn to plead guilty by suggesting that the government had more evidence of “Russia collusion” than it actually did.

This story is developing.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

Advertisements

Trump Supporters Egged, Milkshaked While Holding ‘Free Hugs’ Sign in Seattle

Trump-supporters-egged-in-Seattle-640x480
(Trump supporters egged in Seattle Saleem n Dion/Youtube)

Watch: Trump Supporters Egged, Milkshaked While Holding ‘Free Hugs’ Sign in Seattle
ALANA MASTRANGELO29 Jul 20193,3:50
Trump-supporters-egged-in-Seattle-640x480

Two Trump-supporting YouTubers were egged and “milkshaked” in Seattle, Washington, last week while holding a sign that read, “Free Hugs from a Trump Supporter.”

YouTubers Saleem Juma and Dion Thompson were egged and milkshaked in the Capitol Hill neighborhood in Seattle last week while wearing red “Make America Great Again” hats, and holding a sign that read, “Free Hugs from a Trump Supporter.” The incident was caught on video.

“The entire idea behind something like a free hug sign is to bridge the political gap,” said Juma to Breitbart News. “We also wanted to show that Trump supporters are not what the mainstream media depict us to be.”

Watch Below:

The term “milkshaked” refers to when somebody gets a milkshake thrown at them, typically by a protester. Quilette editor Andy Ngo, for example, was milkshaked last month in Portland, Oregon by Antifa members. The milkshake, according to Portland police, contained “quick-drying cement.”

“We’ve been assaulted here four or five times now, just for wearing Trump hats,” Juma can be heard saying to a bystander who stopped to talk with the YouTubers.

“That’s ridiculous,” continued Juma, “You can not like Trump, but if you’re going to assault people over a political opinion, that’s a ‘you’ problem, not a ‘me’ problem.”

Seconds later, an alleged Antifa activist can be seen hurling eggs at the YouTubers, as well as the bystander who had stopped to talk to them. One egg was thrown directly into the bystander’s ear.

“This guy isn’t even conservative, he was just standing with us, asking questions,” Juma can be heard saying in the video.

“I’m bleeding,” said the bystander, “I’m bleeding in the ear right now. I just pulled out fucking, like, blood, right there. In my hand, right there.”

Thompson told Breitbart News that he and Juma went to the Capitol Hill neighborhood with their MAGA hats and “free hugs” sign to create a “man on the street” video, as the two typically engage in lighthearted social experiments for their YouTube channel.

“We got there and we basically thought this was going to be a feel-good video, but no sooner than ten or twenty minutes later, [Antifa members] started throwing eggs at us,” said Thompson. “This only shows how far the left has gone in our state, and it’s absolutely appalling.”

“These Antifa groups will attack anybody, and that video shows that they’re even willing to attack someone that’s not conservative,” added Thompson of the bystander who was also seen being egged on video, “They’re willing to attack anybody.”

Juma, who is Muslim, and Thompson, who is black, told Breitbart News that a local Antifa group has labeled the two “white supremacists” and “fascists” over their support for President Donald Trump, adding that Antifa has put flyers up around Seattle, which contain the labels alongside their names and photos.

64432743-2301973516552599-2639201813630812328-n-1024x1024
A poster in Seattle listing Trump supporters

Last month, Juma and Thompson were speaking at the University of Washington, when a man attempted to chain the doors to the event shut. The man, who was later arrested, acted after an Antifa call to action to disrupt the event.

The YouTubers also said that they called the police — several times — after they were first egged, but that officers did not arrive on the scene until after Juma and Thompson had left, a little over an hour later.

“We called the police a total of five times and they didn’t show up, that’s what’s crazy to me,” said Thompson. “The 911 dispatcher called Saleem after we left that area.”

Despite being egged and milkshaked — as well as the apparent slow response time by local police — Thompson says that he and Juma plan to continue creating YouTube videos as open conservatives, as he believes it is making a positive difference in his city.

“I’ll bet you anything that a lot of people are conservative,” said Thompson, “but they’re afraid to come up to us out fear of being identified by leftists.”

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, on Parler at @alana, and on Instagram.

AMERICA, LOVE IT, LEAVE IT, DEFEND IT, or DESTROY IT… By Roybeaird’s Blog

blog-post-1-america-love-it

AMERICA, LOVE IT, LEAVE IT, DEFEND IT, or DESTROY IT…
Jul 26
by roybeaird
AMERICA, LOVE IT, LEAVE IT, DEFEND IT, or DESTROY IT…

Those seem to be our choices in today’s politics. We either love America, hate America, want to stay, want to leave, are willing to defend or want to ‘fundamentally transform’ which is liberal leftist speak for destroy. Which is it for you? Some will take immediate offense and say, “Well, I’m standing on principles and Trump is the biggest problem in America.” Others will say, “We have the right to differ in our opinions.” I agree with the last statement but not the first.

I believe that today’s political climate makes our choice binary on one hand and necessitates the effort to purge the ranks of both major political parties on the other. That’s how I see it and you can agree, disagree, or be indifferent, your choice. The antics and rhetoric of today’s politicians make me want to regurgitate and find a quiet place to get away from it all. Sadly, that is not an option, due to the seriousness of this battle and what is at stake.

In war, you cannot just take a break and call ‘time-out’ expecting the enemy to honor your temporary respite and truce. No, you fight to the finish! In playing sports, I discovered that winners never quit and never take a play off, but give it their all 100% of the time. I have found in business that those who succeed do not put their efforts and plans on the shelf and take breaks, they continually, even in getaway time, they think and plan their next move. I have found in relationships, that you cannot just take a break and not put your heart into the development of the relationship, you are always alert and engaged.

In life and in spiritual matters, when we discover we are in a war for survival, we draw strength we did not know we had and a fight. I have served in combat in the military and in a firefight, you don’t take a break. There is no coexistence with evil and there is no compromise with those who want to destroy our Republic and transform it into something other than what it was designed to be and has been for over 240 years. America and our Freedom is a prize that must not be lost.

In the most recent antics of the Democrats in the never-ending, ‘Get Trump’ coup and investigations we saw, more clearly than ever, the charade for what it is. Trump was not inaccurate when he called this a ‘Witch Hunt.’ Robert Mueller demonstrated his lack of knowledge, apparent lack of involvement, and his complicity in the coup attempt. His almost incoherent displays, his lack of understanding what took place, his blankness on Fusion GPS, and his delays in ridding his team of those hand-picked Democrats who were exposed for their bias was troubling and revealing.

It was incredibly revealing when he responded to Representative Doug Collins of Georgia whether collusion and conspiracy were synonymous. He said, “No.” When challenged about that position contradicting his report, where he said they were largely synonymous he said, “Not when I read it.” What? I thought you wrote it, what do you mean when you read it? His apparent lack of knowledge about Fusion GPS was astounding. That was the group that Hillary Clinton’s team paid to produce the salacious and unverified Steel dossier, a key part of the entire premise for the investigation. He didn’t know who they were? Where have you been for two-years, Mr. Mueller?

The Democrats are, in my opinion, ‘beating a dead horse’ and a horse that had nothing to do with the Russian ‘so-called’ tampering in the 2016 elections. Was there tampering? Absolutely. Was it by the Russians? I do not know how much they tampered but the amount that the Obama administration, the DNC, and the Clinton’s engaged in was mountainous.

Who actually ran the investigation? I suspect it was Andrew Weismann. Mueller declared that his investigation did not exonerate the president and he could still be prosecuted when he leaves office. First, the investigator does not exonerate or convict anyone. That is not his job. Although that is what Comey attempted to do for Hillary. The Attorney General does not have the constitutional or legal power to exonerate anyone. Therefore, that statement by Mr. Mueller was designed as a missile launched to harm the president in public perception not rooted in good investigative or prosecutorial actions. It was political!

Representative Mike Turner of Ohio offered the line of the day when he said to Mr. Mueller, “You have no more power to declare him (Trump) exonerated than you have to declare him Anderson Cooper.” That caused me to double up in laughter. He continued with some pertinent thoughts, “The statement about exoneration is misleading and meaningless and colors this investigation. One word out of the entire portion of your report and it’s a meaningless word that has no legal meaning and it has colored your entire report.” Bravo, Representative Turner, Bravo!

When Representative Ted Lieu of California attempted to make the non-indictment an issue and insinuated that Mr. Mueller would have indicted had Trump not been president. Mueller seemed to concur. Then, Representative Debbie Lesko of Arizona exposed the inconsistency and hypocrisy of Muller’s consorting with Representative Lieu about his own report declaring “his office could not come to a conclusion one way or the other on obstruction of justice.” Attorney General Barr had exposed Mueller’s attempt to offer innuendo rather than investigative conclusions. Mueller tried to backtrack on his response to Mr. Lieu but that was too little too late.

Mueller either lied or had a tremendous lapse in memory about his interview for the FBI Director’s job and being turned down the day before his unfortunate appointment to the office of Special Counsel.

With the ‘so-called’ Squad, the Four-Horsewoman of the Apocalypse ranting about America the pot is being stirred. The POTUS hopefuls of the Left wanting to destroy our system of government and economics, the border issues, and more, we are in a fight for survival. Some accuse me of being a Trump cultist, a bot, an apologist for him, and a Trump worshipper. None of those are accurate but if that’s what you think, then that’s what you think.

I have never called Donald Trump a true Conservative. But in viewing our past presidents, back to Reagan, he has done more for conservative principles and the American people than anyone since Reagan.

He can be ruthless in deals and also compassionate with people. He is a New York City street fighter in his attitude and if pushed he pushes back. He is not the nation’s pastor or spiritual leader, but he has demonstrated a willingness to fight for us. More good has been done for America and the American people of all ethnicities in three years than in the 16 years of Obama and Clinton or the 8 of George W. Bush. I voted for Him in 2016 and, at this point, plan to do so again in 2020. Why? Because I love America and know the Democrats if allowed to win, will destroy that which we love.

God bless you and God bless America!

Supreme Court Lets Trump Build the Wall; Lifts Injunction

trump-el-paso-rally-build-wall-getty-640x480
(EL PASO, TEXAS – FEBRUARY 11: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the El Paso County Coliseum on February 11, 2019 in El Paso, Texas. U.S. Trump continues his campaign for a wall to be built along the border as the Democrats in Congress are asking for …Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Supreme Court Lets Trump Build the Wall; Lifts Injunction
https://www.breitbart.com/border/2019/07/26/supreme-court-lets-trump-build-the-wall-lifts-injunction/
JOEL B. POLLAK26 Jul 201911,830

The U.S. Supreme Court allowed President Donald Trump to begin building the wall on the U.S.-Mexico border using emergency funds, lifting an injunction Friday that had been imposed by a district court in California and upheld by the Ninth Circuit.
After Congress refused to appropriate enough funding to build a barrier along the border earlier this year, President Trump declared a national emergency to allow the administration to access more money. In total, he ordered $8 billion spent — though, as Breitbart News pointed out, only $3.6 billion needed an emergency declaration.

The president was exultant on Twitter:

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump
Wow! Big VICTORY on the Wall. The United States Supreme Court overturns lower court injunction, allows Southern Border Wall to proceed. Big WIN for Border Security and the Rule of Law!

126K
6:37 PM – Jul 26, 2019
Twitter Ads info and privacy
56.7K people are talking about this

The decision was largely along partisan lines, with all five Republican-appointed justices voting to lift the injunction, while all three liberal justices were opposed. Justice Stephen Breyer sought to have it both ways, allowing the process to go forward but not the construction: “There is a straightforward way to avoid harm to both the Government and respondents while allowing the litigation to proceed. Allowing the Government to finalize the contracts at issue, but not to begin construction, would al- leviate the most pressing harm claimed by the Government without risking irreparable harm to respondents.”

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

Mueller Has Big Problem: 2016 Interview Could Provide Manafort Appeal This is very big and could get Manafort out of jail for good.

mueller3021-794x392
Mueller Has Big Problem: 2016 Interview Could Provide Manafort Appeal
This is very big and could get Manafort out of jail for good.
by Georgette

One Third Of Americans See Media As “Enemy of the People”

Mueller could be in huge trouble!

John Solomon is right in the thick of things in the Beltway… his latest revelation could spell big trouble for Robert Mueller’s congressional testimony because it could expose the orchestrated set-up of Donald Trump.

For the Hill, Solomon reported:

Sometimes it is the quiet, elusive ones who come back to haunt you. And for ex-special prosecutor Robert Mueller, one of those might be a Russian billionaire named Oleg Deripaska.

The oligarch who once controlled Russia’s largest aluminum empire has been an international man of intrigue in the now-completed and disproven Trump collusion investigation.

Deripaska was a disaffected former business client of Donald Trump’s fallen campaign chairman Paul Manafort. He also was a legal research client of Trump-hating, Clinton-aiding British spy Christopher Steele. In his spare time, he was an occasional friendly cooperator with the FBI and its fired deputy director, Andrew McCabe.

And, at the height of the Russia collusion hysteria, Deripaska was sanctioned by the Trump administration to financially punish Russian President Vladimir Putin for his meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

With the Russia case, in which he had so many connections, now completed, Deripaska is breaking his silence. And what he has to say could impact Mueller’s July 17 testimony before Congress.

In a wide-ranging interview with me, Deripaska confirmed a story told to me more than a year ago by law enforcement sources: He was indeed interviewed by FBI agents in September 2016 during the early Russia probe, and he told them he strongly doubted the bureau’s theory that the Trump campaign, through Manafort, was colluding with Moscow to hijack the 2016 election.

“I told them straightforward, ‘Look, I am not a friend with him [Manafort]. Apparently not, because I started a court case [against him] six or nine months before … . But since I’m Russian I would be very surprised that anyone from Russia would try to approach him for any reason, and wouldn’t come and ask me my opinion,’ ” he said, recounting exactly what he says he told the FBI agents that day.

“I told them straightforward, I just don’t believe that he would represent any Russian interest. And knowing what he’s doing on Ukraine for the last, what, seven or eight years.”

OK, so why should you care if a Russian denied Trump campaign collusion with Russia during the election?

First, Deripaska wasn’t just any Russian. He was closely aligned with Putin and had been helpful to the FBI as far back as 2009. So he had earned some trust with the agents.

Most importantly, Deripaska’s interview with the FBI reportedly was never provided by Team Mueller to Manafort’s lawyers, even though it was potential proof of innocence, according to Manafort defense lawyer Kevin Downing. Manafort, initially investigated for collusion, was convicted on tax and lobbying violations unrelated to the Russia case.

That omission opens a possible door for appeal for what is known as a Brady violation, for hiding exculpatory information from a defendant.

“Recent revelations by The Hill prove that the Office of Special Counsel’s (OSC) claim that they had a legitimate basis to include Paul Manafort in an investigation of potential collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and the Russian government is false,” Downing told me. “The failure to disclose this information to Manafort, the courts, or the public reaffirms that the OSC did not have a legitimate basis to investigate Manafort, and may prove that the OSC had no legitimate basis to investigate potential collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and the Russian government.”

Deripaska’s second relevance to Mueller’s congressional hearings has to do with a series of events that first gained him trust inside the FBI.

Deripaska confirmed a story I reported last year from FBI sources that he spent more than $20 million of his own money between 2009 and 2011 on a private rescue operation to free Robert Levinson, a retired FBI agent captured in Iran in 2007 while on a CIA mission.

Deripaska confirmed he paid for the operation at the request of the FBI, which was then under Mueller’s direction. And he added that McCabe, then a rising FBI supervisor who was a former colleague of Levinson and later became a key figure in the Russia collusion probe, was one of those who asked him to help.

“I was approached, you know, by someone that he is under a lot of scrutiny now — McCabe,” Deripaska said. “He also said that it was important enough for all of them [FBI officials]. And I kind of trusted them.”

Deripaska said his privately funded rescue team came very close to a deal with the Iranian captors to secure Levinson’s release but he was told by his FBI handlers that the deal ran into difficulties at Hillary Clinton’s State Department and was scuttled. “I heard that some Russian ‘hand,’ or whatever you call people who are expert on the Russians at the State Department, [said], ‘We just don’t want to owe anything to this guy,’ ” Deripaska told me, adding that he never expected any U.S. favors for his personal efforts to free Levinson.

Asked if he thought the former FBI agent is alive, some dozen years later, Deripaska answered: “I don’t think so.” He pointed out that if Levinson had been alive, he likely would have come home in 2016, after the Obama administration struck a nuclear deal with Iran.

Deripaska said he is continuing to investigate what really happened at State with Levinson, as he tries to fight the sanctions levied against him in 2018. His company, Rusal, has been removed from the sanctions list.

Deripaska’s tale has the potential to raise questions about a conflict of interest, since Mueller’s FBI first received a gift in the form of the privately funded rescue mission before Mueller, as special prosecutor, investigated Deripaska’s ties to key figures in the Russia case.

And Deripaska’s complicated tale goes on: His legal team in 2012 hired Steele, the former British MI6 agent, to do some research for a lawsuit involving a business rival that Deripaska was fighting in London: “It was a research project to support what was the case against me in London. But my understanding is that the lawyers trusted him for some reason, and he was for quite a time on retainer.”

Deripaska was unaware, though, that Steele also was working for the FBI on, among other things, a special program to recruit Russian oligarchs to provide intelligence on Putin and Russian organized crime.

He told me that Steele invited him to a September 2015 meeting with some Justice Department officials, under the guise that they might be able to help with the Russian’s long-running battle with State to get visas to visit the U.S. He said the offer to help with his visa problem was a “pretext” to recruit him.

“They actually never talk, you know, about the [visa] problem. They start talking about anything else. They ask, ‘Do you have anything? Give me names. Cases, whatever,’ ” Deripaska recalled.

He said he later was shocked to learn that Steele eventually went to work for the Clinton campaign through Fusion GPS, and the FBI, and spread allegations of the now-disproven Russia-Trump collusion.

Deripaska’s willingness to do an American interview at this moment undoubtedly has a motive. It’s likely rooted in an American charm offensive, as he sues not only to reverse the sanctions that Trump imposed on him but to challenge the State Department’s 15-year effort to keep him from getting normal visas.

He recently won a lawsuit and forced State to produce the so-called evidence it used to justify denying him a visa for years and imposing the sanctions. It was a thinly sourced file, he said, mostly of old newspaper articles with no real secret intelligence.

So I asked him about the most common allegation levied by his detractors at State — that, earlier in his life while consolidating power in the aluminum industry, he had ties to Russian mobsters and may have killed or encouraged killing critics.

He quickly responded, noting that the file released by the courts offered no such direct proof: “There is no evidence. What is there to dispute? Do you believe that I could kill someone 25 years ago and there will be no victims, no corpses, no names?”

Throughout the interview, it was clear Deripaska chose his words in English carefully. But there was one word he offered only twice — once in response to the Steele dossier’s allegations of Trump-Russia collusion, and the other time to respond to the allegations used to sanction him. “Balderdash,” he insisted.

Now it’s time for Team Mueller to answer the same questions.

Donald Trump was Elected by Russia? Mass Dementia in the Western Establishment Mainstream Media Reaction to Trump-Putin Meeting By Diana Johnstone


Donald Trump was Elected by Russia? Mass Dementia in the Western Establishment
Mainstream Media Reaction to Trump-Putin Meeting
By Diana Johnstone
Global Research, July 20, 2018
https://www.globalresearch.ca/donald-trump-was-elected-by-russia-mass-dementia-in-the-western-establishment/5648031
Region: Russia and FSU, USA
Theme: History, Media Disinformation
In-depth Report: U.S. Election

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above

Where to begin to analyze the madness of mainstream media in reaction to the Trump-Putin meeting in Helsinki? By focusing on the individual, psychology has neglected the problem of mass insanity, which has now overwhelmed the United States establishment, its mass media and most of its copycat European subsidiaries. The individuals may be sane, but as a herd they are ready to leap off the cliff.

For the past two years, a particular power group has sought to explain away its loss of power – or rather, its loss of the Presidency, as it still holds a predominance of institutional power – by creation of a myth. Mainstream media is known for its herd behavior, and in this case the editors, commentators, journalists have talked themselves into a story that initially they themselves could hardly take seriously.

Donald Trump was elected by Russia?

On the face of it, this is preposterous. Okay, the United States can manage to rig elections in Honduras, or Serbia, or even Ukraine, but the United States is a bit too big and complex to leave the choice of the Presidency to a barrage of electronic messages totally unread by most voters. If this were so, Russia wouldn’t need to try to “undermine our democracy”. It would mean that our democracy was already undermined, in tatters, dead. A standing corpse ready to be knocked over by a tweet.

Even if, as is alleged without evidence, an army of Russian bots (even bigger than the notorious Israeli army of bots) was besieging social media with its nefarious slanders against poor innocent Hillary Clinton, this could determine an election only in a vacuum, with no other influences in the field. But there was a lot of other stuff going on in the 2016 election, some for Trump and some for Hillary, and Hillary herself scored a crucial own goal by denigrating millions of Americans as “deplorables” because they didn’t fit into her identity politics constituencies.

The Russians could do nothing to build support for Trump, and there is not a hint of evidence that they tried. They might have done something to harm Hillary, because there was so much there: the private server emails, the Clinton foundation, the murder of Moammer Gaddafi, the call for a no-fly zone in Syria … they didn’t have to invent it. It was there. So was the hanky panky at the Democratic National Committee, on which the Clintonite accusations focus, perhaps to cause everyone to forget much worse things.

Image result for Debbie Wasserman Schultz + Hillary

When you come to think of it, the DNC scandal focused on Debbie Wasserman Schultz, not on Hillary herself. Screaming about “Russian hacking the DNC” has been a distraction from much more serious accusations against Hillary Clinton. Bernie Sanders supporters didn’t need those “revelations” to make them stop loving Hillary or even to discover that the DNC was working against Bernie. It was always perfectly obvious.

So at worst, “the Russians” are accused of revealing some relatively minor facts concerning the Hillary Clinton campaign. Big deal.

But that is enough, after two years of fakery, to send the establishment into a frenzy of accusations of “treason” when Trump does what he said he would do while campaigning, try to normalize relations with Russia.

This screaming comes not only from the US mainstream, but also from that European elite which has been housebroken for seventy years as obedient poodles, dachshunds or corgis in the American menagerie, via intense vetting by US trans-Atlantic “cooperation” associations. They have based their careers on the illusion of sharing the world empire by following U.S. whims in the Middle East and transforming the mission of their armed forces from defense into foreign intervention units of NATO under U.S. command. Having not thought seriously about the implications of this for over half a century, they panic at the suggestion of being left to themselves.
The 2016 Elections: “The Bad Losers” and What They Fear Losing

The Western elite is now suffering from self-inflicted dementia.

Donald Trump is not particularly articulate, navigating through the language with a small repetitive vocabulary, but what he said at his Helsinki press conference was honest and even brave. As the hounds bay for his blood, he quite correctly refused to endorse the “findings” of US intelligence agencies, fourteen years after the same agencies “found” that Iraq was bursting with weapons of mass destruction. How in the world could anyone expect anything else?

But for the mainstream media, “the story” at the Helsinki summit, even the only story, was Trump’s reaction to the, er, trumped up charges of Russian interference in our democracy. Were you or were you not elected thanks to Russian hackers? All they wanted was a yes or no answer. Which could not possibly be yes. So they could write their reports in advance.

Anyone who has frequented mainstream journalists, especially those who cover the “big stories” on international affairs, is aware of their obligatory conformism, with few exceptions. To get the job, one must have important “sources”, meaning government spokesmen who are willing to tell you what “the story” is, often without being identified. Once they know what “the story” is, competition sets in: competition as to how to tell it. That leads to an escalation of rhetoric, variations on the theme: “The President has betrayed our great country to the Russian enemy. Treason!”

This demented chorus on “Russian hacking” prevented mainstream media from even doing their job. Not even mentioning, much less analyzing, any of the real issues at the summit. To find analysis, one must go on line, away from the official fake news to independent reporting. For example, “the Moon of Alabama” site offers an intelligent interpretation of the Trump strategy, which sounds infinitely more plausible than “the story”. In short, Trump is trying to woo Russia away from China, in a reverse version of Kissinger’s strategy forty years ago to woo China away from Russia, thus avoiding a continental alliance against the United States. This may not work because the United States has proven so untrustworthy that the cautious Russians are highly unlikely to abandon their alliance with China for shadows. But it makes perfect sense as an explanation of Trump’s policy, unlike the caterwauling we’ve been hearing from Senators and talking heads on CNN.

Those people seem to have no idea of what diplomacy is about. They cannot conceive of agreements that would be beneficial to both sides. No, it’s got to be a zero sum game, winner take all. If they win, we lose, and vice versa.

They also have no idea of the harm to both sides if they do not agree. They have no project, no strategy. Just hate Trump.

He seems totally isolated, and every morning I look at the news to see if he has been assassinated yet.

It is unimaginable for our Manichean moralists that Putin might also be under fire at home for failing to chide the American president for U.S. violations of human rights in Guantanamo, murderous drone strikes against defenseless citizens throughout the Middle East, the destruction of Libya in violation of the UN mandate, interference in the elections of countless countries by government-financed “non-governmental organizations” (the National Endowment of Democracy), worldwide electronic spying, invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention the world’s greatest prison population and regular massacres of school children. But the diplomatic Russians know how to be polite.

Still, if Trump actually makes a “deal”, there may be losers – neither the U.S. nor Russia but third parties. When two great powers reach agreement, it is often at somebody else’s expense. The West Europeans are afraid it will be them, but such fears are groundless. All Putin wants is normal relations with the West, which is not much to ask.

Rather, candidate number one for paying the price are the Palestinians, or even Iran, in marginal ways. At the press conference, asked about possible areas of cooperation between the two nuclear powers, Trump suggested that the two could agree on helping Israel:

“We both spoke with Bibi Netanyahu. They would like to do certain things with respect to Syria, having to do with the safety of Israel. In that respect, we absolutely would like to work in order to help Israel. Israel will be working with us. So both countries would work jointly.” 

In political terms, Trump knows where political power lies, and is counting on the influence of the pro-Israel lobby, which recognizes the defeat in Syria and the rising influence of Russia, to save him from the liberal imperialists – a daring bet, but he does not have much choice.

On another subject, Trump said that “our militaries” get along with the Russians “better than our politicians”. This is another daring bet, on military realism that could somehow neutralize military industrial congressional complex lobbying for more and more weapons.

In short, the only chance to end the nuclear war threat may depend on support for Trump from Israel and the Pentagon!

The hysterical neoliberal globalists seem to have ruled out any other possibility – and perhaps this one too.

“Constructive dialogue between the United States and Russia forwards the opportunity to open new pathways toward peace and stability in our world” Trump declared “I would rather take a political risk in pursuit of peace than to risk peace in pursuit of politics.”

That is more than his political enemies can claim.

*

Diana Johnstone is the author of Fools’ Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO, and Western Delusions. Her new book is Queen of Chaos: the Misadventures of Hillary Clinton. The memoirs of Diana Johnstone’s father Paul H. Johnstone, From MAD to Madness, was published by Clarity Press, with her commentary. She is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG). She can be reached at diana.johnstone@wanadoo.fr.

I am trying to figure out how much longer Americans are going to put up with the treason going on in this Country. The traitors need to be dealt with swiftly and without impunity. Hell, take em out and shoot em, I don’t care, but they must be dealt with while there is still an America to care about!

White House: CNN Broke ‘Process, Procedure, and Protocol’ During Press Event

CNN White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins talks during a live shot in front of the White House, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, in Washington. Collins says the White House denied her access to President Donald Trump's Rose Garden statement with the European Union Commission president because officials found her earlier questions …
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley defended the administration’s decision to block a CNN reporter from a White House event, citing a breach in protocol.

Gidley denied reports that the White House “banned” CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins from an event because staff did not like the content of her questions during a meeting with the European Union Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

He said:

It had nothing to do with the content of the questions. Those are news-of-the-day questions. What it had to do with — and you guys know how it works — when the president thanks the press for attending an event, the event is over — or at least the press engagement is over at that time. This…the reporter in question that you’re talking about was told repeatedly to leave the Oval Office. They refused to do that. Stayed in the Oval Office, despite staff, Secret Service, everyone trying to usher everyone out of the room. And that can’t happen.

Gidley spoke to reporters about the disputed event on Air Force One on the return flight from the president’s event in Illinois.

Reporters complained to Gidley that there was a “bottleneck” in the Oval Office preventing them from filing out of the room faster. Gidley replied that he was in the room during the disputed events and that some reporters, including Collins, were not moving to leave.

Gidley can be heard on the video telling the press, “Thank you, everybody” and “Keep moving, guys” and “Start leaving, guys” while Collins repeatedly asked President Trump questions about his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.

“Thank you, Kaitlan. Let’s keep going,” Gidley said directly to Collins, who responded by asking the president another question:

Collins claimed that White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications Bill Shine and White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders “thought the questions I had posed to the president were inappropriate and inappropriate for that venue.”

Gidley disagreed.

“It’s about process, procedure, and protocol. And everyone who goes in there understands when the president is done with a conversation, everyone leaves,” he said. “The press are escorted out, typically in an orderly fashion. But in this particular instance, someone refused to leave after being told repeatedly to do so.”